News In Brief

Health Minister Mary Harney.

By Irish America Staff
October / November 2005

RESPONDING to a report by the Crisis Pregnancy Agency, Health Minister Mary Harney made a case for contraception to be available for girls as young as 11. The report revealed that girls aged 11-14 years are involved in sexual relationships and that pregnancies are possible in that age group. “I think we have to deal with the reality and the consequences of that,” said Harney. “We have to make sure that if the morning-after pill is required that it is available to somebody in that age group. Clearly their parents have to be involved if they are underage”…

A VAST improvement in the Leaving Certificate results has led to suggestions that the school examination is now graded more easily than before. The State Exams Commission revealed that the honors rate is up by almost 16 percent over the past decade with the exception of Maths results, where the failure rate continues to rise…

“WE want to take Ireland’s economic model and replicate it in our own country,” concluded Eddy Martinez, secretary of state from the Dominican Republic. Martinez led a 27-member delegation to Dublin to assess similarities between the two countries and attempt to apply successful formulas from the Irish model.

The visitors felt that Ireland had been transformed from one of Europe’s poorest countries in the 1980s to a leading EU performer by 2000. “Both from an economic and social point of view I have seen no other country that has so many similarities with the Dominican Republic,” he said, adding that he hoped his country would become the “Ireland of the Caribbean.”♦

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