Former President Sirleaf’s Legacy in Domino Effect?

first_imgWith the odds against her, Cornelia Kruah-Togba (pictured) is leaning on the quest to provide a different kind of representation for the people of District #13 in Montserrado County, something they have not seen since 2005.By Kula FofanaEarlier this year, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf stepped down as Africa’s first democratically elected female leader after a two-term presidency to usher in Liberia’s football icon turned politician George Weah as her successor. The election was marred by controversies and allegations of malpractices by contending parties, which the Supreme Court of Liberia found non-egregious. In 2006, Madam Sirleaf took over a country recovering from over a decade of civil war that racked a death toll of over 250,000, a nearly empty fiscal reserve, poor infrastructure, lack of basic services, non-existent electricity, exuberant young population, some of who were former combatants, still in possession of firearms and many other challenges. Little did she know her country would later come to deal with Ebola and over 4,000 of her compatriots, the highest count in the region of affected countries, would pay a hefty price with their lives. She would later work to restore electricity, connect counties through roads, rebuild bridges, restore pipe bone water in some communities, create a civil service that attracts some of Liberia’s best, restructured the police and army and bring dignity to the security sector and improve the education and health sectors. While she worked hard to restore, resuscitate, rebuild, and build many sectors, she also upheld the fight for women’s political and economic empowerment and has inspired many women across Liberia and beyond. Initiatives such as the Sirleaf Market Women’s Fund (SMWF, now the Sustainable Market Women’s Fund), the Economic Empowerment Program for Adolescent Girls & Young Women, the Adolescent Girls Division of the Ministry of Gender, Children & Social Protection and many more, were all anchored during her leadership. Despite many visible achievements that I am unable to cover here, many pundits have questioned Madam Sirleaf’s legacy, including on the gender front, citing her failure to appoint more women at higher levels of ministerial positions even though many women were appointed as deputy and assistant ministers, deputies of public corporations and associate justices of the Supreme Court. Although women accounted for a smaller number of her kitchen cabinet in the executive branch, her bravery and audacity to challenge barriers of women’s political participation and contest the country’s highest public office, winning twice, not only presents a break from the “old boys club” but a domino effect that has inspired many women to step on the stage when the opportunity presents itself. While it may appear that fewer women are getting elected, this phenomenon can be explained. In 2005, Liberia had a special election with the suspension of the constitution. New electoral rules were adopted by the National Elections Commission. One of such rules was a mandate to political parties to ensure a minimum of 30% representation on their political party list to be presented. Parties obliged and, as a result, the legislature welcomed a new caucus of women constituting 14% of its membership. In 2011 and 2017, the elections were constitutional and the 30% clause was not enforceable. Then, women elected constituted 10.2% and 12.3% of legislative seats, respectively. However, in 2017, out of 785 registered candidates, 123 were women. This accounts for the highest in recent election history. This manifests that women are beating the odds and that the legacy of Madam Sirleaf is far from complete.One woman who is taking a note or two from Madam Sirleaf’s manuscript is Cornelia Kruah Togba. Having completed coursework for Master of Arts degree in International Politics & Economics in the United Kingdom, she saw the need to step forward and contest for the representative seat in her district that was made vacant by the election to the Senate of her predecessor.With the odds against her, she is leaning on the quest to provide a different kind of representation for the people of District #13 in Montserrado County, something they have not seen since 2005. Being the youngest in the race with limited financial and logistical resources against her major contender who enjoys not only presidential endorsement from the ruling party, but state logistics and personnel at his disposal, she faces an uphill battle. While there are structural barriers prohibiting women’s political participation, resources and attaining political party endorsements remain a challenge. District #13 is one of the highly populated districts with a majority of young people. Challenges of unemployment, infrastructure, health care, women’s empowerment, community voices, and ownership are a major concern. These are issues high on Madam Kruah-Togba’s agenda.  Just in the course of her campaign, with meager resources, she embarked on unprecedented self-help initiatives to uplift her district. Initiatives such as paving feeder roads that were previously impassable, providing street lights in communities that were in darkness, among many others. As the most qualified candidate in the race, who has a well-developed legislative agenda, Madam Togba hopes to bring the needed change her district in particular and Liberia in general desire. With her years of service in the government of Liberia at the Ministries of State, Public Works and, most recently Education, she comes with an understanding of government’s bureaucracy and the work it requires to get things done. She was also a student leader at the Stella Maris Polytechnic, working to ensure cordiality with the administration and the student body. Additionally, an organization she recently established, the Young Women Empowerment Network to contribute to Liberia’s human development sector is becoming a leading voice for women in public service. These are skills important in dealing with a diverse group of people to negotiate on behalf of the people of her constituency.  As the candidate of choice for the alliance of three key opposition parties including Unity Party, Liberty Party, and the Alternative National Congress, she is better placed to build a bipartisan approach to passing key bills for the country. I have known Madam Kruah-Togba for little over 5 years now. We have shared friendship, professional relationship and sisterhood. Most importantly, both our love and passion for Liberia are invincible. More than anything else, I believe she will better serve the people of District 13. She will deliver her promises and sure protect the interest of the people. It is my hope that she will join forces with other members of the Women Legislative Caucus to pick up the pace on the rape bill that is near amendment, the Domestic Violence Act, the political representation bill and many others. Cornelia is a member of the new generation of Liberia’s political actors and public servants who are poised, with every fiber in their being, to rewrite the country’s story that is often told pejoratively. Electing a young woman like herself, who has lived and understands the challenges of her district, will not only be beneficial to the people of her district, it will serve as an encouragement for young people who constitute the majority of the population and young women to step up and ensure an impactful domino effect. The Author:Kula Fofana is a student of Violence Conflict & Development at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). She formerly served the Government of Liberia as Assistant Minister for Youth Development. Her interests include Transitional Justice, Public Service, Local Voices, Gender, governance, intersectionality etc . She can be contacted Twitter: @kulafofanaShare 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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HSS ushers in Divali with lighting of National Diyas

