Former restaurant manager suspected in the kidnapping of millionaire hotel magnate

first_img By AFP 1 Comment 15,564 Views Image: Shutterstock/Veniamin Kraskov Oct 28th 2016, 2:36 PM Friday 28 Oct 2016, 2:36 PM THE FORMER MANAGER of a gourmet restaurant in the French resort city of Nice is suspected of ordering the kidnapping of a hotel magnate, who was found bound in the back of a van, investigators said today.A police source confirmed a report in Le Parisien newspaper, which said the former boss of the Michelin-starred La Reserve was among nine people arrested over the abduction.Kidnapping victim Jacqueline Veyrac (76) is the millionaire owner of La Reserve on the Nice seafront and the luxury Grand Hotel in nearby Cannes.She was already the victim of a kidnapping three years ago, the motive of which was never discovered.Le Parisien identified the main suspect in the latest affair as Giuseppe S, an Italian, and said he was believed to harbour a grudge against Veyrac.On Monday, she was snatched as she was getting into her SUV in a busy part of Nice and bundled into a waiting van.She was found alive and well two days later, in a white van with false number plates parked in the hills above the Riviera resort.The local prosecutor described the case as “complex” and said it appeared not to be linked to any ransom demand but “something very personal”.Veyrac, whose husband died five years ago, co-owns the Grand Hotel and La Reserve with one of her sons.The Grand Hotel is one of the establishments on the palm-lined Croisette boulevard that roll out the red carpet each May for movie stars attending the Cannes Film Festival.- © AFP, 2016Read: Elderly businesswoman Jacqueline Veyrac (76) kidnapped in Nice Share9 Tweet Email1 Former restaurant manager suspected in the kidnapping of millionaire hotel magnate Jacqueline Veyrac (76) was found bound in the back of a van in Nice two days after being kidnapped. Short URL Image: Shutterstock/Veniamin Kraskov Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

GRA leaders in lastminute talks as Labour Court issues recommendation

first_imgGRA leaders in last-minute talks as Labour Court issues recommendation Last-ditch efforts to avoid a strike by Garda members tomorrow are continuing tonight. 67 Comments 43,648 Views Updated at 10.30pm: There’s been something of a breakthrough at the talks. For our latest story – which will be updated throughout the rest of the night – click here. Updated at 9.40pm:THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE of Garda rank-and-file body the GRA is meeting tonight to discuss a recommendation from the Labour Court.It comes as last-ditch efforts to avoid a strike by Garda members continue.As of this evening, 10,500 GRA members and 2,000 higher-ranked members of the AGSI are due to go on strike from 7am tomorrow. Three more strike days are also scheduled to take place later this month.The GRA said in a statement last night that any non-binding recommendation from the Labour Court would be put to members for a ballotThe statement said, however, that the threat of the four strike days would remain in place “unless we hear of substantial and significant progress towards real and tangible increases in pay”.A recommendation from the Labour Court had initially been expected tomorrow, but earlier the GRA negotiating team was called back to the Dublin 4 court for an update on its position. The Garda Commissioner speaks to reporters tonight Source: Leah FarrellGRA President Ciaran O’Neill, speaking to reporters on his way in, said the news from the Labour Court this evening had been a “welcome development”.“We’ve already committed that we are going to ballot our membership on the recommendation,” he said.The GRA’s executive committee, the CEC, has been meeting since around 8.30pm to discuss the court’s recommendation.An update is expected later this evening.Separately, members of the AGSI remain at the Labour Court tonight as efforts continue to avert their threatened strike tomorrow.CommissionerIn a brief press conference this evening Garda Commissioner Noirín O Sullivan moved to reassure the public, telling reporters that garda members would be on duty tomorrow.Flanked by senior officers, she said that the force would have “members of all ranks working right around the country”.“I want to thank those members for the work that they will do tomorrow and the challenges they will meet, the policing and security challenges that they meet every single day.”The men and women of the gardaí and their families had endured hardships and challenges over the last number of years, she said.And despite that they have stood up, they have done their duty.The Commissioner issued a directive on Tuesday of this week ordering members to show up for work tomorrow. Superintendents were asked to contact each garda individually to ask them if they will be available for work. GRA row this afternoonThe GRA’s negotiators were initially asked to attend the Labour Court at 3.30pm this afternoon – but their attendance at the court was delayed after a meeting of the CEC ran on longer than expected.Earlier today, the officer board of the CEC – essentially its top officials – announced that a number of specialised units were being asked not to go on strike tomorrow.According to sources, that announcement was made without consultation of the wider CEC – a 31-strong body that guides the GRA’s policy.It’s understood the wider membership of the CEC was angry at being left out of the loop. However, that executive committee meeting later ended and the team headed back to the court for renewed efforts aimed at ending the dispute.Strike scheduled Garda rank-and-file members, along with the sergeants and inspectors of the AGSI, announced  several weeks ago that they planned to go on strike tomorrow and on four other Fridays in November as the latest development in a long-running dispute over pay and access to the state’s industrial relations mechanisms.- with reporting by Michelle Hennessy Read: ‘Skeletal service’: These garda units will work tomorrow as most rank-and-file members go on strikeRead: Garda management says ‘technical error’ led to overpayment of probationers Short URL Garda Commissioner just did press appearance to reassure public there will be security & policing presence tomorrow #gardastrike— Aoife Barry (@sweetoblivion26) November 3, 2016 Nov 3rd 2016, 9:24 PM Share106 Tweet Email By Daragh Brophy Thursday 3 Nov 2016, 9:24 PM Source: ❄️Aoife Barry/Twitter Want our daily report from the Disclosures Tribunal straight to your inbox? Sign up here: Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

No Bus Éireann or Dublin Bus services tomorrow in Leinster and Munster

first_img Wednesday 28 Feb 2018, 1:12 PM By Rónán Duffy 62,752 Views Share1014 Tweet Email8 Feb 28th 2018, 1:12 PM ALL BUS SERVICES have been cancelled for Leinster and Munster tomorrow as the country deals with ongoing severe weather conditions.The cancellation affects Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann services.Bus services in the capital have been operating today with some delays but the expected worsening conditions means the decision has been taken to suspend services tomorrow.The decision was announced following a meeting of the National Emergency Coordination Group.Schools are also set to close in areas covered by tomorrow’s ‘status red’ warning – which covers Leinster and Munster and stays in place until Friday at noon.Luas and Irish Rail services will be operating but at a “constrained service”, finishing between 12pm and 2pm.Met Éireann has issued a red alert snow-ice warning for Munster and Leinster, warning that ‘blizzard-like’ conditions are expected.“Our services are primarily operating on main roads only due to poor road conditions,” Dublin Bus said in its latest update.“Customers should be aware that services may also experience delays.”Bus Éireann said there were “major disruptions across the country due to deteriorating weather conditions”.You can get the latest on the weather situation here at our Liveblog.- With reporting by Daragh Brophy Read: All schools in Leinster and Munster to close tomorrow >Read: Tesco ‘unable to make most home deliveries’ today due to the treacherous conditions > Image: No Bus Éireann or Dublin Bus services tomorrow in Leinster and Munster The decision was announced following a meeting of the National Emergency Coordination Group. Image: Short URL 35 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Michael HealyRae hits out at being called Trumpian by Oliver Callan

