Sunday brought us very interesting results in the Bundesliga. THW Kiel got the expected win against Burgdorf away, and this time with a huge goal difference, winning it with 43:24, huge 19 goals victory for THW Kiel, confirming why they are “No.1” in German Handball at the moment. Two surprising results happened today, and it seems that the late “bad” play of these clubs was no surprise, as today they failed to achieve wins against generally weaker opponents. Fuchse Berlin failed to capitalize the home advantage, and played only 30:30 against Frisch auf Goppingen, which were weakened as Mrvaljevic left the club. The other surprise is HSV Hamburg making only a draw in Huttenberg, the relegation-endangered club, playing 26:26, showing that the “Foxes” and HSV are definitely in kind of playing crisis. In the last game today, Lubbecke won away at Hildesheim with 31:25, and gave Hildesheim even more headaches regarding the relegation problems. One game was not played from this round, RNL against TBV Lemgo, a game scheduled for 25th of April.Bundesliga Table: (Courtesy of toyota-handball-bundesliga.de) 18Eintracht Hildesheim2:42 16Bergischer HC14:30 17TV 05/07 Hüttenberg9:35 4SG Flensburg-Handewitt33:11 7TBV Lemgo25:17 13HSG Wetzlar16:28 3HSV Hamburg33:9 15VfL Gummersbach14:28 9Frisch Auf Göppingen21:23 10MT Melsungen19:25 12HBW Balingen-Weilstetten17:27 6SC Magdeburg26:18 1THW Kiel44:0 14TSV Hannover-Burgdorf16:28 2Füchse Berlin36:8 BundesligaburgdorfFuchse BerlinGoppingenhildesheimHSV HamburglubbeckeTHW Kiel 8TuS N-Lübbecke21:23 5Rhein-Neckar Löwen29:13 11TV Großwallstadt17:27 ← Previous Story Denmark: AG Kobenhavn beats Bjerringbro-Silkeborg! Next Story → EHF CL (W): Oltchim confirms semifinal, Larvik surprised by Midtjylland!
← Previous Story Handball-Planet presents Men’s TOP 10 Handball Stars at the Olympic Games! Next Story → Handball-Planet presents Women’s TOP 10 Handball Stars at the Olympic Games! After prediction of Men’s Olympic Tournament, Handball-Planet.com gives some tips about Women’s tournament in London. For our journalist, there is no doubt that Norway is the bigggest favourite to “pick up” second Olympic gold in a row. Prediction is that in the Final we will see the Replay of the Beijing 2008 Final between Norway and Russia. Third favourite is France, silver medal winner from the last WCh 2011 in Brasil.Battle for the semi-finals will be extremely interesting due many teams who are on the same level. Our prognose is that fourth team will be Montenegro with Bojana Popovic as a leader.5th to 8th placeDenmark, Brasil, Croatia and Spain 9th to 12th placeAngola, Korea, Sweden and Great Britain Copper BoxFrance handballHandball in LondonNorway handballOG 2012 HandballRussia handballWomen”s handball in London
← Previous Story Beach Handball Champions Cup: Sea, sun and handball in Gran Canaria Next Story → Poland and Spain at the final in Gdansk Germany and Slovenia will play for the DHB Super Cup trophy on Sunday 14.45. Both teams celebratee unexpected secure wins over Serbia and Brazil. Dagur Sigurdsson guys had 19:5 after 26 minutes of the match against Serbian “Eagles”. However, Serbs found the way to stop total domination of host team in the second half, but only for 37:26 (20:8).Germany – Serbia 37:26 (20:8)Germany: Lichtlein, Wolff; Kneer, Gensheimer (4), Lemke (1), Reichmann (2), Wiede (2), Weinhold (4), Strobel, Schmidt (4), Fäth (3), Groetzki (3), Müller (1), Dahmke (6), Späth, Ernst (1), Pieczkowski (2), Kohlbacher (4)Serbia: Ivezic, Kocic, Marjanac; Sesum, Nikcevic (5/3), Djukic, Djordjic (4), Stojkovic, Nemanja Ilic (2), Rnic (3), Zelenovic (1), Cutura, Abutovic, Marsenic (3), Stankovic (2), Vujin (4), Elezovic (2)Slovenia beat Brazil 38:27 (18:14) with the same 11-goals difference.STANDINGS:Germany 4Slovenia 4Serbia 0Brazil 0
← Previous Story Rhein Neckar Lowen are back on winning track! Next Story → Norway and Hergeirsson together until 2020! IFK KristianstadOlafur Gudmundsson The Icelandic back Olafur Gudmundsson (25) will join IFK Kristianstad with the contract until end of the season 2015/2016! Icelander who has 59 appearances for the national team left German TSV Hannover Burgdorf with the aim to get more minutes on the court in the rest of the season.The Swedish TOP team won two matches at the first eight matches at the VELUX EHF Champions League. Gudmundsson already was a part of the team in period 2012-2014.Gudmundsson’s career:FH Hafnarfjörður ( – 2010)AG Kopenhagen (2010 – 2011)Nordsjælland Håndbold (2011 – 2012)IFK Kristianstad (2012 – 2014)TSV Hannover Burgdorf( 2014-2015)
