Review Atari Greatest Hits Volume 1 for Nintendo DS

first_imgCompilations of classic arcade and console games have been a recurring theme for the past few years. I think they really started to become popular with publishers when the PlayStation 2 was established, and that carried over to the current generation consoles where they could be resold with updated graphics.While we all like to relive our childhoods playing these usually very hard games, there are issues with doing so on a console. The main problem is these games were meant for standard definition TVs no bigger than 32-inches, and in most cases much smaller non-widescreen displays. The result today on a 40-inch HD TV with a PS3 or Xbox 360 attached is something that looks really dated, yet still requires loading time for the console to handle the 20+ year-old graphics. Add to that the limited number of games supplied on a 25GB Blu-ray disc or DVD, and you are left feeling a bit short-changed.Generally the experience is therefore not always pleasant and I bet many gamers don’t even consider picking up yet another compilation title. And who could blame them? There’s usually game overlap between discs, the navigation from game to game is cumbersome, and the play time of the really old games too short to warrant the time to load them.With this latest compilation Atari is taking a different approach. As it’s on DS there are no load times and no HD screens to contend with. The decision was also taken to not ship a handful of games, instead Atari Greatest Hits Volume 1 has 50 games. That’s a serious amount of titles on one cartridge for less than $30. You really can’t complain about the value aspect.The 50 games are split between Atari arcade and Atari 2600 titles, with most falling into the 2600 category. With the arcade games you get a screen giving you simple and arcade control options as well as a short summary of what you are expected to do. For the 2600 games there are more options on offer including game mode selection and the option to play as if on a black and white TV.Here’s the complete list of games you will have access to:Arcade TitlesAsteroidsBattlezoneCentipedeGravitarLunar LanderMissile CommandPongSpace DuelTempestAtari 2600 Titles3D Tic-Tac-ToeAdventureAir-Sea BattleAsteroidsAtari Video CubeBasketballBattlezoneBowlingCentipedeChampionship SoccerDodge ’EmFlag CaptureFootballFun with NumbersGravitarHangmanHaunted HouseHome RunHuman CannonballMath Gran PrixMiniature GolfMissile CommandOutlawRealsports BaseballRealsports BoxingRealsports FootballRealsports TennisRealsports VolleyballSky DiverSlot MachingSlot RacersSprintmastersStarshipStella TrackSubmarine CommanderSurroundSwordquest EarthworldSwordquest FireworldSwordquest WaterworldTempestVideo CheckersIt’s important to stress these are the original games. Developer Code Mystics has done nothing to improve the graphics or simplify the gameplay beyond offering alternative control options. But that’s how a greatest hits collection should be–the original games untouched.While some of these games are a reminder of how poor classic gaming could be, there are some gems in there you’ll remember if you’re old enough. But then again, there’s some missing you’d expect to find in a first volume of Atari classics. Where’s Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Kaboom!, River Raid, Pitfall or E.T.?Overall the DS forms the perfect platform for these collections of games. There are no load times and the size of the games make everything pop-up instantly. Not enjoying the game you are playing? A couple of button presses and a handful of seconds later you are engrossed in another. There’s also no HD screens to output to so the graphics look fine without any kind of refresh being required by the developer. Atari tops off the package by including so many games. You are spoilt for choice with titles in the categories ofActionAdventureArcade at HomeGamblingMind GamesRacingSpaceSportsThere is something for everyone in there.As well as the games you’ll find an option on the main menu called Extras. In there is a Trivia Game, Arcade gallery, Atari 2600 manuals, Army Battlezone, and the Credits for the game. The trivia game will test your knowledge and a highscore can be posted on by supplying an e-mail address. The arcade gallery is full of images for a number of game showing off posters, promotional adverts, and artwork. The only problem with that is the large posters are split across the two screens detracting from them slightly. One of the real gems in this collection is the Atari 2600 manuals. You get the full manual for each game giving you the back story, gameplay description, game options, and control hints. It’s really nice to have these made available in their original layouts.The name Army Battlezone may be familiar to some Atari fans as it was the title used for the trainer the U.S. Army commissioned. It was used to help train gunners of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and is based on Battlezone. According to Code Mystics this is the first time it has ever been released for gamers to experience first hand. You can play the game via the extras menu and it just rounds out a great selection of additional material while taking the actual game count up to 51 on the cartridge.Atari hasn’t forgotten about multiplayer gaming either. Arcade games Space Duel and Pong, along with 20 of the 2600 titles have single-card multiplayer as an option. Multi-card multiplayer also features. This ups the value again as you can buy one copy of the game and play 20 games with friends who have a DS.Overall Atari has done a great job here, deciding not to touch the original games and instead finding the best platform to release them on. They should also be commended for including so many titles on this single cartridge. And there’s a volume 2 set to appear next year hopefully with another 50 games including those we highlighted above as missing from volume 1.If you’re a fan of retro gaming, or want to try some old games and don’t know where to start, you could do a lot worse than pick up Atari Greatest Hits Volume 1.The copy of Atari Greatest Hits Volume 1 used for this review was supplied by Atari.last_img read more

LaCie offers slim portable USB 20 Bluray drive

first_imgWhile your netbook or ultra-portable may be capable of playing faultless HD content, that content is limited to the streamed variety due to a lack of optical drive. Alternatively, you may be in a situation where you want to watch a Blu-ray movie on your PC, but also have a laptop you could watch them on too.LaCie is offering you an answer in both situations with the introduction of a portable, slim, Blu-ray drive. It requires no separate power cable and draws everything it needs through a USB 2.0 port over a single data/power connection. Playback includes both DVD and Blu-ray discs, plus it is also capable of writing DVDs at 8x, CDs at 10x, and Blu-ray discs at 6x.The Slim Blu-ray drive measures 137 x 157 x 25mm and weighs 320 grams. Included in the box is a USB cable and utilities DVD including CyberLink Blu-ray Disc suite.The price is steep at $264.99, but it may still be desirable due to the fact you can use it on multiple machines and take it with you when travelling with little baggage space required.Read more at LaCielast_img read more

Geek deal 499 off Dell XPS 15 156inch Sandy Bridge laptop

first_imgFor you tried-and-true PC users who like the appeal of an Apple MacBook Pro, but just can’t bring yourself to switch to the dark side, this may be the computer for you. It’s also perfect if you’re looking for a laptop to replace that old desktop. Dell recently released the Dell XPS 15 (Sandy Bridge)–it’s pretty much the same XPS 15 as before, but its insides have been replaced with new hardware from Intel and Nvidia. It now features an Intel Core i7 quad-core processor and Nvidia GeForce GT 540M graphics, making this laptop ready for any hardcore app.Dell Home is offering the new second-gen Dell XPS 15 starting at $729.99 with free shipping. You can configure it to have Intel Core i7-262QM (2.7GHz/4MB cache), NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M 1GB graphics, Blu-ray, 1080p screen, 6GB DDR3, and a 500GB 7200RPM hard drive for $979.99.It has an aluminum chassis, but is not as svelte as Apple’s 15-inch MacBook or the Envy. It’s also a pound heavier than the MacBook at 6.6 pounds. The screen, however, can’t be beat. If you’re a stickler for color accuracy, the RGB LED screen option will do you good. It has a razor-sharp screen with the highest resolution available on a desktop replacement laptop. It has 1920×1080 (1080p) resolution, whereas the MacBook Pro is at about 1650×1050.Buy the Dell XPS 15 15.6-inch laptop with Sandy Bridge at LogicBUY or read a review at PCMag.last_img read more

Sony Xperia LT28AT leaked 46inch 720p reality display plus 13MP camera

first_imgNow that Sony is in the driver’s seat of its smartphone business, it looks like they’re ready to make a splash in 2012. The Xperia Nozomi LT26i leaked last month looked like a pretty impressive phone, and it now appears that it’ll have some company: the LT28AT.The newest Xperia showed up on the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group), where it appears that the LT28AT has already been certified. In addition to spilling the beans about its Bluetooth capabilities, a handful of additional details are revealed in the description. The LT28AT will sport a 4.55-inch 720×1280 pixel Reality Display, a 13 megapixel rear camera and 720P-capable front-facing camera. Dual-band 802.11 N Wi-Fi is supported, as are LTE, HSPA, and TD-SCDMA — which ensures that LT28AT play nicely with China’s cellular networks.It’s also known that the Sony LT28AT is heading for the U.S., where it’ll ride on AT&T’s network. Horsepower isn’t mentioned in the Bluetooth SIG posting, but some sources are reporting that it’ll run a dual-core chip clocked at 1.5GHz — just like the Nozomi LT26i.At this point, no images have leaked — at least not of the phone itself (that’s the Xperia Arc S in the cropped shot above). Photos shot with the LT28AT’s 13MP rear camera have surfaced on Picasa, however, and the quality appears to be quite good.Though a specific version isn’t mentioned, the LT28AT is said to be running Android, like the other phones in the Xperia line-up. With ICS updates on the way early next year, you’d certainly expect a new model from Sony to be launching with Android 4.0 if it’s released in the same timeframe.More at BGR and Xperia Bloglast_img read more