first_img– Hindus urged to dispel disparity among racesHundreds gathered on Sunday evening as the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh and Hindu Sevika Samiti (Hindus for Selfless Service – HSS) held its 5th annual National Diya Light up at Rahaman’s Park, Georgetown, to usher in the Diwali festival. This year’s lighting up ceremony was held under the theme: “The light from within, dispelling darkness accross Guyana”A concept which Chief Guest speaker, Professor Suresh Narine, was most appropriate given the significance of Diwali, which is the festival of light. He said that by lighting a national diya, the HSS is paving the way to use its religion, culture and traditions to bring Guyana’s patrimony of six peoples together.He pointed out that the country’s natural patrimony is diverse because of its various races but noted this does not come without tremendous issues of divisiveness, violence and disparity.Hundreds attended the HSS 5th Annual National Diya Light-up ceremony at Rahaman’s Park“We took this blessing of patrimony and turned into a destruction…,” the professor stated.On this note, he said Diwali must be seen as a catalyst for reaching out to mend these differences.“So this is a loud heralding call to Hindus to bring solutions to these problems… Use the message of Diwali as part of the solution to those problems,” Narine statedAnother scourge he said that needs to be wiped out from the Guyanese society is the heinous crimes against women and children. Hinduism is premised on idolising goddesses (deities) for their strength and prowess but according to Narine, in the same communities where they are worshipped women are being abused. “Diwali must be also about dispelling those kinds of ignorances or no amounts of diyas that we light is going to be enough to dispel the darkness and that scourge [of domestic violence] from society… This is a period when Maha Lakshmi – the supreme female form of Hinduism – is worshiped and that must mean something to us… It must mean that our women folk must be enabled to be as successful as our men and as Hindus, this is an important [message] I want to leave you with,” he asserted.Narine went onto point out that despite living in daunting times, Guyana is a beautiful country and Hindus have a lot to offer. This, he said, has started with the lighting of the ‘national diya’.Professor Suresh Narine delivering the feature address at Sunday’s National Diya Light-up“You’re talking about dispelling ignorance nationally and therefore, whilst you’re saying that there are darkness’ we must dispel in our country, you’re also saying we bring solutions to our country. We are going to be counted as Hindus bring solutions of intellect, solutions of love, solutions of peace, solutions of grace…,” he stated.Reminding that Diwali is the beginning of a new year in the Hindu calendar, Professor Narine urged persons gathered to make a resolution and take note of their responsibility in guiding Guyana forward in harmony with the other races that makes up the patrimony of the country.On this note, instead of lighting up one diya as traditionally done, the HSS in keeping with its theme lit six diyas to represent harmonising the country’s peoples. Additionally, the organisation also used 1000 diyas to create the Golden Arrowhead. Speaking on the significance of this, HSS Member and Indian Rights Activist Ravi Dev posited that Hinduism in Guyana must be depictable of the current circumstances. He said that intension is to let thousand diyas light up the darkness in not only the lives of Hindus but also the country and all of its people.“The gods have been invoked to bless the diyas and bless this country… If Guyana is to go forward then none of its six people must be left behind,” he stated.In a fifth consecutive year, patrons were mesmerised by this year’s ‘National Diya’.Diwali celebrates victory over evil or darkness and the coming of a new year. The light refers to following a path of virtue such that our thoughts are always pure in heart, and the darkness refers to negative thoughts which bring about hurts and sorrow.last_img read more

