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Budget 2018 offers “nothing” for ordinary Guyanese – economist

first_imgDubbed “not people focused”By Samuel SukhnandanWhile Budget 2018 has been touted the largest of the budgets to ever be presented by the coalition Government since it assumed office in 2015, outspoken economist Ramon Gaskin believes that it is not “people focused” as it offers nothing for the ordinary Guyanese who continue to struggle daily to make ends meet.Economist Ramon GaskinGaskin, who provided his views on the Budget, said that the document contained many words which had little meaning. According to him, too much focus was also placed on “World Bank economics” and the technical jargon being used in several instances too had no meaning for the ordinary Guyanese.The Russia-trained economist noted that the Budget, and by extension Finance Minister Winston Jordan, failed to include some important issues particularly as it relates to job creation and unemployment.“He didn’t speak about a lot of issues, including the rate of poverty in Guyana. He didn’t speak about the dropout rate in the school system and the migration rate of Guyanese. The Minister did not speak about the malnutrition rate in Guyana. What about unemployment?” he questioned.Other issues that were not addressed in Budget 2018 include: maternal mortality, infant mortality, crime rate, crime population growth rate, tax evasion rate, and excessive rate of borrowing.“Winston Jordan doesn’t know what he is doing. He is entirely incompetent as a minister and it is not focused on the needs of this country and the needs of the communities. He doesn’t focus on poverty, the education system and the dropout rate in the school system,” Gaskin asserted.Another point raised by Gaskin is the fact that $20 billion is being spent on the salaries for the Joint Services. According to him, there has also been a 60 per cent increase in the salaries for Police over three years.He said if the Government had placed more emphasis on creating jobs and addressing issues such as poverty, then there would not be a need for such a high bill and there would have been a reduction in crime.Gaskin said, “What we need is to get jobs for these young people. Look at the dropout rate and they are turning to crime. That is why the Police payroll is so many billions. You have to keep hiring Police all the time and build new prisons, because they not dealing with job creation and pumping in the education system to keep people in school. Parents can’t keep them there either because of poverty.”He said if the Minister was to go into any community across Guyana and tell the ordinary people that Guyana had a three per cent growth rate, that would mean nothing to them. “All of these things, they will laugh at you. And that’s because they are struggling to make ends meet, to pay light bill, phone bill, water bill and you telling me all these things. All of these things mean nothing to ordinary people.”Several Private Sector bodies have also come out to state their disappointment with Budget 2018 particularly, as it relates to job-creating investments or facilitation of job-creating investments.Budget 2018 contained very few benefits, one of which was the increase in public assistance to $8000, which represents an increase of approximately 36 per cent over the period of two and a half years.Teachers who work in interior locations will also benefit from the new measures to be implemented for Budget 2018, including an 80 per cent increase in remote area incentives.In an effort to move and retain teachers in far-flung areas of Guyana, the Finance Minister said the remote area incentive would be increased from $5000 to $7000 and from $9000 to $12,000.Meanwhile, companies and individuals will be granted amnesty to file outstanding tax returns and pay outstanding taxes in 2018. Government on November 27 tabled in the National Assembly the Budget to the tune of $267.1 billion.In presenting the Budget themed “The Journey to the Good Life Continues”, Minister Jordan also disclosed that the economy was expected to grow by 2.9 per cent, failing to meet the revised growth projection of 3.1 per cent for 2017.He reminded that the initial projected growth of the economy was 3.8 per cent, but this was revised by midyear to 3.1 per cent after the economy only grew by 2.2 per cent in July of this year.last_img read more

SPORTS NOTICES: MEETING OF MAN UTD DONEGAL SUPPORTERS CLUB

first_imgThe next meeting of the Manchester United Donegal Supporters Club  will be held on Wednesday 29th August at 8.30pm in the Clanree Hotel. Deposits of £100 sterling will be taken on the night for the trip to the Arsenal game on the weekend 3rd of November.Tickets for various games are now available, please contact Liam Friel on 087 6736967 for more information.Membership for the new season is still being accepted priced at £39 for adults and £27 for juniors. SPORTS NOTICES: MEETING OF MAN UTD DONEGAL SUPPORTERS CLUB was last modified: August 20th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:SPORTS NOTICES: MEETING OF MAN UTD DONEGAL SUPPORTERS CLUBlast_img read more

