“Board of Inquiry” Report on the West Point Incident of August 20, 2014 Reaches…

first_imgMy fellow citizens,Foreign Nationals within our Borders,Friends of Liberia:In our attempt as a government to protect our people in the West Point Community from the Ebola virus disease, I authorized that the Community be quarantined by personnel of the security forces from August 19, 2014.In this process, an unfortunate incident occurred on August 20, 2014 involving some residents of the West Point Community and security personnel of the Joint Task Force (JTF). In the confusion, one of our compatriots, little Shiaka Kamara was shot and subsequently lost his life.  This is a sad and regrettable development. Unfortunately, little Titus Nuah also was shot and is being treated at a local hospital with assurance of his full recovery.As a government, we mourn with the family of little Shiaka Kamara and extend our sympathy to those wounded as we look forward to their speedy recovery. We are also duty bound to find out what really happened on that fateful day of August 20, 2014. Against this background, I authorized the setting up of a Board of Inquiry which was comprised of representatives from the Liberia National Police, the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, the National Security Agency, the National Fire Service and the Armed Forces of Liberia. In addition, there were Observers in the persons of two U.S. Military Advisors and one ECOWAS Military Advisor. The Board of Inquiry has completed its work and its report.I extend thanks to all the members of the Board of Inquiry and have reviewed and given the utmost importance to the recommendations. Accordingly, I am authorizing the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia, Brigadier General Daniel D. Ziankahn, to take immediate action in line with the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) against those found culpable in keeping with the recommendations of the Report.  This action underlines my determination to ensure that our Military remains responsible and accountable for its action at all times.I have also requested the Independent Human Rights Commission to carry out an investigation into the occurrences in the West Point Community on August 20, 2014. This would allow for frank exchanges between the citizens and the Commission, thereby assuring our people that their views and recommendations will be given consideration in the final conclusion of this very sad chapter in our nation’s history.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Guyana remains drug trafficking transit point

first_imgLong road ahead in fighting drug scourge– US State Dept reportA key report on the global fight against narcotic trafficking and money laundering has been released by the United States Department of State. Entitled theSome 1276lbs of marijuana, which were part of a drug bust at John Fernandes Wharf in 2016“International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR)”, it shows that Guyana has a long road ahead in combating the drug scourge.According to the report, which was released recently, Guyana is still a transit point for cocaine destined for the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, and West Africa. The report also mapped out the route for cocaine coming from Colombia, noting that it was smuggled to Venezuela, thence to Guyana via sea or air.“Smugglers also transit land borders with Brazil, Venezuela, and Suriname. Cocaine is often concealed in legitimate commodities and smuggled via commercial maritime vessels, air transport, human couriers, “go-fast” boats or various postal methods,” the report added.In a domestic context, the report states that “the influence of narcotics trafficking is evident in the country’s criminal justice systems and other sectors”. Traffickers, it noted, “are attracted by the country’s poorly monitored ports, remote airstrips, intricate river networks, porous land borders, and weak security sector capacity”.In an analysis on Trinidad and Tobago, the report states that the islands’ production of marijuana is concentrated in the heavily forested mountains. However, it was observed that marijuana cultivators in the twin-island republic compete with imports from other countries, including Guyana.Drug enforcementGuyana, the report noted, has a drug enforcement presence at its international airports, post offices, and, to a lesser extent, at port and land-border entry points. It acknowledged the five major agencies involved in the anti-drug fight: the Guyana Police Force (GPF); Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA); the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU); the Special Organised Crimes Unit (SOCU), and the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).“The GDF supports law enforcement agencies with boats, aircraft, and personnel, but has limited capacity and lacks law enforcement authority. The Guyana Coast Guard (GCG), a GDF sub-component and US partner in maritime interdiction, patrols Guyana’s territorial waters and conducts humanitarian search-and-rescue missions.”In 2012, with US funding through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Container Control Programme (CCP) established “a multi-agency CCP Port Control Unit at the John Fernandes Wharf, Guyana’s most active port”.The report acknowledges some success that initiative had, such as the April 2016 seizure of 48 kilograms (kg) of cocaine and in June, 579 kg of marijuana.“Through the first six months of 2016, the GPF reported seizing 16 kg of cocaine, a significant decrease from the 134.2 kg of cocaine that was seized over the same period in 2015. CANU reported seizing 60 kg of cocaine over this period (down from 568.3 kg in 2015), and the GRA did not report any seizures. Guyanese authorities convicted 46 persons on drug-related charges during 2016,” the report said.Drug rehabilitationBut the report paints a bleak picture of the Government’s commitment to drug rehabilitation schemes. It states that Guyana lacks a comprehensive strategy to reduce demand and adequately address drug rehabilitation.It notes that marijuana is the most widely used drug in Guyana, followed by cocaine. But the report observes that there is only one Government body responsible for drug rehabilitation.“The Guyana National Council for Drug Education, Rehabilitation, and Treatment, within the Ministry of Public Health, is the single Government body responsible for addressing demand reduction. Non-governmental organisations also offer rehabilitation services.”The report acknowledged that the University of Guyana (UG) had initiated a demand reduction curriculum through funding from the Organisation of American States/Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (OAS/CICAD).Other means of rehabilitation, the report noted, was the Skills and Knowledge for Youth Employment (SKYE) project, which the US supports as part of the CBSI.“This provides vulnerable youth with training, mentorship, job placement and other support to increase their chances of success and to reduce youth involvement in crime and violence. The programme also supports increased use of alternative sentences, so that youth who commit minor crimes are given an opportunity to rehabilitate outside penal facilities,” the report stated.However, the report emphasises that the US is welcome to increasing its cooperation with the Government of Guyana “to advance mutual interests against the threat of international drug trafficking”.Noting that Guyana has shown an interest in furthering collaboration under the CBSI, the report said the US was looking forward to more progress on investigations, prosecutions, extraditions and security sector capacity enhancement.In addition, the report spoke of the US Government’s expectation that Guyana would continue engagement with at-risk communities, as well as enforcement of laws against money laundering and financial crimes.last_img read more

