Feb 24th 2018, 6:31 PM A scene from Black 47. Image: Fastnet Films. By Ceimin Burke 94 Comments 55,379 Views Source: Moviex & Trailer_Official/YouTubeThe film has garnered high praise but also cutting criticism. The positive reviews were led by Jessica Kiang in Variety who said that Daly has delivered “a resonant, beautifully performed Irish Western that benefits from the exotic sound of Irish Gaelic spoken as a living language, and the brackish majesty of cinematographer Declan Quinn’s wide vistas.”David Ehrlich in IndieWire said the script is “far too spotty and unfocused for the film to be anything more than the sum of its parts,” however he conceded that “the setting — and the set-pieces that Daly creates from it — is enough to prevent this unlikely genre mash from being a blight of its own.”Stephen Dalton of the Hollywood Reporter had a much more jaundiced of the film which he described as a “dour, sluggish, cliché-choked thriller”.It is hard to trust a film which presents the rugged widescreen majesty of western Ireland as a big slab of drab, joylessly painted in 50 shades of desaturated gray. For all its noble intentions, Black 47 is not so much Unforgiven as unforgiveable.The film landed in Ireland on Wednesday when it opened this year’s Audi Dublin International Film Festival. READ: Trailer Watch: Which movie should you go see this weekend?>READ: Hot Press writer takes leave from magazine after denying allegations> Image: Fastnet Films. Short URL A film about the Irish famine premiered this week and the reviews are… mixed Lance Daly’s film has been described as a “beautifully performed Irish Western” and a “cliché-choked thriller”. http://jrnl.ie/3869014 Share458 Tweet Email7 THE FIRST IRISH film to tackle one of the darkest periods in Irish history has received mixed reviews following its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival this week.Written and directed by Lance Daly Black 47 features an impressive cast including Hugo Weaving, James Frecheville, Jim Broadbent, Stephen Rea and Moe Dunford.Set in 1847, the nadir of the famine, the film follows the story of an Irish soldier called Feeney, played by Frecheville, who abandons his post in the British Army to return to the west of Ireland only to discover that most of his family are dead or starving.As he embarks on a campaign of revenge a savagely cruel British soldier, played by Weaving, is sent to track him down. Saturday 24 Feb 2018, 6:30 PM A scene from Black 47. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Dec 5th 2016, 1:34 PM Image: PA Monday 5 Dec 2016, 1:34 PM ProvocativeRussia’s top diplomat has also denounced a proposed UN resolution demanding a temporary ceasefire in Aleppo, calling it a “provocative step”.The UN Security Council will today vote on the resolution, drafted by Egypt, New Zealand and Spain, that calls for a truce of at least seven days.Lavrov told a press conference:Taking into account all aspects and the current development of the situation, the draft resolution – coming against the backdrop of the Russian-American initiative – is, for the most part, a provocative step that undermines Russian-American efforts.Despite concessions by those who drafted the text – an early version demanded a 10-day truce – it looks likely Moscow will use its veto to torpedo the measure.The forces of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and their allies are continuing to advance on Aleppo’s rebel-held districts, after taking control of some 60% of the city so far, according to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights.Since the start of the Syrian regime’s latest offensive in eastern Aleppo on 15 November, at least 311 civilians have been killed, 42 of them children, the Britain-based monitor says. At the same time, rebel fire has killed nearly 70 people in the city’s government-held west.Russia has been flying air raids in Syria since September 2015, intervening at the request of Assad, Moscow’s longtime ally.With reporting from AFP. – © AFP, 2016Read: Seven-year-old girl tweets of being “between death and life” as Aleppo on verge of fallingRead: Donald Trump is using his Twitter account to take on China Source: Zaina Erhaim/Twitter 68 Comments THE TWITTER ACCOUNT belonging to a seven-year-old Syrian girl who came to prominence in the ongoing siege of Aleppo has been deactivated.Bana Alabed’s tweets – written in English with the help of her mother – offered a window into life in the war-torn city.On Sunday, as Syrian government troops pushed into the city’s east, the account disappeared from Twitter.According to CNN, BBC and Eliot Higgins, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, which follows conflicts in real time, the last tweet read: 17,124 Views A 2011 file picture from Aleppo. Image: PA A 2011 file picture from Aleppo. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Rebel withdrawalAs Assad’s forces push into eastern Aleppo, Russian and US experts are due to meet in the coming days to determine the routes and timing for a total rebel withdrawal, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today.“During the Russian-American consultations the concrete route and timeframe for the withdrawal of all fighters from eastern Aleppo will be agreed upon,” the Russian diplomat said, indicating that the talks in Geneva would start tomorrow or Wednesday.“As soon as these routes and timeframes are agreed on, a ceasefire can come into effect,” Lavrov said.The discussions would be based on proposals made by US Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome on Friday, he said.Yet today Syrian rebels ruled out a pullout from east Aleppo despite the sweeping government advances. The Syrian army has seized two-thirds of east Aleppo and is continuing to advance, pounding remaining opposition-held territory. Short URL #BanaAlabed & her mam r fine & still n #aleppo. They decided 2 disappear 4 a reason. Plz respect that & let them have thier privacy. #Syria— Zaina Erhaim (@ZainaErhaim) December 4, 2016 Source: Within Syria/Twitter We are sure the army is capturing us now. We will see each other another day dear world. #Aleppo.Bana had more than 100,000 followers, and has tweeted messages of deep foreboding before.On 27 November she wrote: “Tonight we have no house, it’s bombed and I got in rubble. I saw deaths and I almost died.”The next day, Bana tweeted that she was “between death and life”. There are no authoritative reports as to what has happened to the Alabed family.While online sources within Aleppo initially reported that Assad’s forces had captured the mother and daughter, others asked media to “respect their privacy” and choice to disappear from the web under fear of Assad forces. Share25 Tweet Email By Darragh Peter Murphy Seven-year-old Syrian girl’s Twitter account disappears as Assad’s forces close in Bana Alabed’s tweets from war-town Aleppo – written in English with the help of her mother – gained worldwide prominence. https://jrnl.ie/3120398 it looks like Bana mother deactivated the account after they know the SAA monitor the connection ! surprise they didn’t know this before !— Within Syria (@WithinSyriaBlog) December 4, 2016
16,102 Views Tuesday 6 Dec 2016, 1:36 PM By Niall Kelly Dec 6th 2016, 1:36 PM Share53 Tweet Email GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghail and Catherine Neary, President of the Camogie Association, welcomed the Littlewoods partnership which is the first time that the National Camogie League will have a title sponsor.“This partnership will help us reach into new areas as we continually look at new ways of bringing our games to new audiences and supporters,” Ó Fearghail said.“I laud the fact that the arrangement also covers the activities and games of the Camogie Association which strikes me as a particularly good fit covering the wide spectrum of the GAA family given the area of expertise of Littlewoods Ireland.“I look forward to a long and mutually beneficially partnership.”Littlewoods Ireland hosts over 70,000 products from more than 1,300 brands, with its website receiving an average of 2.5 million visits each month, the company said on Tuesday.The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! Short URL https://the42.ie/3122981 A petition for EA to make a GAA Playstation game is gaining momentum Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Follow us: the42.ie 15 Comments Former Cork camogie star Anna Geary, Hurler of the Year Austin Gleeson, and former Kilkenny hurler Jackie Tyrrell at Tuesday’s launch.ONLINE DEPARTMENT STORE Littlewoods Ireland will sponsor the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship and the Camogie National League for the next three seasons.Littlewoods was announced today as the GAA’s newest “top tier partner” in a deal which will run until 2019. No figures have been disclosed for the value of the partnership.Since the GAA’s move to a multi-sponsorship model in 2008, the senior football and hurling championships have each been sponsored by three brands.It is understood that Littlewoods’ hurling sponsorship will replace Liberty Insurance, who came on board in 2013 in a three-year deal worth a reported €2 million. Littlewoods Ireland sign up as GAA hurling championship and Camogie league sponsors The three-year deal will run until 2019.
