In short


A round-up of today's other stories in brief

Elderly charity calls for agency to monitor homecare quality

Charity Friends of the Elderly has called on the Government to extend the role of the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) to monitor quality and safety in the homecare sector.

Yesterday it expressed concern the Irish private homecare sector was unregulated and unsupervised. Spokesman Dermot Kirwan said there had been “explosive growth in this sector. The HSE (Health Service Executive) doesn’t even know how many companies are operating in Ireland because these companies do not have to inform the HSE of their existence.” The lack of supervision had led to serious abuses as the recent RTÉ’s Prime Time Investigates programme reported, Mr Kirwan said.

“There is evidence that some care attendants are untrained and are employed with no experience of caring for the elderly,” he added.

Death of rights activist Kevin Boyle

International human rights lawyer and first director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights Prof Kevin Boyle has died.

Educated at Queen’s University Belfast and Cambridge University, he was professor of law at NUI Galway where he founded the Irish Centre for Human Rights. He was adviser to Mary Robinson as UN high commissioner for human rights. He was director of the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex, and director of freedom of expression body Article 19.

Call to fast track internship schemes

Unemployed planners and recent graduates with no work could be helping out with economic recovery and consolidating communities, according to Gordon Daly, president of the Irish Planning Institute.

Welcoming a Government initiative to expand placement and internship programmes for jobless professionals, he said this needed to be fast tracked as unemployment among architects, engineers and planners was particularly acute.

“We have a strong pool of planning graduates who, because of the strategic nature of their skills and training would be of value to a wide range of employers, and not just in mainstream planning. It is important that they are not abandoned now,” Mr Daly said.