All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football Championship


Aileen Wall of Waterford in action against Aoife Kane of Dublin during the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football Championship Round 2 match. Photos: Stephen MCCarthy/Sportsfile

Aileen Wall of Waterford in action against Aoife Kane of Dublin during the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football Championship Round 2 match. Photos: Stephen MCCarthy/Sportsfile

Dubs survive Déise test

Dublin 0-17
Waterford 1-10
Waterford’s interest in this year’s All-Ireland Ladies Football Championship is over after just one game, but not without giving a Dublin side chasing a fourth All-Ireland Title in a row a massive fright in Baltinglass.
Mick Bohan’s Dublin had a fantastic start to the game as they went 0-8 to 0-2 up after only 19 minutes.
Credit though to Ciaran Curran’s side who battled back to reduce the deficit to two points by the half-time break.
Waterford continued to mount the pressure on the Dublin defence in the second half and when Róisín Tobin netted mid way through Dublin’s lead was down to a point.
However, Dublin’s greater experience on the big stage was the telling factor as they kicked three of the last four scores to win.
Dublin were quick out of the traps in this one with Sinead Ahearne and Caoimhe O’Connor pointing in the opening two minutes. Chloe Fennell hit Waterford’s first score on three minutes and when Sinead Ahearne, from a free, and Róisín Tobin swapped scores it started to look like this could be a close game.
Dublin however enjoyed a purple patch over the next ten minutes in which they kicked five points without reply.
Sarah McCaffrey put the Dubs two up, Carla Rowe, Caoimhe O’Connor, Niamh McEvoy and Sinead Ahearne kicked scores in a seven-minute spell to extend the advantage.
Waterford, to their credit, came storming back. Chloe Fennell put over a brace of scores from frees and Aileen Wall hit one to leave just two between the sides with half an hour played. Carla Rowe edged the lead to three when she pointed in the first added minute, but Stradbally’s Chloe Fennell, who finished top scorer for the Déise, ended the half with her fourth of the game to leave Waterford just two points adrift at the interval.
Wing back Orlagh Nolan opened the second half scoring mid way through the third quarter, but her score was cancelled out by another from Chloe Fennell.
Carla Rowe and Lyndsey Davey followed up with points for the Sky Blues, opening up a four-point lead.
Waterford quickly responded with the only goal of the game. On 43 minutes Noelle Healy fouled Karen McGrath inside the Waterford half of the field. She took the free herself and sent a huge delivery into the Dublin half which Aileen Wall raced onto. The Ballymacarbry player ran at the Dublin defence and laid off the ball to Róisín Tobin, who sent an unstoppable strike past Ciara Trant to leave just the minimum between the teams.
Sinead Ahearne responded with a brace of points for Dublin within a minute of each other, but Chloe Fennell again split the Dublin uprights four minutes from time.
Dublin now had to call on all of their experience gained over the last decade to see them over the line and advance to this year’s semi-final as group winners.
Noelle McEvoy and substitute Lucy Collins hit scores at the Waterford end of the field before Chloe Fennell hit her seventh of the game.
Dublin ensured victory when Sinead Ahearne put over her fourth free of the afternoon and sixth score overall to seal victory.
Ciaran Curran’s side have one game in the round robin section of the competition to play this coming weekend when they will take on Donegal in Mullingar at 1pm on Saturday.
Waterford: Rosie Landers; Megan Dunford, Rebecca Casey, Kelly Anne Hogan; Aisling Mullaney, Karen McGrath, Mairead Wall; Emma Murray, Liz Devine; Chloe Fennell, Katie Murray, Aoife Murray; Aileen Wall, Róisín Tobin, Lauren Mulcahy.
Subs: Róisín Dunphy for Kelly Anne Hogan (9), Aoife Kennedy for Megan Dunford, Caragh McCarthy for Liz Devine (both 61).
Scorers: Chloe Fennell (0-7, 5f), Róisín Tobin (1-1), Katie Murray, Aileen Wall (0-1each).
Dublin: Ciara Trant; Martha Byrne, Niamh Collins, Aoife Kane; Orlagh Nolan, Leah Caffrey, Lauren Magee; Jennifer Dunne, Lyndsey Davey; Noelle Healy, Sinead Aherne, Carla Rowe; Sarah McCaffrey, Niamh McEvoy, Caoimhe O’Connor.
Subs: Lucy Collins for Jennifer Dunne (38), Kate Sullivan for Sarah McCaffrey (45), Niamh Hetherton for Niamh McEvoy (58), Laura McGinley for Orlagh Nolan (61), Muireann Ni Scanaill for Lauren Magee (63).
Scorers: Sinead Aherne (0-6, 4f), Carla Rowe (0-3), Niamh McEvoy, Caoimhe O’Connor (0-2 each), Orlagh Nolan, Lyndsey Davey, Sarah McCaffrey, Lucy Collins (0-1 each).
Referee: Barry Redmond (Wexford).





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Dag Hammarskjold – Village Magazine

Dag Hammarskjold – Village Magazine


The youngest and best UN Secretary General, 60 years after his assassination.

