Voter Trucking Could Dampen Turnout during Run-off

first_imgThe overwhelming voter turn-out on election day might not be the same due to the effects of voter trucking. – Who Will Bear the Burden?The NEC has released the final results of the October 10 elections and determined that, since none of the 20 presidential candidates managed to gather the required 50 percent plus one of the total valid votes cast, there will be a run-off election. However, there is reason to believe that voter turnout could significantly affect the outcome of the run-off due to a phenomenon from the voter registration period — voter trucking.This would definitely be the biggest dilemma that the two remaining presidential candidates should ready themselves to face as Liberians head for the runoff.It is no secret that during the voter registration period, thousands of voting-age people, especially jobless youth, were transported by legislative candidates to their (candidates’) respective districts in order to have an edge in the October 10 election for the House of Representatives.  While some of those trucked may have had some genuine native connection to the districts to which they were transported, others went to register in those places mainly in exchange for cash.The deal would be that, political candidate agrees to transport each person in a group to the candidate’s district, to register to vote. There is a fee attached, to be collected by the would-be voter. When registration is complete, the candidate takes possession of all voter registration cards made on his or her behalf to keep until election day. The fee for the registration is paid and the newly registered voter is transported back home until the election.  Just before election day, those registered are then trucked back to the candidates district to cast their votes and pick up their final fee before being transported back home.Ahead of the run-off, legislative winners have already been announced, leaving no real interest in transporting contracted voters back to their places of registration to vote for any presidential candidate. Equally, most trucked voters quite unlikely to pay their own way to the areas where they registered, to cast their vote for their choice for president.The trucking of voters is, meanwhile, a violation of Liberian law. Under Section 4.5 of the Elections Law of Liberia, a violator guilty of trucking voters faces up to six months in prison.Because trucking of voters was done secretly, there is no way to tell how many votes would go un-cast or the effect it would have on how either presidential candidate performs in the run-off election.Despite numerous protests emanating from some of the major opposition parties such as the Liberty Party, the Alternative National Congress and the All Liberian Party over irregularities in the conduct of the polls, NEC Chairman Korkoya declared at the press conference that campaign activities for the runoff have started.It has definitely been a headache for the CDC and UP candidates with regards to who will take these voters back to vote in the upcoming runoff. “They were trucked outside their districts by legislative aspirants throughout the country in order to enhance their winning chances. But with the legislative election over and the run-off presidential election imminent, who will take these trucked voters back to these far off places to exercise their franchise?” an election observer asked at the NEC press conference yesterday.When summoned earlier this year to appear before the Plenary of the House of Representatives by Montserrado County District #3 Rep. Bill Twehway (CDC) to answer questions on some of the challenges faced during the VR process, NEC Chairman Korkoya said he was hoping that the NEC would learn from and avert some of the painful lessons of the 2011 presidential and legislative elections, especially trucking of voters.The NEC then promised to seriously monitor voter trucking activities, and defined trucking as taking voters from one place to another where they had no connection for the purpose of voting.At the time, Korkoya noted: “It might be premature to tell you that everything that comes out of the trucking issue will be addressed. We will try to determine the intent. People have a right to go to places where they come from to vote and I don’t think that was the intent of the lawmakers when they passed the law.“What trucking tries to prohibit is, let say for a lack of better word, bad people going into other areas they have absolutely no connection with, but to propel them in power… they will face 6 months in prison,” he said, although there are no instances of this happening despite the rampant nature of the act.The same Rep. Twehway just lost his seat to UP candidate Ceebee Barshell in the October 10 polls.The bigger question is, how does one determine the intent of “illegal” voter trucking? The question exposes the larger issue of the capacity of NEC or law enforcement to regulate voter trucking.Officials from the CDC and UP are yet to commit themselves to transporting these electorates to their respective voting areas, but are looking to see whether it will be necessary to do so, a source told this paper.“We will see what we can do as the time approaches, but we have to first of all identify some of these people—where they reside and where they did their registration,” a top member of the UP campaign team said.“We are still in contact with all of our legislative candidates, including those who were not successful at the polls. So there is likelihood that we will do just that,” the partisan, who asked not to be identified, said.Officials from the CDC said they couldn’t speak on the issue because it is a decision that needs to be taken by the Executive Committee of the coalition. “This is a very serious issue that any serious political institution should look into, but I can’t tell you that we will take responsibility because I’m not clothed with that authority. This is an issue that we should bring to the attention of the hierarchy of the coalition,” the top CDC official said.The trucking issue has been a major concern for many, particularly those looking to oust incumbents from office.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

