The Barr Tribunal report into the shooting a man by Irish police in Co. Longford was issued in PDF format yesterday. It’s a sad story about a mentally ill man who was shot soon after he emerged from his besieged house carrying a shotgun. Obviously, no one should ever walk towards a police cordon carrying a loaded shotgun, but there was no need for this man to die. According to the report, the man had bad relations with police after he was falsely accused of burning a mascot goat without any evidence, but the negotiator who dealt with him during the siege was not aware of these issues. There were many other simple mistakes made, and altogether they contributed to the incident’s unfortunate end.
I’ve made a copy of the 700-page report available (28 Mbyte PDF), as it is obviously of major public interest (if only because it cost EUR 18m to write) and doesn’t seem to be available anywhere else on the Internet.
Young Simon McGarr asks about our proposal for Wi-fi for Dublin. He wants to know how much it would cost a non-fonero to access the network. The answer is easy. It would cost 3 euros for 24 hours, a lot cheaper than using a mobile, but expensive enough to encourage you to get broadband and become a Linus yourself, in which case you would get access for free.
Having a coffee? Laptop in the bag? Want to check your email? Then you realise there’s wi-fi in the hotel, but it’s going to cost you 6 euros to check your messages. If you go to the Morrison Hotel in Dublin (on the North Quays, at the Millennium Bridge, you won’t have that problem, because there’s a convenient FON point, set up by Bernard Tyers.
If you have an office or live beside a cafe, hotel train station or bus stop, drop me an email and we’ll set you up with a FON social router. You can make money (50 percent royalty) from every day pass that is sold through your access point.
I think this is a brilliant idea. We should blanket Dublin with cheap wi-fi, the same as has been done in Tallinn in Estonia. The only problem is that the project as proposed is totally unrealistic. There is no way that the whole of Dublin, a city of at least 100 square kilometres, can be covered with low-pwer radio service for 10 million euros, the figure proposed. All that could be realistically covered would be some of the major streets in the very centre. There would also be a lot of maintenance costs.
I would suggest a different way of doing this: use FON hotspots. Start by installing FON hotspots (which FON would supply for 5 euros, maybe cheaper. Begin by installing these hotspots inside and around the windows of all the major municipal and school buildings. This would give the system the critical mass it needs. By partnering with business owners, the rest of the system would be quickly covered. The city could also make some revenue off the system by selling day passes.
A system like this could be put in place with an investment by the city council of as low as 100,000 euros, and with relatively low running costs. That wouldn’t cover the whole city of course. But the private sector would provide for the rest.