By Chay Bowes

Dag Hammarskjold was the second ever, and some say the greatest, Secretary General of the UN. When he died sixty years ago this year, President John F Kennedy suggested that Hammarskjold had been “the greatest statesman of our century”. At 47 years of age on his appointment, Hammarskjold was the youngest ever secretary-general of the United Nations and one of only two people to ever be awarded the Nobel prize posthumously.

Are his life, innovations and untimely death relevant in 2021?

Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjold was born in 1905 to a wealthy Swedish ‘noble’ family, the son of a future Swedish prime minister and politician Hjalmar Hammarskjold, who would serve during the first part of the first world war.

Dag Hammarskjold had a relatively privileged early life at the family home at Uppsala castle. Despite his materially comfortable surroundings, Hammarskjold experienced much personal difficulty within his conservative and emotionally rigid family. Roger Lipsey, in his work ‘Hammarskjöld: a Life’ (2016) suggests: “There were enough confusing psychological crosscurrents to generate sterile excellence and recurrent personal misery”. Essentially Lipsey posits that Hammarskjold was given ample opportunity to achieve a life of “high-level mediocrity” but despite the restrictions and emotional limitations of his upbringing he would achieve great things.

Hammarskjöld has been credited with coining the term “planned economy”. He co-drafted the legislation that opened the way to the creation of Sweden’s welfare state

Hammarskjold attended the “Katedralskolan” one of the oldest educational establishments in Sweden (Est 1236 ) and went on to take law and philosophy degrees in 1930 at the University of Uppsala. He had by then already been appointed to the post of assistant secretary of the “committee on employment” in the Swedish government. Hammarskjold excelled as a civil servant and by 1936 had been appointed to the Swedish central bank serving as secretary of its general council between 1941 and 1948. Hammarskjöld has been credited with coining the term“planned economy”. He co-drafted the legislation that opened the way to the creation of Sweden’s welfare state.

In 1947 Hammarskjold was made Sweden’s delegate to the organisation for European Economic Co-operation where he assisted in the implementation of the Marshall plan to resurrect Western Europe economically. Despite being appointed by a government of Social Democrats, Hammarskjold never actually joined any political party himself.

The United Nations

By 1951 Hammarskjold joined Sweden’s delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in Paris.

Hammarskjold’s conviction that smaller, less powerful nations should be protected was central to his vision for the UN as a peacekeeping entity. He quickly became Chairman of the Swedish delegation. Hammarskjold wanted the United Nations to be a dynamic tool for its members with pragmatism at its core.

The Suez Crisis, Innovation and Pragmatism

Hammarskjold exercised his own personal diplomacy to get the UN to nullify the use of force by Israel, France, and Great Britain following Nasser’s commandeering of the Canal;

At the outbreak of the Suez crisis in 1956, the United Nations had never deployed peacekeeping forces.

rticle 43 of the UN Charter provides that All Members of the United Nations, in order to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security, undertake to make available to the Security Council, on its call armed forces, assistance, and facilities, including rights of passage, necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security.

Working alongside Canada’s foreign Minister Lester Pearson who had initially sown the seeds of the concept in Hammarskjold’s mind, the concept of peacekeeping as we know it today was formulated. Hammarskjold pulled together enough support and commitment from member states to establish the United Nations Emergency Force or UNEF which stood ready for deployment in weeks. The essential tenets of that initial UNEF mission remain at the core of all UN missions to this day.

The Congo, Context and Global Relevance

The decolonisation of Africa had reached a pivotal moment by mid-1961. Neither the Soviets nor the Americans supported colonialism. They nevertheless saw the relinquishing of colonial possessions by Britain, Belgium, France and Portugal as an opportunity to expand their influence in newly independent states.

Certainly the remaining minority-white governments of the region such as South Africa and Rhodesia had significant concerns about the decolonisation process. In 1960 the Belgian government officially relinquished its sovereignty in the Congo and a nationalist leader Patrice Lumumba was elected Prime Minister. In a vain attempt to appease his rivals and preserve unity, he appointed the opposition leader Joseph Kasavubu as president. However, days later the army mutinied. In the midst of this turmoil, large umbers of white Belgian settlers began to leave the Congo with Belgian forces intervening on the grounds of protecting its citizens.

In May 1960 Moise Tshombe announced that the province of Katanga, which held most of Congo’s mineral wealth, was declaring independence. Among the valuable minerals and deposits Katanga held were uranium and cobalt. A Belgian commercial entity called the “Katanga mining union” immediately began to support the breakaway government based in Elisabethville. The immediate effect of such financial support for Katanga was that it was wealthy enough to stand alone against Congo proper, with the Belgian mining interests ensuring that their assets in the region would remain under their control.

In September 1961 Hammarskjold was on a mission to facilitate an end to this evolving conflict in Katanga.

Hammarskjold firmly believed that the post-colonial growth and liberty of the newly independent Congo should not be influenced or restricted by its old colonial ruler, Belgium. The defence and preservation of the infant independent Congo became a personal priority. He along with 15 others died in a plane crash on 18 September 1961 in what is now Zambia. He was on his way to negotiate a  cease-fire between UN forces and Katangese troops under Moise Tshombe.

