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Month: September 2019

Uros Vilovski in MKB Veszprem until 2016


Hungarian handballMKB VeszpremProleter ZrenjaninUros Vilovski Hungarian champion, MKB Veszprem renew contract with Serbian line-player, Uros Vilovski (28) until 2016. Member of the Serbian NT squad at the EHF EURO 2010 and WC 2011 in Sweden, Vilovski is playing  in Veszprem since 2009. Before that, the best European line player in his junior generation, played in Balatonfured and Proleter Zrenjanin.source: kezi.hu ← Previous Story EHF CL (Round 9): Easy job for Pick Szeged against Partizan Next Story → Women’s EHF CL (MR – Round 3): First wins for Ikast and Krim


Huesca thanks four players via twitter


bertashuescapesictrempsvoncin ← Previous Story Nikola Manojlovic to Cimos Koper! Next Story → Kim Andersson to play for Sweden in Montenegro A lot of media attention brought the BM Huesca decision to “thank” some of the players that the club does not intend to offer new contract to. The reason is that the club decided to do this via the popular social network, twitter. “BM Huesca confirms that the club won’t offer new contracts to Milos Pesic, Blaz Voncin, Xavi Bertas and Victor Tremps” – said the “twit” of the club, which got popularity immediately due to its nature.Many people acted furiously at this announcement, especially Victor Tremps, a player active on Twitter as well: “How would you feel as a worker in an industry that finds out that he’s now jobless via social network? It’s not serious that we find out these things via twitter, and not be told in face. I’m not hurt by this act, as I did not want to continue our cooperation, and neither wanted the other players, but we are still people, and these things are to be told ad personam” – Tremps commented on twitter. read more


Vive Kielce wins against Kwidzyn in 10 minutes


bieleckibunticKielcemmtsolafssonstrlekzorman ← Previous Story Dissinger back for Kadetten, faces Barcelona again Next Story → VELUX EHF CL start: Barca and Medvedi win – Draw in Flensburg! It was a good match of both sides to 20th minute of the first half. MMTS was leading 14:12, and then the problems started. Within 10 minutes of Kielce players rushed 11 goals, while Kwidzyn not hit the net even once! Effective counter finishing Manuel Strlek and Thorir Olafsson. In the second half the hosts just finished off rivals. Appeared on the wing Ivan Cupić and playing on the right at the end of the first half, Denis Buntić. “Chupa-Chups” once again showed the Legion Hall, his uncommon abilities. For every minute Kielce shoot more and more. Interestingly Kielce started second half in the second line by Rosinski, Zorman and Buntić. It was first time in this season. Appeared on the court all competitors entered in the protocol in addition to Karol Bielecki. At three minutes before the end of the inhabitants of Kielce advantage grew to 15 goals in the state 42:27. Finally, the match ended with a Vive victory 44:27.Vive Targi Kielce – MMTS Kwidzyn 44:27 (23:14)Vive Targi Kielce: Szmal, Buchcic – Strlek 7, Lijewski 6, Olafsson 6, Zorman 6, Rosiński 5, Cupić 5, Stojković 4, Jurecki 2, Jachlewski 1, Musa 1, Buntić 1, GrabarczykKwidzyn: Suchowicz, Szczecina – Orzechowski 7, Klinger 4, Mroczkowski 4, Łangowski 3, Nogowski 3, Pacześny 2, Sadowski 1, Rosiak 1, Daszek 1, Seroka 1, Peret, Rombel, GórskiSuspensions: Vive – 12 min.; Kwidzyn: 10 minReferees: Grzegorz i Tomasz ChristSpectators: 3000Goals:First half: 1:0, 1:3, 2:3, 2:4, 3:4, 3:5, 4:5, 4:6, 5:6, 5:7, 7:7, 7:8, 8:8, 8:10, 10:10, 10:11, 11:11, 11:13, 12:13, 12:14, 23:14Second half: 23:15, 24:15, 24:16, 25:16, 25:17, 27:17, 27:18, 32:18, 32:19, 32:23, 34:23, 34:24, 36:24, 36:25, 37:25, 37:26, 38:26, 38:27, 44:27TEXT: Wojciech Wisniewski read more


