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Posts Tagged ‘ Twitter ’

The Fall and Rise of Drogheda United

“Battling Drogheda United bowed out of Europe despite twice coming from behind against Ukrainian giants Dynamo Kiev in this Champions League qualifier.”

The headline was relatively simple yet didn’t tell the full story of how the then League of Ireland champions nearly put one of the European greats out of the Champions League.

Drogheda United travelled to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev more in hope than in expectation having lost 2-1 in the first leg of their second round qualifier. It was an uphill task made all the more strenuous when the hosts grabbed a 13 minute lead. It appeared the ambitions of the Boynesiders were all but over. But then lady luck reared her head as the Irish side were awarded a 40th minute penalty which was converted by Shane Robinson. Queue the fightback or not. Paul Doolin’s men fell behind again and it looked like they were set to be put out of their misery when Artem Milevsky stepped up to take a penalty. But it was not to be and a glimmer of hope remained.

The Claret and Blue Army clearly hadn’t read the script as Graham Gartland levelled it up late on before the Drogs missed two glorious chances to steal the win, first with Adam Hughes missing a sitter before Robinson struck the post. A goal away from greatness yet their failure to convert brought a quick end to life at the top table for the Boynesiders.

That failure by Doolin’s men brought about rapid change at the club who had a huge opportunity to establish themselves as a strong force in Irish football. Doolin had brought about great change at United Park, establishing the club as a Premier Division side after their promotion in the 2002/03 season. He made all players full time at the club and this move reaped great rewards as he guided the club to their first ever FAI Cup win in 2005, and their first ever league title two years later.

Drogheda had seemingly banked on European success and their failure to advance past Dynamo Kiev almost brought the club to its knees. October 2008 saw the club go into examinership after failing to pay back a €500,000 loan to the revenue commissioners and a further €10,000 to Bohemians for use of Dalymount Park for their Champions League ties. Their ambitious plans for a new stadium and state of the art youth academy fell through and the future looked incredibly bleak. Despite a ten point deduction the Drogs avoided relegation but now there side was a far cry from the one which almost knocked out the Ukrainian giant. Gone were the iconic names of O’Brien, Ristila and Zayed and in their place were hungry up and coming kids. The club eventually found a reprieve thanks in large part to fan led fundraisers and in January 2009 the club escaped extinction.

What was to follow wasn’t pretty for the long suffering Drogheda fans. It would appear that their yo yo status which Doolin once shed was on the way back. Doolin left as the club moved to part time. The United Park outfit became nothing more than relegation fodder. A team once feared by all was now feared by nobody and the fortress that was once United Park became a fortress no more. The Drogs narrowly avoided relegation in 2009 as Alan Matthews steered them to a 2-0 win over Bray Wanderers in the relegation playoff.

Still financially crippled the claret and blue army would become a club devoid of any real expectation and their only ambition would be to avoid the drop. After a managerial merry go round in the 2010 season the club were ultimately relegated after only four wins and nine draws. However the Boynesiders where handed a reprieve when Sporting Fingal folded and they held onto their Premier Division place.

Mick Cooke took over in 2011 and was tasked with keeping a squad designed for the First Division in the top flight. The former Monaghan United manager succeeded in keeping the club up and even managed to record the clubs first derby win over Louth rivals Dundalk in 13 years. After his successful season at the newly renamed Hunky Dorys Park, Cooke penned a three year deal with the club.

Fast forward to the current season and Cooke’s side have tranformed themselves into serious title contenders by acquiring numerous stars from his old club including Sean and Ryan Brennan and the Drogs all time top scorer Declan “Fabio” O’Brien. The surprise package of the season have set about bringing the good times back to the banks of the Boyne and currently sit a point behind league leaders Sligo Rovers. With no European action this year the Drogs appear to have the advantage in the title race as both Sligo and St Patricks Athletic have faltered in the league given their European exertions. Few would now bet against Cooke bringing some silverware to Louth as the club remain in both the League Cup and the FAI Cup. It would appear the club are on their way back to the top, whether or not they can stay there remains to be seen.

Some Tweets from the @DroghedaUnited boys on Twitter showing the renewal of their fortunes.

Ryan Brennan (@RyanBrennan08) “Drogs 2nd in the league, in cup semi final and last 16 of FAI Cup. Not a bad year considering everyone wrote us off at the start!“

Declan Fabio O’Brien (@Fabster9) “Thanks for all the messages tonight, early days but another great night to be a Drog” (tweeted after Fabio scored his 100th goal for the Drogs in a 1-0 win over UCD on July 27th)

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Batman and Spiderman Battle For Comic Book Movie Supremacy

Summer 2012 in cinema has been as most summers are in recent years, a comic book movie summer. Unlike previous years the comic book movies have either delivered huge as in the case of The Avengers, largely satisfied as in the case of The Amazing Spiderman or if early indication is to be taken seriously outdone its predecessors as in the case of The Dark Knight Rises.

The Avengers at this point has come and gone, a smash hit both critically and commercially, earning $1.4 billion at the box office, Joss Whedon has come good in film which raises the bar action-wise for all comic-book movies.