In her definitive work, which served to stimulate renewed UN investigation into Hammarskjold’s death, British academic Susan Williams, (‘Who killed Hammarskjold?’, Oxford University Press 2014) contends that his death was linked to the foreign security services of the United States, Great Britain and white supremacist influences on the African continent.

In February 2017 the United Nations re-opened investigations into the death of Hammarskjold.

Former Tanzanian chief justice Mohamed Chande Othman’s report in 2019 concluded that Hammarskjold’s plane may have been attacked and that the United States, Russia and Britain are withholding evidence that may be conclusive in confirming this.

None of the countries criticised in the report have commented on the report.

Hammarskjold’s conviction that smaller, less powerful nations should be protected was central to his vision for the UN as a peacekeeping entity

More than 30 years after the death of Hammarskjold, George Smith and Conor Cruise O Brien, both former senior United Nations officials in the Congo, contacted the Guardian newspaper suggesting that they had direct evidence that an accidental interaction with a rebel fighter had caused the plane to crash. O’ Brien suggested that a “warning burst” from a Fouga Magister jet had accidentally hit the plane”. In 1998 the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission chaired by Desmond Tutu published numerous documents that implicated the British, American and South African intelligence services in an attempted sabotage of the plane though the British government maintained that the documents were Soviet forgeries. In late 2005 Bjorn Egge, the former head of the United Nations military “intelligence” group in the Congo, recalled that he had seen an execution-style bullet hole in the forehead of Dag Hammarskjold when he identified his body in the mortuary.

Later forensic and official photographs did not record this injury. In more recent years the Swedish journalist and filmmaker Goran Bjorkdahl has collaborated with Susan Williams, concluding that Hammarskjold’s plane was indeed shot down.

All witnesses reported seeing: bright lights in the sky and hearing loud noises before the crash; seeing another “smaller” aircraft fly alongside or “over” Hammarskjold’s plane; and Hammarskjold’s DC9 circling “several times” before the crash. Bjorkdahl also interviewed six previously unknown witnesses who clearly state they saw uniformed men at the crash site soon after the event, even though the official record suggests that the crash site was not identified until later that afternoon. Bjorkdahl suggests that these witnesses were murdered too but there was, at the very least, serious intimidation.

Susan Williams’ book challenges the credibility of the Rhodesian authorities that carried out the initial investigation. Williams points out that pictures that were taken of Dag Hammarskjold post-mortem conceal an area of his face, in particular, his right eye – the area of Hammarskjold’s face where United Nations official Bjorn Egge had allegedly seen a bullet hole. The photographs have been professionally assessed as being “touched up”.

Williams also suggests that evidence relating to the only man to live through the incident (only to die several days later), Harold Julien, had said there had been an explosion before the plane crashed. Rhodesian investigators had initially discounted his evidence on the basis that he was heavily sedated; however, Williams discovered medical records that state clearly that he was entirely lucid.

Lipsey suggests that the death of Hammarskjold ended any hopes for lasting peace in the Congo and notes that the Congo is still unstable and violent.

On September 20th 1961, merely days after Hammarskjold’s death US President Harry Truman told a New York Times reporter that: “He was right on the point of getting something done when they killed him. Notice that I said ‘when they killed him’”. Truman never clarified his comments.

His death was linked to the
foreign security services of the
United States, Great Britain and
white supremacist influences
on the African continent

Dag Hammarskjold’s conviction that small countries should be allowed the freedom to express their sovereignty freely would have had particular resonance in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Baltic and Balkan states have struggled to find their feet in the vacuum between Russian and NATO influence but, had Hammarskjold survived and succeeded in the Congo, the United Nations might have evolved into a more formidable, nonpartisan defender of these small states.

Hammarskjold was a supremely ethical visionary and a Renaissance Man. Deeply religious and driven by an overwhelming personal duty, his legacy is one of pragmatism in the circumstances. He noted that “The UN wasn’t created to take man into paradise, but rather to save mankind from hell”.

After his death, the publication in 1963 of his diary,  Markings,  revealed his “negotiations with myself – and with God”. The entries themselves are spiritual truths given artistic form. Markings contains many references to death, including this one from the opening entries, written when he was a young man and cited when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize:

“Tomorrow we shall meet,
Death and I –
And he shall thrust his sword
Into one who is wide awake”

He died in his prime leaving a legacy forged in duty of pragmatic anti-colonialism, international solidarity and in particular a solid, interventionist and respected UN.

As Ireland advances its so-far rather understated strategy on the Security Council, it could do worse than adopt the Hammarskjold template.



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New Nikola truck models for its North American Fuel-Cell Vehicle Programme

New Nikola truck models for its North American Fuel-Cell Vehicle Programme


Zero-Emission Vehicle Portfolio Lineup Includes a Re-Engineered Cabover and a Projected 900-Mile Range Sleeper

The Nikola Corporation, a global leader in zero-emissions transportation and infrastructure solutions, has announced details about its North American hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) commercial truck programme.

Following the launch of North American production of the Tre battery-electric vehicle (BEV), Nikola plans to introduce a FCEV variant of the Nikola Tre Cabover, and the long-range Nikola Two FCEV Sleeper targeting best-in-class efficiency for ranges between 300-900 miles in the North American market.

