Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Ryanair Connection Talks Near Deal

Ryanair has been in talks for a number of months with a number of airlines about providing feeder and connector flights for long-haul services.
The company says such a deal with Aer Lingus would be a “win-win” for Ireland.

It is currently waiting for a reply to proposals from the IAG-owned airline and expects to hear from it either this week or next. If the reply is positive, a service could commence sometime next year.
Meanwhile, Ryanair has firmed up its recently raised profit guidance for its current financial year, saying that it will also carry more passengers than previously anticipated.
On the back of a bumper set of first-half financial figures, the airline yesterday said that it expects to carry 105m passengers across its European route network during the 12 months to the end of next March.

This is marginally up from the previous guidance of 103m to 104m, but is a full 16% up on the 90.6m people carried in the company’s last financial year. The long-term passenger target of 160m by 2024 has been increased to 180m.

As of the halfway point in its current fiscal year, Ryanair had carried just over 58m passengers, representing year-on-year growth of 13%.
Ryanair says winter is looking tougher after a summer booking spree https://t.co/SOfL907S6i pic.twitter.com/vAcvGDkUbO

Net profit, for the six months to the end of September, came in at nearly €1.1bn; up 37% on the €795m for the same period last year. First half revenue grew by 14% to €4.04bn and basic earnings per share were up by almost 40% at 80c.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary hailed the strong showing but said the bumper summer by the airline was due to “a very rare confluence of favourable events” including stronger sterling, adverse weather conditions in northern Europe, “reasonably flat industry capacity and further savings on our unhedged fuel”.

Last month, Ryanair upped its full-year profit guidance by 25% from a range of €940m to €970m to one of €1.17bn to €1.22bn.
Management strengthened that forecast yesterday by saying it sees the final figure coming in at the upper end of that range.

However, despite the rising earnings, Ryanair is still not planning to commit to a consistent dividend policy and will only continue to return surplus cash to investors by way of special dividends or share buybacks.
While no more returns are planned, some expect another windfall payment for shareholders in the medium-term.
“The balance sheet remains formidable, with net cash of €976m at the end of the [second] quarter, before the €398m Aer Lingus distribution,” said Stephen Furlong of Davy Stockbrokers.

“We expect further significant special dividends in the following fiscal year.”

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Ranking of Locations Every Star Wars Fan Should Visit

Star Wars themed destinations including filming locations for The Force Awakens

GoEuro.com, in association with getyourguide.co.uk the search engine for comparing and booking flights, coach and rail travel across Europe, may not be able to take you to a galaxy far, far away, but the team partnered with GetYourGuide to rank the out-of-this-world locations used throughout the Star Wars franchise, including those for the highly anticipated Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
Taking the top spot as the top Star Wars experience is Legoland. The company features life sized wing fighters and movie characters and is the first introduction to the franchise for many children.
The top five Star Wars experiences include:
  1. Legoland
  2. Lars Homestead and Tatooine Desert Scenes, Tunisia
  3. Rancho Obi Wan, USA
  4. The exterior of Lars Homestead, Tunisia
  5. Madam Tussauds’ Star Wars Exhibits, United Kingdom and Germany
Although GoEuro may not know what the locations from the new film will represent in the Star Wars universe, Jason Ward from MakingStarWars.net and Crummy Gummy, Jeremy from FuriousFanBoys.com and Sander De Lange and Tim Veekhovem (Content Creators at StarWars.com) put together their predictions as to what each new location may be used for. 
To work out the position of the 31 sites and experiences, GoEuro combined the scores for accessibility, accommodation and amenities (each worth 10%) with the Strength of the Force (worth 70%) to work out the overall score.
The Strength of the Force rates how much a fan will feel the presence of Star Wars at a specified location.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Warming Winters in Cornwall

With the dark nights now closing in there’s lots of festive events happening in Cornwall.
T’is nearly the season to eat, drink and be merry whilst enjoying Cornwall’s fabulous festive spirit. Leisurely crisp strolls along the beautiful Cornish coast, warming hot chocolates by a rustic log fire and snuggling beneath fluffy blankets whilst the sea storms ripple in - winter is not to be missed in this Christmassy wonderland.

