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Posts Tagged ‘ Leitrim ’

All Ireland SFC Previews: Dublin Face Meath In Leinster Decider

Leinster Senior Football Final

Dublin v Meath 

Dublin come into this game as hot favourites to claim the Leinster title. Meath have been relatively consistent and their composure was evident in their victory over Wexford in the semi-finals. Dublin overcame Kildare who failed to live up to expectations and give a decent performance. Dublin have been impressive and their power play can blow teams away at times, but they too need to be challenged. Meath need to keeps scores to a minimum and hopefully get a goal or two of their own. Dublin still have excellent free takers in their side like Bernard Brogan and Stephen Cluxton and should be too strong for Meath. The Royals need goals and lots of them to upset the outcome of this game.

Verdict: Dublin

Round 2 All Ireland Qualifiers

Cavan v Fermanagh

Fermanagh come into this game after being beaten by Cavan already in the championship. Cavan will be hoping to play at a higher intensity than their previous encounter in the Ulster championship and scoring goals will help their chances of victory. Fermanagh will look forward to this game as revenge is the main driving force for their victory. Cavan will need to score goals to win this tie, but Fermanagh want revenge and they have the momentum now and should come through this game. This game will be close but Fermanagh should win this by 2 or 3 points come the final whistle.

Verdict: Fermanagh

Longford v Wexford

Longford will be hoping for a solid performance from their forward line including the main players like Paul Barden. Wexford though still have a superior forward line and I can’t see them losing this game. Longford are a good team and will put this game up to their Leinster rivals but don’t have the same firepower or options to turn games on its head. Wexford will be looking for solid performances from Ben Brosnan, Ciaran Lyng and PJ Banville to see them progress to Round 3.

Verdict: Wexford

Armagh v Leitrim

Armagh progress to this round after annihilating Wicklow in the previous game. Leitrim after their defeat to London in the Connacht Championship aren’t at the same level as Armagh in this Qualifier game. Armagh still have some quality players like Brendan Donaghy and Aaron Kernan and are vastly superior to this Leitrim side. Leitrim will be hoping Armagh don’t repeat what they did to Wicklow. Armagh will most certainly win this game, the only problem Leitrim might have is the margin of their defeat.

Verdict: Armagh

Kildare v Louth

Kildare need to pick themselves up quickly after the Leinster semi-final defeat to Dublin. If Louth play to their potential in this game they will be certain of overcoming this big Kildare side. Kildare will be hoping players like O’Flaherty and Doyle can bring them success in this game which seems more difficult to predict than most others. Kildare’s dominance around the middle of the field will hopefully give them enough possession to clinch this Qualifier game. Louth can still cause a surprise in this game and are using a lot more support play from the defenders, which makes it easier for forwards to score.

Verdict: Kildare

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London Reach Connacht Final

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Connacht Senior football championship

London 2-11 Leitrim 1-12

This was a game of two halves where London dominated the first & Leitrim the second. London started brightly & establishing a 0-7 to 0-1 lead in the first half. A goal by Greg Crowley furthered the dominance from the exiles. A goal by Ciaran McCallion really looked like this game was over as London led by 2-10 to 0-2 at the break but a goal in the second half sparked a Leitrim comeback and they also picked up several frees along the way.
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All Ireland SFC: Provincial Championship Previews

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Ulster Senior Football Championship

Cavan v Monaghan

Cavan have all ready beaten Armagh & Fermanagh and have built up a lot of momentum coming into this game, but i feel that they good run will come to an end this weekend. Monaghan won a poor contest against Antrim previously and with Tommy freeman still an influential figure for the Monaghan side they look like can beat Cavan. Cavan have played Continue reading

Donegal Advance As Leitrim & London Must Battle Again

James Glancy and David McGreevy 23/6/2013Ulster Senior football Championship: Donegal See Off Strong Down Performance

Donegal 0-12 Down 0-9

Donegal progressed into an Ulster final after emerging victorious from a hard-fought battle in Breffni Park, beating Down by three points. The game never really took off and there was some a largely poor passing game on show. Donegal started the brightest, taking a strong lead in the first half. Down were slow off the mark and when they got going they cut the lead to 2 points with Donegal running in 0-6 to 0-4 at the break.

