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Englands oldest hotel on the brink of collapse after twoday blaze

first_img‘England’s oldest hotel’ on the brink of collapse after two-day blaze Water supplies are low and the gas supply – which is suspected to have been fuelling the fire – has been turned off. Source: Devon&Somerset Fire/Twitter By Gráinne Ní Aodha Set in a 17th century coaching inn – said to be Britain’s oldest hotel – ABode Exeter has outstanding culinary credentials, offered alongside modern, luxury accommodation. @DSFireUpdates doing an amazing job tackling the #fire in #Exeter.— Alliance Pol Drones (@PoliceDrones) October 28, 2016 Read: Iceland election: Anti-establishment Pirate Party set to shake up political landscapeRead: 45 cannabis plants worth €36,000 seized in Cavan Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article For those that don’t know what Exeter has lost, an image I took recently, the historic Royal Clarence Hotel #exeterfire @BBCNews @guardian— Christian Schoter (@ChrisSchoter) October 29, 2016 Team Exeter Stable showing our appreciation to all the hard working firefighters in #Exeter today 🍕🍕— The Stable (@_TheStable) October 28, 2016 Saturday 29 Oct 2016, 3:32 PM Source: D&C Police Drones/Twitter Due to our large fire in #Exeter’s historic Close @ExeterCathedral has just closed to visitors for the day. See their website for more info— Visit Exeter (@visitexeter) October 28, 2016 “The city has already responded in a positive way to challenging circumstances and will continue to do so.” Neighbouring retailer Ridgways Shoes announced today that they would be closed “until further notice” because of the “devastating fire that is currently still taking hold of the beautiful Royal Clarence Hotel, ABode Exeter”.The Exeter Cathedral, after which the square is named, announced that it would also be closed today.Council leader Pete Edwards released a statement yesterday saying:“I’d like to thank the emergency services for all their hard work [yesterday] morning in getting the fire contained. Their efforts, including the evacuation of the Clarence Hotel, has been remarkable.”center_img Oct 29th 2016, 3:32 PM On the hotel’s website, it gives the following description of the historic premises:“ABode Exeter stands proudly as it has done for 300 years on Exeter’s beautiful Cathedral Green at the heart of the city, with spectacular views of the Cathedral.” Source: The Stable/Twitter Short URL At present we are monitoring any movement in the Royal Clarence Hotel. If visiting #Exeter today, consider traffic travel arrangements.— Devon&Somerset Fire (@DSFireUpdates) October 29, 2016 City Council Officers are helping those involved with any assistance that we can, including providing clothes. They have been doing a superb job since dawn [yesterday morning]. Source: Christian Schoter/Twitter 10 Comments Exeter City Council have been assisting guests who were staying at the hotel to find alternative accommodation and have warned people to stay away from the Cathedral Green area.Tours of the area were also cancelled yesterday as the emergency services tried to contain the blaze. 27,889 Views Source: Visit Exeter/Twitter The Royal Clarence Hotel, the oldest hotel in England has stood for 300 years and survived a pounding by German bombers during the Blitz in 1942. Source: Ben BirchallA MASSIVE FIRE in the south west of England has destroyed what is being called ‘England’s oldest hotel’ – collapsing all floors and leaving it as ‘nothing but a shell’.Firefighters are still trying to contain the damage caused by the blaze almost two days after the fire begun in Cathedral Green, Exeter, Devon.It is thought that a gas leak fuelled the fire which tore through the Royal Clarence Hotel – said to be standing for at least 300 years.Emergency services are monitoring the situation after initial ‘laser’ tests seem to indicate that the building is wobbling. Share185 Tweet Email last_img read more

Im not easy to like on the pitch but Im a bit

first_img‘I’m not easy to like on the pitch but I’m a bit of a softie underneath it all’ Kieran Donaghy sits down with The42 to discuss life off the pitch and how basketball has given him a new lease of life. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By Ryan Bailey Donaghy in our newsroom during the week. Image: The42 KIERAN DONAGHY IS a player you’d love to have on your team, but hate to play against. Aggressive, brash, physically imposing and an in-your-face approach. A win at all costs mentality. A divisive figure, you either worship him or can’t stand him; there’s no real in-between, as he admits himself.“If you look at me on the pitch, I’m easy not to like,” he says. “I know that like, it’s the way I play. Definitely up in Dublin I wouldn’t be number one, public enemy number one is what I’d be.”But beyond the on-field persona, there’s much to like, and admire, about the Kerry footballer. Still formidable in size, Donaghy is best described as a gentle giant. He’s softly-spoken, intelligent and, believe it or not, level-headed.In recent media appearances to promote his autobiography, Donaghy has spoken about his future, the black card, Philly McMahon and GAA pensions. His book, after all, is about his GAA career.But what of Kieran Donaghy the person? He’s known as one of the most recognisable Kerry footballers of recent time, winner of six Munster titles, four All-Irelands, three league crowns and three All Star awards. But what of the young lad from Tralee who came through a difficult childhood and the tragic death of his father? Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHOWe read of his rags to riches story into football stardom and the incredible success he’s enjoyed during a sparkling career, but perhaps the most revealing aspect of it is the personality behind the facade.“I’m no saint on the pitch but that’s the way I play,” he tells The42. “I play on the edge and do what I have to do to win a game but people don’t know the other side of me. They probably think I’m referencing Joe Brolly in my book’s title (What do you think of that?) but I’m not.“If I wanted to reference Joe Brolly properly I would have called it ‘What do you think of that, Joe Brolly?’ but I’m asking the reader that question.“Read it and tell me what you think of me. If you still hate me that’s fine but I think people will get a better understanding of why I play the way I play and what drives me as a player.“I’m a bit of a softie underneath it all. That’s me, I was predominately raised by two women and they brought me up the right way and to respect my elders and when I cross the white line yeah I turn into this guy who’s trying to win for Kerry or Austin Stacks or Munster or for Ireland.”As he’s entered the twilight of his career, that competitive streak has remained but perspective has been gained. It was once all about winning and the cut-throat environment that such a mindset engendered. Losing simply wasn’t an option.“I would have cut your hand off to win,” he admits. But now football is not all about winning. He still loves it, no doubt, but there’s more to it than that; the friendships, the team-mates, the life lessons and the journey. Source:“I came to the realisation in doing this book and the way last year finished up is that of course you want to win the All-Ireland, it’s the ultimate goal,” he explains.“Every other year when I didn’t win the All-Ireland I was completely in a hole for a few weeks after, feeling all sorry for myself and getting all down about it but when I did this book I came to realise that I’m very lucky to be on the journey.“To have 12 years as a Kerry senior footballer, to contest eight All-Ireland finals, to win four of them. To be on a county like Kerry and deliver for them on the big stage and then there’s the flip side of that, be on a county like Kerry and not deliver on the big stage.“There has been days I’ve let Kerry, there’s been days I’ve let myself and my family down with my performances but that’s just with what comes with it but then there are times I’ve given them huge pride and I’ve given myself pride in what I’ve been able to do on the big days for Kerry.“The trust the management teams, my respective management teams of Jack, Pat and Eamonn have shown me. I’ll always be thankful for them, it’s been unbelievable and I think I’ve come to realise that it’s more than just about a result or medal or winning an All-Ireland.“I’ve come to a point where I’m thinking you know what ‘it’s been a great journey, it has been a hell of a ride and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and wouldn’t change a thing.”Whether that ride is over just yet remains to be seen. Donaghy has insisted his decision on whether or not to continue his inter-county career into 2017 won’t be made until the New Year.Until then, his focus is on his first love – basketball.Donaghy returned to playing senior basketball for Tralee Warriors last year and helped his side return to the Super League top tier for this season. It has given him a new lease of life.“It probably is my first love,” he reveals. “I’d consider myself a natural basketball player, much more natural on a basketball court than I am on a football pitch. It’s the sport I was better at when I was younger and probably still better at today. Source:“It’s definitely a sport which today is an enjoyable sport to play and almost pressure-free for me. I’ve been lucky enough to win and achieve all my goals in basketball and the reason I’m back playing was to bring the Super League back to Tralee and all the good young players for Tralee, try and be a good mentor for them for two or three years before the body just doesn’t allow me to play basketball at the highest level anymore.“I’m delighted that it’s going so well. I’m really enjoying it. We beat an excellent Swords Thunder team from Dublin in a cup game at the weekend. We had a 1,000 people at it, we had to turn people away.“The atmosphere, they’re turning off the lights and doing players intros. We’re trying to jazz it up as much as we can. The reaction we’re getting on Facebook from parents and kids who were at the game, they’ve been blown away by it. If the rest of the league could nearly copy us down in Tralee and get that atmosphere at all the games in the National Basketball League and it got supported by basketball people in general, who watch all the NBA.“Go down and watch your local guys play. Go watch your Templeogues, your Swords, your DCU Saints. Go watch those guys play, the young Irish players and the talent levels are very high in the league. There are excellent Irish players and of course every team has a very good American. I’d encourage people to get out and watch it.Donaghy’s return to basketball coincided with his return to form for Kerry. He featured in 11 league and championship games this year for Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s side.After a frustrating couple of years with injury, 2016 was a good one for the forward as he returned to peak form and enjoyed an extended period in the starting XV until Kerry were dumped out at the semi-final stage by Dublin.“I don’t think it did me any harm,” he says when asked whether basketball has helped his football career. Donaghy with his daughter Lola-Rose. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO“I played for the first time in seven years last year and I went on to play 11 games in a row for Kerry in both league and championship and played quite well in most of them and covered a lot of ground. It definitely did me well, I was in great physical condition, I was very fit after the basketball.“I was doing basketball and I was training with Damien Ray and the Kerry backroom team when it came to fitness. I came in a very good position with a good base and was able to attack it from where I wanted to attack it.“A lot of the skills are transferable but I think the biggest one and most important one is the decision making. In a basketball game you can touch the ball 130-150 times, sometimes more.“You’re touching it every time you go down the court, you’re touching it in defence, touching it every time you grab a rebound and you can make decisions constantly. You could make up to 200 decisions where as in football, in the 2014 final, I was nominated for man of the match and I touched the ball 11 times but I made nine or 10 good decisions with that and that comes from the basketball, learning how to make the right decisions all the time.“There’s obviously the hands and vision, in basketball you have to use your peripheral vision to see what’s around you and I felt I probably used that to the best of my ability on a football pitch for Kerry.”Whether you like him or not, Donaghy leaves an impression.On his whistle-stop media tour, he popped into our Dublin office last Monday to complete a full morning of interviews. The same questions, the same answers. Over and over again; it’s the modern way. Source: Andrew Paton/INPHOSo when he’s asked about basketball, and something other than football and whether he’ll be around next year, he speaks passionately. He deflects the attention away from himself and uses the opportunity to promote the sport, still very much a minority one in Ireland, and to endorse the product he’s very much part of.“I run a basketball camp every year at Halloween in Tralee,” he continues. “I’m delighted to be part of that and delighted to be helping bringing that back to Tralee. Now I can say to my kids in my camp, which I couldn’t say the last three of four years, that’s there’s something to aim for with the Super League.“When I was a young lad going to Dungarvan for a basketball camp, we had an American coach who told us to sleep with the ball. I went home every night for I’d say about six or seven months until I got too annoyed where I was rolling over onto a basketball every night and I threw it out. I listened to the coach and I slept with the ball every night to get my hands used to the ball and that’s what he was saying, I can tell kids now to do stuff and they can do it with an aim.“Signing autographs for kids after the game, young guys on the Warriors team who wouldn’t be used to it signing autographs and seeing their face doing that, seeing kids looking up at these guys, now they have an aim and a goal to chase and we didn’t have that in Tralee for the last seven or eight years.“It’s back, it’s fantastic and it’s definitely given be a new lease of life.”The42 is on Snapchat! Tap the button below on your phone to add! Short URL Monday 31 Oct 2016, 10:26 AM Image: The42center_img Donaghy in our newsroom during the week. Ulster semi-finalists revealed as Leinster SFC gets underwayO’Loughlin Gaels cause an upset to claim Kilkenny senior hurling title Share100 Tweet Email Add us: 22,869 Views 13 Comments Oct 31st 2016, 10:26 AM last_img read more

