Today with Sean O'Rourke

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    Today With Sean O Rourke Wednesday 12 March 2014

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    Today with Sean O'Rourke

    The mid-morning current affairs magazine with the stories of the day, sharp analysis, sports coverage, in-depth features and consumer interest.

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    Penalty Points

    A report into the operation of the penalty points system has recommended that the power to cancel penalty points be taken out of the hands of local Garda officers.  The Garda Inspectorate’s report recommends a stricter system , which would remove the Garda power of discretion to cancel penalty points, for offences such as speeding.

    Fianna Fail said the report vindicated the two Garda whistleblowers Sgt.Maurice McCabe and former gardaJohn Wilson, who first highlighted the issue.

    Joining Keelin was Fionnan Sheahan of the Irish Independent and former Garda Ombudsman, Conor Brady.

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    Rural Crime

    This morning we return to Co Donegal where the people are fighting back against a series of vicious attacks on older people living in the community.  Yesterday Valerie Cox reported on the efforts of people living in the Churchill area and this morning she moves to Manorcunningham, where a public meeting attracted around one thousand five hundred people.

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    Internet

    Over the last 15 years, the internet has changed the world of writers, filmmakers and musicians for both good and bad. 

    Illegal downloading and file sharing have decimated music sales, while some authors are claiming that the internet is making writing as a career impossible. Meanwhile other artists are using the internet to connect with a bigger fan base and boost opportunities for work. 

    Author John Boyne, musician Julie Feeney and Birch Hamilton, founder and director of the Digital Biscuit expo join us for a discussion.

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    Frank Flannery

    The controversy surrounding former Fine Gael adviser Frank Flannery continues today with news emerging that Mr Flannery was paid 60 thousand euro per year to lobby for a group called Philanthropy Ireland.

    Minister for Finance Michael Noonan yesterday acknowledged that he had been lobbied by Mr Flannery on a proposal which linked charitable donations to the residency status of tax exiles.

     

    Minister Noonan says that he referred the matter to the Oireachtas Finance Committee and then rejected it when it was sent back to him.

     

    I’m joined now by Labour TD Kevin Humphries who sits on the Finance Committee.

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    Food Awards

    Later this morning the winners of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild Awards will be announced in Dublin.  The awards are now in their 20th year and Keelin was joined now by two of the winners who have produced some of the more unusual and creative food products.

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    Cork Travellers

    Inadequate sanitary conditions, rodent infestations, acute overcrowding, dangers of landslides and raw sewerage – this are just some of the issues which residents of a halting site in Cork city say are making life very difficult for them. Yesterday Brian O’Connell was invited into the Spring Lane halting site in Blackpool in Cork city to see the kinds of conditions residents are living in and he joined Keelin in studio.

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    Debt

    In seemingly encouraging news for mortgage holders in difficulty, AIB has written off €150,000 from a €400,000 loan on a family home and allowed the homeowners to keep their property.

    It is the largest writedown involving a family home which was not repossessed. Keelin was joined in studio by Ross Maguire of New Beginning

    She was also joined in studio by Rory Askins-Byrne, who in 2006, was doing well driving a taxi and decided to enter the property market. It is what everyone else at the time was doing. Over the space of the next couple of years he bought three apartments in Bulgaria, at a knockdown price.

    Then it all began to go wrong. All three properties are in negative equity in Bulgaria and the banks came calling.

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    Week of Cheltenham

    Paddy O'Gorman visited McKeown's Pub in Dundalk, Co. Louth

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