NEIL’S POETIC REFLECTION ON DONEGAL’S EPIC ALL-IRELAND JOURNEY

first_imgNeil Glackin has followed the fortunes of his beloved Donegal senior team since he was a youth, this year he has captured the mood of the county after every game with a beautifully penned poem.His latest and final instalment is the best one yet, in it he recaps our epic All-Ireland journey detailing all the highs and lows.He captures perfectly the pride we have in our county, and that despite the heart-breaking defeat to Kerry on Sunday, we’re all PROUD to say we’re from Donegal. Well tell me have you ever seen, in memories young and old,The sight of a once-proud Hill transform into a sea of gold,And tell me have you ever been, so proud of the county where you were raised,To see two teams chase their dreams on All-Ireland Final Day. The road we’d travelled had been long and winding, since our first day out in May,With players bailing out there were lots of doubts, for Jim and his boys to allay,A tight trip to Derry was our season’s first test, on the plain grasses of Celtic Park,But as underdogs we defied the odds, and knew this was just the start. Antrim were next and showed well in patches, but the boys had it under control, As the team kept on surging new stars were emerging, young O’Connor even slipped in a goal,Added to him were two more bright talents, two pure sporting thoroughbreds,Young Ryan McHugh and McNiallais too, adding legs to the experienced heads. A big test was waiting on Ulster’s big day, a team we’d lost to one year before, Behind two iron curtains, one thing was certain, it wasn’t going to be a high score,Monaghan’s boys were gamey and tough, not afraid to dole out a slap or a belt,Though the tackling was cruel, Donegal kept their cool, and claimed back the Anglo Celt. Out of Ulster and into the quarters, who knew where the season would lead,But in Armagh came a boulder, nearly knocking us over, until McBrearty stepped into the breach,After some valiant efforts it all seemed set up, for Dublin to ruin the ball,For us to advance there wasn’t a chance, we needn’t bother show up at all. In the face of the danger McGuinness was laughing, because he had the master plan,To come up with a scheme to beat football’s best team, Jim was your only man,In over an hour the Dubs were dismantled, by Donegal’s brave non-conformists,In the late summer heat the plan worked a treat, surely the county’s best ever performance. With the bookies sickened the gold boys marched on, and looked forward to another final,Not just them going through, the minors did too, continuing the upward spiral,Awaiting them both was a proud football county, the unmistakeable Kingdom of Kerry,As the county went crazed with colourful displays, we knew we’d come a long way from Derry. The sun was out and the scene was set, on the third Sunday of September,After last year’s pain we were back again, buzzing from a year to remember,The minors were first in the curtain raiser, but still a match of the highest importance,Playing with honour under the man Declan Bonner, they promised a big performance. And battle they did for a solid hour, every lad gave their all to the fight,In the end there were tears through the Kerry cheers, but still the future looks bright,As they walked off the pitch with heads still held high, Croke Park inhaled a deep breath,But it wasn’t long till the seniors were on, ready to scrap to the death. Croke Park was full and bathed in colour, beneath the strong autumn sun,Two teams from the west on an All-Ireland quest, with an atmosphere second to none,For our final outing it was only fitting, for a couple of late rearrangements,Jigger and Rory replaced McBrearty and Christy, both looking to make big final statements. But Kerry drew first in the heat of the duel, a goal with barely a minute gone by,Next it was Star to send one over the bar, and let out a thumping war cry,From those in their seats to us on our feet, we prayed for divine intervention,But Murphy our saviour wouldn’t tolerate failure, two frees brought us back into contention. We were keeping in touch but our play wasn’t great, as we lost our way in the sun,Jigger surely ploughed but got lost in the crowd, he’ll have more big days to come,With O’Connor leaving Toye stepped in, all year the man’s been possessed,With little ado he went charging straight through, and McNiallias helped out with the rest. Still time for one more before half time came, Karl Lacey popping up with the score,A point cool and classy from this Donegal Daddy, to the sound of a deafening roar,The goal was a blow but the boys had come back, to level at 1-3 to 6,So little in it after 35 minutes, the game very much in the mix. The teams re-emerged to the sound of Bruce Springsteen, singing about ‘Glory Days’,Murphy gave us the lead and it seemed indeed, that the boys were coming ablaze,But Kerry came back and levelled it up, through a Murphy of their own,The game was tight in the midst of the fight, the winner still very much unknown. What followed was scrappy with wide after wide, the shooting on show was quite blunt,Until a lad named Keane came on the scene, and edged Kerry back in front,The tension was growing as the clock kept on ticking, one mistake could make all the difference,What happened then to our finest of men, turned the game in one crazy