For a lad coming over from Dublin at 15 to say youd

first_img‘For a lad coming over from Dublin at 15 to say you’d be at Arsenal for 20 years… I got very lucky really’ Ahead of the Gunners’ League Cup final with Manchester City today, we chat to club legend David O’Leary. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 21,354 Views Feb 25th 2018, 9:01 AM Short URL Leeds United manager George Graham (left) with his assistant David O’Leary (right) pictured in 1997. Source: EMPICS Sport4. MentorMeanwhile, O’Leary likens Graham to Alex Ferguson in terms of his management style.“Both from Scotland, both very demanding people, they wanted things done right, and were successful,” he adds.The respect was clearly mutual. As one of the club’s senior players, the Arsenal boss sometimes sought O’Leary’s counsel on key issues. The Irish defender once told the memorable story of how Graham came to him with the news that he was strongly considering dropping Tony Adams, widely considered to be the best English defender of that era. The promising centre-back’s morale was at an all-time low, after he had been made somewhat of a scapegoat for England’s disappointing performance at the 1988 European Championships. O’Leary urged Graham not to deal what he thought would be a hammer blow to Adams’ confidence. The manager eventually came round to his way of thinking and instead opted to drop the Irishman from the team.Despite O’Leary not being too happy with the Scottish boss in that particular instance, he accepts such tough love was an inevitable facet of life at a top club.At Arsenal, you survived on competition,” he explains. “Lots of lads couldn’t cope with the pressure of it season in season out. But at Man United and all these clubs now, it’s about performing, performing, performing. That suited me, it kept you on your toes, I was always competing against somebody, because there was a big squad with good players and that was the way Arsenal was for 20 years. If you didn’t like it or couldn’t cope with the pressure, you went somewhere else.“I was very lucky and played with a lot of really top-class centre-halves and top-class players around me as well, which helps.” O’Leary won 68 Ireland caps in total. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO5. ‘Fairytale stuff really’One manager who certainly appreciated O’Leary’s quality was John Giles. During his time as Ireland boss, the Leeds legend handed the 18-year-old defender a debut at the same venue he will attend today — Wembley — with the inexperienced centre-back acquitting himself admirably under the circumstances, as the Irish team secured a creditable 1-1 draw in a place where few away teams leave with a positive result.“It was very special, because for a Saturday cup final, I’d watch it in Dublin [growing up], I’d think Wembley — amazing. To make your debut for your country, which would have been special anywhere — to make it at Wembley against England was really special.“The night went really well — we had a good team with good players and I was very lucky that I got a good result and did okay. Everybody said so and I didn’t let anybody down.”Long before players such as John Stones were even born, O’Leary was being praised as ‘a footballing centre-half’. Sure, he was well schooled in the art of defending, but he could play too. And while success on the international stage took a while, the 1980s — perhaps more so than any other decade — was a golden age when it came to producing Irish footballers of supreme natural talent and technical ability.[John Giles] was a football person, so it suited me,” he says. “You had people in that midfield like him, Gerry Daly, Liam Brady, so as a footballing centre-half, it was good to be able to pass it to people like that, and Giles was an absolutely great player.”Both better and worse times were to come for O’Leary on the international stage. He was part of the qualifying campaign for the 1982 World Cup under Eoin Hand, when Ireland narrowly missed out, with a controversial loss to Belgium (a game which O’Leary was not involved in) proving costly. Source: sp1873/YouTubeHe struggled in the demoralising 4-1 loss to Denmark — the last game of Hand’s reign and found himself ostracised from the team shortly thereafter.After initially not being selected for an end-of-season mini-tournament in Iceland at the beginning of Jack Charlton’s tenure as national coach, several withdrawals meant O’Leary was belatedly called up. By that stage, he already booked a family holiday, and opted against cancelling it, leaving the new Ireland boss furious.The falling out between the pair lasted two years. When the rest of the country was celebrating as the team achieved unprecedented feats at Euro ’88, a despondent O’Leary watched on with great sadness at the thought of what might have been.Redemption was to follow, however. O’Leary was recalled to the squad in November 1988 and went on to achieve hero status in the country, as he scored the winning spot kick in the 5-4 penalty shootout victory against Romania to book Ireland’s spot in the quarter-finals of the 1990 World Cup, before bowing out after a 1-0 loss to tournament hosts Italy. Stephen Kenny praises former Liverpool youngster after ‘exceptional’ debut>‘At that time in my life, I would have given everything not to play rugby’> OF THE 80,000-plus spectators who will be in attendance at today’s Carabao Cup Final, not many will have first-hand experience of what the players are going through.One exception, however, is David O’Leary. He knows full well of the agony and the ecstasy that a big day out at Wembley can create.Between 1978 and 1980 alone, the former Ireland international was part of a side that competed in four cup finals and lost three (one Cup Winners’ Cup and three FA Cup showdowns).Overall though, his career has had far more peaks than troughs. His achievements as a player with Arsenal include two league titles (1989 and 1991), two FA Cups (1979 and 1993) and two League Cups (1987 and 1993). Individually too, he stood out, featuring in the PFA First Division Team of the Year on three separate occasions — 1979, 1980 and 1982.When asked about today’s big game, he speaks with the same enthusiasm that first prompted his love for the game growing up in the streets of Dublin. Manchester City, he admits, are “a better team” than Arsenal, but he is still hopeful his beloved Gunners can pull off an upset, as they did in last season’s FA Cup final against reigning Premier League champions Chelsea.“Sunday’s game is going to be very interesting,” he tells The42. “You’ve got an outstanding Man City, who are fantastic to watch, and Arsenal on their day can be the same, but they have too many off days. Man City don’t have too many of them and that’s how you win the league.”The club has come full circle in a sense since O’Leary’s time at the club. Back then, they were frequently derided as ‘boring, boring Arsenal’. They were successful, though didn’t generally please the neutrals owing to the manner in which they played. If anything, the opposite is the case now. They are often fantastic to watch going forward and filled with flair players, but all their good work is regularly undermined by a brittleness down the other end of the pitch in the big games, such as last season’s embarrassing 10-2 aggregate loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.You get the sense that the current Arsenal side could do with a player like O’Leary shouting instructions at the back.Arsenal have always looked exciting going forward [under Wenger], they play really good football on their day but concede too many goals and give too many silly goals away,” he says.“That’s definitely got to be improved and that to me is where they’re vulnerable.” O’Leary currently works in an ambassadorial role with Arsenal. Source: Mike EgertonIt has been a far from perfect season for the North London side. They are currently sixth in the Premier League, eight points off the Champions League spots, with 11 games to play. Many pundits now believe a Europa League triumph is their best hope of ensuring they do not miss out on competing in Europe’s premier club competition for a second successive season — something that would provide a much-needed financial boost, particularly considering their struggles to compete with the fees that rivals such as Manchester City are continually prepared to pay.Even another cup final triumph, which would be their fourth in the past five seasons, would not entirely appease the skeptics, who feel Arsene Wenger has already outstayed his welcome at the club where he has worked for over 20 years as manager.O’Leary, though, remains a firm supporter of Wenger, given all the Frenchman has achieved at Arsenal.“They treat their managers with a bit of class here, they do things in the right way.People on the board appreciate what he’s done, but I think he’s appreciated the board as well — they’re not trigger-happy, they want to stick by their manager and that’s what Arsenal FC will do. They know how well Arsene Wenger has done.“When the time comes [for him to leave], I’m sure it’ll be mutual and suit both parties personally.” Irish players such as Liam Brady helped O’Leary adapt to life at Arsenal. Source: S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport1. Starting outOne person who rivals Wenger for longevity at the club is O’Leary himself. As a player, he arrived from Dublin as a promising teenager in 1973. 20 years on, he finally departed for a short spell at Leeds United, as his career was nearing its end.Yet for all he achieved and on a week when another ex-Arsenal centre-back, Sol Campbell, made headlines for proclaiming himself to be “one of the greatest minds in football,” there is a refreshing sense of modesty about O’Leary.At the highest level in football, talent and endeavour are not always enough to get you by. His former Ireland international team-mate, Jim Beglin, had plenty of the latter two ingredients, but saw his career cut short prematurely owing to a gruesome leg break. Luck is a crucial aspect of the game too, and as well as a number of other great attributes, O’Leary had this quality in spades.To this day, he remains the all-time club record holder with 722 appearances for Arsenal, having largely avoided serious injuries over the course of his career. Since O’Leary left, only two Irish players, Eddie McGoldrick and Graham Barrett have represented Arsenal in the Premier League, and neither had anywhere near the success of the cultured centre-half.For a lad coming over from Dublin at 15 to say you’d be at Arsenal for 20 years, you’d play the most games and all that, you look at that and think: ‘Good God, I got very lucky really,’” he says.“It was a fantastic club to play for all those years, it really was. It’s great that some of the same people are still there, getting older, like myself. And it’s nice to share lots of things with them still.” O’Leary pictured during his younger days at Arsenal. Source: S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport2. London IrishThe son of Irish parents, on 5 May, 1958, he was rather fittingly born in Stoke Newington, less than a mile from Highbury, Arsenal’s much-missed old ground.O’Leary always considered himself Irish though, and his family moved back to Dublin shortly after his birth, as his Arsenal-supporting father got a job there.“It was just unique that I ended up back [in London], which they were delighted about.“I could have gone to Manchester United and thought they were really tremendous, but when I came to Arsenal on trial, I really liked them and just felt it was the right place, and it proved to be.”His younger brother Pierce was a talented centre-back in his own right, enjoying successful stints at Shamrock Rovers and Celtic, while his nephew Ryan, also a defender, is a former Scotland U21 international and has lined out with a number of clubs including Aberdeen and Kilmarnock.“I played football with [Pierce] growing up, playing around Dublin, it was fantastic watching football on TV,” O’Leary recalls.“On the odd occasion, an English team would come over for a pre-season friendly and you’d get a chance to watch them. We just fell in love with the game, I got lucky and the dream happened for me. I got scouted playing for an Irish schoolboy international team, I was invited across.”These days, O’Leary lives in Yorkshire and works in an ambassadorial role for Arsenal, travelling to various games with the club’s directors.Last November, he was part of the travelling contingent who saw the Gunners secure a hard-fought 1-0 Premier League victory over Burnley at Turf Moor. During this trip, O’Leary felt a tinge of nostalgia. He was, after all, back at the place where he made his English top-flight debut, over 40 years previously (16 August 1975 to be precise), with the nerve-ridden 17-year-old featuring primarily due to an injury crisis at the club.I was sitting there thinking: ‘Good God, I’m sitting having lunch with the Arsenal directors and the Burnley directors,’ and I thought to myself: ‘If anyone told me years and years ago I’d still be around the place, I’d shake my head a little bit,’ because nothing’s really changed much at Burnley.“I was out with [former Arsenal and Northern Ireland player] Pat Rice a couple of weeks ago for the Tottenham game at Wembley. The night before, him and the club secretary were out with the wives. We were just talking about ‘how long ago,’ just talking about the Burnley game and being up there and saying: ‘Jeez, after all these years…’ And Pat was a great help on that day. I was a young kid coming in from Dublin and he was a senior player at right-back. He was a great help in those early days particularly.“Everybody thought because of the injuries you got in, they were thinking maybe of myself potentially getting in at the end of the season for the odd game, but I got in [early on]. I was nervous, I had a great bunch of people [around me] — Alan Ball, Terry Mancini, Sammy Nelson, Pat Rice and Liam Brady would have been in the team.“We played 42 games in the league and I think I played 40 games that season. I stayed in, I couldn’t believe it, they couldn’t believe it. But I felt fine and I enjoyed it. Nobody could believe I played 40 games before my 18th birthday really.“From playing at Burnley, then thinking, the players [who were out injured] will be back. I think we were playing Sheffield United on the Tuesday night away, I played in that, I think my debut for the home game was against Stoke the following Saturday, stayed in for that, and it just went on and on like that really.” Source: MrFandefoot/YouTube3. GloryIn addition to the cup successes, the two league triumphs stand out as great moments in O’Leary’s career, and both were made all the sweeter due to the fact that they came as he was approaching the twilight of his time at the North London club.For the famous 2-0 defeat of Liverpool at Anfield, arguably still the most dramatic end to an English top-flight season ever as Michael Thomas’ last-minute winner won the Gunners the league, O’Leary played a pivotal role. The Dubliner featured as a sweeper behind Tony Adams and Steve Bould, back when Arsenal had an embarrassment of riches in defence. Nigel Winterburn and Lee Dixon were given license to burst forward in the wing-back positions and these tactics proved astute, as George Graham’s team produced a considerable upset to stun the home crowd. Source: Tribesmen Hurling/YouTube“’89 was unique,” he says. “As a kid growing up, I used to watch games at Anfield on the box in Dublin. To go there and to say we had to win by two clear goals, I thought it was asking a bit too much. To go to Anfield in those days and get any sort of result with the great players they had [was difficult].I knew we were in a good team, but it was a special, special night. Michael Thomas, the goal he scored, my brother and my dad were behind that goal. It was fantastic when we won it to see them there afterwards. It was a very special night in a very special ground against a very special club.” Sunday 25 Feb 2018, 9:01 AMcenter_img Image: Allsport/INPHO 18 Comments Share63 Tweet Email David O’Leary appeared a record 722 times for Arsenal. David O’Leary appeared a record 722 times for Arsenal. Image: Allsport/INPHO Follow us: O’Leary celebrates his winning penalty against Romania at the 1990 World Cup. Source: EMPICS Sport6. A moment to last a lifetimeThis famous penalty, which has come to define O’Leary’s career, was last December voted Ireland’s greatest sporting moment. I am almost reluctant to ask about it, given that O’Leary has inevitably been providing a variation of the same answer on countless occasions for close to 30 years now. Yet unexpectedly, there is still a genuine sense of enthusiasm as he speaks about it for the umpteenth time.I more think now: ‘Thank God I didn’t miss it,’ because I probably wouldn’t have been allowed back in the country. I’m reminded, and bought drinks, coffees, this, that and the other, the amount of places in the world I’ve been and an Irish person has come up and said: ‘Well done, I was in such a place when you were taking that.’