Down played a very defensive strategy and this kept them within touching distance of the reigning All Ireland champions. The second half was quite similar to the first and Donegal again started brightest in the second to extend their lead to three points. Both teams added frees later in the half to make the score 0-10 to 0-7 before a superb Michael Murphy free at the end sealed Donegal’s place in the Ulster final. Continue reading

Donegal And The Exiles Tipped To Advance

ldnUlster Senior Football Championship: Donegal v Down

Donegal come into this game as reigning All Ireland champions and winning the title again is within their grasp. Down are a team that can pull off a surprise with exceptional players like Benny Coulter and Mark Poland. Donegal still have an exceptional team of players and their consistence in the championship is quite remarkable. Jim McGuinness has brought a lot enthusiasm to his players and self belief. Down needed to start this game well to be in with a chance of winning come the final whistle. The key battle in this game will be about the likes of Benny Coulter and his fellow Down forwards getting on top against the Donegal defenders. Colin McFadden will need to inspire his team mates to come through this match. Continue reading

Cyber-Bullying: The Story So Far…

cyber_bullyingLast Saturday, the 24th of November, Lara Burns was found dead in the stables next to her home in Co. Kildare. At only twelve years of age Lara had seemingly decided she could not go on any longer and taken her own life. The youth who was just three months into her first year at Maynooth Post Primary School is survived by her devastated family, mother Helene, father Robert, stepfather Noel and brother, Brendan.

Tragically, Lara is the third young girl to take her own life in recent months. Her death follows that of Erin Gallagher (13) from Co. Donegal and Ciara Pugsley (15) from Co. Leitrim who took her own life in September. As we all know and understand suicide is a complex issue which not only results from depression but a series of socio-cultural factors. However, in the case of these three girls cyber-bullying has been considered a primary factor in their horrifically premature deaths.

Claims that Lara Burns had been the victim of bullying first came to light after her brother Brendan who wished to pay tribute to his sister set up a special Facebook page in her memory. While he simply but poignantly wrote “RIP sis” many other contributors to the site made reference to the bullying Lara should never have had to endure.

Yesterday, after speaking with a source close to the Burns family, The Daily Star reported that Lara had in fact battled self harm issues in the period before her death. Apparently the youth had been working closely with and receiving emotional support from Pieta House, a group which provides help for those suffering from suicidal thoughts. In the wake of their daughter’s death the Burns family actually requested that in lieu of flowers at the funeral mourners donate to this particular group.

Having discovered that Lara was self harming for quite some time many are worried that the girl suffered at the hands of bullies for much longer than was originally thought. Naturally, due to the seriousness of this case and the growing epidemic that is cyber-bullying Gardai will be investigating further.

The Statistics

It is a little known fact that more people die as a result of suicide each year in Ireland than in road traffic accidents. While older people, especially men, are typically thought of as the most vulnerable group this is beginning to change and we are seeing suicide affecting increasing numbers of Irish people across the lifespan. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) youth suicide is growing at the fastest rate. In fact suicide is now considered one of the three leading causes of death amongst those aged 15-44 (male and female). Disturbingly, the WHO also found that youth suicide rates in Ireland are the fifth highest in the European Union whilst a separate report published by the Irish Medical Journal has revealed that there has been a 16 percent increase in a 20 year period in the rate of suicide in Irish teens under the age of 17.