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VARDY BANNED: Leicester striker to miss Man United clash

first_img1 Jamie Vardy: The 29-year-old was sent off the draw with West Ham Jamie Vardy will miss Leicester’s potentially title-clinching game against Manchester United on Sunday after being hit with an additional one-match ban, the Football Association has confirmed.The Foxes will be crowned Premier League champions if they win at Old Trafford.The 29-year-old England striker has already sat out one game for his red card in the Foxes’ 2-2 draw with West Ham last week, missing the 4-0 win over Swansea.But after accepting a Football Association charge of improper conduct, an independent regulatory committee has handed down a further game’s suspension.It means Vardy will miss his side’s trip to Manchester, where victory would seal an astonishing title triumph after Tottenham dropped points in Monday’s 1-1 draw with West Brom.An FA statement read: “Following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing, Jamie Vardy has been given a one-match suspension with immediate effect, fined £10,000 and warned as to his future conduct.“The Leicester City forward had accepted an FA charge of improper conduct following his second half dismissal against West Ham United on Sunday 17 April 2016.”The England international saw red against West Ham in controversial circumstances after receiving a second yellow card for diving from referee Jon Moss, who was then confronted by a furious Vardy.That angry reaction earned him the charge of improper conduct, which he accepted but requested a personal hearing in a bid to try and persuade leniency.Vardy, who has also been fined £10,000 by the FA, will be available for Leicester’s final two games of the season against Everton and Chelsea.It means he WILL be present for the title-winning moment if Claudio Ranieri’s men fail to get the job done against United on Sunday.last_img read more

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My Donegal… With Gweedore Bar’s Donal Coll