“It’s still amazing that I’m still reminded about it, but it really does shake me up when I think ‘thank God I scored that,’ because I’d have been carrying it around with me if I hadn’t: ‘That’s the fella that missed it.’“I’d got into [a falling out] with Jack [before]. Arsenal were involved with it and it was stupid really at the end of the day. Jack was stupid and stubborn, but that’s life, we move on.“I got picked again and to say you scored a penalty in a dream place for your country, it was fairytale stuff really.How I ended up on the fifth penalty, everyone on the day said ‘I want to take one, I want to take two, three…’ It didn’t bother me which one and I ended up taking the fifth one, which was the glory one really. There was no intention, just everybody else wanted to take a certain penalty. The fifth one was left and I was delighted for my mum and dad at home.“Everybody says ‘back in Ireland, the whole place just went mad for that World Cup,’ there was nobody on the streets when we were playing the matches — it was a unique time.“I still remember sometimes sitting in the taxi going into Dublin going through a line of people welcoming us back. It was fabulous, they’re great memories.” Leeds United players line up ahead of their 2001 Champions League semi-final against Valencia. Source: EMPICS Sport7. Leading LeedsYet a whole generation of people now exist who weren’t around for ‘Timofte against Bonner’ and all the ensuing shenanigans it prompted. Younger Irish football fans including this author remember O’Leary primarily as a manager of the brilliant young Leeds side that came to prominence around the turn of the century.In a manner reminiscent to how O’Leary came to make his Arsenal debut at 17, there was an element of fate or fortune to how the whole saga transpired depending on your perspective.Just as he had been during his playing days, O’Leary was working under ex-Arsenal boss Graham, offering him advice this time in the role of assistant manager. After two years performing this job, in 1998, the Scottish coach did the unthinkable — he left his position at Leeds and took over as manager of the Gunners’ most bitter rivals, Tottenham. He even asked O’Leary to join him, but unlike his mentor, the Dubliner could not bring himself to make the switch to Spurs, which was probably a wise move, as the Scot was never fully accepted at White Hart Lane despite overseeing a rare 1999 League Cup triumph during his time there. Source: Filbert Street/YouTubeFollowing Graham’s departure, Martin O’Neill, who had been working minor miracles as a manager at Leicester City, was heavily linked with the Leeds job.O’Leary was appointed as caretaker boss, but the speculation was so intense that even he believed O’Neill would eventually succeed him in the hotseat.What felt like a pivotal moment was Leicester City’s match with Tottenham. Thousands of impassioned fans turned out with banners that read: ‘Don’t go Martin.’A late Muzzy Izzet winner in that game prompted jubilant scenes at Filbert Street, and whether it made any difference has never been confirmed, but ultimately, O’Neill did not take over at Leeds.Instead, having impressed in the temporary role, a 40-year-old O’Leary was given the job on a permanent basis, and he proceeded to oversee one of the most exciting periods in the club’s history.I thought: ‘Right, George is going to Tottenham,’ the way people were talking, Martin O’Neill was the one Leeds wanted. I was asked to take charge of the team for a few weeks and I thought: ‘I’ll be there for a couple of weeks until Martin O’Neill and his staff come in.’“Then, I don’t know why, but Martin O’Neill changed his mind and stayed with Leicester. In the few weeks, people felt: ‘You’re popular, you’re doing a good job there,’ they kind of asked this rookie: ‘Do you want to be the Leeds manager?’ It shocked me, but I had no doubt that: ‘Yes, I’d like to do it.’“Working under George Graham, in the reserve team, I’d seen a bunch of young lads, who I felt like myself when I was being put in young, I thought they could handle it.” Source: WOODDDDDDDYALUFC/YouTube8. ‘Babies’In four seasons at the club under O’Leary, Leeds never finished outside the top five — an impressive feat given the number of inexperienced players he had put faith in. But it was in Europe where they enjoyed their most memorable nights. In the manager’s first full season in charge, they reached the semi-finals of the Uefa Cup, before bowing out to a talented Galatasaray side that included Brazil’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper Taffarel as well as other top-class players at the time, including Gheorghe Popescu, Gheorghe Hagi, Emre Belozoglu and Hakan Sukur. The game, which the English side lost 4-2 on aggregate, was marred by off-field violence involving the two clubs’ fans.It was the Champions League during the following season, however, that was to provide O’Leary and his so-called ‘babies’ with their finest hour.With a team of individuals who were largely untried at that level, Leeds improbably managed to get all the way to the semi-finals of the competition. After beating 1860 Munich in the preliminary stages, they finished second to Milan in a group that also included Barcelona and Besiktas, before overcoming Deportivo 3-2 on aggregate in the quarter-finals.Eventually though, they were outclassed by a Valencia side that included world-class stars of the era, such as Pablo Aimar and Gaizka Mendieta.“We went to places like Milan. Barcelona,” O’Leary recalls. “And there were a group of lads, young lads, and they weren’t in awe when we went to warm up on the pitch and all that. They didn’t freeze over. They relished the occasion and went out and did their best.“We went on this adventure and ran into Valencia, who were a better team than us. They were probably more experienced in terms of how they could handle the occasion over two legs. We were so near and the same thing the year before in the [Uefa Cup]. We got to the semi-final, ran into a very good Galatasaray team, who over two legs had much more experience than us.” Disappointed Leeds United players Olivier Dacourt (l), Mark Viduka (c) and Rio Ferdinand (r) walk off the pitch following defeat to Valencia. Source: EMPICS SportWhat was special about that Leeds team also was the fact that it was one of the last great English sides to be filled with a solid core of British and Irish players, with Gary Kelly, Stephen McPhail and Ian Harte part of their squad. O’Leary had also bought Robbie Keane for £12 million from Inter in December 2000, though the Irish striker was ineligible for their Champions League run, as he had represented the Italian side in the competition earlier that season.Funny enough, I just spoke to Ian Harte a few weeks ago,” O’Leary says. “It was nice to hear from him again, but I’m planning to play a bit of golf with him soon, because I haven’t seen him in a while.“Stephen McPhail, a lovely midfield player, probably I don’t know the reasons after I left, he didn’t go on again. But he was a really good midfield player. Gary Kelly was a really good attacking full-back.“So there was a really good mixture of Irish lads there, which was great.“We had a really good group. Lee Bowyer was an outstanding midfield player in my time there. Mark Viduka was [excellent] up front at the time, we had a young Alan Smith. Jonathan Woodgate was special. He suffered with injuries throughout his career, but a fit Woodgate was an outstanding centre back.But the outstanding one of them all was Rio Ferdinand, without a doubt. He proved it. He went on, played for Man United and won loads of things with them. He was very classy and could have played for any team, he was that good.“One thing I do know about is centre-halves, and he was a top-class centre half. He went on to Manchester United and there was absolutely no doubt he was going to be outstanding for them.“He could handle the pressure, he was a top-class player, was good in the air, quick and great on the ground, could pass the ball, the right build, everything about him was classy.” Terry Venables replaced O’Leary as Leeds manager, but could not reverse the club’s decline. Source: Neal Simpson9. Falling slowlyUnfortunately, it was as good as it got for O’Leary and his side. Players such as Seth Johnson and Robbie Fowler were brought in for big money but struggled to justify their price tags. After spending close to £100 million on new players during his time in charge, a fifth-place finish, which meant no Champions League football, ultimately cost O’Leary his job.In the summer of 2002, the Irish coach was replaced as manager by Terry Venables. The club were by then in dire straits financially, as the heavy spending proved unsustainable, and they have not really recovered since. As it stands, they are battling to regain their place in the Premier League amid 13 seasons and counting out of the top flight.Primarily because of what happened afterwards and its inextricable links with the O’Leary era, recollections of that period tend to be bittersweet. The Irishman, however, can hardly be blamed for these off-field mishaps, and he says the fans at the club still treat him with great respect.“I go to the odd Leeds game now and I can’t believe how well received by the supporters [I am]. It amazes me [the esteem in which] you’re held by them, which I really appreciate.“They’re a team I look at and think hopefully they’ll come back up into the Premier League because for the city and for the Premier League, it would be great. They’re unique in a way that they’re not sharing the city with any other football club, so if a Leeds United is doing well, the whole city comes and watches it.”O’Leary has managed in the Premier League just once since then, taking over another club who have since fallen on hard times — Aston Villa.It started off well, with O’Leary guiding the club to a sixth-place finish in his first season there. Their form declined thereafter though, coming 10th the following season before finding themselves 16th at the culmination of the 2005-06 campaign. It was then that O’Leary was replaced as manager by O’Neill, nearly a decade after the Derry native had almost taken over from him at Leeds.While the Villa experience ended in disappointing fashion, O’Leary’s managerial record overall is not bad by any means. In seven seasons as a coach in the English top-flight, he has finished outside the top 10 just once. Given that he has not had a high-profile job in more than 10 years now, does he feel underappreciated to a degree?I don’t really know and to be perfectly honest, I don’t really care,” he says. “I know the record’s there and can’t be taken away from you.“That’s down to [other] people to judge. It’s the way it is, [but] the records don’t lie.” The entrance to Al Ahli Club, Dubai. Source: EMPICS Sport10. Arabian nightsNevertheless, he has landed one managerial role since Villa. In June 2010, he took charge of United Arab Emirates club Al-Ahli Dubai, where the players he worked with included legendary Italian World Cup-winning defender, Fabio Cannavaro.The experience ended badly. O’Leary was sacked less than 12 months into a three-year term. A dispute was eventually settled by Fifa’s players’ status committee in May 2013, when the former defender received over £3 million in compensation for the early termination of his contract.“It was a fantastic project, which really interested me, [offered by] a man who said that he’d heard I’d been good with young kids, developing them. He wanted to develop a club out there that if we developed it right, other clubs around UAE would copy it years after I’ve gone.“I went there with great intentions and a three-year project, and that’s the way it was sold. After a year, because of the people who he was working for, they grew impatient and I think they wanted ultimate success straight away, which was never going to happen.“I’d have loved to have stayed for the three years to see could we have laid down something for the future years, and that was a disappointment, but I actually enjoyed the adventure.“It was dealing with a completely different culture, different players, their mentality, and even the heat and playing games late at night that you’d never thought you’d dream [of playing]. You had to immerse yourself into all those ways.” The Arsenal team celebrate with the 1979 FA Cup: (back row, l-r) Steve Walford, David Price, Pat Jennings, Willie Young, Alan Sunderland, David O’Leary; (front row, l-r) Liam Brady, Pat Rice, Sammy Nelson, Brian Talbot, Frank Stapleton, Graham Rix. Source: EMPICS Sport11. The next chapterIt is coming up to seven years since O’Leary, who turns 60 in May, last worked as a manager. Could he ever see himself taking on such a challenge again?“I never had an agent, so I probably should have put myself out there much more, looking for jobs, but I’ve never ruled it out.“I have been approached for jobs, quietly I’ve turned them down, because I didn’t think they were the right ones for me“Some days you do miss it, some days you don’t miss the aggravation of it.I enjoy going to games now, I enjoy listening to the experts on TV — some are very good, some talk the biggest load of bunkum, they’re good wafflers, it sounds good on TV. You’d love them to put it into practicality, put them on a pitch, have 20 players, ‘you look after them,’ and say the same thing. But they’re good at talking a good game on the TV. There are other pundits who are excellent and know what they are talking about without a doubt.“But believe you me, there’s knowing what you’re talking about, but to actually be in charge of a group is a hard thing. Managing is a hard thing, without a doubt. It’s getting harder. The people who you work for are more demanding and it’s a massive results-business, because the money is just phenomenal in it now.”But even if O’Leary never takes charge of a club again, he can have few regrets about his time in football at the end of the day.“When I go to the stadium [the Emirates], they’ve put big things up for famous Arsenal players, there’s one there of myself, a massive mural and I think: ‘Jeez, I’d never think a lad from Dublin would have this,’ so you think: ‘I must have done alright.’”The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! By Paul Fennessylast_img read more