CATHAL MacSUIBHNE: DONEGAL ERRORS COST COUNTY IN BATTLE WITH FARNEY

first_imgBY CATHAL Mac SUIBHNE, THE FANS’ VIEW: The packed stand at St Mary’s Park roared their approval at the final whistle yesterday as their Monaghan team managed to cling onto their Division One status. Donegal on the other hand weren’t sure how to react – a fourth successive defeat but such was the fantastic form shown in the early weeks of the competition, their score difference comfortably saw them into the semi finals.Those who travelled to Castleblaney were treated to a rip-roaring battle played in a beautiful setting; the massive field crouched below the main stand gives spectators a great view of the action. Monaghan have honed their game plan specifically to the tighter environs of Clones over the past few years – that is partly to blame for their failure to win big games once they reach Croker – and despite the logistical reason provided for the switch in venue a few weeks ago, perhaps they didn’t want to give Donegal any unnecessary practice at St Tiernach’s Park in case it might stage a potential Ulster Semi-Final in the offing in June.Many Donegal folk would have passed the pitch on the old Dublin road over the years, before the town was bypassed. The Glencarn always provided a welcome break and a mighty breakfast for the convoy of buses transporting the faithful on those all too seldom journeys to Croke Park.Donegal got to grips with the new surroundings very quickly, racing into a seven point lead in the first quarter. Martin McElhinney powered home the all-important goal, finishing an incisive move, one of many that troubled the hosts’ rear-guard.The old adage of being vulnerable after scoring unfortunately proved true and despite the best efforts of the Donegal defence moments later, Daniel McKenna eventually finished to the net after his initial shot was blocked. For the most part, certainly in that first half, Donegal performed well at midfield. It has been a problem area throughout the spring but with both teams pushing up on the others kick out, we saw a lot of old fashioned, up the middle restarts and the visitors were the ones who profited.Patrick McBrearty and his forward colleagues did brilliantly in splitting defenders to ensure that Rory Beggan’s short options were cut out and he was forced to go long.At times there was a fairly similar shape to the Donegal defence as was seen against The Dubs last week but there was an obvious intent in committing more players to attack. After going back to basics, it is a case of step by step and we’d expect much more endeavour to be on display in Croke Park next week than was shown on Easter Saturday.1-7 was a decent return from the first half but in truth it could have and should have been more. Despite numerous turnovers and counter-attacking opportunities, there was a hesitant element to Donegal’s play when arriving inside Monaghan’s 45m line. That continued throughout the second half and played a big role in the end result.Donegal’s profligacy coupled with the impressive McKenna at full forward kept Monaghan within touching distance and that was all they needed to do – their final point of the game saw them hit the front for the one and only time all day. McKenna was being marked by Neil McGee and it was interesting to note that he wasn’t giving the task of shackling Conor McManus – possibly another example of one eye on the Summer and keeping bird and prey apart until then.Frank McGlynn’s return was a big plus for Rory Gallagher with the Glenfin man making such a difference to his team’s general play. His composure, pace and assuredness on the ball are vital to initiating attacks.All of those important traits deserted Donegal in the closing stages however as Monaghan produced a huge late surge to preserve their Division One status. Decision-making of any standard disappeared as time and again the wrong option was taken – ball taken into contact, hand passes delayed unnecessarily, bad shot selection – all gifting possession back to a ravenous Monaghan back line.Michael Murphy was stripped of the ball in the tackle several times in the final minutes – when have we ever seen that? Murphy generally struggles against Monaghan and sure enough before throw-in his old buddy Vinny Corey was a late addition to the starting line-up with a brief to keep him company for the afternoon. Colm McFadden is another who has struggled against this opposition and his wild strike from the wing in stoppage time summed up his team’s approach in the final quarter. One man who didn’t struggle was Ryan McHugh, who put in yet another exceptional performance. Worryingly, his cousin Eoin went off with what looked like a bad hamstring injury; he had also produced a fine display and has become such an integral part of the team that any doubts over his fitness for next week will surely see him excused so as not to aggravate anything further before Championship.Donegal were punished for their waywardness and when McManus drew the sides level, the visitors would have certainly taken a point having gone over twenty five minutes without scoring. The Faughs branch of the Farney Army demanded more though and Colin Walshe was the man to deliver the point that kept his side up.Kieran Hughes became more of a threat in that frantic closing stanza, pushing up on the excellent Hugh McFadden, Donegal’s designated sweeper, and having a much bigger impact than he had in the previous hour.While that point from Walshe was crucial for Monaghan, had Donegal held on for a draw or managed a win the outcome would have been the same regardless of the final score – fourth place in the table and a last four date with Dublin. Granted a positive result would have relegated our fierce rivals, always a satisfying prize but Monaghan are without doubt a top tier team so it is only right that they keep their place amongst the elite.Despite the negative criticism that both of these teams can often receive due to their style of play, today was a real traditional bruising encounter and a thoroughly enjoyable Sunday afternoon for those present. Referee, Rory Hickey, deserves credit for letting most things go for most of the game, which added to the contests’ pace and physicality, although he did seem a bit more whistle-happy as the game reached its conclusion.It all means that both teams play Division One football next year and that Donegal will make a trip back to Headquarters for another crack at the league and All-Ireland holders. It also means that in three league and championship attempts, Rory has yet to get the better of his fellow Fermanagh man Malachy O’Rourke. That is a statistic that will need to change in the coming months if his charges are to regain the Anglo-Celt.CATHAL MacSUIBHNE: DONEGAL ERRORS COST COUNTY IN BATTLE WITH FARNEY was last modified: April 4th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

