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OnDoutside

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Home country: Ireland
Current location: Ireland
Member since: Mon May 23, 2016, 03:42 AM
Number of posts: 16,212

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Ireland on the front line in Russia's new hacking war

The use of a rare military grade nerve agent in the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal in England was a deliberately provocative move by Moscow. The Russian government knew that blame for the attack would quickly be laid at the Kremlin's door. The West would be outraged, diplomats expelled, and further sanctions imposed. President Putin's regime wants us to think that they do not care. The point of the attack was to send a message to the West: if we are capable of using chemical weapons in the UK, then tread lightly in future when it comes to Ukraine, Syria and the recruitment of intelligence agents, assistance to dissidents in Russia.

What if anything does this have to do with Ireland? The answer is that Ireland, too, is already under attack from Russia. Irish cyber security analysts have noted a significant escalation in Russian cyber attacks on the Irish public and private sector alike. This is part of a wider general pattern of increased Russian intelligence activity in Ireland. Moscow abides by few if any rules when it comes to espionage. Critical national infrastructure - health, water, electricity services - is increasingly at risk, as the Russian state-linked cyber attack on ESB demonstrated last year. Ciaran Martin, the Northern Irish head of the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), has warned that a Category One (C1) attack - crippling an area of critical national infrastructure for a period - is highly probable in the next few years. Responding to and containing a C1 attack on the UK will be a significant challenge for both states. The risk of contagion is obvious.

Ireland is an important cyber battlefield between Russia and the West. Some of the most sophisticated software companies in the world are based here, producing technology that is invested in and utilised by governments and businesses from around the world. Russia wants to hack these companies to steal secrets that gives it an advantage in the escalating cyber war. Ireland is not only a technology hub but it is also the fibre-optic bridge for superfast internet cables between North America and Europe; the protection of these cables in Irish waters is a matter of increasing concern to our Nato allies.

snip

Ireland must also have the capacity to keep intelligence received from foreign partners secure - doubts persist in the US and in Europe about whether Ireland has the security infrastructure to do so, limiting the extent of intelligence that foreign governments will share. But the State also has sensitive policy differences relating to on-going discussions with even its closest allies such as the UK. These must remain secret. The Garda Crime and Security Branch has won a reputation at home and abroad for resourcefulness and tenacity. But ultimately specialised units such as Security and Intelligence and the National Cyber Crime Bureau are relatively starved of resources compared with many similarly sized European countries. The Government should also move to introduce a National Security Bill, articulating its case for increased security vigilance and more effective oversight (including by the judiciary) over the national intelligence function. All these measures will require a modest investment of political and fiscal capital. But the dividends are critically important: nothing less than the measure of Irish sovereignty in the 21st Century is at stake.


Full article at

https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/ireland-on-the-front-line-in-russias-new-hacking-war-36716589.html

Irish band Hermitage Green, for St Patrick's Day

One of my favourite local bands.



















Rugby ! 24-15 to Ireland We won !!!! 3rd Grand Slam in 140 years, on Paddy's Day !!!

http://www.the42.ie/ireland-england-grand-slam-match-report-3909895-Mar2018/



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England 15

Ireland 24


Murray Kinsella reports from Twickenham

GRAND SLAM CHAMPIONS.

Those words sound sweet and the St. Patrick’s Day party in London and further afield will be riotous tonight as Ireland celebrate just the third Grand Slam of their history.

Joe Schmidt’s men saved the best for last as they scored three tries to take Eddie Jones’ England apart in Twickenham, comprehensively underlining their quality.

They were even able to close the game out with key leaders Rory Best and Johnny Sexton off the field, with young guns like Joey Carbery and Jordan Larmour helping them to drive it home after building a brilliant 21-5 half-time lead.

England’s discipline hurt them again but this win was all about Ireland’s quality as they wrote their names into Irish rugby history.

They have shown a repeated ability to score just before half-time in this Grand Slam success and they did it again here as Jacob Stockdale produced a sensational solo score to break the record for most tries in a Six Nations by a single player – this his seventh.

Schmidt’s coaching genius was underlined by a stunning set-piece starter play for Ireland’s second try through CJ Stander as they shredded England’s defence.