“To expedite the transition to a carbon-free future, the trucking industry needs heavy-duty, zero-emission commercial vehicles engineered to match the weight and range capabilities of today’s diesel trucks. Nikola is excited to introduce additional detail about our portfolio of FCEV trucks and our continued commitment to sustainable commercial transportation,” said Nikola’s Global Head of FCEV Jason Roycht.

The Nikola portfolio includes trucks for the entire spectrum of commercial freight:

  • Metro/Regional—Nikola Tre BEV Cabover for trips up to 300 miles
  • Regional—Nikola Tre FCEV for longer-range needs of up to 500 miles and for fast fueling/quick turnaround needs
  • Long-Haul—Nikola Two FCEV Sleeper for longest-range missions up to 900 miles

NIKOLA TRE FCEV CABOVER

The Nikola Tre FCEV Cabover is targeted for distances up to 500 miles, and is expected to address the majority of the North American regional market, especially use cases where additional freight hauling capacity and quick fueling are required by fleet operators.

The Tre FCEV leverages the Tre BEV platform with hydrogen fuel-cell power, while being designed to improve aerodynamics and reduce total vehicle weight.

The first Tre FCEV prototype builds are scheduled to begin in Arizona and Ulm, Germany in Q2 2021, with testing and validation of the vehicles continuing into 2022, and production commencing planned for the second half of 2023.

NIKOLA TWO FCEV SLEEPER

The Nikola Two FCEV Sleeper is a long-haul freight solution with hydrogen capacity allowing a non-stop range of up to 900 miles.  The Two FCEV leverages the weight advantage of hydrogen in long-range, long-haul zero-emission commercial transportation. The Two FCEV will be based on a new chassis custom designed for North American long-haul routes and is anticipated to launch in late 2024.

NIKOLA FUEL-CELL AND HYDROGEN STORAGE SYSTEMS

The Nikola Tre and Nikola Two FCEVs are expected to utilize multiple common fuel-cell power modules and scalable hydrogen storage systems.  Both systems are currently in development and testing with industry leaders in collaboration with Nikola Engineering. The first Tre prototypes utilizing these systems are expected to begin road testing in 2022.

“Our plan is to enter the market in steps,” said Roycht. “We are building on the current Tre platform with the planned launch of ourfuel-cell and hydrogen storage systems in 2023. These systems are designed to be scalable in order to handle the greater power and longer-range requirements for long-haul, which allows for concurrent integration into the chassis design of the Nikola Two FCEV Sleeper. Utilizing common components and systems for hydrogen propulsion will support greater economies of scale and also allow Nikola to continuously expand and adapt our FCEV truck portfolio to address the diverse requirements of commercial trucking.”



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Bangers and Brexit: The Politics of the Absurd – Ciaran Quinn


The Union faces an existential crisis and it’s all down to the Great British Banger. To be more precise checks at ports to ensure animal welfare and food safety.  But it seems calls to lower standards do not have the same ring as “Save the Sausage”.

In the fight to save the union, the six-county sausage, has been emasculated by Unionists as not British enough.

The union is on a knife-edge and unionist anger is about to spontaneously combust over sausages, flowers, and muck on the wheels of tractors. So let’s step this back.

First, there have always been checks at the ports of entry. Brexit means there will be more of them. So, checks are not a point of high principle but a process to be managed. Take the example of live animal checks as supported by the DUP. A common-sense approach to stop the spread of diseases like Foot and Mouth. As Ian Paisley once said, “We are British, but our cows are Irish.” Our cows roamed free in a borderless Ireland and the union was not undermined. 

There was the option to avoid Brexit checks. Theresa May planned to maintain regulations and standards in line with the EU. So no additional checks. The DUP voted against that and sided with Boris Johnston.

Then there is the claim that the Protocol creates a difference with Britain. The north has suddenly become a separate entity; a place apart. The DUP had no problem with different laws from Britain when it comes to women’s health, marriage equality, etc. Devolution is about the difference. 

We are told that the actions of the British Government undermine the union. Surely there is nothing more unionist than Westminster legislating for the whole of Britain and the North. It is the Union in action. And also why it must go.

Peter Robinson, the former leader of the DUP posed the questions to unionists of how you oppose something while simultaneously imposing it. So the options for Unionists are; pull down Stormont (in the knowledge that the British Government would administer the Protocol) or get on with it. Drawing on the judgment of Pontius Pilate, Peter offered no advice.

This isn’t about sausages or the Protocol or even the union.

It is about the state of Unionism.  Political unionism has not embraced the changes of the Good Friday Agreement. Despite it being endorsed by the majority, the DUP, on principle, continues to refuse to support the Agreement.  The DUP is now threatening court action because Brexit undermines the principles of the same Agreement. The politics of the absurd.

The Assembly and the Executive that meets in Stormont is different from all that went before it. The automatic unionist majority is gone. Brexit was rejected by the majority of people and their political representatives.

It is not the protocol or a  sausage that is the crisis. It is the demographic change and the changing place of unionism that has created a crisis.