Poll Should Fine Gael consider going into power with Sinn Féin

first_img Share Tweet Email Saturday 28 Jan 2017, 9:31 AM Yes (3233) I’m not sure (609) 112 Comments THERE HAS BEEN much talk in recent days about a possible future coalition between Fine Gael and Sinn Féin.Taoiseach Enda Kenny recently refused to rule out going into government with Gerry Adams’ party, something he previously said would not happen.A number of media outlets are reporting the issue has caused a rift in Fine Gael, with some TDs and ministers rejecting the potential coalition.However, no one knows what will happen until after another general election – and who might change their minds.What do you think: Should Fine Gael consider going into power with Sinn Féin? Jan 28th 2017, 9:31 AM Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams and Taoiseach Enda Kenny Image: Julien Behall PA Archive/PA Images Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams and Taoiseach Enda Kenny No (6176) YesNoI’m not sureVote Poll Results: Poll: Should Fine Gael consider going into power with Sinn Féin? Taoiseach Enda Kenny recently refused to rule out such a coalition. 18,145 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: Julien Behall PA Archive/PA Images By Órla Ryan Short URLlast_img read more

My Ireland celebrates the underdog who pulled like a dog

first_img‘My Ireland celebrates the underdog who pulled like a dog’ Poet Stephen James Smith has written a poem for the upcoming St Patrick’s Day Festival which is being widely praised online 13 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article The stunning My Ireland, Stephen James Smith via @YouTube Celebrating the launch of @stpatricksfest 2017— Fiona Murphy (@FionaMSoprano) February 15, 2017 15,502 Views My Ireland celebrates the underdog who pulled like a dog. We’re not here to take part we’re here to take over. Source: Mags Browne/Twitter Source: Fiona Murphy/Twitter IRELAND IS DESCRIBED as having a sense of community that “isn’t ready to die” in a new video released by the St Patrick’s Festival in preparation for the upcoming celebrations.Stephen James Smith was commissioned to write the poem My Ireland for the festival, which he also narrated in the video.According to the St Patrick’s Festival 2017 the theme for this year’s celebrations is ‘Ireland You Are’ and Smith’s poem and video captures the ‘essence of Ireland You Are through, music and video’.Speaking about what inspired him to write the poem, Smith said: “I found trying to write a country a daunting task, I could feel the weight of history on my shoulders so I was aiming to be as broad as possible.“In focusing on My Ireland, it instantly became flawed as it’s only a perspective and I don’t have the right to speak for all, but it became more personal and that’s all I or anyone can do. It’s only a start, a prompt for others to say what their Ireland is. Maybe it’s more of a plea than a poem, for us to not resort to some reductive notion of Irishness but instead for us to not forget our common humanity. It’s a calling to listen while at the same time to be heard… so add your voice.”The video itself was produced by Myles O’Reilly with music produced by Conor O’Brien, of the Villagers, and Colm Mac Con Iomaire, from the Frames, and an original song from Eithne Ní Chatháin called Guí.The poem reflects on what makes Ireland unique – without ignoring some of the more unsavoury aspects of the country’s history. Feb 16th 2017, 1:55 PM By Ronan Smyth Image: St Patrick’s Festival Share Tweet Email1 Absolutely amazing @sjsWORDS “My Ireland should learn from its rivers and burst its banks…” #MyIreland— Graham Connors (@GrahamConnors) February 16, 2017 Short URL Source: Graham Connors/Twitter Irish friends and family: take 10 minutes, sit down with a cuppa and watch this… Trust me… #MyIreland— Mags Browne🔬🌍⚒️ (@MagsBrow) February 16, 2017 My Ireland, you are the Guilford Four, Rossport Five, Birmingham Six, travelling people and forgotten demographics.Smith describes the poem as ‘a plea’, a calling to move on and to remind ourselves of the humanity of the people of Ireland. Source: St Patrick’s Festival/YouTubeThe poem and the accompanying video has been met with praise. Smith is a poet based in Dublin and is best known for co-founding the Glor Sessions Music & Poetry and Lingo Festival, as well as for his work on the Dublin 2020 bid for the Capital of Culture.READ: This is the country with the worst broadband access in IrelandREAD: One concrete benefit of Brexit: The Passport Office is hiring extra staff My Ireland sees goodness in the kindness of its people everyday which bonds us just enough to get by Image: St Patrick’s Festival Thursday 16 Feb 2017, 1:55 PMlast_img read more

Naked people slaughter a sheep at Auschwitz death camp

first_img Short URL Mar 24th 2017, 8:09 PM Friday 24 Mar 2017, 8:09 PM Naked people slaughter a sheep at Auschwitz death camp Those involved have been detained. 45 Comments He added that “a knife was found at the scene”.Local police spokeswoman Malgorzata Jurecka told AFP that the individuals were being questioned at a police station and police officers were investigating onsite.She said they plan to inform prosecutors of the incident, adding that the people involved “will likely be charged with desecrating a monument or other historical site”.‘Shocked and outraged’“We’re shocked and outraged by this attempt to use this memorial site for a protest and which mars the memory of thousands of victims. It’s a reprehensible act,” museum spokesman Bartosz Bartyzel told AFP.“This is the first time something like this has happened at Auschwitz,” added museum director Piotr Cywinski.I have no idea what their motives were.Unconfirmed local media reports said the incident was intended as a protest against the armed conflict in Ukraine.Nazi Germany built the Auschwitz death camp after occupying Poland during World War II.The Holocaust site has become a symbol of Nazi Germany’s genocide of six million European Jews, one million of whom were killed at the camp from 1940 to 1945.Poland’s chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich said the actions of those involved were wrong, regardless of the group’s motives.Any use of Auschwitz for political statements, even using Auschwitz for moral statements, is not how Auschwitz should be remembered.“The Germans used Auschwitz to try to eliminate the Jewish people. Any happenings are a desecration of the memory of all those killed at Auschwitz, Jews, Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, Roma and others.”More than 100,000 non-Jews, including Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners of war and anti-Nazi resistance fighters also died at the death camp, according to the museum.An estimated 232,000 of Auschwitz’s victims were children.© – AFP 2017Read: Court clears the way for man with links to Islamic terrorism to be deported> Share21 Tweet Email2 center_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By AFP ELEVEN MEN AND women in their twenties slaughtered a sheep and took their clothes off at the former Nazi German death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau today, according to police and the museum at the site in southern Poland.The individuals aged 20 to 27, whose identities and motives are unknown, then chained themselves together in front of the camp’s infamous “Arbeit macht frei” (“Work makes you free”) gate, the museum said in a statement.Regional police spokesman Sebastian Glen said the seven men and four women draped a white banner with the red text “love” over the infamous gate.They also used a drone to film the incident, according to local media.Museum guards at the site in the southern city of Oswiecim immediately intervened, and police said all those involved have been detained.They include six Poles, four Belarusians and one German, according to Glen.We don’t know how and when the sheep was killed – whether it was killed on the spot, its throat slit, or whether the animal was brought over already dead. Image: DPA/PA Images Image: DPA/PA Images 33,219 Views last_img read more