Irish American Comedian Des Bishop

Interesting guy, brought up in Queens, developed an alcohol problem at 14, so his mother decided to sent him to boarding school, in Ireland of all places ! He became a successful comedian in Ireland, branched into tv work, including one series about going off to live in the West of Ireland to learn the Irish language, so that he could do stand up through the Irish language. That was so successful he did a similar move to China, in order to learn mandarin so he could do stand up in China. Subsequently he was involved in setting up comedy clubs in China. He also did a series about his father's fight with cancer.

Here is an assorted array of youtubes, including an excellent interview about his time in China.

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Trump has said he may visit Ireland next year - before he begins to campaign for re-election



He wants to visit the border ....

President Trump has said he may visit Ireland next year - before he starts his campaign for re-election.

Mr Trump was speaking in the Oval Office alongside Leo Varadkar ahead of a 40-minute bilateral meeting between the US and Ireland.
"It's my great honour to have the very popular Prime Minister of Ireland with us and we're having some good talks about trade and about military and about cyber, and all of the other things that we are talking about," Mr Trump said. "The relationship is outstanding, and only getting better. It really is a special group of people, a tremendous number of Irish are living in New York where I grew up and they're living in the United States, and these are truly wonderful people.

"We love them."

It's not clear what talks about the military - if any - are due to take place.

SNIP

The Taoiseach told President Trump he would be visiting his home city of New York tomorrow for the St Patrick’s Day parade on Saturday.

"It goes right past Trump Tower," Mr Trump said with a smile. "I would watch it all the time." He also said that he would have liked to walk in the parade with Mr Varadkar. The Taoiseach also told the President he previously visited the White House when he worked as a congressional intern in Washington. “I was telling President Trump I was here as a congressional intern back in 2000 but they didn’t let me into the White House,” Mr Varadkar said. Mr Trump respond: “but now we do - you’ve made great progress.”

SNIP

Mr Trump and Mr Varadkar are to spend approximately 40 minutes together, engaging on a range of issues including trade, the undocumented Irish, and the future role of Ireland as an ally of the US in Europe as Brexit looms. The Taoiseach will be joined by John Deasy - the Government's special envoy to the US - who will detail proposals for a reciprocal arrangement between the two countries on immigration reform. Others expected to attend include secretary general Martin Fraser, Irish Ambassador Dan Mulhall, the US president’s chief of staff John Kelly and budget director Mick Mulvaney. Vice President Mike Pence is not expected to be in the room.





more at

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/us-president-trump-has-said-he-may-visit-ireland-next-year-before-he-begins-to-campaign-for-reelection-36708686.html

Obituary: Trevor Baylis Inventor whose wind-up radio brought information to Africa's rural poor




Trevor Baylis, who died last Monday aged 80, was the inspired creator of the "clockwork radio"; his simple yet effective design won him recognition as one of Britain's foremost inventors. Baylis got the idea for the wind-up radio in the early 1990s after seeing a television report on the spread of Aids in Africa, which also showed how basic radio communication was an impossibility for many rural Africans.

"My only motivation," he said in 1997, "was the pure mechanical challenge of getting a clockwork radio to work." From his garden shed on Eel Pie Island, Twickenham, he soon developed an elementary concept and built his Freeplay Radio, powered by a spring energy dynamo, an idea inspired by the old-fashioned wind-up gramophone. (Later versions stored the energy in rechargeable batteries.) But Baylis found it difficult to get commercial backing, or even to persuade companies to pay attention, something which only fuelled his determination.

Philips, Marconi and Richard Branson's Virgin all turned him down, and Baylis was laughed out of an office in Glasgow, after travelling for five hours to be told that no one would meet him. Eventually, in 1994, an appearance on the BBC's Tomorrow's World programme gave his radio the springboard it needed.

It was instantly recognised as a winner by Christopher Staines, an accountant, and Rory Stear, a South African entrepreneur. They took the design to South Africa, where it was manufactured by Baylis's newly formed company Baygen in factories staffed as much as possible by disabled workers. When he was first taken to see the operation, he was overcome with emotion and wept.


more at

https://www.independent.ie/business/technology/obituary-trevor-baylis-36691923.html

Mark Hamill named as St Patricks Day Festival Inaugural International Guest of Honour in Dublin


Since filming STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS in Co. Kerry, the actor has been a great ambassador for Ireland.