The DUP position on Brexit has been exposed. As Brexit plays out other issues will emerge not related to food safety checks, such as the impact on Financial Services, the loss of CAP payments,  and other EU funding. This is just the start of the Brexit mess.

The DUP failed to use its power and leverage at Westminster for the good of the people. It appears that after supporting the Tories they now have fewer friends and less influence. Left to plead for a Westminster singalong of the Sash only to be met by a Tory Minister threatening the Fields of Athenry.

So now the DUP and unionism are doing what they do. Manufacture an enemy, claim the union is in danger, call for unionist unity, raise the threat of violence and circle the wagons. And the circle is getting tighter. None of this will change the unionist position; only further destabilise the situation and increase the possibility of a violent response.

Unionist leaders increasing tension and playing the threat of violence is not new. Their recent attempt to close Larne and Belfast ports has been exposed as the actions of a desperate DUP.  Closing ports in protest at fake food shortages seems to sum up the current Unionism strategy.

Unionist paramilitaries remain active and have a seat at the unionist table. Unionist leaders over the years have lit the fuse and walked away. It is working-class unionists that go to jail and gain criminal records. While unionist political leaders wash their hands of their responsibility.

Unionist political leaders must make clear in word and deed their commitment to entirely peaceful and democratic means.

Republicans cannot fill the leadership deficient in Unionism. We have to deal with it.

Now is the time for calm heads and measured actions to manage the protocol. All of this is the outworking of Brexit. 

The protocol is part of an international trade agreement between the EU and the British Government. It is supported by the US as the way to avoid a hard border in Ireland.  Undoubtedly there are problems to be overcome but business and distribution lines will adjust, the regulatory processes will evolve.

The Withdrawal Agreement and Protocol were signed in the self-interest of the British Government. No amount of posturing or threats by unionism will change that fact. 

Brexit fundamentally changes the relationship between the Island of Ireland and Britain. Unionism has a choice to make; recognise and manage the process of change or deepen the crisis.

But change is coming. The Protocol does not change the constitutional position, but a unity referendum will.

Last line on politics and sausages.  SuperQuinn made great sausages. SuperQuinn is gone. Consigned to history. But their sausages were so popular they live on. They still have a place on the plate beside Kerry bacon, Clonakilty black pudding, potatoes farls and soda bread. I’m sure there is a message in there somewhere for unionism.





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Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather planning a return to the ring in 2021 – Irish Boxing

Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather planning a return to the ring in 2021 – Irish Boxing


2020 was an odd year for sports fans, to say the least, but 2021 may be about to get a little weirder. We’ve seen supporters locked out of stadiums across the world with many football fans purchasing virtual season tickets. Horse racing goes ahead behind closed doors and the entire UK boxing schedule was postponed during January.

Another strange but true story broke in the sporting press recently and it’s up there with the most surprising things we have read. Floyd Mayweather is about to break his retirement again and make a shock return to the ring. Could it be a rematch with the all-conquering Saul Alvarez or perhaps to settle an old score with Manny Pacquiao?

Not even close. TBE is rumoured to be close to agreeing to a deal that will see him share a ring with YouTube sensation Logan Paul. If you’re a follower of the noble art your first response may be, who? You’d be right to ask that question too. But it appears to be happening and bookies featured at Online Sports Betting are offering odds on the outcome.

What’s the story?

OK, so what’s the story? Who is boxer Logan Paul and why is he about to face-off against one of the greatest names to ever grace the sport? Let’s start by explaining exactly who Paul is, where he has come from and his boxing background. Also why he wants a crack at Pretty Boy Mayweather.

Boxing fans, especially those of a certain age, would be forgiven for not knowing much about the fighting career of Logan Paul. That’s because he hasn’t had much of a career. One amateur fight and one professional bout make up his CV and he won neither.

Logan is a 24-year-old from Cleveland described on his wiki page as an American YouTuber, actor, social media influencer, entrepreneur, podcast host and, of course, boxer. His net worth is posted at $20 million and that figure continues to skyrocket. 

His comedy vlogs on YouTube have proven to be extremely popular, thrusting him into the public eye and bringing the Ohio resident incredible wealth. He is one of the most influential figures of his generation.

Why’s he in a boxing ring?

Ever heard of YouTube boxing? Don’t worry if you haven’t, we’ll quickly bring you up to speed on that one. Two years ago it was announced Paul would settle his differences with a YouTube rival from the UK named KSI, real name Olajide William Olatunji.

The pair’s first encounter in a boxing ring was fought out under amateur boxing rules and ended in a split decision draw. Two judges scored the bout an even 57-57 with the other giving it to KSI 58-57. It certainly wasn’t the best example of technical boxing you’ll ever see but it did create a storm online with millions following the live stream. The YouTube boxing craze was born that night.

Still eager to test themselves, both Paul and KSI made the surprise move to sign deals as professional boxers before putting pen to paper on the rematch. Under pro boxing rules, this was now seen as a real contest and a way for the men to settle their differences. Why did professional boxing officials hand two novice fighters a pro deal? Perhaps it had something to do with the staggering sums of cash the bout made in pay-per-view buys.

