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Author Archives: Edward McGarr

The Connacht Gold wall accident

The Health and Safety Authority is a good institution but an odd one. It was established under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. It has as its central purpose, as recited in Section 34 of that Act, “to promote, encourage and foster the prevention of accidents, dangerous occurrences and personal injury at work in accordance with the relevant statutory provisions” So, oddly enough, when some customers were killed and injured in the Connacht Gold shop in Longford, […]

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Faulty Beef Burgers

This is the appropriate editorial to replace that of the Irish Times of 2nd February 2013. The blame for Ireland’s faulty beef burgers lies with the relevant Irish meat processors and, maybe, with someone in Poland. The testing of the burgers showed two pertinent facts; the animal source of the burger content and the proportion coming from each animal type. Of the tested burgers, most contained trace elements of horse and/or pig. One did not. That one burger, from Silvercrest […]

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How to read a newspaper (continued)

Noted in the Irish Times, 2nd February 2013, page 6. “Eoin was born in moderate condition at 6.35 am on July 30th, 2002, without any inherent defect or genetic abnormality, as the hospital, among various claims, had alleged”. This sentence means the hospital alleged Eoin … “was without any inherent defect or genetic abnormality”. This cannot have been the case; there would have been no proceedings, for the newspaper to report, otherwise. IT SHOULD READ: “Eoin was born in moderate […]

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How to read a newspaper

Noted in the Irish Times, 2nd February 2013, page 15.  “With no evidence of fraud…” This phrase means there was no evidence of deceit by Silvercrest Foods Ltd. There was in fact deceit. Tesco was deceived as to the sources of the burger meat; it described it as a breach of trust. My online dictionary defines “fraud” as: “a person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities”

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The Food Police?

The finding by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland of horse meat in frozen beef burgers invokes the following legal provisions: A)            Articles 14 (1) and 16 of Regulation (EC) N° 178/2002 on General Food Law; B)            Regulations 5 (1) and 6 of the European Communities (General Food Law) Regulations 2007. Under Article 14 (1) of Regulation No. 178/2002, “Food shall not be placed on the market if it is unsafe”. “Unsafe” includes food unfit for human consumption. The Regulation […]

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Sack the Minister

When the Food Safety Authority of Ireland tested a range of Irish frozen beef burgers, purchased from Irish and British supermarkets, it found evidence that they contained horse meat and/or pig meat. It found that the source of the offending meat was the respective manufacturer of the beef burger. In the case of Silvercrest Foods Ltd. almost 30% of one burger constituted horse meat. These facts were sufficient evidence to prosecute the various manufacturers (and the retailers). Prosecutions are necessary […]

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The Irish horse meat Dictionary

Horse meat: An additive to burgers. It is perceptible only by means of DNA testing and/or the use of an electron microscope (except in France where its very colour, taste and hooves trigger the little grey cells of French sleuths). Money back Guarantee: If you return your complete horse meat beef burger, with its wrapping and a receipt, or other indubitable evidence of purchase from our supermarket, you will receive back your money that you paid to buy the burger […]

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Not Reassured

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has analysed selected consumer products sold in Ireland. These products are probably also sold in the UK. By and large they were “manufactured” in Ireland. The products are, allegedly, burgers made of beef meat. (1) It is true, they contained some beef meat. However, they also contained some pig and horsemeat. The proportions varied from sample to sample. There is one conclusion to be drawn from this; it is not wise to trust the […]

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Injustice

What is the economic cost of a proper defence? Inevitably, it will vary from case to case, but Clive Stafford Smith estimates that 1,000 hours will be needed for the task. That’s 83 days. Now assume an hourly rate for the lawyer at €300 (because that is less than the rate allowed by the Irish High Court for some company liquidators) and we can work out the cost of the defence, – €300,000.

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Savita Halappanavar and HIQA

The questions set out below are relevant questions for any effective inquiry into the death of Savita Halappanavar . A HIQA inquiry cannot ask those questions, and if it did, the medical practitioner need not reply.

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