first_imgDominick Sweeney and Daniel O’Donnell on the Arranmore ferry.Daniel O’Donnell has paid a poignant return to Arranmore Island for the first time without his late mother.Daniel regularly played Aranmore and always took his mum Julia with him.Now Daniel’s return has been featured on TV3’s Islanders show which will be broadcast this Wednesday. Daniel O’Donnell was given his big break in the music business by islander Andrew Early who gave him his first gig in his island pub, now run by his son Jerry.Daniel has never forgotten this and each year returns to play a special concert on the island.The world famous singer dedicated a special concert on the island to her. This will also be his first concert in Ireland since the death of his beloved mum.Julia O’Donnell came from the nearby Owey Island (now depopulated). For the islanders, who are feeling a huge sense of abandonment due to the salmon ban and increased fishing regulation, Daniel’s visit following the death of his mother, was a major event.The concert is one to live in the memory of all who are present, islanders and mainlanders alike.Episode 3 of ‘Islanders’ airs on Wednesday week (29th April) at 9pm on TV3.DANIEL’S POIGNANT RETURN TO ARRANMORE TO BE BROADCAST ON TV3 was last modified: April 20th, 2015 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:arranmoreconcertdaniel o’donnelllast_img read more

Party is over for Alagiri and friends

first_imgIt is celebration time in Madurai! For, so swift and sudden has been the change that it has lifted the people of this temple city from their despondency. With a new government taking over, the air of freedom seems all pervasive in the former fiefdom of M K Alagiri.”What next?” is the question that invariably lingers in the minds of the people, who are secretly gleeful at the increasing discomfiture of the Union Minister.With his close aides in jail, the DMK patriarch’s elder son is rattled at the prospect of his turn being perilously close. These were the people with whom the ‘Prince’ ruled the southern districts, holding his court in Madurai. Now his wings have been clipped. The sheen of invincibility too has vanished, resulting in his isolation.Alarm bells started ringing when the police first laid their hands on ‘Pottu’ Suresh, a school drop-out turned Man Friday of the Union Minister. Widely seen as the alter-ego of his master, he came to wield immense power with many bureaucrats, seeking transfers and plum postings, waiting for his appointment. So much so, Jayalalithaa chose to call him Deputy CM as Alagiri was considered the CM of the Southern districts.It was a meteoric rise for someone who was an unsuccessful roadside vendor close to two decades ago. Earlier, Suresh was known with the prefixes ‘nighty’ and ‘bajji’ for selling women’s accessories and then hot ‘bajji’ in the Town Hall Road. Sporting a huge tilak (‘pottu’ in Tamil) after associating with netas, it became his new identity. His final destination was Alagiri and within a short period of time, he edged out old timers and entered the Minister’s inner circle. “Pottu’s words are mine and should be complied with,” was Alagiri’s reported diktat.advertisementNone of the DMK leader’s courtiers, who gained prominence and power, had any stature. Neither were they from the party ranks nor from the family association. The less said the better about their vice- like grip. In spite of their humble beginnings, they have come to flaunt huge wealth which, even the DMK old timers could not digest. Worse, they were despised by the public for unleashing a reign of terror. The more notoriety they earned, the more dependable they became for their master.Doing his bidding without any hesitation is their only creed. No wonder, with the DMK’s crushing defeat in the assembly poll Alagiri’s cronies were expected to face the music. But, none had expected that the crackdown would expose and disarm the ‘ Prince of Madurai’ so soon.His lieutenants who landed in prison include, ‘Attack’ Pandi, an accused in the Dinakaran attack case, G Thalapathy, former MLA, and ‘Essar’ Gopi, accused in the murder of former DMK Minister Tha Kiruttinan. Those awaiting police action include Deputy Mayor P M Mannan, also an accused in the Kiruttinan case.These are only samples as the list is not exhaustive.More than keeping them as henchmen, the DMK satrap went a step ahead by elevating them as senior functionaries in the party. Ever since the pyrrhic victory in the 2009 Tirumangalam bypoll, which was the beginning of the cash for vote syndrome, Alagiri’s writ was never challenged. Despite their criminal background, he got his associates elevated to the DMK Executive Committee as well.Though the Dinakaran and Kiruttinan cases ended in acquittal, the spectre of their revival has come to haunt Alagiri and his associates.As the noose is tightening around Alagiri, no