Guaido supporters square up to Venezuelan police amid electricity blackout

first_imgToday, more than ever, we’re anti-imperialists. We will never surrender!‘Forceful response’The mounting political pressure comes as services slowly returned to normal in Caracas and the states of Miranda and Vargas, home to the country’s international airport and main port.“The US empire once again underestimates the conscience and determination of Venezuela’s people,” tweeted Maduro, who has not been seen in public since the blackout began late Thursday afternoon. Image: Eduardo Verdugo Mar 9th 2019, 6:10 PM 9,173 Views Share154 Tweet Email Saturday 9 Mar 2019, 6:10 PM 33 Comments Guaido supporters square up to Venezuelan police amid electricity blackout It’s not known what caused the blackout, which is one of the worst and longest in recent memory in Venezuela. Image: Eduardo Verdugo Short URL By AFP I assure them that every attempt at imperial aggression will be met with a forceful response from the patriots who love and valiantly defend our homeland.Who’s to blame?The western regions of Barinas, Tachira and Zulia remained without electricity while in other states the supply was proving unstable.It was one of the worst and longest blackouts in recent memory in Venezuela and paralyzed most of the country. Its cause is still unknown.Hospitals had reported terrible problems and those with generators were using them only in emergencies.Flights were canceled, leaving hundreds of travelers stranded at airports.The Caracas subway, which transports two million people a day, remained suspended early this morning and shops were closed, but internet and telecommunications services were returning to normal.“The problem is food, I’d bought meat and it’s going bad. I’m going to the march because we need change. We’re fed up,” Luis Alvarez, a 51-year-old truck driver, told AFP.Maduro had blamed the blackout on US sabotage and shut down offices and schools yesterday.Venezuela has suffered more than four years of recession that has seen poverty soar as citizens struggle with food and medicine shortages.Critics blame the government for failing to invest in maintaining the electrical grid, although the government often points the finger at external factors when the lights go out.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Maduro was wrong to blame the US or any other country for Venezuela’s woes.“Power shortages and starvation are the result of the Maduro regime’s incompetence,” he tweeted.- © AFP 2019   RIOT POLICE BLOCKED protesters as thousands of people took to the streets with tensions rising between opposition leader Juan Guaido and President Nicolas Maduro after crisis-wracked Venezuela emerged from the chaos of an electricity blackout.Both Guaido and Maduro, who are locked in a bitter power struggle for the right to lead the oil-rich South American nation, had asked their supporters to fill the streets of Caracas and other cities in rival demonstrations.“We want to march! Yes we can!” shouted opposition protesters as riot police prevented them from accessing the street in east Caracas where their demonstration was due to take place.Overnight, security services had stopped the opposition from setting up a stage in an avenue where their protest was due to take place.“They think they can scare us but they will get a surprise form the people in the street,” Guaido tweeted. University students walk to a meeting point for a march against the government of President Nicolas Maduro today. Source: AP/PA Images“They think they can wear us down, but there’s no way they can contain a population that has decided to end the usurpation,” added the leader of the opposition-controlled legislature, who is recognised as Venezuela’s interim president by more than 50 countries.Guaido is trying to force out Maduro – whose May re-election he deems illegitimate – in order to set up new elections. Ireland and other EU nations backed Guaido’s succession if it meant that fresh elections are called.Opposition lawmakers denounced the overnight arrest of three people who were setting up a stage at the opposition rally site. Maduro has asked his backers to march against “imperialism.”“We’re continuing the battle and victory over the permanent and brutal aggression against our people,” Maduro wrote on Twitter. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Opinion As a teacher should I encourage my students to strike against

first_img Father, teacher and author By Ronan Moore 74 Comments Share165 Tweet Email2 AS A TEACHER, father and aspirant politician, when I consider this week’s proposed school strike on global warming I face a dilemma: Am I letting my students down if I allow them to skip school or am I letting them down if I don’t encourage them to strike?For those who are not familiar with the planned ‘Schools Strike for Climate Action’ this Friday, it is a nationwide protest against the Government’s lack of action on climate change.Students from all over Ireland will take part in marches in Dublin and Cork as well as demonstrations outside school gates in counties from Kerry to Donegal.While there have been many days of protest across the country in recent years, from housing to health, this one is quite different.To begin with, this protest is led by secondary students and the Irish strike is part of a growing international movement.This is the latest of a series of school-student-led protests, strikes and demonstrations that began on 20 of August 2018 when 15-year old Swedish student, Greta Thunberg, decided to skip school and protest outside the Swedish parliament due to its inaction on global warming.That first Friday Thunberg spent alone with a hand-painted banner that read: ‘skolstrejk för klimatet’ : ‘school strike for climate’. On the second day, people started to join her and she hasn’t been alone since. This Friday she will be joined by students in more than 700 locations across 71 different countries.The second difference is the strength of the message that this remarkable young woman has brought forward.Thunberg’s message, which she has delivered passionately in front of audiences ranging from school children to billionaires at Davos, is emphatic, unequivocal and damning.The world, the biosphere, the planet is dying. Our house is on fire. This young lady does not mince her words, firing daggers of truth at the world’s governments and business leaders: Mar 13th 2019, 7:01 AM You are not mature enough to tell it like it is, even that burden you leave to us children.“You say you love your children above all else yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes,” she says. I don’t want you to be hopeful, I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day and then I want you to act.These are uncomfortable truths for all of us – especially coming from a child as she describes herself.But looking at the latest figures from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) we need to start listening to these kids. According to the latest IPCC climate change report, published in October 2018, the world’s leading climate scientists have warned there are only a dozen years left for global warming to be kept under 1.5C.Any further rises beyond that will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.The final reason that this protest is different and has the potential to become truly meteoric is that it contains an action that may prove especially popular with the average student – skipping school.If all this does not yet strike fear into the heart of politicians, principals or parents then they probably still don’t fully understand the power of the internet and social media.This cluster of protests is close to tipping point, close to becoming an all-encompassing international movement, that each new protester, each hashtag, each video that goes viral helps to accelerate forward.And this is where I become torn. The strikes have begun gaining momentum in other countries as a regular ‘Friday for Futures’ event.   Do I want to see this happen here? Of course, I don’t want my students to begin skipping classes and falling behind. But what is the point of teaching them algebra or Shakespeare if they face a future of total climate chaos when they are older?Shouldn’t we be encouraging them to make their voices heard on such a serious issue as a route to become active citizens?The sad truth is that we actually need this push from the children to do something – because so far we really haven’t pushed ourselves.I sometimes show the 1997 Oscar-winning film ‘Good Will Hunting’ to my students.I tie in a whole host of themes into it but at the heart of my choice is that I think it is a beautiful film that resonates with young people – a story of redemption, of love, of forgiveness, and of friendship.There is a moment in the film when Matt Damon’s character’s childhood friend Chuckie tells him that his favourite part of the day is when he arrives at Matt’s house to pick him up for another dead-end day of menial labour.He always hopes that his friend will have packed up and gone. Gone to a better life than the one that Chuckie and his other friends are destined to fulfil.There is a part of me that has begun hoping that I will turn up one Friday morning with my Hamlet, my French Revolution and my Sylvia Plath prepared but my students won’t be there anymore.Instead, they’ll realise that safeguarding our planet is the most important job they may ever have.They might be able to live with the consequences of skipping school – but none of us will survive the consequences of destroying our planet.Ronan Moore is a secondary school teacher, author and he will run in the local elections as a Social Democrat candidate in Co Meath.center_img Ronan Moore 14,415 Views Wednesday 13 Mar 2019, 7:00 AM Opinion: As a teacher should I encourage my students to strike against climate change? Part of me has begun hoping that I’ll turn up one morning with my Hamlet and Sylvia Plath prepared but my students won’t be there anymore, writes Ronan Moore. 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A onetime world champion Irish prodigys descent into hell and back

