The Irish military were offered two aircraft that were “essentially new and unused” for less than 40% of the cost of a new plane.
The two C295 transport aircraft had been in service with the UN world food programme, were ready for delivery, and had seen “virtually no active service”.
The Department of Defence however, declined the offer saying that all procurement of goods and services had to follow EU rules.
In previously unreleased documents, it has emerged that the two aircraft were being offered at just 38% of their purchase price and were already configured for carrying personnel and freight transport.
These records were released following a successful appeal by Right to Know to the Information Commissioner.
You can read that decision here and view the documents themselves below:
Ryanair accused the Dublin Airport Authority (daa) of “incompetence” and having caused Ireland international embarrassment during the summer.
In correspondence with the aviation regulator, the low fare airlines said proposed hikes in airport charges were “unjustified” and that they weren’t confident daa could spend any increased budget effectively.
Ryanair also called for the airport authority to be hit with penalties over lengthy queues and said the increased charges they were seeking were “wildly excessive”.
In a letter to the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR), Ryanair said the Dublin Airport Authority were now looking for what in real terms would be a 91% increase in the price cap.
It said: “DAA wants airport users to pay additional sums in airport charges for its own lack of foresight and resource planning.”
Ryanair accused the airport authority of being unprepared for the bounce-back in air travel this summer, which had resulted in chaotic queues.
The letter, which was sent in early July, said: “DAA’s ongoing security queue issues are exclusively down to poor management and must not be conflated with an incorrect perception that the price cap needs to increase in order to solve the security queue issues.”
More than sixty cases of damage to national monuments were reported over the past year with grave slabs broken, medieval churches graffitied, and an air rifle believed to have been shot through the windows of another historic site.
The Office of Public Works said wilful vandalism to sites was an ongoing problem with five separate cases at a single castle complex over the past twelve months.
They said fencing at Carlow Castle had been damaged on four separate occasions, while in another incident the lock and latch of a gate to its tower was broken off.
A megalithic cemetery at Carrowkeel in Sligo was defaced with chalk graffiti while somebody inscribed their initials on a lintel stone at the site.
Graffiti was sprayed on to the wall of both the historic Roscommon Abbey and St Mary’s Church in New Ross, Co Wexford.
At St Mary’s Church in Gowran, Co Kilkenny, a large chunk of stone was broken off the top of the Kealty Tomb, according to records released by the OPW, one of two such incidents there during the summer.
In Roscommon Castle, padlocks were cut off the gate and a stone removed from an opening with repairs later having to take place.
“Digging on site” was reported at Killarney High Cross in the summer of 2021 while masonry and structure damage was reported on a “very regular basis” at Raheen-a-Cluig on Bray Head in Co Wicklow.
Locks to two of the country’s most ancient sites at Loughcrew, Co Westmeath and Dowth, Co Meath were cut off with a “power grinder”.
There has been a sharp rise in the number of parents or guardians being summoned to court for repeated absences of their child from school.
The number of summonses issued by Tusla dropped dramatically during the pandemic with home-schooling arrangements and restrictions around attending school with any symptoms of illness, frequently in place.
However, in the first eight months of this year, Tusla has issued 103 sets of proceedings against parents or guardians of children for truancy.
By the end of August, the child and family agency had initiated 66 cases involving primary school children and another 37 involving secondary students.
Nearly 45% of the cases related to just two counties – with 21 cases in Co Limerick and another 25 in Co Galway.
Residents of direct provision complained of being attacked with a knife, a manager entering their room without notice, and a roommate who was selling drugs.
The International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) said they had received 109 complaints in the first eight months of this year including the theft of personal belongings and being blocked from speaking with a doctor.
A log of complaints from the summer reveals how one person complained that their child’s father was not being allowed to visit his daughter at a centre in Dublin.
In the Midlands, one resident said they did not feel safe in their accommodation and that the “manager is entering his room”.
Another case at the same centre saw a person claim to have been “attacked with a knife” and unhappiness with how centre management dealt with the incident.
In Co Clare, a complaint was logged about a roommate who was “aggressive [and] selling drugs” with the person asking if they could be moved away from them.
An internal audit warned gardaí were at high risk of data breaches involving sensitive information as well as complaints, fines, and sanctions because of a lack of trained staff and resources.
The audit said the data protection officer for the force had warned he did not have adequate resources to do his job and that no comprehensive training had been provided to employees of the wider organisation.
The review identified four areas of high risk for An Garda Síochána in how they handle sensitive personal information like criminal records, CCTV footage, and witness evidence.
It said the absence of up to date polices, procedures, and guidance on processing personal data increased the chances of serious data breaches.
A response from garda management said: “Colleagues in [Garda Internal Audit Service] rightly identify the risks the current policy gaps present to the organisation in respect of breaches, complaints, fines and sanctions.”
It said extra resources were needed to bolster their data protection unit especially around requests for multimedia – like CCTV – which were “complex and resource intensive” to deal with.