first_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: Image: Feb 13th 2017, 12:26 PM Well if holding your father in high regard is a crime, sure go ahead and shoot me now Mr Callan…He went on to say that he had not “inherited” his father’s seat, saying that the “good people of South Kerry saw fit to elect me as one of their representatives in Dáil Éireann”Populism Source: ROBBIE REYNOLDS PHOTOGRAPHYHealy-Rae goes on to invite Callan to “the Deep South” and wishes him success in his career, but says that he and his TD brother Danny are not populists or “freeloaders”.Mr Callan states that “you cannot condemn those who elect the Healy-Raes”. KERRY TD MICHAEL Healy-Rae has hit out at being dubbed “Trumpian” by comedian and columnist Oliver Callan.Writing in the Irish Times last week, Callan called the Kingdom’s political dynasty the “Irish Donald Trumps”.“They too espouse anti-immigrant, climate-sceptical, barmy-policy, anti-PC ideas and resemble an Irish version of the Donald right down to reality TV appearances, crazed fans and attacks on the media,” Callan said.“Their politics are tied up with Trumpian conflicts of interest too and they even built an expensive wall in Killorglin.”In a statement issued today, Healy-Rae shot back, saying that he had never met Callan, meaning it was hard to understand how the impressionist has an opinion on him.“Leaving aside for a moment his comments about myself and my brother Danny, I take grave exception to his comments about our late father Jackie Healy-Rae and his funeral to which thousands of people turned up to pay their last respects.“Unfortunately my father is no longer around to stand up for his good record as a public representative for over 40 years. He proceeds to liken our reverence for our late father to Donald Trump’s ‘obsessive view’ of his late father Fred. Share18 Tweet Email Monday 13 Feb 2017, 12:26 PM By Paul Hosford Michael Healy-Rae hits out at being called ‘Trumpian’ by Oliver Callan “Well if holding your father in high regard is a crime, sure go ahead and shoot me now Mr Callan…” 75 Comments Short URL 22,965 Views Well I am sure that the 30,369 people in Kerry who gave us their first preference votes in Election 2016 will breathe a sigh of relief and will be delighted to hear that they are not going to be ‘condemned’ for exercising their democratic vote.“I have never met Mr Callan so I would not dare to venture or voice any ‘opinion’ on him. He is described as “an Irish vocal and performance satirist and impressionist” and as far as I know he is quite successful in his chosen field. I wish him every good luck in his future career.”Read: ‘I am innocent’: Nóirín O’Sullivan says she won’t step asidelast_img read more

I just snapped Alleged Facebook killer who killed pensioner was annoyed with

first_img By AFP Tuesday 18 Apr 2017, 7:43 AM ‘I just snapped’: Alleged Facebook killer who killed pensioner was ‘annoyed with his girlfriend’ Steve Stephens has been placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. 19,727 Views Apr 18th 2017, 7:43 AM 18 Comments Short URL Share Tweet Email Photo provided by the Cleveland Police shows Steve Stephens. Source: AP/PA ImagesUS AUTHORITIES HAVE launched a nationwide manhunt for a gunman who shot and killed an elderly man, and then posted a video of the seemingly random attack on Facebook.Police in Cleveland, Ohio working on the case with help from investigators at the FBI and the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), have offered a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest of Steve Stephens, the accused shooter.Stephens, 37, of Cleveland, Ohio, who was described as armed and dangerous, was also placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, a designation officials hope will help raise public awareness about the case.The manhunt spread across the region within a few hours after the murder, with authorities on the alert for Stephens in Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan. By midday on Monday, the search for the accused murderer had spread nationwide.“Our reach now is basically all over this country,” Cleveland police chief Calvin Williams said at a news conference.“This is what we would consider a national search.”Stephens is accused of fatally shooting Robert Godwin Sr, 74, who was walking home from Easter dinner on Sunday afternoon, when he was apparently picked out at random.According to a timeline of events created by police and Facebook, Stephens posted a video on Sunday afternoon saying he intended to kill, and followed up two minutes later with video of the shooting.Facebook to undergo reviewIn that second video, Godwin is shown with a gun to his head and then falling to the ground after Stephens fires a shot.In a third video 11 minutes later, streamed live from Stephens’s car, he says he intends to kill others. A makeshift memorial consisting of balloons, a stuffed bear and other items sits a along a fence in Cleveland on Monday. Source: AP/PA Images“I killed 13, so I’m working on 14 as we speak,” Stephens said. “I’m just driving around hitting motherf**kers, man. I just snapped, man. F**k.”So far, however, police say they are aware of only one shooting victim.The incident was the latest disturbing crime captured on Facebook video, including the alleged gang rape of a 15-year-old girl, two fatal shootings, and the kidnapping and torture of a disabled 18-year-old man.In this instance, Facebook took down Stephens’s videos and disabled his account about two hours after he first started uploading.Justin Osofsky, vice president of global operations for the social media giant, acknowledged in a company blog post, that the delay was too long.“We know we need to do better,” Osofsky said.“As a result of this terrible series of events, we are reviewing our reporting flows to be sure people can report videos and other material that violates our standards as easily and quickly as possible,” he said.Osofsky said Facebook received the first report about the video depicting the murder more than an hour and 45 minutes after it was posted.“We received reports about the third video, containing the man’s live confession, only after it had ended,” he added.Police search ‘dozens’ of locationsPolice issued an arrest warrant for Stephens, described as a six-foot one-inch, 244-pound black man with a full beard, who was last seen in a white Ford Fusion with temporary license plates.Authorities were assuming he was still with his vehicle more than 24 hours later, and discounted reports that he might be on the run in Pennsylvania. Alexis Lee, a childhood friend of Steve Stephens, speaks with a neighbour near Stephens’ childhood home in Cleveland, Ohio Source: AP/PA ImagesStephens’s mother told CNN she called him on Sunday after learning about the video, and he told her he was shooting people because he was “mad with his girlfriend”.Police said the woman he referred to was in a safe place.Cleveland detectives also made contact with Stephens by phone early in the investigation, Williams said.“They tried to, of course, convince him to turn himself in and, of course, that hasn’t happened to date,” he said, adding that officers had searched dozens of locations to find the suspect.“If there’s somebody who is helping Steve or think you’re helping Steve, you’re really not. You’re going to get yourself in trouble, along with him,” Williams warned.Stephens worked for Beech Brook, a behavioural health agency serving children through mental health services, foster care and adoption, at-risk youth and other programs.In his video, Stephens displayed his Beech Brook badge.“We are shocked and horrified like everyone else,” Nancy Kortemeyer, a spokeswoman for the facility told CNN.“To think that one of our employees could do this is awful.”© – AFP, 2017Read: Kim Jong Un left red-faced as North Korean ‘missile test fails’ one day after military parade > Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

