Saturday, 31 January 2009
Thursday, 22 January 2009
Wednesday, 21 January 2009
House of Lords
Shipping: Ferry Operators
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Maritime and Coastguard Agency this year censured the ferry operator between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island in County Antrim for carrying a fuel tanker along with passengers on the route; and, if so, what form the censure took.
Lord Laird (Crossbench)
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the passenger-carrying boat, the Irish-registered MV True Light, has been awarded a licence by the maritime authorities in the United Kingdom; if not, whether it was refused; if so, when; and for what reason.
Lord Adonis (Minister of State, Department for Transport; Labour)
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has never awarded an operating certificate to the Irish-registered MV "True Light".
When the MV "True Light" applied for a certificate in May 2008 the inspection and certification process by the MCA was stopped when it became clear that the Irish authorities were not prepared to issue an Irish operating certificate for the ship.
The Irish-registered ship requires dual certification to operate in UK territorial waters.
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Monday, 19 January 2009
The eCatalogue is a fully searchable database containing over one million catalogue entries relating to PRONI’s archives. The eCatalogue is the end result of the electronic catalogue for Northern Ireland (eCATNI) project.
Tuesday, 6 January 2009
Recent news from Cape Clear
- courtesy of emara News
Government department 'chastised'
- no one disciplined
Senior civil servant contradicts investigators
- see January 12 addition
Government public service subsidy exceeds life-line service
- private ferry business 'decimated'
- compensation? EU rules breached?
Was there ever any man thus beaten out of season,
When in the why and the wherefore is neither rhyme nor reason?
The Comedy Of Errors
Act 2, scene 2
I think old Will Shakespeare would have made much mischief with the Rathlin ferry contract and the ensuing investigations; he would have sought both rhyme and reason in vain.
that Official l did not exercise more caution or sensitivity was in our view an error of judgment on his part which should not have happened.
Rathlin Ferry Investigations Report [searchable]
This unqualified 'error of judgement' is on a par with other 'criticisms' contained in RFIR despite the dodgy documents, etc. that have been uncovered by other investigators.
Here are some more exotic qualifiers that have been used in the past:
The Taoiseach made an "honest error of judgement" in accepting €50000 from friends, Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Michael McDowell said this evening. ... Irish Times Sept 27, 2006
Clare Short made a "significant error of judgement" over her repeated attacks about the Iraq war ... BBC News Mar 10, 2004
Mr Blair probably believed the intelligence to be accurate, in which case he made a calamitous error of judgement. ... The Independent Feb 1, 2004
"Do you recognise that your career-long dependency on Mr Mandelson has been a monumental error of judgement?" ... William Hague on BBC News Jan 24, 2001
Some may say there has been much ado about nothing but, perhaps, it was also an error of judgement to bury the report, in a non-user friendly format**, on the DRD website just prior to the Christmas recess, without an associated press release.
[** searchable format]
From the moment I picked up your report until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.
Groucho Marx (with apologies)
Carlsberg obviously don't do excuses...
Has RIFL matched this Caledonian MacBrayne pay rise that staff might have expected under TUPE arrangements? If not, perhaps DRD will make up the difference ...
- A 3 year Pay deal (see 1 below): 5% salary increase wef 1 October 2008
- A Bonus Scheme of up to 1.5% of basic salary each year.
- Improved Higher Grade Duty Pay and coverage arrangements.
- Agreement to talks on Outport Assistants posts.
- Improved Staff Travel Arrangements for Clerical Staff.
- Family Friendly Policies.
- Death in Service payment.
MV Canna and MV St Sorney passenger certificates. Can anyone spot inconsistencies? If so, please email them to NALIL blog
A planning application - E/2008/0357/F - for new pontoons and access bridges at Ballycastle and Rathlin harbours was received by the Planning Service on 1 December 2008. It is categorised Certificate A in the name of Moyle District Council and dated 19.11.2008; Simon Francis, DFP-CPD- Civil Engineer, is listed as MDC's agent. Was this application authorised by the Council?
Adds January 12
Minister repeats bold claims despite the absence of an audit trail. Will there be an explanation given for the 'in-house' process that led to an expenditure of £55,000?
The investigators claim that Calmac made the weakest prequalification (PQQ) submission. Yet the 'evidence' from this FoI request demonstrates that the main part of the PQQ wasn't even scored by the not necessarily independent Evaluation Panel!!
On their reading of the three submissions, the evaluation panel was satisfied that all three bidders met the requirement for the Technical, Legal and Quality criteria and therefore decided, due to the low number of returns, and in the interest of maintaining competition, that prequalification would be pass/fail following the results of the Financial Appraisal.
Friday, 2 January 2009
Thursday, 1 January 2009
The site is on the northern slope of the hill a few yards south of the road which branches towards Drumyaran Bridge from the Bushmills-Billy road; it is situated opposite the junction of a side road leading north towards the group of buildings called Turfahun. No indications of an earthwork enclosing the excavated structures can be seen and the first (1833) edition of the O.S. 6 in. map records no feature of this nature. It appears probable, therefore, that the souterrain and associated house comprised an open settlement, lacking the protection of any form of defensive enclosure.