Croatia through with 4 points after a magnificent match


croatiaeuro 2014handballSweden ← Previous Story Poland qualifies for the Main Round! Next Story → Allez! Les Experts 100% at the Euro after a routine win Convincing Croatia wins narrowly in a clash against Sweden, to secure four points for the Main round. It was tough to call a favorite on this one, as the result was close; within 2 goals for the most part of the match, with 25-24 being the final score. The Olympic vice-champions were boosted by the ‘Yellow Sea’ (as labeled by Tom Ó Brannagáin), as Swedish fans were crowding the BrondbyHallen. Their idols thanked them with a two-goal lead just 3 minutes before the half time, but 7 turnovers made in the first half proved too much for Croatia to miss out on. The last minutes of the match saw Croatia with the narrow lead as both Johan Sjostrand (14 saves, 38%) and MirkoAliliović(6 key saves) did well for their teams when it counted the most. STATISTICSIn the first 8 minutes of the match it was DomagojDuvnjak against Sweden, as Croatian star was 3/3 from the field at 3:2.Croatia was better in converting chances into goals, with accuracy just under 50 percent (10/23, 43%) in the first half. It was the line-player position where the coaching duo Ola Lindgren and Staffan Olsson decided to strike the opponent, as Nilssonscored two, while creating chances, sneaking behind the back of Gojun. Sweden had a spell of good play between 10th and 20th minute, as the outscored Croatia 6:4, but the lead was short-lived, as Alilovićagain prevented goals from Petersen and Ekdahl Du Rietz, allowing Ćupića fast-break goal to take the lead. Half time ended with a relatively low score for both teams, at 10-9 in Croatian favor.Sweden got back on level terms right from the start of the second half with a goal from Ekberg.Sjostrandwho replaced Andersson on goal earlier, did vey well to keep the notorious Croatian wingers quiet from all areas. Sjostrand magnificently parried Štrlek’s fast-break effort, just as Ekberg tied to 16:16. The 50th minute was key to the match, as Croatia gets a two-goal lead through Štrlekwho scored from the fast break. Difference was back to one, after time-out from Sweden, as they wasted no time chasing the game, but Sweden fans might feel it was of no avail, as it was the closest they could get before conceding again. The score went to +3 at 20:18with an effort from the amazing Buntić scoring 6/7 overall.Swedish left backKarasson’s 5th goal of the match, brought Sweden within a chance, but the effort was swiftly answered by Buntićwith his 5th goal of the match, 5 minutes until the end, at 22:19.It was Karrasson again under the spotlight, with two minutes until the end, but for all the wrong reasons, as he puts his hand out, to prevent Bićanić from scoring a clear-cut chance, earning himself an early bath.Horvat set 25:23 from the fast break, followed by a consolation goal from Nielsen, who forcefully smashed the ball in the top-right, to relieve the frustration of loosing 25:24. TEXT: NEMANJA SAVIC read more


Qatari El Jaish Sports Club promote new members


← Previous Story SG Flensburg win thriller against PPD Zagreb Next Story → Naumče Mojsovski to CSM Bucuresti? The best Asian handball team, Qatari Eljaish Sports club, presented recruitments for the upcoming season in which the goals stay the same – to win all the possible titles. Ambitious Qatari team promoted Spanish coach Toni Gerona, well known former teacher of FC Barcelona B, while also three important names will reinforced the roster, Serbian goalkeeper Darko Stanic, Ex-Montpellier handball and Tunisian NT line-player Issam Tej and Spanish left back Juan Del Arco. The new Jaish members expressed their joy of being at the service of the best Asian team and the extraordinary levels of organization within the club.They will try to recoup absence of six players who joined Qatari national team. Qatar led by Valero Rivera would try to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio via Qualification tournament which starts in Doha on November 14.The president of El Jaish Sports Club, Mr. Khalid Saif Al Kuwari expressed his happiness with the new signings, recent work of coach Gerona and stated that his goals are always the sam “to win all possible titles”.EL JAISH SPORTS CLUB is the only non-European team who had players in MIZUNO WORLD HANDBALL PLAYER 2015 Contest! Rafael Capote and Žarko Marković are the members of “Army” team. Darko StanicDohael jaish sports clubMr. Khalid Saif Al KuwariQatar handball read more


EHF Challenge Cup Sporting Lisbon against RK Pelister Bitola for 14 finals


← Previous Story VIDEO: Handball rapsody in 34 seconds at “Zlatorog” Next Story → Krumbholz has 18 French girls for EURO 2016 Portuguese Sporting Lisbon will clash ambitious Macedonian RK Pelister Bitola at EHF Challenge Cup TOP 16 phase.First leg matches of the Last 16 will be played 18-19 February 2017, the reverse fixtures will follow one week later.Here are all pairs of eighth-finals. EHF Challenge Cup