South Korean leader Park Geunhye removed from office after historic court ruling

first_img Share Tweet Email The benefits of protecting the constitution that can be earned by dismissing the defendant are overwhelmingly big. Hereupon, in a unanimous decision by the court panel, we issue a verdict: We dismiss the defendant, President Park Geun-hye.Lee accused Park of colluding with her longtime confidante and private citizen Choi Soon-sil to extort tens of millions of dollars from businesses and letting Choi meddle in state affairs and receive and look at documents with state secrets. South Korean Constitutional Court’s Chief Judge Lee Jung-Mi delivers judgment on the impeachment charge against South Korea President Park Geun-hye. Source: 金民熙/APThose are the allegations that prosecutors have already raised, but Park has refused to undergo any questioning, citing a law that gives a sitting leader immunity from prosecution.It is not clear when prosecutors will try to interview with her.Park won’t vacate the presidential Blue House today as her aides are preparing for her return to her private home in southern Seoul, according to the Blue House. Park wasn’t planning any statement today, it said. Source: Lee Jin-man/PA ImagesPark’s lawyer, Seo Seok-gu, who had previously compared Park’s impeachment to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, called the verdict a “tragic decision” made under popular pressure and questioned the fairness of what he called a “kangaroo court.”South Korea must now hold an election within two months to choose Park’s successor. Liberal Moon Jae-in, who lost to Park in the 2012 election, currently enjoys a comfortable lead in opinion surveys.Pre-verdict surveys showed that 70 – 80% of South Koreans wanted the court to approve Park’s impeachment. But there have been worries that Park’s ouster would further polarize the country and cause violence between her supporters and opponents. Source: Nicolas Asfouri/PA ImagesIN A HISTORIC ruling today, South Korea’s Constitutional Court formally removed impeached President Park Geun-hye from office over a corruption scandal that has plunged the country into political turmoil and worsened an already-serious national divide.Two people later died during protests against the court’s decision, which capped a stunning fall for Park, the country’s first female leader who rode a wave of lingering conservative nostalgia for her late dictator father to victory in 2012, only to see her presidency crumble as millions of furious protesters filled the nation’s streets. Source: Ahn Young-joon/PA ImagesThe ruling by the eight-member panel opens Park up to possible criminal proceedings – prosecutors have already named her a criminal suspect – and makes her South Korea’s first democratically elected leader to be removed from office since democracy replaced dictatorship in the late 1980s.It also deepens South Korea’s political and security uncertainty as the country faces existential threats from perennial rival North Korea, reported economic retaliation from a China furious about Seoul’s cooperation with the US on an anti-missile system, and questions in Seoul about the new Trump administration’s commitment to the two countries’ decades-long security alliance. Source: Ahn Young-joon/PA ImagesPark’s “acts of violating the constitution and law are a betrayal of the public trust,” acting Chief Justice Lee Jung-mi said. Mar 10th 2017, 7:41 AM South Korean leader Park Geun-hye removed from office after historic court ruling Park’s removal from office means that a new President must be elected by May. 19 Comments 11,002 Views Friday 10 Mar 2017, 7:41 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By Associated Press Short URL Source: Ahn Young-joon/PA ImagesSensing history, thousands of people – both pro-Park supporters, many of them dressed in army-style fatigues and wearing red berets, and those who wanted Park gone – gathered around the Constitutional Court building and a huge public square in downtown Seoul.A big television screen was set up near the court so people could watch the verdict live. Hundreds of police were on hand, wearing helmets with visors and black, hard-plastic breastplates and shin guards. The streets near the court were lined with police buses and barricades.Some of Park’s supporters reacted with anger after the ruling, shouting and hitting police officers with plastic flag poles and climbing on police buses. Anti-Park protesters celebrated by marching in the streets near the presidential Blue House, carrying flags, signs and an effigy of Park dressed in prison clothes and tied up with rope. Source: Lee Jin-man/PA ImagesThe Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said two people died while protesting Park’s removal.An official from the Seoul National University Hospital said that a man in his 70s, believed to be a Park supporter, died from head wounds after falling from the top of a police bus.An official from the Kangbuk Samsung Hospital in Seoul said another man brought from the pro-Park rally died shortly after receiving CPR at the hospital. The hospital official couldn’t immediately confirm the cause of death.Park’s parliamentary impeachment in December came after weeks of Saturday rallies that drew millions who wanted her resignation. Source: Lee Jin-man/PA ImagesOverwhelmed by the biggest rallies in decades, the voices of Park supporters were largely ignored. But they’ve recently regrouped and staged fierce pro-Park rallies since.Prosecutors have arrested and indicted a slew of high-profile figures over the scandal, including Park’s confidante Choi, top Park administration officials and Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong.Since she’s now no longer in power, prosecutors can summon, question and possibly arrest her. Her critics want to see Park appear on TV while dressed in prison garb, handcuffed and bound like others involved in the scandal.But some analysts worry that could create a backlash by conservatives ahead of the presidential vote.Among the most serious problems facing South Korea is China’s retaliation against the deployment of a US high-tech missile defence system in the South. Source: Ahn Young-joon/PA ImagesTies with North Korea are terrible, with Pyongyang seeking to expand its nuclear and missile arsenal. Japan hasn’t sent back its ambassador, which it recalled two months ago over history disputes.South Korea also worries about the Trump administration asking for a greater financial contribution for US troop deployment in the South.Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn has led the government as acting leader since Park’s impeachment, and he will continue to do so until South Korea elects new president by May.Some media reports said Hwang might run for president as a conservative candidate. If that happens, he would have to resign to run and a deputy prime minister would become interim leader.In 2004, then President Roh Moo-hyun was impeached by parliament for alleged election law violations and incompetence, but the Constitutional Court later reinstated his power.Read: North Korea says it’s launching missiles as training for real-life strikes on US basesRead: North Korea is holding at least 11 Malaysians ‘hostage’last_img read more

Man and threeyearold son killed as car collides with train in Netherlands

first_img 13,930 Views By AFP Image: Screengrab/NOS Mar 28th 2017, 8:01 AM A MAN AND his three-year-old son were killed yesterday when their car collided with a train at an unmanned crossing in the northern Netherlands, Dutch police said.They had been taking part in a school outing to see baby lambs when the accident happened, the public broadcaster NOS said. Their car was dragged for some 250 metres by the train after the collision, it added.“Two fatally wounded in rail accident at #Harlingen,” police said on Twitter.They later identified them as “a 31-year-old man from Harlingen and his three-year-old son.”The exact circumstances remained unclear, with the police saying “an inquiry is ongoing.”NOS reported the car was the first to leave the farm after a visit by 23 primary school children.A similar accident, which caused no injuries, occurred at the same crossing on February 8, said ProRail, which maintains the Dutch rail network, adding it was already in discussions with the owner of the land to close the crossing.The crossing is marked by a barrier to the side, a crossing-sign as well as signals, but is not alarmed, ProRail added.ProRail chief executive Pier Eringa told reporters the blinking red lights appeared to have been working properly when the accident occurred.In November, 18 people were injured in the rural area of Winsum, about 100 kilometres east of Harlingen, when a tanker transporting milk collided with a train, causing the carriages to derail.© – AFP 2017Read: Donald Trump will today begin repealing Obama’s main environmental protection laws >Read: ‘Monster’ cyclone Debbie batters Australia with 270km gusts > Share4 Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL Tuesday 28 Mar 2017, 8:01 AM 7 Comments Image: Screengrab/NOS Man and three-year-old son killed as car collides with train in Netherlands They had been taking part in a school outing to see baby lambs when the accident happened. last_img read more

