Irish, Dutch grey herons catch rats


This video, from Pijnacker in the Netherlands, shows a grey heron catching a rat.

This is another video from Ireland. It says about itself:

2 August 2016

[Grey] Herons are predatory birds that like to catch and eat rats throughout the day and night when they are hungry, this is amazing feeding behaviour from these birds. Herons hunt and catch and eat rats and other small rodents throughout the day and night as part of the heron’s daily diet. A heron will look closely at the foliage that rats like to forage in and when it spots their movements, the heron will then stand motionless as it watches the rats foraging, its neck then begins to move from side to side as the heron determines the best time to strike with its sharp bill.

Common roach fish in Ireland, video


This video from Ireland says about itself:

8 July 2016

Common roach fish in freshwater

Common roach are small fish with an average size of 35cm, but some of them grow a bit more with a length of between 45-50cm. The common roach has red fins and a bluish silvery body with a white belly. The common roach has a big red spot in the iris and above and beside the pupil. The common roach lives in freshwater but also brackish water.

The common roach eats plant material and benthic invertebrates and also plankton. The common roach are native to most of Europe and western Asia. The common roach inhabit rivers, ponds and lakes and man-made canals. The common roach belong to the Cyprinidae family.

Ireland beats Italy, joins 16 best teams


This 23 June 2016 football video says about itselfis called Irish Fans Celebrate Brady’s Goal LIVE in the stadium | Ireland vs Italy 1-0 | Euro 2016.

The Irish team now joins the 16 best team. They will now play against France.

To celebrate, a bird video from Ireland.

This video says about itself:

Some Irish Garden Birds

Here are a few birds that I filmed in my garden in County Clare in March 2008 while learning to use a Canon video camera on a tripod.

Irish anti-torture flight protesters arrested


This video from Ireland says about itself:

Protest against the use of Shannon Airport by the CIA and US military 10-7-2011

Organised by the human rights activist group Shannonwatch, today’s protest at Shannon Airport was notable for the excessive numbers of Garda and Special Branch operatives oppressively policing and harrassing the peaceful attendees — a ratio of more than two to one counting the guards on the side road and buzzing police cars and the Special Branch unmarked car. Shortly before the start of the protest Gardai set up a checkpoint close to the roundabout where the protest is always held and in the space of thirty minutes the only vehicle pulled to the side of the road for inspection was John Lannon’s, coordinator of Shannonwatch.

Directly after the protest, Fred Johnston, a Shannonwatch activist from Galway was similarly pulled to the side of the road in his car where his valid vehicle insurance documentation and accompanying pet dog; Tristan, were spuriously taken exception to – as John Lannon remarked; “There has been a more determined effort to impede peaceful opposition to Shannon Airport’s role in U.S. military and CIA operations since the present government and Minister for Justice took office”. Shannonwatch object to the continued misuse of a civilian airport, under the blind eye of a complicit government, as a transit stop for CIA torture flights and US troops transiting to America’s imperial wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Ireland: US military flights protesters arrested at Shannon airport

Thursday 26th May 2016

TWO Irish peace campaigners were arrested yesterday morning after protesting on the main runway at Shannon airport against US military flights from there.

Dave Donnellan and Colm Roddy walked into the airside zone at dawn, carrying the Irish flag and a banner, before painting red crosses on the runway in remembrance of US-led wars in the Middle East.

They were not detected until they approached a US government-owned Learjet and a Boeing 757 parked by the disused runway 11, half a mile away.

As they walked past the two planes, soldiers in an Irish army vehicle spotted them and alerted nearby Garda officers in a patrol car, who in turn called the airport police to arrest the pair.

The BBC’s Newsnight programme, the New York Times and Amnesty International alleged in 2005 that Shannon airport had been used for dozens of “rendition” flights of prisoners to third countries.

Jupiter collision with comet or asteroid, video


This video, recorded in Ireland, says about itself:

Jupiter Collision! Impact Burst Captured By Amateur Astronomer

29 March 2016

John McKeon captured an impact on the gas giant on March 17th, 2016 (00:18:45 UT). The video was snapped using an 11″ SCT with an ASI120mm camera and Ir-pass 742nm filter. It was most likely an asteroid or comet colliding with Jupiter. — Full story here.

Credit: John McKeon / Edited by Space.com

See also here.