October Half-term events

‘Freak or Unique’ and ‘Weird and Wonderful Trail’ Exhibition, National Maritime Museum, Falmouth Oct 26th/1st Nov


 Marvel at the Maritime Museum’s Cabinet of Curiosities. Make your own Indonesian Red Devil masks, soap scrimshaw and more inspired by extraordinary artefacts from their collection. Also find the fantastical things from far flung lands once sold in Falmouth’s very own Old Curiosity Shop. 


Myths and Legends, Tintagel Castle Oct 27th/Oct 29th
Join TinTagel Castle for an exciting adventure this half term. Travel back to Victorian times with Florence Nightingale Richards, our castle custodian and her storytelling companion as they explore Tintagel's dramatic landscape and bring to life the legend of King Arthur and the stories it has inspired.
Come along in your best Halloween fancy dress and you could be rewarded!   

Wintry Events in Cornwall

Nadelik - A Cornish Christmas at Pendennis Castle, Falmouth 5th/6th December

Celebrate Christmas the Cornish way at Pendennis Castle with fireside tales, music and dancing plus find your perfect present from the range of craft and gift stalls. Enjoy mulled wine and mince pies and meet Father Christmas in the castle keep.

 Padstow Christmas Festival, Padstow Harbour,Padstow 3rd/6th December


40 star chefs, and 45,000 visitors will celebrate what Padstow does best: food, drink and Christmas! One of the main festive highlights is Sharp’s secret bar. Visitors who discover the secret bar will find themselves immersed in a unique beer tasting experience like no other. Led by one of Sharp’s beer sommeliers, the sessions are guaranteed to revolutionise the way you drink and appreciate beer. Slip away from the Christmas crowds and into a very different beer drinking experience, designed to focus and heighten the senses.

Frozen Ice Parties, Carnmarth Hotel, November/December dates


Newquay’s Winter Wonderland is coming this November and December. The Carnmarth Hotel will be hosting ?Frozen Ice Parties for children with cuddly Olaf and other mini magical characters who adorn this wonderful story. Sing-a-long with our Anna and Elsa, get glittery and take home a frosty goodie bag. Whilst the children play under supervisory Frozen on Ice child carers, parents can relax and indulge themselves with the coastal food and cocktails at the C-View restaurant. 
Rogue Theate presents Winter Wood, Tehidy Woods, December dates 11th/30th


One of Cornwall 365’s winter highlights is Rogue’s ‘Winter Wood’ extravaganza, pass through the Woodland Gate and follow the twisting path. Let the faeries and woodland spirits lead the way with stories and songs. Follow the wandering path and meet Old Man Winter who will weave a tale and reveal the path to your fantastical destination, an enchanted celebration, and a wondrous festivity of wintry marvels.
There will be a show with live music, festive stories, winter wonders, free hot chocolate, a warm place to relax, sparkly face painting and the chance to make your own traditional winter decoration to take home.

Winter Getaways

Greenbank Hotel, Falmouth

Float away in stylish surroundings then, submerge yourself in characterful Falmouth’s history before diving into delicious food and drink. Nestled on Falmouth harbour, the Greenbank Hotel blends the best of coastal living with the finest in contemporary comfort, so you can experience life – on the water’s edge.
Enjoy a special winter deal from £99 per room per night  inclusive of bed and breakfast with an added treat of a mini Cornish cream tea at the Greenbank’s Water's Edge Bar or a drink in the Working Boat on arrival.  