Handson with the crazythin Haswellpowered NEC LaVie X ultrabook

first_imgSoon Intel’s Haswell processors are due to make ultrabooks thinner without compromising in performance or battery life. NEC’s LaVie X was shown off during CES 2013 as the shining example of this improvement and how it will affect ultrabook construction moving forward.NEC hasn’t been a name you’ve seen on shelves in the US for a while now, but that’s exactly where the LaVie X is headed alongside with Haswell later this year. The 15-inch 1080p display is to be one of the first ultrabooks powered by the Haswell chip, and one of the last to not include a touchscreen after Intel’s mandate.As with many ultraportables before it, NEC’s ultrabook borders on being too light. It’s made of very thin plastics that allow the computer to flex under even a hint of pressure. While the screen is not designed to be flexible, the plastic that houses it flexes quite easily. You’re sure to find yourself in a sticky situation if you try and cram this ultrabook into a crowded backpack and you aren’t careful during your commute.Another benefit to being 12.8mm thin is the weight. At just over 2 pounds, NEC’s latest creation hardly even feels like a real computer until you turn it on and see it work. The laptop features a single USB 3.0 port and two USB 2.0 ports, as well as full-sized HDMI. The power adapter for this computer has a rectangular plug that fits very snugly in the socket, making it so you really need to pull to remove the power adapter. Given the weight and unintended flexibility of the ultrabook, visions of this machine shattering into a million tiny bits when someone trips over the power cord were inescapable.As for Intel’s Haswell, we weren’t allowed to conduct any processor tests or even know the clock speed of the chip running in the LaVie X. During my quick trip through Windows 8, the machine felt very snappy. It boots in the blink of an eye and never slowed down. Battery life hasn’t been announced, but in the half hour that we were using the ultrabook it only dropped 4%.As with everything else made by NEC, Japan will be the first to see the LaVie X, but Intel made it clear that we could expect to see this laptop in the states “not long after” the debut in Japan. With the Haswell launch expected for mid 2013, we’ll all know for sure soon enough.While it is always exciting to see a new crazy thin gadget, especially one that feels so light and fast as the LaVie X, the potential fragility of this ultrabook is pretty frightening. Ultrabooks are designed to be highly portable, and once you leave the comfort of your home or office your electronics are exposed to the world. It’s hard to imagine the NEC Lavie X surviving a crowded subway ride, unless your bag is built like a fortress.Photography by Chris Sewelllast_img read more

Nintendo to release fix for gamebreaking Pokémon X and Y save bug

first_imgWhile you’ve no doubt been having fun getting tons of Poké Bucks and working on catching all of the game’s six starters, you may have heard rumblings of a game-breaking bug present in the new Pokémon X and Y. The bug corrupts your save file, and takes place when saving in certain spots of Lumiose City — the game’s largest city and more or less the region’s central hub. There is much to do in Lumiose City, so you’re sure to visit it and save there often, which is the problem. Thankfully, Nintendo has a fix on the way.Nintendo was kind enough to release a map of Lumiose City, showing where the save corruption bug is most prevalent, seen below.According to Nintendo, the way to increase your chances of avoiding the bug is to save inside buildings within Lumiose City, rather than the danger zones pointed out above. However, we suggest you simply step outside of Lumiose City should you need to save, as an exit leading out of the town is never too far away.In addition to patching up the bugged areas, Nintendo’s upcoming fix will reportedly patch up corrupted save files, so if you’ve made a lot of progress that you now cannot access due to the bug, you should be able to get that progress back once the patch releases. So far, there isn’t a set timetable for the patch’s release, but Nintendo claims it’ll be quite soon.We’ll post an update when the bug is resolved, so keep your eyes peeled. Until then, avoid saving inside Lumiose City altogether.last_img read more

There is a light that never goes out Why we still need

first_imgThere is a light that never goes out: Why we still need an alternative music radio station With the closure of TXFM there is a real opportunity for the BAI to make a commitment to shaping Irish music radio for the long haul, the radio station’s former CEO Peter McPartlin writes. 69 Comments By Peter McPartlin THIS EVENING, IN an office block in central Dublin, the final song on one of Dublin’s shortest-lived, but critically-acclaimed commercial radio stations will be played and the studio lights in TXFM will be switched off for good.Unlike the heyday of pirate radio in the capital, there will be no protest marches from disenfranchised music fans and no histrionics or studio lock-ins from the utterly professional band of remaining presenters. But like Phantom before it, the demise of TXFM means that music listening choice on the nation’s airwaves has been dealt another blow.It is sadly ironic that at a time when ‘indie music’, both international and Irish, has rarely been more diverse, interesting and talent-laden, that the industry is losing one of the few outlets that has helped promote, encourage and generate sales for artists involved in it.Yes, there are still alternative stations like scraping by on temporary FM licences and RTE’s 2XM transmits almost invisibly on DAB. But the closure of TXFM means that there is no major radio outlet here providing a daily mix of contemporary and classic, alternative music across the main FM spectrum.With the primary champions of ‘music from beyond the mainstream’, such as Paul McLoone, Dan Hegarty, John Creedon and Tom Dunne, all relegated to the fringes of national radio schedules, there is less FM exposure than ever for music that is not uniform, shiny and safe.Let me declare my interest here. I was one of the people involved in helping to get TXFM off the ground after the demise of Phantom. That station too had its fans but was cursed by a combination of the advertising downturn post-2008 and a schizophrenic schedule in its latter years which cost it audience numbers.‘Antidote to polished pop’The primary aim of TXFM was to provide an antidote to the polished pop output of the more established and better resourced stations. The station’s only funding was advertising and while the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) had accepted a broader interpretation of its original licence as an ‘alternative rock station’, an age cap of appealing primarily to ‘Under 35s’ was an anachronism and an unnecessary restriction to a licence that is arguably the most niche of all 34 commercial operators.The TXFM shareholders bravely went into the last two years of its current licence hoping that it might just get to break even. The contention was that although the Dublin radio market is crowded, there are a range of music audiences not being catered for. We estimated that there are 120,000 alternative music fans aged under 35 and a broader base of 300,000 if the age cap was ignored.TXFM set out to provide a more enlightened approach to music playlisting. It was not elitist, it was for more of the people some of the time: those who wanted a station to help them discover new music as well as occasionally playing heritage acts like The Clash, Nirvana or The Frames, who rarely make it onto Irish playlists anymore.This might have meant a bit more Kings of Leon and Mumford & Sons to bulk up its audience numbers, attract advertisers and the casual indie anthem fan. But the station would also use the opportunity to introduce them to newer acts like Royal Blood, Future Islands, St. Vincent and Tame Impala and provide more than just lip-service to Irish acts like Villagers, All Tvvins, Soak and James Vincent McMorrow. Short URL 454 Views So why should the market mourn the loss of a privately-owned enterprise, which ostensibly failed because it didn’t gain enough listeners or make enough money? And, in an age of age of Spotify, Apple and YouTube, when the availability of music in all its flavours is limitless, does it really matter anymore?As a people with a culture and tradition of punching above our weight in the contemporary music space, the answer has to be a resounding ‘yes’.Spotify can provide playlists to match every mood or occasion for thousands of people, one at a time. But the best radio curates music so that thousands of people can recall, discover and share moments, driven by music which can have a really powerful and unifying effect.Radio is also still one of the most powerful platforms for any new or established artist to have their work heard at scale and frankly, put in danger of being purchased.Related: Phantom FM 1996 – 2014: A brief history, by its staff — past, way past and pirate > Irish radio needs a station that can act as a champion for new artists from both Ireland and abroad; one which provides an outlet for the wealth of new voices, musicianship and production talent that exists but not given wider exposure.If Lyric FM, which provides a thoroughly professional service for fans of classical and jazz, can receive annual funding of €5.8m from the licence fee, couldn’t even one-fifth of this amount be found to underwrite a station which has potential appeal to a much broader base of music fans?It might never have the biggest audience in the country but when has popularity ever been a measure of importance and relevance?This is a real opportunity for the BAI or maybe even RTÉ, to seize the opportunity from the closure of a small station with a big heart, and make a real commitment to shaping Irish music radio for the long haul.There is a light that never goes out but it does need fuel for it to burn brightly.Peter McPartlin is a former CEO of TXFM and Today FM. Great tunes on @TXFMDublin today. Second last day on air so enjoy it while it lasts!— Nialler9 ✨🌐✨ (@Nialler9) October 25, 2016 Oct 26th 2016, 7:00 AM center_img Share1293 Tweet Email6 Source: Nialler9/Twitter Peter McPartlin The other goal of TXFM was to provide exposure for new presenters through new shows across a range of music genres that were un-catered for on Irish commercial radio. Some presenters such as Cathal Funge, Claire Beck and Kelly-Anne Byrne had been on Phantom, but on TXFM they were up front and centre.New voices such as Gavin Glass, Brian Keaveney, Paul Donegan, Nialler9, Esther O’Moore Donohoe and Shelly Gray were given the opportunity to showcase their passion and presentation abilities. They were given equal billing on the schedule alongside more recognisable music heavyweights such as Joe Donnelly, Donal Dineen and Paul McLoone.There were weekly shows devoted to soul, alt. country / Americana, electronica and dance. Unsigned Irish acts were showcased, there was a show majoring on vinyl releases (with John Caddell), a live dance show (from Bodytonic) and an energetic mix of sport and music at weekends (with Paul Lynskey and Johnny Cullen). Meanwhile, the ‘desert island downloads’ show, Songs in the Key of Life (with Nadine O’Regan), attracted some stellar guests across the two-and-a-half years.A smaller and nimbler structure enabled TXFM to be more spontaneous with its schedule when the occasion demanded too. This led to great ‘event radio’ over the course of its short life: John Grant as DJ for a day, a virtually live Beatles reunion, and spontaneous tribute days to Bowie and Prince.More recently TXFM went all ‘1991’ with a whole day devoted to the release of Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’. These may not quite qualify for a Nobel Literature Prize but they were a departure from the relatively safe leanings of commercial radio. Wednesday 26 Oct 2016, 7:00 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Life death and rock nroll 40 years of Ireland captured in photos