The Amazing Spiderman is in its first week of general release and has gained a mostly positive reception, many fans and critics praising the acting, specials effects etc. but feel it lacks in originality and an emotional punch, unsurprising given it has only been five years since the previous Spiderman trilogy ended. And despite Spiderman 3 being poorly received critically, Spiderman and in particular Spiderman 2 were critically and commercially lauded.

In fairness to the Amazing Spiderman, the origin story is a difficult place to start and it is a story that can’t really be changed or tinkered with. Spiderman released in 2002 was an origin story and was done well, so it’s unsurprising when one of the charges against the new film is one of “covering old ground”.  The main positives to be taken out of the new film is that the leads are cast right. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have received praise for the chemistry and approach to their roles, and that’s a good starting point.

A running theme in recent years in comic book movies is that the sequel, once the origin has been established, is usually a better film, as in the case of X-Men 2, Spiderman 2 and The Dark Knight. Given the high probability of the Amazing Spiderman doing the business at the box-office and with intentions already being made of doing a trilogy, it should be expected that The Amazing Spiderman two, free of the shackles of the origin story will be a much better film for it.

Once the credits rolled on The Dark Knight there was huge expectation on the shoulders of Christopher Nolan to deliver a similar standard of quality in the third film of his Dark Knight Trilogy. Since its announcement The Dark Knight Rises has been slowly gaining momentum as it approached its July 20th release date.

The film has now been shown to a number of critics in New York and Los Angeles and early indication is that the response to the film has been overwhelmingly positive, having received a standing ovation at its climax with a number of critics openly weeping with joy.

Despite a review embargo being set, snippets of responses have started to filter onto Twitter and online, and the response as seen below speaks for itself;

“Wow. Quite speechless at the moment….”TDKR” was everything I wanted it to be.”

“So much awesome… can’t wait to see it again. And again. And 9 out of 10 for me. I’d put “Amazing Spider-Man” at a 7.5 and “Avengers” at an 8.5.”

“This film was the perfect final chapter in the trilogy.”

“I think Bale gives his best performance as Batman and as Bruce Wayne in this one.”

“ Nolan manages to convey this wild ride into 165 minutes of his best work.”

“The Dark Knight Rises” is not only easily the best Batman movie yet, but now one of my favourite movies I’ve ever seen. It was unbelievable!”

“If this does not break the mold and win Best Picture, no comic book movie ever will.”

The most difficult challenge facing The Dark Knight Rises is also something of an advantage over The Amazing Spiderman and to a lesser extent The Avengers is that it is a sequel. The film has a huge challenge to overcome as it will inevitably face comparisons with The Dark Knight.  If it does compare to its predecessor and early indication would suggest that it’s a better film, which will then lead to a huge box-office return estimated to surpass The Dark Knights takings of just over $1 billion.

Due to its content being darker than the more family friendly The Avengers, it will not surpass that films box-office total but could possibly be a real challenge come award seasons something that as early as five years ago would have been unheard of. A comic book movie with widespread mainstream credibility.

Whatever the preference. Weather it’s the Marvel Universe or DC Universe, its unquestionable that summer 2012 will be the last comic-book movie summer.

The House Of Pain #3-Reality Bites

I know I haven’t put out a blog in the last couple of weeks I’ve been very busy with some personal stuff in my life and plus I’ve wrestled twice since my match for Irish Whip Wrestling in my hometown of East Wall on March 31st. I still can’t state how brilliant it was to wrestle in front of my hometown crowd, the atmosphere was electric and thankfully I managed to get the victory over Soultaker Salem. I also won a five man rumble on that card which capped off a great night.

Anyway there have been some people emailing this website basically saying that I haven’t a clue what I am doing and that I shouldn’t write a blog. These individuals also put that email up on Twitter for the world to see (Classy!!). The twat who tweeted that stated “You are now reading the most arrogant email ever sent”. Maybe that’s true but I did point out when I wrote my first blog that it was my first one and I had never written one before so it’s all trial and error and I’d like to thank Irish News Review for allowing me to write for their website.

I’d also like to thank the lads at Wrestling.ie and Joe Cabray for booking me on their show during the Easter holidays. All the lads who wrestled the show were brilliant. I was clearly not at my best during the match I had on the first night but I’d like to think that I somewhat redeemed myself on the second night, but anyway this is just a quick blog shorter than usual (I know) as I have some stuff to take care of, anyway until next time folks.

 

Twit of the week….. Erm, ‘Tweet’ of the week!

I struggle with the definition of a ‘celebrity’ at the best of times, but when it comes to the definition of an Irish celebrity herein lies a much greater challenge. Like most, I’m not quite sure why many of the so called ‘Irish celebrities’ have acquired the title and furthermore, why such a title requires them to overload the web with a plethora of tweets on the current darling of social media, Twitter.

This week we’ve delved into the intriguing (mundane!) lives of celebrities, which they have so generously shared with us, via Twitter!

Poor DJ Ray Shah seemed to be at breaking point this week… it appears that the life of a DJ is more taxing than one would think.

