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Sale of Dublin City Council-owned pub scuppered by councillors

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Plans to sell the historic Plough Pub opposite the Abbey Theatre in Dublin for €550,000 have been blocked by Dublin city councillors.

The council wanted to sell the pub, which it has owned since 2017, so it could be redeveloped as apartments. The council proposed to then lease the apartments from the private developer for use as social housing.

However, councillors said the proposal to sell the council-owned pub represented a “giveaway” of public land, and said the council should develop the social housing itself.

The pub, at the corner of Abbey Street and Marlborough Street, had been a popular meeting spot for theatre goers, but closed more than a decade ago. The four-storey Victorian building, which is on the record of protected structures, became increasingly dilapidated and by 2014 had been boarded up.

In 2017 the council bought the pub to stop it from falling into further decay. “The property was in a derelict condition, boarded up and infested with rodents and pigeons,” it said. An inspection noted parts of the roof were missing with a “large number of plastic bags containing bird droppings stored throughout the building”.

The council had initially hoped to reach a deal with the Abbey Theatre, which had “expressed an interest in utilising the buildings when refurbished”. However no agreement was reached.

In 2018 the council spent approximately €70,000 on structural repairs, but despite these emergency works the structural condition “continuously deteriorated” and represented a “serious financial risk and burden to the council”.

It put the pub on the market at €650,000 in 2019 but accepted a bid of €550,000 and agreed to lease back the six apartments which were expected to developed.

‘It’s a giveaway’

While the council had not established rent levels for the apartments, Independent councillor Nial Ring said it was likely to pay upwards of €150,000 annually.

“I feel we are giving away a property when we should be building these ourselves. If we build them ourselves we have them forever.”

Council director of services Coilín O’Reilly said public procurement rules meant it would be several years before the council could develop the building.

“Working with private sector intervention, in six months’ time we could have six families living there. The reality is if we take this on it could be two years or three years.”

He said the deal on the building was the best the council could get and the developers would be taking on the risks of the scheme: “There is no point in saying it’s worth more if no one is willing to pay us more.”

Independent councillor Cieran Perry said there was “no risk here at all for the private sector, it’s a giveaway.”

Councillors refused to approve the sale. When asked by The Irish Times what it had paid for the building in 2017 the council said: “This information is commercially sensitive in the context of the regeneration plans for the area.”

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US Anti-Immigration Website Vdare.com Raises $40K in 1 Day in Year-End Fund Drive

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“Tuesday’s kickoff of VDARE.com’s year end fundraiser started with what I thought was a challenging goal: to bring in $5,000 in one day to meet a matching donation pledged by one of our standout donors. Little did I know what an enormous groundswell of support we would receive, ultimately breaking VDARE.com’s 20 year record for donations in 24 hours.

We promoted the initial challenge in the usual ways across all social media platforms and via email. But I’m always on pins and needles in anticipation of a fundraiser. On Tuesday morning the donations started coming in early and generous – what was encouraging quickly became astonishing, and by noon eastern time we were mere dollars from meeting our $5,000 goal. It was still mid-morning on the west coast! So I started calling around to some of our most generous friends.

My first call was to South Carolina, to the donor who gave us the initial $5k, to see if he, like me, was high on the turnout and inspired to increase his gift. He was, indeed, delighted by the money coming in but was tapped out. Too many obligations to the tax man and a nagging lawsuit.

Next call was to Washington state, to a donor who first donated last December after finding us on Twitter. He’s frequently in the wilderness, so I wasn’t surprised to have to leave a voicemail.

Then I rang Oklahoma, to one of our most engaged donors, a man who has been funding VDARE.com – and other dissident right organizations — for more than twelve years. But he’s already doubled his giving to VDARE.com this year and cheered me on to call upon someone else.

Finally, I called another Washington state donor (we have a very generous pocket of readers in the Pacific Northwest) who has been generously supporting VDARE.com for close to fifteen years. I hit voicemail with him, too.

Meanwhile the tally kept rising. As did the mood in the office, I can assure you! Noah on video support began putting together the intro and graphics for the evening’s livestream while my assistant and I called out each time a new donation came in. It was wild, and at times wacky.

“$55 from Pennsylvania!”

“OH! $200 from Idaho!”

Suddenly the phone rang. Our friend had emerged from the wilderness. “This matching grant has really inspired people today, and I think a stretch goal would keep the momentum up,” I told him, “we might even set a record for giving. What do you think about pledging $2,000?”

Without missing a beat, he said “I was thinking about $10,000.”

And just like that, we had a stretch goal twice the size of our original. Even more amazing: it was met by individual small donations within two hours.