‘A TIME THIS WEEK WHEN SPORT DID MY HEART GOOD’ – WALSHY ON WEDNESDAY

first_imgby Paddy Walsh, Donegal’s leading sports columnist.CELTIC ANGEL REMEMBEREDCeltic’s touching tribute to tragic Georgia.Sometimes sport does your heart good. I don’t mean the successes or the powerful performances or the thrilling matches or your country’s rugby team putting one over the ‘auld’ enemy or your country’s cricketers disposing of one of the recognised superpowers of the game. No, sometimes it’s something much more human than that, something that reminds you that even in the professional game there’s a spirit there that recognises that not everything’s about winning and that when your club is about to face title chasing rivals in a vital top of the table clash, they still find time to remember those for whom sport, at this very moment in time, ranks far outside life’s priorities.Before their match with Aberdeen on Sunday, Glasgow Celtic displayed a highly emotional memorial on the big screen at Celtic Park marking the tragic death of Donegal teenager, Georgia Doherty, in a road traffic accident the previous weekend. Complete with a picture of the sports mad Redcastle girl, the message accompanying it read: ‘GEORGIA DOHERTY, AGE 13 FROM DONEGAL, R.I.P. OUR CELTIC ANGEL.”The day before the fatal accident, I had travelled the stretch of road close to where the young girl had met her fate on the Glenshane Road – ironically on the way to a match involving the Donegal under-14 girls team. By all accounts, the popular schoolgirl was both avid participant and fan of both Gaelic Games and soccer. It’s doubtful if any of us will ever travel that road again without thinking of her and, indeed, her sister, Lisa, who is still in hospital as a result of the crash.It’s a road that has claimed another life since – last Saturday an 83 year old man, William Stinson, died after a two car collision. And in August last a 21 year old G.A.A. player, Ciaran Feeney, was struck by a vehicle, also on the Glenshane Road. More bereaved families, more suffering – road traffic accident don’t discriminate when it comes to age but the loss of Georgia Doherty is particularly poignant given her tender years. A salute to Glasgow Celtic Football Club for not forgetting her and for remembering what’s truly important.ICING ON IRELAND (AND MARTY’S) CAKE Our hero Johnny isn’t afraid of a bit of blood!Complete silence all around us as we watch Johnny Sexton size up another penalty. The ball arcs between the uprights. Three more points and the green shirts around us send up another cheer. The atmosphere’s electric and when Conor Murray spots a potential scoring opportunity in the corner and delivers a ball in behind the English defence and Robbie Henshaw grabs hold of it under pressure from Alex Goode and drops to the ground and pumps the air even with a T.M.O. decision to come, we’re on our feet bouncing to acclaim a 17-3 lead, shortly to stretch out to 19-3 with Sexton’s touchline conversion.The nerves fray somewhat in those closing stages as England finally get some measure of a grip on proceedings and close the gap to ten. But it doesn’t close any further and after that forward pass rules out the latest of consolations for the visitors, we’re applauding an outstanding performance and three fifths of the way to another Grand Slam.And what’s more we can afford a couple of more beers as we didn’t even pay to get in to this exalted rugby venue. A venue where the All Blacks – or three of them at any rate – expressed their admiration for the pitch at Dave Gallaher Park which we can see through the windows of the clubhouse. The next best thing to not being at the Aviva for Sunday’s Six Nations showdown was being at a venue where the local rugby faithful had gathered – and the clubhouse shared by Letterkenny Rugby Club and Letterkenny Gaels was as good as any to view it.And, yes, everyone did go silent when Sexton lined up his kicks – and even when England’s own fly-half George Ford was applying the boot to his penalty efforts. Nothing like respect even if we’re around 200 kms away from them hearing us. Or not.In the second half, tight head prop Marty Moore comes on as a replacement and R.T.E. commentator, Ryle Nugent – coming at us from three screens in the clubhouse – describes him as the birthday boy.But back in Letterkenny we have our own Marty M. and our own birthday boy. And at half-time, Louise Alcorn appears with a cake and candles to mark the 60th celebrations of well-known Letterkenny R.F.C. official, Marty Moylan, his face registering mighty surprise as the gathering break into the birthday song. Eamonn Stevenson takes it upon himself to hand around slices of the cake to the grateful punters. What has been developing at the Aviva and follows in the second half truly puts the icing on it.PROTECTING THE BIG MANMichael Murphy needs a bodyguard as well as some good refs to keep him safe these days.Having got a drenching the previous day while attending an under-age fixture in Bundoran, a return visit south of the gap was out of the question though, to be honest, a certain rugby match might also have had something to do with it.Rory Gallagher’s men were value for their albeit narrow one point win over Cork and this despite having had captain, Michael Murphy, shown the red card after a second offence.The Donegal coach was quick to defend the big Glenswilly man, insisting that, because he got into a lot of contact situations, things sometimes looked worse than they actually were.Having seen the deferred coverage, I’d say he might have deserved to go but a different referee could have viewed it otherwise.But I would totally agree with former Donegal ace and current television and radio pundit, Martin McHugh, that referees must afford the big man more protection. Murphy was indeed the victim of several challenges that, had they been spotted by the officials, would surely have resulted in some action taken against his opponents.Donegal’s second victory of the campaign leaves them level on points with Mayo, Cork and Kerry and they’ll be confident of adding another two points to the tally when they host Monaghan in Letterkenny on Sunday.I was expecting more from this Monaghan team but ill discipline saw them end their game last weekend against Mayo with thirteen men and defeat. In front of a home crowd you’d have to fancy Gallagher’s men to repeat their victory of four days ago.Cork, meanwhile, face fierce rivals, Kerry – and the returning Paul Galvin? – while the Dubs are up against Tyrone and Mayo meet Derry.Interesting viewpoint from Martin McHugh on R.T.E.’s highlights programme last Sunday night concerning Cork. He