In the first round match of the Last 16, Vive Tauron Kielce took the 32:28 victory against Meshkov Brest and has gained a 4-goal-advantage before the return match in Kielce.Both teams started by going neck and neck; Brest had very little problems with breaking through Kielce defense, while the team from Poland showed well-thought-out attacks. Kielce had one-goal edge but their mistake allowed Belorussians to take the lead. Polish defense was far from perfect and Meshkov players often managed to throw from the 6-meter line practically untroubled; they also often looked for their pivot, ex-Kielce player, Rastko Stojković. Kielce were backed by saves of their goalkeeper which was pretty important for them because in 17. minute Pavel Atman gave his team 3-goal-lead (10:7). Sławomir Szmal made up for his mates’ mistakes and mostly thanks to his saves they were able to catch up. Before 20. minute Mateusz Kus was sent off the court for two minutes for the second time and coach Duyshebaev decided Michał Jurecki would replace his mate in the defence. The defence started playing a little better and Kielce were able to fight for a better result but even though they equalised at 12:12 with 2 minutes to go, the hosts perfectly took advantage of their opponents unsuccessful attempts and Stojković gave his team 2-goal-advantage at the break (14:12).Meshkov: Pesić, Patotski, Charapenka – Atman 7, Babiczew 1, Baranow 1, Kamyszyk, Kristopans 4, Kulak, Nikulenkow 3, Razgor 1, Szumak 1, Szyłowicz 4, Stojković 5, Tiumencew 1, Vukić.Vive: Szmal, Sego – Aguinagalde, Bielecki 8, Buntić, Chrapkowski 1, Cupić 3, Jachlewski, Jurecki 10, Kus, Lijewski 2, Reichmann 1, Strlek 3, Zorman 4.Unfortunately for Meshkov, they didn’t begin the second half as well as they finished the first one. Despite good defence, they didn’t do too well in attack and Kielce, mostly thanks to Jurecki, took the lead at 15:14. Within space of five minutes Brest lost Atman and Shylovich for two minutes but they still were able to give Kielce a hard time by good defending, even being shorthanded. Once again the teams trod a fine line and once again it was Brest who did better and took the lead. In the 43. minute Kielce lost Kus for his third 2-minute suspension but it did not disturb Kielce, on the contrary actually – with ten minutes to go, they took 3-goal lead and kept scoring. The hero of Kielce was Jurecki who was excellent especially in the attack. Meshkov used the last moments to reduce the gap of 5 and in the last second they scored for 28:31 which seemed to be the final result but Tobias Reichmann hit the buzzer beater and Kielce are coming back home with 4 goals of advantage.TEXT: MARTYNA USNARSKA martyna usnarska ← Previous Story EHF CL TOP 16: From Montpellier to Zaporozhye Next Story → VIDEO: Flensburg beat the buzzer in Montpellier
I might go and have a drink now, believe it or not. Cheers.Asked whether he would return to Coronation Street to resume his role as Kevin Webster, he added: “I don’t know. I might have a holiday first, I’ll have to go have a chat with my boss.”A spokesperson for the soap opera said management was “looking forward to meeting…to discuss his return to the programme”.The trial lasted eight days, during which the jury of eight women and four men heard of Le Vell’s “demons”, including numerous extra-marital affairs and alcoholism.The actor was first arrested in September 2011 but the Crown Prosecution Service did not proceed with the case. A review of the evidence earlier this year led to his re-arrest and the charges.Read: Second man arrested over Facebook posts about Michael Le Vell trialMore: Rape trial hears Coronation Street star told girl she would ‘die’ CORONATION STREET ACTOR Michael Le Vell has been found not guilty of all charges of rape and sexual offences in a British court this afternoon.Sky News reports the 48-year-old has been cleared of all 12 charges against him.The Manchester resident had denied all allegations, which included five counts of rape.Manchester Crown Court had heard from a girl – who cannot be named – claiming she was abused from the age of six.Speaking outside the court, the actor was jubilant.“I’m delighted obviously, it is a weight off everyone’s shoulders,” he said. “I would just like to thank my fantastic legal team here…I would like to thank ITV for their continued support throughout this traumatic time for all of us.
DUBLIN AIRPORT AUTHORITY has reported a 7 per cent increase in the number of passengers travelling through Dublin Airport in September 2012.Over 1.8 million passengers travelled through the airport last month, just over half of whom travelled to and from continental Europe.The UK is still the single largest travel destination from the capital, with over 580,000 passengers in September – an increase of 1 per cent on the equivalent period from last year.Just over one million passengers went to or came from the continent, an increase of 8 per cent from the equivalent month last year. Transatlantic traffic was also up, by 7 per cent, with 178,000 passengers.Passengers to other international areas, predominantly the Middle East and Africa, reached 45,000 – almost double the same period from last year. A number of high-profile flights to the Middle East have begun since then.The only blip was in domestic traffic, which is down by a sixth to 6,000 passengers.The total passenger numbers for the year to date stand at 14.8 million, a 1 per cent increase on the first three quarters of 2011.