first_imgLife, death and rock n’roll: 40 years of Ireland captured in photos Photographer Eric Luke’s book is nominated in the Irish Book Awards. 35,069 Views THE CHANGING FACES of Ireland are captured and examined in Eric Luke’s new photography collection Looking Back, which brings us images of Irish life across four decades.Dublin-born Luke joined the Irish Press Group as a staff photographer in 1973, after a brief stint working in the darkrooms as a photographic printer.In 1990 he moved to the Irish Times and began covering major news and feature stories both at home and abroad, including World Cups, Olympic Games, and assignments in Somalia, Kenya, India, Sydney, Washington and London.He has won a World Press Photo News Award and PPAI Photographer of the Year during his long career. He’s now compiled some of his favourite photos of Ireland in Looking Back: The Changing Faces of Ireland, which is nominated in the Best Irish Published Book section of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards, sponsored by, Luke has given our readers an insight into the background behind some of his best photos.Sam Greer’s Saddlers, Poolbeg Street Sam Greer’s Saddlers, Poolbeg Street from Looking Back The Changing Faces of Ireland by Eric Luke Source: Eric Luke“Right next door to our old Irish Press office on Poolbeg Street was the shop of Sam Greer, the last saddle and harness maker in Dublin. His grandfather, also Sam Greer, started the business in 1900. Horse owners from as far afield as the Aran Islands came to him for saddles, as the quality of his work was renowned. Greer’s saddles are still highly valued for their hand stitching and fine craftsmanship.“We would occasionally drop into him, and he would repair one of our leather camera bags, or make a new one from scratch if he had time.“A Sam Greer camera bag would last much longer than the camera it held! On hearing he was closing down, I asked if I could spend his last day of business with him, photographing him for the record. He kindly let me spend the day with him, and I watched as he hand-crafted his wonderful leather goods. Then he closed up shop, and another old business disappeared from the city.”Dom McClure’s Barber Shop Dom McClure’s Barbershop, Dalkey from Looking Back The Changing Faces of Ireland by Eric Luke:“Another wonderful institution that is now long gone – the local barbershop, Dom McClure’s in Castle Street, Dalkey. Growing up in the area, my mother would frog-march me to the barber’s for a short back and sides. This meant a short journey to Pip Connolly’s in Glasthule or McClure’s in Dalkey.“A plank would be set across the leather armrests of the solid wooden chair for a child to sit on. I never would have expected to be here thirty years later, photographing Dom before he closed up shop in the 1980s. This premises is still operating as a barber’s, now under new ownership, and the great Pip Connolly still holds court in Glasthule.”Francis Stuart The late Francis Stuart, laid out at his home in Fanore, Co.Clare. Source: Eric Luke“I was dispatched by the Irish Times to photograph artist Finola Graham at her home in County Clare in February 2000, as she had an exhibition due to be launched. On arrival, she told me that her husband, the writer Francis Stuart, had just died, at 97. I assisted in laying out the famous writer, and asked for permission to photograph him before the wake.“With the dominant light coming from a naked bulb dangling from the ceiling, and a backdrop of his books and personal effects, a set designer in the Abbey Theatre could not have produced a more dramatic backdrop for the artist’s exit. This was not the picture I had gone there to get, but I ended up recording a small piece of history in a small village. It was a far cry from the enormous funeral that followed.”Rory Gallagher“In the old Carlton cinema, opposite the Gresham Hotel in O’Connell Street, Dublin, the great blues guitarist Rory Gallagher took the stage in 1975. When Rory, on a tour of Ireland, appeared on stage, the hair (I had hair then) stood up on the back of my neck. I desperately attempted to follow him with my manual focus and manual exposure, as he charged around the stage.“Raising his guitar towards the ceiling, lost in a sea of long hair, his profile is iconic and unmistakable. The Carlton has greatly fallen from grace, now housing a bag shop on its ground floor.”President Hillery’s daughter The inauguration of President Hillery Source: Eric Luke“One of my earliest pictures for the Press group, and my first State occasion to photograph, was of the inauguration of President Patrick Hillery for his first term of office, in 1976.“A team of photographers was dispatched to Dublin Castle and, as the most junior, I was given what was deemed to be the poorest position. Following the ceremonial swearing in, I would see the procession enter the courtyard, before disappearing from view seconds later. I spotted the President’s daughter Vivienne popping her head out, and set the manual camera focus on where her head might pop out again. Grabbing three frames, in the middle one I got lucky. This turned out to be the picture of the day, the front page of the Evening Press.”Photos by Eric Luke. Looking Back: The Changing Faces of Ireland by Eric Luke, published by The O’Brien Press 2016, is available from all good bookshops now, priced €24.99. The book is nominated in the Best Irish Published Book section of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards. To take part in the public voting, visit the official website.Read: Photos: For hundreds of people, this raceway is a slice of Americana in north county Dublin> Image: Eric Luke 28 Comments By Aoife Barry Share66 Tweet Email9 center_img Sam Greer’s Saddlers, Poolbeg Street from Looking Back The Changing Faces of Ireland by Eric Luke Image: Eric Luke Sam Greer’s Saddlers, Poolbeg Street from Looking Back The Changing Faces of Ireland by Eric Luke Short URL Saturday 29 Oct 2016, 7:00 PM Oct 29th 2016, 7:00 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Elderly people cant leave hospital due to council taking up to 18