U16 Boys played U18 Girls in intra-club friendly soccer game last weekend

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The FSJ Northern Strickers U16 Boys and Dan Turner’s U18 Girls soccer teams played in a intra-club indoor soccer match this past Saturday.The teams were using the match as a training exercise for a Tier 2 indoor tournament in Spruce Grove on Saturday and Sunday. While the girls are preparing for the their next Tier 1 league games in Edmonton. The teams played three periods of 25 minutes. The boys came out firing in the first period as they were playing with boards in play which favours attacking teams. They would strike early and often to take the first game by a score of 6-1. For the middle stanza the score was reset to 0-0 and the boards were taken out but still including rebounds off the goal walls. The boys would win the second period 3-2. The final frame saw the girls challenge the boys for control as they would win 3-1, for a final score of 10-6 in favour of the boys team.Both coaches were pleased with the result. As the boys team was working on ball control, composure and team comradery. The girls were more focused on pace, decision making and intensity.- Advertisement -A rematch is scheduled for December.last_img read more

Families aim for fun, big catch at Castaic Lake

first_imgSome participants brought their own fishing poles; others borrowed poles. Bait – everything from marshmallows to worms – was donated for the event. And the lake was stocked with 3,000 fish the night before, organizers said. By early afternoon, Landon Sumner, 9, had still not caught anything. But both he and his father, Jay Sumner, 34, were unfazed. “It’s OK. It’s the hunt,” Jay Sumner said, sitting on a folding stool. Landon said he had only caught one fish in his life, but it was so small that he and his dad cut it up for bait. He didn’t exactly know what he would do if he caught a fish Saturday. CASTAIC – If they left the lake toting a bunch of rainbow trout – or even if they failed to catch anything – children who joined in a free fishing lesson Saturday at Castaic Lake had plenty to enjoy. There was an emcee who let youths tell riddles and knock-knock jokes over a loudspeaker to scores of families fishing on the lakeshore. And for some children, it was their first time fishing. More than 500 participants joined in Fishing and Fun for Kids Day at Castaic Lake. “They love it. They think it’s the best day ever,” said organizer Linda Showalter, who works for the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. “I just might throw it back,” he said. Next to Landon, Dave Morley, 35, was using one of the few flyfish rods on the lakeshore, whipping its heavy line across the water and getting it tangled with Landon’s line. Morley’s daughter, Elizabeth, was having a go at it with her own fishing pole, but the pair still left without catching anything. “I only caught seaweed,” she said. alex.dobuzinskis@dailynews.com (661) 257-5253160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