MEDICAL STAFF in the emergency department at the Mater hospital have been told to buy and clean their own ‘scrubs’ as part of hospital spending cutbacks – a move some staff fear poses a major infection risk.Staff were previously supplied with the standard blue and green uniforms, worn over their own everyday clothing, and had these washed by the hospital – but staff now have to take care of this themselves.Aside from the expense of buying their own uniforms – which are specially embroidered with the hospital logo, and therefore cost more than a standard set of scrubs – staff have also raised concerns about possible infection hazards under the new regime.Medical staff have voiced fears that domestic washing machines would not be suitable for removing any infection risk from a contaminated hospital uniform. TheJournal.ie understands, however, that staff have been advised not to speak to the media about the arrangements.One source said it was “farcical” to think that medical staff could be treating someone carrying a highly infectious disease, only to have their hospital uniform “brought home to wash with our family machine”.In a statement to TheJournal.ie the Mater said the initiative “was introduced in areas where uniforms were traditionally worn, for example emergency department, dialysis, oncology and haematology day wards.”This had been done “in consultation and agreement with relevant staff members”, it said, adding that the initiative was the hospital’s own and not a HSE instruction. The hospital insisted, however, that there was “no infection control issue” around the new regime.Seven-stage washThis conflicted with advice from Professor Ronnie Russell, a microbiologist at Trinity College Dublin, who said the best practice in hospitals was to run a seven-stage wash including peracetic acid on clinical textiles, including bedsheets and pillowcases.“The coats and the personal protective equipment […] used by the staff during nursing obviously become contaminated and they were vehicles of transmission of disease, just as hands are,” Russell said.“Really the odds of actually doing a decent job in a domestic washing machine are quite low,” he said.Russell said there were scientific publications which showed that the likes of MRSA, the so-called hospital ‘superbug’, could easily survive a domestic wash.There was also the possibility that clothing carrying an infection, while not being removed of that infection, could also cross-contaminate other garments in that wash.Even if the wash was on a high temperature, killing any bacteria, Russell said there was a possibility of endotoxin, when dead bacteria fall into an open wound and cause irritation.In general, Russell said best practice was for hospitals to provide appropriate changing facilities for staff, and lockers with two or three fresh uniforms for staff to use as needed.Because some hospitals did not have facilities for changing, however, some staff might put on their uniforms at home, before they leave for work – which could also pose potential infection risks.Read: Fianna Fáil TD tells Department of Health chief civil servant to quit
THINGS DIDN’T LOOK too promising for Leinster at the start of this season.They’d come off their worst Heineken Cup display since the Gary Ella days, with signs they could be bullied by bigger sides. After the home loss to Clermont Joe Schmidt admitted there’s only so many times the small guys can outsmart the big bullies.They had lost their most influential player in Sexton, their most consistent player in Nacewa, and Schmidt departed, taking his ideas with him.Matt O’Connor was coming from very different cultures at The Brumbies, Japan and Leicester, with no proof he could make a backline sing.He was both a backs coach and a head coach for The Tigers but most of the big decisions were made by their director of rugby, Richard Cockerill. O’Connor had won back to back league titles in his time with the club, but winning the Premiership with Leicester is like winning the Ulster club championship with Crossmaglen — it seems to happen no matter who is involved.The Australian is approachable and friendly but says almost nothing in press gatherings, a big change from the previous head coaches, so the media have had to read more into what he has done on the field to gain any insight.INPHO/Andrew FoskerEven there though, before Saturday at least, there wasn’t a huge amount to report. Some slight tinkering with selection, no definitive change in gameplan, and solid if unspectacular displays.While results were good from the start, the fluidity in the backline wasn’t there.Ian Madigan’s non selection appeared significant too. A fan favourite and heir to the Felipe Contepomi ‘flawed genius’ role, Madigan had his momentum halted by O’Connor, which built on the idea that the team would be more risk averse from now on.The performance in Franklin’s Gardens, however, told us something new about this team, and about the head coach.Over the last three years the province was reliant on Schmidt and Sexton and Nacewa, but as often happens when leaders depart, others step up. Rob Kearney and Jamie Heaslip, two superstars of the 2009 Grand Slam Heineken Cup double season, have once again found the form of their lives. Luke Fitzgerald, the unluckiest of that generation, is clearly relaxed and enjoying himself again.The supremely talented Sean Cronin, in the past a frustrating player to watch, has added brilliant basics to the subtle skills he always possessed. Gordon D’arcy, meanwhile, has carried on from the New Zealand