Entertaining rematch

In the rematch, Logan lost to KSI at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on 9 November 2019 by a split points decision. Two judges gave the fight to KSI by margins of one round and three rounds after the six-round contest. Paul got the decision of the other judge by a round.

Again, it wasn’t a bout for the boxing purists, but it was a good honest scrap involving two fighters who came to win, had prepared properly, and gave their all. That can’t be said of every professional boxing match we see these days. The millions watching around the world lapped it up as KSI was knocked down in round four but Logan was deducted two points for hitting the Brit while he was on the deck.

Surprisingly, this bout was part of a massive night of boxing which included a world title fight. England’s Billy Joe Saunders successfully defended his WBO super-middleweight world title with an 11th round stoppage win over Argentina’s Marcelo Esteban Coceres. BJS wasn’t exactly complimentary of the YouTubers in his post-match interviews. Other names on the programme included Ronny Rios, Hugo Berrio, Diego Pachecco and Aaron Casper. 

Did boxing provide a platform for YouTube stars that night or did YouTubers bring millions of extra fans to boxing? Judging by the viewing figures and PPV buys, the latter is probably more accurate.

Why is Mayweather getting involved?

Cash, presumably. They don’t call him Money Mayweather for nothing and there won’t be an easier way for a man of Floyd’s talents to earn millions of dollars. Move around with a man who has fought only one professional boxing match before. But, hey, that’s one more than Conor McGregor had when he fought the star who won 15 world titles.

The bout against Logan has been agreed, according to both fighters, but the date of February 2021 had to be pushed back due to COVID-19 restrictions. It’s believed organisers want to ensure they can sell tickets to a capacity stadium as well as providing a live streaming service on a PPV platform.

Critics of the bout – and there are more than a few – suggest the fight was shelved due to a lack of interest from the public. Paul scoffed at that suggestion, telling fans the sales for online viewers had already smashed all records for combat sports. Due to the profile and popularity of the YouTube star that’s a likely scenario. 

The crazy thing is – and this will leave boxing fans feeling bemused – a lot of those who pay to watch Mayweather vs Paul would have never heard of the sport’s Hall of Famer. Getting his skills noticed by a new audience? Floyd will be game for that.



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Cahir O’Higgins charged with assaulting another solicitor


Cahir O’Higgins charged with assaulting another solicitor



Criminal defence solicitor Cahir O’Higgins has appeared in court charged with assault causing harm to another solicitor.

Mr O’Higgins, 46, is accused of assaulting Stephen O’Mahony at Wolfe Tone Quay in Dublin on Thursday 11 February.

He appeared at Dublin District Court on Saturday but did not speak or enter a plea.

Mr O’Higgins was released on bail and will reappear on Monday 19 April.



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Core squads announced for men’s Inter-Provincial Series 2021

Core squads announced for men’s Inter-Provincial Series 2021


Core squads announced for men’s Inter-Provincial Series 2021

February 23rd 2021 by Craig Easdown | International

Core squads announced for men’s Inter-Provincial Series 2021

The Inter-Provincial Series 2021 squads have been announced

DUBLIN – The four core squads have been selected for the men’s Inter-Provincial Series 2021, with training set to begin in March (Covid-19 restrictions permitting).

As part of last week’s announcement on Inter-Provincial Series improvements for the new season, it was announced that both the 50-over and T20 competitions would now consist of four teams – Leinster Lightning, Munster Reds, North West Warriors and Northern Knights.

As part of this move, and to seek a best v best outcome that will raise the quality and competitiveness of the competition, a new squad selection process for the four teams has been implemented (read more here).

THE SQUADS

Leinster Lightning

George Dockrell (capt), Rory Anders, Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, JJ Garth, Josh Little, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O’Brien, Simi Singh, Jack Tector, Tim Tector, Lorcan Tucker.

Nigel Jones, Leinster Lightning Head Coach, said:

“Looking back on 2020, we were delighted to get back out and play some cricket – and it was pleasing that when we did that we played some really positive cricket. Obviously, the end result was trophies, but to me the process is as big a part of it, and the boys stuck to the task and threw themselves into that.”

“We had some opportunity – with Bal [Andrew Balbirnie] and Gaz [Gareth Delany] being out playing in England, and Barry [McCarthy] being injured – to look at a couple of others who came into the team, and they did well. Getting Tim Tector around the squad and learning was pleasing, as was giving some game time to Rory Anders, and getting opportunity for Stephen Doheny too – we can all see the quality in him.”

“The Lightning group is very excited about the season ahead and, with the announcement of these squads, we can now look to push forward again with some fresh challenges. While trophies are certainly on the agenda again, it’s much bigger than that – it’s about the process, and developing our players to get better and giving them the opportunity to go on and press for higher honours.”

“The squad I have looks very much like a Leinster Lightning side, full of quality and experienced players, but also some exciting young players in there too. We have Tim Tector, JJ Garth and Rory Anders in there, and it provides a great opportunity for those guys to learn more and push their games forward. Together with the more household names in the squad, it will be important that we hit the ground running when we get the opportunity to get back to cricket, which will hopefully be sooner rather than later.”

