Record high increase in numbers of pilgrims to Lough Derg

first_imgThe number of pilgrims to Lough Derg hit a record high this year as the pilgrimage season came to an end on Thursday.Yesterday morning, in bright autumnal sunshine, before they departed by boat, Fr La gave a final blessing to those pilgrims who had arrived on the station island on Tuesday.Afterwards, in a reflection on this year’s summer season, Fr La said that for a decade or more, the number of people making the three-day pilgrimage has been in decline, but that had changed this year. “This year we held firm with our numbers from last year and actually increased by a few score,” he said.For over a thousand years, pilgrims to Lough Derg have followed a series of patterns during their stay on the island, eating only one meal a day of black tea or coffee, dry toast and oatcakes. During the Middle Ages, mainly because of the difficulty in getting to Lough Derg from the continent, it was considered the toughest pilgrimage in Europe and the Christian world.In modern times, the three-day pilgrimage has only been available in the months of June, July and the first half of August.Fr La, who is prior of St Patrick’s Purgatory, said: “I am conscious that as the years move on, perhaps, Lough Derg is shedding something of the darker narrative that speaks of harshness and pain. “People are talking more about the blessing of this place and the help and the comfort and the compassion of God that it offers.”The season of one-day retreats starts tomorrow, Saturday, and runs until mid-September with retreats mainly taking place at weekends, though some are held during the week.Record high increase in numbers of pilgrims to Lough Derg was last modified: August 16th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare 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)last_img read more

Press freedom on Sanef agenda

first_imgThe South African National Editors’ Forum strives for fairness and ethics in journalism. (Image: stock.xchng)Janine ErasmusFind out more about using materialThe South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) held its annual general meeting in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, in June. Looking to the decade ahead, the theme of the event was “Journalism – The next 10 years”.Keynote speaker Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s president, lauded the country’s journalists for their important role in the strengthening of democracy and the promotion of human rights, even as they deal with significant industry-related challenges such as transformation.“These rights include freedom of expression, which is not merely about protecting citizens from state censorship,” said Zuma. “It is also about ensuring that citizens have the means to exercise this right.”All citizens should be able to freely express themselves through the media, said Zuma. He stressed that the media also has an obligation to constantly inform the public – especially the poor – about their rights and responsibilities. He also reminded those present to continue to strive for the attainment of gender equality in the industry in the years to come.Upholding media freedomThe Sanef meeting identified two concerns that must be dealt with if the media is to continue providing credible and newsworthy information in the years to come. Firstly, there must be no imposition of limitations whatsoever on journalists. Secondly, media houses cannot afford to ignore the threat to print publications posed by the advent of the digital age.The meeting focused on various obstacles to media freedom. Within South Africa, Sanef specifically pointed out an increasingly arduous process in obtaining media accreditation from certain organisations and PR companies, and the ongoing refusal of Tito Mboweni, the Reserve Bank governor, to let photographers take pictures of him at briefings.The group resolved to oppose and overcome these developments, and also discussed recent violations to press freedom in other notoriously restrictive countries on the African continent.Sanef expressed its “deep concern” over the ongoing instability at the national broadcaster South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). In recent weeks the SABC has taken a number of body blows in the form of top-level resignations, revelations of long-overdue debt and mismanagement of funds, and a general drop in credibility on all fronts.Sanef appealed to those in authority to urgently put in place a new governing structure. The SABC is owned by the state and its governing board is appointed in Parliament. Only the country’s president may appoint the chair and deputies.Zuma assured the group that he, too, was monitoring the situation and was ready to take the necessary steps once Parliament has concluded its investigation and decided on the right way forward.“In the midst of the challenges facing the public broadcaster,” said Zuma, “there is still a sizable group of journalists within the institution who undertake their daily work with diligence and integrity.”The president commended those journalists and editors who did their best to keep South Africans reliably informed, often under difficult professional conditions.Recognising commitmentThe annual Nat Nakasa award ceremony, given in honour of the late journalist, took place on the same evening. The awards, which honour courageous journalism, are a tribute to the gutsy 1960s activist who fought against the regime of the time for press freedom and a wider platform for black voices.In 1964 Nakasa went into exile to study journalism at Harvard under a Niemann Fellowship, and died by his own hand at the age of 28.“The Nat Nakasa award reminds us that we don’t just need a free media,” commented Zuma. “We want and need a quality media. As a country we need journalists who are dedicated to their craft and to their audience.”The 2009 Nakasa award was bestowed on South African-born photographer Greg Marinovich, a filmmaker, Pulitzer Prize winner and member of the Bang Bang Club. Marinovich has worked in conflict situations in South Africa, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Rwanda, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Israel, Palestine and others. He is the former picture editor of the Sunday Times, and now works as a freelancer.Another prestigious award was awarded on the night. The Sanef-Wrottesley award is awarded to a journalist who shows outstanding dedication in working towards Sanef’s goals. The winner is chosen by his or her peers. Former City Press and Sunday Times editor Mathatha Tsedu, now head of media giant Media24’s journalism academy, walked off with the award for 2009.Fighting against prejudiceSanef arose out of a 1996 meeting of the Black Editors’ Forum and the Conference of Editors. The two groups merged to form the non-profit, non-racial organisation that now works to overcome various forms of prejudice in the industry and uphold the principles of ethical journalism and freedom of the press. It was launched on 19 October 1996, Press Freedom Day.“We have at last arrived at the creation of a united forum of editors,” said then-president Thabo Mbeki on that occasion, “and therefore, in practical terms, put down another foundation stone on which we will build the non-racial edifice which we all wish to see.”Today Sanef comprises senior journalists, editors and trainers from all over the country and from all media genres, working together for a free South African press.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at [email protected] articlesZuma on press freedom 2010 Gauteng media guidelines Bang Bang Club lives on in film Useful linksSanefMedia24Greg MarinovichJournalists of Southern Africalast_img read more