game, and even last year’s fringe players, Rhys Ruddock, Devin Toner and David Kearney, have become central figures this term.INPHO/Andrew FoskerIn spite of fears to the contrary, it’s clear the loss to New Zealand has energised the players, and the similarity in styles of play was striking. The rucking technique, and the ability for a whole range of lone ball carriers to break tackles is on a new level to what we’ve seen before.O’Connor, though, has to be given credit for not only the mental preparation and so many players being in form, but also the ambition and variety shown in attack. It was always likely he’d get the defence right, but the lines of running, composure in possession, option taking and offloading were as good as anything this province has delivered in the past.The coruscating style they adopted against Northampton, apart from helping to win the game, had a few fringe benefits. They killed it as a contest in the first 30 minutes, preserving nervous energy and drawing Northampton’s sting.They usually sought space as opposed to contact so the attrition rate was low, and when they did seek collisions, they had the inertia, inflicting rather than absorbing the contact.Northampton are deemed to have the most athletic pack in England, and can wear a team down over a two-legged affair, but that advantage was negated by Leinster’s style.Given the changes over the summer, solidity and consolidation would have been acceptable this year, but after last weekend, the horizons have shifted. He has now proven his team are capable of great things, so is expected to do it two weeks in a row.INPHO/Andrew FoskerNorthampton won’t play that badly again, are free of pressure, and Leinster are unlikely to be as accurate. History is against them too, teams rarely get hammered by the same opposition two weeks in a row, and Northampton themselves bounced back from a similar loss at home to Ulster last year.Players talk about fear being a great motivator, but embarrassment is probably an even greater motivational force.O’Connor and Leinster haven’t proven anything yet, but last Saturday was the first real window into his mind, and his playbook.They don’t need to set any benchmarks in the Aviva, just get a win, but more of the same would tell us the province have once again chosen the right man for the top job.Analysis: Leinster’s accuracy returns to blitz the Saints
WHAT’S GOING ON in Leinster House?Every day the Dáil and Seanad are sitting, TheJournal.ie brings you the most comprehensive guide to what our lawmakers are getting up to in the Houses of the Oireachtas.So, here is what we can expect to be happening in the Dáil, Seanad and Committee rooms today…3 things we’ll be keeping an eye on Dáil: Leaders’ Questions — What do our TDs want to grill Taoiseach Enda Kenny about? We’ll find out at 3.15pm.Dáil: Children’s Minister — Minister Frances Fitzgerald will be taking questions at 2pm. It is likely she’ll face questions on yesterday’s publication of the latest volume of the Child Care Law Reporting Project.Dáil: Appropriation Bill — Blink, and you might miss it. This bill previously moved through the Chamber in under a minute. This is down to it simply legally approving the budgetary allowances for each government department, already set out in Budget 2014. Keep an eye out for it after Topical Issues.Everything else that’s happening in the DáilRight after Leaders’ Questions, Taoiseach Enda Kenny will be handling questions on his own portfolio at 3.36pm.Order of Business is at 4.36pm, to cleanse your palate after all those questions.After that it is time for some Topical Issues.TDs will then get to have their say on a report from the Constitutional Convention on Same Sex Marriage.At 7.30pm in Private Members Business, a bill from the Technical Group, that aims to introduce some protective measures into planning law, will be discussed.Everything else that’s happening in the SeanadDay Two of the Seanad’s five-day week begins with Order of Business at 10.30am.Ahead of its discussion in the Dáil later during the day, the Appropriation Bill makes an appearance in the upper chamber at 11.45am, with a motion for early signature.After that, its time for the final stages of the Water Services Bill with Minister Fergus O’Dowd.There will be three more Bills over the course of the afternoon, starting with the committee stage of the Health Insurance Bill at 1.45pm, committee and remaining stages of the Credit Reporting Bill at 3.45pm, and the same at 5.30pm for the Pyrite Resolution Bill. Phew, busy busy busy.Everything else that’s happening in the CommitteesMinister Phil Hogan will be discussing the non-navigational use of international watercourses with the Environment committee. That’s at 2.15pm in Room 4.The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda will be dropping in to the Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee at 10.30am in Room 1 to give an insight into how the ICC functions.Last year’s EU budgets, in which there was an error rate of 4.8 per cent, will be examined in the Committee on European Union Affairs in Room 1 at 2pm. Discussing the report with the committee will be Kevin Cardiff, member of the European Court of Auditors and former secretary-general at the Department of Finance.Here’s how to watch what’s going on in Leinster House todayDáil ÉireannSeanad ÉireannCommittee Room 1Committee Room 2Committee Room 3Committee Room 4To access streams on iOS, click here Like politics? Then why not ‘Like’ TheJournal.ie’s Politics page?Explainer: How does a Bill become a law?