instant. For so many years when picking the teamsheet, there’s only been one number one,A one man brick wall, a beast under the high ball, a proud Town of Donegal son,Yes on this day he made a mistake, when Donaghy was dangerously lurkin’,But on other days of struggle he’s got us out of trouble, always a hero is our Papa Durcan. Despite the blow Donegal weren’t finished, McBrearty led the rescue mission,And Neil McGee took a run up the field, to score from a forward position,The gap was just one, the game was on, but Kerry were up to the task,Three points in a row where a crushing blow, and left our boys a big ask. Molloy hit a score and so too did Toye, but Sheahan he answered them back,As the time ticked down Kerry passed it around, not allowing Donegal attack,But a chance was to come for that much needed goal, as Murphy showed his might,McBrearty had a go but the keeper got down low, and McFadden’s rebound came off the upright. As Kerry spilled away the final whistle blew, the Kingdom were champs once again,The men of Donegal had given their all, their faces told a story of pain,Though bruised and battered and feeling so low, you know that you can’t win them all,When they looked to the crowd they saw people so proud, of the heroes that represent Donegal. So it ended in heartbreak for both of our teams, but they gave us such an amazing year,From the win up in Derry to the loss against Kerry, they fought with honesty and heart so sincere,The experts may moan and throw out smart comments, but they can never question your desire,And never fear we’ll be back next year, forever chasing that man Sam Maguire.You can check out more of Neil’s poems and blogs by clicking on the link outlined below.http://thefenceblog.wordpress.com/about/NEIL’S POETIC REFLECTION ON DONEGAL’S EPIC ALL-IRELAND JOURNEY was last modified: September 26th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalNeil GlackinnewsPoemsPoetic ChampionshipSportlast_img read more

How a Christian Family Stood Up to Tyranny

first_imgWhen the Berlin wall fell 20 years ago, Dorothee Hubner first dared to think, “Are we allowed to leave and finally be free?”  Her story and that of her parents Gerhard and Gertraude, scientists trapped in East Germany, was told by Andrew Curry, a freelance writer, in Science.1  Dorothee was 23 years old in 1989.  Her parents, also biochemists, “had spent decades struggling to do research in East Germany without compromising their personal ideals with allegiance to the ruling Communist Party.”    By not pledging allegiance to the ruling Communist Party, the Hubners faced a life of difficulty.  “Everything from university admissions to teaching positions depended on allegiance to the Communist Party,” Curry wrote:It was a difficult offer to refuse.  In exchange for signing a loyalty oath and an agreement to report back to the Stasi on friends and colleagues, you could attend international conferences and have your career fast-tracked, Gunter Fischer [a colleague of the Hubners] says.  “If you said no, you’d have no higher-ranking position or travel, and you might lose your job,” he notes.  The pressure went beyond career and travel to petty indignities.  Party members were given the best lab times.  Non�party members could only use equipment between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m., Gerhard recalls.    Committed Christians, the H�bners refused to give in; they surrounded themselves with like-minded friends and colleagues.  “My parents were never hiding what they were thinking about the whole system,” Dorothee remembers.  “We knew scientists who were honest and didn’t join the party and sell their soul just to have advantages.”In fact, the Hubners found out from Stasi records that at the time the wall fell, the Party was planning to force Fischer and the Hubners out of their jobs.  It was the last indignity for a life of nonconformism.  They had to be very careful.  “You couldn’t speak your mind,” Gerhard said.  “There was always the fear that you could say something that could have harmed your spouse or kids by accident.”  It was difficult for them to get their three children into the university.  Ideology infected everything: “Before 1989, science in the German Democratic Republic, like almost everything else, was political.” Curry said.  “Everything from university admissions to teaching positions depended on allegiance to the Communist Party.”  The Stasi were constantly pressuring scientists and citizens to work for them and spy on their families and neighbors.  By remaining faithful to their principles, the Hubners placed themselves at a severe disadvantage.     Curry’s article mentions other evils behind the Iron Curtain: the pressure on Olympic athletes to dope their bodies, the discrimination against women, the collaboration of many top scientists with the regime, and the constant poor economy: “Like most of the Communist bloc, East Germany was in a perpetual state of financial crisis.”  Dorothee readily acknowledges that the fall of communism “changed everything.”  Now she lives in the United States and enjoys her freedom to work at top labs with state of the art equipment.  Discovering what had gone on in East German labs, though, was like opening a rotten egg: “The Stasi archives were opened in 1991, revealing that some of the country’s top scientists had been collaborators and forcing them out of universities,” Curry wrote.  “In the social sciences, entire institutes were simply closed, their scholarship too tainted by ideology to salvage.”    Gerhard’s integrity and hard work paid off.  “And after decades of isolation, an entire generation of scientists suddenly had to compete for jobs with West Germans and others,” Curry wrote.  “Gerhard found himself the lone East German in the running for a position as the chair of his department, up against more than 30 West Germans—he won.”  And his friend Gunter Fischer is now at the Martin Luther University at Halle-Wittenberg.1.  Andrew Curry, “Twenty Years After the Wall: Profile: Hubner Family: Big Dreams Come True,” Science, 6 November 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5954, pp. 792-793, DOI: 10.1126/science.326_792.This inspiring story with a happy ending of character enduring hardship is provided as an antidote to the year of Darwin.  What historical scientist inspired the communist worldview?  What historical worldview provided the courage to stand for freedom of conscience?  Which worldview tried to suppress the other one?  There are many lessons here.  Dig them out.(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Gambhir, Laxman fit for NZ Test opener: Dhoni

first_imgThe Indian team’s injury crisis seems to be finally ending with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday announcing the return of first-choice batsmen Gautam Gambhir and V V S Laxman for the opening cricket Test against New Zealand starting here tomorrow.Their return has forced the team to drop Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara but Dhoni feels the move would not be a de-motivating factor for the duo.”As far as Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara are concerned, they replaced Gautam Gambhir and V V S Laxman. And when you have players like that, when they come back into the team they will find a place in the final eleven. I don’t think it’s very de-motivating (for Vijay and Pujara),” Dhoni said at the pre-match media conference in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.Vijay utilised the opportunity he got in Gambhir’s absence and slammed his maiden Test hundred (139) and also put on a crucial triple century stand with Sachin Tendulkar to help India recover from a poor start and win over Australia in their previous Test at Bangalore last month.Pujara too played in an attacking fashion to score a dazzling 72 in the same game when India chased a tricky 200-plus fourth innings target and achieved it with plenty to spare to complete a 2-0 whitewash over Australia.Dhoni said both the youngsters knew they will have to sit out with the main players back and available for selection in the final eleven for the clash at the Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium in Motera.advertisement”What’s important is they have also realized the fact once these players are back they will be in the playing eleven and they will have to miss out the game. At the same time it’s good that they got the chance to play at the international level.”Good thing is that Vijay has always done well whenever he’s played for the Indian team. And Pujara also, in the last game he batted really well in the second innings,” the India skipper said.He also advised the duo to utilise the free time away from action to work on their strengths and iron out any weaknesses.”They can work on their strengths as well as their weaknesses, which they think will affect them in performing very well. It’s a good exposure and I don’t think it’s de-motivating they won’t be playing in this game,” he added.For Dhoni, it was not the inconsistent displays of the seamers bowling in tandem with spearhead Zaheer Khan which is the worrying factor, but the injuries that have forced the team to constantly shuffle the pace pack.”For me the major concern is about injuries because we have important series coming up. After this series we are going to South Africa and the World Cup is also coming up. If you see the last few series we have played, we have missed key players, especially the bowlers.”(Abhimanyu) Mithun played a game and then missed out. Ishant (Sharma) was in and out and (Shantakumaran) Sreesanth came to Sri Lanka and he was out. That’s also the reason if you see the playing eleven you have Zaheer on one side and the other side the bowlers you see a constant change in them as most of the times they are either not fit or not 100 per cent fit,” Dhoni said.Dhoni said a team can gamble with a less than 100 per cent batsman by playing him, but can’t take the same risk with the bowlers’ fitness.”When it comes to fast bowlers it’s a very demanding job.With a batsman even if he is 70 to 80 per cent fit you can gamble and play him. When it comes to a fast bowler it gets very difficult especially when you play two fast bowlers and two spinners, which means if you miss one bowler in the middle of a Test match it becomes difficult to bowl those 90 overs (in a day). So the major concern is the injuries and hopefully no people would get injured at least till the World Cup,” he said.Dhoni hoped the wicket would be turning and he, after losing a few tosses, would win it on Thursday.But he also pointed out that the team has grown in confidence