Many may have forgotten or may not have been aware because of the Ebola crisis which has pre-occupied everyone’s mind, that yesterday was President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s 76th birthday. The celebration was low key with the president in a calm and reflective mood.This unusual silent celebration is understandably because of the Ebola crisis which has taken a dreadful toll on the country’s population and the economy. However, the positive reports that the virus is now waning, may have been a reason not to celebrate yet, but to be hopeful and thankful and bring the President some measure of cautious relief.President Sirleaf spent the whole day working at her Foreign Ministry Offices while at the same time intermittently receiving guests who had come to extend birthday greetings.She received and held discussions with several individuals and institutions some of whom presented her with gifts among which were donations in support of government’s efforts to fight the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). This was to the President’s great delight.The gifts included birthday cakes, an ambulance and many anti-Ebola supplies, including buckets, chloride and disinfectants.Visiting the President yesterday were representatives and members of institutions including the Liberian Senate, the Booker Washington Institute family, Guaranty Trust (GT) Bank, Central Bank of Liberia and Land Commission.The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, of which the President is a member, the Sirleaf Market Women’s Fund and several others, also arrived to convey birthday greetings.The first group to identify with the Liberian President was the Booker Washington Institute’s alumni association and its administration. The BWI family through the chairman of the Board of Governors, alumnus Kenneth Y. Best, presented several anti-Ebola items.Mr. Best said, “We want to wish you, Madam President a happy birthday and also want to thank you for the opportunity to be here. On behalf of the board of governors of BWI, faculties, staff, alumni and the student body, we want to thank God for this day and we also want to present these gifts, which is our way of joining you in the fight.”A high level delegation from the Liberian Senate, headed by Senator Cletus Wotorson, also paid a brief visit with the Liberia leader. Senator Wotorson said that Senate Pro-Tempore Gbehzongar Findley would have loved to be present, but was on his way from Grand Bassa so he had instructed him (Wotorson) to lead the delegation.The Grand Kru Senator informed the President that as their gift the Liberian Senate had passed four bills that are intended to enhance the efficiency of the Ellen-led governance exercise.Some members of the Senate delegation included Isaac Nyenabo, Alphanso Gaye, Frederick Cherue and others. Senator Joyce Musu Freeman Sumo sang a birthday song for the President.The Senators were followed by a delegation from the Guaranty Trust (GT) Bank. The GT Bank delegation donated one Nissan Urban Ambulance as a way of buttressing government’s efforts to eradicate Ebola.CBL Governor, Dr. J. Mills Jones, led a hierarchy of the Bank to wish the President a happy birthday. They presented an undisclosed gift. However, Governor Jones said the gift could be used to carryout humanitarian services.The sorority group presented as a gift, a masterpiece cake with a famous picture of the President exquisitely displayed on it. They provided some words of encouragement to the President through a poem that they read and called on her to keep the focus, especially during these difficult times.President Sirleaf thanked all of the visitors and told them how happy she was to see them at her office in such numbers. “My heart is indeed warmed to see you people here. I have been receiving a lot of calls since this morning, but it is touching to see you people here. I want to thank all of you for taking off your time to come here. But my major request is for us to remain vigilant until Ebola is kicked out of our country,” said the President.The President had earlier noted that she will not and does not intend to celebrate as there is nothing to celebrate and all should focus on ways in which the virus can be defeated.This year’s celebration was void of the pageantry and fanfare which usually characterizes her birthday like the one held last year at the Omega Community in Paynesville. The President used that occasion to raise thousands of dollars for the construction of the Omega Market Project.Liberians on various radio stations around the country, by early morning, began to wish their leader happy birthday. Some asked God to grant her long life and wisdom in order to carry out the mandate of the presidency, especially during this difficult period in the country’s history.The President, who did not make much of the occasion, had only one request: a hand wave from the Liberian people on her natal day. She told reporters during an interview, “I will spend my birthday here at my office working. I’m not celebrating because there is nothing to celebrate. The only thing that I want from my people when I’m passing is a birthday wave.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Liberian medical doctor, scientist and inventor, Dougbeh Chris NyanThank you very much for that warm introduction. I am very happy to be back home on the soil of Liberia – the Land of the Free – a country in which my navel string was buried.Over the years, I have come to observe and realize that no matter where you are on this Planet Earth, no matter who you are, and no matter what you have become over the years, your heart still yearns for your natural point of origin and birth. And so, I am back home and very thankful to Her Excellency President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and the people of Liberia for this great honor to serve as National Orator for this year’s July 26 Independence Day Commemoration. Times have changed as this instance demonstrates how far our country has come as a nation. We live in a unique country as exemplified by me, a simple and common man, standing at this podium to deliver what is one of the most honorable orations in this country. That is why I thank you, Madam President and the people of Liberia for considering me to speak to the nation and the world during this Independence Day Commemoration. At this juncture, I would very much appreciate were everyone to please stand so that we can observe a moment of silence for all our compatriots who lost their lives, most especially for the death which has hit this government in the last few days – Minister McClain’s passing. Thank you!!!Madam President, HE Ellen Johnson-SirleafMr. Vice President, HE Joseph N. BoakaiHonorable Chief Justice and members of the JudiciaryMembers of the Legislative Branch of GovernmentMembers of the Cabinet of the Republic of LiberiaMembers of the Diplomatic Corps and other Foreign Dignitaries Here PresentRepresentatives of the Mano River Union (MRU), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWA), the United Nations (UN), and UNMILOfficials and Leaders of Political Parties here presentThe gallant people, sons and daughters of Liberia here at home and in the Diaspora, People of Africa and Global human-collectiveLadies and GentlemenExactly One Hundred and Sixty-Nine (169 years) ago, our founding fathers bravely declared Liberia’s independence to the whole world. As of this date in 1847, Liberia became a sovereign nation, making Liberia the first independent democratic country on the African Continent. History documents that Liberia was never colonized, nor occupied by any European colonial power. Today we gather in this great Hall celebrating another year into our existence as a sovereign nation. Men, women, and children in the villages, in the towns and cities all over this country and in the Diaspora are celebrating this historic day. Thus, we are gathered here mindful of the fundamental human principles upon which this nation was created – that is: freedom, justice, liberty, and respect for human dignity.While I do not intend to lecture you on the History of Liberia, I nevertheless invite you to take a brief reflection of the struggles and the yearnings of our founding fathers for this nation. Freed or escaped from slavery, our fore-fathers returned for this beautiful and peaceful land to establish a country of free men and women in the 1800s.Encountering series of conflicts and their resolutions for peaceful co-existence, Liberia was founded and our founding parents finally realized their dream of returning to their Continent of origin, free from slavery, free from servitude, and free from dehumanization in the Americas. From then on, we established a democracy and embarked on building a nation that was envisioned to be a replica of the socio-economic and political ssystem of the United States of America. Throughout our history, we are reminded of what occurred among us as people and citizens of this nation. We witnessed series of conflicts between the “settlers” and the aborigines – we partially resolved that. We went through a period of the struggle for multiparty democracy – we made enormous progress at attempting to achieve it. We experienced the military coup d’état of 1980 which trampled on the little democratic footprints our fore-parents had established and this threw us backwards. Then came the 14-year civil war which rained death on the people and destroyed everything that this nation struggled to build: the civil war destroyed our infrastructure, destroyed the fabric of our society, destroyed precious lives, internally displaced our population, sent the Liberian people into refugee camps and dispersed Liberians all over the world. We thought all hope was lost, but when the last