Kentin Mahe about French final We want to make people proud


Didier Dinart will have a chance to become one of the greatest persons of handball by winning World’s gold as player and a coach! French team cruised into final by routine win over Slovenia 31:25 in front of 16.000 fans at Paris Bercy. The successor of Claude Onesta, didn’t have problems to ensure another medal and seventh French final at World Championships.We were affraid of this match as we knew that Slovenia is serious rival and how tough was to beat them in friendly matches before the Championship. They are tough rivals who never give up, but it is now behind us. We will have two days to rest and prepare our best performance for the gold medal match.http://www.handball-planet.com/france-going-for-gold/Kentin Mahe is the TOP French scorer on WCh 2017. Clever back-wing player is useful part of Dinart’s squad:Slovenians deserved to play in the medal’s battles. They play very good handball, Slovenian school is well-known for that. We are proud and honoured to play in front of our families and friends. We were better tonight. Now, we are going to rest and prepare next match. Definitely, fans are plus for us. Our aim is to make them proud for what we are doing on the field – concludes Mahe.PHOTO: FRANCE 2017 ← Previous Story France going for GOLD! Next Story → FRANCE 2017: Handball doors open at Bercy! read more


Tourism Ireland buys Irelandcom URL from The Irish Times


first_imgYesNoMaybeVoteRead: 23 stunning photos of an ideal Ireland > No (1034) ONCE USED BY The Irish Times, the domain name ‘Ireland.com’ has been taken over by Tourism Ireland.Given that it’s an easy address to recognise and remember, Tourism Ireland is hoping that it will make Ireland a stand-out destination in the minds of tourists all around the world and that it will benefit the Irish tourism industry.The move is part of a re-development of Tourism Ireland’s websites and social media that they hope will capitalise on the importance of the internet for people travelling or planning a holiday. According to the 2011 Visitor Attitude Survey, 73% of overseas holidaymakers said the internet was an important tool  for them when planning their holiday here.Tourism Ireland’s new website will be unveiled at the end of the year and will roll out across top tourism markets from 1 January 2013. The site will support 11 different languages and over 30 individual markets. Tourism Ireland sites attracted almost 12 million unique visitors from overseas in 2011.Commenting on the URL takeover, Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: The domain name Ireland.com is a natural fit for the work we do to promote the island of Ireland overseas and we are very pleased to be acquiring it from The Irish Times. Tourism Ireland’s Facebook audience is the third largest in the world for tourism bodies (after Australia and Spain) and our new site and new URL will help us to harness the phenomenal growth in social media and to project an even stronger online presence to attract more visitors here.Do you think the ‘Ireland.com’ address will help boost Irish tourism? Poll Results: Yes (695) Maybe (390)last_img read more