Social Media

Thanks in part to ever changing hormone levels the teenage years are widely understood to be some of the most turbulent and vulnerable of an individuals entire life. Unfortunately today’s teenagers are facing greater challenges and dealing with more pressure than ever before. Simply inhabiting this world requires a person to deal with pressures resulting from alcohol, drugs, sexuality, sexualisation, body image etc. Of course technology despite all of its wonderful aspects also has a part to play. Today, your average teenager has a cell phone, a Facebook account, and probably numerous others (Bebo, Twitter or ask.fm anyone?) Obviously I am not suggesting we simply cut off these lines of communication but it is of the utmost importance that we recognise the dangers that come alongside them. There is no denying that there has been an influx of social media sites in recent years and I like so many others believe this is one of the major problems affecting teenagers today.

Today, if you don’t have a Facebook account you’re considered weird and lets face it no teenager wants to be considered strange. Not having a link such as this to their friends can make a fourteen year old feel like a social outcast. However having a social networking account (accounts in many cases) provides a direct channel to that individual meaning that if they are in fact being bullied they are contactable outside of school hours, at night time at the weekend, always.

The Problem With Anonymity

Typically, people have the confidence to say things they otherwise would not – both good and bad things – when a screen separates them from the individual they wish to speak to. Ian Power, communications manager of SpunOut, a youth organisation which aims to put an end to cyber-bullying, believes that this is how and why cyber-bullying so often spirals out of control. Power believes that what many individuals say online is more often than not something they would never say in “real life” In his opinion the “rise in the past year in the number of websites that allow anonymity” only exacerbates the issue. With the privilege of anonymity tormentors often feel that they can hurl even more outrageous insults and comments at their victims. Insults such as “I’m sorry to hear you tried to kill yourself. Next time finish it” This comment was aimed at a young victim of bullying here in Ireland. One website that grants users total anonymity is Ask.fm. This controversial site has found itself at the centre of both Ciara Pugsley and Erin Gallagher’s deaths.

Ciara Pugsley

Ciara Pugsley, who attended St Clare’s Comprehensive School in Manorhamilton Co. Leitrim, took her own life just last September after becoming the target of a vicious hate campaign launched against her online. The fifteen year old’s tormentors primarily used Ask.fm to abuse her. Among the comments the teenager received were ones telling her she was fat, ugly, retarded and that she lacked all self respect. Another individual, perhaps the same individual, then made reference to her depression questioning whether or not she was just pretending to be in pain in order to get attention. Heartbreakingly, the last message to appear from Ciara on her account was a response to the question “whats been up with you?” to which the teenager replied “u’ll see soon.” Shockingly vitriolic comments concerning Ciara were even posted online following her tragic death.

Erin Gallagher

Six weeks later, in a strikingly similar case, thirteen year old Erin Gallagher from Ballybofey, Co. Donegal was found dead after informing her online contacts – friends and tormentors alike – that she was considering killing herself following a bout of abuse suffered on Ask.fm. Again the comments aimed at Erin were much the same as those aimed at Ciara. The thirteen year old was dubbed a “fat, ugly tramp” by tormentors who once again preferred to remain anonymous. Multiple references were also made to the fact that Erin had been physically assaulted by some of the same girls. In a comment posted on Friday, the day before the thirteen year old died, Erin responded to bullies who were poking fun at the fact that she had been badly beaten by another girl and perhaps even had some of her hair pulled out during the attack

“Do u think ur funny bullying me over ask.fm? Yeah u prob think it was funny when I f**kin put a rope round my neck cause of yous, yous are that sad! Leave it now u had ur f**kin fun get over it! My hair wasn’t all over the ground trust me plus stop going round saying I got a bald patch I had or have no bald patch”.

Calls To Ban Controversial Site Ask.fm

In her Facebook tribute Erin’s older sister Shannon Gallagher wrote “I love you darling. It’s so hard to say you’re gone. Everyones heartbroken. I couldn’t have asked for a better sister. You were a stunning girl. No one deserved what you went through. I’m sorry that I couldn’t prevent it. Love you with all my heart” which actually spurred an outpouring of grief from family, friends and sympathisers across the nation and those who wished to call for an end to the now supremely controversial site Ask.fm.