peace accord was signed and our brothers and sisters stood at the Gabriel Tucker Bridge, laid down their weapons of civil destruction and shook hands with each other, we once again regained our hopes and acquired a renewed spirit, that resilient and passionate Liberian spirit which ushered in the rebirth of our democracy in 1997. Then, in October 2005 Liberians boldly demonstrated their will to bounce back again in a democratic election that produced the first female democratically elected President in Africa – Her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. As we gathered in this great Hall today, we should ask ourselves: after 169 years of existence what have we done, what have we achieved, what accomplishment can we make better, what could we tell our fore-parents if they were sitting in this Pavilion today. You see, it took about a combined 142 year to build Liberia by ourselves without any colonial master. Then, it took us as little as 10 years to destroy 142 years of hard work. We inflicted maxim damage on ourselves in so short a time. So, how long do we think it would take us to rebuild this country and bring it back to its pre-war status? Let us think about it for a moment. Did we make any PROGRESS? I pose the question in this way …. specifically highlighting the word “PROGRESS”, because I see the glass as half-full and optimistic about the future of this country called “LIBERIA.” Some may argue “YES” and some may say “NO”. To me, either answer is relative, because we have made some progress, yet still there is a lot to be done in our democracy, in our educational system, in our health care system, in our economy, on gender issues, and in many aspect of the lives of the Liberian people.On my way here to the great Republic of Liberia I met a young, bright fellow at the airport in the Washington DC area. He lives and works in Liberia. While waiting to board our flight to Brussels, I engaged in a candid dialogue about Liberia and its future. He confirms that some progress have been made, but there are challenges. Thus, when asked to speak on the topic, “Consolidating Progress Towards Transformation”, I quickly came to the realization that our discussion should not be fixed in this direction. Instead, I rearrange the theme to open up a national dialogue utilizing an upgraded topic “Requirements for Consolidating the Progress Towards the Transformation of Liberia.” I believe that by this, as a people emerging from a civil war, we will set guidelines and benchmarks, and properly suggest practically approaches for consolidation and transforming Liberia to meet the challenges of our time. First let us look at from whence we recently emerged. For a long time, the Liberian people have opted for a peaceful and non-violent democratic change transformation of government when in April 1980 the military intervened and ruled the country for about 10 years. Then, in December 1989, a civil war was launched in this country that led to the killings of over quarter of a million innocent people in Liberia and lasted for about 14 years. Did these events solve any problem or did they only create a vicious circle of blood-shed, agony, despair, destruction of infrastructure and national set-back in our onward advance to progress?*The guns have since been silenced, refugees have been returning home, and people have been trying to rebuild their lives. As we can see, this country is on the path to progress however steady the pace may be now. As one of the notable achievements, every Liberian can undeniably point to the fact Liberians have lived in peace in the last 10+ years. Madam President, we whole heartedly thank you, the people of Liberia and the international community for keeping the peace. Peace is what we needed. Peace is that we cried for. Peace is what we got when our African brothers and sisters and the international intervened.Now that we have peace, we must strongly protect it as a precious commodity. We cannot allow this peace to be threatened by anyone. That is why the Liberian people must unite against individuals who will attempt to start another war in this country. In River Gee, Maryland, Grand Kru, Grand Gedeh and Sinoe, we want no more war; in Nimba, Bong, Lofa, Gbarpolu, and Bassa, we want no more war; in Montserrado, Margibi, Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, and Rivercess, we want no more war. All we want is peace. If you want to fight, then fight poverty, fight ignorance – let the pencils be our guns and the papers our bullets; fight diseases – let the syringes be our guns and the solutions be our bullets; fight corruption – let sincerity be our guns and honesty be our bullets; fight against hatred – let love be our guns and peace be our bullets. Let us encourage each other with progressive ideas so as to rebuild this country and once again make Liberia the pride of Africa and envy of the world. This is the Liberia we must continue to build.The achievement of peace provides us an opportunity and at the same time imposes upon us the obligation of rebuilding our democracy. In the process of raising this country from the ashes of war, we have encountered numerous challenges as a nation. These challenges are not a Unity Party challenge, these are not challenges of the Congress for Democratic Change and these are not challenges for any of the opposition parties alone, but these are challenges for all Liberians to brave and address so as to uphold our institutions and maintain our national existence.*We are aware that throughout history, democratic nations have grown and societies have survived, because they have been able to establish governing institutions and strengthen their administrative structures. One way to achieve this is by ensuring mutual respect. The rule of law must supersede individual status in society or position; it must respect the rights of the common man; tribalism and ethnic politics must give way to our common national interest; the role of watch-dog groups must be increased. Institutions like the press, advocacy group, civil society groups are all entities that have a critical role to play in sustaining our democracy. The expression of free will and political demonstration should not take the form violence or of the destruction of the properties of innocent people and businesses.As we discuss transforming the Liberian society for a better future, let us look at an important indicator of development, the challenges we face, and how we can mitigate them. One such challenge in our population is the very high illiteracy rate. UNESCO 2010 data show Liberia with a youth literacy rate of 54.5%, with 64.7% for males and only 44% for females. The adult literacy rate is 47.6% with 62.42% for male and 32.8% for females. We know that low levels of literacy, and education in general, can impede the economic development of a country in the current rapidly changing, technology-driven world. We agree that the devastating civil war led to the destruction of educational infrastructures and flight of trained teachers, thus contributing to the poor quality of primary, secondary, and tertiary education in the country. Far more concerning is the increasing gender gap, whereby the female gender in this country is lagging behind. While international aid agencies may help to address these problems, we cannot surrender our responsibility to these outside agencies. We should establish programs that will address this situation. What we need is the requisite financial and material support, and the proper accommodating atmosphere here at home. This will attract highly skilled Liberian educators who are capable of performing the identical task of educational reform so that this important aspect of our nation’s life is not dependent on aid agencies. We must ensure that the teachers who teach our children are themselves well-trained to be in the class room. When trained, teachers should then be given good incentives to keep them in the class rooms at their places of assignments throughout the country. We have to invest in our Teacher’s Training Institutes. The educational system must transition to producing graduates with employable and marketable skills; it must also focus on vocational education. In this vein, I proposes the establishment of a program that will recruit skilled Liberian educational experts from around the world, provide them with incentives and bring them back home to work in curriculum development, teacher-training, engage in teaching and the overall reform and transformation of the Liberian educational systems to surpass its pre-war status. Liberians are smart people. Whatever any foreign expert is brought in this country to do, I believe that there are Liberians of equal or better expertise to perform similar duty. Over the last century and a half, we have been bridled with a silent question about our national outlook. We are Liberians and that I know very well. But, have we ever discussed or thought about examining what our national identity is, that is what defines us as Liberians? What really binds us together as Liberians? What can we point to as that single most uniting force, principle, or philosophy that connects us to each other? These are important questions that we must ponder over. At this critical juncture in the national existence of Liberia, we cannot wait any longer on theories, instead we must act and take practically steps in defining our national identity. But allow me to suggest this if there is none that we can really point to, then we need to mobilize around the spirit of “UNITY.” For, we need unity more than ever before, as we have recently emerged from a period of self-destruction during the civil conflict. I believe that there is much more that unites us as Liberians or people of Liberian origin than that which