first_imgBar manager Donal Coll is one of Falcarragh’s most recognisable faces. Spending many hours weekly working in the thriving Gweedore Bar and restaurant, Donal is often the first face to welcome customers into the building.Donal along with publican John Cannon do lots of work for charity as well as trying to promote the county. The emmigrants night they hold each year has proved to be  a massive success bringing people from far and wide home to Donegal. (1) What is your favourite place in Donegal and why?Inis Boffin, it’s one of Donegal’s real hidden gems and we spent our childhood summers there.(2) If you could change one thing about Donegal what would it be?The Weather. (3) Who is the one person in Donegal that you look up to and why?Noel Cunningham as I think he’s a brilliant ambassador for Donegal and promoting it as a tourism destination.(4) Daniel O’Donnell or Packie Bonner?Daniel O’Donnell.(5) What has been Donegal’s proudest moment in recent years? Being named as the Coolest Place on Planet by the National Geographic or Donegal Airport winning the Most Scenic Landing in the World.(6) What has been the biggest compliment you’ve ever received?That I’m a brilliant singer haha.(7) What is your favourite Donegal-made product? Silkie Whiskey & the Haven Smokehouse Salmon.(8) Who is Donegal’s greatest ambassador around the world and why?Our emigrants have been amazing ambassadors for our county throughout the world . They work hard and yet still keep their likeable charm.(9) Who is Donegal’s most successful businessperson in your opinion?In my opinion John Mc Ginley & his family have achieved so much and provide a great service for Donegal.(10) Who is your favourite Donegal sportsperson of all time?Manus Kelly.(11) What is your favourite Donegal restaurant?I’m going have to say our own INÍS Restaurant here at the Gweedore Bar.(12) What would your ideal day in Donegal consist of?Just getting into the car and driving anywhere in the county. The scenery is just amazing and we don’t appreciate it enough.(13) What is your favourite Donegal saying or expression?They’re all good ‘hi’.(14) What is the biggest challenge facing the people of Donegal today?Still emigration and finding work at home.(15) What is your favourite Donegal food?Crab Claws yum.(16) Is there anything that really annoys you about Donegal or its people?No not that I can think of.(17) Do you have a favourite local band?Off the Kuff.(18) If you had a million euro to improve something in Donegal what would it be?I would use it to put more emphasis on what the county has to offer.(19) What has been the most exciting moment of your career so far?Being involved and helping to organise and host Lisa Mc Hugh’s Charity Event felt like a great achievement.(20) Is there anything about Donegal that you are very proud of?The Donegal football team.My Donegal… With Gweedore Bar’s Donal Coll was last modified: May 31st, 2018 by Chris CannonShare 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:Donal CollFalcarraghINIS RestaurantThe Gweedre Barlast_img read more

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Things To Do

first_imgWendee’s Music will get kids to sing and dance, 10:30 a.m. today in Town Square at Westfield Valencia Town Center mall, 24201 Valencia Blvd., Valencia. Call (661) 287-9050. Spring Band Concert, 7 p.m. todayat Canyon High School, 19300 W. Nadal, Canyon Country. Call (661) 252-6110. Spring Band Concert, 7:30 p.m. today at the Hart High School auditorium, 24825 N. Newhall Ave., Newhall. Call (661) 259-7575. Spring Band Concert, 7 p.m. Wednesday at La Mesa Junior High, 26623 May Way, Canyon Country. Call (661) 250-0022. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsSpring Dinner Theatre, 7 p.m. Wednesday (show only) and 6 p.m. Thursday in Tanner Hall at Placerita Junior High, 25015 N. Newhall Ave., Newhall. Tickets: $7 Wednesday and $15 Thursday. Call (661) 259-1551. Spring Choral Concert, 7 p.m. Wednesday-Friday at Hart High School auditorium, 24825 N. Newhall Ave., Newhall. Call (661) 259-7575. “Nothing But the Truth” will be presented, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Friday and 3 and 7:30 p.m. May 20 in Theatre Q at Canyon High School, 19300 W. Nadal St., Canyon Country. Call (661) 252-6110.last_img read more

