Doherty slams ‘unacceptable’ eviction tactics in Roscommon

first_imgDonegal TD Pearse Doherty has said the tactics used by KBC bank in enforcing repossession in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon were “unacceptable and intolerable”.Two brothers and a sister were evicted from their home outside Strokestown last Tuesday.The eviction came under the spotlight after a violent raid on Sunday morning, when eight security guards were attacked while occupying the repossessed home. A gang of more than 20 people wearing balaclavas and wielding baseball bats carried out a pre-dawn raid on the house on Sunday. Three members of the security team guarding the home were hospitalised and a dog was fatally injured.Gardaí are investigating the criminal damage and assault.Donegal Deputy and Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson said the issue highlighted the unregulated nature of receivers and people employed to enforce evictions.He said: “I was shocked at the video footage from Roscommon showing the aggression and violence perpetrated in enforcing an eviction order. KBC Bank is responsible for this eviction and must be held to account. I have written to the Oireachtas Finance Committee calling for KBC and their agents involved in this eviction to appear before the Committee.” Deputy Doherty has called on the government to speed up planned reform measures:He said: “For years now, I have been seeking the regulation of receivers and their employees – something that is completely lacking.  Almost three years ago, in January 2016 then Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald told me that the working group on company law reform would consider this issue. In October, officials informed me that it still hasn’t even looked at the issue. This regulation must be put in place as per the recommendation of my colleague Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD.”“Public anger is rising at the constant Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil enabling of banks, these modern day bailiffs, and the vulture funds to act as they like.”Deputy Doherty added that he believes there are many other alternative solutions, other than evictions.“The immediate issue lies with banks employing security firms with no accountability to evict working families. Those banks should cease these operations and resolve their cases through the many, many other avenues open to them,” Doherty concluded. Doherty slams ‘unacceptable’ eviction tactics in Roscommon was last modified: December 17th, 2018 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

Meet Bafana’s number-one fan

first_imgSaddam loves Bafana Bafana and his vuvuzela. International journalists find him an interesting fan to interview (Images: Bongani Nkosi) MEDIA CONTACTS • Freddie “Saddam” Maake Football fan and musician +27 82 950 7619 RELATED ARTICLES • World Cup world record for SA fan • Bafana go out with pride intact • Black Stars shine for Africa • The vuvuzela: Bafana’s 12th man • Bafana frenzy grips the nation • The master of the makarapaBongani NkosiMost South Africans love Bafana Bafana, the national football team, but some love it more than others – and are always ready to go to daunting heights for it.Freddie “Saddam” Maake is one of those fanatics who gives his all when it comes to supporting Bafana. In victory or defeat, Maake is always behind the team, using his trademark vuvuzela trumpet to inspire other fans to show the same spirit.“I always tell supporters they must not boo Bafana when they’re not playing well,” he said when I met him at his home in Tembisa, a township east of Johannesburg. “It hurts the players. The players must always be strong.“I like to be a technical advisor to supporters. I encourage them to travel with the team,” he added.Maake’s dining room is laden with football memorabilia, ranging from makarapas, vuvuzelas, supporter awards and photographs of him with top players. “This is my museum,” he said.This unyielding passion for Bafana, the 55-year-old father of nine recalls, was ignited in 1992 when South African sport was reincorporated into the international arena after years of isolation. Initially he was part of the almost 42 000-strong crowd who showed up to support the match between South Africa and Zimbabwe on 16 August of that year.“I travelled with Bafana Bafana to Zimbabwe in 1992, and from there the show went on,” he said. “I remember we lost that game 4-1.”A football stadium is never dull when Maake and his friends are in the stands. Rest assured that when they’re there, the fan zone becomes a hotbed of vibrancy: they wear comical outfits to grab attention and loud toots ooze from their vuvuzelas. They also sing and dance to get the atmosphere going.One of Maake’s friends, David Mabu, describes their style of support as a fusion of African and European subcultures. “We’re unique, as we mix African and European energy.”Bafana’s top fanMaake can be seen as one of the “godfathers” of the type of stadium atmosphere that’s experienced nowadays during local and international football games played in the country, having followed Bafana since the 1990s.“We were very excited at the stadiums in 1996,” he said, referring to Bafana’s winning of the Africa Cup of Nations in that year.It was in 1997 that he was first recognised as being the number-one follower of local football, winning a national award for “supporter of the year”.South Africa’s first participation in the Fifa World Cup in 1998 in France brings back great memories for Maake. “I won a trip to the World Cup for being a number-one supporter,” he said.He’s also been to many of the Africa Cup of Nation (Afcon) tournaments, he said. “We have travelled to most of the Afcons. I remember in 2001 we went to Mali.”The 2002 Fifa World Cup in Korea and Japan was also a highlight for him – as was the following Cup in Germany in 2006. Although South Africa didn’t qualify for this, Maake said the South African Football Association (Safa) sponsored his trip to attend. “Safa sent me there to represent South Africa, to fly our flag.”According to Maake, Safa has sponsored most of his trips and tickets to games in recognition of his efforts. “Safa has really been supportive to me.”As an official supporter, he’s been to more than 20 countries – including Denmark, Egypt and Swaziland – and always takes along a vuvuzela, an instrument he claims to have invented, to cheer Bafana on.Awards recognising his passion keep coming through: most recently, in March, he jetted off to Ghana with a Safa official to collect an accolade for being such an enthusiastic fan.‘I’m a football slave’Also an ardent fan of the local Kaizer Chiefs team, Maake practically lives for football. “I live soccer. I drink soccer … I’m a soccer slave,” he said.“If you say ‘let’s go to the stadium’, I’ll take my vuvuzela and go there.”Although his fanaticism started in the 1990s, Maake said he has been a fan of football since 1965, and has even lost a few jobs owing to his obsession with stadiums and the sport. Nowadays he earns a living from selling his music album, Vuvuzela Saddam Maake Volume 2, released this year, and vuvuzelas. He trades from his house and stadiums.2010 Fifa World CupMaake has already been to 12 of the matches, including all three Bafana games, and has drawn a number of tourists to his home since the kick-off earlier this month.Although disappointed that South Africa has been knocked out, he’s still enjoying the tournament. “I was hoping to attend 20 matches, at least,” he said. He’s now supporting Ghana and Brazil.Always positive about the sport in South Africa and Bafana’s future, Maake said he’s consoled by the fact that the country is hosting the “best World Cup” ever, and that it will leave a lasting legacy.“It’s not the field of play that matters … this is the best World Cup you’ll ever see. One team will win, but the stadiums are ours. Beyond 2010 we’ll [continue to] use these stadiums,” he said.last_img read more