“For the Leinster players on the move, it’s a great opportunity for them to showcase their skills and ability at inter-provincial level. It’s always a little bittersweet as a Leinster Lightning group to not have those players in and around your system, and to be able to work day-in, day-out with them, but again – looking at the big picture – it’s important we give those guys opportunity and exposure at this level that they may not get in their home Union.”

“But credit to Cricket Leinster, and the pathway we have in place, for being able to produce the number and quality of cricketers that we have. It’s a credit to our system that so many players spread across the competition are from Leinster, which is brilliant for the competition and those guys particularly.”

Chase
Image: Peter Chase will be ready to lead the Lightning line again in 2021

 

Munster Reds

Curtis Campher, Aaron Cawley, Murray Commins, Gareth Delany, Greg Ford, Matt Ford, Fionn Hand, Tyrone Kane, Seamus Lynch, Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin, Neil Rock, Amish Sidhu.

Ted Williamson, Munster Reds Head Coach, said:

“To be frank, I have to say I couldn’t wait for last Inter-Pro season to be finished. Due to a bad run of weather the Reds only played two games – we never really got started in either, and they seemed to be over before they even got going, which can be the nature of T20 matches at times.”

“While we haven’t been able to do any physical training during the off-season due to lockdown, we’re very much looking forward to having the new training hubs up and running, and I imagine we’ll have plenty of contact time during our first season together as a largely new squad.”

“The hope with the new set-up is that we’ll see a lot more competitive matches, which is what the players, coaches, selectors – and indeed, fans – need. To be sharp and to improve their games, the players need to experience more pressurised environments come game time and the new squads will help in that regard. There will be more responsibility on some players due to certain roles that they will be asked to play, and also when it comes to the leadership side of things.”

“The new emerging competition will certainly offer the local Munster guys a shop window in which to stake a claim for places, and from a Munster perspective, that’s key for us and our own development. Also, for some of our younger lads, and the lads who are new enough to inter-pro cricket, to get the chance to play with some of the senior Ireland guys would be invaluable from an experience, and this can only help in any number of ways.”

“We’re looking forward to the new season, and I’ve no doubt the lads will all be eager for the challenge of being part of a brand new Munster side. I think if we can get ourselves into positions where we can win games as much as possible then that would be a great start. Obviously, it’s hard to convert those opportunities every time, but to be in those positions regularly would be a great indicator of how we’re performing.”

Rock
Image: Neil Rock returns to Reds action again in 2021

 

North West Warriors

Andy McBrine (capt), Ross Allen, Stephen Doheny, Shane Getkate, Graham Hume, Graham Kennedy, Nathan McGuire, Conor Olphert, William Porterfield, Boyd Rankin, Will Smale, Craig Young.

Ian McGregor, North West Warriors Head Coach, said:

“Last season was very frustrating for the Warriors, however, we were very thankful that we at least had the opportunity to get some cricket played, and appreciated the efforts made by everyone involved in making that happen.”

“While results on the field were largely disappointing, the fact that we had so many young players gaining more experience playing at this level can be seen as a positive. At times we saw glimpses of the potential of the likes of Conor Olphert, Will Smale and Nathan Maguire. Likewise, the stock of Graham Hume continues to rise and his form quite rightly saw him gain national recognition with selection for the Wolves tour to Bangladesh.”

“Unfortunately, the Covid-19 restrictions over the off-season have meant I’ve had little or no opportunity to work with the majority of the squad, but we’ve maintained regular contact with the centrally-contracted players and those others who were involved in the extended Wolves training squad to help them all prepare for their respective tours in early 2021.”

“In 2021, the core of our squad remains consistent with last year, which fortunately allows us to build on the hard work we’ve put in. I’ve no doubt that the new faces will add huge value to the squad, having worked with both of them previously in the Cricket Ireland pathway programmes. I’m also a firm believer that you can’t afford to stand still and rest on your laurels, so any opportunity to introduce new ideas or initiatives has to be a given.”

“Looking to the season ahead, while playing more than 50% of our games would be great step up from last year, success for me as a coach is never about win or lose. I get a great deal of satisfaction from the success of my players. So seeing them improve, develop and – most importantly – enjoy their cricket is integral to my definition of success.”

Hume
Image: Ross Allen will be hoping to make an impact again in 2021

 

Northern Knights

Gary Wilson (capt), Mark Adair, James Cameron-Dow, David Delany, Luke Georgeson, Jeremy Lawlor, Graeme McCarter, James McCollum, Ruhan Pretorius, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Ben White.

Simon Johnston, Northern Knights Head Coach, said:

“After the T20 title win in 2019, our hopes were to kick on in 2020 – however, with the 2020 campaign, I don’t think we played very well to be honest. We all know as a group that we didn’t do what we are capable of, and that was disappointing. I include myself as the coach in that – I think I could have been a lot better. Of course, we could point to the unique challenges of Covid, and the fact we were never able to train as a full squad, but despite all that, the guys know when we got out onto the pitch we didn’t play as well as they can. I’m looking forward to seeing them correcting that this year.”