first_img Image: Shutterstock/Toa55 Closure averted: Waterford mobile cath lab to remain open for another 20 weeks>Read: School bus stopped by gardaí due to badly worn tyres and rust is taken out of service> Monday 12 Feb 2018, 6:20 AM 23 Comments Share63 Tweet Email3 ELDERLY PEOPLE ARE being forced to stay longer in hospital as it is taking well over a year for local authorities to carry out home adaptations.TD Richard Boyd Barrett said the wait times for walk-in showers for the elderly and the disabled in his own constituency of Dun Laoghaire is 18 months.“A lot of those people cannot be released from hospital and are blocking up beds because they cannot get a walk-in shower,” he said.The Housing Department has also confirmed that the waiting list for home ramps is up to 10 months.“People often cannot be released from hospital because of this. The council says it is because it has difficulty getting contractors to do the work. They are absolutely unacceptable waiting times for people who really need things such as ramps, grab rails and showers in particular,” said Boyd Barrett.Grab rails The average time for grab rails and stair lifts to be fitted in homes is one month. Other miscellaneous fit-outs are taking up to 12 months, on average. Report from Dun Laoghaire Area Committee on council house adaptations. This doesn’t appear to be a new problem.In 2015, Age Action said delays in home care packages and home modifications were holding up hospital discharges.At the time, Age Action spokesperson Eamon Timmins said HSE figures showed that 17% of people in delayed discharge beds at the time were due to be discharged home, but were awaiting approval of a range of supports such as home care packages  and home adaptations.For the first nine months of last year, HSE figures show there were 142,472 delayed discharges across all public hospitals in the State.Delay in hiring contractors The difficulty in tendering and hiring for contractors to do the works is one of the main issues causing the problem, according to Solidarity-PBP TD Boyd Barrett.He said the obvious answer would be for people to be directly employed by the local authorities. In previous years, workers were directly employed in maintenance departments of local authorities to carry out the upkeep of council-owned properties.Boyd Barrett argues that the outsourcing of these contracts has resulted in tendering processes that can take up to six or eight months to identify a contractor.“We would have people employed by the local authorities directly to go out and install these things for people with disabilities and the elderly. Would the Taoiseach consider that? The unacceptable situation in Dun Laoghaire is almost certainly replicated right around the country. It is people with disabilities who are suffering the consequences,” he said.The Taoiseach said delays are due to “a labour and skills shortage across the construction sector”.He added: “That is causing difficulties.  It is driving up tender prices and making it harder for us to accelerate house building to the extent we would like, notwithstanding the fact that there were probably more houses built last year in Ireland than in any year of the past decade.” By Christina Finn 11,718 Views center_img Image: Shutterstock/Toa55 Elderly people can’t leave hospital due to council taking up to 18 months to fit walk-in showers and ramps The Housing Department has also confirmed that the waiting list for home ramps is up to 10 months. Feb 12th 2018, 6:21 AM Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Cash savvy members of the public exchange €13m worth of old Irish

first_imgCash savvy members of the public exchange €1.3m worth of old Irish punts There is still over a quarter of a billion euro worth of punts lying about in drawers and jars across Ireland. Thursday 19 Jan 2017, 6:05 AM 38,990 Views Short URL Jan 19th 2017, 6:05 AM Share522 Tweet Email1 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: renaissancechambara Image: renaissancechambara By Christina Finn MEMBERS OF THE public redeemed close to €1.3 million worth of “old money” last year.Irish punt banknotes and coins were withdrawn at midnight on 9 February 2002. However, it’s still possible for Irish banknotes and coins to be exchanged for euro at the Central Bank.While €1.3 million worth of banknotes were exchanged in 2016, over €194,000 worth of old Irish coins were exchanged for euro.This is the lowest exchange amount made in the last six years. In 2015, the public redeemed €1.35 million in notes, and over €213,000 in coins.In 2014, close to €1.5 million in banknotes and €283,150 was swapped.Despite the fact that it has not been legal tender for almost 15 years, there is still over a quarter of a billion euro worth of punts lying about in drawers and jars across Ireland.The Central Bank states that as of 31 December 2016, there is still €227,125,638.68 of old banknotes missing. There is €123,741,177.34 in old coins unaccounted for.So, what do you do if you find some old tender?The Central Bank has provided an exchange facility for those who wish to change Irish banknotes and coins into euro since the introduction of the new currency in January 2002. The organisation said at the time that the service would continue “indefinitely”.If you happen to find some old coins or notes down the sofa you can bring them to the Central Bank of Ireland in Dublin either by post or by use of a drop-box facility.The bank will exchange up to IR£3,000 per transaction.Once received by the Central Bank’s Currency Issue Division, the notes/coin will be verified and the euro equivalent reimbursed to the customer by way of electronic transfer to the customer’s nominated bank account.So, get searching.Read: Tillage farmers call for ‘humanitarian support’ after some lose 100% of crop in worst harvest in decades>Read: Homecare for the elderly a ‘priority’ in wake of Brendan Courtney documentary> 24 Comments last_img read more

Whatever happened to A billioneuro park in the sky on OConnell Street

first_img Share18 Tweet Email OVER THE PAST few weeks,‘s sister site Fora has taken a look at some of the more notable big-ticket projects that were floated during the Celtic Tiger period – or in the aftermath of its demise.Most recently, we detailed the story behind the infamous ‘Bertie Bowl’, a 65,000-seat stadium backed by former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern that never quite got off the ground.In this installment, we’re going at a proposal that was unveiled a few years after the Bertie Bowl but was no less outlandish.There were plans to build a ‘park in the sky’ that would soar above Henry Street and be at the centre of a renewal of Dublin city’s main thoroughfare. Here’s what has stopped that dream becoming reality.What is it?The ‘Dublin Central’ scheme was a proposal by developer Joe O’Reilly to transform Dublin’s O’Connell Street, which has been dominated by fast-food outlets and casinos for the last number of years.The huge project was to be located on a 5.5-acre site bounded by Parnell Street, O’Connell Street, Henry Street and Moore Street. As many as 100 shops were to be created, and it was envisaged that it would attract high-end retailers, like Prada and Armani, to Dublin’s main thoroughfare in the north.It would also have seen the creation of 100 apartments, the first to be built in more than 250 years built on O’Connell Street, an art gallery, a restaurant quarter and 1,000-odd underground car parking spaces. A render of the proposed development Source: Chartered LandThe centrepiece of the project was to be a ‘park in the sky’. A 12-storey, triangular building that housed 40 apartments would include the feature on its sloped roof, from which punters could gaze across the city at a height of 50m through glassed walls.Over 3,000 permanent jobs were expected to be created during the project, which was initially set to cost more than €1 billion.When was it first suggested?The concept was discussed for years and O’Reilly was said to have spent well over a decade assembling the land for the project, but it was only in 2008 that concrete plans were put forward.What happened?Chartered Land, one of O’Reilly’s companies, which also developed major shopping centres like the Dundrum Town Centre and the Pavilions in Swords, announced in April 2008 that it was going to apply for planning permission.The plan soon faced objections and was revised several times. At first, the changes looked like they would be relatively minor. The height of some of the buildings was reduced, the direction the garden faced was switched, and so on.However, by the time the project eventually received planning permission in 2010, the adjustments were much more drastic. Most prominently, the ‘sky garden’ was out after An Bord Pleanála advised the developers to drop the feature. Get Fora’s NEW daily digest of the morning’s key business news: Feb 4th 2017, 8:00 AM Property developer Joe O’Reilly Source: Laura Hutton/RollingNews.ieThe number of retail units and car parking spaces was also cut down, while the height of most of the buildings was to be limited to six storeys. Plans were also revised to try not to encroach on the historic Moore Street site, a key battleground during the 1916 Easter Rising.However, it seemed like things were still moving along as Chartered Land announced British department store John Lewis was to be the anchor tenant for the development, which was due for completion in 2016.The project ran into further trouble during the recession when O’Reilly’s loans were transferred into Nama, in 2010. Like many developers, O’Reilly had spent big during the boom, and he and his businesses were among the state agency’s biggest debtors.He spent the next few years selling assets, such as the Dundrum Town Centre, in an effort to repay his debts, and work on Dublin Central stalled.What’s the latest?Nama organised the loans under its control into different portfolios, which were then sold off.The loans connected to most of O’Reilly’s best developments – Dundrum Town Centre, a 50% stake in the Ilac Centre in Dublin, a 50% stake in the Pavilions – were put into a bundle called Project Jewel. Dundrum town centre Source: Laura Hutton/RollingNews.ieIn 2015, UK property group Hammerson announced that it planned to buy Jewel, which included the Dublin Central site, from Nama for about €1.85 billion – the bad bank’s largest-ever deal at the time. It eventually got control of the properties, including Dublin Central, in July 2016.The Sunday Business Post reported last year that O’Reilly retained an option to buy back 50% of the Dublin Central site by a deadline of June of this year, and that he is likely to do so.Chartered Land remains the development manager at the site, so it is probable that the veteran builder will have some say on the future of the project.However, work on Dublin Central is further complicated by a High Court ruling. In 2015 the government stepped in to buy the site at 14-17 Moore Street, the building where the Rising’s leaders met and decided to surrender. Protesters occupy Moore Street buildings Source: RollingNews.ieThe government had argued that other buildings on the street, such as 13, 18 and 19, “are not historically significant”.Relatives of some involved in the Rising went to the High Court to argue against the decision – and the court agreed. It ruled that nearly all of the buildings on the east side of Moore Street collectively constitute a national monument. The government signalled that it would appeal that decision.Hammerson had the planning permission for the Dublin Central site extended until 2020, but any significant development at the site is hampered until the results of the appeal become known.The provisional date for the appeal is set in December, and the future of the Moore Street site, and Dublin Central, will become a lot clearer then.Written by Paul O’Donoghue and posted on Image: Chartered Land 31 Comments Whatever happened to… A billion-euro ‘park in the sky’ on O’Connell Street? Developer Joe O’Reilly had grand plans to revitalise Dublin’s main street. Saturday 4 Feb 2017, 8:00 AMcenter_img Image: Chartered Land 23,306 Views Short URL Take me to Fora By Fora Staff Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Independents drop three points in latest opinion poll