tears are shed either in the party or in the city, which he has made his home for well over two decades. ‘He who sows the wind shall reap the whirlwind’ is the reason proffered by the ordinary citizen about the fate that has befallen the DMK strongman and his associates.A man is judged by the company he keeps. It is more so in public life where none can escape scrutiny of one’s conduct.This is particularly true of Alagiri, who, given a long rope by his octogenarian father, turned out to be a law unto himself.He has no literary or intellectual pretensions like his father, who keeps the company of discredited writers and poets, to sing paeans. If the Dravidian movement could be called as anti- intellectual and anti-democratic for parading the halfbaked as scholars and thugs as leaders in the public domain, Alagiri could well be seen as its logical culmination.Wily Marans bunk DMK rally When the DMK took to the streets protesting Jayalalithaa’s ‘politics of vendetta’, one man invited the wrath of party workers by being conspicuous by his absence – Dayanidhi Maran. Both the Marans have flown to distant Indonesia where they are holidaying with their families. The DMK rank and file is not ready to forgive the indiscretion of the duo, who are seen as parasitic time servers. Their grouse is that the Marans consider themselves above the party. Having enjoyed power, they were expected to stand by the party at the time of distress is the chorus in DMK circles.advertisementMaybe mounting troubles could have forced them to stay away from the massive protest in which over one lakh party workers, led by the M K Stalin, courted arrest. With the patriarch taking a back seat, it was left to his younger son to shoulder the leadership. Even a limping Khushboo was seen getting into the police vehicle, raising the morale of the party which is reeling under the ruthless crackdown by the AIADMK government.And this being the first major agitation of the DMK after the humiliating electoral defeat, Maran junior’s absence was not taken kindly.Further, this has marginalised him after his exit from the Union Cabinet. “Are they attempting to make peace with the czarina in order to protect their business interest?” is also a question that is doing the rounds.Babus to face music nowAfter the netas, it’s the turn of babus who ruled the roost during the Karunanidhi regime to face the music. ADGP Jaffer Sait, former state Intelligence chief, has been placed under suspension. This follows a vigilance raid last week at the residences of Sait, his relatives and close associates.He has been charged with acquiring a prime plot in the name of his wife under the social worker category and building flats for sale together with another aide of Karunanidhi. In the run-up to the assembly poll, the EC transferred him to West Bengal following allegations by the Opposition. He preferred to go on leave and was vacationing in Bangkok. The buzz in the corridors of power is who will be the next to face the music.Left gets it wrong, againOnce again the Marxists have proved that they are twice removed from reality. On the emotive issue of Eelam, the CPI(M) has been treading the beaten path, by calling for unity among Tamils and Sinhalese. But, in the aftermath of the colossal human tragedy in Sri Lanka, the party’s formulation has made it a laughing stock among the pro-Tamil groups.In mobilising public opinion it is no match for its Dravidian counterparts. Concerned at the CPI too marching ahead of it in raising this issue, the party General Secretary Parakash Karat came here last week to parrot the worn out formulations. Even its sympathisers are red faced at the party living in the past. Will the Marxists see sense?Jaya seeks to revive dam dispute With Jayalalithaa back in the saddle, the Mullaiperiyar (Mullaperiyar in Kerala) dam issue could gain added momentum.advertisementIt is the lifeline of the six southern districts of Tamil Nadu which are facing the threat of desertification as storage level has been brought down to 136 in 1979 following Kerala raising safety concerns. Later the dam structure was strengthened as per Centre Water Commission guidelines. But, storage is no more the bone of contention with Kerala now pressing for a new dam even after the Supreme Court ordered reverting storage to the original 152 ft in phases.As a first step towards protecting her turf, Jayalalithaa has opposed the Centre’s Dam Safety Bill, objecting to certain clauses which she finds are detrimental to the state. As in all other issues, her bte noire Karunanidhi stands discredited.He had called off a fast due to pressure from the Congress. This presents her an opportunity to outsmart the old fox. Further, it would help her to rob the wind out of the sails of Vaiko and other pro-Tamil parties whose voice has turned shrill against Kerala.last_img read more

