Other News In Brief

Govt Criticised Over Rising Homelessness Figures

The government is facing criticism following news that the number of homeless people in the State has reached the highest ever level.

Official figures show that 10,514 people are currently living on emergency accommodation, the highest level ever.

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government Darragh O'Brien said: "This is a shocking indictment of the government, they continue to fail in one of the most basic needs for our people, a safe and secure home. Rebuilding Ireland has failed, what we need to see is this crisis being met by crisis measures and currently it's not.

"The number of children living in emergency accommodation remains at an unacceptable level. The number of adults recorded as homeless also increased."

The figures today show an increase of 117 people last month compared to statistics from September, an average increase of around two people every day.

Some 3,826 children are now living without a home in Ireland, according to the Department of Housing homeless statistics for September.

"Fianna Fáil would prioritise solving this housing crisis by building public homes on public land and delivering affordable housing for working people.

"There were 4534 adults homeless in Dublin currently and there are now 154 people living in emergency accommodation who are 65 years of age or older, the figures show," concluded Deputy O'Brien.

41% Of Card Payments Contactless In Last Quarter

Consumers have made almost 1.5 million contactless payments a day in Q3 2019, according to the latest contactless update from Banking & Payments Federation Ireland's Payment Monitor.

The number of contactless credit and debit card payments grew by 44% year-on-year with nearly 135 million payments valued at more than €1.6 billion.

In volume terms, an estimated 41% of all credit and debit card payments were contactless in Q3 2019, while 11% of the value of card payments were contactless. A further 38% of the value of card payments was for ecommerce (online) transactions, according to the Central Bank of Ireland, highlighting the importance of a successful implementation of the strong customer authentication requirements for online card payments under PSD2 by 31 December 2020.

Contactless payments are relatively low value, averaging €12.03 per payment in Q3 2019, compared with €40.73 for debit cards and €75.86 for credit cards.

Speaking about the continued growth in contactless payments, Brian Hayes, BPFI Chief Executive, stated: "Consumers want fast, simple and secure payments. That's why they have adopted contactless payment so quickly. With contactless-enabled cards already in most wallets, future growth will come mainly from increased usage of contactless payments and the latest figures show that consumers are using contactless payments more and more: consumers are already making some 1.5 million contactless payments per day.

"At the same time, more than one third of card spending was online. A successful implementation of the strong customer authentication requirements for online card payments in Europe will be crucial to ensure that online retailers and their customers."

New Kilkenny Gallery Prepares For 2020 Opening

The development of a new gallery in Kilkenny is on track for completion in Spring 2020.

This project has seen Evan's Home transformed into the new Butler Gallery. Work has now reached the final stages, with most of the building, interior fittings and finishes complete and the hard and soft landscaping to be completed before Christmas.

When finished, the building will house a large contemporary gallery for major temporary exhibitions, the Butler permanent collection, the O'Malley collection, a media gallery and an education and learning centre.

Kilkenny County Council's Project Liaison Architect, Evelyn Graham commented: "We are very excited to have reached the final stage in this eagerly-awaited project and look forward to opening the doors of this wonderful building which has been hidden from view for too long."

Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr Peter 'Chap' Cleere added: "Kilkenny County Council has a proud record in protecting its built heritage. The delivery of the Evan's Home project will add yet another example of the adaptive reuse of an historic building with the added bonus of a major new public space."

The project is funded by Kilkenny County Council with the support of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Fáilte Ireland.


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