first_img 101 Comments Saturday 29 Apr 2017, 6:20 PM Independent TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly. Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland 16,865 Views Independents drop three points in latest opinion poll The poll indicates an increase in support for Fianna Fáil to 28% – its strongest lead over Fine Gael in over a year. Fianna Fáil: 28% (up two)Fine Gael: 24% (no change)Sinn Féin: 18% (up one)Independents: 10% (down three)Labour: 6% (no change)Social Democrats: 4% (up one)Solidarity-PBP: 4% (no change)Green Party: 3% (down one)Ind Alliance: 2% (down one)Renua: 1% (up one) Short URLcenter_img A NEW POLL has indicated that support for Independent politicians has fallen by almost a quarter to 10%.The latest Sunday Business Post/Red C poll indicates that support for both independents and the Independent Alliance is down by three and one percentage point respectively.Fianna Fáil’s support rose by two points to 28% giving it a four-point lead over Fine Gael – its strongest lead over Fine Gael in over a year.There were no great changes to other political parties’ support. The results in full are: By Gráinne Ní Aodha Apr 29th 2017, 6:20 PM Independent TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly. Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland The poll was taken between last Monday and Friday, during which time the National Maternity Hospital controversy was rumbling on.Support for independent politicians surged in the aftermath of the financial downturn and during years of austerity, while support for political parties fell in the last election.That trend towards independents seems to have been reversed in this poll, which can of course be wide of the mark.Read: Fine Gael back on top as latest opinion poll shows seven point surgeRead: There’s a small bit of good news for Labour in the latest opinion poll Share Tweet Email1 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

The Pentagon is briefing Donald Trump on military options for Syria

first_img Apr 6th 2017, 8:28 PM BREAKING: Secretary of State Tillerson says he sees no role for President Bashar Assad in governing the Syrian people.— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) April 6, 2017 Trump salutes as he disembarks Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House. 13,192 Views THE PENTAGON IS presenting a range of possible military options the United States could take in response to the suspected chemical attack in Syria, a US official has said.Options include strikes to ground the Syrian air force, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.Pentagon chief Jim Mattis is presenting the options to President Donald Trump and administration officials in response to White House requests, the official added.Mattis had been communicating extensively with Trump’s National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, the official said, stressing that no decisions had been taken.Trump yesterday  warned that Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime had crossed a line with its latest alleged chemical attack.He called the strike that killed at least 86 an “affront to humanity” and suggested some sort of US response.The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has also this evening called for Assad to be ousted from power.The Pentagon has long maintained a variety of military options for Syria, and the United States has been striking jihadist targets in the north since late 2014.But any US military action targeting the Assad regime would mark a fundamental shift in Syria’s brutal six-year conflict.Russia has been propping up Assad since late 2015, and any action to ground his air force could be subject to skirting Russian air defences and would carry the risk of inadvertently hitting Russian personnel. Thursday 6 Apr 2017, 8:28 PM Share433 Tweet Email The Pentagon is briefing Donald Trump on military options for Syria Rex Tillerson has meanwhile called on Bashar al-Assad to be removed. By AFP 67 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article But the drumbeat for military action has picked up in Washington.Senior Republican senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain said Assad was trying to test the Trump administration and that America must take swift action.“Assad has crossed a line with his latest use of chemical weapons. The message from the United States must be that this will not stand,” the pair said in a statement.“We must show that no foreign power can or will protect Assad now. He must pay a punitive cost for this horrific attack.”© – AFP 2017 with reporting by Rónán DuffyRead: ‘It crossed a lot of lines for me’: Trump says he’s changed attitude on Syria following alleged chemical attack >Read: US points finger at Assad after suspected chemical attack kills dozens in Syria > Source: AP Politics/Twitter Trump salutes as he disembarks Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House. Image: Pool/ABACA Image: Pool/ABACA Short URLlast_img read more

Does our Housing Minister know how many homes are at risk of

first_img Social Democrats Councillor for Dublin Bay North By Cian O’Callaghan 29 Comments Jun 20th 2017, 6:30 AM Cian O’Callaghan 580 Views ‘Does our Housing Minister know how many homes are at risk of rapid fire spread?’ In Ireland, the concerns of residents about fire safety in several housing developments constructed hastily during the Celtic Tiger boom have fallen on deaf ears, writes Cian O’Callaghan. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article THE DEVASTATING FIRE at Grenfell Tower could have been avoided if the legitimate concerns of residents had been listened to. In Ireland, the concerns of residents about fire safety in several housing developments constructed hastily during the Celtic Tiger boom have fallen on deaf ears.As a local councillor I’ve worked with residents in developments affected by fire safety concerns. Due to a lack of assistance from official bodies in providing accurate information to homeowners, I’ve had to make extensive use of Freedom of Information requests to get to the bottom of what is known by the fire brigade, local authorities and the Department of Housing about fire safety defects.Here are five crucial questions that the New Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy TD should answer as a matter of urgency if he is to show that he is serious about tackling fire safety defects in housing developments in Ireland.Will he publish the Fire Safety Review that his Department has sat on for the last 15 months? On March 31 2015, a fire spread rapidly destroying a terrace of six new build houses in half an hour in Millfield Manor, a timber frame estate.  An investigation was launched by the local authority which found major fire safety deficiencies.In September 2015, the then Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly, announced a review to “develop a framework for general application” in homes where concerns had been raised about fire safety. A full 15 months after the review was completed, the government has still not published it.Will the Minister publish this as review as a matter of urgency and start the important work of implementing its recommendations to address fire safety defects?Is he aware of the extent of the problem in Ireland and that a larger number of estates built during the last housing boom have fire safety defects? While about 30 Celtic Tiger era developments that have been reported in the media to have fire safety defects, it is widely understood that a much larger number of developments are at risk.Is the Minister aware how many homes built during the last boom are at risk of rapid fire spread? Documents released to me under the Freedom of Information Act show that his department has been aware of this problem over the last 10 years. Will he ask his officials why they haven’t been acting on this knowledge over the last decade?Will he abolish self-certification and replace it with independent inspection of buildings to ensure compliance with building control regulations and fire safety regulations?The abolition in 1990 by Fianna Fáil of rigorous independent building control inspections carried out by local councils and its replacement with a system of self-certification by builders has proved disastrous. This system which has been reformed in recent years now involves sign off by an architect or qualified professional hired by the developer.Certification is issued based on an opinion that the buildings are constructed in compliance with the building regulations rather than an actual independent verification that the regulations are adhered to.Will he restore the system of rigorous independent building control inspections that were in place before 1990?Will he investigate the failure of councils to use their building control powers to pursue developers that were found to be in breach of fire safety regulations?In several documented cases, local authorities have failed to use their extensive powers to hold developers to account and ensure that they fix fire safety defects and pay for these works.For example, in January 2007 fire spread rapidly to four units in a newly constructed timber frame estate in North County Dublin. The blaze broke out during remedial works after a small piece of fiberglass ignited and fell onto a balcony damaging the timber frame structure and spreading into the party wall and then the wall cavity. Luckily this fire started during the daytime and a workman on the scene alerted the fire brigade immediately. Had this fire occurred at night when residents were sleeping the consequences could have been much more serious.The local authority commissioned two separate reports which confirmed that there were more than 10 separate types of fire safety defects present in units on the estate. The council failed to take effective building control action against the developer to ensure the problems were rectified, and neglected to inform residents and local councillors about the defects uncovered.Will the Minister investigate the failure of local authorities to pursue developers despite their statutory fire safety, planning and building control functions?Will he abolish the 5-year statute of limitations that lets rogue developers off the hook?If a local authority fails to take effective building control action against a developer within 5 years of the completion of construction, a 5-year statute of limitations kicks in. Often it takes years for defects to be discovered – fire safety defects might only emerge after the rapid spread of a fire which demonstrates that fire stopping measures were not put in properly during construction.This statute of limitations lets the developer off the hook and transfers the responsibility for bringing the housing up to standard on the unsuspecting homeowner. There is no accountability for the developer who has sold a substandard and unsafe home. Will the Minister introduce legislation to abolish the 5-year statute of limitations for developers?Cian O’Callaghan is a Social Democrats Councillor for Dublin Bay North.‘My patients die younger and develop chronic conditions earlier than affluent patients’>Coming out on the Late Late: ‘Gay mirrored the prejudice that existed at the time’> Share167 Tweet Email Short URL Tuesday 20 Jun 2017, 6:30 AMlast_img read more

