Posts Tagged ‘ Armenia ’

A Year in Brief: Part One


What a year it’s been; Hitler birthday cakes, mutant rats, and Bob Geldof off to space! To celebrate the end of another 365 days here are some of NIB’s favourite stories of the year.

Kicking off the year in festive spirit a man in Derry was fined after stealing a CCTV camera which “became his friend”. Police found Peter Morrison, 24, drunk and “petting” the camera as they arrived to arrest him. CCTV pets are for life not just for Christmas. Continue reading

Saints Aim To Preserve Impressive Euro Record

St Patrick’s Athletic will be in buoyant mood tonight as they prepare to face VMFD Žalgiris aiming to progress to the second qualifying round of the Europa League against their Lithuanian opponents.

The League Of Ireland leaders go into the tie on the back of a 2-2 draw in Vilnius last week which saw Liam Buckley’s side fight back after the Lithuanian league leaders had twice taken the lead. The Lithuanians were very impressed with the style of the Dublin side and know they will do well to combat it once again. Continue reading

Irish Sides Learn European Fate

el-trophyUEFA revealed the draw for the First Qualifying Round and Second Qualifying Round of both the Champions League and Europa League yesterday morning. Fans from across the globe, including those within in the League of Ireland tuned in to see where they would follow their team in a foreign country for the first time this year.

St.Patrick’s Athletic never seem to get the luck they need within the draws. Pats last couple of European draws has featured trips to Bosnia, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Malta, Romania, Russia, Sweden and Ukraine. No doubt their was an air of grievance around Richmond Park yesterday when the draw pitted them against Lithuanian side Zalgiris Vilnius, with a potential second round trip to Armenia to face FC Pyunik or Macedonia to face FK Teteks on the cards should they progress. . Continue reading

News in Brief-Ireland Set For Scum Town As Quinn’s Daughter Loses Her Memory

Aoife-QuinnCounty Clare may soon boast the first Irish “scum town” following the introduction of similar in Amsterdam. The idea was mooted by Fine Gael Councilor Joe Arkins at a council meeting on Monday. “It sounds drastic but we are at a stage where something drastic must be done” Arkins said. These villages of the damned would house anti-social neighbours together until eventually they unite, rise up and kill us all. Continue reading

Where Do the Christmas Shoeboxes Go?

Each year at Christmas, in Ireland, schoolchildren collect shoeboxes and wrap them in brightly coloured Christmas paper, stuffing them with toys and presents for other children less fortunate than themselves. It’s become a sort of tradition in schools across the country, perhaps one to rival the Trocaire box for the starving children in Africa. But once they leave our hands, we know very little about the impact they will make. So wherever do they go?

This festive period, the Irish charity, Team Hope, have sent around 172,000 boxes to places like Romania, Moldova, Croatia, Armenia, Rwanda, Swaziland and the Congo. Volunteers have been working hard since September, the Christian charity sending people out to more than 3,000 mainly national schools across the country, encouraging both children and parents to “light up a child’s life with a little of God’s love for them shown through a shoebox!” The leaflet distributed encourages children to include small gifts such as pen and pencils and other items for school, toothbrush and toothpaste, hats, scarves or a small treat such as a photo of themselves. Such items may be the only gifts the recipient children may have received this Christmas. And, the leaflet goes on to say, if a local leader requests it, a Christmas card may be included with the package, explaining where their Christmas shoebox came from, a little bit of information about Ireland and the Christmas story.

Parents are asked for a small donation of €3 to help with promotion, storage and transportation costs. The boxes are not sealed at first, to allow Team Hope to check their contents and ensure the presents are suitable.  The packages then go to the worst hit families across Europe and Africa.