Fine Gaels €600k Moriarty Tribunal bill paid by Taoiseachs Department


first_imgThe Fine Gael Party had no comment to make in relation to the matter when contacted by TheJournal.ie today.Other professional fees paid by the Department of the Taoiseach include a €44,245.56 bill for Stewart Brady and €23,000 worth of legal costs paid to Peter Fitzpatrick & Company.Third-party costs of €33,873.95 were paid to Doyle & Company in relation to Patrick McCann and  €27,263.18 was paid to Maurice Power Solicitors in relation to John Magnier/Coolmore/Castlehyde & Associated Stud Farm.A further €89,467.60 was paid out to Vincent & Beatty Solicitor in relation the late David Austin and Maureen Austin. €32,719.53 was paid to Pearse Mehigan & Company in relation to Joseph N. Malone.The Moriarty Tribunal was held in Dublin Castle and was chaired by Mr Justice Michael Moriarty.Two reports were published, one in 2006 and a second report in 2011.Read: Martin wants Moriarty reopened, Taoiseach says Tribunal’s work is finished>Read: Gardaí examining Lowry tape as conversation is aired on national TV> DESPITE ISSUING ITS final report in 2011, the costs of the Moriarty Tribunal continue to accumulate.Purchase orders published by the Department of the Taoiseach for the third quarter of this year showthat €886,482.23 was paid out in professional and legal fees relating to the Moriarty Tribunal.Fine Gael legal costsOf this sum, €635,912.41 was accumulated in third-party costs for the Fine Gael Party relating to the Moriarty Tribunal and paid to the legal firm, Kevin O’Higgin Solicitors.The Tribunal Report into Payments to Politicians and Related Matters, known as the Moriarty Tribunal, was set up in 1997 to investigate alleged payments to former Fine Gael minister Michael Lowry and to the late Fianna Fáil Taoiseach Charles Haughey.Why does the Department foot the bill?The Department of the Taoiseach had responsibility to fund the Tribunal, which makes orders in relation to costs incurred by those giving evidence.In a statement to TheJournal.ie as to why legal fees for the Fine Gael Party in relation to the Moriarty Tribunal were being paid for by the Department of the Taoiseach, it explained:Tribunals make orders in relation to costs to those to whom they granted legal representation. Those granted costs orders are then entitled to claim such costs (third-party costs), which are paid by the Department, which has responsibility for funding the Tribunal… in respect of the Moriarty Tribunal.They stated that the Department by the Chief State Solicitor’s Office (CSSO), engages a professional legal cost accountant to assist it in negotiating these cost claims. The department added:The payment made to the Fine Gael party is in full settlement of costs claimed by that party in relation to the Moriarty Tribunal, which was set up in 1997 and published its final report in March 2011.A Legal Costs Unit was established in the State Claims Agency earlier this year and handles third-party costs claims received since then in respect of the Moriarty (and Mahon) Tribunals.To end-September 2013, a total of €1,668,344.97 has been paid to 23 parties in third party costs (the  total amount claimed by those parties was  €2,949,767.22) relating to the Moriarty Tribunal.last_img read more


Peace in our time Noel King and Tony ODonoghue shake on it


first_imgLAST NIGHT WE saw Noel King and Tony O’Donoghue play out the most memorable moment of the evening at Lansdowne Road.The interim Ireland manager bristled at the RTE man’s line of questioning in the wake of the 3-1 home win over Kazakhstan, insisting: “This conversation is not correct.”This morning however, the pair shook on it at Abbotstown.“I’m in the media. I worked with Tony in 1990, 1991,” King told the press when asked about the incident earlier. “In 1988 I was a co-commentator on RTÉ for the Irish matches.“Anybody who knows me over the years knows I’ll argue with anybody over football, no difficulty. I lose the plot. I’ve lost the plot on the pitch, I’ve lost the plot off the pitch. That’s football. It’s a passionate game.“But the next minute or the next second when I lose it, it comes back. We’re alright. I think we’re alright Tony, are we?”“We’re grand,” answered the RTÉ broadcaster.Pic: INPHO/James CrombieHow Ireland have become the antithesis of everything Roy Keane stood forNoel King plays down unrest following ‘cowboy’ criticismlast_img read more


Man arrested in connection with Dublin hit and run


first_imgA MAN IN his mid-30s has been arrested in connection with a hit and run in Dublin yesterday afternoon.The suspect was detained by gardaí from Mountjoy Station at noon and is being questioned under Section Four of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.A 34-year-old man remains in a serious condition in the Mater Hospital. He was struck by a vehicle at Trinity Lane, just off the Clonliffe Road at about 1pm yesterday.The vehicle left the scene and an alarm was raised about 30 minutes after the incident. The man, who was on temporary release from prison, was transferred to hospital where he remains.The car was later found burnt out on Stoney Road in East Wall. It is understood the victim was targeted intentionally.Related: Man in serious condition following hit and run in DublinRead: Architect Graham Dwyer, 41, charged with murder of Elaine O’HaraCrimewatch: Last day to bid on Limerick criminal’s Rolex on eBaylast_img read more


Doherty has no reason to disbelieve Adams when he says he wasnt


first_imgSINN FÉIN FINANCE spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said that he has “no reason to disbelieve” Gerry Adams when the party president says he was never in the IRA.Doherty was speaking to Today FM last night in the wake of Monday’s ‘The Disappeared’ programme broadcast on RTÉ and the BBC.The programme contained allegations that Adams “gave the order” for the abduction, killing and burial of widow and mother-of-10 Jean McConville. The Louth TD said he had “no act or part” in the disappearance of McConville.The programme raised new questions about Adams’s past associations with the IRA though he has consistently denied ever being a member of the republican organisation.Doherty said that the details of the 15 people who were ‘disappeared’ by the IRA during the 1970s, that were described in detail by victims’ relatives in the programme, were “absolutely appalling”.“You’d have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by the documentary,” he said, adding that families of the victims suffered a double tragedy in that some of them never had the bodies of their loved ones returned to them.He said that the IRA’s ‘disappearing’ of people in the during the Troubles “wasn’t acceptable”.Pressed by Matt Cooper on The Last Word as to whether he believed Adams’s claim about never being in the IRA, Doherty said:  ”I’ve no reason to disbelieve him on that issue and I think most people have made their minds up one way or another on that issue.”Meanwhile, a delegation of Labour TDs is to meet with families of the Disappeared in Belfast later today.WATCH: Fianna Fáil says timing of Sinn Féin’s Anglo Tapes is ‘curious to say the least’Read: Families of ‘The Disappeared’ tell their stories as Adams repeats McConville deniallast_img read more