10 Factors for Forecasting Deals

first_imgCompelling reason to change: If your dream client doesn’t have a compelling reason to change, it’s difficult to forecast that deal. Like a crime, you are looking for a motive. No compelling reason to change doesn’t mean you may not win eventually, but it’s not a deal you can forecast with any certainty that you are going to win it by a certain date.Client driven date: If the prospect doesn’t have a date by which they believe they need to–or want to–implement your solution, the date in your CRM is merely a placeholder. How can you forecast a date when the client isn’t even aware of the date you have selected?Support beyond formal process: Do you have access to the stakeholders you need? Do you have access to the information you need? How much closer than “arm’s length” are you? It’s a mistake to forecast a blind RFP with any certainty over 17% unless you helped write it.All stakeholders are known and engaged: In small companies or large companies with a dominator hierarchy, you may be able to make a deal with a single stakeholder. But in larger, more complex deals, you are likely to need consensus. You won’t know how to build consensus if you don’t know who the stakeholders are. Not knowing them means they don’t support you. Maybe lower your certainty.Obstacle identified: If you don’t know who your obstacles are, you may want to reduce your certainty when it comes to forecasting. If you don’t know how you are likely to lose a deal, then you don’t know where you are likely to be flanked by your opposition or your competitor. Knowing how you may lose is how you know what changes to make. And who you need to help. Hold on that 75% certainty score.All stakeholder needs are addressed, and the solution tailored: If you don’t know what people want and how your solution may be difficult for them to accept, you can’t give them what they want. If you have “a” solution, you might want to think about “solutions,” (plural) tailoring your proposal for the people whose support you need and who you will later serve.Collaboration on solutions: You are much more likely to win a deal in which you collaborated with the contacts within your dream client’s company. If it’s your solution alone, it is not “our” solution. The more the solution belongs to your prospect, the greater the likelihood you win.Support of leadership: Just because you need consensus doesn’t mean that there isn’t still someone who has to sign an agreement. Consensus still requires the support of leadership. You don’t want to ask if leadership supports the change initiative you are working on with your prospect. Would you rather lose?Access to investment: A lot of people and companies have problems worth solving. Few of them have an unlimited budget for everything they would like to have. The question isn’t “Is there a budget?” It’s “is this compelling enough for you to make the necessary investment?” You can forecast a deal, but if there isn’t a reason to pay for the change, you are looking a “no decision.”Competitor’s known: If you haven’t had a scrappy competitor sneak into a deal and beat you, you will. You can’t easily differentiate your offering from your competitors if you don’t know who they are. You also can’t always generate the best deal strategy. It’s better to know who you are competing against than not to know and do nothing.last_img read more


first_imgHave you been wondering where all of the NTL stories from earlier in the week are? Or how you view the draws, results and ladders? Or where you can see a selection of photographs?There were so many stories published from the Opens and 20’s and also the Seniors NTL, that they are slowly being archived. To see all archived stories on the 2006 NTL, just click on ‘National Touch League’ on the homepage or use this link: 2006 NTL STORIESAll draws, results, ladders and statistics can also be viewed at the TFA Sporting Pulse website which can be accessed using this link: TFA SPORTING PULSE WEBSITEHave you also been wondering where you can see a selection of photographs taken at the event? To view some of Sporting Images photos, check out the Gallery, using the tab on the TFA homepage or by using this link: 2006 NTL PHOTO GALLERYlast_img read more