divides us. For if we are united, we can draw up enough strength, work together to consolidate any progress we accomplish and build a viable nation that generations to come will appreciate. My fellow countrymen and women, UNITY is a required element and a driving force in the transformation of this society for a better Liberia. So, let us unite!!!Liberia and its growing democracy has come a long way. Significant strides have been made towards the goal of consolidating a workable democratic process and culture that the Liberian society is now experiencing. After the brutal civil war, we have had two successive democratic elections, elections in which several political parties participated. With over 20 political parties in a population of about 4.5 million people, Liberia can literally boast of practicing multi-party democracy during the last 10+ years. This is something we should be proud of and which demonstrates a notable achievement by all Liberians. In Liberia’s political past, opposition political parties were seen as enemies and banned from operating. Opposition leaders were often imprisoned or forced into exile. Today, we are witnessing an emerging atmosphere and a period wherein political parties are operating without fear of being banned. No democracy is prefect. What we now have is working and can be built upon. Political parties and their leaders have to be committed to democratic values to make Liberia’s democracy better. Also, we must institutionalize the core values of democracy and deepen its practice in order to avoid another breakdown of our society. We have to practice the kind of constructive politics that encourages the Liberian people and allows for popular participation in national life. Therefore, fellow Liberians let your voices be heard through the ballot box without resorting to violence. All of us have the responsibility to consolidate and maintain the peace. The oppositions have been doing well thus far, and there is a role and contribution of the media, civil society and state political institutions in consolidating this democratization process for the transformation of the Liberian society. I have hope that the interest of Liberia shall prevail. Let us put Liberia first.As I said previously, none of us can claim that our growing democracy has been all perfect. Yet, let us come together and unite with the singular purpose of sustaining this new democratic path to our future so that generations to come will treasure it. With all the problems our democracy have experienced in the past, and what we see occurring in other African countries today, let us take pride in the fact that Her Excellency Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf respected the presidential term-limit of the Liberian constitution and did not run for a third term. This single most important act by our current president did not plunge this nation into a constitutional crisis as we are seeing in other African countries. Instead, everyone is now gearing up for the next presidential and legislative elections in 2017, the third since 2005 at the end of the civil war. As the next electoral season draws nearer, I caution all leaders of political parties against making inflamed statements that have the propensity of leading to violence or intimidating the voting public.Remember that you as opposition parties have a big role to play in nurturing our growing democracy. Your contribution to the transformation of this country requires opposition political parties to constructively critique the government, analyze government policies without malice; you can criticize in a mature way, using facts and evidence (not innuendos); you should also suggest practical solutions that will move this country forward. This requirement is fundamental to consolidating peace and progress in this country’s transformation into a viable democracy. Consolidating the democratic gains and transforming our society must go hand-in-hand with good governance. Our governing structures must fully empower the Liberian people so that the people are able to express grievances, seek justice and fair play, as well as demand and shape better policies. Marching into the future, we must ensure that public institutions are able to effectively and honestly manage public resources and conduct public affairs in a manner that is free of corruption and abuses, and upholds the rule of law. We must boldly hold leaders accountable for their actions as public servants when they abuse their power or indulge in corruption. And that is exactly what the Liberian people have witnessed in the last several weeks when the government initiated legal actions in the Sable Mining Company Corruption Case that involved several government officials. Both the Liberian people and the international community have applauded the government for the actions taken in this case, demonstrating that no one is above the law, and that Liberia belongs to all, not a few. I applaud the efforts of our fellow Liberians who have returned home to help in the rebuilding-process of this great nation. It takes sacrifices and love for country to leave the luxury of Europe and America, Australia and other advance countries to come home to contribute to the rebuilding-process of our country. You have endured and stood the test of time. And for this I say thank you again. I also say thank you to other nationals who have come to contribute to the rebuilding process of Liberia. To Liberians living in the Diaspora, I admonish you to evaluate your individual circumstances and consider returning home to contribute to the reconstruction and transformation of the country. This is the one and only Liberia we have – a once peaceful and steadily prosperous nations. Our skills and expertise in business, medicine, science and technology, agriculture, education, law enforcement, etc. are needed to help propel Liberia through the challenges we are faced with. As this is a two-way avenue, the government of Liberia should play its part by creating the atmosphere and condition that will encourage or incentivize Diaspora expertise to return.This is not to say that the Liberian Diaspora has been neglecting Liberia. Far from that, the Diaspora has played and continues to play a crucial role in supporting the transformation of this country. Our efforts should be recognized for more than just the monetary contribution to the Liberia economy through our remittances. During the Ebola outbreak, for example, many Liberian organizations and groups came together under the umbrella “Liberia Diaspora Emergency Response Task Force on the Ebola Crisis” in order to help the country and the region fight the Ebola epidemic. We collaborated with several international and local groups including philanthropic and peace organizations and assisted Liberia and the sub-region with medical and relief supplies. I testified before the United States Congress on September 17, 2014 on behalf of the Diaspora Task Force on the Ebola Crisis to mobilize material support for the Ebola-affected region, advocated for the establishment of a Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Africa (mainly in our sub-region) and advocated for a sustainable post-Ebola recovery support. During the same time President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf sent out an SOS call to the world. Through the combined efforts of the government and the Diaspora, Liberia and the other ebola-affected countries received huge assistance from the US, China, Cuba and other countries who committed either military and medical personnel to help fight the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and sub-region; ultimately, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for Africa was established and situated in Addis Ababa. Diaspora medical and scientific expertise (including myself) worked with other scientists and doctors during the PREVAIL Ebola vaccine clinical trials. We help to ensure that the clinical trials were conducted within ethical and internationally acceptable standards. We must applaud the Liberian government for its undaunted courage to participate in the PREVAIL Ebola vaccine trials. This was an exceptional contribution to global health in the search for a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus disease. The people of this great country Liberia and all those who were in the frontline deserve a big thank you for your resilience and determination to defeat the Ebola virus disease. This is the Liberian spirit that I know. This is the Liberia I know we must build. But the Ebola virus is not gone away completely. We have seen some flare-ups in recent months which were contained. We are also confronted with a multiplicity of other infectious diseases in this country and the region – malaria, thyphoid, Lassa fever, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, just to name a few. And we know that the Liberian health care system still has many challenges, but is slowly recovering. That is why we also propose that Liberia commit a lion-share of the national budget to health in general and financial resources for the establishment of its own Center for Disease Control and Prevention. We need to train public health professionals at least at the Master’s Degree level. We should not be contended with these haphazard short-term 3-4 months training of people in the field of public health. That is absolutely not sufficient. We need to train Liberia’s own corps of scientists who will devote their time to the biomolecular studies of infectious diseases, including Ebola, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, Malaria, Tuberculosis, Zika, etc. etc. We need to closely collaborate with other countries in the region to conduct effect infectious diseases surveillance and exchange