maintained that, because they are natural players, they find it difficult to adjust to a system such as, for example, the one that Jim McGuinness introduced into Donegal’s game.But systems would appear to be the name of the game these days and there doesn’t appear to be any way forward for the free flowing principles of your natural operators. And more’s the pity.THE DAY HARPS ‘PIERCED’ THE SHELSAs Finn Harps prepare to open their 2015 league campaign with a trip to Tolka Park this Friday night and look to the new arrivals to get them off to a positive start, I can’t help but recall a memorable match at the same venue back in the 1996/1997 season when the Donegal side occupied Premier League ranks.Harps were six games into the season and after defeats in their opening two fixtures, arrived at the Dublin ground having won their previous three matches under manager Charlie McGeever.Backed by a sizeable blue and white following, the visitors matched favourites Shelbourne in every department. More than matched them as they ran out winners by two goals to one with the scores coming courtesy of Stephen Kelly and Paddy McGrenaghan, who, as I remember, had one of his best games ever in a Harps jersey.Despite the impressive team performance, it’s one particular incident that still stands out in this old mind – something I had never seen before during a game or since.Harps midfielder, Pierce Walsh (no relation but I would have been happy to call him one) was sent off for a rash challenge and Shels took the resulting free-kick quickly. Too quickly as it happens for as the ball dropped in and around the Harps penalty area, Walsh, slowly making his way to the line, headed it away to the fury of the home players and supporters and the sheer disbelief – and let’s be honest, delight – of those of us in the visiting quarters.Having been sent off once, there was little for the referee to do but deliver the sternest of lectures to the Harps player. Down to ten men, Harps held out for a worthy victory though the rest of the season filtered away and the club eventually finished fourth from bottom.A 2-1 win at Tolka this weekend – though, perhaps, without the sending off – would do just nicely as a campaign opener and the players Ollie Horgan has secured may be enough to help him secure three points. But Shelbourne will start off as one of the favourites for promotion and we also have the relegated Athlone Town and U.C.D. to contend with as the season progresses.After that 6-0 walloping by Sligo Rovers, Harps travelled to the Brandywell for their last pre-season outing at the weekend and came away by half beating Derry City 1-0, the referee calling proceedings to a halt at the interval after the water logged pitch made further play impossible.Horgan’s men had taken the lead through a spot-kick converted by Ruairi Keating – hopefully the first of many goals from the on-loan Sligo striker this season.QUIGLEY AND FRAMPTON – LET’S GER READY TO R-R-R-R-R-R-RUMBLE!Jason Quigley His coach is putting it about that Carl Frampton can claim no less than THREE world titles at three different divisions as the Belfast man continued his live up to his reputation with that blistering performance against Mexican/American opponent Chris Avalos.The pity of it is that it’s unlikely one of those divisions will involve super-middleweight or we could have envisaged the stirring prospect of The Jackal coming glove to glove against our own Jason Quigley? Now that would be a contest worthy of any admission money and a live television audience of millions.The Ballybofey man’s focus for now is this weekend when he confronts American Lanny Dardar over six rounds in Los Angeles, a city Quigley describes as the capital of professional boxing.As an amateur, the Twin Towns tornado secured medals at both European and World level – now his aims are for titles at professional level and this Friday night’s contest against Dardar will offer another indication of how far he has come. L.A. is where he’s at and a Hollywood type dream is literally on his doorstep.Meanwhile, even in sitting-room land, the thunderous atmosphere at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast somehow transferred itself as Frampton took to the ring on Saturday night. And five rounds in, he put an abrupt end to Avalos’s ambitions with a shuddering display of fist and fury.Coach, Shane McGuigan reckons his prodigy can claim world titles in featherweight and super-featherweight as well as super-bantamweight. That might be the talk of a camp on a high after Saturday night’s devastating dismissal of Avalos but there’s no doubt Frampton boasts the punch of a man capable of moving up a weight or two and doing the business there too.AMBER LIGHTS UPGeraldine McLaughlin:The Kildare ladies football team might have arrived in Milford for their National League fixture on Sunday with a welcoming glance at the Donegal line-up when noting the absence of one Geraldine McLaughlin from the home ranks.What they probably didn’t note was the presence of local woman, Amber Barrett, in that line-up but by the end of the game they, and others besides, will certainly have heeded the name. An impressive performance all round by Davy McLaughlin’s team and none more so than by the Milford girl who netted three and pointed four in Donegal’s comprehensive 5-19 to 1-2 win over the Lilywhites.A hugely encouraging start to the campaign by the home side and yet another player who can find the target when required.Definitely something good in the water in the Milford Electoral Area…PENALTY FUND Question: Do you know where the man who invented the penalty kick hailed from?Spot on if you said Milford. Because that indeed was where the late William McCrum was born and reared. Milford. Only it was the village of the same name in County Armagh.Only reason I mention it is because FIFA agreed at the weekend to fund the restoration of his grave at St. Mark’s Parish Church in Armagh.As a member of the Irish F.A., McCrum invented the penalty back in 1890 and sure hasn’t it been a complete success with hardly a bit of acrimony.Anyway, they say the restored grave site is to be marked with a white spot. They’ll be falling over themselves to get to it.GUM SHIELDApparently Carl Frampton is sticking to his claim that the mother of his opponent, Chris Avalos, spat out chewing gum at him during the weigh-in before last weekend’s fight.Not sure if she can wriggley out of that one…‘A TIME THIS WEEK WHEN SPORT DID MY HEART GOOD’ – WALSHY ON WEDNESDAY was last modified: March 4th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal DailyPaddy Walshsports columnWalshy on Wednesdaylast_img read more