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Holders Real confident ahead of semi-final draw

first_imgSharesReal Madrid flirted with disaster in their Champions League quarter-final before Cristiano Ronaldo’s late penalty against Juventus earned them a spot in the last four © AFP/File / OSCAR DEL POZOPARIS, France, Apr 12 – Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid will find out their semi-final opponents on Friday as they continue their bid for a third straight Champions League title, with Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Roma the only remaining challengers to their crown.Zinedine Zidane’s men came through one of the most dramatic European ties in recent memory to reach the last four as a last-gasp Ronaldo spot-kick finally saw off a valiant Juventus on Wednesday. Friday’s draw will take place in Nyon at 2pm EAT.Record 12-time European champions Real threw away a 3-0 first-leg lead at the Santiago Bernabeu, only for Ronaldo’s penalty in the eighth minute of injury-time to send them through in dramatic fashion as Juve great Gianluigi Buffon was sent off.“It was a very long game and it serves as a lesson that in football nothing is guaranteed and that we have to fight until the end,” Ronaldo said.“Step by step, now we’re into the semi-finals.”It has been far from a comfortable road to the semis for Real after finishing second to Tottenham in their group before the Juventus scare, but that won’t bother the Spanish giants, who have never won the European Cup without losing a match.Only three sides in history have won the competition three years or more in a row — Real from 1956-1960, Ajax from 1971-73 and Bayern Munich from 1974-76.But Real are now three games away from becoming the first team to achieve the feat twice, having also lifted the trophy as recently as 2014.Zidane will have some key decisions to make before the semi-final first leg in less than two weeks’ time, after hauling off Gareth Bale and Casemiro at half-time against Juve.Bayern are in the pot for the sixth time in seven seasons after falling to Real in the quarter-finals last year, with fellow five-time champions Liverpool back in the semis for the first time since 2008.– Roma dreaming of final –Roma pulled off one of the most memorable comebacks in Champions League history against Barcelona in the quarter-final © AFP/File / Andreas SOLAROBut Roma are the real surprise package, after overturning a 4-1 first-leg deficit to stun Barcelona and end a 34-year wait for a semi-final spot dating back to their 1984 final loss on home soil to Liverpool.After their famous fightback, Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco understandably says he’s confident of reaching the final in Kiev on May 26 no matter who his side draw.“We must aim for Kiev,” Di Francesco said. “Why not believe in something even greater after such a match?“If you come all this way and get to the semi-finals, why shouldn’t you believe in getting to the final in Kiev.”Liverpool have plenty of history to fall back on, ahead of a possible repeat of the 1984 final win over Roma or a rematch of the 1981 final against Real Madrid.But although it is new ground for the current side, manager Jurgen Klopp thinks his young outfit are getting better and better in the biggest matches.“We mature constantly. The boys get more and more used to situations like that,” said Klopp after beating Premier League champions-elect Manchester City for the third time in a row.“If you could say something bad about us in the past few months, it is on a good day we can beat everybody and on a bad day we lose, (we) concede cheap goals. We work on that. We are still in a development phase, that’s how it is but already we are a good team.”Bayern Munich are the only team still in contention to complete a domestic league and Champions League double, having wrapped up the Bundesliga title last weekend.A repeat of last year’s epic quarter-final with Real could be on the cards, when Arturo Vidal was controversially sent off as a Ronaldo hat-trick saw the Spaniards win in extra time.Shares(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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GAA NEWS: TRAINING FOR FOUR MASTERS COACHING ACADEMY CONTINUES EVERY SATURDAY