I couldnt ask for any more to be honest Im living my

first_imgSubscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here: BOTTOM LINE: ISIBEAL Atkinson is one of the most talented, young, up-and-coming footballers in the country right now.Cool as a breeze, the 17-year-old is under the spotlight at the launch of the 2019 Aviva Soccer Sisters Easter Football Festival. Those her age may be shy, nervous and not very talkative in this situation, but no. Not Izzy, as she enthusiastically introduces herself. Isibeal Atkinson. Source: Sam Barnes/SPORTSFILEAfter a morning of photographs alongside budding Soccer Sisters participants on the Landowne Road turf, Atkinson settles down for a quick chat in front-row stadium seats.It was a morning well spent, she smiles. One in which the younger girls present — who varied in age from seven to 12 — got the chance to spend time with a star who recently made her first start for the Ireland senior side.They watched on in awe, and that’s put to her first and foremost. She’s not a whole pile older than them at the end of the day.“Well, I’m young but I still feel like they’re looking up to me which is fun,” she tells The42. It’s all come around pretty fast for the Ireland U19 ace, right?  Share664 Tweet Email Short URL 4 Comments “It has actually. I couldn’t ask for any more to be honest. Everything’s just going great.”It’s hard to process the fact that the Dubliner is just 17. Atkinson was first called up to Colin Bell’s squad in October 2017, she got her first senior international minutes against Portugal in a friendly the following January at the age of 16, made her official debut off the bench against Norway that June, and her first start came against Belgium in January.To map her meteoric rise how, it’s only right to go back to the very beginning. To where it all began, and to those closest to her who have made it all happen.Many as prodigiously talented as herself would have played more than just the one sport as a kid, tried their hand at everything and anything. But not Izzy.“Complete opposite,” she grins. “I was the type of girl that would see another sport and I’d be like, ‘No, football’s the best. I can’t play another sport.’“My Dad… if I turned around and said to him, ‘Can I play something else?’ he’d probably laugh. Football was my number one sport, my number one everything.”Atkinson, now a Leaving Cert student, basically grew up with a ball at her foot. She remembers seeing a picture of herself when she was two years old, happily sporting a tracksuit and kicking a football. Mar 28th 2019, 7:53 PM Young Soccer Sisters participants watch on in awe. Source: Sam Barnes/SPORTSFILEShe’s one of eight children, but none of the others were just as drawn to football as the Shelbourne winger. Her younger sister plays with the club’s U14s alright, but Izzy was a different breed. “I’m just a sportaholic,” she explains. “My Dad’s always saying when I was younger he’s never seen anyone as into football as me.“I used to go out at probably 10 o’clock in the morning, go to the astro, never come home for lunch, never come home for dinner. I’d come home at seven o’clock. My parents never gave out to me, they knew… I’d only be like 10 but they just knew I was alright.” ‘Ah, she’s at the astro with all the lads…’Not only was she there, but she was showing the lads up. Atkinson joined a local boy’s team when she was five years old, and played with them for as long as she could. She was forced to move to Wicklow outfit Enniskerry from U14s onward. An hour-long drive, she adds, but anything for the love of the game.“The first year I was there, we won everything,” she recalls. “Leinsters, All-Ireland, the league; I remember just saying it was the right decision. I didn’t regret anything. “I stayed with them for three years and then I went to the seniors with Shels. I genuinely don’t feel any regrets so far, it’s good.”As well as the advantage of a slightly closer location, it also really benefited her cause on the international stage. Powering through the Ireland underage ranks at the time, the move catapulted Atkinson onto bigger and better.As she charts her journey, we’re interrupted by a little voice and a wave from afar.See you tonight, Izzy…One of the kids is her younger sister’s team-mate at Shels, and it’s fair to say that Atkinson’s warm response makes the aspiring footballer’s day. Atkinson with Ireland senior team-mates Claire O’Riordan and Rianna Jarrett. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHOShe doesn’t like saying it, she admits, but when she was younger all her role models were males. So to see that interaction first-hand, with Atkinson herself as the role model, is pretty uplifting.It’s rather fitting that we pick up once again at a breakthrough moment: her first senior call-up. She was in school one day and she got a long text message from her Dad. Not exactly sure what was going on, it wasn’t until she got home that she figured it all out.“I walked into the sitting room and my Mam and Dad were just smiling, laughing, just too happy. I remember him telling me. I didn’t say anything, I was just like….”Her mind wanders off slightly, almost lost for words as she relives the moment.“It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. Getting that at 16 was genuinely the best feeling in the world. I can’t wait — well, not that I can’t wait… but when I’m older to say, ‘I did that when I was 16.’ I mean 16 is the youngest you can do it. You can’t play unless you’re 16. To make my debut at 16 was the best thing ever.”Of course, she’s living in the moment. Of course, she appreciates it. But perhaps she doesn’t appreciate just how big of a deal this is right now. Everything’s happening so fast, it’s an absolute whirlwind. When that avenue is explored, Atkinson opens up more and more. “I’m injured now, two months nearly. Now, I’m starting to realise… I’ve definitely realised how…”Her mind wanders once again. “Now is when I’m starting to realise it really is the best thing in my life.”Atkinson was struck down with the dreaded MCL knee injury in a pre-season club match.“Always pre-season.” she frowns. “I was feeling at my peak and everything. Well, I mean it could have been a leg-break or 18 months out. Two months isn’t the worst.” Lining out for Shels against Peamount. Source: Women’s National League Twitter.Perhaps a big plus is that it’s allowed her place a little more focus on the books. In her Sixth Year with the Ardteist just around the corner, all is going to plan, she assures.“It’s not too bad. I got my Mocks back and they’re grand. Not a bother. Mam and Dad are happy so that’s all that matters.“Of course balancing it all is going to be tough. It’s always going to be tough, even if you don’t play football. Coming from my house with my Mam and Dad, it’s football first. I mean I bring my books away with me every time I’m away.”There’s plenty in the same boat. At least 11 of the U19s, she counts, and of course many of those filter through to the seniors. That support among team-mates and friends is key, but most important of all is the support that comes from her family.“Yeah,” she smiles. “My Dad… what was it, 13 countries I went to in 2018, and I think my Dad went to 12 of them. That just shows how much he’s with me all the way. I couldn’t ask for any more from him.”While the travelling to far and exotic places goes hand-in-hand with international football, Atkinson’s heart is most definitely still firmly with the club.Unfortunately though, she’s had to watch her side’s blistering start to the 2019 Women’s National League (WNL) from the sidelines.“To be honest, like, this injury… I’ve learned a lot. I can’t wait to be back now. Anytime I feel maybe I’m tired or I’m a bit weak in the legs, I’m just going to think, ‘No, I’m here, I’m not injured, I’m playing.’“I think maybe these things happen for a reason. Anytime I need a bit of a boost I can just think that my knee’s okay and I’m ready to go.”It’s her ‘first and hopefully last’ injury, and will definitely remind the eager midfielder just how much she wants to keep herself right and succeed at the top.She laughs that they train three times a week with the Reds, but she’d be the type to play — either on her own or with someone else — every single day. Gym and football seven days a week so understandably, two months feels like years. At the Soccer Sisters’ camps launch. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHOThe pain may be eased slightly how and ever by some extremely positive moves made by Shels recenly. The Northsiders have dropped ‘Ladies’ from their name in a bid to achieve equality for all players, while Tolka Park has become their new home ground.“It’s wonderful,” she beams. “I’ve always said, ‘Why are men different to us?’ We want to play football just as much as the men do. We’re all human. “Last year, we would have just played important games only in Tolka, say Cup matches. Now, we’re playing all of our home games. All the girls, every single match, if we’re in Tolka it feels like home. “It’s genuinely home for us. It couldn’t just be a coincidence, I can’t remember us playing bad at Tolka. We’re always there for it when we’re in Tolka. Even just walking the pitch when there’s no one there, you just feel right when you’re there. In the AUL when we used to play there, you didn’t feel good.”She added of the decision to use the club’s social media channels to represent and promote both men’s and women’s teams:“That’s one of the worst things for women’s football. Me growing up, I remember when I was getting called into the Ireland seniors, I didn’t even know any of the girls because of the media, I never used to see it. “Now there’d be a lot of, ‘I know her…’ I feel if I was to go in now I’d know them a lot more than I did. It’s getting better as time goes on. “For Shels, sharing it with the men should have happened a long time ago but I’m grateful that it’s happened now anyway.”That’s when the topic of role models raises it’s head once again, and Atkinson says she looks up to the likes of USA star Carli Lloyd and the Netherlands’ Lieke Martens.  Colin Bell talks to his team. Source: Andrew Halseid Budd/INPHOBell, who she worked under with the U17s last year and now the seniors, encourages they follow examples in an ‘if she can do it, so can I’ kind of way. On that note, what’s he like?“I actually can’t even explain it… he’s just the best manager I’ve ever had on and off the pitch. He makes us as disciplined as he is. His traits, his personality just grows on us. He really is the best like.“My confidence grows every day with him. Sometimes in training, maybe you’re not doing that good or whatever but he’ll give you that boost. He makes you feel like you’re good enough.“If you have a manager that has belief in you, you’re going to have belief in yourself. Simple as.”And this rising star most definitely does believe she can go all the way. Lastly, a quick word on the pride in the jersey, and just how much it means. In short: everything.But Izzy’s own words give a much better insight.“I’m one of them people that doesn’t have anything else to do but football,” she concludes. “All my friends are like, ‘Come do this, come do that…’‘Nah, I’m playing football.’ “It’s all I’ve ever done, all I’ve ever wanted to do. I mean sometimes people tell me, ‘You need to take a break,’ and I’m like, ‘Nah.’ You never need a break from that like. I’m living my dream, as cringe as that sounds.” ‘I couldn’t ask for any more to be honest… I’m living my dream, as cringe as that sounds’ Isibeal Atkinson’s rise has been meteoric, and she appears to have a very bright future ahead. By Emma Duffy Subscribe 22,147 Views Thursday 28 Mar 2019, 8:30 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