A truly Grand Avenue

first_imgDowntown Los Angeles has been battling an image problem for quite some time now – at least since the days of snap-brim fedoras. In his 1942 novel “The High Window,” Raymond Chandler referred to the once-tony Bunker Hill district as “old town, lost town, shabby town, crook town.” The tourist guidebooks of today are no less gentle. The Access guide remarks of downtown, “Well, it’s not exactly what you might expect …” Best Places calls it “the most historic, maligned and stubborn part of the city.” Lonely Planet charts out prospective Southern California itineraries of one, two and three days, and doesn’t get around to this area until the third day, at which time it suggests, dismissively, “Quickly pay your respects to Downtown L.A., then …” With the arrival of your summer guests, you’ll likely be presented with the same uphill challenge. There will be the inevitable clamor for visits to Hollywood, Disneyland, the beach, Beverly Hills. But downtown L.A. deserves consideration, too, especially in light of two striking recent additions to the urban landscape: the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Newly revived and notably inviting is the stretch of Grand Avenue from the cathedral south past the concert hall, over the crest of Bunker Hill and down to the L.A. Central Library and the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. It is appealing both on busy weekdays and on all-but-deserted weekends, during the daytime and for evening cultural performances. Also, defying the cliche that nobody walks in L.A. (as fueled by the 1980s band Missing Persons), Grand Avenue is a delight to explore on foot, though the return climb can be exacting. Walt Disney Concert Hall Since it opened last year, Frank Gehry’s flight of architectural fancy has had a magnetic effect on visitors to downtown. The swooping contours and stark gray stainless steel – which varies subtly with every change in the available light – begs for a peek inside or a walk around the perimeter. Audio tours, narrated by actor John Lithgow, provide exceptional insight into the design of the building and its garden, but they won’t give you a look inside the auditorium itself. The acoustics are so precise in this hall that the opening of doors and the tramp of tourist feet disturb musicians in their rehearsals. To experience the Disney Concert Hall fully, you’ll have to buy a ticket, but unfortunately during the summer the performance schedule is a bit thin. The primary tenant, the L.A. Philharmonic, summers at the Hollywood Bowl, and only a few scattered performances – many of them pop acts (Indigo Girls, Jewel, David Byrne) – are scheduled for the hall. To do this place justice, however, you really should take in a performance of music that isn’t artificially amplified, since that was the intent of the auditorium’s design. The California Philharmonic is playing a Ravel program here on July 25. The interior is remarkable, with curving surfaces covered in fine-grained wood – and not a single 90-degree angle in which sound can rattle around. Even the ceiling has tentlike folds, though entirely of wood. The seating, steeply pitched for optimal sight lines, wraps around the performance stage. Diffused light finds its way in through tucked-away skylights in the corners – rare for a concert hall. The rich sound of an orchestra bursts toward you, and the acoustics are so impeccable that every cough, every rustled program and certainly every whisper reaches you as if through headphones. You get the sense that as the wood of the hall ages, the concert sound will gain character, as with a vintage string instrument. The only element of the Disney Concert Hall that falls flat is its dispensation of information. There seems to be no master calendar anywhere for performances at this place. The L.A. Philharmonic lists its schedule separately, as does the L.A. Master Chorale. For leased events, Music Center box-office personnel direct callers to Ticketmaster, whose Web site lists only about a third of the concert hall’s scheduled events for this summer. Even if you don’t get to a performance, however, the $10 audio tour provides a fascinating look around the edges. It guides you through the lobby, along the exterior walls and through the garden. People involved in the design and construction are heard describing the challenges of erecting a building that openly defies right angles. You learn that a global-positioning system was employed so that the builders could hit the precise coordinates for a wall that slopes outward at a 17-degree angle, for example. A peek behind a stairwell screen also reveals the Erector-Set superstructure that made it all possible. In the garden, set in a patio 34 feet above the street, are a variety of flowering trees, intended to provide splashes of color year-round. Scented geraniums appeal to another of the senses. But the most intriguing feature here is Gehry’s Lillian Disney Memorial Fountain. To construct it, he acquired hundreds of Royal Delft porcelain vases and tiles from the Netherlands … then systematically shattered them. The shards were used to create a mosaic fountain in the shape of a rose. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Los Angeles is a land of perpetual sunshine – or so the myth goes – and architect Rafael Moneo celebrated that distinction in this magnificent edifice, completed in 2002. Light filters into the cathedral through windows of Spanish alabaster, which subdues the harsh rays, eliminates glare and creates a natural glow within. Above the entry, the halo atop Robert Graham’s Our Lady statue is simply a crescent-shaped hole in a wall, designed to capture east-west sunlight for a radiant effect. A 60-foot cross is lit from within at night, effectively presenting a giant lantern. Volunteers lead free tours at 1 p.m. weekdays. Our tour, which lasted a little over an hour, was superb. It began moments after the cathedral’s 37-bell carillon burst to life to herald the hour. “People are disappointed that the bells don’t move when they ring,” said our guide, Mary Parker of Northridge. “They’re computerized. That little man who pulls the rope? He’s gone.” Particularly intriguing was Parker’s information on the tapestries of John Nava that adorn the interior walls of the nave. Nava drew images of saints at his Ojai studio, then had them digitally rendered and woven on computerized looms in Bruges, Belgium. And he used the familiar faces of his community for inspiration, Parker said, because “how do we know what the saints looked like?” Rose of Lima? That’s actually a girl who works at a coffee shop in Ojai. Like the concert hall, there are no right angles in the cathedral, either, and unlike classic European churches, there is no main door at the back. Instead, the entrance is on the south side, flanked by 25-ton inscribed bronze doors (the fire department has decreed that they never be closed, for safety reasons). A slightly inclined south ambulatory leads to the church interior. Also missing are the ornate adornments common to historic cathedrals. The walls have the beige cast of California missions. The altar is a simple if massive block of Turkish marble. The floor is composed of limestone pavers, radiating outward from the altar. The ceiling and pews are of rich but unadorned wood. But the light through those alabaster panels … now that’s something special. Los Angeles Conservancy walking tours Bert Mora concluded our Saturday morning walking tour, “Downtown’s Evolving Skyline,” at the Wells Fargo Plaza on Grand Avenue. We were directed to gaze directly up at the edge of a triangular skyscraper to marvel at the knife-edge effect the design creates. It was a fascinating perspective. And we pretty much had it to ourselves. “I don’t think we’ll ever be a New York, 24-hour-a-day type city,” said Mora. “We’re just not built that way. But just in the three years I’ve been living here (downtown), I’ve seen a lot more people coming down here on Saturday and Sunday. The Disney Concert Hall has had a lot to do with that.” The L.A. Conservancy, the city’s membership-supported architectural steward and watchdog, deserves some credit, too. It offers an outstanding menu of 14 Saturday walking tours, most of which concentrate on downtown treasures – the art deco heritage, the historic core, Little Tokyo, Union Station, City Hall, the Biltmore Hotel. On our two-hour tour, which cost $8 for nonmembers, we ducked through the enchanting Maguire Gardens west of the Central Library, ascended to the rooftop of the Superior Oil Building (now the Standard hotel) for a view through the high-rise canyons, found the hidden-away resting place of the ornate elevator doors of the lamentably departed Richfield Building and examined public art ranging from Alexander Calder’s “Four Arches” in the Security Pacific Plaza to Robert Graham’s bronze nudes in the Wells Fargo Center. We concluded with a descent of landscape architect Lawrence Halprin’s Bunker Hill Steps, fashioned after the Spanish Steps in Rome. A tumbling stream down the center mimics the cascading feel of the staircase itself. Museum of Contemporary Art You’ll get a chance to broaden your artistic horizons at “A Minimal Future?” which runs through Aug. 2 at the Museum of Contemporary Art. It exhibits more than 150 works from 40 American artists who emerged in the early 1960s. Theirs was an iconoclastic vision, seeking to impel the art world to think in three dimensions and in all manner of materials. Hans Haacke’s “Blue Sail,” for example, is a blue chiffon sheet suspended over an oscillating fan and anchored at the corners by fishing weights. The work is ever-changing, driven by the air currents from the fan, no two of which have the same effect on the sail. In other exhibit areas, you might be more hard-pressed to make sense of plywood panels or a stack of children’s blocks. An open mind is essential. MOCA has had a significant impact on Grand Avenue’s revival in recent years, notably with special exhibits showcasing the work of David Hockney and Andy Warhol, as well as documentary photographs from the likes of Diane Arbus. Elsewhere Other noteworthy stops along what is being called Grand Avenue’s cultural corridor: –Los Angeles Central Library. Fire in 1986 and an earthquake in 1987 wreaked havoc on Bertram Goodhue’s 1926 homage to all things Egyptian (spurred by the discovery of King Tut’s tomb), but the library is a model of tender, loving restoration today. Don’t miss Dean Cornwall’s 1933 murals in the rotunda, which present a romanticized view of California’s eras of Spanish exploration, the establishment of the missions and the coming of the railroads. On the same floor, the Getty Gallery has presented some solid historical exhibits in recent months. Currently on view is “Enterprising Women,” which tells the stories of more than 40 women who shook up the American business world, from architect Julia Morgan to potter Maria Martinez to Barbie doll creator Ruth Handler. –Music Center. It may now have a staid 1960s appearance alongside Gehry’s whimsical concert hall, but this is still the place to catch Broadway-style productions (Ahmanson), cutting-edge theater (Mark Taper Forum) and opera (Dorothy Chandler Pavilion). On summer days, the center’s plaza can feel like a vast, concrete pancake griddle, but at least the seemingly random squirts of Jacques Lipchitz’s “Peace on Earth” fountain provide some relief. –El Paseo de Pobladores de Los Angeles. This park, directly across Grand Avenue from the Music Center, is one of downtown’s lesser-known gems. It features a soaring fountain, ample shade (provided by palm, jacaranda, eucalyptus and pine trees) and colorful bougainvillea. At lunchtime on weekdays, it teems with bureaucrats and jurors. –Angels Walk L.A. Keep an eye out for the informative signposts sprinkled throughout downtown (there are 15 in the Bunker Hill area alone). With historic photos and well-informed text, they provide a self-guided tour of the city. Eric Noland, (818) 713-3681 eric.noland@dailynews.com AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

