Disco Devil
by Niall Shanahan

It's widely reported in regional titles today that Fórsa and SIPTU members working in Local Employment Services (LES) and Job Clubs will hold a national day of protest, including an action outside the Department of the Taoiseach, next Monday, 6th September. Many of the same titles further report the planned industrial action by school secretaries on 15th September.


It's leaving cert results day, and the jump in higher grades means a "further jump in CAO points for college courses and may fuel concern over grade inflation and the integrity of grades" according to the Irish Times. Meanwhile, the Coveney/Zappone/Merriongate saga continues, with accusations that the foreign affairs minister has breached the Freedom of Information Act.


The Government's housing plan has finally been unveiled, and while the Opposition is underwhelmed, the Peter McVerry Trust gives a broad welcome, and Congress has said it will “give very serious consideration and attention” to the proposals contained in the Housing for All plan. Powers over major planning decisions will be returned to local authorities, in addition to powers to purchase vacant homes, and a new local authority-led affordable purchase scheme is also planned.


There's a huge number of Civil Service vacancies up north, while a huge number of job vacancies is proving to be a headache for employers in the hospitality industry. Elsewhere, there are no vacancies in one small outfit as Sweden's biggest export is back on the scene, and Irish paralympians continue to go for gold.


Friday Zen


As Bernard reminded us on Monday, a few legends checked out of the departure lounge this week. One of them was the great reggae producer/performer Lee 'Scratch' Perry, the man who gave reggae to Bob Marley "as a present." A colourful character who was never shy about his own legendary status, he left us a trove of great music to remember him by, both as performer and producer. The clip below shows him at work in his Black Ark studio with The Heptones. And there's 10 of the best here if you need a groove into your weekend, including Bob Marley's Small Axe, a personal favourite.


Have a lovely weekend.




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