I cried almost every night for the first six months and worried

first_img‘I cried almost every night for the first six months and worried about what I was missing back in Dublin’ Dubliner Craig Mahon, whose family has a rich history in professional football, on his time at Wigan Athletic and how he ended up with Chester. Share Tweet Email 33,048 Views Andy Reid, pictured alongside Brazilian legend Cafu, is Mahon’s cousin. Source: INPHO“I spoke to both Alan and Andy about the situation and they were both really positive.“Alan had always encouraged me to have an education alongside football, and he told me to make use of the coaching badges I had got at Wigan.”After leaving Wigan, Mahon embarked on four season stint across the fringes of the English league system, with spells at Salford City, Burscough and Vauxhall Motors.The demands of non-league football meant Mahon kept his youth coaching role with the Wigan Athletic Community Trust, as he looked to balance football, work and travelling across England’s north west.“There was a lot on, of course, and physically it involved a lot of driving.But I kept positive, as for me I was doing two jobs that I loved and kept me playing football.”For a player that had already experienced his own football sliding doors moment, he found himself in the right place at the right time in the final weeks of the 2012-13 season.“Towards the end of the season, Vauxhall played against Chester and I had really good game.“Then at the end of the season, I got a phone call from manager Neil Young asking if I’d be interested in joining and I jumped at the chance, as it meant playing Conference again.”Mahon has gone on to be an indispensable member of the Chester side, through some difficult times at the club, including a reformation in 2010, after the previous club Chester City went under.With over 200 appearances under his belt, the 29-year-old has come full circle and is relishing the chance to pass on his experience to the club’s younger players — these days playing in the National League North (the sixth tier of English football).“I have been through the lot at Chester. Going from part-time to full-time, to hybrid and back to part-time.“I try to use that experience to help the younger lads. To show them how professional football is dog eat dog and it requires mental strength and a willingness to work your nuts off every day.“There are not many industries that you can be told from one day to the next that you are not wanted, but that’s football.”Despite being intertwined with his time at Wigan, Mahon fondly remembers playing for Ireland at underage level in the 2007-08 season, alongside future internationals Harry Arter and Cillian Sheridan. Representing Ireland at U19 level in 2007. Source: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO“To pull on that shirt and represent Ireland at any level is brilliant,” he says. “I remember my first game, at U18, at St Pat’s in Inchicore it was even more special. Being from Drimnagh and representing Ireland – with all my family there – just across the canal, was something else.My caps went home with my mam and dad and they’ve stayed up on the wall ever since.With cousin Andy taking over the reins as Ireland U18 boss earlier this year, Mahon is confident he can provide the same advice to Irish future stars as he did to him.“I always keep an eye on Ireland, and with Andy in charge, even more so,” he adds. “Playing for Ireland is such a proud moment and he will make them well aware of that.“As for me, I will be watching on, as I always do. It is something I always have done, whether it’s X Factor or the Olympics, if there is any Irish person in it, I am right behind them.”Subscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here: Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 10 Comments Subscribe Image: PA Archive/PA Images Mahon (centre) facing Hartlepool United during his time at Vauxhall Motors. Image: PA Archive/PA Images I suppose it was a bit of sliding doors moment very early in my career.”The news rocked Mahon, who had signed his first professional contract at the start of the season, and trained with the first team, either side of a loan spell at League Two side Accrington Stanley.“I got so much from working and training in that environment, alongside the likes of Antonio Valencia, Emile Heskey and Chris Kirkland.“The Irish lads in the side were always great as well. Kevin Kilbane and Graham Kavanagh would chat to me a lot, see how I was getting on, and offer advice.” Antonio Valencia and Kevin Kilbane at Wigan. Source: PA Archive/PA ImagesMahon was faced with a decision that has faced hundreds of Irish players released from English league sides – to return to, or stick it out in England, as he had planned?“It had been a hard few years of work at Wigan.“I had found it very hard at first, and cried almost every night for the first six months in my digs and worried about what I was missing back in Dublin.“I knew I had to make a decision, and quick, so I decided to give it another year. Bruce had said I could make a career in England, and I wanted to stick with it.”However the initial shock was something that the 19-year-old struggled with, finding it difficult to tell his family what had happened.I was embarrassed to ring home and tell them that I’d been let go.“Everyone had been so proud of me going over to England and that first phone call to my parents was very difficult.”The Mahon family is one with football running through it, with Craig’s uncle Alan Mahon and cousin Andy Reid – then at Sunderland – offering advice on the next stage. By Feargal Brennan Mahon (centre) facing Hartlepool United during his time at Vauxhall Motors. TIMING IS KEY in any professional football career, and the door to the Premier League never stays open for long for any young player.It is a cruel world and the margins between ‘making it’, and not, can be as thin as a matter of weeks.Three weeks at the back-end of the 2008-09 season were to define the career of Dubliner Craig Mahon, as he was released from Wigan Athletic by manager Steve Bruce.The former Lourdes Celtic man signed for the Latics on a YTS contract in 2006, but after three years at the club, the Manchester United legend decided he was surplus to requirements.“Bruce and reserve team boss Keith Berchin called me in and told me I wasn’t being kept on,” Mahon tells The42.“They both said I had enough to make a career as a professional, but they were looking to go in a difference direction.“I think with the situation Wigan were in then, as a Premier League side, they could look to buy a winger if they needed to. Maybe the youth set up wasn’t as much of a priority.“But a few weeks later, Bruce was gone and Roberto Martinez came in and that is always something I think about. Would he have given me a chance?“When I look at the way Martinez’s teams play, I would have suited that.“There are moments in football where you think about what ifs, but that’s the big one for me. If I could have stayed on, and been given a chance by Martinez, things could have been very different. Sunday 28 Apr 2019, 8:00 AM Apr 28th 2019, 8:00 AM Short URLlast_img read more