In Pictures: Letterkenny celebrates big Christmas Lights Switch-On

first_imgMain Street Letterkenny was alive with festive fun on Friday night for the official switching-on of the Christmas lights.The popular event attracted large crowds to the Market Square for special celebrations, music and merriment. Santa Claus himself came all the way from the North Pole to see what was going on!Keith Fletcher with Santa at the switching on of the Letterkenny Christmas lights, hosted by the Letterkenny Chamber on Friday last. Photo Clive WassonMC Keith Fletcher kept everyone in good cheer until the big moment. Shannon Sibbald, the lucky winner of the local school art competition turned on the lights with a helping hand from Letterkenny Chamber President Leonard Watson. The crowd gazed up in amazement when the overhead blue twinkling lights came on – and then there was snow!Shannon Sibbald winner fo the Schools Art Competiton turns on the lights at the switching on of the Letterkenny Christmas lights, hosted but the Letterkenny Chamber on Friday last with Cllr. Kevin Bradley, Josephine Conway, Leonard Watson, Chamber President, Kalagh Watson and Cllr. Michael McBride. Photo Clive WassonSnow falling at the switching on of the Letterkenny Christmas lights, hosted by the Letterkenny Chamber on Friday last. Photo Clive WassonThe Christmas Lights Switch-On not only marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the heart of Letterkenny, but it celebrates the importance of shopping local, as it brings the community together.Local dancers from Pinehill Studios, the Letterkenny Accordion Band and singer David James all came out to entertain the crowds. Meanwhile, businesses on the Main Street treated families to mince pies, warm drinks and surprises.The event was hailed as another big success for the Letterkenny Chamber. David James Entertaiing the crowd at the switching on of the Letterkenny Christmas lights, hosted by the Letterkenny Chamber on Friday last. Photo Clive WassonFrancis Spears and Emma Stewart rom Mourne Antiques giving out hot drinks to Anne, Harry, Kevin and Annie Blake at the switching on of the Letterkenny Christmas lights, hosted by the Letterkenny Chamber on Friday last. Photo Clive WassonSee more photos from the celebrations below:Jucinta, Kyle and Dessie McLaughlin at the switching on of the Letterkenny Christmas lights, hosted by the Letterkenny Chamber on Friday last. Photo Clive WassonFun on the street at the switching on of the Letterkenny Christmas lights, hosted by the Letterkenny Chamber on Friday last. Photo Clive WassonChamber President, Leonard Watson speaking at the switching on of the Letterkenny Christmas lights, hosted by the Letterkenny Chamber on Friday last. Photo Clive WassonJames Peoples, Sean Peoples, Patrica Kelly and Anna Kelly Peoples at the switching on of the Letterkenny Christmas lights, hosted by the Letterkenny Chamber on Friday last. Photo Clive WassonAoife Shields, Ciara Harold, Sheila Harold, Tanya Harold, Colm Harold and charline Harold at the switching on of the Letterkenny Christmas lights, hosted by the Letterkenny Chamber on Friday last. Photo Clive WassonLetterkenny Accordian Band at the switching on of the Letterkenny Christmas lights, hosted by the Letterkenny Chamber on Friday last. Photo Clive WassonWaiting on Santa at the switching on of the Letterkenny Christmas lights, hosted by the Letterkenny Chamber on Friday last. Photo Clive WassonSnow falling at the switching on of the Letterkenny Christmas lights, hosted by the Letterkenny Chamber on Friday last. Photo Clive WassonDylan, Cora and Lucy Gordon at the switching on of the Letterkenny Christmas lights, hosted by the Letterkenny Chamber on Friday last. Photo Clive WassonMargaret McGinley, Lelah McGinley, Kemi Omonasanwo and Caitlin at the switching on of the Letterkenny Christmas lights, hosted by the Letterkenny Chamber on Friday last. Photo Clive WassonDavid James and Grace Byrne at the switching on of the Letterkenny Christmas lights, hosted by the Letterkenny Chamber on Friday last. Photo Clive WassonSnow falling at the switching on of the Letterkenny Christmas lights, hosted by the Letterkenny Chamber on Friday last. Photo Clive WassonFamilies enjoying the fun and snow at the switching on of the Letterkenny Christmas lights, hosted by the Letterkenny Chamber on Friday last. Photo Clive WassonEverone having a ball at the switching on of the Letterkenny Christmas lights, hosted by the Letterkenny Chamber on Friday last. Photo Clive WassonDavid James entertaining the crowd at the switching on of the Letterkenny Christmas lights, hosted by the Letterkenny Chamber on Friday last. Photo Clive WassonCrowds at the switching on of the Letterkenny Christmas lights, hosted by the Letterkenny Chamber on Friday last. Photo Clive WassonThe packed Market Square Letterkenny at the switching on of the Letterkenny Christmas lights, hosted by the Letterkenny Chamber on Friday last. Photo Clive WassonIn Pictures: Letterkenny celebrates big Christmas Lights Switch-On was last modified: November 25th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Qantas goes back to the future for its 95th