ROG said in his Cork accent Ah boy were down south were

first_img‘ROG said in his Cork accent, ‘Ah boy, we’re down south, we’re the rebels boy!’ Rua Tipoki has pride in his Māori blood and his time with Munster. 12 Comments Saturday 17 Jun 2017, 7:00 AM Short URL Murray Kinsella reports from New ZealandRUA TIPOKI’S SON, Ngarimu, has already made up his mind about what his own son is going to be named in the future.Born in Cork just a few weeks after his father joined Munster, Ngarimu’s earliest years were spent in the presence of true Munster greats. But Ronan O’Gara made a bigger impression than the rest.“He’s been cheering for the Lions,” says Tipoki of his nine-year-old, one of his four children. “He cheers for Ireland and he was pretty happy when the All Blacks lost. He was the only one born in Ireland. Tipoki loved working with ROG. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO“He tells us that if he has a son one day he’s going to name him after Ronan, so Ronan will have a little namesake running around over here at some stage!”It would be fitting, for without O’Gara’s influence Tipoki would never have ended up playing for Munster and helping them to the 2008 Heineken Cup during his two-year stint with the province.The link first came about in 2005, when Tipoki was part of the Māori All Blacks’ unforgettable and historic win over the Lions in New Zealand.Tipoki, a proud Māori man, was at the front of the haka that day in Hamilton and he led the side with a ferocious, intelligent and passionate performance opposite the Lions’ captain, Brian O’Driscoll, who he would later face in inter-provincial derbies.A 19-13 victory over the Lions was one of the great moments in Tipoki’s career and 12 years on, as the Māori take on Warren Gatland’s 2017 vintage in Rotorua today, it remains close to his heart.“It’s a special memory to have been part of the first Māori team to trip the Lions up, and extra special for me on that day because I got to mark the captain,” says Tipoki. “Drico was playing centre that day so it made it even more special. It was a good battle.“He had a long career at the top and it was a big challenge. I ended up marking him again a couple of times when he was playing for Leinster when I was with Munster, it was always a big challenge.”That game was one of the highlights of Tipoki’s career but it also led into another – playing for Munster.Paul O’Connell started in the second row for the Lions, while Ronan O’Gara was part of Clive Woodward’s squad, and the influential Munster pair very much liked what they saw in Tipoki.Not being men who beat around the bush, they approached the Kiwi centre at the post-match function and asked him if he would consider signing for Munster. Tipoki is tackled off the ball by Gordon D’Arcy in 2005. Source: Michael Bradley“They came up to me at the after-match and I said to ROG, ‘Where are you guys actually based? Up north or down south?’“He said in his Cork accent, ‘Ah boy, we’re down south, we’re the rebels boy!’“I just thought, “Rebels? That sounds a bit like me, I’m keen!’”Indeed, there was an immediate sense of kindredness there. A native of Te Puia Springs, Tipoki grew up in Gisborne before playing for Ngati Porou East Coast, Bay of Plenty and then North Harbour after a move to the Auckland area.“I suppose my background, I came from a provincial region and a small country town and then went to North Harbour, which was like the little brother to the Auckland union and we were always the underdogs who had less resources and things like that.“The Munster story really captured my imagination and I thought I’d love to be a part of that environment. I had an amazing time there and I’m so grateful for it.”The fact that it was O’Gara and O’Connell who had approached him about a move – rather than an agent – was important to Tipoki and he felt it was “a cool way to do it.”He was immediately hooked on the idea, but then the Crusaders came calling at the last minute.Tipoki had been playing for the Blues in Super Rugby, but then Crusaders head coach Robbie Deans managed to persuade him to make the move to the South Island of New Zealand.“I had a meeting with Robbie and going into the meeting my wife and I had made up our minds that we were definitely going to go. Tipoki played with Howlett at Munster and the Blues. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO“But Robbie is such an inspirational and enigmatic personality that I walked in the room thinking I was definitely going to Ireland, but came out thinking I couldn’t go and I had to play for the Crusaders.”So it was that Munster had to wait until the end of the 2007 Super Rugby season to get their man, but 31-year-old Tipoki is glad he did the season with the Crusaders, learning huge amounts that he feels allowed him to be a greater asset to Munster.His first season was a major success, as Tipoki settled into a side that was full of Ireland internationals and had won the 2006 Heineken Cup but was still hungry for success.“Obviously, we didn’t win every time, but every time we took to the field, there was an expectation that we were going to win,” he recalls. “It was such a strong belief in that team. That was a big part of Munster’s success, the belief in themselves.”And Munster did win a huge amount that season, with the 2008 Heineken Cup a proud success for Tipoki.He enjoyed finally getting the chance to play with O’Gara and O’Connell in particular, having had to wait those two extra two years.“I knew they were good players, but I didn’t know that they were great players until you’re playing alongside them.“Just to see how mentally tough they are and how naturally gifted they are at what they do. They’re probably two of the best players that I’ve played with and I’ve played with some greats.”One of those greats Tipoki had played with in New Zealand was Doug Howlett, himself turned into a Munster man in that excellent team.The Kiwi pair had both been Blues in the past and Tipoki enjoyed linking back up with the All Black legend. Meanwhile, his midfield partnership with Lifeimi Mafi was a real fans’ favourite, though he pushes the credit for their impact onto others.“Playing outside ROG and the forward pack was the key,” says Tipoki. “Having a fly-half like ROG just gave you so much time and space, but also we had Dougie running off us and great outside backs, so the chemistry just bounced off each other. Follow us: 39,093 Views Share340 Tweet Email2 By Murray Kinsella Tipoki and Mafi were excellent in midfield together. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO“Everyone was just so hungry and excited to play together during that time. When you get a group of guys like that, it’s just so good to be on the field playing with each other.”2008 brought another memorable moment involving Tipoki in Munster colours, with the All Blacks’ visit to Thomond Park that November seeing the Kiwi line up alongside Mafi, Howlett and Jeremy Manning for their spine-tingling haka.While there had been murmurings that Munster had prepared a challenge for the All Blacks that day, it remains one of the most stunning moments on a rugby pitch in Ireland.“We suggested it one afternoon when we were all together, so it just carried on from there,” explains Tipoki. “We checked with some people back home and the message was that as long as they want you do it and you treat it with respect, it was all good.“It’s right up there in terms of my experiences with the game of rugby, and I’ve been lucky to have plenty. It was special, my wife and my sons were there to watch it in the crowd, it was pretty special.”But Tipoki featured less frequently in his second season with Munster, after the departure of Declan Kidney to take on the Ireland job saw the arrival of Tony McGahan.Tipoki had hamstring issues, and though his departure possibly wasn’t on ideal terms, the former centre has nothing bad to say about Munster.“Things really changed when Deccie left the helm. I had a really good relationship with Declan and to tell you the truth when he left things sort of changed for me. But I enjoyed working with everyone over there and it was an amazing experience.”Tipoki returned home to New Zealand in 2009 but he has always kept a close eye on Munster and took pride in watching their performances this season after the loss of his former team-mate, Anthony Foley.As with everyone else attached to Munster, Tipoki has great memories of a great rugby man.“Axel was just all class. He’s one of those guys who just had so much charisma and a really astute rugby brain, but not only that. Good times for Munster at the 2008 homecoming. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO“It’s different in New Zealand because you don’t get many foreigners coming and playing in the top teams, but over in Munster they’d been used to Kiwis or South Africans coming over and adding their flavour.“The thing about Axel was that he could appreciate all that, but when you stripped it back he knew what Munster was all about and what would fit and what wouldn’t, and he was pretty staunch to that. That was the quality he had.”Though his professional career was at an end after leaving Munster, Tipoki linked up with his former province East Coast in the Heartland Championship and in 2012 he captained them to their first-ever Meads Cup, playing alongside Irishman John Semple.His eldest son, Naera, is now excelling at rugby back in New Zealand. The Gisborne Boys High School back row has played for the Hurricanes U18 side and trained with the senior Hurricanes team.A chip off the old block, Naera also played for the New Zealand Secondary Schools last year. In a nice connection, the head coach of that side was former Munster centre Jason Holland, who is working wonders with the Hurricanes.Tipoki himself is now coaching Old Boys University club in Wellington’s Premier Rugby competition and he has been stressing to his players the value of playing rugby abroad.“There’s some brilliant players I’d love to get over to Limerick or Cork to get them some overseas experience and we’d like to take some over here to get some experience and go back to Ireland and play well back in the province there.“We’re trying to grow some relationships like that. You just learn so much about the game, about life, about yourself.”He’s keeping a close eye on the Lions tour and has enjoyed watching the “awesome” CJ Stander and Conor Murray, “one of the best in the world in his position.”Tipoki is also delighted to see Peter O’Mahony leading the Lions today against the Māori All Blacks, with the back row having been through the nightmare of a year out of the game. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO“It’s so awesome to see him coming back after facing adversity with injuries,” says Tipoki. “I know his Dad is over here so it’s great seeing his Dad following him, just supporting him through his career.“I knew him as a young fella coming through the academy, so to see him reach the pinnacle like he has, I just can’t wait to see him lead the team, what an honour.”Of course, Tipoki has a strong interest in how the Māori All Blacks go in this huge clash at Rotorua international Stadium and he understands better than anyone what the occasion will mean to the Kiwi players.He explains how Māori All Blacks camps involve far more talking and learning about ancestry than actual rugby, with every player called on to stand up and say where they’re from, linking them to their team-mates.“It’s something that brings that Māori team together, so the difference is that everyone is related by blood. If you’re Māori, you can trace your ancestry back to certain prominent ancestors and they’re all related, so we have a saying that blood is thicker that water.“For us, it’s about whakapapa, our genealogy. It dates back to those ancestors and so when we put on the Māori jersey, we’re representing not only those that are with us now, but those who have gone before us. It represents all that history.“In terms of playing the Lions, it’s just that much more special because the All Blacks is the pinnacle of rugby, but there are so many All Blacks that don’t get to play the Lions, let alone beat them.“For that Māori team that get to take the field, they’re going to get a special opportunity to achieve something that you only get a crack at once in your career if you’re really lucky.”Tipoki says that many teams around the world aspire to having the kind of connections and chemistry that the Māori possess, allowing them to push that bit harder for each other in the tough times. Tipoki, Manning, Howlett and Mafi’s famous haka. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHOHe has felt something close to it in only one other place.“Having been over to Munster and experiencing the history and tradition that has, that’s something very similar.“You’re not only playing for your province over there, you’re playing for your local communities and the smaller clubs you come out of in the region. You’ve got all that history and tradition behind you.”The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! Jun 17th 2017, 7:00 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Some kind of penalty may be necessary new campaign may mean fines

