by Niall Shanahan
The Watchman mastering his Zen in Colombia
The Watchman mastering his Zen in Colombia

On Friday afternoon ICTU's Public Services Committee issued a statement to say that unions have recommended a coordinated campaign on public service pay, supported by industrial action ballots, to address the impact of soaring inflation on low and middle earners. RTE and the Irish Times picked up the story.


Across the pond, it's reported that public sector workers are to be offered a 5% pay rise. British consumer price inflation is expected to exceed 11% in October. 


In Northern Ireland, the BBC reports that Stormont's finance minister has written a joint letter with his counterparts in Scotland and Wales, asking the chancellor for extra support to tackle rising costs. 


An independent report has found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of anyone within Donegal County Council, which was commissioned following serious claims made by Councillor Frank McBrearty over the purchase of five homes in Buncrana. The council's chief executive has said corruption allegations made against council staff have taken a huge toll on them and their families. Donegal News reports.


Elsewhere, it's reported that Aer Lingus has cancelled one of its flights to Shannon from Heathrow each day this week in order to meet the London airport’s cap on passenger numbers, while the ETUC has said that over 38 million people in Europe cannot afford a week's holiday despite being employed.


In other news - that may or may not affect the Tory leadership race - Penny Mordaunt's Irish family history was revealed over the weekend.




Sure lookit, didn't Limerick and Kilkenny give us all a lesson in Zen yesterday afternoon? Phenomenal stuff. This is more of a personal and meteorological one. While I was on holidays recently (Portugal) a couple of my oldest friends were providing updates on their respective travels (The Watchman in Colombia and The Bass Player in France) in our shared WhatsApp group.


Intrigued by The Watchman's trip to Colombia (to meet his wife's extended family for the first time) we peppered him with questions about the food, people, music, language barriers, culture shock and the effects of altitude sickness in the mountains around Bogota (he is evangelical now on the healing powers of coca-leaf tea) and, inevitably, the weather.


The Watchman (unlike me) is concise and to the point on most matters in a WhatsApp chat. The weather was variously described either as 'scorchio' or 'no-scorchio' throughout. We understood the reference straight away. Here's the late, great, Caroline Aherne on Channel 9 to bring you today's weather. Scorchio!


Have a great week. Stay in the shade. Drink water.


Bono Estente.



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