2013 NSWTA Blues Awards Dinner

first_imgNSWTA Administrator of the Year – Tracey Yiangou (Wests Touch Association) Referee of the Year (Ian Matthew Medal) – David BaggioSelector of the Year – Bob MonkleyRegion of the Year – Sydney MetsAdministrator of the YearSouthern Suns – Gary Brickell Sydney Rebels – Marina PappasSydney Mets – Tracey YiangouSydney Scorpions – Kim SolmanHunter Western Hornets – Tony LewisNorthern Eagles – Darrin Lewis Junior Coach of the Year – Keith RozairoCoach of the Year – Christian FrostTeam of the Year – Eastern Suburbs Women’s Premier LeagueSenior Male Player of the Year – Tim KitchinghamSenior Female Player of the Year – Kristie MosleyJunior Male Player of the Year – Adam CluneJunior Female Player of the Year – Ashleigh QuinlanMale Player of the Year – Dylan Hennessey and Scott BuckleyFemale Player of the Year – Ashleigh Quinlan Congratulations to the winners at the 2013 New South Wales Touch Association Blues Awards Dinner. Affiliate of the YearSouthern Suns – Goulburn Touch AssociationSydney Rebels – Eastern Suburbs Touch AssociationSydney Mets – Western Suburbs Touch AssociationSydney Scorpions – Hills Hornets Touch AssociationHunter Western Hornets – Central Coast Touch AssociationNorthern Eagles – Ballina Touch Association and Murwillumbah Touch Associationcenter_img NSWTA Affiliate of the Year – Eastern Suburbs Touch Association Hall of Fame induction – Amanda JuddRod Wise Medal (Volunteer of the Year) – Greg EgginsStay tuned to for all of the latest news and stories from the 2013 NSWTA Blues Awards and State Conference weekend. Related LinksNSWTA Blues Awardslast_img read more

2016 4-Star CB Donte Vaughn Releases SEC-Heavy Top 8

first_imgDonte Vaughn announces his top 8 schools.@_cavtion_Donte Vaughn, a four-star cornerback in the 2016 class, has trimmed his list to eight schools. The 6-foot-3, 192-pound prospect out of Memphis, Tenn., is ranked the No. 27 CB in his class by 247 Sports’ Composite Rankings. His top eight is very SEC-heavy. Here’s the statement he released with his top schools.  @_cavtion_@_cavtion_Vaughn is considered by most recruiting analysts to be favoring Tennessee, Ole Miss and Notre Dame.last_img

Money Talks Floyd Mayweather Jokes On The Colbert Report

Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather made his media rounds in the Big Apple on Wednesday, stopping by “The Colbert Report” to discuss the chess problem in San Francisco.Stephen Colbert, started out talking about a famous street corner in San Francisco, where a large number of people hang out and play chess on a daily basis. Police are reportedly trying to shut down the popular hangout due to alleged illegal gambling, drug use, and violence.Colbert introduced Mayweather who commented on the issue:“Stephen, there are always going to be some bad apples on the chess board,” a rehearsed Mayweather said. “But you’ve got to understand, for kids in a tough neighborhood, chess is the only way out.”It’s a funny skit that is worth watching. Check it out in the video player above.

Recent Breakthroughs In Womens Tennis Have Yet To Stick

At six of the last 10 Grand Slam tournaments, a woman has reached her first major singles final. All six first-time finalists lost the match, four of them in straight sets while winning no more than six games. Five then lost their first match at the next tournament. None has reached another major final since. Four of them failed to reach the quarterfinals at the next major they played. Three have fallen out of the Top 10 in the rankings.Breakthrough performances have been followed by letdowns.The most promising of the six players is Simona Halep. She came the closest to winning her major final debut, taking 15 games off Maria Sharapova at the French Open in June. Halep followed that by reaching the semifinal at Wimbledon the next month. And she enters the U.S. Open — which began this week — ranked No. 2 in the world. Yet she doesn’t look likely to reach the final in Flushing, New York. She won just two matches at warm-up tournaments, and Halep dropped the first set to unranked Danielle Rose Collins (the U.S. college singles champ) before coming back to win her opening match Monday.“Every day we have to work to reach the top and to stay there, because it’s more difficult to stay there than to reach it,” Halep said at a news conference after her win.It’s a bit early to declare the most recent first-time finalist a letdown; Eugenie Bouchard hasn’t gotten a chance to play another major since reaching the Wimbledon final this summer. On Tuesday, she begins her U.S. Open against Olga Govortsova. Early returns for Bouchard aren’t good, though: She’s won just one match in three tournaments since getting routed by Petra Kvitova in the Wimbledon final.Like the current group of young contenders, Kvitova didn’t immediately back up her breakthrough performance. She won Wimbledon in 2011, at age 21, in her first major final. Then she lost three of her next five matches, including her first-round match at the U.S. Open. But she won two tournaments and the Fed Cup later that summer, and Wimbledon this summer. She has been a regular in the Top 10 since reaching her first major final.Victoria Azarenka followed shortly after Kvitova and was more consistently successful. She reached her first major final at the Australian Open in 2012, at age 22, and won it — routing Maria Sharapova, as Kvitova had done the previous summer at Wimbledon. Then Azarenka won the next two tournaments she played and held the No. 1 ranking for much of the next year, including during her successful defense of her Australian Open title the next year.It’s natural that an athlete who is playing her first major final against a player who has been there before would be an underdog. And it’d be unfair to expect the player to repeat her performance at the next major, rather than regressing a bit to the mean. Plus, the women who have broken through recently are young and have time to return to the sport’s most prominent matches.Among the six most recent first-time major finalists, Sara Errani was the oldest at the time of her breakthrough. She had just turned 25 when she reached the 2012 French Open final, relatively young in the aging sport of tennis. Four of the others were younger than 24 when they reached their first Grand Slam final. But only Bouchard was younger at her first breakthrough than Kvitova and Azarenka were. read more

