We look at the latest news highlights from Ireland
Paddy Power bookies target Knock shrine for their latest gimmick
Never one to let tact or political correctness stand in their promotional campaigns, Irish bookmaker Paddy Power last week targeted one of the country’s holiest landmarks to garner publicity.
Playing on Mayo’s 66- year wait for All-Ireland football glory, the bookie ventured to the county to ‘to provide the county’s long suffering footballers with some divine inspiration’ ahead of their All-Ireland semi-final against Kerry.
Last Friday was the 138th anniversary of the Virgin Mary’s appearance at Knock’s holy shrine, and projected their own 70ft apparition onto the front of the basilica.
In it they depicted the Mother of Christ holding the Sam Maguire trophy aloft, in an effort to inspire Stephen Rochford’s men to victory.
It is not the first controversial stunt that the bookmaker has undertaken to encourage people to bet.
In 2015, at the height of the Calais migrant crisis, the bookmakers sent a lorry to the French port stating:
“Immigrants, jump in the back! (But only if you’re good at sport).”
Irish family injured in Barcelona terror attack
The Irish family who were injured in last week’s terror attack in Barcelona were visited by the Spanish royal family in hospital at the weekend.
The Filipino-Irish family from Dublin were celebrating their son’s fifth birthday when a van deliberately ploughed down people in the popular tourist area of Las Ramblas.
Norman Potot (45) from Ballsbridge, Dublin, was on holiday in Barcelona with his wife Pearly (39) and their two children Nailah Pearl and Nathaniel Paul when the attack was carried out.
Norman suffered serious kidney damage and Nathan broke his leg and they were amongst the injured visited by the King and Queen of Spain. Pearly and Nailah escaped with cuts and bruises.
The family have lived in Ireland since 2007, and Norman told the Independent about what he had seen.
Van ran through us
“We were on Las Ramblas Raval, the main road, while looking for presents. There were hundreds of people around when suddenly a white van came running through us,” he said.
“The van hit me in my rib cage, I never heard any screaming, I only saw the white van coming through us very fast, hitting the little shop and me.
“It was scary. I don’t know what happen next because I was unconscious.”
Irish consumer confidence at highest since the recession
Consumer confidence in Ireland has hit its highest level since the recession according to new figures, which has seen the country overtake the UK for the first time.
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions put Ireland in fourth place in Ireland, with only Denmark, Turkey and Germany more confident.
Ireland’s confidence index hit 102 in the second quarter of 2017, up two points from Q4 in 2016 and its highest level since Q4 2007 when it scored 108. The Philippines has the highest score in the world with 130 while Greece has the lowest score at 52.
A total of 58 per cent of Irish consumers are feeling positive about their personal finances and job prospects, while, 67 per cent changed their spending habits to save money, with 35 per cent switching to cheaper grocery brands.
A total of 44 per cent said that they felt that now is a good time to make purchases, the second highest level since the recession.
The scores are derived by measuring attitudes among more than 30,000 internet consumers in 63 countries.