Magnificent tailcam view of a sunrise landing at LAX

first_imgThis is a video of a magnificent tailcam view of a sunrise landing at LAX in a Qantas A380.Last week Qantas boss Alan Joyce told Editor Stve Creedy that he wants to get another 10 years out of the airline’s refurbished Airbus A380s and said the move to bring the superjumbo’s product into line other aircraft in the fleet will help him do it.READ: Analyst tips Boeing will launch the 797.Despite moves by some airlines to retire 380s, the Qantas experts have done their sums and Joyce argues a new configuration with a 27 percent increase in premium seating will help keep them in the air.last_img

Boston Dynamics unwraps military robot AlphaDog w video

first_img Explore further Citation: Boston Dynamics unwraps military robot AlphaDog (w/ video) (2011, October 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( — Boston Dynamics has taken the wraps off its newest prototype combat escort, AlphaDog, which was developed with funding from DARPA and the US Marine Corps. Waltham, Massachusetts-based Boston Dynamics last week revealed the video that shows AlphaDog’s capabilities for troop support. Those who have seen the video are calling the quadruped robot such names as Mule Poodle, Monster Mutt and BigDog-on-Steroids, but AlphaDog is its name. The robot is described further as the prototype for the formally named LS3. The latter stands for Legged Squad Support System. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Robot Ranger sets new ‘walking’ record at 14.3 miles AlphaDog does not need a driver; it follows along with troops, making use of its GPS, computer vision and state of the art hydraulics. AlphaDog is actually the offspring of BigDog, an earlier, noisier, version with limited payload and operating range. Nonetheless, BigDog was an impressive step forward in the company’s development efforts toward a mule-like pack robot that could support troop movements and carry gear.BigDog took on four legs articulated like an animal’s, with compliant elements to absorb shock and recycle energy from one step to the next. Sensors for locomotion included a gyroscope, LIDAR and stereo vision system AlphaDog, in comparison, is designed to be over ten times quieter than BigDog, according to the company. This quadruped has the same cargo carrying mission as BigDog, but with better range and payload. AlphaDog is to debut next year, and the video shows results so far of this latest round of development.”This video shows early results from the control development process,” says the company. The video has drawn reactions from viewers who are impressed not as much over its ability to maneuver its four legs over rough rocks and logs but rather its ability to stay on balance no matter how hard the testers shove it around.Boston Dynamics teamed up with outside groups to assemble the robot. The company worked with engineers and scientists from Boston Dynamics, Bell Helicopter, AAI Corporation, Carnegie Mellon, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Woodward HRT (the latter does motion control systems and components).When AlphaDog does make its appearance in 2012, DARPA and the U.S. Marines will put the robot through tests.Boston Dynamics is an MIT spinoff. The company’s president, Marc Raibert said, “If LS3 can offload 50 pounds from the back of each soldier in a squad, it will reduce warfighter injuries and fatigue and increase the combat effectiveness of our troops.” © 2011 More information: via IEEE Spectrum The robot, once fully ready for combat, will navigate through any rough terrain conditions, and will carry 400 pounds of equipment for 20 miles without having to refuel. last_img read more