End of an era
by Bernard Harbor

The morning brings much confusion over Government plans to recognise workers' efforts during the pandemic. RTÉ sticks with health, the Indo leads on hints of a new bank holiday, while the Times suggests a broader 'pandemic dividend' covering sick pay, pensions, flexible working and whatever your having yourself. How about a vinyl copy of Nivana's Nevermind for everyone in the labour force?


On that story, Éamonn Donnelly finished a long media day on the nine o'clock news dampening down hysterical headlines about health union claims and associated costs, while other union reps stoked the flames under the fire. Our man started the day on Newstalk Breakfast and also went head-to-head with ISME on Matt Cooper's Today FM show, but that's not online yet.


Meanwhile, Irish water boss Niall Gleeson was spinning his line to the Oireachtas local government committee, but the union group edged into the story after writing to the committee chair with an alternative view. That's also covered elsewhere.


In other news, education department officials met with teacher reps and others on contact tracing in schools, the youth climate action strikes are back, and the Tánaiste held out hope of a rise in the minimum wage.


Finally, we must mark the passing of Labour politician Mervyn Taylor, who shook off his mortal coil yesterday. As equality minister in the mid-1990s, he steered both the Equal Status Act and the Employment Equality Act through the Oireachtas. These ground-breaking laws have improved the lives of many and, at the time, put Ireland at the top of the European class.  


A tough choice this morning, Zen-wise. In the end I decided it was over-niche to go with a tribute to Richard H Kirk (probably the most influential modern UK musician you've never heard of) who sadly died this week. Instead we celebrate that zillion-selling Nivarna album, which is 30 years old today. Here's Smells Like Teen Spirit.


That's it.



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