THE RELEASE LAST week of eight more national audits of the Catholic clergy by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) reveals a consistent trend that few religious perpetrators of the sexual abuse of children are being held to account by the Catholic Church or State in Ireland.The audits of 22 dioceses and six congregations show allegations were made against 796 religious where only 48 priests, or 6 per cent, were convicted. The cold statistics utterly fail to portray what such figures represent to survivors and their families.It is too hard to comprehend that 1,933 people raised allegations of abuse against 796 religious in 28 audits over four tranches conducted by the NBSCCCI so far.The aggregate figures seem unable to shock or appal. They have all been heard before. People do not want to be reminded of that stomach churn and anger they experienced when such news was far more visceral the first time they heard it.A 94 per cent chance of getting away with clerical child sexual abuse sends out all the wrong signals.As a survivor, I would like to take a look at what’s in a figure; examine the differences between Diocesan and Congregational child abuse data; review missionary child sexual abuse and see if the future holds out any hope for survivors and their families.What’s in a number?First let us look at the figures – what’s in a figure, a single count or conviction? As a survivor, I have no wish to feed any prurient interest in the details of such abuse of children. Perhaps when one considers what a conviction actually means, it might help put some perspective on the gravity of what has been reported in the figures presented to the public concerning the participants in the latest audits by the NBSCCCI.Figures matter, so let us look at the facts in the public domain behind the audits remembering each figure represents enormous distress and lifelong suffering.In the St Patrick’s Missionary Society audit, there is one conviction reported, where in fact there should have been two. The single figure in the report represented the conviction of Fr Thomas Naughton and the missing figure represented laicised Peter Kennedy. Both men were convicted and reported in the news media.On 17th December 2009, Fr Thomas Naughton, a 78-year-old member of the St Patrick’s Missionary Society, was convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment having pleaded guilty to indecent assault of a victim, which began in 1982 when the victim was only six years old and Naughton was 51 years of age.On 9th July 2013, former priest Peter Kennedy, a 74-year old former Kiltegan, was convicted and sentenced to ten years imprisonment having pleaded guilty to indecent assault of 18 victims in over 100 incidents between 1968 and 1986. One the victims was only eight years old when his abuse began. Kennedy was 29 years of age when he began abusing these boys.Now read the St Patrick’s Missionary Society report where it says one priest was convicted. It doesn’t reveal the half of it; the bravery of the abused to seek justice, the devastation to the lives of so many, nor the fact when you increase the number from one to two for those convicted how many lives that increment by one represents. You suddenly are presented with 18 brave survivors and countless family members affected by such crimes and intergenerational lifetime devastation.Survivors rarely obtain justiceIn the eight dioceses of Derry, Dromore, Limerick, Elphin, Killala, Waterford and Lismore, Achonry and Archdioceses Cashel and Emly, there are now a total of 198 allegations against 109 priests for which there have been no convictions.The fact none, or so few, are ever held to account would not encourage others to come forward – especially when one considers the high risks involved in doing so.The question is simply this: would you take such risks, or even encourage someone dear to you to raise their complaint, in light of this information and the odds stacked against them? If you loved them at all, you would probably implore them to come away from such an action, fearing for them greatly.Many times survivors are told how brave they are, how courageous they are but they are also described as ‘money grabbers’ or seeking attention for a failed this or that life. Their suffering is minimised or trivialised in the multiplicity of lifespan burdens, which are all too often theirs to carry alone, if they can carry them.Have we become inured or numbed to the headlines and desensitised to the realities behind the figures? Can we no longer sense the heartache and life span devastation of those so abused and indeed their families and communities?Missionary child sexual abuseIf the average rate of accountability is only 6 per cent for clerical child sexual abuse that lowers to only 4.6 per cent for missionaries who are convicted, compared with 7.8 per cent for diocesans recorded in 22 of the 26 dioceses in Ireland.Not all survivors involved are from Ireland as revealed by missionary audits and reviews. Missionary child sexual abuse presents enormous complexity. For this reason, I have felt compelled to raise awareness of missionary child sexual abuse notwithstanding the enormous good in the world achieved by most missionaries for which the Irish people can be rightly proud. However we must not shirk any responsibility to offer ‘Rescue Services’ and ‘Safe Space Provisioning’ which I am calling for to those survivors abused by Irish missionaries at home and overseas.It has been very difficult to report on missionary child sexual abuse since the RTÉ fiasco, “Mission to Prey”, aired on 23rd May 2011. Following the release of the programme, the former head of the Irish Missionary Union, Fr Eamon Aylward said it would be difficult to investigate crimes in 83 different countries, but that in Ireland 99.9 per cent cooperation with state authorities is in place.To date there have been six missionary orders audited where a total of 452 priests have had 1,208 allegations raised against them but only 4.6 per cent or 21 priests have been convicted. This is a very sad reality which ought to raise calls for investigations into clerical sex abuse in Africa by Irish missionaries.In the audit reports to date, seven of those brave enough to come forward were from Africa where the risks are far greater to them in coming forward due to the very unsympathetic reception facing survivors of missionary child sexual abuse in Africa. Three are reported to have come forward in the Kiltegan report and four came forward in the Spiritan (Holy Ghost Fathers) audit report in the last tranche.One particular case involves an African who reported his abuse by a member of the Spiritans to the National Board for Safeguarding Children in May 2012 but it was not recorded in the audit report issued in September 2012 some five months after notifying the auditors. Only due to