Spanish league opener: Messi scores 2 goals in Barca’s win over Elche

first_imgLionel Messi scored twice to help 10-man Barcelona start the Spanish league with a 3-0 win over Elche in the debut of coach Luis Enrique on Sunday, with the Argentina star looking eager to put last season’s disappointments behind him.Messi used a signature burst of speed to dribble free of a pack of opponents before slotting in Barcelona’s first goal in the 41st. Minutes later Barcelona lost Javier Mascherano to a direct red card when he fouled Elche’s Garry Rodrigues with only goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to beat. But Barcelona’s 18-year-old Munir El Haddadi, starting for the injured Neymar, scored seconds after halftime before Messi got his second goal in the 63rd after again confounding a group of defenders.Elsewhere, Eibar beat Real Sociedad 1-0 for a winning debut in the first division, while Celta Vigo beat Getafe 3-1.After Barcelona lost its Spanish league title in the last round of last season and Argentina lost to Germany in the World Cup final, Messi summed up his desire for the new campaign to begin by writing on Facebook before the game: First match today!!! I hope God is on our side for a great season.It started with a bad omen, though: Just seconds after kickoff, the game was paused when a black cat ran onto the Camp Nou pitch before stewards managed to herd it off. But aside from Mascherano’s red card, there was no bad luck for Barcelona.Messi looked back to his best and his pair of goals seemed the perfect answer to critics who had said the four-time world player of the year had lost a step. He was lively from the start, both in attack and in defense, and scored his goals in classic Messi fashion: putting the ball on his left boot to breeze around his markers before picking his spot in the opponent’s net.advertisementWith Neymar out and new signing Luis Suarez suspended until October, Munir got the nod from Enrique and had Barcelona’s first chance when he fired the ball off the goalframe in the 22nd.Andres Iniesta followed suit with a strike onto the crossbar in the 32nd as Barcelona piled up chances before Messi converted. Sergio Busquets sent an errant Elche pass to Messi, who used four quick touches to open an angle around three Elche players before slotting home his first goal.Moments after Barcelona grabbed the lead, Busquets’ poor back pass forced Mascherano to foul Rodrigues to stop a one-one-one opportunity with Bravo. Elche failed to take advantage of the extra man and Munir, who had only debuted with Barcelona’s B-team in March, doubled the lead with a skillful tap with the tip of his left boot to float Ivan Rakitic’s long pass over goalie Przemyslaw Tyton.Messi added the third goal despite being shadowed by four defenders, skirting along the edge of the area until he saw the chance to slot the ball inside the post.last_img read more

Montreal to go ahead with plans to rename street park named for

first_imgMONTREAL – The City of Montreal is moving ahead with plans to strike eugenist Alexis Carrel’s name from its map.The city’s executive committee passed a motion Wednesday allowing city council to vote later this month on new names for a street and park.That follows up on a promise to erase any trace of the Nobel Prize-winning doctor because of his alleged Nazi ties.Chantal Rouleau, mayor of the east-end borough where the street and park are located, told the committee it intends to rename Alexis-Carrel Avenue after Italian Nobel laureate Rita Levi-Montalcini, known for her work in neurobiology.A park bearing Carrel’s name would be renamed Don-Bosco Park after an Italian saint known for his work with street kids, she added.Quebec municipalities can vote on a name change and submit it to the province’s toponymy commission for approval.Carrel, a French surgeon and biologist, won the Nobel Prize in 1912 for work in vascular suturing and transplants. He became the subject of controversy for supporting eugenics and the Vichy regime, which collaborated with the Nazis during the Second World War.“Alexis Carrel was a French scientist who supported the forced sterilization programs applied by the Nazis against any human being considered ‘racially inferior’ or ‘socially undesirable,’” Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs’ Quebec branch said in a statement lauding Montreal’s move.In April 2016, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre told an executive council meeting that Carrel, who died in 1944, was “at minimum, a Nazi sympathizer.”Since 2002, France has moved to remove Carrel’s name from its toponymy, while the western Quebec town of Gatineau moved in 2015 to remove it from a residential street.Gatineau did likewise for Philipp Lenard, a German physicist who won the Nobel Prize in 1905 but was also an adviser to Adolf Hitler and a known believer of Nazi ideology.In Canada, Carrel’s name most prominently appears in Quebec municipalities.Provincial toponymy records show Montreal-area suburbs Chateauguay and Boisbriand are the last places in the province to carry Alexis-Carrel streets.Despite attempts since 2015 to seek a name change, a CIJA spokesman said neither jurisdiction has been favourable. Quebec Liberal politician David Birnbaum has also called on the municipalities to make the change.The mayor of Chateauguay never replied while Boisbriand said it was not an issue in her municipality, said CIJA spokesman David Ouellette.“We would hope that the City of Montreal’s decision … will incite the cities of Chateauguay and Boisbriand to review their original stance on this,” he said.– Follow @sidhartha_b on Twitterlast_img read more