first_imgWe haven’t ever done it because we want people cycling too, but if people are going to abuse the system then something has to be done.The responsibility for this enforcement will fall on the shoulders of Dublin City wardens such as litter inspectors. How many of these inspectors are involved is not currently known.“Bikes, bins, sandwich boards – if they’ve been there too long we’re going to start removing them,” says Carr.However, when the subject of fines is broached the Lord Mayor is keen to dampen such talk, insisting that the campaign is more about “the carrot than the stick”, albeit without denying that such deterrents are a possibility.Chief executive of the Disabilities Federation of Ireland (one of many advocacy groups to throw their weight behind the campaign) John Dolan does not shy away from the subject however. John Dolan Source: Sam Boal/“If you get compliance from people then you don’t need fines, but my sense is there are always people who need to be encouraged a little bit more, so I think some kinds of fines or penalties may be necessary,” he told you talk to people who struggle to use pavements unencumbered, or who can’t find disabled parking spaces, they find that some people just don’t care. Short URL They carry on like they’re more important than everyone else. Those kinds of people may need different forms of persuasion.“We want to create awareness among people, that’s what the campaign is focused upon,” says Carr, however.But if something is hazardous, or creating a hazard, it will be gone, your bike will be gone. And then people will get the message pretty quickly. Jun 20th 2017, 12:05 AM Source: Shutterstock/Bancha PhotographyWhile this may sound quite hardline, Carr did acknowledge that what happens to a bike that has been cut loose is not so clear-cut.“It may end up in a pound, I can’t say, that part isn’t up to us.”One group of obstacles that is being targeted that may surprise the average passerby is trees – specifically unkempt ones.“If you have impaired sight, you are walking on a footpath and suddenly you get a branch in the eye,” says Carr.Anything like that – you either keep it cut, or we’ll remove it. We may not have done it before, we’ll be doing it now.Read: Help-to-buy scheme may be scrapped admits Housing MinisterRead: Adoption in Ireland: ‘We’re still going through it, we’re still carrying the shame’ 95 Comments If a bike is locked, and it’s not in the right designated parking spot, and it’s causing an obstruction, then we have the rights to remove it. Think how your actions affect those who are disabled – blocked pavements, overgrown hedges, parked bikes on footpaths. #MakeWayDublin— Lord Mayor of Dublin (@LordMayorDublin) June 19, 2017 Source: Twitter/Citizen WolfDUBLIN’S NEWEST ACCESSIBILITY campaign looks set to show it has teeth by removing blockages from footpaths, and possibly introducing fines for transgressors.The Make Way Dublin campaign was launched yesterday by Dublin City Council (DCC) in conjunction with a variety of disabilities groups with the aim of making the city more accessible for those living with disabilities.The campaign struck a note of controversy prior to its launch at the weekend with Lord Mayor Brendan Carr suggesting that citizens might be asked to vote on whether or not people with disabilities should be allowed access cycle lanes – a hoax statement designed to create awareness regarding leaving obstacles in other people’s way.As part of the campaign’s launch, DCC said that its inspectors “will now have a responsibility to police this issue, working with local businesses to reduce the number of sandwich boards outside premises, promote clear pathways, and removing any major on-street obstacles in order for everyone to have better access to the city”.So what exactly does that mean? Well, fundamentally it means inspectors exercising powers that they already have – ones that are rarely used – according to Carr.“We already have that ability,” he told Bikes locked to poles in particular seem to be a bugbear. Tuesday 20 Jun 2017, 12:05 AMcenter_img Share312 Tweet Email2 ‘Some kind of penalty may be necessary’ – new campaign may mean fines for blocking footpaths A new disabilities campaign launched yesterday will see increased efforts made to keep Dublin’s footpaths clear for those with disabilities. By Cianan Brennan Source: Lord Mayor of Dublin/Twitter We have the power to do it, we have the power to cut that lock open and dump that bike. It will be treated the same as a piece of rubbish that’s getting in the way. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 19,658 Views last_img read more

Over €43 billion is owed to the State in tax and €969

first_img LABOUR’S JOAN BURTON has said that the Government should act now and recoup nearly a billion euro owed to the public coffers which the TD says can be collected immediately. Burton, acting as her party’s finance spokesperson, called for a detailed explanation from the Government regarding €4.3 billion in tax payments which are outstanding to Revenue as of 31 January 2019. A total of €969m is immediately available for collection and would make a significant difference to public services, she said. Burton said that this information was released to her after she put down a parliamentary question. She said: “Wealth taxes of €111m are outstanding that would cover the shortfall in the capital budget in 2019 for the National Children’s Hospital.“The discovery of these figures raises serious questions. At present, just over €3.2 billion of tax debt is under appeal with the Tax Appeals Commission. The level of outstanding revenue is concerning as the sums involved are incredibly large, so for those involved in the appeal the stakes are high. “A further €114 million relates to insolvency debt and this is likely to never to be recovered. No breakdown was available on this either as to what tax heads these figures relate to and I will be asking further questions to understand what is involved. I would like to know if this relates to uncollected VAT, income tax or social security payments.”Revenue supplied Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe with the figures. In the response to the parliamentary question, Donohoe said: “I am advised by Revenue that the total amount of tax debt at 31 January 2019 is €4,318m. However, this figure includes €3,235m of debt that is under appeal with the Tax Appeals Commission and €114m of Insolvency Debt, which is not available to Revenue to collect. “The remaining €969m is regarded as a more accurate indicator of actual debt that is available to Revenue for collection. The breakdown of this amount includes €410m that is outstanding for less than 6 months, €87m that is outstanding for between six months and 12 months and €472m that is outstanding for longer than 12 months.”Burton said that the minister needs to explain why such a large sum of debt can be outstanding across so many tax heads.“Clearly there needs to be a significant overhaul of Revenue in order to ensure all taxes are paid as soon as possible. This is of particular importance considering the imminence of Brexit, after which the State will need to ensure it has as many resources available to it as possible.”She added: “For example, do the Revenue Commissioners require additional resources whether in legal or professional advice or technical advice?” Short URL Image: Shutterstock/Kristijan Zontar Image: Shutterstock/Kristijan Zontar 32 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Share126 Tweet Email2 Feb 18th 2019, 10:01 PM 37,243 Views Over €4.3 billion is owed to the State in tax and €969 million is ‘available immediately’ Joan Burton has called for the monies to be collected immediately. Monday 18 Feb 2019, 10:00 PM By Garreth MacNameelast_img read more