Former CRC chief thought salary was being paid by the HSE


first_imgBRIAN CONLAN, WHO this week resigned as the head of the Central Remedial Clinic in a row over top-up payments, has said that he believed his salary was only being paid through the Health Service Executive.Conlan, who declined to appear before today’s sitting of the Public Accounts Committee, issued a statement this afternoon contradicting some of the statements made to the committee.In the statement he says he would not have agreed to top-ups to his salary being paid through the Friends and Supporters of the Central Remedial Clinic charity.“Brian Conlan’s understanding regarding the funding of his salary while with the CRC is that it was funded in its entirety with recourse exclusively to monies received from the HSE funding allocation. He would not have agreed to being paid monies sourced from charitable public donations,” says the statement.OverOverpaymentDespite refusing to appear before the PAC, Conlan’s statement disagreed with some of the statements made, saying that he had paid back the money he was paid that was in excess of the HSE pay cap.“Deputy Kieran O’Donnell stated in the PAC meeting today that Mr Conlan had repaid €40,000 in respect of the salary amount received in excess of the HSE payscales.“This is erroneous as Mr Conlan was not in receipt of a payment of €40,000 in excess of the HSE guidelines. During his five month tenure, the Chief Executive’s pay was set in excess of the HSE’s payscales for just three months.“Mr Conlan was paid net of tax and he has given a cheque payable to the CRC for the purpose of reimbursing the value of the net salary he received in excess of the HSE payscale during the three months while the Board of the CRC and the HSE were in negotiation over the salary level.”Read: Former CRC chief executive got €200k lump-sum payment from charity fundRead: CRC ‘contractually bound’ to top up salarieslast_img read more


More than 40 Intreo Centres to be active by February 2014


first_imgREAD: An Post wins new contract to keep delivering social welfare paymentsMORE: FÁS is no more… say hello to SOLAS THE DEPARTMENT OF Social Protection has said there will be 43 Intreo centres open and active by the end of next month.The one-stop shops for jobseekers will provide both social welfare payments and employment supports in the one place.“There are a number of new features in the Intreo service which were not a part of the old social welfare local office model,” explained Minister Joan Burton.Services will include client profiling, one-to-one meetings and progress monitoring.According to the department, integrated decision-making processes will lead to quicker turnaround times on applications.Of the 43 centres already open or due to be open by 1 Febuary 2014, ten are in Dublin. The remaining 33 are spread across the country. TODAY: Man arrested after driving car into social welfare officelast_img read more


Obamas praise for Gaelic rock stars and GAA players who helped in


first_imgUNITED STATES PRESIDENT Barack Obama yesterday praised the delegation of GAA stars who travelled to one storm-damaged part of New York last year to help in the rebuilding process.A group including Gaelic Players Association chairman and former Cork hurling goalkeeper, Donal Óg Cusack as well as All-Ireland winning Dublin boss, Pat Gilroy, travelled to Breezy Point in October in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.Yesterday at the annual White House reception for Irish officials during St Patrick’s Week, President Obama singled out the contribution of several ‘Gaelic rock stars’ and Irish athletes.“A great nation is one that contributes more to the world than it takes out, and by that definition, America owes a profound debt of gratitude to the great nation or Ireland,” he said. “And together, our people have never stopped dreaming of a better future and never stopped working to make that dream a reality.“We saw that again in October, when Hurricane Sandy set off one of the worst residential fires in New York City’s history.  Hundreds of homes were left charred and flooded, and many families were suddenly faced with the task of picking up the pieces and rebuilding their lives, including in Breezy Point, a neighbourhood with a large Irish American population.  In fact, more than half of Breezy Point residents can trace their families to the old country, and the folks back in the old country were not about to sit by and watch their American brothers and sisters struggle alone.‘Pitching in’“So they pitched in; Gaelic rock stars raised money. Athletes from the Gaelic Games did construction work and brought the Sam Maguire chalice with them to lift spirits.  The Irish Tenors came over to sing Christmas carols.  The Irish government pledged hundreds of thousands of dollars, not just to help the residents of Breezy Point, but to help folks rebuild across the region.  And the Taoiseach himself was in Breezy Point on Sunday to attend mass.“As one official said, New York has been very good to the Irish; now the Irish are giving back to New York.  And that’s the story of America and Ireland:  We look out for each other, we have each other’s backs, and we recognise that no challenge is too great and no obstacle is too high if you’ve got a friend beside you and a nation behind you.“That’s been our history; that will be our future,” the President added.The players’ efforts were featured on NBC Nightly News at the time of their trip:YouTube: GPA File ShareTyrone goalkeeper John Devine calls time on inter-county career‘You never lose the slyness’ – Suarez defends his character on the pitchlast_img read more