first_img Kate Veale of West Waterford AC pictured competing at Irish Life Health National Senior Indoor Championships. Kate Veale of West Waterford AC pictured competing at Irish Life Health National Senior Indoor Championships. Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO 60,824 Views Short URL Sunday 24 Mar 2019, 10:00 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article He’d be getting up at 8am on a Sunday morning to go off and do 25-mile runs, it was just normal. Just going to races and all that, it was always around me I suppose. It’s gas having that in the house, it’s not like it was pushed on you, it was just what you wanted to do. You just follow on.”It soon became apparent that like her father, Veale had a passion for running. She took up cross country in her school, St Augustine’s College, and quickly excelled. “My first major race was a cross-country race in Paris in 2005 that I won,” she recalls. “It was then that I said ‘I really want to have a proper go at this and get to an Olympics.’”However, fate would take Veale in a different direction ultimately.“It was the East Munster’s or something. Someone said: ‘Can you just step in there for the walk for points with the school?’ My main event really was the 1500 on the track. I stepped in for the walk. I got a bit of flair for the technique. I started training. So I was doing both [racewalking and cross country]. At U18, I won the national cross country and I went to the European Junior Cross Country in 2011.“At the time, I was trying to do both and then I made a decision to go with walking — I had more opportunities and stuff, so I decided then to make a proper go of it.”Around the time of the 2004 Olympics, Veale was left feeling inspired after Irish racewalking star Rob Heffernan paid a visit to her club. And having crossed paths with an elite athlete, Veale then endeavoured to become one.“I was a bit of a freak,” she says of her early school days. “I was starting to get serious with running and I was kind of mature for my age. I had this mindset that I was different from the rest of the people in my class. The likes of my parents and coaches would have seen that I was different. I would have done extra training and I would have been very particular about everything.“Before my time, I was looking up stuff about the science [behind sport]. I suppose some people might have thought I was a bit of a weirdo.” Olive Loughnane trained with a young Veale. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHOIt was fourth year of secondary school when she felt racewalking started to get really serious. By then, Veale was being coached by Jamie Costin, spending considerable time away from school and even attending a training camp in Spain with the likes of Heffernan and Olive Loughnane.“Just seeing them, I really wanted to be one of them,” Veale recalls. “I was trying to be one of them, but it was before my time. I was trying to push my body. Back then, I was naive. I was on an upward slope, I was getting PBs all the time, improving all the time. I was doing everything right, I was in my bubble and this was my life, and this was all I wanted.“Fourth year, I would have gone to Russia, to European Youths and the Youth Olympics. I was getting all the national records, 15 up to junior, same with all the school records. Every time I went out, I was beating my own records. I was improving all the time. In fifth year, I would have won the World Youths really convincingly. It was funny, I finished that race and I wanted in my age to be the best in the world and I just felt so much confidence, because it was quite easy.“I would have felt I could have taken on anyone at that stage. But people would have said it and I would have believed it — I’d be like ‘I’m going to get an Olympic medal. I’m going to do this. It’s just going to improve, it’s going to get better, I’m so excited.’”Veale also excelled academically. She can’t remember her exact results, but the talented athlete received mostly As and got close to 600 points in the Leaving Cert.I was a perfectionist and liked people being like: ‘Oh, Kate’s this and Kate’s that’ — thinking that I could do it all.”It felt as if Veale’s meteoric rise would never abate, but she was about to come cruelly crashing down to earth.“That year, things started changing. I got a bit of a hip injury. It was the first time I had anything major. I would have had niggles, but it was the first time I started not improving and not being able to do the training and that was frustrating me.“When I tried to come back, my coach, who was fantastic, was being so careful with me and I wasn’t even listening to him. I would say ‘I’m after missing training the last few days, so I’m just going to do extra training now.’ It was never getting better, it was a vicious cycle. The more training I was doing, the worse I was getting.“I went to the Youth World Cup, I finished sixth and it was kind of like: ‘Aw look, that’s just the injury, I’ll get over it and I’ll come back with World Juniors.’“I had access to Rob and Olive and everyone, but if things weren’t going well, I wouldn’t admit it to anyone. I was faking things: ‘It’s fine, I’ll be able to do it.’ I wouldn’t turn to anyone and was thinking it would always be okay. I did [the World Juniors] race and finished 17th, coming from first the year before, to being lapped and [getting a time] that I would have easily beaten 12 months previously.”Having started out with physical issues, Veale’s problems primarily became psychological thereafter.I didn’t want to be anything other than an athlete and when I wasn’t, I felt so [lacking in identity],” she explains. “I was known as the athlete in town. Everyone knew of me around the place. I kind of liked that and I wanted to be that. When I finished 17th, then it was more mentally [I was affected], because I knew I wasn’t improving.“The training got worse, and I kind of just hated the sport then, because I had a bad attitude to it, it was very black and white. If I can’t win and I can’t be the best, I’m not doing this.“Mentally, it was just draining, and I suppose I was kind of burnt out. I didn’t have anyone pushing me. Someone said to me, ‘you are burnt out’ and they would have asked about my training or coach or family. It was nothing to do with any of them, it was me.”Having become disillusioned, Veale stopped competing entirely. She went to Dublin City University to study Sports Science and Health in what was the beginning of a hugely difficult and challenging time in her life. The former starlet could only watch on as many of those she had competed against continued to make waves, competing in the Olympics and other illustrious events.“I felt like a failure,” she says. “So many people had invested so much effort and I felt like I’d let them down, thinking: ‘I should be that. I could be that.’” Brian Gregan, Under 23 400m, Derval O’Rourke, 100m Hurdles, European Silver Medalist and Kate Veale, World Youth 5Km Walk Champion pictured in 2011. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHOAs she struggled to leave her sporting past behind, Veale’s mental health deteriorated.“That was the hard thing back then — it wasn’t me. People were worried about me, my family, my friends, they knew I was different. I was absolutely broken… At the time, you think you’re the only one going through it.“I can’t even count how many people and how many different therapies and treatments I’ve been through. One of them eventually has to click I suppose. I’ve been through enough.“People would think: ‘Oh, that’s it for me.’ It was such a rollercoaster. All the time, two steps forward, two steps back. It was so up and down and I was not giving up, even though there’d be days where you’re thinking: ‘My biology or genetics is just like this now, and I can’t do anything about it. This is just me and I won’t be able to be happy, I suppose.’  The funny thing is people don’t even know and they’d never think it about me. They were always like: ‘How do you do it all? I wouldn’t have the [motivation] the way you have.’ Back then, people knew me as the athlete and the person that trained all the time. They’d see me out in any type of weather and not out drinking, so I was kind of different. I wanted to be that person: ‘I’m tough, I’m strong.’ Holding up this ego or something.“So when the wheels started to come off, it was a big downward spiral. But you don’t give into it. I thought: ‘I’m mentally strong.’ My mind is my greatest advantage and my greatest disadvantage in a sense. I feel I got to the absolute top and I hit rock bottom.“It got so bad. I was still lying to people, but they knew. There had to be intervention even though I was like: ‘No, it’s fine.’ It actually got to a stage where I gave into it and I was like: ‘Yeah, I do need this and I do need help.’“It was going on for so long and I was hiding it and I was so good at hiding it. I put on this brave face — I’m just doing this and pretending to my coach, and my coach even knew.“It was funny, I never would cry ever. It was such a difficult moment — I remember being out with my coach training. He knew [something was wrong from] the way I was training. I just stopped training and started crying, and he gave me a hug. I was so embarrassed because: ‘I’m tough and I’m able to [deal with adversity].’ It was me that drove me to have this burnout. It was: ‘I can’t be feeling like this. I’m not this person, just get on with it’– that old-school mentality. ‘Stop being weak. Stop being such a sissy.’It’s actually the first time I’ve said it out properly as well, but if I can help one person [it will be worth it]. My friends at home even, if they see this, they’ll be like: ‘Really?’ Because I would have lied to them. They would have thought I was the strongest of the group or whatever.“It was so bad that I remember my mam making me go to a counsellor. I went into them and they did an assessment with me. It was: ‘Oh, we’re sending you straight to hospital.’ I was like: ‘What? I thought it wasn’t that bad.’ And that’s how bad it got.“I lied to people at home telling them I was at college. Because it was like: ‘No one can know I’m in here.’ You’re so ashamed.“After that, I came out of there and it still wasn’t right. They wanted to admit me again. It’s not a six-week programme and you’re better. It’s something you have to work on all the time.” Kate Veale pictured in 2011 at the European Cross Country Championships. Source: Sasa Pahic SzaboVeale’s depression was at its most intense between 2012 and 2014. Having sought professional help, the youngster gradually started to feel better to the extent that she decided to return to training, but fate intervened again.“I started coming back, doing little bits in the gym and I was out running and stuff. I had only done about 5k and I was getting sick after sessions. ‘What the hell?’ I was like: ‘It must be a fever.’ Then I found out I was pregnant.“I was thinking: ‘How can I deal with this? I can’t look after myself.’“I had a baby and people would have thought: ‘Oh, sure she won’t finish college now and she won’t get back into athletics. It was like: ‘No.’”Rather than ending her sporting ambitions, the birth of Fianna in 2015 ultimately made Veale more determined to succeed.“It made me accepting and it made me better myself and it made me strong. I thought: ‘I’m actually going to be a better person.’ “It was kind of a moment that made me… People say: ‘You have a kid now, it’s different.’ Yeah, it’s different for me, but does it mean I’m not going to the Olympics?It’s funny because I see that and I want to show [my daughter] what I can do. Having an unplanned pregnancy — sometimes things are just meant to be in your life. You deal with it and you become a better person and your life is better for it.” Her early attempts at a return in 2016 were tentative.“I came back, just doing a bit of running for fun. I thought: ‘Do you know what? I’m going to do a road race. And if I do it in this time, so what?’ I trained with my dad. It was lovely. I did the Dublin Marathon with him. I got that love of sport back.“I didn’t really commit to any proper training. I was just enjoying it and doing bits and pieces. Last year, I came back and was doing a lot of my own stuff. I didn’t want coaching, because I felt really bad with someone putting work into me again when I’m not at the top. I felt ‘I’m not worthy to be getting a coach. I’m not going to be winning a medal, I’ll do my own coaching.’” Brendan Boyce helped convince Veale to link up with a coach after her return to racewalking. Source: Ian MacNicol/INPHOHowever, Veale got chatting to Irish Olympian Brendan Boyce, who convinced her to appoint a coach. So well over a decade on from that fateful first meeting in the local club in Waterford, Heffernan agreed to link up with the rejuvenated racewalker.“I just appreciate what he’s doing, because never mind the athletes not getting any money, he’s not getting anything and I know there’s a coach over in China getting nearly a million a year and there are other coaches on proper salaries. For him to put the effort in and not be getting anything back, it’s [admirable]. He has the faith in me and he actually said: ‘No, you can do this and your journey is going to be good and you are going to be great again.’“I’ve learned so much from him. When we’re not training, then we chill. It’s about recovery.“Before I’d be switched on all the time and so particular about everything. But I was freaking out about it and thinking it was a disaster.I would have been very black and white before, things had to be perfect. Now it’s like: ‘There are going to be rough days and awful times.’“The Olympic qualifications came out last week and I was freaking out and Rob says: ‘Calm down, all you can do is get out, do this session and walk today.’”And Veale has made encouraging progress since returning, winning gold at the National 20k Championships last December among other impressive feats.At the moment, she is balancing life as an athlete with primary school teaching.“I think no matter what field you’re in: work, music or art, you can learn something from everybody. The kids say stuff and you learn from it. The other day, they were asked: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ A load of them were saying soccer players. One of them just said: ‘I just want a simple life, because that’s a happy life.’ It was like: ‘My God.’”However, Veale will soon put everything else aside and switch to full-time training. Events such as the European Cup and the World University Games are on the horizon, while the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is less than 500 days away. To secure qualification, Veale will need to be ranked among the world’s top 60. I’m definitely not where I was before and where I want to be,” she says. “I still have a hip issue going on that I had before, so that’s probably my major concern at the moment, getting that right. That’s a big thing for me. When I got pregnant, it made it worse again. It’s just one of those things I have to manage.“Winning a national title, it’s brilliant, you can never take it for granted. But I want to see the bigger picture. I don’t want to just win a national title. The Olympics are the pinnacle of what we’re all aiming for next year. In the meantime, we have a lot of big races coming up before then.“Rob was 35 winning World Championships. Olive Loughnane was 31 at her best when she won in Berlin. So I am lucky that I have time on my side.”   Veale is now being coached by Olympic medallist Rob Heffernan. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHOThe life of an elite athlete is rarely straightforward though. To pursue her dream, Veale needs to make a number of sacrifices and must also rely heavily on the support of others.“I still live with my parents. Athletics isn’t a sport where you’re going to get a lot of money unless you’re at the very top, and now that I’m climbing to the top, if I wasn’t living at home, I’d be lost. I’m just literally in from training now and my dad was out on the bike with me, so he was doing my gels, my drinks, my timing and keeping the wind off me. I got too hot then, I had to take off my jacket and my headband, so it’s doing so many different things at once. And listening to me cursing when the session gets hard and having to deal with me.“There are times after training like the other day, I came in, I had a hard session and just took off my gear. I threw everything onto the floor and literally just went to bed. I didn’t have the energy to pick up my gear, so my poor mother had to deal with that as well.”Fianna, meanwhile, is now four years old and unsurprisingly, is already looking like following in her mother’s footsteps.I’m not even asking or telling her to do anything, but I come in and she’s like: ‘I want to do my training now.’ So it’s out on the road with her and run a bit and come back. Or she’s copying me doing my stretches and exercises. It’s just [repeating] what they see obviously. It’s gas how it’s happening again [like it did with my dad and me].”Veale says her mental health remains a work in progress. The West Waterford AC athlete continues to regularly see a sports psychologist. She acknowledges her message of “it’s okay not to feel okay” may sound “cheesy” or cliched, but that should not detract from its importance.“I’m a deep thinker I suppose and now that I’ve come out the other end, I just want people to know that they can [get better]. I would have thought I’m never going to come out of this stage. Even in terms of a career, I thought I won’t even get a job, I won’t do athletics, I’ll just be this person in hospital for the rest of my life. It’s not that way at all now, it’s really not.“Rob even, I would have thought he was so hardy and never went through any shit. Now I know he did and everyone has.  “It’s okay to ask for help and it will be normal to go through the hard times. [Success] doesn’t keep going up and up. When you have the adversity and the bad days, it’s about getting over those things and simply expecting them.” Veale is hoping to represent Ireland at the 2020 Olympics.Statistics have shown that Irish people tend to drop out of their chosen sport in their late teens at an alarming rate amid the transition from school to college, and these figures relate particularly to females. For a long time, it seemed as if Veale too would succumb to this unfortunate trend.“In Ireland, the culture we have, you’re thinking you’re missing out on parties and college life. I would have used drink as a crutch. You feel alright for the night and then you’re back to the way you were feeling again the next day with depression, anxiety and stuff.“Being fit, powerful, putting your body on the line and being out there, pushing yourself to the limit, there’s no better feeling.I want to get to the next Olympics and will try as hard as I can, but I’m going to enjoy this journey and take the risk and what happens happens.“It’s exciting. It’s like there’s joy in misery and pain and suffering. It’s finding what’s worth suffering for. And we all have something — it could be music or art or whatever.“There’ll be a good few shocked friends [reading this article], but that’s good, because it’s real and it helps people in this fake [social media] world.“Someone was messing with me recently saying: ‘Wouldn’t you love to just be a simple girl who is happy with their normal life?’ They probably are the happiest and they don’t even think about these things. A lot of the time, it’s people who are striving to be successful [who are at risk of depression]. And in the end, they’re the ones that will suffer, the ones that are putting the pressure on themselves and who have that mindset.“I wouldn’t be the fittest-looking on the start line, but that soul and heart and passion, when I get that mindset, I’m just so driven and dogged. It’s funny how your mind can be your greatest thing ever, and also your worst thing. So it’s about getting that balance.”Need help? Support is available:Samaritans 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.ieAware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)Pieta House 1800 247 247 or email (suicide, self-harm)Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)Murray Kinsella and Andy Dunne dissect Ireland’s disappointing Six Nations campaign, and discuss the pros and cons of rugby’s new law proposals in the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly: AT 25, IT already feels as if Kate Veale’s life could be a movie script, albeit one still awaiting the classic Hollywood ending.The Waterford native was an immensely gifted athlete who at one stage appeared to have a genuine chance of winning an Olympic medal. And then, all of a sudden, she disappeared, going completely off the radar. So what happened?To understand her story, it is necessary to go back to her life growing up. An only child, her parents were a big influence. Both were involved in athletics to an extent, particularly her father, who ran regularly, competing in marathons, with a Personal Best in the 2.40s.“He always had this passion,” Veale explains. “He never got to international or whatever. It was just out running every day for the enjoyment. Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO By Paul Fennessy A one-time world champion Irish prodigy’s descent into hell and back Irish racewalker Kate Veale reflects on a difficult few years. 9 Comments Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloudSubscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here: Share2268 Tweet Email6 Subscribe Mar 24th 2019, 10:00 AM last_img read more