Feb 27th 2017, 7:35 AM Short URL Father of SEAL killed in Yemen refuses to meet with Donald Trump Bill Owens refused to speak with Trump when his son’s flag-draped casket was brought home. By AFP 23,853 Views Monday 27 Feb 2017, 7:35 AM Image: US Navy William “Ryan” Owens Image: US Navy Share5 Tweet Email William “Ryan” Owens 61 Comments THE FATHER OF a US Navy SEAL killed in a raid in Yemen criticised President Donald Trump’s decision to give the go-ahead and called for an investigation into his son’s death.Bill Owens, the father of slain SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, told the Miami Herald he refused to speak with Trump when his son’s flag-draped casket was brought home to Dover Air Force Base aboard a C-17 transport plane.“I told them I didn’t want to make a scene about it, but my conscience wouldn’t let me talk to him,” Owens said, speaking out for the first time in the interview with the Herald.Launched 29 January, six days into Trump’s presidency, the raid quickly ran into trouble.The Navy SEALs received fire from all sides as they attacked the objective, an Al-Qaeda camp in the Arabian Peninsula.KilledAir cover was called in and a V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft crash-landed during the fight and had to be destroyed on the ground.By the time it was over, the 36-year-old Owens was dead along with as many as 16 civilians, eight women and eight children, a Yemeni provincial official said. Three other SEALs were wounded and three more US troops were injured in the V-22 crash.Republican Senator John McCain called the operation a failure, but the White House hailed it as a success and said its detractors dishonoured Owens’ memory.“Don’t hide behind my son’s death to prevent an investigation,” William Owens told the Herald. “I want an investigation. The government owes my son an investigation.”The White House has said Trump was briefed about the operation over dinner by former national security advisor Michael Flynn, and signed the memo authorising it the following day, 26 January.“Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn’t even barely a week into his administration? Why?” Owens said. “For two years prior, there were no boots on the ground in Yemen — everything was missiles and drones — because there was not a target worth one American life. Now, all of a sudden we had to make this grand display?”Asked on ABC’s “This Week” about Owens’ call for an investigation, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she had not spoken directly with Trump about it “but I would imagine that he would be supportive of that.”- © AFP, 2017Read: Trump warned ‘don’t get too happy’ after poking fun at Democrats’ new chair> http://jrnl.ie/3260910 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
By Eoin O’Callaghan Share55 Tweet Email Sunday 5 Mar 2017, 10:44 PM “I’m a big Drogheda United supporter and still follow the league. It’s challenging. It takes a lot of time and a real long-term vision to build what they’ve built here. It takes a group of people who are willing to take losses in the beginning because they’re trying to grow the overall capital value of their teams. They’re not looking for immediate success that’s then going to flame out. They understand how to build these things long-term. But there are huge benefits from a commercial perspective. In the city of Denver, there are more than enough businesses that are willing to come in as partners of the clubs that enable us to become part of the community and generate the finances that’s required to run a professional club in the right way.There’s a much more holistic approach over here. We employ more people selling tickets than we do in any other side of the business. We have partnership marketing groups. They’re not out there looking for someone to just give them money – they’re looking to create long-term strategic partnerships. That doesn’t happen back home. I think it’s still about surviving. Now, there are a number of tremendous people working very, very hard to drive the league – I know that.I still believe the best bet is to go down a similar road to domestic rugby. I think Ireland can absolutely support four really top teams playing in a North Atlantic league or whatever it would be. That would be a very good system. Then have the regional academies under that that would lead to a national academy which I know the FAI have undertaken. But it requires people to realise it takes time and that you need to build the facilities. You need to build the development academy. You need to build the communities. It requires upfront investment and the return on the investment would be some years down the line. It is possible. It’s more challenging than it is here. A lot of the ownership groups over here are involved in multiple sports. Maybe it will take a commitment from a group of individuals who are willing to invest, with an understanding of it being a vision, that it’s the path to get there and when their return on investment will arrive”.Smith has had offers from both clubs and organisations to move back to Europe. But he says his focus is the US. On Saturday, the Rapids got their new season off to a good start with a 1-0 win over New England.With Smith behind the scenes, it should be another eye-catching campaign for them.No Lampard, no Gerrard, no Drogba: new season signals seismic change in MLS attitudeMuch more than Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle: the Irish history in Major League Soccer “He would’ve been aware that I was interested in moving to MLS at some point. He knew I was doing a lot of work from an analytics perspective. The initial call was that they were looking at bringing someone in as Sporting Director and had some different skills – experience with negotiations, analytics, the business side. Initially I was asked to come over and give an assessment and provide a report. That was July 2014 and then it progressed quickly. Weekly phone-calls with the club to try and prepare for what was happening but it was still very loose. I went back again in the August and was pretty much offered the position. I went back over again in December and was up and running in January 2015. So it happened pretty quickly. The big thing for me was, having known Tim so long, I had a lot of faith in what he was going to build. When he talked to me about the long-term plan, it was something I was very excited about. I had always been interested in this side of the business and it was like the perfect storm – everything came together really nicely. I’m thrilled with the decision. I’ve been back to Europe quite a few times and it’s never really tempted me that much, to be honest. It’s an exciting time to be part of soccer in the US”.Smith has a wide, intimidating remit. He’s responsible for the soccer operations of a club from top-to-bottom. There’s the development of the academy. There’s the senior MLS squad. The coaching staff. The scouting staff. The science and analytics department. He admits it can be very challenging, owing to the volume of work across various aspects of an elite sports organisation. But there’s also the wholly unique Major League Soccer environment.Unfairly, the league is constantly compared to other . But it’s a complex place – still in its infancy, developing an identity and with a mesmerising litany of quirks and idiosyncrasies. Firstly, MLS is single-entity: the league – not the clubs – controls player registrations and contracts. There is a salary-cap. But there are three Designated Players per team who are exceptions to it. There is a draft for younger players, as per other US sports. There is no promotion or relegation. And there are no ‘transfers’, as such. Any trade that happens is done under the supervision of the league and can involve some relentlessly confusing MLS-specific jargon like ‘allocation money’, ‘TAM’ or Generation Adidas. No player deal is ever as straightforward as ‘X signs for Y for Z million’. Even for seasoned MLS reporters, the finer details of the business side of the league are as clear as mud.So, when Smith arrived in MLS, he did so in the off-season – when squad turnover is at its peak, contracts need fresh negotiation and finalising recruitment is a pre-requisite. He needed a crash course in the local language.“There’s a lot going on here”, he says.The understatement leads to inevitable laughter.“It’s a very, very interesting and challenging system. But my background has helped. In Ireland I introduced the Salary Cost Protocol as part of my role with the FAI and had done a lot of investigations into salary caps in various parts of the world as part of that. I followed that up by working on Financial Fair Play with Uefa so I had a very good idea of what was going on and had been following the American system anyway. But it’s only when you get inside and really see the complexity that it all comes into focus. It’s a challenge but a wonderful opportunity too. In salary cap system, theoretically, everyone has the same amount of money to invest. Yes, there are the DPs and certain variants there but, for the most part, we’re all playing on a relatively even foothold. But you have to know where you can gain certain advantages”.One area the Rapids have pinpointed in their search for advantages is analytics. Smith has a long-held fascination with it but acknowledges that it’s just another part of a process. Ignoring everything else and merely focusing on crunching data will end in tears. Still, he’s a numbers nerd, hence the invite from Sloan. And the recent numbers have been good for Colorado.In Smith’s debut season, they endured a dismal campaign. They were the worst team in the Western Conference and second-worst overall. A baptism of fire, certainly. Smith was heavily involved in Colorado signing Tim Howard last year – the goalkeeper proving crucial in their run to the Western Conference final. Source: David ZalubowskiBut, in 2016, there was a complete turnaround. They missed out on the top spot in the West by just two points. They had the best defensive record in the league. They knocked out the LA Galaxy in the conference semi-finals only to lose to eventual MLS Cup winners Seattle in the decider.Data certainly played its part in the Rapids’ upturn.“My interest in it stems from baseball”, Smith says.“I was over in Cape Cod in 1999 on a J1 visa and started to follow the Red Sox. But when you come back to Ireland, the only way you can follow them is in the box scores. Then I started to wonder if it could be translated to soccer. At the time, it couldn’t because there wasn’t enough data but as the whole Moneyball explosion came, people started to understand there was potential there to reap benefits from having more information about what was happening on the field.At the Sloan conference, our panel was discussing what the next big stat will be and when we’re going to get it. The next big metric. And I don’t believe that metric is coming. In baseball, they have a stat called WAR which enables all players to be compared regardless of position. It’s a very easy, nice, all-encompassing number that allows you to compare players. But that’s not going to happen in soccer. The key for us is to use analytics as a tool – as part of how we go out and identify players and what players can fit our system best. That comes from having an over-arching philosophy, a game-model, a clear understanding of what the coaches want players to exhibit in each position and then an ability to determine what metrics most closely correlate with success in those attributes. It’s still at the very, very early stages and has to be used in the right way. If you think data is everything, I’m not sure you’re going to get the best use out of it.One risk is gauging how a player deals with transitioning from one league to another. A former Premier League sporting director once told me about signing a goalkeeper whose numbers were incredibly impressive. But, in a better league, he faced less quantity of shots but more quality. Inevitably, he conceded more goals and made fewer saves. The original numbers were a reflection of a specific environment. So, they were essentially redundant when placed in the context of a different league.Inevitably, the software has moved on since. And such an issue is well-known these days.“From a data perspective, we’re looking at building comparability models”, Smith says. Rapid Revolution: the Irishman making waves in the American sports landscape Padraig Smith has been in Colorado for the last two years as the franchise’s sporting director. Short URL Mar 5th 2017, 10:44 PM 5 Comments Wonderful experience talking ⚽️ analytics with @mixedknuts @daniel_stenz @hendrik & @andrew_wiebe yesterday on #SSAC17 soccer panel pic.twitter.com/94A05BYemS— Padraig Smith (@padraigsmith) March 4, 2017 28,671 Views http://the42.ie/3272140 Source: Padraig Smith/Twitter PADRAIG SMITH HAS just been a panelist at MIT’s much-vaunted Sloan Sports Analytics Conference when we chat.He was part of a group discussion entitled Juggling Expectations: The Emergence of Soccer Analytics. Alongside him were Ted Knutson – the owner and founder of Statsbomb and a former Head of Player Analytics at Brentford and Midtjylland – and Hendrik Almstadt, ex-Arsenal and Aston Villa and now Player Relations Director at the PGA European Tour.The big leagues.“A lot of smart people”, Smith says.