first_imgAustralian airlines have a fatality free safety record for jet operations. Qantas has unveiled its second retro colour scheme on a Boeing 737-800 painted in vintage 1960s livery as the national carrier celebrates 95 years of flying.Retro Roo II (VH-VXQ) has the same livery that featured on Qantas’ first Boeing 707 jets from 1959 to 1961 – when the flying kangaroo helped revolutionise long-haul travel.World’s safest airlineRetro Roo delivery flight The B707 represented a step-change in aviation and Qantas was the first carrier outside the United States to operate the jet. In 1959, Qantas used it to become the first airline to operate regular passenger jet services across the Pacific Ocean, connecting Sydney and San Francisco.Qantas was also the first airline to offer a round-the-world jet service with the B707. The flying time was 70 hours compared to 127 hours with the Super Constellation aircraft that the B707 replaced..Welcoming the freshly-painted jet into a hangar with more than 300 employees, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce described the vintage livery as a flying tribute to the airline’s history of innovation.“None of the past 95 years would have been possible without all those who have worked for Qantas with such commitment and passion. Tens of thousands of people have dedicated their whole careers to the national carrier and many who work here today are the third or fourth generation in their family to do so,” he added.“As we celebrate our 95th birthday today, I hope this livery inspires a sense of pride in what our national airline has achieved during all those years of taking Australians around the world and bringing them safely home again,” said Mr Joyce.“A large part of the national pride people feel towards the flying kangaroo comes from the fact it has been responsible for so many innovations in global aviation.“We were the first airline to introduce business class, we have operated record breaking endurance flights throughout our history and we’ve helped pioneer many breakthroughs in aviation technology.Retro Roo II is the second Qantas 737 aircraft in vintage livery. Retro Roo I was launched last November, featuring the livery of 1971-1984, and regularly appears on social media as passengers photograph it at airports across the country.last_img read more

Garuda international flights find new home in Jakarta.

first_imgAll Garuda Indonesia international services will operate from the new Terminal 3 at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International  Airport from May 1.Garuda will transfer 30 daily overseas flights to the new facility and will be the only carrier operating international flights from the 25-million passenger terminal for now. Other international carriers will continue to operate from Terminal 2.Soekarno-Hatta is the main airport serving the greater Jakarta area, catering for 187 international flights a day and handling 54 million passengers a year. Its annual throughput makes it the world’s 18th busiest airport and its location means it is called Cengkareng by locals, accounting for its CGK IATA code.Indonesia’s national carrier said it had worked with airport operator Angkas Pura II   to successfully completed simulations to test the new terminal’s operational feasibility.It said passenger simulations focused on passenger flows between the departures area and boarding gate as well as between the landing gate and the passenger arrivals area.“The simulation of T3 International operations has been conducted several times involving hundreds of passengers, immigration and Customs officers, and also Gapura Angkasa as the ground handling provider and other stakeholders,” Angkasa executive  Agus Haryadi said in a statement.“In line with numerous simulations, we are positive that as a result of all the prior preparation, the T3 operations will run as smoothly as possible, specifically for Garuda Indonesia.’’Terminal 3 was officially launched in August, 2016 and has been catering for domestic flights. It has had a number of teething problems, according to local media, including a collapsed roof and flash flooding in the arrival gate areaInternational operations will be supported by 64 immigration counters — 32 each for arrival and departures — 30 immigration “autogates’, six baggage claim points, six aerobridges and parking for 1200 vehicles.The terminal boasts a commercial area of almost 46,000 sq. m with walk-through shopping and is connected to its counterpart by a Skytrain.Garuda corporate communications vice president Benny S. Butarbutar said the move to Terminal 3 meant passengers would enjoy upgraded facilities with a “five- star” service standard.He said the airline had also conducted several operational trials involving all service units at the airport “to ensure all aspects of aviation safety and security as well as passenger services are running according to the relevant standards and procedures’.Garuda will operate 28 check-in counters and will have lounge facilities capable of accommodating up to 2100 passengers with 1700 in the business lounge and 400 in first class.Despite the preparations, the airline appealed to customers to arrive earlier than normal in anticipation of “any delays and adjustments of passenger flow”.last_img read more