These amazing photos are up for the National Geographic Travel Photo Contest

first_img ONE OF THE world’s foremost travel and cultural magazines has published some of the latest nominees for its annual photography award.  The 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo Contest is well underway under three categories – Nature, People and Cities.The contest is accepting entries from 18 March to 3 May and National Geographic is publishing weekly images that will be considered for the winning prize.As well a cash prize of $7,500 and the prestigious title, the winning photo will also be featured on the @NatGeoTravel Instagram account.To enter the contest, entrants must join National Geographic’s online photo community, Your Shot.Here are some more entries revealed this week across the three categories:Cities Source: Toby HarrimanHong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with an overall density of an estimated 6,300 people per square kilometre. By Rónán Duffy These amazing photos are up for the National Geographic Travel Photo Contest The contest carries a $7,500 first prize. Sunday 7 Apr 2019, 9:01 PM 36,449 Views Source: Abhishek SabbarwalThis was my first ever hike to taft point in Yosemite National Park. I had seen so many beautiful pictures of this location before. After reaching the point, I saw these slackliners. It was amazing to watch these guys over the high cliffs.  Source: Naveen SrikantachariIt took over three years to find the photo. I love everything about this picture—a prowling leopardess, a beautiful tree with the white flowers, soft sunlight—it was just a perfect setting, like a dream. 19 Comments Share8 Tweet Email6 Source: Azim Khan Ronnie/National Geographic500 enormous vessels being built or docked for maintenance work in Dhaka, Bangladesh.center_img Source: Tong SonThe Forest Walk is part of 10 kilometers of trails connecting four parks in Singapore. Source: Aya OkawaA Honolulu neighborhood at sunset. Source: Enrico PescantiniPetra is a 2,000-year-old city, carved in the rocks of Jordan.Nature Source: Clive BeavisLucky for me, a young southern fur seal decided to chase a group of Gentoos—right towards our Zodiac. It even has its mouth wide open to add to the drama. Right place, right time for the shot. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Apr 7th 2019, 9:02 PM Short URL Source: Xjilien TanA picture of my team on the glacier of Amphu Lapcha Pass during my Three Peaks Expedition.People Source: Francesco Riccado IacominoThe white Camargue horses are living in the wild, but are being guarded and managed by the “guardians,” French Cowboys.last_img read more

Mark Bouris A new path out of interest rates

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The heat from the banks’ extra mortgage rate rises doesn’t seem to have cooled in the space of a week. People are still angry and hurt: I guess having come through the pain of the Global Financial Crisis, only to have the banks lifting home loan rates higher than the Reserve Bank is raising them, is tough.People are still angry and hurt: I guess having come through the pain of the Global Financial Crisis, only to have the banks lifting home loan rates higher than the Reserve Bank is raising them, is tough. My response is to avoid the hysteria surrounding this issue and do what you can do: and that means taking action. I have spoken about this before, but I can now add an extra step to my four-point action plan. The first step is to become an expert on the current rate you’re paying – get the real figure. Secondly, become an expert on the home loan market. Find the best rate in the market and find out exactly what your exit fee will be. Then – thirdly – it’s time to negotiate with your current lender: ask if they can match the new offer. Four: time to act. If your lender doesn’t want to compete for your business, and it’s beneficial to borrow from another lender, then it’s time to move. The fifth step is an investment in yourself. It involves you taking the money you save on securing a cheaper home loan and investing it in your superannuation. Before you wave that away as being unexciting, remember, self-funded retirement is now our personal responsibility. So the more you can put into a super fund now, the more you can take out later. Let’s say you can save $100 a month by going to a cheaper home loan lender. I propose you put that into your super. It doesn’t seem a lot but that’s $1200 a year and if you’re in a fund that’s returning an average 6.5 per cent over the long term, the compound effect is going to turn that money into something big over twenty or thirty years. Have a look at an online super calculator – see what happens when you earn interest on the interest.  Super shouldn’t be seen as a hindrance. It is heavily regulated by Canberra so its rules are very clear; it also has significant tax advantages that mean the savings can accumulate faster and the lump sum will be tax-free under certain conditions. And when you take it out, it can be rolled into an income product that pays you a monthly amount while the capital continues to work. When you include the cost-effective life insurance options, and the extraordinary choice of investments that most super funds offer, it’s a good way to save for retirement. Lastly, super is compulsory. So if you have to be in it anyway, why not give it a boost… from the money you’re not paying to the bank?last_img read more

Xenophon raises stakes in pokie debate

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Licensed clubs have offered to back a trial of compulsory betting controls for poker machines, after evidence surfaced this week suggesting clubs have exaggerated the likely financial losses caused by the government’s proposed reforms. After months of opposition to the prospect of mandatory measures to limit how much a player can lose on poker machines, Clubs Australia announced this week that it had written to the Federal government offering to support a trial of compulsory pre-set betting limits on pokies. Clubs Australia’s move follows the disclosure of an estimate by Clubs Training Australia in July that the drop in gaming revenues from the measures would be 10-20 per cent, which is half the figure announced previously by Clubs Australia. However, such a trial may be a stalling tactic, Independent Senator Nick Xenophon said. Senator Xenophon, who has been a vocal supporter of government reforms to protect problem gamblers, says he has no issue with a trial to look at the technical aspects of the proposed reforms, but that he queries the credibility of Clubs Australia. He described the disclosure of the lower projection for losses to be incurred by pokie machine operators as evidence of “a deliberately dishonest campaign of misinformation about poker machine reforms”. Minister for Family and Community Services, Jenny Macklin, said the government was interested in a trial before the mandatory pre-commitment system was implemented in 2014, as required under the agreement with the MP Andrew Wilkie. The Tasmanian independent senator indicated this week his preference for poker machine reform to be led by low-impact $1 poker machines (which limits gamblers to a maximum loss of $120 per hour), rather than the more complicated mandatory pre-commitment package currently proposed by the government. Mandatory pre-commitment means pokie players must set their own daily limit – a maximum amount they are prepared to lose for the day – before they start gambling. Senator Xenophon described ploys by clubs to get around the proposed restrictions on the use of ATMs at pokie venues, such as parking trailer-mounted ATMs outside clubs, in order to overcome a proposed $250 withdrawal limit inside, as “sick and cynical”.last_img read more

Royal Easter Show From Sydney to the World

first_imgThe Royal Easter Show in Sydney is aiming for the international market, after announcing last week the largest ever tourism and events support packages. In the past, the event has been marketed in Hong Kong, but MSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events George Souris announced organisers will be tackling the “enormous China market as well as Korea, working in conjunction with Virgin Atlantic. Partners include Air Aisa, China Southern and Qantas Holidays.To help entice Asian markets, the event has invited 35 key tourism trade representatives from China, Hong Kong, and Korea. Venues will include Chinese singage and Mandarin brochures and translations will be provided on Brochures and the event’s website. “Destination NSW market research shows that the Sydney Royal Easter Show is one of Australia’s largest annual events and is the most liked event on the NSW Events Calendar. It also came out on top in terms of the highest awareness of any event on the Calendar, even higher that Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations,” Mr Souris said.Mr Souris added the Royal Easter Show is the perfect event to attract visitors interested in sampling the “essence of Australian life in the heart of Sydney”. “With an assortment of 14,000 best in breed farm animals, arts and craft, cookery and traditional events such as the wood chopping, 300 show bags from which to choose and world class food exhibits, the Show has something for everyone.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Greek farright leader savors electoral success