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first_imgSEAN MAC CUMHAILL’S NOTES FIXTURES/RESULTSFootball.Well done to our senior footballers who maintained their 100%record in the Ulster League. They played CLG Bredagh in Monaghan.The final score was 2-11 to 1-10. They are away to Lamh Dhearg, Antrim, next Sunday. See Peter Maloney for supporters bus.Hurling. The Senior Hurlers are at home this Sat. They face Castleblaney Hurling at 2.00pm. Please come and support your Hurlers.Under 16’s. The Under 16 football league starts this Sunday at 12.00pm. They face Cardonnagh in this Division 1 opener. Best of luck to all the Lads. Please keep an eye on our Facebook page, as fixtures are liable to change. We’ll update all fixtures as soon as we have the informationSEAN MAC CUMHAILLS EASTER CAMP 2012Mac Cumhaills are running the very successfull Easter Camp again this year.It will run from Mon 2nd Aprill till Wed 4th. 10.00 am -2.00pm.Ages from 5-13. Prices are as follows:Mac Cumhaills Members €25 1st Child, €20 2nd & 3rd Child.Non Members €30 1st Child,€25 2nd & 3rd Child.Registration for the camp will take place on the 30th Mar 7.30pm – 8.30pm.Contact Luke Gavigan 087-7980865,Noel Doherty 086-6028868 for more details. DONEGAL V CORKWe are looking for people to help out doing stewarting, shop or selling programmes at this match on Sunday March 4th. Please contact Peter if you are interested.CONGRATULATIONSWell done to Martin O Reilly on his man of the match performance for Marino College against Froebel College on Sat.Froebel College raced 0-5 to 0-1 clear after 20 minutes before O’Reilly led the Marino College fight back, scoring eight points in a devastating display. Marino College 0-11 Froebel College 0-07.REGISTRATIONRegistration is now due for 2012. Juvenile registrations have to be submitted by the end of Feb. ALL Senior players and members must be registered before 31 March 2012. If you are not registered before this date, it will affect your player insurance and your voting rights at the AGM. Please contact Stephen Lynch. Cost of membership is: €70 for Family membership, € 30 for Adults and €10 for childrenSCORThere will be an exhibition of underage SCOR in the Villa Rose at 7.30pm on the 7th March.This is a non competitive event and participants will be from 5 local National Schools.Scor promotes Irish culture in a meaningful and enjoyable manner. This should be a very entertaining night. Great craic. Not to be missed!!!.SENIOR LADIES FOOTBALLAnyone wishing to play or help out with the Ladies team please contact Enda on 086 8876401MAC CUMHAILL’S CLUB LOTTOThere were no winners of the lotto this week. Numbers were 6,9,13and 20.There were 6 match 3 winners.Each receives €25Brendan Logue,Martin Bell, Bernie Murphy, John Prunty, Bernie Lynch and Eileen LynchNEXT WEEK’S JACKPOT IS A MASSIVE €8,500€2 weekly or a yearly subscription for the Club Lotto is €100€5 weekly or a yearly subscription for the Club Lotto is €240.Contact any club committee member for detailsIF YOU’RE NOT IN, YOU CAN’T WIN!!!!!!!UNDERAGE TRAININGTraining for underage teams is as follows,Under 6’s Boys and Girls: Wed 5.30pm. On Astro pitch Contact Alan Martin 0861723899Under 8’s: Boys and Girls : Wed 6.30 on Astro pitch.Contact Noel Doherty 0866028868Under 10’s Boys. Wed 6.30- 7.30 on Training pitch, weather permitting.Contact John Burke 0868185915Under 12’s Boys: Friday evenings 6.00pm. Contact Luke Gavigan 0877980865Camogie: Under 12/14 Tues 6.00-7.00All ages Fri 6.00-7.00pm.All new players welcome.We still need managers/assistants for the following teams:U12 girls footballAnyone interested please contact any Minor Board member.FOR SALEClub socks and togs for children up to age 14 and Canning hurls from sizes 26 – 35. Please contact John Burke at 086/8185915 for order form. IDEAL BIRTHDAY PRESENTS.MAC CUMHAILL’S BINGOMac Cumhaill’s Weekly Bingo is in the Jacksons Hotel this week at 8.30pm. Everyone Welcome!CLUB MEETING’SClub meetings will be held on the Last Monday of every Month at the Clubhouse. Any person wishing to get involved in the club please come along or contact any member.The Clubhouse bar is now taking bookings for parties: Contact Simon at 085 1503092 for more informationGAA NOTES: SEAN MACCUMHAILLS was last modified: February 27th, 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:Sean MacCumhails GAA noteslast_img read more