“A lot of good, stimulating conversation”.It was his debut as a contributor and he’ll certainly be invited back. Smith, in a very short time immersed in the North American sports landscape, is busily making a name for himself.In November 2014, the Meath native was hired by Major League Soccer side Colorado Rapids as their Sporting Director having previously spent three years with Uefa’s Financial Analysis Group and, before that, a similar stint with the FAI as Internal Compliance Office.“I had known Tim Hinchey (Rapids’ president) for some time – ever since his days with Derby County”, he says. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Let’s go @DroghedaUnited …hopefully Fabio has another cup winning performance in him! #FAICupFinal— Padraig Smith (@padraigsmith) November 3, 2013 Source: Padraig Smith/Twitter Colorado Rapids’ manager Pablo Mastroeni. Source: Ted S. Warren“It’s not an exact science yet. You need a far deeper pool of players who have played across multiple leagues so you can really extrapolate and get a better understanding of how that transition will go. There’s still trial and error with this and that’s where the value of subjective scouting becomes so important and understanding the differences in leagues. Certain leagues will exhibit a tactical flavour that’s different from MLS. The Norwegian league is different from the Dutch league which is different from the Belgian league. They all have their own tendencies. So, it’s understanding what you’re looking for. For us, it’s understanding what Pablo (Mastroeni, the Rapids’ manager) wants, understanding what players best fit what he wants and then identify the subjective attributes we see when we scout and the objective performance metrics we can analyse with data and then find and build a profile of a player we think will excel in the system Pablo plays.We’re developing our own proprietary player evaluation system, that’s also a scouting tool. So it looks to combine both objective and subjective measures. And we’re developing an algorithm that will give us a ranking on that basis. We obtain information from a lot of different sources and it’s about refining that and building your own model that allows you to best use that information”.The Rapids are owned by Stan Kroenke, who has a wide portfolio of sporting interests as part of his KSE group. What that means is that Smith and his colleagues have a litany of resources at their disposal and a litany of brains to pick. Source: Richard Vogel“We’re part of such a large sporting group with Arsenal in the Premier League, the Colorado Avalanche in the NHL, the Denver Nuggets in the NBA, we have the Mammoth who play in the lacrosse league”, he says.“In our headquarters downtown, we have a KSE analytics department. We have a full-time analyst with the Rapids but also have this access to a level of expertise that no other club in MLS has, in my opinion. We can bounce ideas off these guys. We can take models they’ve built – particularly in the comparability area – where they’ve investigated how a player can translate from the Canadian amateur league to the NHL. It may not be completely appropriate but it gives us a starting point that’s very useful. And it’s great to sit with these guys and think about things in a different way and not be focused on the prevailing wisdom in soccer. We like to try and think outside the box and examine different areas to see if we can gain marginal advantages we think will be hugely beneficial to us”.It’s all a reminder of where MLS is and how far its come.The perception is of a hokey, half-hearted place filled with fading veterans well past their sell-by date and with the majority of squads made up by a litany of well-intentioned but very limited players. Certainly, the league has had its misguided moments. But in recent seasons, it has emerged as a solid, dependable product.In the past four years, there have been four different champions. The bulk of the US and Canadian national teams now ply their trade in MLS. Some expensive high-profile talent have struggled – namely Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard – and were quickly cut. The fanbase has grown smarter and is now acutely aware that the sprinkling of stardust is not a tangible long-term strategy.For years, experience was crucial to MLS teams and they were regularly flooded with players in the twilight of their careers. But there has been a shift. Supporters are now more excited at the prospect of young, exciting talent like Jordan Morris and Jack Harrison than some bloated, ageing import. And so are the franchises.“If you look at the average age of the teams now, it’s well below 30″, Smith says. Jordan Morris, who plays with the Seattle Sounders, is well-regarded and an exciting young prospect. Source: Ted S. Warren“We’re in a space now where, outside of the top-5 leagues in the world, we can compete financially with anyone else. There’s an attractiveness for players to come over here that’s really helping us identify and recruit better talent. The league has grown immeasurably. The TV deals have exposed other players around the world to what’s going on in MLS. And that entices more to come over. And for younger players, they’re now saying, ‘This is a league of choice for me – this is where I want to be’. This season will be exciting because of that young talent”.So, is MLS now an attractive proposition for young players? Do they feel their game can genuinely develop in North America? Or does it remain a hard sell? Would they rather toil in England’s lower leagues because it’s expected?“MLS is a viable option”, Smith says.“It’s something players will look at more and more and start to understand that they can develop here, particularly as the coaching has improved. MLS and US Soccer have done a great job in ensuring there are Pro-Licence courses for the coaches and by introducing minimum standards for coaches. That’s been tremendous and there are some fantastic coaches in the MLS structure – and the development academy structure as well.There’s real merit in looking at the collegiate route here as well. It gives players the chance to come through into a professional environment – maybe not at the MLS level but the emergence of the USL has been a real boost. One of the key things I learned at Uefa is the number of players who often go unpaid. And that’s another very attractive thing in the US: there’s certainty of wage. That’s something that not all professional footballers in Europe can say. There’s also the lifestyle element – it’s a wonderful place to live – and all of that put together will make it increasingly attractive for young players to move here”.Still, it’s a challenging place. Certain off-field factors can throw even the most seasoned veteran.“The travel and the climate are the ones that get you the most”, Smith says. Steven Gerrard wasn’t the only high-profile player to find MLS a lot tougher than he expected. Source: Ringo H.W. Chiu“During this season, we’ll play a game here in Colorado on a Saturday, travel to Chicago to play on a Wednesday, then travel to Philadelphia to play the following Saturday. You’re crossing two different time-zones. You’re dealing with different climates in both areas. There’s a possibility you can be playing in what’s known as ‘The Oven’ – that’s Houston – in the middle of July with 100% humidity. Here in Colorado, we’re a mile above sea level – that’s an incredible challenge for players to walk into. We believe it takes about a year for a player to come over and truly integrate into US football. Some guys, like Nicolas Lodeiro with Seattle, can come in and hit the ground running – that will happen too. But in general, if you want to judge a player over here who’s coming in from Europe particularly, it’s only fair to give them time – whether that’s six months, 12 months – they need to acclimatise”.Smith has been in Major League Soccer for two years now. It’s a place that has had its difficulties but struggled on, found a strong identity and now continues to develop each year.Could the League of Ireland learn anything from the MLS approach?“I think about it all the time”, he admits.
Shelbourne’s Joseph Ndo and Owen Heary with Albert Luque of Deportivo during a Champions League qualifier at Lansdowne Road in 2004. Image: INPHO Short URL Follow us: the42.ie ‘Nutsy said: I don’t think Luque will be travelling – Real Madrid put in an £18m bid for him’ Owen Heary chats to The42 about facing Deportivo in the Champions League and his career in the League of Ireland. 5 Comments http://the42.ie/3359533 Shelbourne’s Joseph Ndo and Owen Heary with Albert Luque of Deportivo during a Champions League qualifier at Lansdowne Road in 2004. Share Tweet Email1 MORE GIFTED PLAYERS may have graced the League of Ireland, but when it comes to drive and winning mentality, it is difficult to think of a player superior to Owen Heary down through the years.Beside words like ‘solid,’ ‘reliable’ and ‘leader’ in the dictionary, there may as well be pictures of Heary.Former Cork and St Pat’s boss Pat Dolan went so far as to describe him as the League of Ireland’s equivalent of Kilkenny GAA legend Henry Shefflin.The numerous accolades that Heary earned over the course of a stellar career certainly back up the hype — they include seven League of Ireland titles and two FAI Cups.The Shelbourne legend’s love of football was cultivated from an early age in his native Cabra.“In the estate we had a five-a-side tarmac pitch and we’d be constantly playing football on that every night for hours until the lights went off or you were called in,” Heary tells The42.Back then, all the lads around the estate wanted to be footballers. You’d have your Liverpool fans, your Man United fans, you’d have your road against the other road.“You’d have teams battling against each other, the games would go on, they could be (level at) 10-10, it could be next goal the winner, it would then be 11-10 but they’d just keep going.It was great and the ambition was always to become a footballer later on in life, possibly in England or Ireland.”Heary started off playing organised football for his local side in Cabra when he was “nine or 10″. His friend’s father managed the team.It was also part of a rigorous routine that the football-mad youngster embraced wholeheartedly.You hear people saying players are ‘overloaded’ now,” Heary says. “Years ago, you’d be out playing six, seven hours football a day and then going training that night.“Then (there was) a match — you’d play two or three games in a weekend, and no one was ever talking about ‘overloading’ players.That’s why you say to yourself: ‘How has it come down to coaching now more than natural ability?’ The street footballer is sort of gone.”Heary spent a year playing for Rivermount and was not yet renowned as a tough-tackling full-back.Because I had a bit of pace, they played me up front and with the school team it was the same,” he says.Aside from that one season, he “never really played schoolboy against the Home Farms and the Belvos”.Instead, Heary joined his father’s team while still in his early teens.I was playing in the Phoenix Park against men, which probably stood to me better,” he recalls. “Playing against big physical lads is a lot different to playing against schoolboys.“The one thing was I was able to run and they couldn’t catch me, so that was the good part of it.” Heary cites former Shelbourne manager Dermot Keely as one of the biggest influences on his career. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHOMoving to join a club in England was never really an option to Heary growing up, though “once or twice” there were offers on the table when he had become a senior player.I remember Dermot Keely saying to me: ‘Do you want to go to England or stay here at Shels and sign a new contract?’ At the time, I was quite happy to stay at Shels, because we’d just won a trophy.“There was another time where I signed a contract for him too. My son had just been born and it just wasn’t the right time for me to move over.Straight after the tribunal (with Shelbourne) finished I signed for Bohs (in January 2007) and Ollie (Byrne) comes to me and says: ‘I’m going to sell you to QPR next week.’ I said: ‘It’s a bit late, I’ve already signed for Bohs, you could have done that months ago, rather than bring me to a tribunal.’“There were a few options (to go abroad) there, but it’s something that I never regret, because I was always enjoying my football and that was the crucial thing.”One positive aspect of staying in Ireland was the fact that he broke into senior football far quicker than almost any youngster playing in England would have managed.Heary was just 16 when he made his debut for Kilkenny City against Bray Wanderers in November 1993. In this challenging and uncompromising environment, the teenager held his own, though he admits it was quite the baptism of fire.I remember going down, myself and another lad from the estate, (I was told to) wear a shirt, tie and trousers. I was only 16 years of age, I didn’t have that, so I had to go down in my Da’s (shirt), it was hanging off me.“I went down on a mini-bus to watch the Kilkenny first team play Cardiff. Kilkenny beat them 3-2. At the time I was saying ‘this looks good’. I was in the dressing room for one or two of the games and Jimmy Donnelly was sitting beside me. He’d taken his (false) teeth out, put them on the side and was putting in a gumshield.I remember looking around and thinking: ‘My god, these are men that are going out looking for a war more than anything else.’ It was definitely an eye opener with the tackles and the elbows coming in.“I played a game where I came on as a sub, the ball was coming to me, I sort of ducked (out of a challenge). I remember Johnny Reynor saying to me: ‘If you keep doing that (you won’t last long).’That’s when you knew you were in a man’s team, you had to step up or you’d be moved on.”Heary impressed to the extent that he played 16 times during a season spent at the club, though not everyone was overly enamoured with the promising young footballer.I know one or two of the players who were there at the time saw a 16-year-old taking a senior pro’s position — I remember (one player in particular) wasn’t too happy.“But with the rest of the lads, I was encouraged by them pushing me on. It was a good experience.” Heary made over 100 appearances for Home Farm between 1994 and 1998. Source: © INPHOHeary’s brief spell at Kilkenny ended in 1994, when Liam Tuohy persuaded him to join Home Farm.Kilkenny let all the Dublin lads go and I was the only one asked to stay. I had no way of getting up and down (to games), so Home Farm was the best option for me then.“It was a good experience. I was training there doing a FÁS course during the day and then (football) training at night.It was like a full time set-up for me, you had Stephen McGuinness there, Martin Daly, who became manager as well. It was a learning curve.“It was a good pitch, and I was playing week in week out. The managers from the Premier Division clubs would come down and watch, because we’d be playing on the Sunday. It was a good stage to show off the talents that you had.”After four years and over 100 appearances for Home Farm, Heary was ready to play at a higher level. The defender had impressed to the extent that, in 1998, he earned a move to Shelbourne, who were one of the best sides in the country at the time.I remember Dermot (Keely) actually asked me to sign for Finn Harps when he was manager there when I was at Home Farm. I didn’t go, it was too far.“Then he became manager of Home Farm, and I thought, that’s it, I’m going to be out on my ear here. But he was great, he actually showed me how to defend. He played me as an outside right for Home Farm.When he went to Shels, he didn’t take me at the start. He took Stephen Gifford at right full. Two or three weeks later, he said: ‘Look Owen, would you be interested in coming down? I want you to put pressure on Dessie Baker as an outside right.’ I said ‘no problem,’ I agreed and signed for him.”Heary joined Shelbourne on the back of one of their most memorable and ultimately anti-climactic seasons. Having looked in strong contention for the treble, the season ended in bitterly disappointing circumstances. They lost the league to St Pat’s by a single point and went down to Cork City 1-0 after a closely fought FAI Cup final was replayed. Source: retroloi/YouTubeThe young Dubliner’s arrival coincided with a downturn in the team’s fortunes. Though they finished third, just one place worse off than the previous campaign, league winners St Pat’s finished a full 26 points ahead of them.As a result of this loss of form, Heary was among those whose very presence at the club was questioned. A lesser player might have wilted in these circumstances, yet the youngster stood up for himself.Things didn’t go well at the start,” he recalls. “They were losing a lot of games. I remember Pat Fenlon stepping up when we had a players’ meeting.“He said: ‘You Home Farm lads aren’t good enough to be here.’ I was the only one playing at the time and I answered him back saying we hadn’t had a chance to impress and to show what we could do. To cut a long story short, the other lads were released and I eventually got in (to the team on a regular basis). Nine years later, I was still there.”It was an exceptionally talented side by League of Ireland standards. The Shelbourne team of that era included Tony Sheridan, Greg Costello, Mick Neville, Tommy McCarthy, Pat Scully, Declan Geoghegan, Stephen Geoghegan, Pat Fenlon, Dessie Baker, Richie Baker and Steve Williams.But big changes were on the way. The gifted Sheridan, who had previously shown great promise for Coventry City and had even been linked with a move to Liverpool during the Graeme Souness era, was ruthlessly cast aside and allowed to join Portadown ahead of the 1999-2000 campaign.Paul Doolin, who was by then a veteran in his mid-30s, joined the club. Heary cites his influence on proceedings as crucial to the club’s subsequent success in winning the league and cup double. As well as improving the team immeasurably, the future Ireland underage boss had a significant impact on Heary personally, and helped cultivate the winning mentality that the defender ultimately became irrevocably associated with.It wasn’t until we brought in Paul Doolin that we really kicked on the following (1999-2000) season. He brought in that experience and drive. Paul said to me: ‘You had a good season this year, but can you better it next year?’ That was always the drive then.“I used to talk to Doolin and to Mick Neville and you’d see that they had six league titles. That was the ambition then to say: ‘Hopefully I can get one or two.’ And then as I got closer (to their records), there was a drive to overtake them.”While older players such as Doolin didn’t stick around for long, Shelbourne would still dominate the League of Ireland for years in a manner similar to the way Dundalk have managed in recent seasons, notwithstanding the latter’s poor form lately.Between 1999 and 2006, Heary and his teammates won a phenomenal five league titles. The defender acknowledges that he played the best football of his career at Tolka Park, gaining recognition from his peers as he was rewarded with the PFAI Players’ Player of the Year accolade amid the culmination of the 2000-01 campaign. Wes Hoolahan of Shels and Drogheda’s Lee Jones in 2003. Source: INPHOThe emergence of new young players was also key to Shels’ continued success, and one of these individuals in question went by the name of Wes Hoolahan. Joining as a teenager, he would spend four years with the League of Ireland side before eventually going on to star with Norwich in the Premier League and the Irish team at international level.When he came in he was a young player,” Heary remembers. “We were all young, but he was 18 or something like that. You could see that talent that he had. David Crawley once said that myself and himself used to take turns trying to kick him (in training), but we couldn’t catch him.“He was a great street footballer. He was able to keep the ball close to him, he was able to beat you. He had a bit of pace. People didn’t think he had pace, but he did. As for the physical attributes, his upper body was strong.I was more surprised with the fact that he went to Scotland (joining Livingstone) before he went to England. If you look at him when he played against Deportivo in the European games, he was just built for that stage. He could keep the ball, he could pass the ball, he always wanted the ball under pressure.“You could see the ability that he had. He should have been playing at a higher level a lot earlier than he did.”The aforementioned Deportivo matches are still remembered fondly to this day, more than 13 years later. The Spanish side were at the time widely regarded as one of the best teams in Europe. Just a couple of months previously, they had reached the Champions League semi-finals — bowing out after a narrow 1-0 aggregate loss to the eventual winners: a Jose Mourinho-managed Porto outfit.Pat Fenlon’s men were well prepared for the match, however, having earned hard-fought victories over Icelandic side KR and Hadjuk Split of Croatia in previous qualifying rounds.The Deportivo game was a different level altogether,” Heary recalls. “You’re talking about top, top players. In the build-up to it, Nutsy (Pat Fenlon) said: ‘I don’t think (Albert) Luque will be travelling — Real Madrid put in an £18m bid for him.’ That just sums up the whole thing, that Real Madrid are looking to buy a player off Deportivo.“Then Pat goes to me ‘he’s on the travel list, so he’ll definitely be playing’. That’s when the nerves are kicking in and you’re thinking about it. But what an experience for us and for everyone involved in it. Even for (non-Shebourne supporters) that just followed the league, it was a great experience for them.” By Paul Fennessy 36,358 Views Source: retroloi/YouTubeShelbourne ultimately emerged from the two games with great credit, despite having nowhere near the type of resources that Deportivo benefited from. They managed to earn a 0-0 draw against the Spanish side at Lansdowne Road, while the 3-0 result in the second leg was harsh on the Irish team, who had seriously tested their more esteemed opponents. Source: barbarian981/YouTubeHad their feat come in more modern times, they would have qualified for the Europa League group stages and enjoyed a substantial financial windfall similar to what Dundalk accrued in the wake of their European heroics last year. Source: LewisQ/YouTubeInstead, the League of Ireland’s reigning champions were subsequently dumped out of the Uefa Cup, losing 4-2 on aggregate to a talented Lille side. But again, Shels had performed admirably, drawing the first leg 2-2 in Dublin against the French team, whose line-up included internationals such as Tony Sylva, who had starred for Senegal in the World Cup two years previously, and ex-Tottenham player Milenko Acimovic, while a teenage Kevin Mirallas — now of Everton — was on the bench.By this point, Heary was captaining the side and was an invaluable asset to the club both on and off the pitch, having been tasked with the responsibility of controlling the dressing room.“I had to learn from the likes of Nutsy and Doolin,” he says.You had to deal with the chairman, the board. And in terms of controlling the dressing room, there’s a lot of problems that go on in dressing rooms that players have. The last thing you need to be doing is giving them to the manager. We didn’t need to be going to the manager with every problem.“We’d have games where we were getting beaten at half-time and all of a sudden, there’d be a row. Matches in training could be the same. If there are certain things to be sorted out, the players can do it ourselves, shake hands and get on with it. You just make sure that every player is at it and no one is stepping out of line.”This system worked well, with Heary a much-admired figure who led the club to success after success during that era. Then, suddenly, it all came to an end.Incredibly, two years after Shels had given one of the best sides in Europe a serious scare, they were in financial turmoil. The players went months without being paid and miraculously still managed to pip Derry City to the 2006 league title amid this backdrop of uncertainty.Owing to the club’s financial improprieties, several of Shels’ top players including Heary were made free agents, and the team were relegated to the First Division. Ever since, they have never fully recovered and the Dublin side are no longer the force they once were in Irish football. Shelbourne’s Owen Heary, Sean Dillon, FAI Chief Executive John Delaney and Fran Gavin (PFAI Chief Executive) with a players contract in 2006. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHOHeary subsequently joined Bohs in January 2007. Under normal circumstances, even a player of his legendary standing might have expected flak from Shels supporters after joining another Dublin club. But given how shoddily the experienced defender and his teammates had been treated by their previous club, few could complain about his decision.Our fans totally understood it and there was never a bad word said to me about it,” he adds. “The fact is it was down the road and I supported them as a young lad growing up, so it made sense to go there.”Sean Connor, currently serving a six-month prison sentence for driving without a license, was manager at the time, and Heary was not impressed with how the club was being run upon his arrival there, describing how a lack of “professionalism” was hampering the team’s progress.The first season didn’t go well,” he explains. “We finished third. We had a very good team at the time but needed a bit more to put us in the right direction.“We were a full-time team but we weren’t training as a full-time team.We’d be due to go training, then all of a sudden training would be cancelled. There were little things that were going on that were hard to fathom when you were trying to get yourself ready for games.”The following season, however, the situation changed for the better. Pat Fenlon took over as manager and the club consequently won the league by a record 19 points. In total, they lost just two and won 27 of their 33 games, all of which was achieved with virtually the same side as the year before.It shows that we did have a good team, we did have a good set-up. We just needed someone to be more professional and bring us in the right direction.“It’s an achievement that really stands up there with them. (The goalkeeper who now plays for Cardiff) Brian Murphy should have won Player of the Year that year. We won the league by 19 points and we didn’t have a player that won Player of the Year. It was a strange one.“But for us as players, it was a great feeling. The fact that I went to Bohs to win trophies and I managed to win the league in my second season there (was great).” Heary and teammates celebrate winning the league. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHOHeary and his teammates would go on to emulate this feat the following season, this time winning it ahead of second-place Shamrock Rovers by four points.Nevertheless, neither the club nor the player have tasted silverware since, losing out to Rovers on goal difference in 2010. And sadly, there was a degree of deja vu for Heary ultimately, as Bohs like Shels before them began to suffer serious financial problems.A number of their top players left for England and elsewhere, but Heary admirably chose to stay and revert to how he had started out in football — playing as an amateur.The last thing I wanted was for Bohs to go down or be relegated or something like that,” he explains. “I was given offers to go to other clubs. I thought: ‘If I go part-time here, I can stay with the club and still work for the club in other areas off the field and help promote it.’ For me, it was a no-brainer.“I know the money was great and it would be great earning a few more quid. But I didn’t want that. I wanted to help Bohs and give them as much time as I could to stay on the pitch and keep playing. I was captain of the club so (it was a matter of pride for me as well ).”Heary would spend a further three years at the club before announcing his retirement at the age of 37, having agreed to replace Aaron Callaghan, taking over as caretaker manager. Derry City’s James McClean wheels away after scoring against Galway in 2009. Source: Margaret McLaughlin/INPHOComing up against one outstanding player in particular made the difficult decision to hang up his boots that little bit easier.In terms of players, there’s been a few good ones (I’ve faced) throughout the years. I was thinking the other day when I was coming towards the end of my career, (James) McClean, he was only starting out (with Derry) and he was flying at the time. We played him in Dalymount and he was a rocket. I don’t know whether it was me coming to the end that I was that slow or the fact that he was so quick, but he was the toughest I played towards the end of my career definitely.“He reminded me of Roy O’Donovan at Cork. He was a similar player: loved a tackle, good pace, a tough opponent and you knew you were in a game — he gave as good as he got.”With the FAI rejecting calls to give Heary a testimonial on account of his amateur status at the time, Bohs arranged a tribute match for the veteran defender instead as he bowed out of football as a player.While many footballers in the League of Ireland and elsewhere tend to be somewhat caught off guard by the end of their playing career and find themselves unprepared for life thereafter, Heary was able to make a smooth transition into coaching.I speak to players who, once they retire, depression kicks in and things like that,” he says. “I was coaching the reserves (at Bohs), managing the reserves, the 19s. I kept doing my (coaching) badges and kept learning. It was the one thing I wanted to do — to stay in football after I finished playing.“Unfortunately, I finished earlier than I possibly should have. I was 37 but I had a chance to manage Bohs. I didn’t think you could (play and manage).”Having served as caretaker at Bohs, Heary then took charge of Sligo Rovers ahead of 2015 season.At Bohs, I had been at the club so long that I knew the players who were there. I knew the mentality of the players we had in the dressing room. I had a chance of full-time football up in Sligo. So I definitely wanted to take it.“My eyes were opened, because I was going into an unknown area. I didn’t have my staff with me. My family were (in Dublin). So going up, you’re trying to find out what the club is about. You find out what the players are about.”Yet this bold move into unfamiliar territory failed to pay dividends. By June 2015, less than a year after his appointment, Heary and Sligo parted ways, with news of his departure coming in bizarre circumstances. Source: eir Sport/YouTubeHeary initially had been told by the club that his services were no longer required only for him to be reinstated the following day. Sligo then released a statement confirming his sacking while Heary was in the middle of doing analysis as part of Setanta Ireland’s coverage of St Patrick’s Athletic’s 3-0 win over Longford Town, with the announcement leaving him utterly bewildered on live TV.Nonetheless, despite this embarrassing incident, Heary insists he holds no ill feeling towards the Bit o’ Red.It was just all up in the air,” he remembers. “The lads read out the statement on the telly. I was baffled by it. They never contacted me to say: ‘Owen, this is what we’re putting out, this is the way it is,’ or anything like it. They sort of caught me off guard a little bit.“But there are no grudges — it’s football, you move on. I see another manager is gone from them again (recently), so they’ve obviously gone through a lot over the last couple of years. I think they need to stick to a manager for a while and try to settle down.”Just days after his departure from the Showgrounds, Heary received an offer from Bray to become their manager, but turned it down as “my head was all over the place because of what happened at Sligo”.Instead, he gradually rediscovered the joys of coaching with local side Tolka Rovers and subsequently, the Shelbourne Ladies team.Eventually, last June, he got the offer to return to Shelbourne as manager of the men’s team. With the club third from bottom when he took over, there was little pressure on him to work instant miracles, and the Dublin side finished the campaign in the same position Heary found them.This season, there have been signs of gradual improvement, with the Heary’s team currently fifth in the First Division, eight points behind league leaders Cobh following their loss to them on Friday night.With only one team going up and some of their rivals having better resources, Heary admits promotion to the top flight this year is a “big ask,” but the optimist in him still believes it could happen.Look at the money Waterford invested, the money Longford invested, Cobh and UCD have settled teams that were just short of the playoff last year,” he says. “But one team has to win it and the pressure is on the team standing at the summit, so if you can stay there or thereabouts come the last few games of the season, then who knows? We’ve seen surprises over the last few years of (unfancied) teams doing so well — Leicester City being the prime example.”And while he remains as devoted to the game as ever, Heary currently has a job away from the toils of football management as well.“A mate of mine was involved in a delivery service and going back a while, he asked was there any chance I could drive a van for him. It was a big company.I said ‘yeah, I’ll give you a dig out,’ and I’ve been doing that for the last year and a bit, having originally been told they only needed me for a month. But it’s the usual, where one month leads to two.“We don’t train until six o’clock or seven o’clock in the evening, so it’s a chance to kill a bit of time during the day. I start about half five in the morning and finish at half two. It sort of suits me in a way, there’s no weekend work, it doesn’t interfere with the football, so I’m enjoying it.“I don’t have to go looking for time off or leave work early to head to training.We start early but we finish early. When I’m home, I can have dinner and I can relax before we go training. It’s a big plus to get a job like that.”Indeed, it’s hard to imagine the Shels icon’s life without football. For an individual with his ferocious drive to succeed, competing is less a choice and more a necessity.The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! Image: INPHO Apr 30th 2017, 9:31 PM Sunday 30 Apr 2017, 9:31 PM ‘I was 21 and doctors are saying you’re going to end up in a wheelchair if you continue to play’>‘To say I could have had a great career in England, that’s only b******s’> Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
So there is anger that there is a two-speed system of justice, whereas the infinitesimally small number of people who were killed by the state services compared to those killed at the hand of terrorists – like at Claudy, Le Mon, Kingsmill – get very little if any attention paid to them, and certainly no prosecutions.“And this week we will again see evidence of double standards.”- with reporting from Gráinne Ní Aodha By Leona O’Neill 13,112 Views Mar 14th 2019, 12:06 AM 14 Comments Thursday 14 Mar 2019, 12:05 AM My view is no matter who you are talking about, if you can find evidence of a crime then go get them. I wouldn’t deny justice to anyone. Put the British establishment on trial, as well as the unionist politicians of the day who were instrumental in the organisation of the paratroopers coming in. “Those are the people who should be put on trial. It will never happen though.“Our faith is very strong,” he says. “Whatever these soldiers did, they will have to answer to God.” Tourists are shown Derry’s Bogside murals, Operation Motorman: The Summer Invasion (left) and The Runner. Source: PA Wire/PA ImagesKate Nash (69) lost her brother William on Bloody Sunday. The 19-year-old dock worker was shot in the chest near the Rossville Street barricade. His dad Alex saw his son being shot and went to help him, and was then shot himself.Nash says her stomach is “in knots” waiting for today’s news on prosecutions. She has dedicated her entire life to being a voice for her brother and says the families, “just want justice”.“I want prosecutions and I want convictions,” she says. “My view is that whatever a judge decides is punishment, I will accept. I want murder convictions, that is what is important to me.“The sentence would not be important to me, it is the prosecution and conviction. That would give me a little closure because it is a burden too. There’s a constant struggle in my mind and thinking ‘how dare they do this’, all the emotions you go through.“I hear politicians talking about jailing this one and that one, but not soldiers, because they shouldn’t have to face that. What makes them special that they shouldn’t have to face it? Share33 Tweet Email2 Source: Leona O’Neill/Twitter Short URL She kept everything belonging to him, the clothes he died in, his school text books. I have a Mars Bar that is 47 years old that she bought him that Sunday, and he never got to eat it.John says that he is hopeful of prosecutions for the soldier who took his teenage brother’s life.“This is the major day for us in that hopefully we will achieve prosecutions of those who murdered our loved ones,” he says. “What I want is the prosecution of the soldier who murdered my brother. He was a young innocent boy. I want the soldier convicted and I want him to go to jail. I see things quite simply, if anyone is convicted of murder they are sent to jail for life and I believe that should happen here also.“We have been living this for 47 years, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have done a lot of hard work over the years to get to where we are today. Certainly we hope that it will all have been worthwhile.”Across the city in the Waterside, the DUP’s Gregory Campbell says the unionist community feel “angry over double standards”. He says that soldier prosecutions will set a “bad precedent” and that the two soldiers killed in the city by the IRA in the days before Bloody Sunday “have been totally forgotten”.“It appears that there is a hierarchy of victimhood,” he says. “Because there are some relatives of victims who seem to get an inordinate amount of money, resources, investigations and now possibly challenges in court to lead to conviction or whatever, whereas for others there are none of that.“There is nothing that displays a hierarchy of victimhood more than that. ‘After 47 years, this is a moment’: Anxious wait for families before Bloody Sunday announcement “Putting a soldier in jail wouldn’t make me happy whatsoever,” Kevin McKinney says, whose father was shot dead in 1972. Liam Wray, whose 22-year-old older brother Jim was killed by paratroopers on #BloodySunday says this week – as his and other family’s 47 year fight for justice for victims could come to a conclusion – is ‘full of anxiety, fear and hope’ over soldier prosecutions #Derry pic.twitter.com/oyTDXYSNcY— Leona O’Neill (@LeonaONeill1) March 11, 2019 John Kelly whose brother 17 year old Michael was killed in Derry on Bloody Sunday. Source: PA Wire/PA ImagesJohn Kelly lost his 17-year-old younger brother brother Michael that day. He says his mother never got over her teenage son’s death.“Michael was standing with a group of other boys at a barricade in the Bogside,” he said.“The soldiers opened fire and hit Michael in the stomach. I helped to carry my brother to the ambulance and I still remember checking him in the back of the ambulance and hoping that he would survive. We brought him into the casualty area and the doctor came along with a nurse and checked him before pronouncing him dead. I remember asking the doctor to check him again to be sure. But he said he was sorry, he was gone.