Shane Duffy wins FAI Player of the Year award ahead of Darren

first_img Share101 Tweet Email Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO Shane Duffy wins FAI Player of the Year award ahead of Darren Randolph and Declan Rice Leanne Kiernan won the senior women’s award, while Richard Dunne and Emma Byrne were inducted to the Hall of Fame. Short URL Mar 17th 2019, 9:32 PM Sunday 17 Mar 2019, 9:32 PM By Gavin Cooney Subscribecenter_img Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO 31 Comments 24,890 Views SHANE DUFFY WAS tonight confirmed as the senior men’s international player of the year at an awards ceremony at RTÉ studios. It is the second-straight year Duffy won the award, although he wasn’t in Montrose to collect his award as a result of Brighton’s FA Cup game with Millwall going to extra-time. He is the first player to win the award on consecutive occasions since Shay Given in 2006.Darren Randolph finished second in the voting, while Declan Rice was third. As was confirmed ahead of the event, Rice was voted as Young Player of the Year and unsurprisingly wasn’t around to pick up the award. Callums Robinson and O’Dowda finished second and third respectively.Elsewhere, Leanne Kiernan won the senior women’s award, ahead of Tyler Toland in second place and Niamh Fahey in third. The Goal of the Year award – amended to include goals scored at all age grades given that the senior team managed just four in the whole of last year – was won by Aiden O’Brien, for his effort against Poland last year. Like Duffy, he wasn’t there at the studios to collect his award. Ronan Curtis was the winner of the U21 Player of the Year award, while Lee O’Connor, Brian Maher, Adam Idah, Troy Parrott, and Anselmo Garcia McNulty were winners at U19, U18, U17, U16 and U15 level respectively. The underage women’s awards went to Niamh Farrelly (U19), Emily Whelan  (U17), and Jessica Ziu (U16). Dundalk’s Chris Shields was voted SSE Airtricity League Player of the Year, ahead of his clubmates Pat Hoban and Michael Duffy. There were awards too for Eoin Hayes (Junior International of the Year), Darragh Reynor (Intermediate Player of the Year), Nathalie O’Brien (Football for All), Daire O’Connor (Schools and Universities) and Ali Reghba (Schools).Richard Dunne and Emma Byrne were inducted into the hall of fame, while Georgia’s Kakha Kaladze was given the International Personality award. Subscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here: Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Dealz has been taken to task for its sexualised Christmas toy campaign

first_img Image: Sam Boal/ Wednesday 27 Jun 2018, 8:31 AM Image: Sam Boal/ By Fora Staff Get Fora’s NEW daily digest of the morning’s key business news: Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Take me to Fora Short URLcenter_img Dealz has been taken to task for its ‘sexualised’ Christmas toy campaign The discount retailer ran its ‘Elf Behaving Badly’ online ads on the basis that Irish people ‘like to laugh’. Jun 27th 2018, 1:01 AM Share1 Tweet Email 28 Comments 34,489 Views Dealz said the advertising was based on double entrendres that it expected would “go over the heads of those who did not understand them and make those that (understood them) laugh out loud”.The company also challenged whether the ad campaign was targeted at children since many social media websites have “policies in place that prevented under-13s from creating accounts “, and added that it has “never sought to encourage anyone other than adults to follow their posts”.In its decision to uphold the complaint, the ASAI said the two offending images “were obvious references to sexual acts”.While the industry-funded watchdog considered the advertisers’ comments that Facebook and other social networks require users to be aged 13 and over, it ruled that sexualising children’s toys was not compliant with advertising rules.As a result, Dealz has been ordered not to run the same campaign again.Sign up to our newsletter to receive a regular digest of Fora’s top articles delivered to your inbox.Written by Conor McMahon and posted on DISCOUNT RETAILER DEALZ fell foul of advertising standards when it ran a series of Facebook posts that sexualised children’s toys.The chain’s ‘Elf Behaving Badly’ Christmas campaign was the subject of an investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI).According to a report compiled by the ad industry watchdog, Dealz Ireland published a series of pictures on its Facebook page that drew complaints from one punter who “considered the imagery used to be sexualising children’s toys which he found degrading in content”.One image featured a toy elf “holding a tea bag between its legs over the face of a female doll lying on the ground”. Another showed a similar toy “holding a spherical shaped object and a Darth Vader toy holding a lightsabre”.HumourIn response to the complaint, Dealz said it believed its Irish customers “liked to laugh” and that it sought to “bring moments of fun and laughter” to them.The retailer said it was never the intention of the ‘Elf Behaving Badly’ campaign to cause offence, which it said was “based on humour, something that Irish people were famously known for”.last_img read more

Costa and Silvio tough talking hombres

first_imgIllegal migration was the focus of discussions Prime Minister, Kostas Karamanlis, held in Rome with his Italian counterpart, Silvio Berlusconi last week. In brief statements after the meeting, Karamanlis said that the EU should act for the solution of the problem, in particular towards the signing of repatriation agreements with the migrants’ countries of origin and transit and the strengthening the EU’s border agency Frontex. “The European Union must take action for the solution of problems shared by both countries,” Karamanlis stressed.Berlusconi struck a similar note, calling on all member states to contribute to efforts to tackle the problem. The two Prime Ministers also discussed energy issues, especially the progress made in the two major projects currently underway, the South Stream and the Turkish-Greek-Italian (ITGI) natural gas pipelines. “The agreement just signed between Greece and Bulgaria for an offshoot of ITGI gives this project even greater importance,” said the Greek PM.The Italian premier underlined the excellent relations between Italy and Greece during his statements. Berlusconi also referred to the possibility of developing joint holiday packages in Greece and Italy that might attract visitors from the Far East, in particular. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Saving one child at a time

first_imgEight years ago, Maria Strintzos took it upon herself to start the Hawzien Ethiopian Community Based Orphan Project. With the help of organization REST, the local government and more importantly, the continuing generosity of mainly the Greek community, Ms Strintzos has been able to help over 8,000 children in the Northern Ethiopian region of Tigray. In the latest fundraiser held just last month, more than 130 people attended the afternoon tea in Oakleigh, raising $11,000 for the project. A couple of years ago Ms Strintzos adopted her son Haftu through the project, orphaned at a young age. As the name of the project suggests, all funds raised go to helping children in rural and isolated areas that have been orphaned due to war or illness, in particular AIDS. “Tigray’s population is now 4.8 million, and about 75,000 children are either single or double parent orphans. That’s a significant proportion,” said Ms Strintzos. Every time she would return to her hometown of Melbourne, having worked in Ethiopia for 23 years, Ms Strintzos recalls that family and friends would donate money. After witnessing people’s generosity and their interest in sponsoring a child, she decided to start the project. “The kids receive a cash allowance to help them get ready to go to school, and then a monthly allowance, which enables them to buy clothes, but food more importantly,” said Ms Strintzos. According to Ms Strintzos, the only thing that stands in the way of survival and death for these children is a mere $220. “When I do my talks at schools I point out to the children that one of these video game consoles – that’s the life of a child – and I think kids grasp it” says Ms Strintzos. To date, approximately $160,000 has been raised for the project through fundraising such as raffles and tavern nights, with most funds being raised through special afternoon teas held every two years. Ms Strintzos is very enthusiastic about the project and plans to continue her work for the children of Africa for as long as she is able. “It’s the pride, the happiness, that ray of hope that somebody from across the world is actually thinking about them and has given them something to better themselves. In the fundraiser, it’s not 100 per cent that goes to these kids, it’s 110 per cent.” If you are interested in donating money to the Hawzien Ethiopian Community Based Orphan Project please contact Maria Strintzos directly on 0450 664 090 or via email Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Legal custody of Maria decided

first_imgA court in the city of Larisa has awarded a children’s charity with legal custody of a five-year-old girl who was taken last October by the authorities from a couple who were raising her as one of their own children.The girl, called Maria, was spotted in a home in a Roma settlement in Farsala, in Thessaly, by a prosecutor, who became suspicious after noting that she bore no similarities to the couple claiming to be her parents. Since her removal from the settlement, Maria has been in the care of the Smile of the Child organisation, which was now been awarded full legal custody.Maria’s case made global headlines when police launched an international search to identify her biological parents after DNA tests proved she was not the offspring of the couple who had been raising her.The case also fuelled anti-Roma stereotypes, with Maria’s blonde hair and blue eyes taken as proof that she had been abducted from a non-Roma parent. In comments that went around the world, the head of Smile of the Child told the media that he believed Maria was “either sold at maternity, or later abducted, for other … begging, they use these children for begging, or later for prostitution, or, even worse, for selling for other purposes”.The Roma couple had told police that Maria was given into their care voluntarily by her Bulgarian biological parents, also Roma, when she was a baby. The discovery of her birth parents in Bulgaria late confirmed that story.According to the ruling, the court accepted the prosecutor’s recommendation to award custody of the child to Smile of the Child and remove it from the Roma couple that had falsely presented themselves as her parents. The man who had appeared as her father attended the court hearing, held on March 18, but was not represented by a lawyer. Moreover, the court rejected a custody request filed by the Bulgarian state child protection agency, which claimed the child on the basis that her biological parents are Bulgarian nationals.The court deemed it was in the child’s best interest to stay in familiar surroundings, underlining that her alleged biological parents have expressed no interest in her.Moving to Bulgaria would also require her to learn a new language, the court said. When Maria was taken into custody by Smile of the Child, she was found to speak the Roma language but very little Greek. Smile of the Child originally said that they didn’t want to “risk” getting an interpreter for her. Meanwhile, the couple who Maria believed were her parents remain in custody on charges of abduction and falsification of documents. Source: enetenglish, ana-mpa Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Cultural tourism untapped says study