first_imgFour Masters GAA News:Coaching AcademyThe coaching academy for 4-7 year old’s continues this Saturday morning from 11am to 12;30pm in Tír Conaill Park. The academy teaches the basics of gaelic football, hurling and camogie each week as well improving their agility, balance, and co ordination of all the children. Thanks goes to all the coaches, helpers, and  volunteers that help out each week, new parents and children are always welcome to attend.Mini LeaguesThe football mini leagues continues on Wednesday night from 4:45pm to 5:45pm in Tír Conaill Park. The mini league consists mainly of games for the hour, with it open to boys and girls aged from 4 years of age up to 7 years of age. New players are always welcome.U10 Boys Football Our under 10 boys had their final outing of the season on Saturday last. Glenswilly took three teams and Naomh Brid two over to Tirconaill Park to compete against our boys. Four Masters fielding four teams for the first time ever with forty one boys togging out more than held their own against their opponents. They showed all the improvements in their skills since they started out in February and have made huge strides throughout the season. Their commitment to training and games has been fantastic and have been a very easy group to work with despite the large numbers. A big thanks must go to the eight coaches who have guided these boys during the year.Without them it would not be possible to cater for so many. To the parents who again looked after the refreshments on Saturday and have transported and supported the boys around the various venues this season, I thank most sincerely. It has been a most productive season and a very enjoyable one for all concerned.Damien Dunnion U13 Boys FootballThe U13 boys football team recorded two excellent victories in the last week. They comprehensively defeated Killybegs at home before recording a 4-17 to 3-10 win over Dungloe on Sunday. They play away to Aodh Ruadh on Wednesday night, a win would secure a top four position for the SRB semi finals.U16 Boys Football The U16 boys had a busy week playing a number of games in preparation for their upcoming county semi final. They recorded a good win over Convoy on Thursday night before travelling up to Ballyshannon on Sunday to take part in the PJ Roper Tournament. The lads lost out to Ardara and Bundoran before defeating Aodh Ruadh. Thanks goes to Alan Sweeney and the Aodh Ruadh club for the invite and well run tournament.ReservesThe reserves men’s team play Glenswilly this Sunday in the County semi final at 2;30pm in MacCumhaill Park. All support is welcome for the lads.Senior Men’s Football The seniors lost out 1-13 to 0-08 to Gweedore on Sunday morning in Maherghallon. The lads play Dungloe in Tír Conaill Park this Sunday morning at 12pm in a crucial game in the league. All suport is welcomed for the lads.Coaching MeetingThere will be a club coaches meeting on next Thursday night in the Abbbey Hotel at 9pm. All coaches and managers in the club are asked to attend.GAA NEWS: TRAINING FOR FOUR MASTERS COACHING ACADEMY CONTINUES EVERY SATURDAY was last modified: September 30th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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:GAASportlast_img read more