LGBTQ rights and homophobia in Northern Ireland


This video says about itself:

Thousands of revelers lined the route of the 2012 Gay Pride Parade in Belfast on Saturday, August 4, as floats featuring performers of all kinds brought a party atmosphere to the Northern Irish capital. The sun, surprisingly, also made an appearance.

By Annette Pryce:

Hard won LGBT+ rights missing in Northern Ireland

Monday 28th March 2016

A National Union of Teachers delegation to the six counties in February was shocked by the state of affairs, writes Annette Pryce

EQUAL marriage, the repeal of Section 28, adoption, equal age of consent, the Equality Act are all things we as LGBT+ people, as trade unionists, fought long and hard for and feel very proud of. The LGBT+ legislative strategy seems all but complete if you ignore survivor pensions, (don’t ignore that), and a few other important things.

But while we’ve won these rights in Britain, in Northern Irealnd they’re almost totally absent.

When our delegation of 14 NUT LGBT+ teachers arrived in Belfast for our four-day trip we didn’t know what to expect. Growing up hearing about “the Troubles” doesn’t make for a lived experience or a good understanding about what Northern Ireland is like.

Our first meeting with the LGBT+ organisation the Rainbow Project was a crash course in Northern Ireland politics.

Delegates, with their mouths gaping open in shock, demonstrated that our ignorance was just as shocking as the terrible, fragile reality being laid before us.

Despite a clear majority of parties agreeing on equal marriage — and let’s face it, a public that isn’t opposed to the idea — the Democratic Unionist Party use what are supposed to be exceptional veto powers to prevent equal marriage proposals and anything progressively LGBT+ from happening.

Civil partnerships are legal in Northern Ireland — because the Assembly was suspended when the 2004 Civil Partnership Act was passed in Westminster — but there are no equal marriage rights and if you and a same-sex partner got married in Britain, it would not be recognised in Northern Ireland.

But marriage isn’t the most important recognition a state can give you and our delegation wanted to understand what the experience was like for LGBT+ children, teenagers and adults.

With the highest rate of LGBT suicide in the UK, the Rainbow Project told us that 40 per cent of their young service-users had attempted suicide. It was a startling statistic that even with my years of activism and teaching stunned me. “Isolation” was cited as one of the key elements to the statistics as well as school-based bullying.

We headed over to Stormont’s Department of Education to better understand what was being done to protect young LGBT+ people and teachers and received yet more bad news. The department is powerless to intervene in school provision of sex and relationship education and given that every school in Northern Ireland is a faith-based school that often means such education is utterly inadequate, making LGBT+ people invisible.

When we asked the department about protections for LGBT+ teachers we were told that they “didn’t look at the teacher element.” Given this was a room full of LGBT+ teachers you can imagine the cold reception.

There is no Equality Act and therefore no employment protections for LGBT+ teachers except for the vague section 75 of the 1998 Northern Ireland Act. And as for school governors, they have one member of the local clergy on each board and an appointments commission that openly LGBT+ people would have zero faith in.

There was some good movement on bullying in schools and it was demonstrated that recording and intervention programmes were being prioritised and promoted by the Education Minister.

We met our sister unions the Ulster Teachers Union and the Irish National Teachers Organisation to show some solidarity and to hear their take and what their organisations were doing in terms of organising LGBT+ teachers.

It was fantastic and inspiring to hear their efforts to challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in the education system. We provided messages of support and promised to keep a channel open to work together and exchange best practice on organising LGBT+ teachers.

One beacon of hope was former Communication Workers Union official Chris Hudson, now a reverend at the Unitarian All Souls Church in Belfast. Chris’s church not just openly welcomes LGBT+ people of faith and refugees, it campaigns publicly for their rights. The church hosted us for an evening and lesbian congregation members performed music for us. It was a special moment after a bleak day for our delegation.

There is of course hope in Northern Ireland, with organisations like the Rainbow Project, teachers’ unions, churches like All Souls and the supportive and active spaces that are emerging for LGBT+ people. But the one hope that blew us all away was the irrefutable fact that out of all the parade marches that take place in Northern Ireland, the LGBT+ Pride parade was the largest.

Imagine, a place that has structural segregation and limited protections for LGBT+ people, the largest unifying demonstration is an LGBT+ rights march. That gives us all hope and that’s why our continuing support and solidarity towards our fellow LGBT+ teachers in Northern Ireland means so much.

Annette Pryce is the NUT LGBT executive member.