first_imgCultural tourism in Greece and research into related issues are in urgent need of comprehensive development, the leading Centre of Economic Planning and Research (KEPE) said in its latest bulletin.“The potential is not simply there but there is a surplus and it’s often latent. What is required is a comprehensive and systematic drive at all levels for the right projection and further tapping in the tourism sector,” the report said.“At a much more general economic level, a related OECD study showed that in several large economies the value produced by their cultural industries is in the order of 3-6 per cent of GDP. Indeed, given that the study in question refers to countries such as the US, the UK and France, it becomes obvious that cultural tourism is a huge industry where huge interests are at stake and huge sums are involved… More than 50 per cent of tourism activity in Europe is driven by cultural heritage and cultural tourism is the component expected to have the highest growth rate,” the paper continued.The KEPE study draws attention to the fact that, according to 2012 data, the number of admission tickets issued for Greece’s largest museums and archaeological sites lagged far behind those issued for their counterparts abroad.“It is worth contemplating, for instance, why Rome’s Colosseum and its surrounding area have an almost quadruple number of visitors compared to the Acropolis. The same goes for Ephesus in Turkey, which receives more than four times the number of visitors as Knossos [Crete] and almost 14 times more visitors than the Temple of Apollo at Cape Sounion,” KEPE said.The factors affecting cultural tourism are many and complex but they may come under two main categories, the report argued.First, the intrinsic and specific factors in each case which affect cultural tourism, such as population criteria, tourism history and geography, infrastructure, as well as all kinds of financial and accidental factors.Second, the methods and practices employed by foreign countries’ cultural organisations – but also several in Greece – to attract more visitors and to nurture an interest in cultural heritage among younger generations.Source: ekathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

President visits Kythera for Ionian islands reunification anniversary

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Thursday carried out a historic first visit by a serving Greek head of state to the islands of Kythera and Antikythera, for events celebrating the 151st anniversary since the Ionian islands were administratively reunited with Greece.During the visit, Pavlopoulos was declared a honorary citizen of the island, at a special ceremony held in his honour.Earlier, the president had also asked for details concerning the ongoing undersea archaeological exploration at the Antikythera shipwreck, which yielded such unique finds as the Antikythera Mechanism, and spoken with the few dozen permanent residents who live on the island in the winter.last_img

