The Week: News Highlights 1st April 2017

We look at some of the news highlights from the last week in Ireland and abroad

Week News Highlights 1st April 2017
Shane Lynch

Boyzone’s Shane Lynch to lead 3,500 charity bikers

Former Boyzone star Shane Lynch will lead the Bike4Life Ride Out and Festival on Sunday 30th April, to help support Midlands Air Ambulance Charity. Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, organiser of Bike4Life, is urging bikers to pre-book their Ride Out place online at as the Ride Out is limited to 3,500 bikes by the authorities. The annual event has raised over £200,000 for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity since it first started in 2011.

“The Bike4Life Ride Out and Festival is a fantastic way for the biking community to come together, raise funds for the charity, and awareness of biker safety,” said Shane. “As part of Boyzone we spent countless hours on the road up and down the motorways and today I enjoy racing cars and biking.

“In the event of a serious accident, it is comforting to know that we have such an incredible rapid lifesaving service that has paramedics and doctors on board saving lives by saving time. We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to the incredible lifesaving work of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.”

Follow Bike4LifeFest on Facebook and Twitter to find out more about the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.

Week News Highlights 1st April 2017

RTE puts land up for sale to address debts

Land at RTE’s headquarters in Donnybrook, Dublin has gone on sale with an asking price of €75 million (£64.8m), as around 250 jobs are expected to be lost at the broadcaster over the next two years. The 8.64 acres at the prime site in south Dublin are up for sale through Savills, and the space is expected to be used to develop up to 500 homes.

‘Project Montrose’ follows RTE Director General Dee Forbes’ announcement in January that the sale would fund infrastructure and capital projects. Mark Reynolds, Director of Savills Ireland, said: “This area of Dublin is synonymous with exclusive high quality apartments and period houses, but supply has been limited due to the lack of appropriate development sites.

“Therefore, we see Project Montrose as a once in a generation opportunity to be part of a truly transformative development story in one of Dublin’s most affluent and fashionable areas.”

Meanwhile, the Irish Independent last week reported that 200-300 jobs will go at the station between now and 2019, representing a sixth of its staff.A bout 250 of these will involve voluntary redundancy as the broadcaster expects losses for 2016 to reach €20million (£17.3m).

Week News Highlights 1st April 2017
Photo Leah Farrell/

Garda commissioner will not resign over latest scandal

Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan has refused to resign after the latest Garda Siochana scandal, this time over road traffic offences.

Her comments followed revelations that over 14,500 people who were prosecuted for road traffic offences are to have their convictions quashed as a result of the controversy over fixed charge notices and the exaggeration of Garda breathalyser test figures. It was revealed that from 2011 to 2016 almost one million random breath tests that never happened were recorded on internal Garda systems over the last five years. Separately, almost 150,000 summonses to court were wrongly issued to drivers over the past decade.

Since the facts came to light, Sinn Féin published a motion of no confidence in O’Sullivan, while Fianna Fail said it had withdrawn support for her and party leader Micheál Martin said she should consider her position. The chief exec of the Road Safety Authority, Moyagh Murdock , described the scale of the discrepancies as “quite staggering.”

The Commissioner said “I have a journey of work that I have to do and I have to make sure that I keep that commitment. We have to keep the lights on while we’re rewiring.”


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