Today with Sean O'Rourke

    Monday - Friday at 10am

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    Cork's Employment Success

    Reporter Brian O’Connell has been looking at some of the new types of jobs created in the tech sector and those creating them.

    The Government talks about 100,000 jobs being created since coming to office and Brian looks at one of the areas experiencing growth and that is the tech sector. In Cork there is something of a tech hub with several local companies expanding rapidly and all currently looking for staff.

    Contact Brian here.


    Exotic Animals

    Racoons, boa constrictors, deadly spiders and 5 foot long iguanas, these are just some of the animals the National Exotic Animal Sanctuary has had to deal with when their owners could no longer handle them or when they were found. Our reporter Brian O’Connell has been to the sanctuary and has also looked at how easy it is to import rare and sometimes dangerous animals into Ireland.

    The website for the sanctuary if people would like to donate

    Contact Brian here.


    The Puck Fair

    Now for hundreds of years the Puck fair has been held in the Kerry town of Killorglin. Today is the fair day, and our reporter Brian O’Connell pulled on his wellingtons and joined the trader from 6 o’clock this morning.

    Brian tells us how business has been and tells us a bit about the history of Puck.

    Contact Brian here.


    Racism in Ireland

    In recent weeks, there have been a number of racist attacks in Ireland. With plans for Ireland to take in 600 migrants as part of an EU programme, is our society becoming more racist?

    Our reporter Brian O’Connell has been looking at this issue.

    Contact Brian here.


    Air BnB

    Now, for some it has more than halved their mortgage repayments, while for others it provides annual holiday money - it seems more and more people are using AirBnB to generate income.

    Our reporter Brian O’Connell has been looking into how it works and who is making money from it.

    Read More: Revenue dashes hopes of AirBnB generation, Dominic Coyle, The Irish Times, 4th Feb 2015

    Contact Brian here.

    Cervical Cancer Vaccine

    A group has recently been set up to highlight concerns they have about possible side effects of the HPV vaccine, which is given to teenage girls in Ireland. I’ll be joined shortly by Dr Kevin Connolly, Chairman of the National Immunisation Committee, but first our reporter Brian O’Connell has been looking at this issue.

    Contact Brian here.



    Cervical Cancer Vaccine

    A group has recently been set up to highlight concerns they have about possible side effects of the HPV vaccine, which is given to teenage girls in Ireland. I’ll be joined shortly by Dr Kevin Connolly, Chairman of the National Immunisation Committee, but first our reporter Brian O’Connell has been looking at this issue

    Contact Brian here.

    HSE response to Brian's questions.

    Brian asked the HSE some questions about the HPV vaccine following queries by parents - read response here

    The company which distributes the HPV vaccine here also provided a comprehensive reply to issues raised - read here

    And in relation to complaints about the vaccine, this is what the HPRA told him - read here


    Spike Island Excavations

    It has housed everyone from Irish Nationalist John Mitchell to notorious Dublin criminal Martin The General Cahill, and for the next few weeks Spike Island, at the entrance to Cork harbour, is home to a team of archaeologists. Our reporter Brian O’Connell has been to Spike Island to find out why they are there.

    Contact Brian here.

    There’s an open day tomorrow, Tuesday, and outside of that you can visit by getting the boat from the harbour in Cobh where there are sailings every hour from 11am until 3pm.


    Mindful Walking

    Billed as Ireland’s first mindful walking group, former army commandment Hugh O’Donovan aims to get people fit and promote inner peace and wellbeing at the same time. Our reporter Brian O’Connell met some of a new mindful walking group in Cork yesterday.

    It takes place the last Tuesday of every month meeting at the Bishopstown Café in Cork. Next one is July 28th. More details on Hugh’s website

    Contact Brian here.


    New Postcode System for Ireland

    On Monday, a new postcode system for Ireland will be launched. After years of planning, Eircode will come into being. Despite this several stakeholders are less than impressed with the kind of postcode we have adopted. Our reporter Brian O’Connell has been looking at the issue and joined Sean this morning.

    Q&A with Eircode

    Can you explain why the decision was taken to have a code that is not sequenced? In that it appears to me buildings adjacent bear no link to each other in the database. Why did we decide to go with this kind of system when the likes of freight operators for example are against it?

    The fact that Eircodes are not sequenced with those of adjacent buildings brings no disadvantages to users. This is because each Eircode comes with co-ordinates, which means any series of Eircodes can be put in sequence for delivery or other purposes using basic software. See slide 6 in the attached presentation for more information.

    From a citizens’ point of view, the most important thing is that the Eircode is easy to remember.

    A sequenced code would require thousands of individual postcodes to be re-assigned every time a new premises was built between existing buildings. Aside from the administrative costs this would entail, it would mean an individual citizen’s post code could change frequently, making it difficult to remember the correct, current, code. It would also put additional costs on businesses, who would have to change stationary and other printed materials each time the code changed to maintain the sequence.

    It is inaccurate to say that all freight operators are “against it.” For example Nightline, which is the biggest delivery company in Ireland, fully supports Eircode and says it will be using the system shortly after launch.

    Gary Delaney from the company Loc8 proposed an alternative form of postcode, more in keeping he says with the way postcodes have evolved internationally. Why is it his system was not adopted?

    Loc8 did not bid for the contract, either on its own or as part of a consortium.

    As is required for all Government procurement, there was a comprehensive procurement process for a 10 year licence to provide the postcode system. This covered  design, encoding of public sector databases, implementation, and the on-going operation and management of the system for ten years.  This process was carried out in accordance with national and EU procurement procedures.

    Can you explain maybe in a paragraph who exactly Eircode will benefit, and what the actual need for it is? How will it impact on people's day to day lives.

    Eircodes will bring many benefits to citizens, communities and business. For example:

    • It will be easier to accurately identify addresses, including the 35% of Irish premises that currently share their address with one or more            others.
    • It will be easier to shop online.
    • Businesses that deliver parcels – or other goods and services – will have an affordable and effective new tool, which accurately identifies addresses and enables improved efficiency.
    • A wide range of public services will be delivered more efficiently  improving quality and planning, while reducing costs.
    • Emergency services will be able to find the correct address more quickly, particularly in rural areas.
    • On costs, is the total amount spent €27 million? Of this how much was spent on the actual code? I understand it may have been €2 million. Can you confirm what that amount is?

    The total cost of €27m covers the various elements of design (including coding), encoding of public sector databases, and the implementation and on-going management of the operation of Eircodes. The costs associated with the design and verification of the code itself are included in the design element, which amounts to 9% of the total cost. The largest element of the costs were encoding public service databases and accessing the GeoDirectory database, which is owned by An Post and Ordnance Survey Ireland.

    What happens if county or city councils decide not to adopt Eircode?

    It is not mandatory for any individual or organisation to use Eircodes. As is common across the OECD, we expect it to be widely used because of the benefits it will bring (see above). This point also applies to City/Councils.

    The Department has worked closely with a wide range of public service organisations, including the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA). Local authority electoral registers and rates files have been updated with Eircodes.

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