The shoeboxes are certainly well received. Families in the countries Team Hope aids are more often than not in poverty. In Eastern Romania, the Tudorica family (name changed for protection) consists of Dad, Mum and four young children aged 9, 7, 4 and 3. Their mother has been put in prison and, since their father has no trade, he must make do with occasional casual work. Home is an improvised hut with no water, gas or heating, during a winter which can see temperatures falling to minus 15 degrees. The family’s income consists of €32 per month in benefits, and whatever their father makes from casual work. In Burundi, Dr Aline, a Team Hope partner notes “95% of children who receive a shoebox have never held a toy in their hand before. For them a shoebox is literally a gift from heaven which they will cherish and take care of forever.”

Luba, living in Odessa, Ukraine, is a five year old girl with special needs and requiring eye surgery, living with her parents in one of the region’s poorest villages. The night before Team Hope arrived, she told her father she wanted a doll for Christmas. The look on her face was one of amazement when she opened her shoebox and found a rag doll lying on top. Deborah, a Team Hope volunteer in Limerick has seen the impact of the Christmas boxes on both herself and the children who receive them. “To see the beam of happiness break across the face of a grubby little child and watch their eyes light up as they were handed their box was truly more reward than I could ever have wished for.”

Along with the Christmas Shoebox Appeal, Team Hope runs various projects throughout the year aimed at improving the quality of life in nations across the world. Without donations they cannot hope to make a lasting impact.


Ireland Primed For Armenia Challenge

Giovanni Trapattoni`s Ireland side host Armenia this evening (18.45) safe in the knowledge that the destiny of his team lies in their own hands. 

The wily Italian has sprung two enforced changes with Stephen Kelly and Simon Cox coming into the side to replace the suspended Stephen Ward and injured captain Robbie Keane. 

Trapattoni has come in for wide criticism for opting to field Cox ahead of West Brom team mate Shane Long but few can question Cox`s ability and goal scoring ratio for Ireland to date. 

Moscow hero Richard Dunne returns to the side having served a suspension, replacing Darren O`Dea. 

Ireland are well aware of the permutations that this tie offers. A win or a draw will be enough to see the boys in green through while a defeat will see Armenia advance at their expense. Should Ireland win and Russia lose to Andorra, then Trapattoni will have automatically guided his charges through to Euro 2012. However such is the nature of Andorran football that they are ranked among the worst teams in the world.

 Trapattoni has moved to quell rumours among the Irish support that his side will play for a draw.

He said: “It would be very, very wrong to start with that mentality. If we did that, it wouldn’t be my team. My team will always play to win.”

Trap`s Troops Set For Final Push

Giovanni Trapattoni`s Ireland side kick off a make or break double header against Andorra tonight knowing that their Euro 2012 destiny lies in their own hands. 

Victory is a must for the boys in green if they are to qualify automatically, six points from the remaining two games will ensure a playoff spot however should Russia fail to win either of their last two games Ireland could qualify automatically.

 The Irish side are well aware of the task at hand and are not underestimating an Andorran side who they have beaten with relative ease in recent times, including a 3-1 win earlier in the group. 

The tie has been somewhat overshadowed by the late decision by UEFA to move the tie from Barcelona to Andorra, thus hampering the travelling plans of many Irish fans. 

The Italian hasn’t made any major changes after recent suggestions that Birmingham City star Keith Fahey would start in place of Keith Andrews.

 Moscow hero Richard Dunne is out through suspension so Ireland welcome back Sean St Ledger who missed last months draw with Russia. With six players carrying yellow cards Trapattoni will be hoping his side put in a disciplined performance as Armenia await on Tuesday. 

Stephen Ward continues at left back while Sunderland’s John O`Shea takes over from Stephen Kelly at right back. Kevin Doyle retains his place despite his poor performance in recent outings.

A lot will be expected of midfield duo Andrews and Glenn Whelan, who have been heavily criticised for letting matches bypass them in recent times. Trappattoni has told Whelan to carry on as normal despite running the risk of suspension.

   Asked if Whelan’s situation was a concern, the Italian said: “Absolutely not.

“We have played well in the past when we have had players missing, against Italy, against Croatia and others.

“We must play with the right team and wait and see what happens.

“I hope not. I will advise him to be careful, but he must play like he always does.