first_imgClub bingo continues in the hall on Tuesdays at 8.30pm. Club lotto counties draw FH WD WW LS 1 matched 3 PH Bonner Killygordan. Next week’s jackpot is €1,750.Ladies minor training on Wednesday at 7pm.U 13 Friday evening from 6pm until 7.30pm. Underage will be starting back in a few weeks.Seniors drew away to Na Rossa 0-9 eachScorers for St Marys A.Browne 0-3 R.Kettle 0-2 L.McMullan 0-2 R.Mc Namee 0-1 G.Sweeney 0-1Training for boxing fundraiser will start over the next few weeks Airtricty Meenticat 15 k walk takes place this Sat 28th walkers can sign in from 9.30 to 12. The more walkers we have the more money we will get. You don’t not need to be a club member to walk for club thanks. GAA NEWS: ST MARY’S AIRTRICITY WALK THIS WEEKEND was last modified: September 22nd, 2013 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:convoyGAA newsSt Maryslast_img read more


Colts picking up speed

first_img “We’re looking at the preseason as a learning experience,” Carson coach Rowen Tupuivao said. “The learning curve has been very high and we’re understanding what it takes to beat the caliber of teams that we played.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week With Carson ahead 10-7 in the fourth quarter, Lewis helped end any Banning comeback hopes with a 48-yard drive that spanned nearly six minutes. Lewis kept the drive alive with a fourth-down sneak inside the 10 and scrambled in from 5 yards to score with 18 seconds left and give the Colts a 17-7 lead. Lewis completed 8 of 19 passes for 72 yards. Junior Joel Deyon rushed for 68 yards on 11 carries and junior Mike Evans carried 14 times for 53 yards for Carson. Banning was led by senior Jay Puluti, who completed 7 of 17 passes for 75 yards, Banning took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter on a 17-yard run up the middle by Roque Pech. The Colts responded with a field goal with less than minute before halftime. Carson took its first lead, 10-7, with Lewis running in for a 4-yard touchdown to complete a 72-yard drive with 5:15 left in the third quarter. Senior quarterback Anthony Lewis rushed for two touchdowns to help Carson (2-5, 2-0) score the final 17 points and overcome a 7-0 second-quarter deficit against Banning (0-7, 0-2). “This is the first time that I’ve played in a stadium like this so I just tried to make (the most) of the moment,” Lewis said. center_img Carson High is starting to resemble its CIF L.A. City Section championship teams of seasons past. Carson defeated Banning, 17-7, for its second consecutive victory after an 0-5 start in a Marine League game at Home Depot Center on Thursday night. last_img read more