The Week in Photos All change


first_imgTHIS IS THE week that was, in photos…last_img


Murder investigation launched after bodies found in Meath confirmed as missing Dublin


first_imgTHE TWO BODIES discovered  in a lake in Meath have now been identified.Gardaí from Kells have confirmed that the bodies discovered are that of 32-year-old Eoin O Connor and 33-year-old Anthony Keegan.The men had been missing from Dublin for over a month.The decomposed remains were discovered by garda divers on Inchicup Island in Lough Sheelin at around 4:30 yesterday afternoon while searching for the missing men.Gardaí say that this case is now a murder investigation and that the results of the post mortems will not be disclosed ‘for operational reasons’.Read: Gardaí appeal for information on two bodies discovered in Meath lake>Read: Two bodies found in search for missing Dublin men>last_img


Irish name fail No fadas accepted round here


first_img(Aer Lingus/Facebook)FOR THOSE OF you who found having an Irish name abroad a struggle, well now the issue seems to have followed you home.The above Aer Lingus customer was not one bit happy when he couldn’t register his daughter’s name in the correct way.Even on the Irish national airline’s webpage, fadas are viewed as ‘invalid characters’.While some of you might think this is a bit pedantic, others feel their name is incorrect without a fada.An Aer Lingus spokesperson told TheJournal.ie that they would like to include “fadas in customers’ names while booking however it is not currently technically possible”.Read: The 11 worst things about having an Irish name abroad>last_img