Journey to the belly of the A.P.E.

first_img SharePrint RelatedThree Cheers for Brazil, Geocaching’s Newest Country Souvenir!December 16, 2014In “Local stories”Discovering a Vanishing Geocaching Series – The Last A.P.E. CacheFebruary 9, 2012In “Community”Mission to Log the Last of a Vanishing Geocache SeriesJune 15, 2012In “Community” Back in 2001, long before I knew anything about geocaching, a promotions staffer at 20th Century Fox emailed Geocaching.com. The studio was interested in pairing geocaching with promotional efforts for its upcoming science fiction film, Planet of the Apes. Fifteen years later, the results of that promotion led me to visit South America for the first time. (More on that in a minute.)Jeremy Irish, Geocaching HQ’s co-founder and CEO, worked closely with Fox to develop what came to be known as Project A.P.E. (Short for Alternative Primate Evolution, a storyline that Fox created for the promotion.)Jeremy assisted in hiding the now-archived Mission 9: Tunnel of Light. (Photo from the Aug/Sept 2001 issue of Business 2.0)At the time, geocaching was a relatively unknown game. The first cache was placed less than a year earlier, and only around 450 caches were listed on Geocaching.com. “It was a very exciting project,” Jeremy says today. “The website was still in its infancy, so it was pretty cool that a major movie studio wanted to partner with us. Project A.P.E. did a lot to inform the general public about geocaching.”An unused A.P.E. cache logbook (left) and the original logbook from Mission 9: Tunnel of Light (GC1169)Jeremy and Fox staffers worked with local cachers to place containers in the USA (New York, Maryland, Oregon, Washington, Illinois, California, Georgia), the United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil and Japan. Each week, clues were released to give hints to each A.P.E. cache location. The clues became more detailed until the complete coordinates were finally revealed. Once the location was known, it was a race to be FTF and get dibs on whatever movie props might be inside the cache.Vanity Fair article from 2001The first A.P.E. cache was published May 24, 2001. It was followed by 13 more listings, with the final cache location revealed August 10, 2001.Some of the A.P.E. caches were archived within weeks of publication. Others lived on for many years. Today, only one remains: Mission 4: Southern Bowl.This cache likely owes its longevity to a remote location. Brazil’s Intervales State Park is a 3-4 hour drive from São Paulo, the nearest metropolitan area. The park is renowned for fantastic birding, caves, waterfalls and other natural wonders. Suffice it to say, the A.P.E. cache is only one of many interesting things to see!My long-planned pilgrimage was helped by a caching friend who lives in Brazil and also happens to be a Community Volunteer Moderator. Rui graciously agreed to meet me in São Paulo and join the voyage to Intervales, even though he had already been there twice! Not only does he know the area well, but he also speaks the language (Portuguese).Rui and I at Intervales State ParkUpon arriving, we visited with park manager Junior (aka JRintervales). Junior maintained the A.P.E. cache for many years on behalf of its original owner, the legendary JoGPS, who sadly passed away last year. Junior recently adopted the cache listing and is a wealth of information for those planning to visit Intervales.We chose to stay at one of the park’s lodges. There is also a dining hall / restaurant on the grounds which serves three meals each day. Add those amenities to dozens of caches around the park, and you have a recipe for a fun caching weekend. Hiking inside Intervales State ParkAnd so after 18 hours of air and car travel, we found ourselves on the trail to one of the biggest items on my geocaching bucket list. Only one problem: I had loaded the cache into my GPS, but the GPS didn’t recognize the A.P.E. cache icon. So, the cache wouldn’t show up on my GPS map! Thankfully, Rui knew the trails well enough to lead us to the general area of the cache. And, as you can see from the photo, the cache is big enough to be pretty easy to spot once you’re close. After inking the log, we snapped the requisite celebratory photos before continuing on to a full day of caching around the park.Me and the last remaining A.P.E. cacheWe were back in São Paulo the next day, and I returned to Seattle the following night. Quite a whirlwind tour!I think we’d all agree that geocaching takes us to places we might never have visited if not for the game. Isn’t it amazing to think that a 15-year-old promotion would lead me and so many others to a beautifully remote area of Brazil that we may not have experienced otherwise?Have you found an A.P.E. cache? If not, is Brazil beckoning you?Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