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first_imgYou’ll need one of these to see 14 GAA gamesBY DONEGAL DAILY ANALYST CATHAL MacSUIBHNE: The GAA and Sky: Sell Out or Good for our Games?On page 180 of the GAA’s Constitution, the following statement defines the lowest outlet of the association, oft described as its most important facet and indeed its bedrock, “The Club is amateur and non-profit making in status. Any surplus income or gains shall be reinvested in the Club, and there shall not be any distribution of Club assets, in cash or in kind, to members or third parties.”Fair enough. Working from the lowest level up then surely the entire association is amateur and non-profit making? If this is the case, then the new television deal with multi-national broadcasting giant Sky is a hugely positive development for the GAA. It will mean more revenue, more exposure, more promotion and going by the constitution it will mean more money for your local club. Or will it?There’s been plenty of debate on the subject over recent days and until we start seeing games during the summer and until we see the GAA’s balance sheet we won’t know for sure the impact of the deal.Of course the GAA has received large sums of revenue from its previous and existing broadcast rights holders but why threaten to upset the grassroots of the association for the same level of finance as has been there already?With this in mind, it can be assumed that the Sky deal surely trumps the previous TV3 one vastly, otherwise why bother? Personally from the actual broadcasting perspective I’m looking forward to seeing what Sky has to offer.The professionalism, style and ingenuity they bring to sports coverage is to be admired although putting a Pat Spillane-esque figure in front of a ‘SkyPad’ like Jamie Redknapp or Will Greenwood might be a step too far for the moment.At the minute RTE, TG4, Setanta and BBC provide excellent coverage on our games but Sky will surely raise the bar and bring even more to the analytical side of matches.We’ll also have new presenters, new pundits, new studio layout and new features with which to watch our coverage.Also, they might be able to add something different to the GAA’s idea of half-time entertainment; at times it can be cringe-worthy, with last year’s unveiling of the new GAA mascot (an Irish Terrier named Fionn, just in case you didn’t know) at Croke Park during the All-Ireland Semi-Final a classic example. Us Ulster Gaels might even be spared the predictable criticism that comes the way of our footballers whenever Pat and Colm are on the airwaves – we might get something new instead of the usual ‘typical Ulster defensive’ football regardless of score line or the quality of fayre on offer or the ‘playing football the way it should be played’ guff when any of the traditional aristocrats are in action.So this is all well and good if you happen to be a Sky Sports subscriber or if you don’t mind paying to get the extra matches.But for many people this may not be an option.A Sky Sports package will set you back something like €50 per month depending on what package you choose and with only three to four exclusive games to be shown a month that’s a lot of money per game. The GAA’s main argument in defending their decision to effectively choose Sky Sports over TV3 is that it will widen their audience abroad and make it easier for the Irish overseas to see their national games – for me this just doesn’t wash.As part of the latest round of TV deals, all matches that are televised this side of the world are shown free to air in Australia, by an Australian company. So Gaels at home have to pay for around 1/5 of live games every year while anyone living Down Under gets the lot for free.Matches will also be widely available in the US while for the past four years UK firm, Premier Sports, offered matches to ex-pats in Britain for a set monthly fee of £9.99 (a lot cheaper than a Sky package).So the only change there is that Sky will cost more for those living in the UK. The GAA also announced that RTE will provide an enhanced digital online service allowing those abroad to see more games via their website – why then the need for Sky?The obvious reasoning is that this deal is about money; nothing wrong with that except for the fact that we saw earlier that the GAA are not a profit-making organisation, at least they’re not meant to be.Approximately 80% of income is said to be put back into clubs and counties around the country – if this continues then its boom-time for clubs but as Manus Boyle said last week, he doesn’t recall any entry in the Killybegs’ club accounts stating a figure received from Croke Park; I’d say he’s not the only one.Generally clubs only receive money from Croke Park if they are building facilities or upgrading grounds – why not give every club in Ireland a set amount on the back of the investment coming from Sky?While it is great that clubs can get access to funds for capital projects, many rely on lotto income, membership receipts and small-scale fundraising just to stay afloat – why can’t they receive some money even if it is not going to be spent on a big capital undertaking? They could treat their members to playing gear, a trip away, clear some debt or do whatever they see fit.Taking all the viewpoints into consideration, the Sky deal shouldn’t be that much of a change for Gaels up and down the country, or around the world. Many other supposed apocalyptic changes have taken place within the organisation such as the removal of ‘The Ban’ or the opening up of Croke Park and we still have the GAA as strong as ever, if not stronger.However, deep down I think a lot of Gaels feel an uneasiness about the Sky deal; there are plenty of plus points and what is not in question is that the GAA has never been better run and its leadership is first class. All in all though the gut feeling is, this deal has been struck for the wrong reasons.CATHAL MacSUIBHNE: SKY MONEY SHOULD GO TO SUPPORT CLUBS, BUT GAA DID DEAL FOR WRONG REASONS was last modified: April 8th, 2014 by John2Share 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:Cathal MacSuibhneGAASky deallast_img read more


Del Norte’s Peyton Healy, St. Bernard’s Betsy Brown named H-DN MVPs

first_imgMcKinleyville >> After enjoying league-title winning seasons and deep runs into the North Coast Section playoffs, Del Norte’s Peyton Healy and St. Bernard’s Betsy Brown were honored as MVPs of their respective Humboldt-Del Norte Leagues as the conference released its all-league selections on Friday.Healy, a versatile junior that played several positions led Del Norte to 21-6 overall record a share of the Big 5 title with the Arcata Tigers. Both Del Norte and Arcata garnered several …last_img read more

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