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‘One for Harry’ – a winner to the end: It’s Walshy on Wednesday!

first_imgOn Monday I ran into the former chief court clerk in Letterkenny, Val Cronin, outside his former place of duty and we got chatting about this and that. And more significantly the passing of another old stalwart from the town, Harry Blake.By Paddy WalshA native of Cork, Val recalled his own arrival to the town back in 1988 and being served his first pint – note: his first pint in Letterkenny, not in a general sense – in Blake’s Bar on Upper Main Street. “And it was Harry who served me it. A great character.” It was to Blake’s Bar that large numbers (thankfully not at the same time) made their way over the weekend to pay their respects to the pioneer pin wearing publican.And there he lay, waked in the bar where he had toiled for many a long year under the gaze of the gallery of sporting photographs, the majority of them featuring St. Eunan’s and Donegal G.A.A. teams and presentations – two of the sporting passions in his life as a player, a committee member and an out and out fan.There, too, just above the coffin, the plaque honouring the late, Peter Ivors – the echoes of many a banter between the pair a lasting, and often loud, memory for the pub’s regulars.And on the wall opposite Harry’s remains, the framed Railway Cup jersey worn by Joe Carroll, another G.A.A. stalwart gone to his reward. In his homily at Sunday’s funeral mass in St Eunan’s Cathedral, where Harry was a daily visitor, Fr Eamonn Kelly revealed that a number of local punters had placed a bet on the 2.50. race on Saturday at Wetherby. The horse’s name? One for Harry!Sure, they couldn’t have gone wrong – and they didn’t, One for Harry coming home first at odds of 9/1.I hear it was Don Sheridan who initially spotted the horse’s name among the runners and riders – too good to miss and you could almost see Harry nodding with the biggest of grins.Gone now to meet Marie and other family and friends but leaving behind a host of memories and anecdotes. To all those mourning his passing – and that’s a multitude – this column’s sincerest sympathy.UNDER-21’S OVERWHELMEDDefeat to a Martin McHugh managed side the previous week and subsequently to a side once under the helm of the Kilcar man – hopes of advancement in the Dr. McKenna Cup are fading for Donegal but there are still positives to take from both performances.Eleven points may have separated the teams at MacCumhaill Park on Sunday but Declan Bonner’s under-21 squad were worthy of a kinder scoreline as they fought to the finish against a physically imposing Cavan team. You couldn’t argue that the better outfit won on the day and the visitors’ eye for the target was more focused.But there are encouraging signs that some of Bonner’s boys have the know-how and ability to step up to senior ranks if, and when, called to do so.I would have been one of those questioning the merits of deploying a full under-21 panel to negotiate the McKenna Cup even if the competition has long since its gloss.Still, it offers us a chance of watching how the next Donegal senior manager – once Rory Gallagher departs, that is – operates at this level. Meanwhile, is it too late (or too early) to introduce Shane Williams – that young fellow who starred for Glenswilly in Convoy last Thursday evening – into the fray for future action? SLIPPERY SLOPESIt was, back in the day, required viewing on the old bosca in the corner. I watched it religiously – apt as it was given the day it was broadcast on – and rarely missed it. Ski Sunday.Not that I was a skier or ever had any inclinations to be one. I can’t even walk down an icy footpath without fear of a headlong fall and as for going on a skiing holiday, give me a break (just don’t make it a ski break).But nevertheless, I was an avid watcher of the weekly B.B.C. series though I’d inevitably fall down if you asked me to name a decent skier. Or any skier.Anyway, it’s back on our screens and I was watching it last Sunday and wondering how