pressure to publish a correction was the error and oversight recorded on the NBSCCCI website in an amended Spiritan report. The number of priests against whom a complaint had been raised was incremented by one to 48 but notification to the Gardaí or HSE has not been incremented.Indeed it has only been reported that the safeguarding board has “no remit” to deal with abuse by Irish priests abroad. Not only are these African victims bereft of any justice by and large, but their legal rights are not protected where they have been contacted directly by agents for the religious orders involved.As a survivor, I would think it is not the place of the religious orders or their agents to compromise any survivor’s well-being or take high risks of re-traumatising them in the guise of support for them. Investigations are for the civil authorities due to the risks involved to any victim, both legally and medically.Conviction rates for sexual crimesObtaining a 6 per cent conviction rate for clerical child sexual abuse actually seems high when you consider that the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre noted in its Annual Report for 2012 that only three cases of rape out of 322 known cases actually succeeded in a criminal conviction. This shows that the crime of rape in general has less than a 1 per cent chance of a conviction for 2012 in Ireland.If anything, these odds are a frightening and powerful argument against personally reporting such abuse where justice demands so much from the victim and their families. Certainly, from a perpetrator or facilitator’s perspective, the policy of denial, collusion and cover up, pays too big a dividend in deferred minimal sanction imposed on perpetrators and an enormous financial gain over decades in accrued reputational standing to a diocese or congregation earned at the expense of sexually abused children. It is this sort of ‘return on deception’, which can motivate the facilitation of such heinous crimes against children. Financial restitution is the very thing that is so begrudgingly offered, if at all, and is invariably the cause of further humiliation and re-traumatises victims who seek what they most justly deserve.Safeguarding policy may well be improving and for that, mandatory reporting is needed – but so too then are ‘Rescue Services’ and ‘Safe Space Provisioning’ for survivors. Safeguarding should mean far better services to survivors and their families not just abuse prevention.Mark Vincent Healy is a survivor campaigner seeking ‘Rescue Services’ and ‘Safe Space Provisioning’ for survivors of clerical child sexual abuse.Read: Just 12 Christian Brothers convicted after 870 allegationsRead: Abuse victims’ group has “serious concerns” over safeguarding reviewRead: Safeguarding board has “no remit” to deal with abuse by Irish priests abroadWe’re interested in your ideas and opinions – do you have a story you would like to see featured in Opinion & Insight? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
CONNACHT’S SUPPORTERS AND playing staff have grown accustomed to dealing with post-match disappointment, but the latest bout is harder to take.Missing out on a losing bonus point in the 16-8 defeat to Leinster at the Sportsground was scant reward for Pat Lam’s ambitious side. The home team played the more adventurous rugby, but came away empty-handed after several controversial refereeing decisions.There was a strong suspicion of a forward pass in the build-up to Gordon D’Arcy’s try, while many supporters and critics felt Jamie Heaslip should have been sin-binned for a late shoulder charge on Dan Parks.While Lam was hesitant about criticising referee George Clancy and his team of assistants – Leo Colgan, Ollie Hodges and Jude Quinn – he did admit to frustration, particularly around the Heaslip incident. Well I tell you, I played for Samoa. We touch anyone around that area and we get blasted, absolutely blasted. I don’t know, it’s pretty obvious. Everyone saw it. What determines a tackle, a shoulder charge, what’s late?“The officials will sort it out. But I don’t think I need to comment on it, because the crowd saw it, you guys saw it. It was a surprising decision. Obviously, the one for them to go ahead with a knock-on [was disappointing], with the call saying it went backwards.“I didn’t see any ball go backwards. Yeah, it’s frustrating but like I said, they’re things we can’t control. We’re Connacht and we just deal with that. What we’re really disappointed with is the little errors we’re making.”The Connacht coach admitted his own side had failed to keep their shape. ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan.Lam was honest enough to admit that his own team’s deficiencies had contributed to the defeat, with the loss of ‘shape’ in attack and defence jarring the head coach. Even with anger simmering over the match official’s calls on key incident, the Connacht boss says they will focus on their own shortcomings.“The bottom line is – and I’ve been saying it all year – we know we don’t have 13 or 16 internationals in our squad. However, if we play as a team, we’ve got some opportunity.We talked about that second half – ‘this game is there for the taking if we want it’. Obviously it’s difficult on some of the calls. But our focus, for us, is what we can control. Despite those calls, we lost shape and, particularly in attack, we didn’t look after the ball.”One of the major positives for the home side last night was the fact that youngsters Jack Carty and Darragh Leader proved their ability to play at Pro12 level. The out-half and fullback impressed, and Lam is confident that both young men have promising futures.“I think those boys, Darragh, Jack and their families can be proud. I think Ireland’s got some real talent coming through and what better stage to test and give their development a boost than in that game?“That’s why we did it and I think both of them can hold their heads up high. Those boys will be around for years to come for Connacht and for Ireland.”Like rugby? Follow TheScore.ie’s dedicated Twitter account @rugby_ie >‘If ROG has your trust, he has your back’: Meet the men who put O’Gara’s life on filmCave hoping for more tries in front of ‘special’ Ravenhill crowd