vital public health information; we need to develop our own rapid diagnostic capability for early diagnostic testing for infectious diseases. We need to study the Ebola virus ourselves and study the survivals of EVD ourselves.Well, we do not need to look too far, for standing before you is your son, who has invented a simple, rapid, and affordable test that can detect many infectious pathogens and tell the differences between and among the pathogens at the same time in just 10 to 40 minutes. In consultation with my research Team, I am proud to declare that we are prepared to make my invention and our technology available to Liberia, the Mano River Union (MRU), and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to invest in the development, production, and commercialization of my diagnostic technology which will contribute to the fight against infectious diseases in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Africa, and the whole world. This government should act promptly in working out the mechanism, for the diseases are not waiting on us, but can strike any minute and cross international borders again. This is a practical path to contributing to the transforming Liberia’s diagnostic capability and that of the other countries and improving the health care systems here in Liberia and the world.As we celebrate this our 169th Independence Day today in this country, it will not be fair if we ignore the concerns of our women. There is a situation of the challenging quality of life of our female gender in Liberia. This is manifested in the form of educational disparity and other uncountable problems. We have to collectively address these problems. While government is charged with the responsibility of providing a programmatic framework to address the gender question, government alone cannot solve this problem. First, it has to start from the decisions made in the homes about available opportunities, within the family unit which is the basic structure of human society. In the family, parents will have to understand that girls have the right to education just as boys. Girls must be given the same educational opportunities as boys. We must remove adverse cultural practices that create barriers toward schooling for girls, and reinforce the importance of investing in the future of our young women for the benefit of the country and its future. Women can do anything that a man can do. God did not make women to only be bear our children; why can’t we still see that woman can be ministers, doctors, lawyers, legislators, pilots and Presidents too. It comes down as a challenge to our Liberian men to ensure that our daughters, our wives, our sisters, our mothers, our aunties are first respected and provided the same opportunities available for the male gender in our respective families. Women I am with you all the way. Men we know each other…I will keep my radar on you. Growing up in this country, we lived in multiethnic communities, played with and went to school with children of other religions and Christian denominations. We saw the Jehovah Witnesses distributing the “Watch Tower” booklets in our communities, we also saw some of our friends of the Seven Days Adventist going to church on Saturdays. We ourselves went to Church on Sundays. It did not affect anyone of us. Also, we saw our friends and their parents going to the Mosque on Fridays for prayers. In Liberia, marriages between Christians and Muslims are common. This relationship has been peacefully accommodated by both sides over the years. And so, one virtue we have to require ourselves is “tolerance”. Our founding fathers were mindful of the freedom of religion and separation of Church and State. This has worked for our democracy over the years. Therefore, we should not invite or create a Christian-Muslim conflict that does not exist in this country. In the interest of Liberia, let us advocate for a Liberia in which our republic has no religious designation – not an Islamic/Muslim Republic and not a Christian Republic, but the one and only Republic of Liberia. When we look around us, we see other societies moving ahead and advancing in science and technology. They are progressing so much that when you look at our situation, you wonder what is holding us back. Thus what interest me recently is my interaction with few of our educated friends on a social media, Facebook. There was a post showing an Ethiopian weaving the traditional fabric using a weaver traditionally constructed made of sticks or woods. From my observation, the reaction I posted in part was, “This traditional African technology needs to be modernized….” Then I saw someone replying to my comment saying, “we don’t need to modernize an authentic African tradition….” Then another person replied in support of the one who replied to my comments and said, “agreed! The authenticity of tradition remains “As Is”. Although change is good, we lose the richness of our heritage with modernization and upgrades.” Well, I was totally shocked about these two responses to my simple comments. Then I quickly realized that our desire to progress as a society is sometimes held back by the resistance of some members of society who do understand contemporary need for technological advancement. Here, I am advocating for technological advancement, while two other educated people are promoting backwardness and stagnation. They would want our children to use slates and chalk, instead of notebooks and pens; they would want us to still be using typewriters, instead of computers; they would want us to ride on a donkeys and not in automobiles; and, they would want us to use telex, instead of email. The interesting part of this is that these two persons were communicating their messages using high-speed internet and computer to argue against advance technology. Nevertheless, we must be continue to be innovative and determined to implement new ideas that will promote the advancement of our society and country. Madam President and people of Liberia, in order to be able to compete in almost every aspects of global activities, we need to technologically equip our people. May the government please continue the good efforts of rehabilitating the Mount Coffe Hydro Plant (which is almost completed) and other electrification projects so that electricity will be expanded to other areas of the country; please continue the hard work in the pavement of the roads to extend them from Ganta to Maryland (Cape Palmas) and from Bong to Lofa; In addition, the peace and democracy which have been achieved are valuable assets that we must all protect. Let us take into consideration all of outlined requirements as enumerated in consolidating progress towards the transformation of the Liberian society. We have suffer for too long for this country. When I say we, I mean all the genuine human rights and democratic advocates, student activists, journalists, leaders of political parties in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s and the progressives who played a major role in the process for the democratization of Liberia over the years. For standing with the poor and the oppressed people of Liberia, we were arrested, imprisoned, tortured, exiled, and some of our compatriots executed. We have committed no crime other than persecuting the struggle for socio-economic justice in Liberia and supporting the liberation struggle of the Southern African countries from colonialism. Progressives are advocates for the oppressed and for equal rights in society. We dedicated ourselves to the struggle with passion. We made enormous sacrifices during our time in the fight for democracy and social justice against the military dictatorship of the 80’s. We dedicated our lives for the attainment of fair play in this society. We put our lives on the line day-in and day-out for a peaceful and democratic change of government. Take a look at the current progressive trend in the Democratic Party of the USA that has sharpened the debate on equality and social justice in America this year. So, being a progress is something to be very proud of and nothing to be ashamed of or apologize for. We did what was right and we will do it all over again for our people. Long live Liberia, God bless Liberia and our people.Thank youShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The big question has been whether President George Weah (right) will turn over Sen. Prince Y. Johnson (left), the man who delivered Nimba County to him for landslide victory in the 2017 presidential run-off election, to a war crimes tribunal. In the above photo, Sen. Johnson gives an endorsement speech on behalf of Weah in Nimba County. Calls for the establishment of a War and Economic Crimes Court in Liberia to ensure justice for both victims and perpetrators alike, continue to pour in, with the latest being a resolution coming from the United States Foreign Affairs Committee sponsored by Representative Daniel Donovan, Jr. a Republican representing Staten Island and parts of south Brooklyn..Representative Daniel Donovan, Jr. has called on President George Weah to ensure that infamous warlord, Prince Y. Johnson (PYJ), now Senator of Nimba County in Northern Liberia, is prosecuted for the crimes he allegedly committed against hundreds, if not thousands, of people during the years of the civil war.Rep. Donovan, Jr. is an American attorney, former prosecutor and politician. As a Republican, he is currently the United States Representative for New York’s 11th Congressional District, first elected in May 2015 during a special election.