ATHLETICS: EAMON HARVEY’S ATHLETICS REPORT

first_imgBY EAMON HARVEY: Donegal athletes recorded a number of  outstanding performances at Tullamore over the weekend when the All Irelands Part 1 were held in ideal conditions.A number of National records and championship best performances  were recorded by the young athletes. Finn Valley pair Phelim McGuigan, threw the U16 – Hammer amassive 70.34m while brother Dalton smashed the U17 steeplechase record. James Kelly U12 Shot Putt 11.56m added tothe record bereaking weekend for Finn Valley athletes while Mark Bonnar recorded a CBP in the  Steeplechase.Tir Chonaills Karl Griffin, smashed a thirty years old record when winning the U17 800m impressively in a time of 1min52.72secs. The Donegal Town lad who heads for the European Youth Olympics in Turkey next week, two days earlier at the Clonliffe Harriers 125 years celebration meet in Santry ran 1min50.97secs in winning the B mens 800m. This is the fastest 2011 time in Europe by a 16 yr old. Cubmate Kate McGowan skimmed over the U15  80m Hurdles to lower a ten year old record -time 11.54secs and later on Saturday was most impressive when recording 5.50m for victory in then Long Jump. Letterkenny’s,Mark English, heads for the European JuniorU20 c/ships in Tallen this morning. On Sunday he steped down a distance and recorded 48.02secs for victory in the 400m – a new Co Donegal record for the distance and 0.2secs short of 400m qualification for the European Junior. innishowen AC coach Paddy Cox introduced Javelin throwing into his club one year ago. On Sunday his son Fergus threw over 37metres for an impressive victory in the U13 age group Outside Ireland Ruairi Finnigan,Letterkenny, at he World Youth U18 c/ships in Lille battled his way to the final of the 1,500m and in a most competitive climax on Sunday evening recorded a sub 3mins 50 secs time for a top ten placing. The Lettrkenny lad heads for the European Youth Olympics in Turkey ranked in the top ten in the world, next Monday morning, accompanied by Tir Chonail mate Karl Griffin under the managership of Bernie Alcorn, Finn Valley. Bernie incidentally, has just returned from the WYG in Lille where she had the support of Tir Chonaill Coach Eamon Harvey.Letterkenny’s Mark English departs today for the European Junior U20 c/ships in Tailinn while Daren McBrearty towards the end of the week is part of a twenty person Irish team. The Juniorand U23 teams are managed byexperienced  Donegal managers Neil Martin and Teresa McDaid Medal winners by club at the Al Irelands in Tullamore 9/10th July 2011 Tir Chonaill – Karl Griffin, Gold U17 800m NR, Kate McGowan Gold U15 80m Hurdles NR also Gold in Long Jump,Emma Brady, Silver U16 80m Hurdles, Thomas McGowan, Silver U13 Shot Putt,Louise Harvey Silver U19 100m Hurdles, Hannah Campbell, Bronze U16 Pole Vault and Clare Brady, Bronze U17 Pole VaultKillybegs – Dylan Kearns Bronze U13 JavelinFinn Valley  — Gold  John Kelly, U16 Javelin; James Kelly U12 Shot,NR; JadeLeeper,Silver U14 Discus, Blaithneid Patton, Silver  U16 High Jump,;Niamh McGranaghan  3rd U13 Javelin, Mark Bonnar 2nd Steeplechase U18, Dalton McGuigan Gold Steeplechase  U17 , Fellan McGuigan, U16 Hammer NR, Sommer Lecky, 3rU12 L ong Jump Shaun Woods 2nd U18 400mU18,  Aaron McGlynn, 3rd U13  High JumpLifford – Shannon Conwell, Gold U12 Ball Throw; Thomas Mullen, Silver U12 Ball Throw;Conor McKinney Bronze U15 High JumpInishowen Fergus Cox Gold  U14 JavelinLetterkenny Mark English, Gold U19 400m,Arlene Crossan, Silver U12 -600m,Natasha McArdle, Bronze U14 800m, Peter Gibbons , Bronze U15 800m. ATHLETICS: EAMON HARVEY’S ATHLETICS REPORT was last modified: July 12th, 2011 by gregShare 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:ATHLETICS: EAMON HARVEY’S ATHLETICS REPORTDonegal athleticslast_img read more