on earth – on treacherously slippery sloped earth at that – they managed, for the most, to retain their balance while flying – quite often literally – from summit to sanctuary.And also pondering the words of one of the presenters on the show who was commenting on the careers of those involved. “Like in football, there are only very few who make it to the top,” he declared.Surely not. Would it not be accurate to say that they all make it to the top…? AN IRISH SOCCER LEGEND (AND ROBBIE KEANE WAS THERE TOO)Pleased to see one of my all-time heroes the great Brendan Bradley being honoured at the Soccer Writers Association of Ireland awards night.The big man, who with 235 goals remains the top scorer in League of Ireland history, was presented with a special award by another man who knew, and knows, how to find the net, Robbie Keane who himself received the Special International Career Achievement Award.Keane is a target for Preston North End who already have a significant Irish presence, not least in former Dundalk flier, Daryl Horgan, who impressed in his league debut against Brighton & Hove Albion last Saturday and indeed laid on one of the goals in a 2-0 win with a pinpoint pass from inside his own half. Ironically, the player who once starred with Horgan in the Dundalk colours, Richie Towell, has yet to make his mark with Brighton.But back to Beezer Bradley. A gentleman to his boot straps, he is a more than deserving recipient of the Soccer Writers Award and surely it’s well beyond time that Finn Harps acted on the advice of my old buddy, Brian McArt, who has been a loud voice in calling for the erection of a statue or the naming of a street around Finn Park to honour the big man.Meanwhile, will Bradley’s goal-scoring record survive the recent move by Jason Byrne to Cabinteely?The Dubliner, who requires 18 goals to equal the 235 netted by Brendan, will be pushed all the way by the league’s Dublin fraternity – and that includes the media – as he strives to emulate it.But at 37 years of age, he is running out of time and I fancy the former Harps striker to retain his long-standing title for quite a few years to come. THE JOURNEY MENA vital result for Gavin Dykes and his Ballinamallard United side at the weekend as they overcame fellow relegation strugglers, Carrick Rangers.But good as that was for the former Finn Harps manager and central defender, it was the report in Saturday’s ‘Belfast Telegraph’ that caught this enquiring eye.“A glorious double from Josh McElwaine made the long journey home to County Fermanagh a lot more enjoyable on a bitterly cold night,” wrote reporter, David Mason.No arguments with the identity of the goalscorer, or the enjoyabletrip, or the bitterly cold night bit.But long journey home? In an Irish League fixture?Come on. It’s A 120 km flit from Carrickfergus to Ballinamallard – as the crow flies. Dykes would surely be able to fill in the Telegraph correspondent as to what constitutes a really long journey in away day travels for football teams on this island. PRESSING POINTStill on those awards, Declan Kerr may not have claimed the ‘Press Officer of the Year’ award at the ceremony in Dublin for his media work with Finn Harps but he’s done a mighty job since taking up the post.A more than worthy nominee and to many of our minds, the real winner. P.J. BOWLS THEM OVERBowled over they are down around the Rosses after P.J. Gallagher’s victory in Sweden at the weekend.After an impressive advance to the final of the Swedish Masters Short Mat Players Tournament, the Burtonport Bowling Club representative over came Belgian opponent, Jonathan Payne, to claim the title.It subsequently places the Donegalman at the top of the Order of Merit and after his success with the Irish team in the World Cup, rolling along quite nicely.I can already see the mats laid out at the Donegal Sports Star Awards.‘One for Harry’ – a winner to the end: It’s Walshy on Wednesday! was last modified: January 18th, 2017 by Chris McNultyShare 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