Dried bat horses tail and 37 crocodile teeth the strange items people

first_img Image: Shutterstock/Dino Geromella 9,389 Views Share5 Tweet Email3 Sep 9th 2019, 7:07 AM Monday 9 Sep 2019, 7:07 AM By Darragh McDonagh A HORSE’S TAIL, a dried bat, a moose horn and 37 crocodile teeth were among the strange items that people tried to smuggle into the state by post during the past two years.The contraband originated in countries including Cameroon, Indonesia, India and Japan; and was seized by customs’ anti-smuggling teams based at An Post’s mail centre in Portlaoise.All animal-related imports must undergo a veterinary inspection before entering the jurisdiction, while the movement of certain species is completely banned under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).A package containing 89 dried insects was intercepted by the Customs Division of Revenue in Portlaoise in May 2018. The parcel had been posted from Cameroon, where insects are a popular delicacy.In July 2018, anti-smuggling personnel seized a package that contained two exotic beetles, which were alive when they reached the mail centre, having survived the long journey from Japan.A total of 37 crocodile or alligator teeth from the United States were discovered in a parcel during the same month, while a dozen eggs from the US were also seized the next day.A horse’s tail and a calf rawhide from Australia were seized separately at Portlaoise Mail Centre on the same date in June 2017. A moose horn from Canada was intercepted two months later.Other animal-related seizures during 2017 and 2018 included a dried bat from Indonesia, and seven “bird cape feathers” from India.In 2016, a consignment of eight alligator heads, an active bird nest, and a package containing up to 4,000 live bees were seized at the mail centre. At Dublin Airport during the same year, a hippo’s tusk, a crocodile head and a number of conch shells were among the animal-related items seized.A spokesperson for Revenue said that its Customs Division has anti-smuggling teams stationed at all main ports and airports, as well as at the country’s main postal depots.“Packages received in postal depots are subject to risk profiling, post clearance auditing and other post clearance controls,” the spokesperson said. “Revenue officers routinely profile such importations and carry out x-ray examinations and physical examinations based on risk assessment, and with a focus on detention and seizure of smuggled and prohibited goods, to include certain wildlife or animal imports,” he said.The spokesperson said that details about the criteria used to profile packages could not be revealed for operational reasons.“Revenue has primary responsibility for the detection, interception and seizure of prohibited goods intended to be illegally imported or smuggled into the state, and ensures that legislation in respect of prohibitions and restrictions is complied with,” he added. Image: Shutterstock/Dino Geromella Dried bat, horse’s tail and 37 crocodile teeth – the strange items people try to smuggle into Ireland The contraband originated in countries including Cameroon, Indonesia, India and Japan. 10 Comments Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Greece and ATO chase tax cheats

first_imgWhile last November’s G20 summit in Cannes attracted most attention for addressing threats to the global economy and the eurozone debt crisis, one agenda item slipped by largely unnoticed, that could have major repercussions for Greek Australian taxpayers living in Australia. At the summit, a ‘multilateral convention on mutual administrative assistance in tax matters’ developed jointly by the Council of Europe and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), was put forward to be signed by all G20 countries including Australia, and 21 others including Greece, in an effort to tackle tax evasion worldwide. Last week the OECD announced that Greece has now signed the convention that gives participating countries a wide range of tools to enhance cross-border tax co-operation. In a statement the OECD said: “At a time when Greece is looking to shore up its economy in line with a new financial package supported by the euro area countries and other stakeholders, the convention will allow Greece to work more closely with other countries to combat tax avoidance and evasion.” OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria added that, “in addition to demonstrating its commitment to following the international standards on tax transparency and exchange of information, this convention will help Greece improve its internal tax collection system and pursue the tax revenues lost to tax avoidance and evasion. This will ensure that individuals and multinational enterprises pay the right amount of tax, at the right time and in the right place.” According to Neos Kosmos’ sources, on the basis of the new arrangement, the ATO may have already begun working with Greece in relation to the tax affairs of a number of Australians with Greek connections. International taxation lawyer Tony Anamourlis, told Neos Kosmos that the affect of this new collaboration between the two countries could have major implications. “I don’t think that people have taken this seriously. Greeks in Australia would never have thought that such a convention could have been signed, because they believe the Greek authorities are under no obligation to disclose and or provide information, but that has now changed dramatically,” says Mr Anamourlis. Co-operation between the ATO and the Greek taxman will include sharing information on all aspects of tax liability. “Because of the convention, this now obligates both tax authorities to provide, exchange and information about taxpayers’ income and assets – held both in Australia and in Greece,” added Mr Anamourlis. “This goes across the board – general income tax, capital gains tax, property assets, rental income, interest, and dividends. In effect this will mean if either tax authority wishes to conduct an audit of an individual they can undertake this together.” Information sharing could also include the supply of an individual’s (or company’s) Greek bank statements to the ATO, and could potentially affect means-testing for pensions in Australia. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Greek Aboriginal looks out for the kids

first_imgGreek Aboriginal Andrew Jackomos has been appointed as Victoria’s first Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People. Mr Jackomos believes he was chosen for this role due to his ability to bring people together. “The government sees that as an important process for improving the outcomes of Aboriginal children,” Mr Jackomos tells Neos Kosmos. He says his main focus in the role will be on “vulnerable Aboriginal kids” and to ensure that they have access to “better education and health outcomes and better outcomes from human services”. For most of his life, Mr Jackomos has worked in the area of Aboriginal affairs. For the last 14 years he has been the executive director in the Victorian Department of Justice in the Koori Unit to improve justice outcomes for the Aboriginal community in Victoria, as well as bring the Aboriginal community and the justice system together. Mr Jackomos grew up in Carlton, Victoria. His father descends from Kastellorizo and his mother is from the Yorta Yorta people along the River Murray. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Antikythera a key to Greeces prosperity

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram “Knowing the past, you can make better steps to the future,” archaeologist Aris Tsaravopoulos tells Neos Kosmos.This is the premise behind Mr Tsaravopoulos’ continued efforts over the past 20 years, researching the history of ancient Greece in the Hellenistic and Roman periods on the archaeological sites on Kythera and Antikythera. Now for the first time, the Kytherian Association of Australia have made it possible for the archaeologist to travel down under on a lecture tour across the nation, sharing his findings with the Greek and wider Australian community.In Melbourne this week, he presented two lectures at La Trobe University, the first based on the discovery of new sanctuaries of Laconian (Spartan) dieties on Kythera, and their influence on the everyday and religious life of the locals. “Kythera was until recently, known only as the island of Aphrodite, but we discovered there in these last years, five more sanctuaries, which were linked with the specific religious beliefs of Laconians [Spartans],” he said. This was followed by a second lecture delving into the history of Antikythera, a relatively unknown island made world famous by the discovery of the first ancient shipwreck in 1900, along with the world’s first computer. The archaeologist and his team have now discovered more about the history of the island’s mainland. Mr Tsaravopoulos’ interest in the region was ignited whilst working for the Ministry of Culture, when he was posted in 1994 to Kythera and Antikythera, where he would be made responsible for the research and protection of its historical past – a role he continues to hold as a great responsibility.“We are not a scientific service in the Ministry of Culture; we are a protection and controlling service for antiquities,” he tells. “You know that Greece’s identity lives in its past and so this past has to be protected because there are a lot of developers, a lot of public works going on.”Although officially retired, the 70-year-old continues to work in Antikythera, explaining that archaeology is more than science, rather it is a continual journey of discovery linked to the present.While he continues to work on the project, he hopes to be granted permission by the ministry to extend the excavation so that he can build the profile of the island, which he says holds great potential for tourism.“Archaeology is not a dry science as it happens to be considered – it’s linked with life.“Antikythera today is an island with only 20 people and the average age there is 60. So you understand that if we go with a group of 40 young people, that gives life to the island. I want to improve the image of the island for tourism too.”While enthusiastic for the opportunity to share his research with Australians, the audience’s demographic at his lectures mid-way through the tour have left him slightly disappointed. “I did some other lectures, and in some of them I was the youngest person – and I am 70. I want to pass the ideology of looking to the past as a point of departure for the future for the young people, because they are the future – not us,” he said. Archaeologist Aris Tsaravopoulos will deliver his final lectures on Saturday 20 June at Kythera House, Kytherian Association of Australia, 24 King Street, Rockdale, NSW at 2.30 pm, and on Monday 22 June at the Archaeological Institute of Athens, University of Sydney. To attend, contact Kathy Samios on (02) 9349 1849.last_img read more