For the very first time, Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Festival has appointed an International Guest of Honour.

The new honorary role has been created to celebrate the achievements of an individual from the worlds of business, the arts, or the media, who has a special connection or significant affinity with Ireland.

And who else to debut the role but Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill.

Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way has been catapulted to global fame, having been filmed in some of the most spectacular spots on Ireland’s western coastline, from the northernmost point in Donegal to the magnificent cliffs and headlands of Clare, Cork and Kerry.

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Hamill will watch the parade from the Presidential stand, shoulders to shoulders with Michael D. Higgins, on March 17.

In addition to Mark’s Star Wars connection, research into his family history has found that he has a double-link to Ireland.

His great-grandmother Elizabeth Keating was born in Kilkenny on 6th December 1873 and left Ireland for America when she was still a teenager.

Further research shows that his great (x3) grandparents John Keating married Margaret Foley of Gurteen married in Carlow Cathedral in 1822.


Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has said the US is no longer a world leader in LGBT rights.

And he's going to say so to Mike Pence !!!



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Mr Varadkar said he believed the majority of American people would agree with him, even if the Trump administration does not. The Taoiseach made the comments during an interview at the South by South West festival in Austin, Texas.

snip

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said the US is no longer a world leader in LGBT rights.

Mr Varadkar said he believed the majority of American people would agree with him, even if the Trump administration does not.

snip

Mr Varadkar said he would raise gay rights when he has a bilateral meeting with President Donald Trump in the White House on Thursday.

"What I intend to say is that for the vast majority of people around the world including people from gay lesbian transgender backgrounds, we have always seen America as a beacon of freedom," the Taoiseach said.

"This is the land of the free, the home of the brave. This is where the LGBT rights movement began."

He added: "It is really tough to see a country that is built on freedom, and built on individual freedom somehow not being a world leader in that space anymore.



https://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/us-no-longer-lgbt-rights-world-leader-says-leo-varadkar-832047.html

Italian voters reject Europe and their own elite. Understand the background.

Below is a podcast from an Irish journalist/hack/soccer writer Eamon Dunphy (or Amoan Grumpy as some call him). He had Niall Stanage on a couple of weeks ago and it was like the blind leading the blind. Anyway, this week's podcast is with a journalist from the respected Irish Times newspaper, who has been based in Rome for the last 30 years, Paddy Agnew, and someone I respect. If you are interested in knowing a little more about the background to what's going on in Italy, I would recommend this highly.

https://tunein.com/radio/The-Stand-with-Eamon-Dunphy-p1009572/?topicId=120264373

Europe/UK/Ireland in the grips of the Beast from the East weather event

A combination of Siberian winds (Beast from the East) and Storm Emma (coming up from the South) are causing havoc in the UK and Ireland, with Status Red warnings in effect. For ireland, the worst is due tomorrow evening with the winds of Storm Emma causing snow drifts.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-weather-latest-updates-snow-storm-emma-travel-trains-cancelled-roads-a8233836.html

Blizzards, gales and sleet are expected to blight the UK towards the latter half of the week as Storm Emma rolls in from the Atlantic.

The weather system, named by the Portuguese Met Service, is set to hit the UK after the so-called “Beast from the East” blanketed large swathes of the UK with snow.

The Met Office issued a red warning for snow for central Scotland on Wednesday that was extended to 10am on Thursday morning.

Forecaster Craig Snell said that although Thursday marks the first day of meteorological spring, “winter is still firmly in charge across the UK”.

He also warned that extreme weather will grip Britain for another 48 hours.

Drivers were advised to avoid travelling to or from Scotland, with Traffic Scotland telling people to ask themselves whether their journey was “worth risking lives for” before they set out.


and

https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/sights-and-sounds-from-day-1-of-the-beast-from-the-east-830249.html





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Tower of London


Barge on the River Barrow, county Kildare, Ireland


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