MARTIN MCGUINNESS GIVES MAIN ORATION AT DRUMBOE EASTER COMMEMORATION

first_imgAlmost 1,000 republicans marched in the pouring rain to commemorate Ireland’s Patriot Dead at the Drumboe Monument in Stranorlar yesterday.Cllr Cora Harvey chaired the proceedings and introduced young people from every corner of Donegal who laid wreathes and read documents such as the 1916 Proclamation and the Donegal and Tyrone Roll of Remembrance and Roll of Honour.Cllr Harvey then introduced the North’s Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness who gave the main speech. The following is the full text of Martin McGuinness’ speech.A chairde agus a chomrádaithe,I thank the Republicans of County Donegal for the opportunity to address you on this the 96th anniversary of the Easter Rising of 1916. It is a privilege to join with you as we recall the Proclamation of the Irish Republic and pay tribute to all those who have given their lives in the cause of Irish freedom. We make no distinction between the men and women of 1916 and the men and women of 1981. We honour equally the Republicans who fell in the years of struggle 1916 to 1923 and those who gave their lives in our own era since 1969.To the families, friends and comrades of all those who died we extend our continuing sympathy and solidarity. We are gathered at a poignant and historic place, the scene of a tragedy of the Irish Civil War. Charlie Daly, Seán Larkin, Daniel Enright and Tim O’Sullivan were put to death on this spot by Free State forces. They stood against the disastrous Partition of our country. James Connolly predicted that the Partition of Ireland would lead to a carnival of reaction. The four martyrs of Drumboe were among the victims of that carnival of reaction which saw thousands imprisoned and interned on both sides of the border, scores of prison executions and roadside killings of Republican prisoners and pogroms against the nationalist population in the Six Counties.Charlie Daly, Sean Larkin, Daniel Enright and Tim O’Sullivan were executed because they remained firm in their allegiance to the All-Ireland Republic proclaimed in 1916. The Easter Rising is the defining event and the Proclamation of the Republic is the defining document in the history of Irish Republicanism. You have heard the Proclamation read here today. Our task is to apply its principles to the Ireland of 2012 and to build a new Republic on this island.There are key turning points that change the course of every nation’s history. In Ireland, the 1916 rising was such an event as was the hunger strike of 1981. The Good Friday, St. Andrews and Hillsborough Agreements, and the IRA statement that the war is over were other such landmarks on a road that I firmly believe will lead to Irish reunification.The historic engagement we are now involved in with unionism within the political institutions provides a solid basis upon which to move forward to a new future for politics on this island.Sinn Féin is different from other political parties and is proud of that fact and determined to remain so. For us politics is not just about winning seats or achieving ministerial posts. Sinn Féin is a party born in struggle with our membership and elected representatives coming from the communities most under the strain of political and economic exclusion North and South. We must always understand and reflect the needs of people struggling to survive in their daily lives. That understanding and connection with our community is the bedrock of our struggle. Here in County Donegal, the people have spoken, the election of Pearse Doherty and Padraig MacLochlainn just over a year ago have placed our party in the leadership of this proud Republican County, The Elections saw spectacular growth for Sinn Féin and with further gains for our Party in the Assembly elections shows that as the only all-Ireland party with substantial electoral support we have now, in a decisive step in the last year moved into the mainstream of Irish political life throughout all 32 counties, We gather here at a time of great challenge in Ireland. Hundreds of thousands of people are struggling to survive. Tens of thousands of our most talented young people are leaving our shores. It is unacceptable and the direct result of the actions of corrupt political and business elites whose actions have been laid bare by the Mahon and Moriarty Tribunals.Partition created two conservative states on our island. They served the needs of the political elites north and south instead of the needs of ordinary citizens across the island. That is why the southern establishment was happy to pay lip service to a united Ireland and why some continue to do so.Republicans have a different vision. We believe there is a better way. A re-united Ireland and a New Republic built in the interests of citizens is the future.There is massive potential for Republicans in the time ahead. The Good Friday Agreement has levelled the political playing field. Unionism no longer has a veto over Irish unity. The Government of Ireland Act by which Britain claimed a part of Ireland has been repealed. While Orangeism may remain, the spectre of the Orange state has gone, and it will never return.We are in an entirely new situation legislatively and constitutionally. Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement the British Government has agreed to legislate to end its jurisdiction over the North of Ireland if a majority of people in the North want it.In that context, republicans have a responsibility to reach out to unionists and to others to engage with them about the nature and form of the future structures on this island. The development of an all-island economy is clearly in the interests of everyone in Ireland. The construction of the new Radiotherapy unit in the North-West will be of huge benefit to the people of Donegal, Tyrone and Derry. We stood by this commitment and we delivered it. We also stood firm and are delivering on the new first class roads from the North-West to Dublin and Belfast with construction to begin in a few months time. These are but two of the many initiatives which bring mutual benefits North and South that can improve the lives of our people no matter what their political or religious affiliation.We seek a united Ireland in which the unionist section of our people feel comfortable and play a full part in the life of the nation. I believe that it is possible for unionists and republicans to stand together without dilution of our beliefs. As was stated to me very clearly by a unionist Leader, ‘Martin we can rule ourselves. We don’t need direct rulers coming over from London telling us what to do’. That statement provided common ground on which we can all stand. We must be open to practical ways of giving expression to the unionist sense of Britishness within a united Ireland.In the discussions leading to re-unification we will be imaginative in terms of passport rights, symbols and other issues of identity crucial to building a fully inclusive united Ireland respecting the traditions of all our people in all their diversity.Unionist participation in large numbers at our Uniting Ireland conferences is most encouraging and proves that a large section of unionist opinion is willing to contribute to the debate on the new politics which the Good Friday Agreement has brought. We also must listen to what unionists say. We must truly act as nation builders, and peacemakers. That means always stretching ourselves and always taking risks to advance the task of building a new Ireland.All Republicans have an obligation to participate in this task. This means, first of all, firmly rejecting sectarianism, bigotry and violence in all its forms – no matter what its source and no matter what its target.Secondly it means engaging in positive and active dialogue with unionists and demonstrating to them, not just by our words but by our deeds, that equality means equality for all – not just for nationalists and republicans but for all those who share this island.Ireland as a nation can only truly prosper if we are at peace with ourselves as a people. It means overcoming the historic fracture between Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter. In the Ireland of 2012 it means building a pluralist, ethnically and culturally diverse society that embraces all citizens.I want to deepen and expand my role to lead the process of national reconciliation in Ireland – a process that I believe is already underway. There is now a greater tolerance of difference and diversity which is borne out of better understanding of each other.I am very confident in my Irishness. I am also very aware of my responsibilities as the deputy First Minister and very conscious that I am elected as deputy First Minister for all people – I take that responsibility seriously particularly to the unionist community.I am also very conscious of my responsibility as a Republican leader –to defend and promote the integrity of our struggle.Let the message go out very clearly from Drumboe today – Sinn Féin will not be deflected from the historic work we are engaged in. We are the Nation builders. We are not motivated by self interest or personal gain. We have set ourselves high standards and even bigger goals – but we are determined and we are united. We are the engine driving historic political, social and constitutional change on this island.I urge each and every one of you to be part of that movement for real change in our country, for social and economic and cultural freedom, for a real Republic embracing all 32 Counties and all of our people.Many of you are supporters of Sinn Féin who assist in elections and fundraising and who attend commemorations and other events such as these. I ask you, if you have not already done so, to take the next step and to join Sinn Féin.Play your part, have your say, empower yourself and your community. Encourage your friends and family to join Sinn Féin. We need a mighty movement across this land to reach our goal of freedom and unity.We are on the road to freedom. If we go forward together, firmly united and in greater numbers, we will complete our historic task — a united Ireland and a New Republic.An Phoblacht Abú!MARTIN MCGUINNESS GIVES MAIN ORATION AT DRUMBOE EASTER COMMEMORATION was last modified: April 8th, 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:Drumboe Easter Commemorationmartin mcguinnesslast_img read more

