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Airtricity League Officially Launched

Players, managers and officials from all 20 teams were at the Aviva Stadium today for the launch of the 2015 SSE Airtricity League season.

The SSE Airtricity League Premier and First Divisions will commence on Friday, March 6, and a total of 330 league and play-off games will be played in addition to matches in the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup, EA SPORTS Cup, President’s Cup, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.

Among the highlights of the new season will be the return to the Premier Division of Longford Town and  Galway United and the arrival of a new club, Cabinteely, who will compete in the First Division.

Launching the 2015 season, the FAI’S Director of Competitions, Fran Gavin said: “There has been a huge amount of energy and passion going in to pre-season preparations all over the country and I want to compliment the clubs for the hard work being done. Clubs are nothing without their communities, and the energy to really engage the local community is vital all year round from each of our clubs if we are to continue to advance as a League.”

Stephen Wheeler, Managing Director SSE Airtricity, said:  “For the 2015 season we want to focus in on the fans of the league, and use them as the driving force for our new creative #FanPoweredFootball. For us, it is the dedication of the fans, the players and all the clubs, which make the SSE Airtricity League what it is. Each season is filled with excitement and dramatic endings and I am sure this year will be no different.”

Fran Gavin also announced that the FAI is to undertake a consultation process for the SSE Airtricity League which will involve all stakeholders in the domestic game, the clubs, the media, the supporters, the general public and many other groups. The process will be headed Declan Conroy who led the successful Europa League and Euro 2020 bids. It will start next week and, as part of the process, every club will be met individually and the public will also be invited to express their views. The process will take a couple of months to complete and the details will be communicated to clubs on Monday. The pubic consultation will start from Tuesday, March 3.

“There are two objectives: to get views on how the clubs and the league currently operates and also to get opinions on how the clubs and the league can move forward. I am sure there will be lots of different opinions but we want to hear them. This League has a big heritage and we need to work hard and work together if we are to make it strong for the future,” said Mr Gavin.

SSE Airtricity are set to roll out a national advertising campaign which focuses on the availability of live football in Ireland using the slogan “Fan Powered Football” and will use the hashtag #FanPoweredFootball on their social media platforms when referencing the league.  A special promotional video was shown for the first time at today’s launch and can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxJBgvU4iok&feature=youtu.be.

RTE and Setanta Sports will also continue their live coverage of matches during the season and RTE has also committed to covering the SSE Airtricity League each week during the season through their popular football programme Soccer Republic which will commence on Monday, March 9, at 11:05 on RTÉ2.

The 12 clubs participating in the 2015 Premier Division will be: Bohemians, Bray Wanderers, Cork City, Derry City, Drogheda United, Dundalk, Galway United, Longford Town, Limerick, St Patrick’s Athletic, Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers. The eight clubs participating in the 2015 First Division will be: Athlone Town, Cabinteely, Cobh Ramblers, Finn Harps, Shelbourne, Waterford United, Wexford Youths and UCD.

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Prisoner Stabs Two Before Fleeing Tallaght Hospital

Derek Brockwell

An armed robber has escaped captivity after stabbing two prison officers before fleeing on a motorcycle during a visit to Tallaght Hospital this afternoon.

Gardaí say Derek Brockwell (53) was at the hospital for treatment when he escaped.

The UK national is currently in the midst of a seven-year sentence in Portlaoise Prison for an armed robbery he committed in 2012.

One of the prison officers accompanying him was stabbed in the stomach and had emergency surgery.

A second officer was also stabbed while a third officer escaped unharmed.

With the assistance of an accomplice, Brockwell made his escape from the Dublin hospital on a motorcycle.

Brockwell, who had been serving a life sentence in the UK for a series of armed robberies, is described as 1.90m (6’3″) tall with brown hair and a broad build.

Gardai are anxious to trace the whereabouts of this prisoner and wish to appeal for the public’s assistance in locating him.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Tallaght Garda Station on 01- 6666000, The Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

 

Gardai Reveal Severe Threat To Irish And UK Based Businesses

business

The Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation has recently detected a pattern of criminal activity that has the potential to cause serious financial losses to both public and private Businesses.

Up to 14 cases have been reported to date, with potential losses of over €5m, however €100k has been stolen. A number such bodies based around the country have received fraudulent instructions in the recent weeks via Email or letter which instructed them to record new account details for their various clients. There is no pattern in the fraudulent account details as they involve different financial institutions in both Ireland and the UK. Continue reading

FG Senator To Resign Whip If Government Sells Aer Lingus Shares

aerlingus

Clare Fine Gael Senator Tony Mulcahy has said he will resign the party whip if the Government sells its 25.1% shareholding in Aer Lingus to IAG.

Senator Mulcahy was speaking following today’s appearance by IAG Chief Executive Willie Walsh at the Oireachtas Transport Committee.

During the meeting, Mr. Walsh responded to a question from Senator Mulcahy stating he could not extend the same guarantee in relation to Aer Lingus’ transatlantic services to and from Shannon Airport. Continue reading

King’s Under 21’s Seek To Make History After Euro Draw

fai

REPUBLIC of Ireland U21 Head Coach  Noel King today gave his reaction to the UEFA U21 Championships 2017 Qualifying Round draw which has grouped his side with Italy, Serbia, Slovenia, Lithuania and Andorra.

Group Two top seeds Italy have won this competition more often than any other nation – five times – while second seeds Serbia were champions once previously and won the UEFA U19 Championships in 2013 with the squad who will compete in this qualifying round. Continue reading

Patriots Triumph Over Seahawks In EA Simulated Super Bowl

EA Sports today released the official Madden NFL 15 Super Bowl Prediction pitting the New England Patriots vs. the Seattle Seahawks. The prediction calls for a tightly-contested game between the two teams, coming down to a heroic play in the final drive to seal the win. The prediction sees New England’s offense overcoming the Seahawks’ defense to pull out a 28-24 victory.

The Patriots kicked off the scoring early, marching down the field on their first possession and capping it off with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski. Seattle would answer with a field goal later in the quarter, keeping the game close heading into the 2nd. Continue reading

Cork City Sign Liam Miller

miller

Cork City FC have announced that Republic of Ireland international Liam Miller has agreed a contract with the club.

The Ballincollig native, who has been capped 21 times at senior level, is returning to Leeside having represented a number of clubs in the UK including Celtic, Manchester United and Sunderland. In recent years, the midfielder has been plying his trade in the Australian A-League, where he was a member of the Brisbane Roar team which won the 2014 Grand Final. Continue reading

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