“It is time to put this into action,” Donovan said as he called on President Weah to consider the establishment of a war crimes tribunal in the country.It is known that Sen. Johnson, in 1990, led rebels of the Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL) under whose command President Samuel K. Doe was arrested at the Free Port of Monrovia, taken to an INPFL base in the Caldwell Community, and then tortured and killed following questioning, some of which had to do with public funds Doe had reportedly stolen while serving as president of the country. Others also reportedly killed at the Free Port included Defense Minister A. Boima Barclay and other military officers,In view of these and other crimes allegedly committed by Sen. Johnson and a host of others, including George Dweh, James Chelley, etc., a resolution sponsored by Representative Donovan received overwhelming approval and passage from the Plenary of the Lower House of the Congress. It is, therefore, hoped that President Weah, a former ambassador of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) who once called for the establishment of a war crimes tribunal in Liberia, would be able to actualize it now that he is President.“Without justice, there cannot be healing for the victims, and the circle of turbulence will become anew,” Rep. Donovan said while presenting the Resolution 1055 of the Congress.According to Donovan, to allow for the protection of human rights across the world is not only an act of humanitarianism for Americans but a vital concern to the national security of the United States.“For example, Sen. Prince Y. Johnson is an infamous warlord, who tortured and murdered former President Samuel Doe and many others, and there is a video of him mutilating Samuel Doe. But with the presence of Johnson and other warlords in government, we can see how Liberia is slipping back into the days of chaos,” he said.Donovan added, “This is why it is crucial to call on President Weah to establish a war crimes tribunal in Liberia.”Donovan, who is a member of the U.S. Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs, said his electoral district is home to thousands of Liberians, among them victims of terrible actions imposed on them while in Liberia during the days of the war by the likes of Senator Prince Johnson, Representative George Boley, Associate Justice Kabineh J’aneh, Alhaji G.V. Kromah, a university instructor, and a host of others alleged perpetrators of war crimes. Some of them are currently enjoying state power and resources at the expense of those who suffered most.“The Resolution solidifies U.S-Liberia ties and support democratic principles,” Donovan said, adding, “My constituents have directly told me how important it is for them to see Liberia establish an extraordinary war crimes tribunal.”He said the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report called for the establishment of a war crimes court.The U.S. has over the years and even now supported the prosecution of all those who have committed war crimes and other related crimes around the world.It may be recalled that Charles Taylor, Jr. (Chucky Taylor), Thomas Woewiyu, among others, were arrested by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and turned over to the U.S. justice system for prosecution, an action that resulted in the conviction of Chucky Taylor and the imposition of a 99-year jail sentence which he began serving since 2006.Donovan said, “Stopping war crimes before they happen is just as important as ensuring that justice prevails everywhere. This is why I am proud to sponsor House Resolution 1055 to affirm strong United States-Liberian ties and support democratic principles, and call for full implementation of the TRC recommendations, including the establishment of an extraordinary criminal tribunal. Liberia itself recommended the establishment of a war crimes tribunal in its own TRC.”Although Sen. PYJ has not expressed any remorse for his actions during the war, he has, however, on many occasions said that he fought in defense of his kinsmen, who were then being beheaded by soldiers under the command of Samuel K. Doe.“I fought in defense of my people,” Johnson declared in reference to Nimbaians, many of whom the Doe government had branded as “enemies of the state.”As welcoming as the news may be for many Liberians, some feel that putting behind the ugly past for the sake of reconciliation and national healing is the best way forward.Countering their opinions, though, are human rights lawyers, including Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe and over 80 civil society organizations (CSOs), who are firmly fixed on ensuring that the government sees reason for the establishment of a war crimes tribunal to punish those who will be found guilty for crimes against humanity.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
1 Defender Kurt Zouma in action for Chelsea Inter Milan are eyeing a loan move for Chelsea centre-back Kurt Zouma, according to reports in Italy.Zouma has found first-team appearances hard to come by at Chelsea this season, starting just one Premier League match.And, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter Milan have offered to take the 20-year-old on loan for the rest of the current campaign.The Serie A club are in the market for a centre-back with summer signing Nemanja Vidic failing to rekindle the form he showed at Manchester United.Inter can offer Zouma regular first-team football and new manager Roberto Mancini is hopeful that will be enough to persuade him to join.However, Chelsea are said to be reluctant to part with the Frenchman as they look to compete for four different trophies.
Letterkenny’s very popular Central Library has been closed because of water damage.The Central Library at LetterkennyThe building, at Oliver Plunkett Road, will be shut until further notice.The county council has apologised for this unexpected closure and has reminded library members that they can renew their loans online and can check their account and request/reserve items online at www.donegallibrary.ie If further assistance is needed, please contact Library Administration at 074-9121968 (Mon – Thur 9.00am – 5.00pm; Fri 9.00am – 4.30pm). LIBRARY FORCED TO CLOSE BECAUSE OF WATER DAMAGE was last modified: July 12th, 2013 by StephenShare 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:Central Libraryletterkenny
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Youth Chess Club will meet, 5:30-8 p.m. at 25864-G Tournament Road, Valencia. Call Jay Stallings at (661) 288-1705. Evening Kiwanis Club will meet, 6:15 p.m. at Mulligan’s, 25848 Tournament Road, Valencia. Call Amy Spencer at (661) 255-6714. Santa Clarita Runners Club will meet for tempo runs, 6:15 p.m. Call (661) 294-0821 or visit www.scrunners.org for location. FRIDAY Dedication ceremony, 10 a.m. at Oak Hills School, 26730 Old Rock Road, Valencia. Call (661) 286-2200 to R.S.V.P. SCV Committee on Aging‘s 30th annual meeting, 5 p.m. at the SCV Senior Center, 22900 Market St., Newhall. Call (661) 259-9444. Weekend workshop for those who are divorced, separated or widowed, titled “Who Am I Now That I Am Alone?” 7-10 p.m. at Santa Clarita United Methodist Church, 26640 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus. Cost for the three days: $20. Call (661) 297-3783. Karaoke night, 6:30-9:30 at Vincenzo’s, 24504 Lyons Ave., Newhall. Call (661) 259-6733. SATURDAY Weekend workshop for those who are divorced, separated or widowed, titled “Who Am I Now That I Am Alone?” 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at Santa Clarita United Methodist Church, 26640 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus. Cost for the three days: $20. Call (661) 297-3783. Free Creativity Symposium, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Saugus High School auditorium, 21900 Centurion Way, Saugus. Visit www.withsong.com. Eric Carle story time, 10 a.m. at Barnes & Noble, 23630 Valencia Blvd., Valencia. Call (661) 254-6604. Santa Clarita Runners Club will meet for a morning run, 7 o’clock in the parking lot at Starbucks, 26415 Bouquet Canyon Road, Valencia. Call (661) 294-0821 or visit www.scrunners.org. Free wellness workshop will present research about stubborn weight, fatigue and hormone imbalance, 10-11:30 a.m. at the office of Dr. Larry Cart, 24868 Apple St., Suite 101, Newhall. Call (661) 284-6233. Saugus train station will be open, 1-4 p.m. at Heritage Junction in William S. Hart Park, 24151 Newhall Ave. Call (661) 254-1275. Karaoke night, 8 o’clock at VFW Post 6885, 16208 Sierra Highway, Canyon Country. Call (661) 252-6885. Special Olympics offers athletic training and competition for athletes with learning disabilities throughout the day at various locations in Santa Clarita. New athletes or volunteer coaches can call (661) 253-2121. SUNDAY Weekend workshop for those who are divorced, separated or widowed, titled “Who Am I Now That I Am Alone?” 12:30-5 p.m. at Santa Clarita United Methodist Church, 26640 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus. Cost for the three days: $20. Call (661) 297-3783. Santa Clarita Runners Club will meet for marathon training, 6:30 a.m. in the parking lot at Granary Square, 25930 McBean Parkway, Valencia. Call (661) 294-0821 or visit www.scrunners.org. Bingo will be played, 10:30 a.m. at Mint Canyon Moose Lodge, 18000 W. Sierra Highway, Canyon Country. Call (661) 252-7222. Saugus train station will be open, 1-4 p.m. at Heritage Junction in William S. Hart Park, 24151 Newhall Ave., Newhall. Call (661) 254-1275. Music jam session, 2 p.m. at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6885, 16208 Sierra Highway, Canyon Country. Local musicians welcome. Call (661) 252-6885. MONDAY Santa Clarita chapter of the Los Angeles County Bike Coalition will meet, 6:15-7:30 p.m. at the Town Grind Coffee Cafe, 23414 Lyons Ave., Newhall. Call Maria Gutzeit at (661) 670-0332. Special Olympics offers golf lessons to athletes with learning disabilities, evenings at Vista Valencia Golf Course, 24700 W. Trevino Drive, Valencia. New athletes or volunteer coaches can call (661) 253-2121. TUESDAY Marketing Basics workshop, 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the Santa Clarita Activities Center, 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway, Canyon Country. Cost: $20. Call (818) 899-7355 or visit www.trivalleyWBC.org. Talk & Tea with Ronda B. will discuss the topic “Senior Safety,” 10:30 a.m.