after chasing well on the last two occasions against Australia on wickets of uneven bounce due to the track’s wear and tear after India lost the toss.”Hopefully it will be a turner. Actually it looks like it has less grass compared to the last Sri Lanka game we played and a lot less than the South Africa game we played. It looks like a normal Indian track”.advertisement”Certainly it’s important to win the toss. I have lost quite a few tosses. In India it’s considered that the fourth innings is the toughest to score runs, which means the batsmen have to bat cautiously. Even if they are set, one odd delivery can get you out.”You can get a low bouncing delivery or a bit more bounce than the other delivery. It (batting well in the fourth innings) definitely adds to the confidence of the batting unit as a whole.”But at the same time in India you always want to bat first and push the opposition to bat last. Which means they have to counter that extra bounce and turn when it comes to the spin attack. And a bit more reverse swing when it comes to seam bowling,” he added.He expressed hope that Sachin Tendulkar would complete his 50th Test century in the match. Dhoni also expects out-of-form Rahul Dravid to regain his touch and score many runs.”Hopefully he will get the milestone here and we will certainly celebrate. We are always prepared for celebrations. I don’t think it’s very difficult to arrange for a celebration in India especially with the kind of reputations cricketers have got and the adulations we get, (but) what is important is to concentrate on the game.About Dravid, Dhoni said that a great player like the Bangalore stalwart would go on and score big once he gets set.”Not really (about his recent drought of runs). He’s a great player. He’s always bounced back from situations like these. We are not worried too much about it. Once he sets in he gets a big score. He’s looking very good in the nets and expecting good runs from him,” the India captain said.Dravid had a poor Test series in Sri Lanka where his highest score was 44 and he mustered only 95 runs in three Tests. His performance against Australia in the last series was a lot better with 77 in the opening Test at Mohali his highest in four innings, but still way below his best run in the recent past.Dhoni also welcomed the decision of former captain Anil Kumble and ex-India pacer Javagal Srinath to contest the Karnataka State Cricket Association’s elections as he felt those who have played for India would show a lot of understanding about the problems of cricketers.”Cricketers coming back into the mainstream of administration is good because they are the ones who have seen everything. Senior cricketers have seen Indian cricket change.As you play for your first class teams, at times you don’t get (train) reservation and you have to travel without reservation to play the games.”At the same time they have seen 5 star facilities and the problem areas which are around cricketers. It’s definitely a good sign as in this way they can give much more to cricket and society. They understand the problems much better. But it doesn’t mean the administrators right now are not understanding the problems,” he said.advertisementThe Indian captain cautioned against taking the New Zealand team lightly on the basis of their poor display in the recent ODI series in Bangladesh where they were thrashed 0-4 by the minnows.”Biggest mistake is if you take any side lightly. I think they are a good side. They have got good international Players who have performed almost everywhere they have played. We are not thinking about Whatever happened in Bangladesh. We need to do well. We won’t take them lightly,” he said.The Indian stumper also brushed aside reports in the media that Harbhajan Singh, who practised hard on Tuesday and Wednesday, had suffered a finger injury.”There are no issues on the fitness front as of now. All players are fit and available for selection,” he declared.Dhoni maintained the team members were focusing on the game at hand and not concentrating about the team’s number one ranking in Tests.”I think winning the game is closer to our hearts than the number one ranking. When you win the game the ratings take care of themselves. I don’t think many players in this side or the support staff are bothered too much about the ranking. But what we are bothered about is how we do on the field, whether we have prepared well for the game and planned well for the opposition and accordingly put 100 per cent on the field,” he said.”Even if the opposition on that day scores more runs than your side it?s still ok as at times at international levels you can still be outplayed. You have to accept the fact,” he added.last_img read more

Six Andhra women hospitalised after unauthorised drug trial