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Man City release new away kit, which draws on dramatic event from history

first_img targets 1 Man City’s new away kit whoops Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? BIG PRESENTS UP TOP shining possible standings England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won Manchester City have released their new away kit. silverware Man City news REVEALED REVEALED How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars smart causal Defending their Premier League crown, players will wear dark blue with luminous yellow pin stripes, alongside dark blue shorts and luminous socks on the road next season.The club say the design comes from the 1998/99 away shirt worn when City came back from 2-0 down against Gillingham in the Second Division play-off final to win on penalties. Did Mahrez just accidentally reveal Fernandinho is leaving Man City this summer? What every Premier League club’s fans dream of this Christmas Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won PEP TALK Pep Guardiola gives Man City injury update and talks Christmas schedulelast_img read more

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CASTLEFINN’S NORTH WEST GARDEN SHOW – IN PICTURES!

first_imgThousands of people turned up at the second annual North West Garden Show held in Castlefinn over the weekend.Dozens of exhibitors turned up at the event which showcased the best in garden companies from Donegal and further afield.From ride-on lawnmowers to arts and crafts and from barbeques to chemicals to make your lawn greener, there was something for everyone. It was no surprise that the show’s very special guest was kept busy over the weekend with questions from keen gardeners.But then again Diarmuid Gavin is no ordinary gardener having just picked up a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show.Our exclusive pictures of the two day show exactly how much both young and old enjoyed the occasion.Organisers say this year’s event surpassed the popularity of last year’s inaugural show and are already planning next year’s show. PICTURES BY KIND PERMISSION OF: NEWSPIXIRL CASTLEFINN’S NORTH WEST GARDEN SHOW – IN PICTURES! was last modified: May 29th, 2011 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

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BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND: A MESSAGE FROM AN GARDA SÍOCHÁNA

first_imgWITH a bank holiday weekend ahead when traditionally, particularly here in Donegal, the number of accidents can increase we’ve been asked by An Garda Síochána to carry this message to Donegal Daily readers.Here it is in full:As we head into the October bank holiday weekend, we must remind ourselves that tragically 141* people have already lost their lives on Irish Roads. Although this represents 5 fewer deaths than this period last year, the stark fact is that between now and the end of the year there will be more collisions involving more loss of life. Over the past few days in particular we have seen tragic examples of what can happen on our roads. In saying that, it is possible to take simple steps to make it safer for all road users. It is obvious to all that we have moved into the colder, wetter and darker weather so we must remind all road users to take extra care whilst driving, cycling, riding and walking on our roads. Vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists must make themselves as visible as possible when on unlit or poorly lit roads. The wearing of high visibility clothing etc increases the chances of being seen by up to 325%. This could be vital for your safety, in poor visibility. The months of October, November and December are particularly high risk with 15, 18 and 18 deaths respectively in 2011.All motorists should now be thinking “winter ready” and making preparations to make their vehicle safe for the colder weather ahead. Tyres, servicing, lights, wipers, washer fluid etc should all be checked. Most importantly, if a windscreen is iced over every driver must wait until it has cleared completely not only on the outside, but also clear from condensation on the inside before setting out on their journey.We also ask that every vehicle user take conditions into account when gauging their speed, and drive at the appropriate safe speed for every journey.A particular focus this weekend and going forward is the learner permit holder. Four operations have now been held this year targeting learner permit holders and their legal obligations to have a fully qualified driver with them at all times, plus the display of L plates. Although the compliance rate has increased since the first operation in March, it remains at an unacceptably high level, and this will continue to be addressed in future operations. Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar TD said: ‘This weekend, as with every bank holiday, there is a greater risk of deaths and serious injuries on our roads. With the clocks going back this weekend, there will also be fewer hours of daylight. This makes it even more important to be visible on the roads. If we could all learn one thing from the tragedy of road collisions, it would be how quickly and easily lives can be shattered. So I am asking everyone: young, old, cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and drivers, to be extra careful on the roads this weekend.”Assistant Commissioner Gerard Phillips said today: “Every road user must have already noticed the change in weather. It is colder, wetter and certainly darker for longer. Our message is to each and every road user to take all necessary steps to protect themselves no matter how they use the roads. Vehicle users need to check their vehicles, and make sure they are “winter ready”. Every driver should also be adjusting their speed to drive at an appropriate safe speed for all the conditions around them. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists need to see and be seen. Hi visibility clothing is not expensive, and it makes a massive difference in the ability of others to see you early on a dark or poorly lit road.”Assistant Commissioner Phillips continued: “We have run 4 separate operations targeting our learner permit holders. Since these started in March we have seen an increase in compliance with regards to being accompanied by a fully qualified driver and displaying L plates. For that we thank the public. For those though that continue to think that they can drive without adhering to these legally required conditions, we strongly advise you to think again. These requirements are there for your and every road user’s protection and there will be a continued focus on ensuring our learner driver’s do it right. The message is simple; if you are a learner permit holder, remember you are learning to drive. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you know it all!”Commenting on ‘Operation Learner Driver’, Mr. Noel Brett, CEO, Road Safety Authority welcomed the Garda enforcement of the rules of the road relating to learner drivers, “A learner permit is just that, a permit, it is not a driving licence. A Learner Permit places restrictions on a learner driver because they are inexperienced and therefore vulnerable road users. The restrictions include, that they be accompanied by a driver who has held their full licence for more than two years and that ‘L’ plates are displayed at all times to alert other drivers to the presence of a learner driver.”“Waiting times for a driving test or access to quality tuition are no longer excuses for driving long term or breaching the terms of the Learner Permit. There are almost 2,000 Approved Driving Instructors (ADI) nationwide, registered with the RSA, who are able to provide a high standard of tuition to candidates. Waiting times for the driving test have been cut dramatically and are below a ten week national average and in some places this waiting time is lower. If someone needs an urgent driving test, for example to secure a job, we can prioritise that candidate for a test.” “There is also an issue of parental responsibility involved here and I would appeal directly to the parents of young learner drivers to stop turning a blind eye to what’s going on and do not allow their son or daughter access to a vehicle, unless they are accompanied and have ‘L’ plates displayed. Finally I would urge everyone to take extra care when using the roads over the bank holiday weekend. Thanks to our changed behaviour on the roads over the last number of years, it is possible to achieve a weekend with no fatalities, and what an achievement that would be.”*figure correct as of 24th October 2012.Operation Learner Driver March 1st-2nd 2012RegionNo of L driversUnaccompaniedNo L PlatesDublin Region1978593Eastern Region22612597Northern Region1377646South Eastern Region2589455Southern Region2049866Western Region1615637TOTAL1183534 (45%)394 (33%)Operation Learner Driver 19th April 2012RegionNo of L driversUnaccompaniedNo L PlatesDublin Region966352Eastern Region25511478Northern Region1376151South Eastern Region1705324Southern Region2749247Western Region852914TOTAL1017412 (41%)266 (26%)Operation Learner Driver 5th July 2012RegionNo of L driversUnaccompaniedNo L PlatesDublin Region1567353Eastern Region2067252Northern Region1241229South Eastern Region863624Southern Region5549761Western Region1203231TOTAL1246322 (26%)250 (20%)Operation Learner Driver 11th October 2012RegionNo of L driversUnaccompaniedNo L PlatesDublin Region1576938Eastern Region34910855Northern Region752333South Eastern Region792415Southern Region2048142Western Region1133743TOTAL977342 (35%)226 (23%)Total for 4 operationsNo of L driversUnaccompaniedNo L Plates4,4234,4231,610 (36%)1,136 (26%) Advertisement October Bank Holiday Weekend (4 days Fri – Mon)Figures are based on operational data and are provisional and subject to change.2007 – Fri 26th Oct – Mon 29th Oct2008 – Fri 24th Oct – Mon 27th Oct 2009 – Fri 23rd Oct – Mon 26th Oct2010 – Fri 22nd Oct – Mon 25th Oct2011 – Fri 28th Oct – Mon 31st OctType200720082009201020115 year TotalFatalities6355322Fatal Collisions6344320Serious Injuries9135101350Serious Injury Collisions7846631BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND: A MESSAGE FROM AN GARDA SÍOCHÁNA was last modified: October 25th, 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:BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND: A MESSAGE FROM AN GARDA SÍOCHÁNAlast_img read more