-noon in Rooms 1 and 2 in the main Clinic Building at Kaiser Permanente, 27107 Tourney Road, Valencia. Call Ronda Bestle at (661) 222-2405. Nonaerobic workout in a heated pool for joint and muscle conditioning, 10:30 a.m. at the Santa Clarita Valley Family YMCA, 26147 McBean Parkway, Valencia. Call (661) 253-3593. Santa Clarita Runners Club will work out, 6:15 p.m. at the College of the Canyons track, 26455 N. Rockwell Road, Valencia. Call (661) 294-0821 or visit www.scrunners.org. Sierra Hillbillies Square Dance Club will offer an intermediate class, 7-9 p.m. in rooms A1 and 2 at the SCV Senior Center, 22900 Market St., Newhall. Call (661) 252-2210 or (661) 255-0463. Boating safety class, titled “Basic and Advanced Coastal Navigation,” 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, 23233 Lyons Ave., Newhall. Call (661) 268-0143. Barbershop Harmony Singers will rehearse, 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room at Valley Oaks Village Apartments, 24700 Valley St., Newhall. Call (661) 259-6109 for security-door information. WEDNESDAY Betty Winn will present information on one of the nation’s top Jewish day schools, 9:30 a.m. at Temple Beth Ami, 23023 Hilse Lane, Newhall. Call (661) 255-6410. Santa Clarita Sunrise Rotary Club will meet, 7:10 a.m. at IHOP, 24737 W. Pico Canyon Road, Stevenson Ranch. Call (661) 250-1023. Santa Clarita Valley Rotary Club will meet, 12:10 p.m. at Marie Callender’s, 27630 The Old Road, Valencia. Call (661) 259-7701. Santa Clarita Valley-Newhall Optimist Club will meet, 7 p.m. at La Rumba, 27600 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus. Call (661) 252-7313. Valencia Toastmasters will meet, 7 p.m. Call Kim Dickens at (661) 259-8567 or visit www.valenciatoastmasters.org for location. Dual Diagnosis Group for those who are chemically dependent and affected by mental illness, 7:30-9:30 p.m. at St. Francis Counseling Center, 25050 Avenue Kearny, Suite 101, Valencia. Call (661) 294-2880. Special Olympics offers athletic training and competition for athletes with learning disabilities during the evenings at various locations in Santa Clarita. New athletes or volunteer coaches can call (661) 253-2121. To submit an event for the Daily News calendar, contact Sharon Cotal two weeks prior to the event at (661) 257-5256, fax her at (661) 257-5262, e-mail her at email@example.com or write to her at 24800 Avenue Rockefeller, Valencia, CA 91355. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! TODAY Children’s Bureau will hold an information meeting for those interested in becoming foster or adoptive parents, 6:30-8 p.m. at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 27265 Luther Drive, Canyon Country. Call (661) 272-9996 or visit www.all4kids.org. Democratic Alliance for Action will meet to hear candidates for Congress and state Assembly, 7 p.m. at Vincenzo’s Pizza, 24504 1/2 W. Lyons Ave., Newhall. Call (661) 877-2775 or visit www.DAA.org. Nonaerobic workout in a heated pool for joint and muscle conditioning, 10:30 a.m. at the Santa Clarita Valley Family YMCA, 26147 McBean Parkway, Valencia. Call (661) 253-3593. Santa Clarita Noon Kiwanis Club will meet, noon-1:30 p.m. at El Torito, 27510 The Old Road, Valencia. Call Janie Choate at (661) 296-8260.
11 11 6. David Luiz turned down Barcelona – In 2013 Barcelona made a formal approach for Luiz, but the Chelsea defender opted against moving to Spain and remain at Stamford Bridge. He joined PSG a year later for £50m and said: It’s true [Barca] tried to tempt me a couple of times and everything looked good. But eventually I realised the team that really wanted me was PSG.” 11 2. Neymar turned down Real Madrid – In 2005, at the age of 13, Neymar was in Spain and talking to Real Madrid about moving there from Brazil. He was one of the most sought after young players in football, however, he wasnt ready to take the step at that point and decided he would develop at Santos. My priority was to be happy, become a professional footballer and then later move to Europe, he said. He eventually joined Barcelona in 2013. 11 1. Francesco Totti turned down Real Madrid – “After a 14-year spell with [Shakhtar Donetsk], you do not consider yourself a part of the club – you become a member of the family, Darijo Srna said about his decision to reject a move to Barcelona in January. Hes not the only player to reject one of footballs big two clubs Barca and Real Madrid with Totti being one of the more high profile names to do so. In 2004, the playmaker looked set to join Real, the only club he claims he would have left boyhood side Roma for. There were problems at Roma, but they were resolved. I could have earned more money and won a lot of trophies, but it was a choice I made with my heart. Totti is coming to the end of his playing career, but has claimed to have no regrets about staying put. 11 11 7. Koke turned down Barcelona – In 2014, following a season in which he became a league winner and reached the Champions League final, Koke was wanted by Barcelona as he was seen as a possible heir to Xavi. However, being part of an exciting era for Atletico ultimately persuaded him to stay. The truth is that part of me said it was difficult to say no to Barca but I wanted to continue at home for many years at Atletico, he said. “Its not easy to say no to Barca and their interest was appreciated. It means the work Ive done has paid off. But Im at home here. 11 11 3. Steven Gerrard rejected Real Madrid – Gerrard was wanted by pretty much every big European club in his career, including Real. I think I had a couple of options throughout my career to go to Real Madrid but I resisted temptation because of the big connection I had to my hometown club, adding he was hugely flattered with the link. Jose Mourinho called Gerrard one of his favourite enemies, admitting he tried to lure him to Chelsea, Inter and Real when he was in charge of all three. 5. Roy Keane turned down Real Madrid – In 2005 Real Madrids sporting director Emilio Butragueno phoned Keane to discuss the possibility of a move to Spain. In hindsight, I should have said to myself: ‘Go, go to Spain, live there for a year and a half, learn the language, learn the culture.’ I took a negative approach. The weather and the training might have given me another lease of life, another two years of playing. As much as anything else, it was fear that decided me – fear of the unknown, he claimed in his autobiography. Keane called time on his career at the age of 34 in 2006. 10. Kylian Mbappe turned down Real Madrid – Zinedine Zidane met a young Mbappe in 2013 to try and convince the teenager to move to Spain after leaving Clairefontaine, Frances national football centre. In the end, I didn’t join Real Madrid because I wanted to stay in my country, I didn’t want to leave so early. It wouldn’t have worked. I chose to come to Monaco and I made the right choice.” At the time of writing Mbappe, now 18, has scored 22 goals in his last 20 games for Monaco in all competitions. 9. Patrick Vieira turned down Real Madrid – In 2004, Real Madrid were close to sealing Vieiras transfer, but nothing came of it and a year later he signed for Juventus. I was suspicious, he said about the Madrid move. The lack of recognition for [Claude] Makelele over there scared me. I was scared it would happen to me. But I should have gone there. Today I dont regret the career that I have had but if I could have changed one thing, it would be that. To go to Madrid. 11 11 11 4. Gianluigi Buffon turned down Barcelona – Buffon was in demand when he was at Parma, whom he left for Juve in 2001. Before that, Barcelona were very keen to bring him to Spain, though after consulting with his dad, decided to join Italys black and whites. I really wanted to win a Scudetto. My father said Juve hadnt won a title in five years and were bound to win it within the next two years, he said and revealed it was a decision he has no regrets about. Ive had so much satisfaction in Turin, and lets not forget, Barcelona at the time were not the Barcelona they are today. Will he, won’t he? That’s what fans want to know about Man United goalkeeper David De Gea and Real Madrid.He has been linked with away for a long time, but if he rejects the European super power, he won’t be the first.Here, talkSPORT looks at players who have said ‘thank, but no thanks’ to one of Real or Barcelona beginning with Shakhtar Donetsk and Croatia defender Darijo Srna, who turned down the latter.“After a 14-year spell with [Shakhtar], you do not consider yourself a part of the club – you become a member of the family”, he said about his decision to reject a move to Barcelona in January.“I told the president that I would be happier to claim the domestic league title with Shakhtar than the Champions League with Barcelona.” 8. Rio Ferdinand wasn’t interested in either Barcelona or Real Madrid – During his time at Man United there was interest from abroad, but Ferdinand revealed he never felt the need to leave Old Trafford where he was part of a winning side. In his 12 years as a player he won six Premier League titles, three League Cups and the Champions League, with Roma, Barcelona and Real Madrid all looking at the defender. “When I was at Manchester United there was interest from other clubs, but I was winning things at Manchester United. So my head was never turned to go anywhere else.