Calling for an end to the site was Peter Sweeney who wrote:

“Erin is a 2nd year student who went to a local school here in Ballybofey who tragically due to bullying ended her own life. An absolute waste of a young life who had so much ahead of her. She was on a website called ask.fm where a lot of the bullying took place, and I call for it to be banned. Rest in peace Erin.”

Shockingly another user, Laura O Sullivan, who echoed Sweeney’s sentiments admitted “My own sister had the same trouble with that ask.fm, had a suicide letter written also, my mum found it thank god.”

Founder Of Ask.fm Defends His Site

Responding to the negative press Ask.fm has received following the death of these girls the sites founder Mark Terebin told RTE that he sympathised with the families of the victims adding “We do understand the gravity of the situation… of course there is a problem with cyber bullying in social media, but as far as we can see, we only have this situation in Ireland and the UK… It seems like children are more cruel in these countries.”  Having been further pressed by the media to comment on the situation at hand Terebin then issued another statement saying “Mass media is knocking on the wrong door. It is necessary to go deeper and to find a root of a problem. It’s not about the site, the problem is about education, about moral values that have been devalued lately. Don’t blame a tool but try to make changes… start with yourself. Be more polite, more kind, more tolerant of others.” He then went on to blame the medias coverage of these suicides for further deaths amongst teenagers “Suicide is not something to encourage via mass media. The more you promote suicide, the more it happens.”

It’s true, Ask.fm was quite innocently set up as a social networking tool that would allow members to ask questions and seek advice on various topics. It was never intended to be misused and abused the way it has been by certain members of the public. I’m sure cyber-bullying was never something website developers intended to encourage. There is also truth in what Terebin has said: we should be more tolerant of and nicer to others. However Ask.fm’s terms of service clearly states: “You will not, directly or indirectly, transmit any obscene, offensive, threatening, harassing, libellous, hate-oriented, harmful, defamatory, racist, illegal or otherwise objectionable material or content.”

Mr Terebin has gone to great lengths recently to point out that his site is just like Facebook or Twitter – a mere social networking tool – perhaps then it is time that he admit that he does in fact have a responsibility to the many users of his website. No, I do not believe that shutting down Ask.fm will eliminate cyber-bullying or teen suicide but Mr Terebin simply cannot continue to deny all culpability. The fact remains that each and every websites content must be monitored and managed and that is precisely why the founder of this particular site has tried to transfer the onus of responsibility to the shoulders of so many others. Certainly I do not wish to imply that the deaths of these girls are his fault but it seems to me that Mr Terebin should refrain from implying that the “cruel” children of Ireland and those who work in the media are to blame. In my opinion these are two incredibly naive statements. One simply cannot tar all the teenagers of Ireland with the same brush and an educated person would never suggest shutting up when it comes to suicide or depression for that matter. For years we have struggled to overcome the taboo status of suicide here in Ireland something we are only now succeeding in. It has long been acknowledged that communication is the key to battling both depression and suicide, given the statistics we saw earlier this is not the time to revert to silence and secrecy.

Anti Bullying Campaigners

In the wake of Lara Burns recent suicide Mr Jonathan Pugsley, father of Ciara , has come forward to express his sympathy for the family saying “It is devastating to learn that another young girl has taken her own life. My heart goes out to the Burns family because I know what they are going through” He also appealed, once again, to the politicians of Ireland to take “urgent action” to prevent more deaths amongst our young people. “I’ve tried to research all of this and it seems to me that the politicians in this country have spent the past 10-12 years talking about bullying but have done nothing about it.” Mr Pugsley said adding “The time for talking is over. We need urgent action now and urgent policies now to prevent further deaths.” Thanks to impassioned and dedicated campaigners such as Mr Pugsley and the tireless work of organisation’s like The National Anti Bullying Coalition (NABC) it seems our leaders will set in motion the changes this country so badly needs.

