Irish coalition government is agreed

by Patrick McPartlin

Fine Gael and Labour have agreed a coalition to form the next Irish government. The two parties, who won 76 seats and 37 seats respectively in elections on February 25th, have not been in power since 1997. The coalition government have pinpointed making a reduction to the budget deficit as well as creating more jobs and renegotiating the EU-led bailout of €85bn.

In November of last year, the government proposed an increase in taxes and a reduction in spending in order to reduce the deficit by €6bn. Labour are said to prefer tax increases to trim the shortfall, while Fine Gael are planning on speeding up proposed budget cuts. However, both parties are keen to lower the interest rate on the EU and International Monetary Fund loan.

The general election saw the heaviest defeat for Fianna Fail, who have been in power for the past 14 years and, since 1932, have ruled Ireland for three out of every four years. Winning a mere 20 seats, Fianna Fail will be the main opposition party in the Dublin-based Dáil, the Irish Parliament.

Football: SPL round-up

by Tony Garner

In the SPL both Old Firm sides won at the weekend to keep the title race bubbling almost as high as the bad blood between them. Goals from Kris Commons helped Celtic beat Hamilton 2-0 on Saturday, while Kyle Bartley was Rangers’ unlikely goal hero as they squeezed past St Mirren 1-0 on Sunday.

Hearts faint hopes of troubling the top two seem to be over after a 2-0 home reverse against Kilmarnock. Silva and Eremenko, who was later sent off, were on target for the visitors.

Shane Sutherland, Richie Foran and Alex MacDonald were the scorers as Caley Thistle had a confidence boosting 3-0 win at home to Motherwell. In the weekend’s only draw St Johnstone and Hibernian ended 1-1 at McDiarmid park, with David Wotherspoon cancelling out Richie Towell’s own goal.

Red Card for Old Firm behaviour

by Patrick McPartlin

The Scottish Parliament at Holyrood, venue for Tuesday's summit



The ripples from last Wednesday’s explosive Scottish Cup replay between Celtic and Rangers continue to spread, with former First Minister Henry McLeish requesting both teams to “put their house in order” on the eve of a summit at Holyrood. Representatives of both clubs, the Scottish football authorities and the police will be present at the summit. Continue reading Red Card for Old Firm behaviour

Pro-Gaddafi forces resist rebels’ attacks

by Tina Charon

Picture : giladlotan on Flickr. Protest in London to support the Libyan revolution.
Picture : giladlotan on Flickr. Protest in London to support the Libyan revolution.



About one month after the beginning of the Libyan revolution, Gaddafi’s government is still in power.

A few cities are no longer under the control of the Libyan leader, but the state forces keep resisting and attacking the rebels. Misrata, the third city of Libya, is still controlled by the rebels, but other cities, like Ben Djaouad, have now been recovered by Gaddafi’s army. In Ben Djaouad, at least twelve people have died since the beginning of the confrontation between forces and rebels, and about fifty have been severely injured. Continue reading Pro-Gaddafi forces resist rebels’ attacks

Mother pleads guilty to murdering her three children

Riggi faces sentencing today

by Jen McClure and Anne Mackie

Today at Edinburgh’s High Court, Theresa Riggi admitted to killing her three children.  Theresa, 47, pleaded guilty to culpable homicide with diminished responsibility over the deaths.

Riggi killed eight year-old twins, Austin and Luke, and their five year-old sister, Cecilia, at their family home in Edinburgh last August. Their bodies were discovered together in Riggi’s bed with multiple stab wounds, following a suspected gas explosion at the property. Riggi then jumped from the flat window in an attempt to commit suicide. Originally charged with murder, Theresa Riggi surprised courts as she pleaded guilty. Father of the children, Pasquale Riggi was present at the hearing this morning where he said he was “paralysed with grief.”

Witness statements have been taken and sentencing is expected soon.