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TRAGIC ERIN’S MUM SPEAKS OF LAST HOURS SPENT WITH HER DAUGHTER

first_imgThe mum of the young girl who took her own life after she claimed she was bullied on-line has spoken of the last few hours she spent with her loving daughter before the 13 year old took her own life.Erin Gallagher, a second year pupil at Finn Valley College, was found dead at her home in Ballybofey, on Saturday last.She took her own life just hours after posting messages on a social networking site saying she was bullied. Fighting back tears at a relation’s home in Killygordon, devastated mum Lorraine, 36, revealed she had watched a movie with her daughter just hours before the tragedy.“We had a takeaway and some sweets and she seemed fine,” said the mother of three.Lorraine said she was aware of the difficulties her daughter had been having.“It had been really bad but it seemed like she was getting better. “The bullying was going on since the summer but got much worse when she got back to school.“It was these girls who used to be her friends who fell out with her and just started bullying her everywhere.“She was bullied in school, on Facebook and through messages on her phone.“I tried to get help from the school and spoke to them about it,” she said.Things got so bad that Lorraine decided to contact Gardai two months ago. “The guards said if there was no proof or if she wasn’t being physically touched by the bullies there was nothing they could do.“She couldn’t prove who was doing it, but we knew who was doing it,” she said.Lorraine, pictured, paid a simple tribute to her late daughter who would have turned 14 in a few days time on November 14th.“She was beautiful, a lovely, lovely girl who never did anyone any harm in her life.” The school where Erin was a second year pupil have reacted swiftly to put measures in place to cope with the fall-out from the death of the young girl.Principal Frank Dooley liaised with the HSE and other bodies and launched a critical incident management plan.COUNSELLINGYesterday nine counsellors and other health professionals including psychologists met with parents and staff in a bid to deal with the challenges for all concerned in the future.Mr Dooley, who taught Erin last year, revealed he had only spoken to her last Wednesday and said she seemed in good form.“She was a very good pupil and always very pleasant. The last time I spoke to her was on Wednesday.“We are a small school and we have a good personal relationship with all pupils.“Erin seemed in good form when we met in school,” he said.Mr Dooley said he did not want to comment directly about Erin’s situation.“Within all schools when you are dealing with teenagers there is fragility and friction.“Children think they are adults and they are not but we have to deal with that,” he said.The well-known school principal said this and other such incidents must encourage the Government to move to address the dangers connected with the internet.“The bottom line is that four out of five pupils these days have smart phones and they are computers.“We have pupils for seven hours each day and we can monitor the use of these devices but parents and other relations also have a role to play,” he said.Mr Dooley said he also plans to invite pupils and their parents to another open counseling forum when Erin’s funeral takes place.WAKEErin will be waked at her aunt Myra Sweeney’s house at Dromore Park, Killygordon following last night’s removal from Letterkenny General Hospital.Her funeral mass will take place tomorrow (WED) at 11am at St.Mary’s Church in Stranorlar before burial at Castlefin Cemetary.Erin is survived by her mum Lorraine, sister Shannon, brother Sean James, grandfather Seamus, uncle James and relatives and many friends.TRAGIC ERIN’S MUM SPEAKS OF LAST HOURS SPENT WITH HER DAUGHTER was last modified: October 30th, 2012 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:BallybofeybullyingErin GallagherFinn Valley CollegeLOrraine GallagheronlineSUICIDElast_img read more

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GOVT MUST ALLOW FREE TRAVEL ON BUNCRANA-DERRY BUS ROUTE – McCONALOGUE

first_imgDeputy Charlie McConalogue has said it is unacceptable for Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton to refuse to permit use of free travel passes on the Buncrana to Derry Bus Route, previously operated by Lough Swilly.The Lough Swilly bus is no more.The Donegal TD was reacting to news that McGonagle coaches of Buncrana were told by the Department of Social Protection that they would be given no subsidy in order to accept travel passes.Deputy McConalogue commented, “It is a ridiculous decision by the Department not to offer a subsidy to the new Buncrana-Derry route. We now have a number of qualifying pensioners with virtually worthless travel passes because of the Government’s refusal to pay the companies who have taken over the routes from Lough Swilly. “Pensioners depend on these local routes and the Buncrana to Derry route is of particular importance locally. With many of our pensioners having worked in Britain for a number of years and returning home in later life, the majority of their pensions are paid into banks in Derry.“The fact that the subsidy has not been offered to McGonagle’s has increased fears about the proposed review of the free travel pass. The review has created increased anxiety among older people in Donegal, who depend on it to go about their daily lives. It is an essential support which helps them live independently and any attempts to change or tamper with the travel pass will not be tolerated”.“The Minister must recognise what the loss of the free travel passes means to elderly passengers in Inishowen and an allowance has to be made”.GOVT MUST ALLOW FREE TRAVEL ON BUNCRANA-DERRY BUS ROUTE – McCONALOGUE was last modified: July 3rd, 2014 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:deputy charlie mcconaloguedonegalLough swilly buslast_img read more

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