8 8 Barcelona nick Laszlo Kubala from Real Madrid – Real Madrid are well known for pinching Alfredo Di Stefano from under the noses of Barcelona in 1953, but the Catalan club did something similar to their rivals in 1950 with Kubala, a legendary figure at the Camp Nou. Real had actually offered the player, who had fled communist Hungary, a contract and there are a couple of different stories surrounding the circumstances of Barcelona muscling in. What appears to have happened is that members of Barcas board introduced themselves to Kubala where the player promptly showed them the offer from Madrid. Barcelona then agreed to pay him the very generous wage as well as living expenses and take on his brother as a coach. In the end he scored 280 in 345 games for the club and won four league titles. The transfer hijack. There are few sweeter ways of getting one over on your rivals.Some clubs have had it done to them more than others and here, talkSPORT.com looks at eight examples of classic football steals.Scroll down to read about the time Tottenham inadvertently sent one midfielder on his way to Highbury and another occasion when Fergie robbed Man City at Manchester airport.Read more: 11 of the most controversial transfers in football. Tottenham offer Paul Gascoigne’s sister a sunbed to stop Man United transfer – Gascoigne was going to Man United before his move to Tottenham in 1988. He even told Alex Ferguson he would join and the Old Trafford manager went on holiday believing United had secured the services one of footballs most exciting midfielders. However, Spurs under Irving Scholar offered to buy the players family a house which swayed the players mind. The promise of a house wasnt good enough, though, and his sister asked the club to squeeze a sunbed out of his new bosses. Done? Not quite, as his dad also asked for a car, given the new house had a garage. Needless to say Fergie was not impressed when his holiday ended. 8 Tottenham get one over West Ham with Eidur Gudjohnsen – In 2010, West Ham were under the impression Gudjohnsen would join them on loan from Monaco. The fact Gianfranco Zola, who played with him at Chelsea, was manager would surely help. Wrong. We thought we had a deal and the player even had a medical, co-owner David Sullivan moaned. We then heard that Tottenham were trying to speak to the player. I can’t say I am happy about it but I believe in karma and what goes around, comes around, he added. The 31-year-old forward duly joined Harry Redknapps side for the rest of the season, with the Spurs boss adding: I rang him and left a message on his phone and he came back to me and said ‘I want to come to Tottenham. 8 8 8 8 8 Chelsea swoop to snatch Arjen Robben from Man United’s grasp – Robben, then 20, was due to sign for Man United in 2004 and was even shown around the clubs training complex. However, the £5m fee offered was well below what PSV believed their player was worth and Chelsea waltzed in and sealed the transfer with a £12m offer. United were first in the queue so we kept Chelsea waiting, PSV chairman Harry van Raaij said. But when we had our second discussion with United over a fee, we were very disappointed over how low they believed they could push us. Chelsea pinch Willian from Tottenham – David Sullivan was right because three years later Tottenham were outraged when Chelsea pipped Spurs to Willian, much to Jose Mourinhos delight. The best thing to do is have the medical in secret, the manager said with a grin on his face. The north Londoners thought they had a £30m deal wrapped up after the player completed a medical with them, but didnt count on Roman Abramovich intervening to sign a player who has become a favourite of many at Stamford Bridge. The fact it angered Daniel Levy was just a massive bonus. In 2008 Tottenham had agreed a deal to sell Dimitar Berbatov to Man City, but when the striker flew to Manchester he was greeted by Alex Ferguson. That didn’t go down well with Spurs, as City’s offer was better financially, but Berbatov wanted to join United, meaning Daniel Levy eventually settled on a £30m deal. I am flattered that [Sir Alex] gave me so much of his time. He personally came to pick me up at the airport. It was a shock to me, but it was a pleasure to get to know him, he said. Tottenham pay for Emmanuel Petit’s taxi to Arsenal – Poor Tottenham. Years before Chelsea made a mockery of them, Arsenal did the same thing and this instance seemed a lot harder to stomach. In 1997 Emmanuel Petit was in London and talking to Tottenham chairman Alan Sugar about moving from Monaco. Arsenal heard about the meeting and got word to him not to sign anything until the midfielder had at least heard what Arsene Wenger had to say, so Petit asked Sugar for time to think about his offer at his hotel. Spurs even paid for the taxi to drive him back, but the player took a detour and went to meet Wenger and David Dein and the rest is history. So yes, Tottenham paid for Petit to go and sign for the Gunners where he won the Premier League and FA Cup. Rangers prevent Celtic from resigning Mo Johnston – Johnstons arrival at Rangers in 1989 managed to anger fans on both sides of the Glasgow divide. Having scored 52 goals in three seasons at Celtic, Johnston spent two years at Nantes in France and was expected to don the green and white shirt on his return to the Scottish league. He was even pictured in the summer of 1989 wearing the Celtic shirt alongside Hoops boss Billy McNeill, and said: “There is no other British club I could play for apart from Celtic. But nothing had been officially signed and Rangers manager Graeme Souness no stranger to controversy pounced and took Johnston to Ibrox, making him the club’s first major Catholic signing.