THE REFORM ALLIANCE is gathering momentum as it prepares for its conference on January 25th in the RDS. It appears to be the prelude to the formation of a new political party (although that’s been denied). But in the media coverage (at times overtly fawning) of the Alliance there appears to be little real questioning of the nature of the ‘reform’ they are claiming they stand for, nor much about who will benefit from such ‘reform’.Lucinda Creighton, who is leading the movement thus far, has stated that the Alliance is “interested in anybody who is interested in reform… genuinely implementing reform and not just talking about it”. However, this, and the majority of their media statements, tells us nothing of the policies they are proposing – such as what would they implement in government?Where we do get some insight into their policies, and their proposed ‘reform’, is in the political policies and stances that its leading spokespeople like Lucinda Creighton took prior to the formation of the Reform Alliance.The same policies that caused the crashFirstly, and most significantly, the economic policies advocated by Lucinda Creighton and the other TDs of the Reform Alliance have been the same neo-liberal, pro-capitalist policies that caused the crash. These are the neo-liberal economics that promote the concepts of deregulating markets, free trade, competitiveness, pro-multinational capital, privatisation of public services, low wages, reducing taxes on wealth and supporting corporate profiteering.Lucinda and the other former Fine Gael TDs supported wholeheartedly the austerity approach which has kept us in the crisis and has imposed the burden of the adjustment on the poor and those on lower incomes. Lucinda and the other TDs involved in the Reform Alliance voted for each austerity budget since entering government in 2011 and they also led the campaign for the Fiscal Treaty Referendum in 2012, which enshrined austerity into the heart of the euro area and handed over more control over our budgets to the European Commission and EU institutions.Even when they talk about the necessity of ensuring ‘social inclusion’ it is to be brought about through the Thatcherite economic theory of generating private entrepreneurial and corporate growth that will then supposedly ‘trickle down’ to the lower classes.Influencing the balance of powerWe would discover the true intent of their ‘reform’ policies if the Alliance declared its stance on forming part of the next government. With between five and ten TDs, the Alliance could be in a very influential position holding the balance of power after the next general election. The Alliance, therefore, should publicly state their position on whether they would support a Fine Gael or Fianna Fail led government after the next election (and it is up to the media to ask and get that answer).If the Reform Alliance answers that question with ‘that will depend on the situation that we face at that point in time and it will require major commitment to radical reform by those parties’ (ie, yes of course we will enter government with either Fine Gael or Fianna Fail), or ‘we have not determined our position on that yet’ (ie, yes of course) or, the straightforward honest answer of ‘yes of course’, then they are clearly not for any serious level of reform of our political or economic system. This is because both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have been in power since the foundation of the State and have clearly demonstrated that they are unwilling and unable to implement radical reforms, once in government, that would strengthen democracy and benefit the majority of people in the country.What should we expect?The policies of these former Fine Gael TDs makes it clear that if a new party emerges from the Reform Alliance its policies will most closely match those of the old Progressive Democrats Party. The Alliance’s policies, therefore, can be classed as right-wing on economic issues, conservative on many social issues, and pro a European Union – that economic and political superpower.The media should be much more forthright in asking them (and ensure they provide an answer) on the detail on the type of reform the Alliance are proposing, and whether this is just another exercise in spin and PR politics that is becoming endemic in our political system.Radical reforms that would benefit the majority of Irish people would include calling for an end to austerity and a government-funded stimulus of job creation expanding the number of teachers, guards and nurses, as well as building social housing and upgrading hospitals. They would include a reversal of the decision to introduce water charges and ruling-out future privatisation of Irish water; an increase in the minimum wage and support for worker’s rights; calling on the ECB to cancel the illegitimate Anglo Bonds and threaten default; and a write-off of mortgage debt of distressed borrowers in their family home.It would also include an imposition of income equality measures such as a cap on bankers and higher earners’ pay, higher taxation on wealth, and a financial transaction tax to be introduced on markets. But we haven’t heard mention of any of these policies from the Reform Alliance TDs.Therefore, there is no evidence to back up the claims of Lucinda and the other Alliance TDs that the Reform Alliance is about creating a ‘new politics’ and offers ‘radical’ and ‘substantial’ differences in policy from that what already is presented by Fine Gael or Fianna Fail (or even Labour at this stage). But watch how the Alliance spokespeople keep their policies vague, general and all-encompassing in the run up to the next general election. They will talk of ‘change’, ‘honesty’, and ‘accountability’, but in reality this is the PDs being revived in another form, and in time, could become even more extreme.This is because the economic policies espoused by the TDs involved in the Reform Alliance caused the crisis and won’t get us out of it. They will in fact, as has already been proven in the austerity budgets they have voted for, worsen inequality and poverty.Public angerLucinda and her Reform Alliance followers are politically astute, and just like the recent move of Colm Keaveny, they are prepared to do whatever it takes to get re-elected even if that means contradicting their previous policies. They know that the anger amongst the public will be seen in the coming elections and, therefore, they want to present themselves as something different from the Government. They are likely to gain further momentum given their access to resources, money, PR companies and a cheerleading media, particularly the right wing commentariat.It is interesting to see how the Reform Alliance and Lucinda are fawned over by the media and promoted in contrast to the treatment of the Left TDs such as the United Left Alliance, who are often jeered and ridiculed. This is because the Reform Alliance is clearly on the side of the upper middle class and elite establishment, those who favour a capitalist Ireland, where everyone knows their place, and where, ultimately, the status quo is maintained.In responding to the widespread public anger and desire for real reforming politics, the Reform Alliance have, however, highlighted what the Left should be doing. The Left, including the ULA parties and Left wing independent TDs should put aside their differences and get together to form a movement that could offer some real radical reform that would benefit the majority of Irish people, particularly the vulnerable, unemployed, youth and working classes.Dr Rory Hearne is a Lecturer in Geography NUIM, member of Claiming Our Future and former community worker.Read: Creighton and Timmins insist Reform Alliance conference not prelude to political partyRead: ‘Everybody will be invited’: Reform Alliance to hold conference at the RDS this month