“My mother never got over Michael’s death. She was so devastated by his death she wasn’t capable of looking after herself. She visited the cemetery every single day. There was one time she walked to the cemetery with a blanket under her arm and when someone asked her where she was going, she said she was taking it to Michael’s grave to keep him warm. Julieann Campbell stands beside an image of her late uncle Jackie Duddy (17) and the white handkerchief used by Father Edward Daly on Bloody Sunday. Source: The Museum of Free Derry/PA ImagesOn 30 January 1972, in what would become known as Bloody Sunday, British soldiers fired into a crowd of unarmed civilians who were taking part in a civil rights march in the bogside in Derry.In all, 28 people were shot. 13 people died while another person succumbed to their injuries a number of months later. The Widgery Tribunal was held immediately afterwards and largely cleared the soldiers and British authorities of blame.A second investigation, the Saville Inquiry, was set up in 1998; in 2010 the report was published, and found that the killings were both “unjustified” and “unjustifiable”. The Prime Minister at the time David Cameron apologised on behalf of the UK.The relatives of those killed have been seeking justice for their family members; it’s expected that the Northern Ireland Public Prosecution Service will announce today whether charges will be brought against the British soldiers involved.The looming possibility of prosecutions has caused some controversy lately, prompting people like former British minister Boris Johnson to defend the soldiers and claim that prosecutions could mean the IRA would “get away” with crimes committed during The Troubles.Last week, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley came under increased pressure to resign after saying that the killings committed by the British military and police during The Troubles “were not crimes”.She has since repeatedly apologised for her remarks, in the media and to the House of Commons, saying that she did not mean what she said.On Tuesday night, ahead of the second Meaningful Vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal, the British Ministry of Defence announced that its legal fees would be “entirely” paid by the UK government. Mickey McKinney stands beside the Bloody Sunday Memorial in the Bogside. Source: PA Wire/PA ImagesKevin McKinney’s 35-year-old father Gerard was shot in the chest in Abbey Street in the Bogside. Witnesses said that when he saw a soldier, he stopped and held up his arms, shouting “Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!”, before being gunned down. The bullet went through the father-of-eight’s body and struck and killed 17-year-old Gerard Donaghy behind him.Kevin, who was just 11-years-old when his father was killed, says that his family have forgiven the soldier, that he “was not to blame, rather it was the British establishment who sent him there”.He says the British government, politicians and all those involved in the day’s killings should be put on trial and that the “soldier played only a small part in a bigger machine”.“Putting a soldier in jail wouldn’t make me happy whatsoever,” he says. I am caught up with those emotions – hope and a little bit of fear over what will happen now. https://jrnl.ie/4539416 FROM JIM WRAY’S grave in a cemetery overlooking Derry, his brother Liam can see the exact spot in the Bogside where the 22-year-old fell after being gunned down by a British Paratrooper on 30 January 1972.Jim was shot twice as he ran for cover in Glenfada Park. Two witnesses to the Saville Inquiry said he was laying on the ground, wounded, when a soldier fired the shot which ended his life.Today his family, and the families of the other 13 people killed on Bloody Sunday, will hear if the soldiers who fired upon them will face prosecution over the killings.Jim’s brother Liam (65) says that the family have waited a lifetime for this day. He says they have never given up fighting for justice for the man they knew as ‘the gentle giant’ and his anxiety is rising as day looms.“There is an anticipation and anxiety,” he says. “After 47 years obviously this is a moment in time that our family have, from day one, always demanded happen. It will be a big day when we hear the news and we just hope that it won’t be a big disappointment. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Get Fora’s NEW daily digest of the morning’s key business news: Transport Minister Shane Ross Source: Sam BoalMinister Ross announced the opening of a public consultation on powered personal transporters until 1 November. He said that until this process is completed, such vehicles are illegal for use on public roads.Ross said e-scooters are defined as “mechanically propelled vehicles” and must be covered by insurance, have motor tax and the driver must be licensed if they’re used in public places.He said that according to the Road Traffic Act, e-scooters and similar vehicles “must be covered by insurance, have motor tax and the driver appropriately licensed to operate them”.“Due to the nature of these vehicles, under existing road traffic law they are only suitable for use on private property, “Ross said.In a recent report, the Road Safety Authority suggested training schemes, licences and helmets should all be considered if electric scooters are to be properly legalised in Ireland.Get our Daily Briefing with the morning’s most important headlines for innovative Irish businesses. Written by Laura Roddy and posted on Fora.ie 15,791 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL Sep 3rd 2019, 2:52 PM Saturday 7 Sep 2019, 7:15 AM By Fora Staff Image: Shutterstock/Akaberka Retail reps have rubbished claims they’re ‘obliged’ to clamp down on the misuse of e-scooters Transport Minister Shane Ross said stores must inform consumers of the vehicles’ legal status. 50 Comments A GROUP REPRESENTING Irish retailers has rubbished Transport Minister Shane Ross’s warning that store owners must tell customers that electric scooters are illegal to use on public roads.The minister said today that retailers that sell the vehicles are “obliged” to inform customers that the use of so-called ‘powered personal transporters’ – machines like e-scooters and segways – is not legal on public roads and thoroughfares.He said actual enforcement of the current legislation is a matter for An Garda Síochána.Chief executive of Retail Excellence, David Fitzsimons, described Ross’s comments as “nonsense” and said the onus is not on retailers to inform customers on how to use such vehicles. He likened the purchase of an e-scooter to other modes of transport.“People go in and buy quad bikes, motorbikes and cars and the sales rep will sell it to them and won’t give them a demonstration of the rules of the road,” Fitzsimons said.“The customers are buying the product and using the product and it’s not for the retailer to tell them how to use it … it’s up to the customers to use the product responsibly.” Image: Shutterstock/Akaberka Share1 Tweet Email https://jrnl.ie/4798766
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The role of the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) “will be strengthened” according to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs Nicholas Kotsiras. The VMC will focus on giving “assistance to Victorians and providing honest and candid advice to the government” Mr Kotsiras said on Thursday. Mr Kotsiras recognised the role of the VMC as a “conduit between the Victorian community and the Victorian government”. In accordance with pre election commitments outlined in the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Plan for a Multicultural Victoria, the Victorian Minister will replace the existing VMC with a new, “more independent public entity.” The policy and administrative functions formerly located within the VMC will now be transferred into an Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship (OMAC), to be established within the Department of Premier and Cabinet. The new Commission will be able to “research, advise and report to the Minister on any matter relating to its objectives either initiated by itself or requested by the Minister. Membership of the Commission, will remain at 12 members, but it will include a youth representative and a representative from a peak community organisation. Eight Regional Advisory Councils will be established to work in partnership with the VMC and local communities, “operating as important conduits for information on regional settlement and service delivery” according to Mr Kotsiras. The Minister also said that the Baillieu Government will “establish a Ministerial Inter-departmental Multicultural Services Advisory Committee to co-ordinate a whole-of-government approach to multiculturalism and citizenship.” This committee will provide “an important additional link between the OMAC, VMC and government departments” said Mr Kotsiras “Victoria will continue to lead the rest of the nation in multicultural affairs and the Baillieu Government will implement initiatives that will ensure Victorians learn from each other and together help forge a more inclusive and harmonious society,” Mr Kotsiras said.
Mark Bouris was in Melbourne for the opening of the Glenroy branch of Yellow Brick Road Wealth Management, on Thursday 24 February.Yellow Brick Road Glenroy Branch Principal John Condo is a Glenroy suburbs local who has lived and worked in the area for over 18 years. “I have had the privilege of putting many Northern suburbs residents into their first homes, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the Yellow Brick Road family with my branch in Glenroy,” said Mr Condo. Talking to Neos Kosmos Mr Condo underscored that he, “built his reputation in Glenroy thanks to the immigrants in the area”.“As with anyone who moves from another country, there is a transition period where the most important thing is customer service, even more so than price,” Mr Condo added.“People want to sit down with someone who is going to listen to their needs and walk knowing that we’re working for them,” he said highlighting Yellow Brick Road’s tailored services.“It is the service, extra time and consideration that makes Yellow Brick Road different from anyone else. Everyone deserves a fair go, and I’ve built my business around giving people the confidence they need to seek the financial services they deserve,” he added. Yellow Brick Road Glenroy offers a full array of financial advice including: home loans; financial planning; insurance; term deposits; accounting and tax. Specialist advice will also be made available to small-to-medium sized business owners. Founder and Executive Chairman of Yellow Brick Road Wealth Management, Mark Bouris called the Yellow Brick Road Glenroy branch opening, “a testament to community spirit”.“We had 50 local business owners from the area who came to celebrate the opening of our branch, which just goes to show how supportive people are of John Condo and the team at Yellow Brick Road Glenroy,” Mr Bouris told Neos Kosmos.When asked by Neos Kosmos why he chose the Melbourne’s Northern suburbs Mr Bouris said: “Every Australian deserves access to quality financial advice and now the residents of the Northern Suburbs can walk into their local Yellow Brick Road and find it.” “I look forward to watching this branch show the Northern suburbs the road to their financial future.Yellow Brick Road Wealth Management has over 50 branches open in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, with 50 more to open in 2011. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram In an appearance likely to have pleased the left wing of his party, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday that Greece must focus on how to end austerity rather than whether it can stay in the euro.Returning to ground he had covered before the two general elections last summer, Tsipras repeated his mantra that his preference is for Greece to remain in the eurozone but that it should not aim to do so at all costs.“The euro is not the focal point,” he said. “The dilemma we are facing is not whether we will be in the euro or not but whether we will be in austerity. Our main concern is to avoid austerity.“Our aim is to save Greece in the euro and not to save the euro no matter what.”Tsipras also called for all the banks being recapitalized by the Hellenic Financial Stability Facility (HFSF) to be nationalized.Holding his press conference a day before the arrival of the troika in Athens, the SYRIZA leader accused Prime Minister Antonis Samaras of waiting for the visiting officials with “a bouquet of yeses.”Tsipras insisted that as premier, he would take a tougher negotiating line with the troika, who he referred to as a “white-collar gang,” and not succumb to the “blackmail” Cyprus suffered.“We are working on scenarios around which we will construct our negotiating tactics and examine chances for maneuver,” he said, adding that SYRIZA would soon be taking “significant steps” to create alliances to ensure “the balance of power is not totally negative.”Source: Kathimerini