Following the success of the Tools for Teachers programme developed by teachers Sean Fallon and Mary Kent which provides free expert training in the recognition and elimination of bullying in schools across Ireland the NABC has urged Education Minister Ruairi Quinn to develop and implement an anti bullying system within Irish schools that is at least as effective as that devised by Fallon and Kent. “So please, Minister Quinn, use the authority you already have under the Education Act to initiate the end of this misery for students and their families now. For some of our teenagers, there is no time to lose, and next year may be too late” said a spokesperson for NABC recently. Fortunately, it is now expected that the minister will present an action plan expertly devised by members of The National Behavioural Support Service, the HSE and National Educational Psychologists to the NABC in the coming days.

Meanwhile, also petitioning for change is Minister for Justice Alan Shatter who wants to examine in further detail the prospect of prosecuting cyber-bullies. Addressing members of the Dail Shatter explained that bullying was a form of harassment and as such fell within the provisions of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997. Whilst he acknowledged the difficulty in prosecuting bullies and the need to remain both practical and realistic he also said that he hoped to learn from countries such as Scotland and Australia both of which treat the matter extremely seriously.

At this point anything that would contribute to the recognition that bullying is not acceptable within schools, the workplace or any other environment is warmly welcomed by the people of Ireland. Until then it is important to remember these guidelines issued by SpunOut.ie for combating cyber bullying:

  • Ignore the bully – Do not respond online.
  • Keep some evidence of the bullying. Take a screenshot of the comments being posted to sites and retain all text messages.
  • Confide in someone you trust such as a friend, family member or teacher.
  • The most important thing of all is to speak up. Do not suffer in silence.

Naturally bullying contributes to feelings of depression so I also spoke to Sandra Hogan of AWARE to hear what advice she had to offer those suffering from depression. This is what she had to say:

“Anyone who might be affected by depression or concerned about a loved one can access information and support which is available. Our website www.aware.ie contains lots of helpful information about the condition and about our support services. Once you know what you are dealing with, it is that little bit easier to find coping techniques and minimise the impact it has on your life. There are some helpful resources aimed at young people such as spunout.ie, jigsaw and headstrong. Getting professional advice from a GP or other appropriately qualified health professional is important too.”

Please, whatever you do just remember there is truth in the old idiom “A problem shared is a problem halved” and speak out!

By Kerri Mitchell

For those coping with or affected by depression/suicide

Childline: 1800 666656 or text list to 50101

Parentline: 1890 927277

Teen Ireland: 1800 833634

Console: 24/7 helpline 1800 201890

3Ts 24/7 helpline: 1800 247100 or text “help” to 51444

HSE Suicide Prevention Helpline: 1800 742745

AWARE: 1890 303 302

Pieta House: 01 601 0000 or email mary@pieta.ie

Cyberbullying advice websites

Expert advice at webwise.ie

Academic based research at cybertraining-project.org

SpunOut.ie

Irishman Killed In Aussie Taxi Fare Row

Police in Western Australia have charged a taxi driver in connection with a fatal incident in Perth in which a 25-year-old Irishman was killed.

Ryan Doyle was from Leitrim near Castlewellan in Co Down. He moved to Australia two years ago with his brothers to search for work

Police in Perth said they were called to reports of a man lying on a road in the suburb of Belmont in the early hours of yesterday.

Mr Doyle was taken to hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Police said Mr Doyle had been a passenger in a taxi and they believe he died after falling from the vehicle.

It is understood he had been involved in a dispute with the driver about a fare.

The 26 year old taxi driver has been charged with a number of offences, including dangerous driving causing death, failing to stop and render assistance and failing to report an accident .

He is due to appear at Perth Magistrates Court on December 18.

Mr Doyle’s brother Kevin posted his disbelief and sadness on Facebook about his loss:

“Cant believe whats happened, feel like i got the heart ripped out of me! Ya werent just my brother you wer [sic] my friend we did everything together! My life will never be the same, i love you lad!”

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