St Michael’s Hotel and Spa, Falmouth


The ultimate way to unwind on the Cornish coast. The 4 star, award winning hotel and spa is located overlooking Falmouth Bay. Wake up to an ocean sunrise and enjoy breakfast over sub-tropical gardens. Explore hidden coves, winding streets, and artisan markets.
Whether it’s spreading out king-size style, waking up in Egyptian cotton or filling the tub with ESPA bubbles – St Michaels Hotel offers amazing Winter rates, with an added free stay for your pooches.
2 nights: From £50 pppn 3 nights: From £45 pppn 4+ nights: From £40 pppn

Carnmarth Hotel, Newquay


Carnmarth Hotel combines the glory of a classic British cliff-top hotel with the best of modern facilities and furnishings to create breaks with an intimate, relaxed feel.
Escape to the cooler than cool Cornish coast and stay at the impeccably located Carnmarth hotel for just £99 – includes bed, breakfast & 3 course dinner for 2 people!

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Star Wars Filming on Skellig Michael

Disney owned LucasFilm has been granted permission to return to Skellig Michael this week to film scenes for one of the upcoming Star Wars movies. The UNESCO world heritage site has already hosted film crews last year and serves as the location for Luke Skywalkers hideout in the next release in the saga.

However, concerns have been raised this time around, most notably by An Taisce and also by Clumnist, Fintan O'Toole. The cite concerns regarding transparency, the built heritage and environment on the island. These concerns, I'm afraid, are nothing more than a cry to be noticed. The screams of those who have not had reason to be in the public eye lately. The people who live and work on the island are not about to let something disastrous happen to it, they are passionate about protecting it and educating us as to the history surrounding it. There will be less people on the island while filming it, than there would be on a normal day at the height of the tourist season. There will be representatives from the OPW and minister for the environment on hand to monitor everything during filming.

As "fragile" as many claim the island is, it has withstood centuries of violent storms with hardly a scratch. Granted, Jedi knights are a different challenge, but I think the island will do just fine. This film will serve as an opportunity to promote the island, it will bring massive revenue to the local area (particularly south Kerry) and the negative impacts are minimal. The film crew will leave the island exactly as they found it. Any concerns, therefore, are unfounded.

What happened when I posted Nazi propaganda on TheJournal.ie

Recently in the UK, someone decided to see what would happen when they posted Nazi anti-semitic propaganda on the daily mail. They took the English translations, replaced Jew with migrant and posted in the comments section. The results were worrying as they received massively more upvotes than downvotes. I decided to try the same on the comments section of thejournal.ie, posing under the name “John Rexford” to see what happened.

I had planned on continuing this experiment for longer but, to their credit, thejournal.ie have blocked me from posting anymore comments and have removed some of the more blatantly obvious ones, which would be considered incitement to hatred.

The first three comments were posted during the day, the last one on an article which was a couple of hours old. The last comment was posted shortly after 5pm. From the screenshots below you can see that the comment posted after 5 was almost completely downvoted, which leads me to think that the demographic reading the journal changes at that point. However, the comments posted during the day were the opposite. Thankfully some people, as you will see in the comments below, are willing to stand up against this kind of bigotry. Unfortunately, they seem to be in the minority among this particular readership. It must be pointed out that the reporting on the refugee crisis by the journal has been impartial and objective; they have in no way encouraged these kinds of comments or support of them. The people upvoting these comments have done so of their own free will. I doubt very much they are aware of the source of these comments.

Had I stated that I was about to post nazi propaganda, I doubt people would have voted so enthusiastically in favour of it, but this goes to show how easy it is to latch onto peoples (in this case unfounded) fears and lead them into support of something terrible. We need to learn from the mistakes of the past, not repeat them.

I do not believe the readership of the journal to be representative of Ireland as a whole and, had I been able to continue to post, I believe the evening readership of the journal would have rejected these comments completely. At least that is what I would gather based on the last two comments below.

We need to stand up to hatred and bigotry. We must remember that these refugees coming to Europe are not terrorists, they are innocents victims fleeing a warzone. They desperately need our help. The comments I posted, and their responses are below. Some of the later comments were removed by thejournal.ie before I could gather any reaction, either positive or negative, so they are not shown here.