“We have other midfielders. We have to play to win this game and ahead of the game in Dublin, we have time to think.

“These three points are more important than whether he gets a yellow card or not.”

  Ireland team to face Andorra (Friday, 20.30): Given, O’Shea, St Ledger, O’Dea, Ward; Duff, Whelan, Andrews, McGeady; Doyle, Keane.

Irish Eyes Are Smiling

With Ireland fresh off the back of four straight victories it will be a long wait until our next competitive match in September. Such momentum would have been pivotal to carry into our next two crucial qualifiers that will determine our faith yet as the players take a break Irish News Review looks back at the highlights of a memorable season.

A is for Andorra. Ireland were pitted against the European minnows yet again en route to Euro 2012. 

B is for Bratislava. Ireland earned a point away to Slovakia but could have emerged with a win had Robbie Keane not missed a penalty on the stroke of half time. 

C is for Cox. West Brom star broke into Ireland team at the end of the season featuring in the final four games and scoring against both Northern Ireland and Italy. 

D is for David. Millwall goalkeeper Forde makes his debut against Italy at the age of 31, becoming the country’s oldest debutant in the post war era. 

E is for England. Possible friendly with the old enemy has been muted but as of yet no date has been arranged. 

F is for Fifty. The number of goals Robbie Keane eclipsed this season, breaking Bobby Charlton’s record in the north west corner of Europe. 

G is for Glasgow. The birthplace of James McCarthy whose international allegiance was questioned prior to him lining out in a competitive match for Ireland. 

H is for Hunger. Something Shay Given has never lost while sitting on the Man City bench all season. The Donegal native has shown no sign of decline in his performances despite Roberto Mancini`s constant refusal to pick him. 

I is for Ignorance. The FAI`s inability to reduce ticket prices has often led to a large number of empty seats at the 50,000 capacity Aviva.

 J is for John. FAI chief executive tried to appease fans by laying on trains and drink in Slovakia. 

K is for Kevin Doyle.Ireland will be hoping the Wexford native will be fit for September`s crucial qualifiers against joint Group B leaders Slovakia and Russia.

L is for Liege. Goals from Keith Andrews and Simon Cox ensured a famous 2-0 friendly victory over Italy in Belgium. 

M is for Macedonia. Back to back victories over the Macedonians leaves Ireland in a three horse tie at the top of the Euro 2012 qualifying group. 

N is for Nations Cup. Ireland swept aside Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland to win the inaugural Carling Nations Cup.

 O is for O`Dea. Ipswich star slotted in comfortably in the absence of both Richard Dunne and Sean St Ledger. 

P is for Pride. While some players have been questioned over their commitment to the cause, a new wave of talent is emerging that is hungrier than ever to wear the green shirt. 

Q is for Quality. While Ireland’s players are far from world beaters, the guidance of Trapattoni has gotten the best out of them. 

R is for Russia. The men from the Soviet Union taught the boys in green a lesson at the Aviva, a return date in September will define the group standings. 

S is for Seamus. Break out year for Everton star Seamus Coleman who has become a squad regular under Trapattoni. 

T is for Trickovski. The Macedonian star saw his penalty strike the crossbar in Skopje as Ireland earned a crucial 2-0 win. 

U is for Unbeaten. Great end of season form sees Ireland win four games in a row without conceding a goal. 

V is for Victory. To date Giovanni Trapattoni has a 46% win rate since taking over as Ireland manager in 2008.

W is for Walters. Stoke City striker pulls on the green jersey yet season ends in turmoil as he failed to show for end of season friendlies.

X is for X-Rated. Fiery Trap`s pitchside antics may not be too pleasing to parents ears. 

Y is for Yerevan. The Armenian capital where Ireland opened their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign. A Keith Fahey goal was enough to see Ireland take the three points 

Z is for Ze Hand. Thierry Henry`s cheeky handball that cost Ireland dearly hasn’t been forgotten, providing Trap with motivation to continue on until the 2014 World Cup as he has “unfinished business”.