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Ireland: Only Conviction in Omagh Bombing Overturned

(Mar. 26, 2010) On August 15, 1998, a bomb killed 29 persons in the Northern Irish town of Omagh, just north of the United Kingdom's border with the Republic of Ireland. A group known as the Real IRA claimed responsibility for the atrocity, but stated that its target was “commercial” and that it had not […]

Ireland: Government Creating Incineration Capacity and Tax

(Mar. 4, 2010) On February 9, 2010, the Government of Ireland issued a statement to confirm that it is proceeding with the waste management strategy contained in the 2007 Programme for Government and the 2009 Renewed Program for Government. The statement went on to indicate that the Government is drafting legislation to impose a levy […]

Ireland: New Prohibition on Blasphemy

(Jan. 8, 2010) On January 1, 2010, new provisions contained in the Defamation Act, 2009 of the Republic of Ireland, on prohibiting the making of blasphemous statements, came into effect. The relevant section of the new law states that a person “publishes or utters blasphemous matter” if the material “is grossly abusive or insulting in […]

Ireland: Referendum on EU Operations Passes

(Oct. 7, 2009) In a referendum held on October 2, 2009, the voters of Ireland ratified the Treaty of Lisbon – a European Union (EU) agreement that would make a number of significant changes to the EU's operational and decision-making procedures and powers – by a margin of approximately 67 percent in favor to 33 […]

Ireland; United Kingdom: British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body Recommends Improved Police Cooperation

(July 13, 2009) The British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body (BIIPB) was formed in 1990 to address issues of bilateral concern. The body consists of Members of the Parliament in London, the Oireachtas in Dublin, the Assembly of Northern Ireland in Belfast, and the legislatures for Scotland, Wales, and the Isle of Man. (CURRENT MEMBERS of the British-Irish […]

Ireland: Sharp Increases in Personal Taxes Introduced

(Apr. 10, 2009) On April 7, 2009, Ireland's Minister of Finance introduced a Supplemental Budget in the Dáil Éireann, or lower chamber of Parliament, that leaves Ireland's low corporate tax rates of ten percent on manufacturing and 12.5 percent on most business income untouched, but sharply increases personal taxes and levies. (Department of Finance, The […]

Ireland: Language Requirements for Barristers Changed

(Feb. 17, 2009) Prior to 2008, in order to become a barrister in Ireland, a person had to pass an examination to prove that he or she was “competent” in the Irish language. (Legal Practioners (Qualification) Act, 1929 (Act No. 16/1929 (Ir.), http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1929/en/act/pub/0016/index.html (last visited Feb. 9, 2009)). Although Irish (which is often referred to […]

Ireland: Entitlement to Medical Cards for the Aged Qualified

(Jan. 12, 2009) Ireland does not have a national health care system or a national health insurance program in which all citizens are automatically enrolled. However, Ireland does offer medical cards to certain groups of persons considered to have special needs. These medical cards are used by their holders to pay for all or a […]

Ireland: President Signs Bank Guarantee Law

(Oct. 8, 2008) The Irish banking system is highly concentrated, with six major domestic banks operating throughout the country. On September 29, 2008, the governor of the central bank warned the Minister of Finance that the Irish banking system was facing an “unprecedented shortage of liquidity in financial markets” and that the risks to financial […]

Ireland: Proposal to Arm Police Stirs Debate

(Apr. 2, 2008) In Ireland, uniformed members of the national police force, the Garda Siochana, have traditionally not carried firearms. In emergency situations, special plainclothes officers who have been issued firearms have been called to the scene. However, recent increases in the overall level of violence and several well-publicized incidents of shootings at police officers […]