‘Ah here…. brain is FRIIEEEDDD’

Clearly… as it has impinged upon your ability to spell Ray!! Whatever the reason, it did serve as a gentle reminder that DJs too have brains!! Never doubted you for a minute Ray!

Talking of brains, or lack thereof, Kamal Ibrahim tweeted…

‘It’s been an emotional week! 😦 I miss everyone already x’

I can’t say the feeling is mutual…. we hadn’t even noticed that Mr. World himself had gone MIA / relocated! Word of advice: staying away from the homeland (your celeb land) for too long will result in a downgrade to your already waning celebrity status! (i.e. no more VIP entrances into Dublin’s finest nightclubs!!)

And then there were those celebrities who proved to us that Twitter is a mere medium on which you can detail to your followers what it is you’ve eaten for breakfast….. or in Niall Horan’s case, what you haven’t!!

‘I’ve been asleep for the last 4 hours… I just woke up and everyone has eaten but me.. no one woke me.’

Ever heard of room service Niall?!? You’re not in Mullingar anymore mate, I’m sure the celeb lifestyle which you are currently enjoying stateside can afford you the luxury that is room service! #stop complaining!

Ah, but do not be fooled, celebrities can deviate from the usual ‘I’ve just had a boiled egg for breakfast’ tweet and can instead  offer something more, something profound perhaps…

‘Looking for inspiration #vipstyleawards … Hair/make-up/dress’

Actually scrap that, I read the word inspiration and got a little excited! My bad! Pippa O’Connor Ormond is actually just advertising for a new stylist, well that, or she is unaware that she’ll find the aforementioned in her walk in wardrobe!!

Lastly, my tweet of the week comes from an English celebrity and was one which I couldn’t pass as it offers an insightful glance into the life of one of the UK’s finest celebrities.

‘Right, after late nights I’m off to bed early.(Fills hot water bottle, shuffles into slippers, pours toddy, fetches reading glasses).Night…x’

Too much information Richard!! Surely some of the above needs to be censored?! Sometimes, Richard Madeley can get carried away with the alluring existence that most celebrities enjoy… you really are living the dream!!

#never a dull moment on Twitter

Body Pulled From Sea Close To Where Missing Mother`s Car Was Found

Gardaí searching for missing woman Anna Byrne from Co Meath have found a body off the coast of Dublin.

The 35-year-old, who is 38 weeks pregnant with twins, was last seen yesterday morning in Dunboyne.

A body, which has yet to be identified was pulled from the sea at Howth this morning after a Garda Helicopter spotted it.

Anna’s blue Nissan Micra was discovered very late last night in Howth and Gardaì immediately launched an air and sea search with a body being discovered in the sea this morning.

Her family and friends had made desperate pleas for information on her whereabouts.

She was reported missing when she failed to collect her toddler from a creche near her home yesterday.

Her distraught brother Ciaran Deeney organised a late night search party at the seaside town of Dun Laoghaire in south Dublin after Gardaì informed him that a signal from her mobile phone was traced to the area.

Mr Deeney sought the help of the public via Twitter (@elzorrero) however there was no sighting of his sister in the area.

The Garda helicopter spotted a body in the water at first light today and an announcement as to the identification of the body is due shortly.

Egyptians Flock to Their First Free Election in Eight Decades

Voters queue at a polling station in the wealthy Cairo suburb of Zamalak

Egyptians flocked to the polls in their droves yesterday as Cairo played host to the country’s first free parliamentary election in over 80 years. A tentative sense of hope is evident in a nation who hopes the ballot will enable them to finally move forward following the collapse of Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade-long dictatorship in February of this year.

Despite predictions to the contrary, the election was a largely peaceful event. This was in stark contrast to the violent protests which took place in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in the ten days preceding the vote. Many of the demonstrators had urged a boycott of the vote as they felt it was a stunt aimed at merely appeasing the electorate. These calls were largely ignored.

Journalist and public speaker, Mona Eltahawy – who was arrested and beaten by Egyptian security forces during last week’s protests – voted in Zamalek. She said, “For 30 years my parents’ generation said they were denied a voice. So I’ve come here on behalf of my family. If we don’t vote we lose.” Ms Eltahawy has been extremely outspoken regarding her dissatisfaction with the current political and social situation in her country, particularly via her Twitter account.

The social media website has provided a platform for protesters during the recent uprising. However, in a case of poor timing in the extreme, the company that provided free mobile phone encryption to dissidents in Egypt, Whisper Systems, suddenly suspended its services on Monday so that Twitter could update some of its privacy enabling technology. As a result of this, many protestors who relied on the service to encrypt phone calls abruptly lost the ability to protect their identity from government-controlled eavesdroppers.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest political group, is expected to poll well when the election’s preliminary results are announced later this week. However, a number of rival liberal candidates including Amr Hamzawy, founder of the liberal Egypt Freedom party, alleged several irregularities were evident at voting booths, which they fear will boost votes for the religious organisation.

Two further rounds of voting will take place in other areas of Egypt, the last on 3 January, before a 498-member lower house of parliament is elected. Their main order of business will be to form a committee and draft Egypt’s new constitution. The country is currently being governed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

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