Businessman and philanthropist George Behrakis has had one mission in mind over the past few years – to save the children of Greece from fatal illnesses caused by smoking.The retired pharmacist and researcher from Lowell, Massachusetts decided to dedicate a great portion of his time travelling to and from Greece over the last six years after having witnessed young girls aged 11 and 12 being handed free cigarettes in the school yard. “Due to the demonstrations taking place in the centre of Athens I stayed in a small hotel in Kifissia. “One morning I took a walk around the area and I happened to walk past a school where I witnessed two women dressed in black giving young girls free cigarettes,” Mr Behrakis told US publication Ethniko Kirika.“I called my cousin Panagioti Behrakis, a pulmonary physician and lecturer at the university and asked him what was going on. “Does the government allow people to give out cigarettes to young girls and boys? We have to do something.”With the knowledge that up to 80 per cent of lung cancer is caused by smoking cigarettes, Mr Behrakis was outraged at what he had witnessed; recognising the negative implications this would have on the future of these children and the country’s healthcare system. Since that very conversation, the philanthropist has reached out to the prestigious Harvard University and the Hellenic Cancer Society, and has spent more than $10,000 of his personal money. The campaign against smoking aims to encourage the children of Greece to stop smoking, or better yet, deter them from ever trying it. In addition to the lectures he has introduced to schools, Mr Behrakis has also self-funded and published a series of small booklets entitled ‘The truth about smoking’. With a simple and easy to read format, the series covers vital information about the risks associated with smoking with topics including ‘Education for a world without smoking’ and ‘I learn so that I don’t smoke’. In addition to educating the very young, the campaign is also aimed at adolescents who smoke and in particular pregnant women. The philanthropist has published a self-help guide for women trying to quit smoking during their pregnancy, with the cover bearing the photograph of a young mother kissing her newborn child entitled ‘Because I love you I don’t smoke’. When asked whether the time, effort and money spent had so far been worth it, Mr Behrakis confidently responded: “Of course it’s worth it. It feels good to be helping these children.”“We gather all the children, between eight and nine hundred of them, in a big space. We speak to them and then we give them awards for work. “For example, we ask them to draw how they will look if they start smoking, and we award the students with the best artwork,” he said to Ethniko Kirika. According to Mr Behrakis the response to the campaign has been overwhelmingly positive. “I am very impressed with these children. They are very capable and have a lot of knowledge,” he said. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Amongst the many Greeks in Greece and abroad that jumped into the cold waters to retrieve the cross and get the priest’s blessing on Holy Epiphany Day there was one lady that stood out.A yiayia in Dilesi, Greece surprised everyone whan fully clothed – in a coat, with tights and shoes on – not to mention carrying a handbag, she jumped into the sea and walked on water catching the cross before anyone else had a change to take the image in.One of the local parishioners, Aggelos Mavrokefalidis, captured the incident on video and later uploaded it on Facebook getting thousands of comments and dozens of shares. Watch the facebook video below and enjoy:
It will be the end of an era on 27 May, when renowned catering icon the Paragon closes its doors.The famous Katoomba (NSW) institution was established by the Simos family in 1916 as the Paragon Cafe and Oyster Palace, and is one of the last remaining examples of the Greek cafe and milk bar phenomenon of the 20th century, well documented by Leonard Janiszewski and Effy Alexakis.Having celebrated its centenary in 2016, for the majority of that period the business was operated by the Simos family. The cafe has since changed hands a number of times, purchased by Bruce and Joan Gavin in 2000, then by Barbara Allatt in 2003, and current owner Robyn Parker in 2011, who has been passionately pursuing the cafe’s restoration, in a bid to take it back to its 1920s glory.But persistent difficulties with the owner of the building, including poor heritage maintenance, have put Ms Parker in a tough position, with little choice but to cease operating.The stunning Art Deco building has catered to hoards of people over the years.Developed by Jack (Zacharias) Theodore Simos, from the island of Kythera, together with the help of his American wife Mary (née Maria Panaretos) from Elkton, Maryland, it became known for its American-style confectionery and ice-cream.By 1921 it had dropped its Oyster Palace moniker and was being advertised as Paragon Sundae and Candy Shop.They soon installed a soda fountain, American-made freezers for ice-cream and milk, and a number of major architectural renovations.Over the years the Paragon was further developed and remodelled by celebrated shopfitters and architects to include a ‘modern’ banquet hall, a ballroom, a dining room, a chocolate and ice-cream factory, a bakery, and a front dining area decorated after World War II with carved alabaster friezes depicting figures from Greek mythology.In 1975, the cafe was recognised for its cultural significance and listed by the National Trust in NSW. Jack Simos passed away a year later, two years short of his beloved Paragon being placed on the Australian Heritage Commission’s Register of the National Estate (now the Australian Heritage Database).Today the interiors remain intact, and it is a an opulent cafe that is unmatched across the country.Visit the Paragon Cafe before it closes its doors at 63-67 Katoomba St, Katoomba, NSW. See more at theparagonkatoomba.com.au Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram As Victoria is heading for a state election this year, it is only natural that political debate will become more and more heated. But according to Minister for Families and Children, Early Childhood Education, and Youth Affairs, Jenny Mikakos, there’s significant risk that this debate will head to race baiting. Last week, the minister was suspended from parliament after accusing Liberal Party members of employing racist rhetoric. Today it’s the Africans, tomorrow will be the Indians, the day after the Chinese and then it will be the Greeks. As soon as bigots are given permission to attack other members of the community on the basis of their ethnicity their religion or their race, then everyone is fair game, everyone who is “different” becomes potentially the victim of abuse”“I did make some comments about racism,” she admits. “I believe that they were fair comments based on behaviour that we’ve seen in recent weeks.”Despite paying a price for her comment, the minister stands by her views. “It is very clear to me that the Liberal Party, both on a Victorian level and nationally, has decided to replicate Donald Trump’s political strategy and engage in race baiting,” she says, pointing to comments made by Federal Minister of Home Affairs, Peter Dutton about a perceived ‘African gang issue’ in Melbourne. “He was backed up by Malcolm Turnbull himself and this has certainly been the rhetoric that we have heard from the Victorian Liberal Party for many months now, talking about African youth gangs in particular.” Minister Mikakos says that this has already escalated to the point where people working for her, for the state government, have reported being racially vilified on public transport. “These are people who are middle-aged women, they can never be mistaken for being members of youth gangs,” she points out. “But because they can clearly be identified as being of African descent they have been the victim of appalling racial abuse. I’m concerned about where this is all going,” she adds and warns that Victoria is in danger of losing one of its key elements. “We’ve had very strong bipartisanship around supporting multiculturalism in Victoria for decades and that is something that as Victorians we should all be very proud of. “What I’m fearful of is that the Liberal Party is walking away from that. I think it is a political strategy designed to play into some elements in the community who have prejudiced views and this is very alarming to me. Because now it is focused around the African community but as soon as we give permission to bigots to openly preach what they might be thinking openly, we’re opening up a can of worms. Today it’s the Africans, tomorrow it will be the Indians, the day after, the Chinese and then it will be the Greeks. “As soon as bigots are given permission to attack other members of the community on the basis of their ethnicity their religion or their race, then everyone is fair game, everyone who is ‘different’ becomes potentially the victim of abuse.”Jenny Mikakos knows all too well what this means. “Many of us in politics who come from migrant backgrounds, myself included, have that personal experience of schoolyard bullying because of our ethnicity. “That’s why we are more sensitive to this, to having those issues play out in the broader community. It’s an ugly thing and I worry that we will see far right-wing brutes popping their head up now trying to gain some legitimacy in the media and we’ve already seen neo-Nazi groups trying to promote vigilante behaviour. I worry where it is going to end up.”She claims she’s not alone in this. “I’ve had private conversations with Liberal politicians about what I said in the parliament and I know that some of them have very deep reservations and concerns about the political direction their party has been heading in over the past year,” she says calling all members to express these concerns publicly and strongly to their leadership. “They are putting the social cohesion of our community at risk,” she warns.“They are sending signals that they are abandoning bipartisanship for multiculturalism to gain some political advantage and that they will try to lump together a whole community and call them responsible for the action of a very small number of young people. “When some young people of Greek background commit a crime – and we’ve seen terrible crimes being committed – the Greek community is not held responsible, we don’t have that kind of finger-pointing, so it is important that our community does not point the finger at other communities.”That is not to say that the minister is in denial about the real social problems that are at the core of this phenomenon. “We acknowledge that there are some issues particularly in Melbourne’s western suburbs and we are supporting Victorian Police in their efforts to address these issues,” she says, making reference to the Andrews Government’s “historic” $2 billion Community Safety Statement, which includes tough new laws and police powers, and the addition of 3,135 police officers to the Victorian force, alongside improved technology and new and upgraded police stations. It is this support, she argues, that allowed for Victoria Police to arrest 850 youth offenders since May 2016. “So we are not ignoring that issue,” she says. “But we always have issues with all newly arrived communities and the young people, this is not a new phenomenon. “In every wave of new immigrants or refugees, we have issues of young people disengaging from school and from positive activities in the community and getting in trouble with the police.” As Minister for Families and Youth, she believes that the answer lies in education and training. “We know the most effective way to keep young people out of trouble with the criminal justice system is to give them hope for the future, to link them with training and help them find a job,” she says. “These are far more effective strategies than having young people becoming involved in the criminal justice system.” But what does the Minister for Youth say to those young people who will come to the ballots this year, worrying about employment security and housing affordability? “The biggest issue for young people is unemployment and this is where we are making a lot of effort. Our government is focused on education and training and creating more jobs. We are working very strongly to create more jobs in Victoria, we are investing in new infrastructure that creates enormous jobs opportunities.” This may well be true, but it may not play a role in this election, given that as we move towards the elections, it is by now obvious that the Victorian Opposition will steer political debate to the issue of law and order. Minister Mikakos is not trying to shy away from it. “Let’s have a proper debate about law and order, but let’s not make it about race and ethnicity,” she says, arguing that the biggest law and order issue that Victoria is facing is family violence. “Half of the police’s time and effort is actually devoted to dealing with family violence in our communities but it’s hidden away behind closed doors and people don’t see it,” she says.As for the issue of youth offenders, she points to statistics which show a decline. What’s more, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Victoria has fewer young offenders than New South Wales and Queensland: 1,573 young offenders were recorded per 100,000 in Victoria, compared to 2,632 in Queensland and 2,741 in New South Wales. “And yet Peter Dutton comes out publicly and talks about ‘gang issues’ in Victoria, not in New South Wales which has a Liberal government, or within his own electorate.”Statistics are one thing, but at the end of the day, this debate about racism and crime threatens the very fabric of Australian society. Stressing the need to fight racist rhetoric, she points to the “enormous leadership role” that the Greek community has played in championing multiculturalism for decades. “It’s not just because it benefits our community, but because we know it’s going to benefit the entire state,” she says. “We’re very happy to have half the population in Victoria have parents born overseas. It adds to the richness and diversity of our society.”