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram reece’s extreme-right Golden Dawn party savored unprecedented success in Sunday’s general election by promising to rid Greece of illegal immigrants, branding journalists “liars” and warning all “traitors” to run scared.Little more than an obscure fringe group barely a year ago, the party is set to blow past estimates and enter parliament for the first time with as much as 8 percent of the vote.That would make the group – which denies it is neo-Nazi – one of the biggest winners in an election where the main conservative and Socialist parties are taking a drubbing over their support for a bailout tied to austerity measures.Flanked by burly, muscular men in tight black t-shirts, Golden Dawn leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos marched down the street in Athens yelling “liars” and “you must be ashamed for all your lies!» at foreign journalists following him.“Greece is only the beginning,” he shouted at them. When asked what that meant, he said: “You know very well,” wagging a finger at the television camera.As they strode to the hotel, his supporters began chanting “Greece belongs to Greeks” and “Foreigners get out of Greece.”When asked what his first action in parliament would be, Mihaloliakos said: “All the illegal immigration out! Out of my country, out of my home!”Asked how he planned to carry that out, he angrily said: “Use your imagination.”As he entered the news conference, party members ordered assembled journalists to stand to attention. His party’s flag – featuring an ancient Greek symbol resembling the Nazi swastika set against a red background – hung in the background.“I’ll say one thing: ‘Veni, Vidi, Vici’,” Mihaloliakos said from the podium, surrounded by his bodyguards sitting motionless with their arms crossed.“You defamed me, you shut my mouth – I won.”With 63 percent of the vote counted, Golden Dawn had nabbed a 6.9 percent share, potentially giving it 21 deputies in parliament, making it the first time such a party would be in parliament since the fall of a military dictatorship in 1974.In the last election, it took just 0.23 percent of the vote.Pledging to “clean up” Greece by expelling all legal and illegal immigrants, the party has won voters worried about rising crime levels at a time of deep recession.The group has also developed a benevolent image in some Athens’ neighborhoods by dropping off food to needy families and escorting elderly residents to bank ATMs.“We will continue our struggle for a free Greece, free from foreign loan sharks and a Greece that is independent and proud, without the slavery of the bailout,” said Mihaloliakos, who was elected to the Athens city council in 2010.He promptly gave the Nazi salute on his first appearance there.“We will struggle for a Greece that is not a social jungle because of the millions of immigrants they brought here without asking us,” he said.The group – which openly displays books on Aryan supremacy at its party offices – has been frequently linked to racist attacks, but denies beating up migrants.“This victory is devoted to all the brave boys with the black T-shirts and the white letters reading Golden Dawn,” Mihaloliakos said. “Those who betrayed the motherland – you should be scared now.”Source: Reuterslast_img read more

Talks go down to the wire

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and his team continued their grueling talks with the troika over the weekend in a bid to finally hammer out an agreement on a 13.5-billion-euro austerity package ahead of a European Union leaders’ summit on Thursday. Apart from the contents of the painful new package, the two sides also have to agree on a set of so-called prior actions being demanded by the troika. These chiefly comprise structural reforms that have been pledged to foreign creditors but have yet to be implemented, such as the opening up of closed professions and the deregulation of energy and fuel markets. The prior actions also reportedly include an overhaul of the labor sector, including new regulations reducing by 30 percent the amount of compensation employers are obliged to give dismissed staff and the introduction of a six-day working week, as well as new rules for calculating the minimum wage. It is expected that the troika will insist on 9 billion euros in measures being implemented next year, as opposed to the 7.8 billion euros foreseen in the draft budget, changes that will need to be included in the final budget for 2013, expected to be submitted in Parliament in early November.According to sources, the troika will seek the signature not only of Stournaras and the coalition leaders but also of the governor of the Bank of Greece, Giorgos Provopoulos. Once Stournaras has the outlines of an agreement with the troika, this will be put to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his coalition partners, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left chief Fotis Kouvelis, for approval. The aim is for the PM to go to the EU summit on Thursday with some kind of deal to show his peers. On Saturday German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she believed Greece had make progress in implementing reforms, albeit less quickly than expected, and that the country should be given some slack. In her weekly podcast, Merkel said Greece’s progress had been slower than hoped for but added, “On this matter we should always give Greece another chance.” Her comments were interpreted as a shift by Germany toward showing more patience for Greece amid calls from International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde to give Athens two more years to meet targets. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who said last week no decisions should be taken before the troika issued its report on Greece, on Saturday rebuffed speculations about a rift with the IMF. Source: Kathimerinilast_img read more

Milk bar Greek legacy explored

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Professor Leonard Janiszewski will be giving a lecture exploring the Greek Australian history of the milk bar. The first milk bars originated in Sydney in 1932 as the brainchild of a Greek known as Mick Adams (Joachim Tavlaridis) – not in the United States as many people believe. When Adams’ milk bar, the Black and White, opened it attracted over 27,000 customers in the first week alone, causing traffic chaos on the old Martin Place road. Professor Janiszewski’s lecture will also feature a number of historical and contemporary photos alongside documentary photographer Effy Alexakis work. The two have been working on an ongoing project entitled ‘In their own image’, that catalogues Greek Australian content including photos, interviews and memorabilia. The lecture, entitled ‘Shakin’ the world over: The Greek Australian milk bar’ will be held on Tuesday 23 July, 12.30 pm – 1.30 pm at Mitchell Theatre in the Sydney Mechanic’s School of Arts, Level 1, 280 Pitt Street. The event is free.last_img read more

Investigation reopened into missing street children

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A prosecutor has ordered a fresh criminal investigation into the fate of 502 children who are alleged to have gone missing from state care from 1998 to 2002. Between 1998 and 2002, the children, who were mostly Albanian Roma, were arrested by the authorities for begging and taken to the Ayia Varvara children’s home, in Nea Smyrni, Athens. They were never repatriated to Albania as planned because soon after their registration at the home, they went missing. Following renewed media interest in the case of the so-called ‘traffic light kids’, Panayiota Fakou, the chief prosecutor at Athens first instance court, ordered that the investigation be reopened into what happened to the children, all of whom were under 14. That investigation failed to identify what had happened the children. In 2005, the special rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography of the UN’s Commission on Human Rights, Juan Miguel Petit, reported specifically on this case. Last year, four Greek and Albanian nongovernmental organisations published a report into the missing children, calling for the ombudsmen in both countries to coordinate their efforts into case. They also called on the Greek judicial authorities “to complete in a thorough and effective manner the pending criminal investigation for abduction of children younger than 14 years before charges become time-barred in 2013”. Source: enetenglishlast_img read more

Globe desperately seeking new home

first_imgBeen wondering how to fill that large empty space in your office lobby? Look no further.Artist Costas Theoharidis is desperately seeking any interested parties who would like to display his piece of artwork, after Toyota’s headquarters in Melbourne aren’t able to keep it on display anymore. The sculpture, a steel globe measuring two metres wide, has been on display at the art space in the building’s lobby for about two months, but Costa has been told it will need to be moved in the next couple of days to make room for more artwork.A representative of the Toyota head office told Neos Kosmos that no artist’s work is permanently exhibited.“It’s one of 50 exhibited in our gallery show,” Toyota’s representative said. Each piece of artwork is exhibited for three months, after which if the artwork hasn’t been sold, it will go directly back to the artist.Now Costa is facing the prospect of destroying the artwork if he can’t find a place to house it or raise enough funds to put it in storage. “I’ve been to everyone,” he says of his desperate search to find the globe a home.“I’ve been to state government, I’ve tried to contact multinationals, airlines, we went to hotels, we went to Westfield, all the shopping centres, the buildings in the city, Federation Square. “They’re just ‘we love it, but sorry’.”Costas is at odds at what he’ll do when the deadline to remove the sculpture on March 8 comes. He spent around 15 years building the structure, precision-cutting around 750 intricately handcrafted pieces that fit within the steel work, and painting the pieces with such detail that they mirror the earth’s topography.“I wanted it in public for people to appreciate,” he says. “I built it for people to really remember that the world is a beautiful place.”He’s offering to give the artwork to an interested party for free if they would be able to display it in its full glory or, if worse comes to worse, would talk to someone who would be able to offer secure storage.The globe, weighing about 600kg, is very versatile and can be suspended or can sit in a stand.Those interested can contact Costas Theoharidis on 0419103343. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Ireland says yes to gay marriage

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Irish voters have decisively voted in favour of marriage equality, making Ireland the first country to do so through the ballot box. Only one of the 43 constituencies voted against the proposal – Roscommon-South Leitrim – while the yes vote exceeded 70% in many parts of Dublin. The final figures showed 62 per cent of votes in favour of the change and 38 per cent against.“This is a big placard from the people of Ireland to the rest of the world saying this is the way forward,” said David Norris, who began a campaign for gay rights in the late 1970s.Addressing the crowd he said that “the message to the entire world today is dignity, freedom and tolerance,” whereas Health Minister Leo Varadkar, who revealed he was gay in a radio interview in January, said the referendum resembled a “social revolution”.“This has really touched a nerve in Ireland,” Equality Minister Aodhan O’Riordain said at the main count centre in Dublin. “It’s a very strong message to every LGBT young person in Ireland and every LGBT young person in the world.”Hundreds of “Yes” supporters gathered in the grounds of Dublin Castle and cheered and waved rainbow flags as the results came through.Ireland is now the 19th country in the world to legalise gay marriage, and the 14th in Europe.Legalising gay marriage a kick in the core of the Irish Catholic Church, which remains a powerful force in the country although its credibility was shaken since the revelation of the child sexual abuse scandals.The archbishop of Dublin has said the result should be seen as a wake-up call.last_img read more

Bloom travels to borders of Greece

first_imgActor Orlando Bloom is doing his part for the refugees arriving in Europe from Syria. The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador travelled to the borders of Greece, Serbia and F.Y.R.O.M where he was moved by the scenes unfolding before his eyes. “Witnessing it first hand, it’s hard to fathom really the level of stress which they’ve been under and the pain they’ve experienced,” Bloom said.“They’re travelling with just the clothes on their back, mostly.”The Lord of the Rings star, interacted with both young and old, and was also seen taking selfies with the newly arrived on his phone. He noted that many of the Syrians he met were “very well-educated” and had done research on their route and next destination. In a video for UNICEF, the Ambassador made a point of stressing that the refugees “are in desperate need of our help, desperate need of our assistance”.After Hungary sealed its borders, the Balkans migration route has increased in popularity as a way to enter western Europe.Source: Greek Reporter, Daily Mail Australia Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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