A new medical organisation with a great vision and benefits for the

first_imgA group of Greek-Australian doctors in Victoria has sought to form a new invigorated professional association with a vision to enable doctors to promote better health for all Australians including those of Hellenic descent. Their mission is to unite medical professionals with the community, connect people and inspire lifelong advancement in medical knowledge. Hellenic Medical Society of Australia (HMSA) President, Associate Professor Marinis Pirpiris, who is an Orthopaedic Surgeon and also Victorian Chair of the Australian Orthopaedic Association, in a statement earlier this week said that “we have a dedicated board of eleven doctors who are all passionate about our aims and who have come together to give back to the community and unite the profession. HMSA has undertaken at least 5 public education lectures in the last 18 months, co-ordinated by HMSA Board member and Paediatrician Dr Betty Messazos-Trapetsa, with support from The Greek Community of Melbourne. Our mission with these public forums has been to improve understanding of the public on a variety of important topics, exploring themes such as Heart Disease, Arthritis, Depression, Diabetes, Psychosis, as well as a talk on accessing services in the Australian health system. We are really proud of the achievements of the Board so far.”A talented board of medical professionals promoting medical knowledge and connection with the public and other colleagues.The HMSA Board also includes (in alphabetical order), Dr Spiros Fourlanos (Endocrinologist), Dr Arthur Kokkinias (Psychiatrist), Mr George Koufogiannis (Urologic Surgeon), Dr Betty Messazos-Trapetsa (Paediatrician), Associate Professor Arthur Nasis (Cardiologist), Dr Stav Papapostolou, (Cardiologist and Cardiac Imaging fellow), Dr Nick Roubos (General Practitioner), Dr Mary Stavropoulou (GP & Skin cancer medicine), Mr Kostas Syrrakos (General Surgeon) and Dr George Stabelos (General Practitioner).HMSA Vice-President Dr George Stabelos added that “we would like this organisation to be relevant and useful to both the public and the medical profession by promoting medical and health knowledge and connecting people in all groups. We envisage to achieve this by improving the community’s understanding and having greater control over one’s own health, connecting the public with doctors, or strengthening collegiality and connections amongst the medical profession and facilitating advancement in medical knowledge.” In addition to the public educational lectures, HMSA is planning events where doctors can meet and exchange new information and ideas, enhance fellowship and even enjoy Greek culture and heritage at a social level. The HMSA Board sees the potential benefits of a synergistic association as compared to doctors working alone and sometimes in isolation as individual professionals. “There are numerous examples in society and in many fields including medicine, of achievement and success, where people work hard and attain a great deal as individuals,” commented Dr George Stabelos. “However in the Australian community generally, including the Australian-Greek community, there are also opportunities for synergising and harnessing the collective wisdom, effort and experience of us all. We need to do more of this as a community and avail of these opportunities as there are a myriad of potential benefits for communities and professionals.” In explaining the motivation behind this large group of doctors forming a re-energised association, HMSA President, Associate Professor Marinis Pirpiris emphasized that “groups working harmoniously and in solidarity can result in extraordinary achievements, have an impact on society and leave a legacy that no individual could by themselves. That is one further reason why all these doctors have come together.”HMSA Board member and treasurer Associate Professor Arthur Nasis, a cardiologist who is also head of Acute Cardiac Services at Monash Medical Centre agreed and commented further, “we have nearly 400 Victorian doctors on our database and any doctor who is not a member can now visit our website and register to become a member at The public is also able to access the site and in the long run, once a number doctors have registered, the public will be able to locate a doctor on our directory, including identifying bilingual clinicians. Whether it be GPs or doctors working in various other specialties such as surgery, cardiology, endocrinology, psychiatry and so on, the public will have access to them. Anyone will also be able to register their interest to attend HMSA public forum educational events. We believe the above will assist in reducing language or cultural barriers related to accessing health services and successfully navigating the Australian healthcare system. It will be of benefit in improving and optimising health outcomes, especially where language or cultural barriers might currently exist.”Setting high standards.HMSA Board member and secretary Dr Arthur Kokkinias, Consultant Psychiatrist, also stated “the HMSA has also established a set of core values which guide the association and its members. These include: – Excellence: advocating for quality, cutting edge, evidence based medical practice. – Integrity: promoting ethical, transparent and accountable, professional care. – Compassion: aiming for patient-centred quality care. – Collaboration: facilitating unity, mutual respect and professional leadership – Innovation: striving for continuous improvement, lifelong learning and commitment to medical research. We feel it is important to set the highest standards.”Doctor Events.HMSA’s inaugural event for doctors took place in November of last year, where over 100 doctors of various specialties were invited to attend. HMSA Board member Dr Spiros Fourlanos, an Endocrinologist, who is also Director of Medical Education for HMSA, noted that “keynote speakers included Professor James Tatoulis, Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Royal Melbourne Hospital and Dr Maritsa Papakostantinou, Orthopaedic Registrar, as well as HMSA President Associate Professor Marinis Pirpiris. The speakers offered interesting insights in their career paths and the night was a great success. We plan further events with both a medical education and social component. The event was enjoyed by a wide spectrum of medical professionals ranging from experienced doctors from various medical and surgical sub-specialties as well as medical and surgical registrars, other doctors in training and medical students. It was satisfying seeing everyone come together.”A GP doctor who attended the inaugural medical event remarked “one thing that stood out to me about tonight was the amount of impressive medical professionals we have in our community, some inspiring people who are incredibly dedicated, hard working and cutting edge professionals in their respective field. They are often leaders in their fields and have achieved an enormous amount for their patients, the organisations they work in, the profession overall and for the Australian community. Imagine if we could all leverage that knowledge, experience and fellowship in order to contribute in some way to an association that works together for the greater good of the public and the profession. That would benefit the profession and society at large.”The next educational and social event is a dinner on 23rd November 2017 at the Hellenic Republic. Dr Nick Antoniades will present on ‘Thunderstorm Asthma’ and Dr Spiros Fourlanos will give an update on ‘Treatments for Type 2 Diabetes’. Doctors from all subspecialties are invited to attend this free event which is kindly sponsored by Astra Zeneca. To book a place please visit our website at and become a standard member asap. E-mail us at your RSVP or any queries. For full event details and information see the invitation on our website under ‘EVENTS’’Social. Corporate Partnerships, Sponsorship and Benefactors.HMSA Board member, General Surgeon and HMSA Director of Community Liaison, Mr Kostas Syrrakos and HMSA Board member, Director of Educational Events and Urological Surgeon Mr George Koufogiannis, pointed out that “the inaugural event was made possible thanks to the support of Yianni Zaparas and Zaparas Lawyers, who are one of the largest personal injury law firms in Victoria and located at a number of locations around Melbourne including Oakleigh, Epping, Cranbourne and Preston”. In addition, “organisations such as HMSA provide an opportunity for corporate synergies and many win-win scenarios. We are open to hearing from corporate organisations, individuals or other groups who wish to work with us for a common greater good. We are currently in discussion with potential corporate partners and sponsors representing a number of medical services and products.” The Future : public & doctor events and the Australian- Hellenic connection.HMSA Board member and Director of Communication, Dr Betty Messazos-Trapetsa stated “the immediate goals of HMSA include continuing our public forum education seminars on a variety of medical topics. These are conducted by various medical speakers every few months on Sundays in Greek and/or English with powerpoint presentations with an opportunity for questions and answers by an expert panel at the end of each session. The lectures are aimed at health promotion, disease prevention and health education. Most are held at the Greek Community of Melbourne building in the city on Lonsdale street. Everyone is welcome to attend and they can register or keep an eye out for invitations to these events via our website or just simply attend. We also announce on our community radios, via Greek newspapers, on facebook and via news updates with GOCMV. We are also inviting promotional sponsors or benefactors to partner with us in these events.” “HMSA would like to conduct regular doctor events that encourage a range of doctors to update knowledge, advance the science and art of medicine, and contribute to enhancing collegiality,” reiterated HMSA board member Dr Spiros Fourlanos. Dr Stav Papapostolou, HMSA Board member and Community Development Officer, is a cardiologist and cardiac imaging fellow, also pointed out that “HMSA is also focusing on boosting attendance of younger doctors including those in training. There are opportunities for mentoring and to share knowledge, experience, skills and create new contacts, something that is important for medical professionals who function in a team environment”.“We also have some inspiring goals for the future which relate to serving the community in the areas of medical philanthropy in Australia and Greece, and promoting various connections both locally and between Australia and Greece” said HMSA Board member and GP Dr Nick Roubos. “On the weekend of the 25th and 26th November 2017 there will be a Greek Medical Tourism Conference in Melbourne together with Medical Doctors from Greece that aims to promote bilateral medical tourism and establish both countries as future medical conference destinations. These will be worthwhile achievements.” Details about this event and for a full programme please visit our website. It is also available via GOCMV. “Doctors are also part of a wider health care team and in the future we envisage co-organising a separate association such as a Hellenic Health Professionals Group, that will also bring together other important members of the health care team such as pharmacists, dentists, psychologists and allied health professionals” said Dr George Stabelos, GP. “As a practicing GP and a former allied health professional, I can see enormous benefits to the public and health care professionals that could arise from such an organisation. We would like to hear from anyone interested in being involved and moving forward with something like this.”HMSA would like to hear from any doctors who are interested in contributing on a HMSA sub-committee, or from any other members of the public from various backgrounds who may wish to join a team and assist HMSA in a voluntary capacity with administrative and organisational aspects of our events and operations. Please contact us via our website below.The Hellenic Medical Society of Australia is based at the Greek Centre for Contemporary Culture, 168 Lonsdale St, Melbourne. The next event is this thrusday 23rd November 2017. Medical and surgical practitioners from every specialty including doctors in training are all invited to attend and can register their interest via the HMSA website at Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Spinalonga could make it in UNESCOs World Heritage Sites list

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Nowadays Crete’s most popular tourist attraction after the Minoan Palace of Knossos, Spinalonga has a long and not always bright history.The islet, which is located in the Elounda Gulf in the Lasithi prefecture of northeastern Crete, served as a leper colony between 1903 and 1957 with its fortress becoming the home for many troubled souls of the time.Following Victoria Hislop’s best selling novel ‘The Island’ published in 2005 which was later adapted into the highly popular TV series  ‘To Nisi’ by Mega Channel the islet again became an attraction. It even featured in the British TV series ‘Who Pays the Ferryman?’.As the Greek Culture Ministry announced in a statement earlier this week Spinalonga, is now competing for inclusion in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites list. The Ministry submitted a preliminary file back in September 2018 in collaboration with the Central Archaeological Council (KAS) and a team of experts from the Directorate of Byzantine and Post Byzantine Antiquities, the Lasithi Ephorate of Antiquities, Agios Nikolaos Municipality as well as representatives of the UNESCO World Heritage Center in Greece.“The inclusion of the Spinalonga Fortress in the World Heritage List is expected to contribute to an even greater visibility worldwide but also to have positive effects and multiple benefits for the local community, for which Spinalonga Fortress has always been a point of reference,” the statement read.Another 18 Greek monuments belong in UNESCO’s register:the Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassaethe Acropolis in AthensDelphithe Medieval City of RhodesMeteoraMount AthosThessaloniki’s Paleochristian and Byzantine Monumentsthe Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurusthe fortress town of MystrasOlympiaDelos islandthe Monasteries of Daphni, Osios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chiosthe Pythagoreionand Heraion on Samos,VerginaMycenae and Tirynsthe Historic Centre – the Monastery of St John and the Apocalypse Cave on Patmosthe Old Town of Corfuthe archaeological site of Philippi, in Northern Greece, inscribed in 2016last_img read more

Nick Economos celebrated his 100th birthday

first_imgNick Economos celebrated his 100th birthday on 8 May!Born on 8 May 1919, he enlisted in the Australian Army on 31 March 1942. He served predominantly with 2 Employment Company at the Myambat Ammunition Depot in the Hunter Valley of NSW.Apart from loading munition trains, which were railed to the port of Cairns and then sent to various locations in the Pacific, he fought several major bushfires which threatened to blow up the depot, and one of which destroyed a nearby settlement.During one of these fires, a man in his section was overcome by smoke and Nick dragged him down the mountain and carried him to the first aid before he was transferred to hospital.READ MORE: Greek veterans marched with Hellenic RSL for Anzac DayNick’s advice for younger veterans is to embrace the experience and hopefully they will gain positive experiences as well as lifelong friendships.Nick discharged from the Army on 14 June 1946 at the rank of Corporal.Happy Birthday Nick!Source: Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more