Hockey India appoints David John as High Performance Director

first_imgHockey India (HI) on Tuesday announced the appointment of David John as the High Performance Director. David has previously worked with the men’s national team as the physiologist/scientific advisor prior to the London Olympics in 2012.In his role he had implemented and introduced new strength and training programs for the Indian men’s team.He had also worked in a similar role, as a Performance Director for two teams of the Hockey India League (HIL), most recently for Kalinga Lancers’ for the 2016 season where the team finished as runners up.David has experience working across sporting disciplines, which include Hockey, Rugby, Australian Rules Football and Triathlons.Speaking about the appointment, HI Secretary General Mohd. Mushtaque Ahmad said: “We welcome David’s inclusion into a role that has over the years become one of great importance for Hockey India.”A High Performance Director’s role is one that is not just demanding in the present but also has to include a vision for the future.””We are confident with David’s extensive experience and background in Sports Science that he along with the Chief Coaches for each of the Men and Women programmes that our athletes will have the best planning and assistance ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games.””Added to this David’s enthusiasm to develop and identify national talent that Indian hockey will go from strength to strength in the next Olympic cycle,” he added.John, on his part hoped that his previous experience of being with the Indian side would help in his new role.advertisement”The role comes with its own unique set of challenges. I am hopeful that my previous experience as well as the presence of people who share a deep and long history with the game in the country will help me fulfil my role,” he said.”One of the crucial areas is the identification and nurturing of talent in the country and look to develop the team for the 2020 Games. I look forward to working towards that,” he added.last_img read more

Real Madrid beats Napoli 3-1 to reach Champs League quarters

first_imgNAPLES, Italy (AP) — Two quick-fire goals saw Real Madrid survive an early scare to win 3-1 at Napoli on Tuesday and reach the Champions League quarterfinals for a seventh successive time.Trailing 3-1 from the first leg, Dries Mertens gave Napoli hope with a 24th-minute strike to send a packed San Paolo stadium into raptures. But Madrid captain Sergio Ramos headed in a Toni Kroos corner early in the second half and had another header deflected in by Mertens six minutes later to effectively end the contest.Alvaro Morata wrapped up the 6-2 victory on aggregate for the holders by tapping in a rebound in stoppage time after Pepe Reina had denied Cristiano Ronaldo.“We really suffered a lot in the first half, we couldn’t do what we wanted to do, they were pressing us very high,” Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. “Then we made changes in the second half and we were much better. It was completely different. We are happy.“We knew the beginning of the match would be very hard … but a match is 90 minutes and I think we did very well in the second half.”Napoli was left to rue its first-half profligacy which saw Mertens hit the post. Ronaldo, who is two goals short of becoming the first player to score 100 times in European competition, was also denied by the woodwork.Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, center, scores his side’s first goal during the Champions League round of 16, second leg, soccer match between Napoli and Real Madrid at the San Paolo stadium in Naples, Italy, Tuesday March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)“We weren’t only equal to Real Madrid for the first 55 minutes, we were better than them,” Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri said. “We put them in a lot of difficulty and that’s something to be proud of. We’re very disappointed above all for the fans, because these fans deserved something more.”Ramos acknowledged that Madrid has a lot of work to do if it is to become the first side to successfully defend its Champions League title.“I’m happy that I scored in a critical moment of the match, when we were suffering. But above all it was as a team that we got through,” Ramos said. “We need to reflect now on things, they dominated for nearly the entire first half. We really suffered. We’ll take time now to think about things calmly.”Tuesday’s other return fixture in the Round of 16 also ended with the same scoreline as the first leg as Bayern Munich inflicted another 5-1 rout on Arsenal, which collapsed to its heaviest loss at the Emirates Stadium after having captain Laurent Koscielny sent off.Needing to win by at least two clear goals, Napoli applied the pressure right from the start, with Mertens having a shot deflected over the bar in the opening minute.Marek Hamsik also fired inches wide, while Lorenzo Insigne had a 30-yard (meter) snapshot turned around the post by Keylor Navas.Madrid appeared to have weathered the early storm and Gareth Bale threatened but the Spanish side was undone by a moment of brilliance from Napoli. Insigne and Hamsik combined, with the latter threading a delightful pass for Mertens to rush into the area and slot into the bottom right corner.Napoli’s Dries Mertens celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Champions League round of 16, second leg, soccer match between Napoli and Real Madrid at the San Paolo stadium in Naples, Italy, Tuesday March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)It was Mertens’ 17th goal in his past 16 matches and his fifth in the Champions League this season.Madrid almost leveled five minutes later when Ronaldo rounded Reina but his attempt came off the near post from a difficult angle.Napoli also hit the post in the 38th minute as Mertens’ diagonal effort crashed off the base of the left upright.Madrid had scored in its past 46 matches and it leveled six minutes after the break.Hamsik gave the ball away in the middle of his own half and Elseid Hysaj was forced to head out the danger at the far post, with Ramos nodding in the resulting corner.“The match changed after their goal. Continuing with that rhythm, that intensity, that drive was impossible because our whole mentality changed,” Sarri said. “It removed all hope of qualifying.”Madrid doubled its lead from another corner to all but extinguish Napoli’s hopes, before Morata rounded off the scoring.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more