Greeks and philhellenes around the world have been left in shock over the scenes in Attica, Greece the past few days as wildfires ravaged villages and suburbs east of Athens.People have lost their lives, loved ones; homes have burnt down, while others are fighting for life, and many are still missing.There has been an outpouring of empathy and assistance in Greece, with emergency services personnel and volunteers coming to people’s aid.For those abroad wishing to contribute in some way, the Greek government has set up a reconstruction and support fund for the areas and people affected by the disaster.Advisor to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure of the Hellenic Republic, Penny Douti has been appointed coordinator for the fund.The details are as follows:Eidikos Logariasmos Pyroplikton ths 23hs kai 24hs Iouliou 2018Bank of GreeceBIC/SWIFT: BNGRGRAAIBAN: GR 4601000230000002341195169Meanwhile a number of other official bank accounts have been set up, and are accepting donations for the victims.Municipality of Rafina-Pikermi:Piraeus BankIBAN: GR20 0172 1860 0051 8609 2291 418Hellenic Red Cross:EurobankIBAN: GR64 0260 2400 0003 1020 1181 388Doctors of the World (Greece): National Bank of GreeceIBAN: GR27 0110 1410 0000 1412 9611 217Alpha BankIBAN: GR06 0140 1990 1990 0200 2002 401Piraeus BankIBAN: GR03 0172 0180 0050 1800 5706 640The Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) has been in contact with Greece’s Alternate Foreign Minister Terence Quick and the Greek Ambassador to Australia amongst other officials. In a press release they revealed that they have been advised to wait for direction from Greece to best target any assistance that the diaspora would seek to offer.In the meantime, the GCM has written to other Victorian Greek community organisations seeking a collaborative approach for the relief program that is expected to follow.“We have spoken with both the Delphi Bank and the Bank of Sydney and asked them to open the relevant accounts to allow for donations to start to be collected. I have also spoken with a number of Greek community leaders encouraging them to coordinate altogether and provide a targeted response as requested by the Greek authorities” said GCM president Bill Papastergiadis.“I am sure that there will be a number of ways in which we can assist and have already started to collate the possible relief beneficiaries. To that extent, I have only just spoken with Giorgios Patoulis, the President of the Federal Union of Municipalities of Greece (KEDE), who informed me that his organisation with the support of the Mayor of Rafina, will set up a fund for first home owners who lost a home and were uninsured,” he added.A meeting is due to be announced shortly to detail the relief program for all community leaders, with all organisations encouraged to attend.Neos Kosmos will endeavour to keep you updated on all other official efforts to assist.For further information on the fund set up by the Greek government, email email@example.comFor more on the work being done by Doctors of the World, visit https://mdmgreece.gr/ Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Mozilla : Fennec enfin disponibleÉtats-Unis – La version pré-alpha de Fennec, le navigateur de Mozilla dédié aux mobiles Android, est disponible depuis hier au téléchargement.Ce n’est pas la version définitive mais l’aperçu du navigateur fait déjà des heureux. En effet, comme l’explique le développeur Vladimir Vukicevic, cette version pré-alpha disponible au téléchargement pour la plateforme Android “est encore loin de la version finale.”Fennec fait malgré tout une très bonne première impression auprès des développeurs qui l’ont testé et approuvé, notamment sur les smartphones Motorola et le Nexus One de Google. Cette version pré-alpha nécessite au moins Android 2.0 pour fonctionner. Elle doit être intégrée à la mémoire interne du mobile, et non installé sur carte mémoire.Vladimir Vukicevic, son concepteur, indique sur son blog qu’un groupe de discussion a été mis en place afin de recueillir les impressions des premiers utilisateurs.Le 29 avril 2010 à 13:02 • Emmanuel Perrin
Mer des Wadden : des espèces exotiques mettent en danger son écosystème Dans un récent rapport, le Programme des Nations Unies pour l’environnement (PNUE) s’inquiète de la multiplication d’espèces exotiques d’algues, de moules et de méduses dans la mer des Wadden, située le long des côtes néerlandaises et danoises. Une prolifération qui menace l’écosystème d’une zone dont une partie est classée au patrimoine mondial de l’Unesco.Introduites volontairement ou non, ces espèces exotiques se multiplient et pourrait entraîner un déséquilibre de l’écosystème local. Comme le souligne le PNUE dans un communiqué, “nombre de ces espèces sont considérées comme envahissantes et représentent un danger pour l’écosystème. Elles constituent une véritable menace pour la biodiversité et pourraient devenir un problème sérieux pour la santé humaine”.Les algues, moules et méduses font partie des espèces les plus dangereuses pour l’environnement. Ainsi, l’algue Spartina qui a été introduite dans la mer des Wadden pour développer les marais salants, a proliféré de façon particulièrement rapide, et constitue aujourd’hui une menace pour tout l’écosystème de cette mer épicontinentale classée au patrimoine mondial de l’Unesco.Les huîtres du Pacifique, elles aussi introduites volontairement dans la mer des Wadden au début des années 1990, ont empêché la moule bleue de se développer et ainsi provoqué une pénurie d’alimentation pour les oiseaux qui se nourrissent uniquement de ce mollusque local. Quant à la méduse Mnemioposis leidyi, originaire de l’océan Atlantique, elle a été découverte il y a quatre ans en mer des Wadden. D’après le PNUE, cette espèce aurait été amenée par l’eau contenue dans les ballastes des bateaux de marchandises. Se nourrissant de plancton, d’œufs de poissons et de crustacés, elle menace elle aussi la biodiversité locale. La mer des Wadden abrite un écosystème tempéré de zones humides côtières, engendré par des interactions physiques et biologiques particulièrement complexes, souligne l’Unesco. Cet écosystème intertidal est l’un des derniers où les processus naturels se déroulent encore à grande échelle, et de manière peu perturbée. La zone accueille une multitude d’habitats rares, et notamment de transition, tels que des chenaux à marée, des bancs de sable, des prairies d’herbe marines, des moulières, des vasières, des marais salés ou encore des estuaires, des plages et des dunes.Le site héberge de nombreuses espèces végétales et animales, dont des mammifères marins tels que le phoque commun, le phoque gris et le marsouin commun. Plus de 12 millions d’oiseaux hivernent, se nourrissent ou se reproduisent sur cette zone qui abrite vingt-neuf espèces d’oiseaux et accueille plus de 10% de la population migratrice mondiale.Le 2 septembre 2010 à 18:27 • Emmanuel Perrin
Stress : la vie de couple comme remèdeMonde – L’université de Chicago vient de publier une étude montrant l’impact positif de la vie de couple sur les individus. Les personnes vivant à deux seraient en effet moins sujettes au stress.L’étude a été menée auprès de 500 étudiants. Il s’agissait de 152 femmes et 348 hommes, tous âgés de 27 à 29 ans. 53% des femmes et 40% des hommes vivaient en couple, qu’ils soient mariés ou non. Ces jeunes gens ont été soumis à un test sans le savoir : les professeurs leur ont indiqué qu’ils passaient une épreuve qui allait compter pour leur avenir professionnel, afin d’induire du stress. Avant et après l’épreuve, un échantillon de salive a été prélevé sur tous les participants. Et le résultat est sans appel : tous les célibataires ont eu un niveau de cortisol plus élevé que les candidats vivant en couple ! L’hormone du stress était aussi présente chez les autres, mais en quantité moindre.Les chercheurs ont expliqué que le stress psychologique a des effets plus importants sur les célibataires que sur les personnes en couple. En conclusion : pour être déstressé et heureux, vivez à deux.Le 25 septembre 2010 à 12:21 • Emmanuel Perrin
Il y a trois milliards d’années… la vie naissait sur TerreUne nouvelle étude rapportée par le Daily Mail Reporter indique que la vie serait apparue sur Terre de façon soudaine il y a trois milliards d’années. Les scientifiques ont étudié d’anciens gènes de façon à dresser le portrait des premiers êtres vivants sur notre Terre. Il ressort de cette étude que les premiers à se développer furent les microbes, lorsqu’ils eurent appris à utiliser l’oxygène et l’énergie du soleil pour vivre.À lire aussiL’astronaute Thomas Pesquet offre un splendide survol de la Terre depuis l’ISSD’après les calculs effectués, 27% de tous les gènes existants apparurent il y a entre 2,8 et 3,3 milliards d’années. Puis, il y a 580 millions d’années, la vie sur Terre changea rapidement au cours de l’ère primaire. De nouvelles formes de vie apparurent.Les fossiles aident les paléontologues à déterminer la façon dont la vie a évolué. Malheureusement, il existe très peu d’empreintes fossiles datant d’il y a trois milliards d’années. En revanche, on retrouve de nombreux fragments d’ADN. Et comme tout organisme vivant possède un génome hérité de ses ancêtres, les chercheurs ont imaginé, à l’inverse, utiliser les génomes actuels pour reconstituer l’évolution des microbes anciens.C’est ainsi que les scientifiques ont découvert que la majeure partie des gènes identifiés était en relation avec l’oxygène. Ils en conclurent donc que c’est avec l’apparition de l’oxygène que ce développement extraordinaire qui a eu lieu a pu se faire. Car il faut rappeler que l’O2 n’existait pas sur Terre il y a plus de 2,5 milliards d’années. A ce moment-là, seules des formes de vie anaérobies pouvaient survivre.Pour respirer de l’oxygène les systèmes durent évoluer pour parvenir à transporter des électrons, processus biochimique indispensable à la vie aérobie. C’est grâce à cette progression que la vie dans notre atmosphère actuelle se serait développée.Le 24 décembre 2010 à 17:42 • Emmanuel Perrin