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‘Opt-out’ organ donation Bill to go to Cabinet next year, says Donnelly

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Legislation which would change organ donation to an “opt-out” system will be brought to Cabinet early in the new year, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has confirmed.

The Human Tissue Bill, which has been in the works and delayed several times since 2016, allows for an opt-out rather than opt-in clause for organ donation after death.

It would be assumed that a person has consented to organ donation unless he or she has chosen to opt out. Currently, you can become an organ donor by carrying a donor card or having your wishes noted on your driving licence.

Mr Donnelly said the Bill would be a “very important piece of legislation and it is a priority for me. It is my intention to publish the Bill as early as possible in 2022.” A total of 203 organ donation transplants were carried out in 2021 despite the “incredibly difficult” circumstances of Covid-19, according to HSE clinical lead organ donation Dr Catherine Motherway.

This was an increase of 13 on last year, but down on the 274 transplants carried out in 2019.

A total of 203 organs were transplanted in 2021, 137 kidney, 34 liver, 20 lung, 10 heart and two pancreas. There were 64 deceased donors and 35 living donors.

Dr Motherway said organ transplant teams had worked through the pandemic despite the difficulties involved.

“Intensive care, theatre, medical and nursing staff across our donor hospitals and transplant centres continue with true professionalism to support organ donation and transplantation,” she said.

“Organ donation saves and changes lives. It is an honour to be able to work with families who time and time again find it in themselves when faced with the sudden death of a loved one to think of others. We cannot express enough our gratitude. In death our donors give life.”

More than 600 people are waiting for an organ transplant in Ireland. This includes patients on dialysis awaiting kidney transplants and patients waiting for lung, heart and liver transplants.

While some kidney donations can take place through the living donation programme, all other organ donations can only proceed when another life is lost.

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Taoiseach to attend Bloody Sunday memorial service in Derry

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The Taoiseach is to lay a wreath at the memorial to those killed on Bloody Sunday during a service in Derry to mark the 50th anniversary of the atrocity. Micheál Martin is also expected to meet privately with the families of those killed, The Irish Times understands.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, is also due to attend the ceremony on Sunday morning, as will other church leaders and politicians including the Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald, vice president and the North’s Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill, and the SDLP leader Colum Eastwood.

President Michael D Higgins will deliver a virtual address at an event in Guildhall Square on Sunday afternoon.

Thirteen people died when members of the British Army’s Parachute Regiment opened fire on an anti-internment march in the city on January 30th, 1972. A fourteenth died later.

John Kelly, whose 17-year-old brother Michael was among the victims, said the Taoiseach would be welcomed by the Bloody Sunday families and it “shows the depth of feeling that the Irish Government has for the families who have witnessed and endured the suffering of Bloody Sunday for five decades.

“It’s a nice tribute from the Irish Government and the people of Ireland and certainly will be welcomed by the families and the people of Derry,” he said.

In the House of Commons on Wednesday, Mr Eastwood, the MP for Foyle, condemned the flying of Parachute Regiment flags which have appeared on the outskirts of Derry ahead of the anniversary and asked the Northern Secretary, Brandon Lewis, if he felt the regiment should “apologise for and condemn the actions of their soldiers on Bloody Sunday?”

In a post on social media, the Parachute regiment criticised the flying of the flags, describing it as “totally unacceptable and disrespectful behaviour.”

It has been condemned by both nationalist and unionist politicians and by relatives of the victims. Mr Kelly said they were “offensive to families and offensive to the people of Derry” and he called on community leaders in those areas and on unionist politicians to have them removed.

The DUP Assembly member for Foyle, the junior minister Gary Middleton, said the flags were “unnecessary and designed to be offensive” and the flags should be removed.

Responding to Mr Eastwood in the Commons, Mr Lewis said “we, as the Government, have to accept responsibility for what has happened in the past. When things are wrong we need to be clear about that, as we have been. It’s right that we have apologised for that.

“I’ve added my own personal apology to the government’s,” he said.

In a statement to the Commons earlier Mr Lewis acknowledged the upcoming 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the apology from the then prime minister, David Cameron, and said his “thoughts this weekend will be with all those affected”.

Referring to UK government’s new proposals for dealing with the legacy of the Troubles, he said it was engaging intensively and widely and “reflecting carefully on what we have heard.”

In a statement to The Irish Times on Wednesday, a spokesman for the UK ministry of defence said it did “not condone in any way” the “misuse” of flags, which should be “used only in an official capacity.”

He said that following the publication of the Saville Report into Bloody Sunday in 2010 “the Chief of General Staff (Gen Sir David Richards) fully supported the prime minister’s apology on behalf of the government of the United Kingdom, the army and those involved and this remains the army’s position.”

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QuadReal and Valor launch €3bn urban logistics JV

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QuadReal Property Group and Valor Real Estate Partners have expanded their partnership with the launch of a second Joint Venture to invest an additional €3bn in urban logistics assets located primarily in UK, France and Germany. The new vehicle’s value-add and development strategy will focus on industrial assets in and close to major metropolitan areas, including “last mile” logistics, as the fundamentals of the sector solidify around structural e-commerce acceleration and the long-term attrition of industrial stock.

 

The additional commitment follows the successful launch of the initial €1bn JV in November 2020. In just over twelve months, the majority of the commitment has already been deployed, with the JV completing 22 investments totalling €750m gross asset value across 2.5 million ft² and approximately 50 buildings. The portfolio is well balanced across Europe’s most competitive urban logistics markets, with thirteen investments in London, six in Paris, two in Berlin and a single acquisition in Birmingham.