PICTURE SPECIAL: LYIT GRADUATION DAY

first_imgThe future looks bright for the students who graduated from LYIT on Friday, October 25.The class of Mechanical Engineering students who were conferred at LYIT yesterday.Helena Gavigan of Rathmullan with her proud parents Seamus and Dominica.John Long from Castlefin with his parents Trevor and Gillian and sisters Lorna and Jennifer when he graduated from LYIT this week.Aoife Whelan and her proud mum at the graduation ceremony in LYIT whe she graduated with an honours degree in Nursing.Mark and Kirsty Boland who both graduated at LYIT this week. Mark received his degree in Mechanicl Engineering while Kirsty received her degree in Administration and Management.Rhonda Colhoun with her proud parents Maureen and RoyMichelle Brogan with daughters Amy and Tiegan when was conferred with her degree in Business Adminstration and Management.Graduant Leanne Mcclelland with her daughters Mia and Amy when she was conferred with her degree in Business Administration.PICTURE SPECIAL: LYIT GRADUATION DAY was last modified: October 28th, 2013 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) Tags:2013educationgraduationLYITpicture speciallast_img read more

Hughes keen to raid Man City and Blackburn – reports

first_imgQPR boss Mark Hughes wants Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong and Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson, according to reports.Hughes has been linked with a number of players.Hughes was City’s manager when they signed De Jong, who is entering the final year of his contract at Eastlands.The Dutchman was only a substitute for his team’s last four matches of the season, which the Daily Mirror say has alerted Rangers to his possible availability.And the Daily Mail say Rangers and West Ham both want Robinson, who is tipped to leave Blackburn following their relegation.Meanwhile, Chelsea are ready to outbid Manchester United to land Belgian winger Eden Hazard, The Daily Telegraph report.The Blues are favourites to sign Hazard from Lille, with United said to be reluctant to pay the £35m asking price. Manchester City, who have also shown an interest, apparently have reservations about his wage demands.Hazard is expected to announce his future following Belgium’s friendly against England at Wembley next week.The Sun report Brazilian club Sao Paulo’s claim that Chelsea have made a £23m bid for 19-year-old midfielder Lucas Moura.The player’s adviser Wagner Ribeiro said: “He has the perfect profile to play in Europe. He’s a good player and knows how to shoot.”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Want to go for minimal makeup on your wedding day? This celeb makeup artist has something to say

first_imgQ: When did you know a career in beauty is for you?While interning at a publication house, and pursuing my higher studies to be a journalist. Back then, I was an assistant at a shoot production, and that is when my fascination with beauty began.Q: What’s your signature makeup style?Definitely classic-minimalistic is the word. Also read:Your guide to amazing skin if you are 20-something-year old Q: Your favourite palettes…Eye shadows from Laura Mercier and Chanel are my first choices for sublime shades, as their textures are very velvety.Q: An eyeshadow can look dated easily. How different can be the application to sport a fresh look?Avoid patting on too much in one application. Thin layers is the key, and then blend, blend, and just blend!Q: Makeup products you buy over and over again?The Guerlain terracotta bronzer range.Q: Looks for the minimal and the dramatic bride?For the minimal bride, it would be mostly daywear shades in sheer. The goal is to keep the look sublime and fresh. For the dramatic bride, I would highlight the eyes and lips for ample drama. Be careful to balance the two ends of the spectrum.Q: Fragrances that uplift your mood instantly?Chanel No. 5 (my first scent memory). Also, Michael Kors’ perfumes are apt for daily wear.last_img read more

Pak launches operation against last terrorist hideouts

first_imgFrom Sajjad HussainIslamabad, Feb 24 (PTI) Pakistan army today launched the final phase of an ongoing operation to clear the last strongholds of militants based in North Waziristan tribal region close to the Afghanistan border.Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif was briefed about the military operation during his visit to the tribal region.The operation will target ravines and forests in the Shawal Valley and Dattekhel areas of North Waziristan, which had been used by militants for years as safe havens, military spokesman Lt Gen Asim Bajwa said.”Final phase of operation in left over pockets of North Waziristan has begun,” Bajwa said.He said that Sharif had directed to commence last phase operation in North Waziristan to cleanse remnant terrorists from hide outs in deeply forested ravines and jungle.He said troops were in a high state of morale and ready for last phase of operation and determined to finish work as soon as possible.He said local support for terrorists even in Shawal Valley had totally diminished and people want to sever their links with militants across the country. The forested ravines of Shawal, Dattakhel had also served as popular infiltration routes between Pakistan and Afghanistan.Army launched operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan in June 2014 to clear the remote area of militants and had so far cleared more than 90 per cent area of the district.It says that more than 3,500 militants have been killed in the operation so far. PTI SH SUA AKJ SUAlast_img read more