In short


A roundup of today's other home news in brief

10 jobs lost as 'Fóinse' ceases publication

The Irish-language weekly newspaper Fóinseis to cease publication with the loss of 10 jobs. Staff at the Carraroe- based publication were given redundancy notices yesterday and this weekend’s edition is to be the last.

A disagreement over grants from its main funder, Foras na Gaeilge, and falling advertising revenue led to the closure.

The chief executive of Foras na Gaeilge, Ferdie Mac an Fhailigh, said last night he was “shocked” by the announcement.

“I would like to express our disappointment, especially since negotiations were still ongoing between the parties. Foras na Gaeilge are of the strong opinion that Móinéar Teo is a viable business . . .

“Foras na Gaeilge had offered a new contract to Móinéar Teo, which included a 16.3 per cent increase in funding, bringing their annual funding to €355,000 or €1.42 million over the term of the four-year contract to continue publishing . . .

“Foras na Gaeilge has already received a number of expressions of interest in the proposed new contract.”

Ryanair captain sacked over unions

Ryanair has sacked an aircraft captain in Britain for encouraging other staff to join a trade union, writes Martin Wall, Industry Correspondent. The company told staff in Britain last week that the aircraft captain had been dismissed for gross misconduct.

Ryanair said he had been routinely distributing union membership forms and had been actively encouraging cabin crew personnel during duty time and on the flight deck to join the TG union. It said this was “completely unacceptable behaviour for a captain” and a potentially serious safety issue.

The company told staff that while it considered what employees did outside of the workplace to be their own business, it expected its crew to discharge their duties in full and not to be involved in any activity during working hours that could distract them from their normal duties and potentially affect passenger safety.

In a statement to The Irish Times, Ryanair said: “While Ryanair has no problem with employees joining unions, both we and our passengers are entitled to expect that captains are devoting 100 per cent of their attention and duty time on board our aircraft to passenger safety and service and not to personal activities or agendas which should properly be conducted outside of duty or work hours.”

New cases of swine flu detected

A man is being treated in hospital in Northern Ireland for swine flu, the North’s Department of Health has confirmed as Minister of Health Michael McGimpsey warned that cases would continue to increase.

The man, the first to be treated in hospital in the North, recently returned from a visit to England and Scotland. He was reported to be in a stable condition last night.

The man was one of five new cases of swine flu confirmed in Northern Ireland yesterday, bringing the total number of cases in the North to 24.

Meanwhile, six more cases of swine flu in people returning from affected areas abroad, have been detected in the Republic, bringing the total so far to 29.

Clarification call on bald tyre laws

The AA has called for clarification of the law regarding penalties for the use of bald tyres on trailers and construction vehicles, after a barrister successfully argued in Dundalk District Court that the relevant legislation had been revoked.

Conan Fegan told Judge Flann Brennan that Article 16 (V11) of the Road Traffic Construction and Use of Vehicles regulations 1963, had been revoked after a new statutory instrument was introduced in 2003. Two men charged under the 1963 Act had their case dismissed.

Conor Faughnan of the AA said the absence of specific penalties for the offence was a cause of great concern.