Opinion Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan the bestkept secret in college football

OSU sophomore linebacker Raekwon McMillan (5) celebrates during a game against Minnesota on Nov. 7 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won 28-14. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorThe undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes are stocked with talent. Household names such as redshirt senior H-back Braxton Miller and junior running back Ezekiel Elliott immediately come to mind whenever the Buckeyes are mentioned.Yet, there’s one player deserving of such notoriety that has flown under the radar for quite some time now.Through the first nine games of the season, sophomore linebacker Raekwon McMillan has quietly led the Buckeyes in total tackles with 83, good for third most in the Big Ten. McMillan has not only capably anchored the middle of OSU’s stout defense, but he’s become the heart and soul of a unit that has been the single most consistent entity on the team. His conservative temperament on the field explains the lack of buzz coming from the national media. He leaves the boisterous celebrations to the likes of other notable names on the defense, like junior defensive end Joey Bosa and his signature shrug.In spite of the shuttered spotlight, McMillan has outshined his fellow starting linebackers, senior Joshua Perry and redshirt sophomore Darron Lee. Overall, though, he’s been as good and as consistent as any linebacker in the country.Averaging roughly nine tackles per game, few teams have been able to successfully move the rock against the McMillan-led front seven of the Buckeyes. His sophomore campaign is going so well, in fact, that he’s been named as one of 10 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, which is given annually to the best linebacker in college football.With Curtis Grant currently pursuing a career in the NFL, McMillan has stepped up big time in what is his first season as a full-time starter. He attributes much of his success to newfound confidence, saying as much on Monday. “I wouldn’t say comfortable, but I would say confident,” McMillan said. “I’m out there making calls on the field; calling things out as I see it. Last year, I was more tentative on the field. But this year, I’m more confident in what I’m saying and I’m saying it loud.”That confidence is something that has helped the Buckeyes to a top-15 ranking in total defense. Despite that high level of play, McMillan is still yearning for more.“We’re steadily getting better every week,” he said. “That was one of our things at the beginning of the season: to progress every week and to be playing your best football at the end of the season. And I think we’re working toward playing our best football at the end of the season.”With only three more games left on the Buckeyes’ regular-season schedule, McMillan will look to continue what has been nothing short of tremendous play at the middle linebacker position. Guys like Bosa, Lee and Perry may make all of the headlines, but it’s No. 5 who quietly serves as the integral leader of the defense. All things considered, McMillan may just be the best kept secret in all of college football, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. read more

Football Ohio State rises to No 9 in latest AP Poll

Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) calls out a play in the Ohio State-Maryland game on Oct. 7. Ohio State won 62-14. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorAfter Saturday’s 62-14 victory against Maryland, Ohio State rose one spot from No. 10 to No. 9 in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 Poll.The Buckeyes are one of four Big Ten teams ranked in the top 25. Penn State, which beat Northwestern 31-7 Saturday, rose to No. 3 this week. Michigan dropped to No. 17 following its 14-10 loss to Michigan State Saturday night. The Spartan victory put Michigan State in the top 25 for the first time this season as it appeared at No. 21 in the rankings. Wisconsin rose to No. 7 after defeating Nebraska 38-17. No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Penn State, No. 4 Georgia and No. 5 Washington round out the top five. Ohio State will look to continue its rise up the rankings Saturday when the Buckeyes take on Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska, at 7:30 p.m.AP PollAlabama (43)Clemson (18)Penn StateGeorgiaWashingtonTCUWisconsinWashington StateOhio StateAuburnMiami (Fl.)OklahomaUSCOklahoma StateVirginia TechNotre DameMichiganSouth FloridaSan Diego StateNorth Carolina StateMichigan StateUCFStanfordTexas TechNavy read more