 

QuadReal will commit the majority of the capital for the new vehicle and brings its extensive experience in the sector with a portfolio of 100 million ft² of industrial and logistics facilities across global markets. Valor will be responsible for sourcing and managing the portfolio, leveraging its significant experience acquiring, developing in-house and managing infill logistics assets. Valor was founded in 2016 as one of Europe’s first specialist urban logistics investors and in five years has amassed a €2.5bn portfolio comprising more than 140 infill urban assets, concentrated in the most difficult to penetrate key gateway cities of London, Paris and Berlin.

 

Jay Kwan, Managing Director Europe, QuadReal, commented: “QuadReal and Valor launched its venture only one year ago, based on a joint conviction in the urban industrial sector across Europe.  We have since made a series of successful investments and are now expanding our venture both in terms of size and geography.  We are proud to continue our partnership with Valor, one of the first movers with a demonstrable track record in a sector in which others are only beginning to enter.”

 

Christian Jamison, Managing Partner, Valor, commented: “The critical shortage of warehouse space in major metropolitan areas continues to grow as a result of both near term drivers, such as the current global pandemic, as well as long term drivers, such as e-commerce and urbanisation. As a specialist platform comprised of a vertically integrated team of investment and development professionals, we have a proven track record of delivering scale in these supply-constrained and highly fragmented markets. Our successful partnership with QuadReal demonstrates our ability to close transactions extremely quickly, even where the deals are complex, and we look forward to expanding our portfolio further with this substantial capital commitment to our latest JV.”

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Double garage in a ‘well sought after’ part of Edinburgh is put up for sale at offers over £185,000

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Double garage in a ‘well positioned’ and ‘well sought after’ part of Edinburgh is put up for sale at offers over £185,000 (just above the average price for a house in Scotland)

  • The double garage in the Scottish capital has gone on the market with sellers asking for offers over £185,000
  • Estate agents Savills suggest the garage could be converted into a single garage with added storage capacity 
  • Latest data shows the average Edinburgh house price is £293,406 – higher than the Scottish average of £183k 

 

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A double garage in Edinburgh has been put up for sale at offers over £185,000 –  higher than the average price of a house in Scotland.

The ‘secure and spacious’ site between the city centre and the west end is described as being ‘well positioned’ in a ‘well sought after’ area.

The garage, which is being marketed through estate agents Savills boasts a total space 337sq.ft and the sales brochure for the Lynedoch Place Lane site states it could easily be converted to a single unit providing even more storage space for its owner.

Figures last year revealed the average house price in Edinburgh sits at £293,406 while the average price for Scotland was said to be £183,000.

One local said: ‘It’s a very nice area but it seems to be a lot of money for a double garage.

Pictured: A double garage in a 'well sought after' part of Edinburgh (left) has been put up for sale at offers over £185,000

Pictured: A double garage in a ‘well sought after’ part of Edinburgh (left) has been put up for sale at offers over £185,000

Estate agents Savills have said the garage could be converted into a single unit to create extra storage space for a new owner

Estate agents Savills have said the garage could be converted into a single unit to create extra storage space for a new owner

‘No doubt it’ll get snapped up because it’s in the perfect location in the west end of the city.

‘Property prices are high and that is shown by the asking price for a garage.’

The official sales brochure added: ‘The garage presents the opportunity to be converted into one larger unit.’

Ben Fox, a property agent with Savills, said: ‘This is a secure and spacious double garage in the West End that would be ideal for parking or storage.’

Parking in Edinburgh often comes at a premium with locals reporting cars mounting pavements across the city in a bid to park their car.

The total space available at the double garage, located in Lynedoch Place Lane, in the west end of Edinburgh, is 337sq ft

The total space available at the double garage, located in Lynedoch Place Lane, in the west end of Edinburgh, is 337sq ft

Residents expect the property (pictured) to be snapped up because parking is at a premium in the Scottish capital city

Residents expect the property (pictured) to be snapped up because parking is at a premium in the Scottish capital city

But Edinburgh is not the only capital city where properties the size of garages are going for huge sums.

A double space garage described as ‘moments from Oxford Street’ in London is currently on sale for £750,000. The property measures nine metres by three metres and is portered 24 hours a day. 

Another garage further out of London was described as a ‘terraced property’ in an online listing with an asking price of £25,000 – the same as a two-bedroom home in Middlesbrough.

House hunters looking on the Rightmove property listing website could well have been disappointed to discover that what they thought was a very generously-priced home in Kilburn, north west London, was in fact an uninhabitable parking spot.

Similar garage listings for in-demand parts of London can cost quadruple that amount – or even more if a parking space is underground.

The Kilburn garage’s description reads: ‘The property is conveniently situated on Willesden Lane only moments away from Willesden Green Station and all the amenities.’

While £25,000 is fairly typical for a parking space or garage in London, in other parts of the country buyers could own their own home for that much money.

A parking space in a village in South Devon went on sale for £100k located in the upmarket riverside village of Shaldon

A parking space in a village in South Devon went on sale for £100k located in the upmarket riverside village of Shaldon

In January this year a two-bedroom semi-detached house in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, went on the market for £25,000 – one tenth the cost of the average property in the UK, and just under half for the average semi-detached property.

Elsewhere in the UK, a single space garage in an upmarket village in Devon went on sale for £100,000 in November last year.

The space for one car was situated in an open garage at Royal Standard Mews, Penrhyn Pace.

Just one of five parking spaces just off Fore Street in the heart of the village, it boasts security lighting and a 999 year lease which started from 2016. The space measures 4.5m x 2.84m with a height of 2.08m.

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