“Unfortunately, Knights-wise, we’ve had no opportunity to train together during the off-season. Only the Irish senior and Wolves players have been allowed any indoor training – and they’ve been training very hard and are looking in great shape. However, a large number of our Knights haven’t done anything at all since last summer, so we just have to make sure that when we can get back training again we make the most of our time.”

“With regards to the new selection process, while players come and go naturally in most teams, we have kept the majority of our core players so we are pleased with that. We have in place a very strong leadership group of experienced players, so I know they will make it very easy for the new faces to fit in and feel at home. As a coach, it’s my job make sure I get those new players adapted quickly to how we want to play, and hopefully let them express themselves out on the field.”

“With regards to Paul Stirling, when you have someone that good in your team you just let them go. When he came in last year, the only thing I asked him to do when he was with us was to have fun and just play. He naturally is brilliant with the other squad members in sharing his time and knowledge, so that part takes care of itself. My job as his coach is simple and to make sure he’s relaxed and enjoying himself.”

“Looking ahead to the 2021 season success to me would be the same as every year on the player front – I would love to see a large number of the Knights have really good Inter-Pro seasons and force their way into the Wolves and senior Irish side. That’s what the Inter-pros is about at the end of the day. Team-wise, we got a taste of success in 2019, so we would obviously love to take home another trophy as it would show the improvements I feel the squad has been making.”

McCollum
Image: James McCollum wiil be up top in the Knights batting line-up again in 2021

 






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Pandemic Unemployment Payment & Enhanced Illness Benefit to continue until end June – Minister Humphreys


  • PUP to remain open to new entrants; rates to remain unchanged
  • Waiver on waiting days for Jobseeker’s also extended
  • Quickest and easiest way to apply is through www.MyWelfare.ie

 Social Protection Minister, Heather Humphreys TD, has today secured Government approval to extend the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the Enhanced Illness Benefit until June 30th, 2021. 

The two schemes, introduced as a direct response to the Pandemic, were due to expire on March 31st.

Minister Humphreys also confirmed that the Pandemic Unemployment Payment will remain open to new entrants.

It will continue to be paid at four rates (€350, €300, €250 and €203) which are linked to a person’s prior income.

This week, the Department of Social Protection issued weekly payments valued at €141.88 million to 473,413 people in receipt of the PUP.

To date, over 847,000 people have received at least one PUP payment and over €6 billion has been paid out since the scheme was introduced last March.

Meanwhile, the Enhanced Illness Benefit will continue to be paid at the rate of €350 up until June 30th, 2021.

To date, over 136,000 people have been medically certified for receipt of a Covid-19 related Illness Benefit payment.

The Enhanced Illness Benefit is available to people who are diagnosed by their medical doctor with the Covid-19 virus or who are required by their medical doctor to self-isolate.  The rate of payment is €350 per week. 

Unlike the Department’s general Illness Benefit, there are no waiting days attached to this payment, so it is paid from day one of illness or self-isolation. 

Speaking after today’s Cabinet meeting, Minister Humphreys said:

“As the pandemic continues to impact on all aspects of our lives, I believe it is essential to extend the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the Enhanced Illness Benefit until the end June 2021. 

“These supports have proven vital in supporting workers who lose their employment, as well as those who contract Covid-19 and must self-isolate.

“This week, over €140m was spent on the PUP, supporting over 473,000 people. This brings the total PUP bill to date to over €6 billion, which demonstrates both the scale and the importance of this support.

“As I have said previously, as long as these restrictions are in place, the Government will continue to support workers and businesses.

Minister Humphreys added:

I am also pleased to secure Cabinet approval to extend the Enhanced Illness Benefit until June 30th, in line with the PUP.

“Once a person has been diagnosed with having the Covid-19 virus or are asked to self-isolate they can make an application for the Enhanced Illness Benefit online and their doctor will also submit the illness certificate.

“It is paid from day one of a person’s illness or self-isolation and the rate of payment is €350 per week.

“So the message for anyone who contracts Covid-19 or displays symptoms of the virus is simple: Do not in any circumstance attend the workplace. The Enhanced Illness Benefit is in place to support you.”

Waiver on Jobseeker’s Benefit and Jobseeker’s Allowance

Minister Humphreys also secured Government approval to extend the waiver on waiting days for Jobseeker’s payments until the end of June 2021.  Essentially, this means that when a person applies for either Jobseeker’s Benefit or Allowance, their payment is paid from day one. 

Ordinarily, when a person applies for either of these two payments, they are not paid for the first 3 days – they are called ‘waiting days’.  

Previously, the ‘waiting days’ requirement was waived at the onset of Covid-19, to facilitate people who got temporary work.

This measure was due to expire at the end of March but will now be extended in line with the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the Enhanced Illness Benefit.

Minister Humphreys continued:

“I want to ensure that we are not placing any obstacles in the way of people who find temporary work at this time.

“So, a person who gets temporary work any time between now and the end of June will not be penalised with ‘waiting days’ when that work finishes. Their Jobseeker’s Benefit or Allowance will be paid immediately.” 

Note to Editor:

The quickest and easiest way to apply for the Pandemic Unemployment, Enhanced Illness Benefit or a Jobseeker’s payment is online  through www.MyWelfare.ie



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