Column Why do we care about Will and Kate the fairytale across


first_imgFAIRY TALES HAVE set us up for a fall: books that chronicle the heroic efforts of some handsome prince saving the beautiful damsel in distress from a life of misery – is it any wonder that so many Irish, granted mostly women, have an obsession with royal life?There should be a disclaimer on the inside cover giving readers a heads-up that the chances of this actually happening in reality are slim to none.But then again, albeit slightly predictable and unoriginal in their plotlines, the authors of fairy tales at least had the foresight to wrap the end up with “happily ever after”, thus allowing the reader’s imagination to conjure up the wonderful life Prince Charming and his Princess had in a faraway land. No daily update on what the princess was wearing, where they went on their holidays, or what their extended family were doing.Once upon a time…Unfortunately, there is no such luck in the real world, where we have our very own “once upon a time” playing out across the pond in the form of William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, two peas in a royal pod.While the vast majority of us may not care less about the royals, it’s fair to say there is no escaping them, whether we like it or not.In truth, how many of us live vicariously through some celebrity or other, whether loved or loathed? Sports player, actor, musician, model or maybe politician? We single out one and proceed to skulk around in the background, trawling through websites, commenting in forums, leafing through magazines and newspapers, always judging, always watching. Pure and utter voyeurism, a trait we Irish are stellar at.But why are we obsessed with the royals and, in particular, Will and Kate? Just what is it about the blue-blooded couple that has the everyday person scrambling for more and more information?The wedding of the centuryIn 2011, there was the wedding of the century when Will made Kate an honest woman. A bit presumptuous maybe, considering this century is still in its infancy, but anyway. One in three Irish people watched the Royal Wedding, a statistic that accurately reflects the national fascination with the bride and groom. But then again, this isn’t a new phenomenon. In 1981, roughly 750 million people worldwide tuned in to see Charles and Diana wed, setting the precedent for future royal couplings. The only difference with Will and Kate was that the viewership grew to approximately two billion.Hand-in-hand with the extraordinary surge in public adoration for Will and Kate is the argument that it could be linked to the tragedy that befell William as a young boy, and the strong streak of Irish ‘Mammyism’ engrained in our DNA. The late Lady Diana was loved by all, her beauty and strength enhanced, not diminished when she left Charles. Rather than be shunned, she and her two sons William and Harry were embraced into the bosom of the nation.A side-effect of this Irish Mammy Syndrome is that we have an innate mothering quality, wanting to make sure that the boys, who suffered such public heartbreak and loss, turn out okay. Will, with those big doe-eyes, and the unfortunate acquisition of his father’s hairline was always the pet.The girl-next-doorEnter Kate Middleton, with her perfectly mute image, who would become the face of the modern royal family. While not particularly interesting on paper, in the media Kate was portrayed to the public as the ordinary girl-next-door who had been lucky enough to find a real prince. Her very own fairytale come true, except our Kate doesn’t exactly fit the criteria for damsel in distress.The banality of ordinary life for the everyday person is something Kate Middleton would never have come close to ever experiencing, given her prestigious background. In fact what our boy Will did was save her from her comfortable, rich, sophisticated, privately-educated lifestyle. Fair play, Wills.With Will and Kate’s pairing, we find ourselves caught in a royal chokehold, where we can’t get away from the fierce media coverage that the couple attract. Contemporary celebrity culture dictates what we hear, read, and see every day in the media, which means if you read headlines, you’re pretty much doomed to know about them. It doesn’t matter if you don’t care. Newsworthy news is a rare gem these days. Deal with it.The obsession with the royal couplePinned as the perfect couple, is it that the media has manipulated the image of the royal couple so that we try to identify with them and ultimately strive to be like them? Are we to feel bad because we’re not more like them?With Kate, the obsession is more real. Fashion, weight, pregnancy, it seems Kate is a model example on all counts; therefore celebrity culture infers that women need to be like her. When she wears a particular Topshop dress, it immediately sells out, because Topshop dresses are something us ordinary folk can afford. Wasn’t that nice of Kate to buy something on the high street?Popular culture of previous generations saw artists of influence championing and shaping the culture of the day, acting as catalysts for change in society. Nowadays, we have scripted reality and paparazzi. Privacy is priceless. No more topless sunbathing for the Duchess.Perhaps what is most confusing about this whole obsession is the fact that it goes against what we Irish love – a bit of misery, especially when it comes to those of higher society. So why is it that we seemingly can’t get enough of the fairytale across the Irish Sea? Really, there is nothing special about Will and Kate, an average-looking man and wife you could say. Dated, broke up, got back together, got engaged, got married and now there’s a baby on the way. Hold on, maybe that’s just it. Will and Kate are just your average couple. They just happen to be royalty.Aoife O’Connor is a journalist from Kerry. You can view here LinkedIn page here or follow her on Twitter here.PICS: Immortalised in wax – Kate and Will>Read: 11 celebrity couples that make us believe in true love>last_img read more


Onearmed cyclist fined for riding bike with one arm


first_imgWe only hope something like this never happens again.The city’s police chief Wolfgang Albers is also set to apologise personally to him.Speaking to the newspaper, Bogdan said he’s happy that the case has come to a conclusion after weighing on him for weeks and his belief that he had been discriminated against.It’s great news, I’m really happy. It’s good that this is how it ends.Police dashboard camera captures meteor fireball over a motorway>Woman gives birth outside Primark store in Birmingham> GERMAN POLICE HAVE apologised to a cyclist after they pulled him over for cycling his bike using his only hand. Source: Henning Kaiser AFPBogdan Ionescu was cycling through Cologne when he was pulled over by an officer for riding dangerously. When the officer noticed Ionescu’s missing arm, he fined him €25 for customising his bike to work on a single lever, as under German road safety rules, bicycles must have two handlebar brakes.However, after reports in local Cologne media, German police retracted the fine and issued an apology. Newspaper Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger even discovered that the bike was perfectly legal and roadworthy, even with the modifications.Despite the offer of a refund, the police initially only offered him €5, with the other €20 allegedly taken for a faulty light.Ionescu said he could prove this was nonsense, and he was cycling that day, March 25, with both lights fully functioning.Finally, police told Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger yesterday that they had offered a full refund an apology to Ionescu after confirming that the bike was completely roadworthy. A spokesperson said:last_img read more