first_imgThey are poor, illiterate and gullible – in other words, perfect guinea pigs for unauthorised drug trials. A Hyderabad-based drug research laboratory thought as much. Axis Clinicals Limited allegedly administered trial drugs to a group of poor women from the Piduguralla town of Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district by promising them to pay a pittance but did not take their informed consent.Axis Labs, which conducted the illegal trials.Many of the women – mostly daily wage labourers – have developed complications after taking the drugs. On Friday, six of the affected women were hospitalised in Guntur. The Andhra Pradesh health department on Friday raided Hyderabad premises of Axis Laboratories and sealed it.The police also arrested two women, Kommu Karunamma and Shaik Jameela, in Guntur. They were brokers who provided ‘testers’ to Axis Labs for the clinical trials. The episode came to light on Thursday when at least nine women from Piduguralla complained of severe body ache, joint pain, chest pain and extreme weakness. A few of them even had difficulty walking.The women, all of whom were part of the trials, consulted a local doctor who told them they could have been tested for breast cancer drugs without their knowledge. The women claimed they were not told which drug was being tested on them. Soon, they filed a complaint with the state health department, whose officials then raided Axis Laboratories at Miyapur, on the outskirts of Hyderabad.On questioning, laboratory officials admitted to have conducted the trials on one P. Dhanalakshmi of Adarsh Colony in Piduguralla town, but feigned ignorance on giving the experimental medicines to a large group.advertisementThe officials asked the lab authorities to stop further drug trials until they completed their investigation.Click here to EnlargeState health minister D.L. Ravindra Reddy said the government has ordered an inquiry into the incident and asked the officials to take stern action against those who conducted illegal clinical trials. He said the authorities will focus on finding out the names of the drug companies for which Axis Labs was conducting the trials.The victims said they were taken to the laboratory several times. There, they were administered “some unknown tablets and injections” and a day later, their blood samples were taken. The women claimed the laboratory authorities told them that they would get about `10,000 each at the end of the trial.However, only those women who did not develop any complication were retained for the trials. The rest were sent back without being paid the promised amount. “I was told I would get Rs 9,000 for undergoing the tests, but I was not paid even half the amount,” 55-year old Shaik Bibi, who ekes out her livelihood by working in a lime kiln, said. She developed severe pain in her knees and chest after taking the drug thrice.Dhanalakshmi said she is no longer able to walk properly. “I have severe pain in the knees. I used to be healthy earlier. The problems started only after I underwent medical tests in Hyderabad,” she said. Dhanalakshmi was sent back within three weeks after being paid Rs 7,000. At least 40-50 people from Adarsh Colony, Chandrapalem and Indiramma Colony in Piduguralla have been visiting the lab for the past few months. Everything went off so secretly that the victims did not even know that they were being paid to be part of a drug trial.”We were also forced to sign on a bond paper before taking the medicine and injection,” another victim J. Kumari said. SUCH clinical trials are called bioavailability tests. “They are conducted on healthy persons aged 18-55 years to find out whether the drug being tested has side-effects and whether a healthy human body has the capacity to absorb the drug,” a GVK Bio Laboratory scientist said.”If everything goes well after taking the drug, the person is asked to revisit the lab after 10 days and another dose of drug is given. It is repeated after another 10 days. Only after that the efficacy of the drug is certified.” Guntur district health and medical officer Dr M. Gopi Naik said: “We will conduct a comprehensive survey to find out if there are any more victims of such illegal clinical trials in other parts of the district. We will conduct special medical camps to treat the affected women,” he said.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.last_img

PlayME Announces Network With Leading Theatre Companies

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Twitter Expect Theatre’s PlayME – the podcast that transforms Canadian plays into audio dramas – announces the launch of the PlayME Network, a new broadcast arm that will partner with some of Canada’s leading theatre companies from across the country. PlayME Network will feature shows from PlayME partners’ regular seasons, transformed into audio dramas.Founding PlayME Co-Artistic Directors Laura Mullin and Chris Tolley are pleased to announce that the inaugural PlayME Network partners are Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre, Factory Theatre and The Musical Stage Co.; Ottawa’s Great Canadian Theatre Company; Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre and Newfoundland’s Artistic Fraud.Since its inception in 2016, PlayME has transformed 10 independent Canadian theatre productions into audio podcasts. With close to 500,000 downloads in over 80 countries to date, PlayME is in the vanguard of facilitating international access to Canadian theatre and building an audience and appetite for it from all over the world (nine out of ten listeners is from outside Canada). Past podcasts include Nicolas Billon’s Iceland, Anna Chatterton’s Quiver and Rose Napoli’s Lo (or Dear Mr. Wells). The PlayME Network expands beyond indie theatre work to include work from theatre companies with full seasons.READ MORElast_img read more