I ordered Chinese takeout for the team – John Derbyshire, Noah the video tech, my assistant, Peter and myself – as we switched gears heading into the livestream slated for my living room. My kids were all excited to have so many guests for dinner, and it turns out John never has Chinese takeout, presumably because he has a Chinese wife, so I like to think it was exciting for him too! As we negotiated with the children about their appearance on camera to say “Merry Christmas,” the phone rang again.

As soon as I picked up the phone, almost without saying hello, my fifteen-years-loyal donor announced, “I’m pledging $5,000, how much do you have in so far?”

At this point, we had only barely met the first stretch goal and the night was closing in on the east coast. Sure, we had the livestream coming up, but I worried that maybe we had captured everything there was to capture. But why not give it a try? We’d already broken the record for one day of mass giving – but we may as well SHATTER IT! As Buzz Lightyear said, to infinite and beyond!

I shouldn’t have doubted. This community always comes through when we need you.

Two hours later, as we closed out the livestream, we were only $387 short of the super stretch goal. That amount – and more – came in within minutes of turning off the mics. By midnight we surpassed the super stretch matching by over $1,000, bringing our 24 hour total, including the fully matched pledges, to $42, 574!

That’s almost a quarter of the way to our final goal of $200,000 that we need to reach by January 1.

In one day.

Thank you. Thank youTHANK YOU!

We have a lot more in store for you during this Year End Appeal, and I’m so looking forward to amplifying different voices from our staff and supporters as they ruminate on VDARE.com’s 20 years of patriotic immigration reform. But ultimately, this is about you, our readers, America’s patriots.

VDARE.com may be the voice of the historic American nation, but we are only the voice. The community is the body. And we’re getting stronger every day.

Help us reach our final goal – let’s keep up this incredible momentum. Please, give your most generous donation now!

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Domestic air routes to be restored by mid July, says Minister

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Regional flights to Donegal and Kerry should resume by the middle of July, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has said.

The Green Party leader said the Government has been in contact with a number of different airlines about restoring routes linking the counties with Dublin after the collapse of Stobart Air.

Both routes are subsidised by the State under Public Service Obligation (PSO) contracts.

Under EU rules, the Government is allowed to make arrangements to continue axed services for seven months before renegotiating a four year PSO contract, Mr Ryan told RTÉ radio.

Airlines interested in taking over the two routes are to be approached next week before a “judgment call” is made on the most suitable operators.

Mr Ryan said he expects them to be in place by “mid-July”.

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Where can I watch Switzerland’s Euro 2020 matches in Zurich?

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Euro 2020 – taking place of course in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic – kicked off on Friday, June 11th. 

Despite injuries and a lack of match fitness among key players, Switzerland have a strong chance of getting out of the group stages and matching their best-ever performance, which took place at the 2016 edition where they went to the Round of 16. 

Switzerland were drawn in a strong but not impossible group of Wales, Italy and Turkey – and will realistically hope to finish second in the group. 

Switzerland have some top quality players in their squad, including Liverpool bench man Xherdan ‘Magic Cube’ Shaqiri and Gladbach goalscorer Breel Embolo, along with seemingly every goalkeeper in the Bundesliga. 

What are the coronavirus rules? 

From the start of the tournament, organisers will be able to host a maximum of 300 people outside and 100 people inside pursuant to coronavirus rules. 

This means that the large ‘Public Viewing’ events which have taken place in the past will not be allowed as per usual. 

From June 28th, the rules will be further relaxed to allow for up to 1,000 people if they are seated. 

This will however be from the quarter finals onwards, which gives Switzerland a surefire incentive to go deep in the tournament. 

READ MORE: Switzerland to further relax coronavirus measures from June 28th

But whether you’re cheering for Switzerland or another one of the tournament’s 24 teams, here’s where you can watch. 

While many of the usual large public viewing sites will be unavailable, this will benefit some of the city’s smaller sports bars who will now surely have every seat filled. 

Reservations are recommended or required at all venues. 

Amboss Rampe, at 80 Zollstrasse, boasts craft beer and will be open for all games. 

Calvados sportsbar on Idaplatz will show all of the games on three large screens. 

Another area with outdoor seating will be Frau Gerold’s Garten will show all the games and does not have an entry fee, while they also accept group reservations for up to 50 people. 

Riithalle restaurant on Gessnerallee will show all games in their garden. 

The Ziegelhutte has been fitted out to cater for 250 people outside and 100 inside in the ‘pump room’. Entry fees are required for Switzerland and Germany games and bookings are considered essential. 

For anyone missing the feeling of large ‘Public Viewings’, the closest you’re likely to get is in Zurich Nord. While entry is free, tickets need to be booked to guarantee a reservation. 



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