Creighton told TheJournal.ie yesterday that the emblem is being used for the conference in the RDS and said it is not the logo of the Reform Alliance.“We don’t have one,” she insisted.Fianna Fáil declined to comment.Pics: Reform Conference/Fianna Fáil Read: Mattie McGrath would consider joining Reform Alliance, Creighton says they’ll work with anyone THE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN the Fianna Fáil logo and that adopted by the Reform Alliance for its conference in the RDS this weekend have been played down by Lucinda Creighton.The TD and most prominent member of the nascent political alliance of expelled Fine Gael TDs pointed out that the use of the harp is not unusual given it’s the State’s national emblem, saying it’s “hardly original”.The similarities between the logo and that of Fianna Fáil have been noted by several commentators including Transport Minister Leo Varadkar who said on Twitter earlier this week:
A FATHER OF three who is strongly opposed to the introduction of water charges has turned away workers installing meters 12 different occasions in the last seven weeks.49-year-old Alan O’Donnaille from Clonsilla in Dublin told TheJournal.ie that he was first sent a notification about his water meter in early December and he asked Irish Water to provide him with seven different documents including details of health and safety and insurance. He also asked them to give him documentation that allows workers to block off his access to the public road.Some seven weeks later, none of this information has been passed onto him and just yesterday a group of workers were back with diggers to start the work. O’Donnaille again refused his permission and they were forced to leave. This was the twelfth time workers arrived at the Dublin man’s house and were forced to leave without installing the meter, though every other meter in the street and immediate area have now been put in.On one occasion, he said workers threatened to get gardaí involved and while communication so far has been “very courteous” he said he is prepared to be arrested if it comes down to it.“I feel very strongly about it, I mean, if the gardaí arrest me here, that’s what will happen,” he said.“I don’t want a water meter, I’m totally opposed to it because it’s a completely unjust tax – this is an act of civil disobedience against an unjust law.” People are being browbeaten and fooled into thinking this charade can go ahead and they’re [Irish Water] are just bulldozing through it. It makes no sense and I think it’s just designed to break people’s will.At this stage more than 80,000 water meters have been installed despite fierce opposition though public outrage has increased with recent revelations about overstaffing and consultancy fees at Irish Water.Read: Almost 80,000 homes have so far been fitted with water meters>Read: Irish Water says staffing numbers will ‘reduce over time’>
THE ESB IS looking for 24 drivers to act as “ecar ambassadors” in their latest Great Electric Drive.As part of the second year of this programme, participants will be able to trial an electric vehicle for a four-month period. The vehicles on offer include the BMW i3, Citroen C Zero, Mitsubishi iMiEV, Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid SUV, Nissan Euro LEAF, Renault ZOE, and a Renault Kangoo Z.E. commercial electric van.The ESB is looking for participants across several different lifestyles and associated commuting patterns to trial the vehicles, and to post updates onlinetheir experience.The ESB said that the vehicles can be charged at home or a dedicated ecar charging points. The company describes its network of over 1000 public charging points as “world-leading”.The number of ambassadors is up 3 from last year. Each drove an average of 300km per week and saved over €13,500, ESB said.If you’re interested in taking part, more information is available at esb.ie/GreatElectricDrive. Deadline for applications is 4 March 2014.Read: Car sales race ahead by 33 per cent >More: This chart shows how the 132 registration plate boosted the Irish car market >
Updated 9.51pmTWO MEN HAVE been charged following an attempted robbery in south Dublin that was foiled by an off-duty garda.The garda spotted two males entering a shop on Lower Mount Pleasant Avenue in Ranelagh yesterday at 6.45pm, with their faces covered and what appeared to be a firearm.He confronted the two in the shop, and after a struggle arrested a man in his 20s at the scene.The second man injured the garda’s hand after attacking him, and fled the scene.A juvenile was arrested late last night at 11.30pm.This evening, gardaí said that the two males are scheduled to appear in court tomorrow morning to be charged in connection with the incident.Anyone who was in the area of Mount Pleasant Avenue or Mount Pleasant Square yesterday evening between 6 and 7pm is asked to contact Rathmines Garda Station on 01 666 66700, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666111, or any Garda Station.
TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY today acknowledged campaigners from Our Children’s Health group.The group began demonstrating outside Government Buildings this week, with a 20 foot banner, pledging that they will be there every day until the situation where discretionary medical cards being removed from ill children is dealt with.This morning, Kenny met the group and told the campaigners that he planned to do something about it, telling them: “This isn’t the Ireland we all know.”Peter Fitzpatrick, co-founder of the group, told the Taoiseach about their petition.In just ten days nearly 60,000 people have signed the petition calling on legislation to be changed that will legally entitle any child diagnosed with a serious illness of congenital condition to a full medical card.Petition“We said to him that almost 60,000 people have now clearly said that every seriously ill child should be legally entitled to a medical card – that we are appealing to him directly and that this policy change must come from him.”Yesterday, Kenny said in the Dáil that he would “fix” the problem, saying that proposals were going to sub committee today.He said “the whole process, the way of dealing with these, is not the way I want it to be”.Fitzpatrick told TheJournal.ie that they “would wait to see what comes out today”.Read: Medical card protest to take place outside Government buildings today… and everyday>Read: Number of discretionary medical cards falls by over 16,000>