FOOTBALL – Harps hoping to end Bray run: In-form Bray Wanderers are the visitors to Finn Park on this Friday night (kick-off 8.00) with Ollie Horgan’s side remaining focused on getting enough points to avoid the play-off place in the League of Ireland Premier Division. Wexford Youths currently occupy that spot, so the aim is to stay above Shane Keegan’s side. However, that is going to be a very difficult ask against a side that has a better results record in the last two months than the top two teams in the Premier Division: Dundalk and Cork City, But Harps will go into the game in a happier frame of mind after the draw against Sligo Rovers on Tuesday night.Harry Kenny has done a great job at the Carlisle Grounds and while there is no hope of European football this season, the Co. Wicklow team still want to finish as far up the Premier table as possible. Harps haven’t picked up a point at home since early July so there is still a lot of pressure on the hosts to get something from this game on home turf. In team news Horgan is going to be critically short of attacking options with striker Ruairi Keating definitely out after sustaining ankle ligament damage early in the first half against Sligo Rovers on Tuesday night. Another forward, Dave Scully, is ruled out again as he completes a two-match suspension while veteran attacker Kevin McHugh will also be absent after sustaining a serious hand injury on Wednesday evening during an underage coaching session that he was conducting at the Aura. Adam Hanlon is also a doubt due to a persistent knee problem. That would appear to signal that Ryan Curran will start up front with B.J. Banda as the back-up striker on the bench. On the plus side, Ciaran Coll is expected to return to the starting 11 after missing the Sligo trip due to a one-match ban and Tony McNamee could also feature from the start after being used as a sub on Tuesday night. The manager will also have Tommy McMonagle back after the defender did not feature in the squad at the Showgounds and young Burt lad Mark Coyle will again be part of the matchday squad. Ollie Horgan is hoping that Bray’s form dips in Ballybofey as the Wicklow side is on a 13-match unbeaten run. “The stats show that Bray actually has a better results record than Dundalk and Cork City recently. So that shows you the scale of the challenge that we are facing at Finn Park tomorrow night. Harry Kenny strengthened his squad mid-season with three or four quality signings. I saw them play recently and they were really impressive” Horgan said.Team NewsSuspended: Dave Scully Unavailable: Josh MaileyDoubtful: Adam HanlonInjured: Kevin McHugh, Ruairi Keating——————————————————————————————————————————————————RECORD AGAINST BRAY WANDERERS (All Competitions)Saturday’s game will be the 57th meeting of the two clubs, and the 28th to be played at the Carlisle Grounds. Total Games: 56 (28 at Finn Park)Harps Wins: 19 (11 in Finn Park)Bray Wins: 19 (11 in Finn Park)Draws: 18 (7 in Finn Park) Harps Goals: 60 (33 in Finn Park)Bray Goals: 59 (20 in Finn Park)LAST 10 GAMES v BRAY WANDERERS16-Jul-04 Bray Wanderers 0-0 Finn Harps (First Division)23-Oct-04 Finn Harps 2-0 Bray Wanderers (First Division)28-May-05 Finn Harps 1-2 Bray Wanderers (Premier Division)19-Aug-05 Bray Wanderers 2-1 Finn Harps (Premier Division)18-Nov-05 Finn Harps 2-4 Bray Wanderers (Premier Division)04-Apr-08 Bray Wanderers 1-0 Finn Harps (Premier Division)27-Jun-08 Finn Harps 1-0 Bray Wanderers (Premier Division)26-Sep-08 Bray Wanderers 0-1 Finn Harps (Premier Division)15-Apr-16 Finn Harps 1-0 Bray Wanderers (Premier Division)16-Jul-16 Bray Wanderers 1-0 Finn Harps (Premier Division)OUR LAST MEETING WITH BRAY WANDERERSSaturday 16th Julyl 2016. Carlisle Grounds. League of Ireland Premier Division.Bray Wanderers 1-0 Finn Harps Conor Kenna (32 mins).Bray Wanderers – Peter Cherrie; Hugh Douglas, Conor Kenna, Tim Clancy, Kevin Lynch; John Sullivan; Karl Moore (Gareth McDonagh 74), Ryan Brennan, Darragh Noone (Ger Pender 89), Dylan Connolly; Andrew Lewis.Finn Harps – Richard Brush; Damien McNulty (Michael Funston 63), Packie Mailey, Keith Cowan; Ethan Boyle, Adam Hanlon, Barry Molloy, Sean Houston, Josh Mailey; Dave Scully (Raymond Foy 63), Kevin McHugh (Ruairi Keating h/t). Not used: Ryan Curran, Tommy McMonagle, Liam Flatley, Ciaran Gallagher (GK).Ref: Rob Hennessy (Clare).FINN HARPS GOALSCORERS 2016Ryan Curran – 6Sean Houston – 4David Scully – 3Kevin McHugh – 1Damien McNulty – 1Josh Mailey – 1Tony McNamee – 1Ruairi Keating – 1Adam Hanlon – 1Ethan Boyle – 1 (in League Cup)FINN HARPS RESULTS 2016Fri 04-Mar Finn Harps 2-1 Derry CityFri 11-Mar Dundalk 3–0 Finn HarpsMon 14-Mar Finn Harps 0-1 Shamrock RoversSat 19-Mar Sligo Rovers 1-1 Finn HarpsTue 22-Mar Finn Harps 1-0 Cockhill Celtic (League Cup)Sat 26-Mar Finn Harps 1-0 Longford TownFri 08-Apr Galway United 1-0 Finn HarpsMon 11-Apr Finn Harps 1-2 St. Patrick’s AthleticFri 15-Apr Finn Harps 1-0 Bray WanderersMon 18-Apr Galway United 0-0 Finn Harps (League Cup) – Galway won 4-2 on pens.Fri 22-Apr Cork City 3-1 Finn HarpsFri 29-Apr Wexford Youths 1-1 Finn HarpsFri 06-May Finn Harps 0-0 BohemiansTue 10-May Derry City 2–2 Finn HarpsFri 13-May Finn Harps 0-7 DundalkTue 20-May St. Patrick’s Athletic 4-0 Finn HarpsSat 21 May Finn Harps 0-1 Crumlin United (FAI Cup)Sun 29-May Shamrock Rovers 1-1 Finn HarpsFri 3-Jun Finn Harps 3-0 Sligo RoversSat 25-Jun Longford Town 0-2 Finn HarpsFri 08-Jul Finn Harps 1-0 Galway UnitedSat 16-Jul Bray Wanderers 1-0 Finn HarpsFri 29-Jul Finn Harps 0-1 Wexford YouthsFri 05-Aug Bohemians 2-0 Finn HarpsFri 12-Aug Finn Harps 0-5 Derry CityFri 26-Aug Finn Harps 0-2 Shamrock RoversMon 12-Sep Dundalk 2-0 Finn HarpsFri 16-Sep Finn Harps 0-1 Longford TownMon 19-Sep Finn Harps 0-1 Cork CitySat 01-Oct Galway Utd 3-2 Finn HarpsTue 04-Oct Sligo Rovers 0-0 Finn HarpsFINN HARPS REMAINING FIXTURES 2016Fri 07-Oct Bray Wanderers (h)Tue-11-Oct St. Patrick’s Athletic (h)Fri 14-Oct Cork City (a)Fri 21-Oct Wexford Youths (a)Fri 28-Oct Bohemians (h)Compiled by Finn Harps Media Team. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org“Bray have had better results than Dundalk, it’s a huge challenge” – Ollie Horgan was last modified: October 6th, 2016 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:Brayfinn harpsFinn ParkOllie HorganSport
A well-known Donegal singer has pleaded with the HSE to reinstate the pacemaker service at Letterkenny General Hospital.Tanya McCole, from Ardara, had a pacemaker fitted a year ago this week and said the operation has changed her life.The 36 year old musician had been collapsing and went to see cardiologist Dr David. The well-known heart-specialist rushed Tanya into surgery after discovering her heart-rate was just 36 beats-per-minute when the average is between 70 and 80 bpm.Tanya said the operation has changed her life.“I am a new woman and that’s because I had the pacemaker fitted.“If I did not have it fitted I would still be collapsing and wondering what was going to happen to me,” she said. Her father Mick McCole also had a pace-maker fitted three years ago at Letterkenny General and if fighting it again.Tanya said she fears the failure to return the pacemaker service to the hospital is another negative step towards downgrading Letterkenny General.“I have been in different hospitals including the Blackrock Clinic and they speak so highly of Dr David and his team.“I fear that he will just get tired of all the cutbacks and decide to move away form the hospital,” she said.Tanya, who admits that she is so angry about the whittling down of services, said something drastic needs to be done to stop the rot. “I know people have a lot of gripes about taxes but my problem is with the health care system.“I feel that if we got enough people on buses and stood up and took a stand then they would listen.“One voice would not be heard but ten thousand would,” she said.SINGER’S OUTRAGE AT REMOVAL OF PACE-MAKER SERVICES AFTER HER OPERATION was last modified: February 18th, 2012 by StephenShare 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:DR DAVIDLetterkenny General HospitalPACEMAKERTANYA MCCOLE