Year 2010 was very succesful for one of the best right backs in the world of handball, Serbian, Marko Vujin (26). He signed contract with THW Kiel, but still in T-shirts of MKB Veszprem, after first part of the season, Marko is the leader of goalscorers in the EHF Champions League. In an interview for Handball-Planet.com, Vujin speaks about Veszprem, Kiel and ambitions with the national team of Serbia at World Championship 2011 in Sweden.You are playing a very good season with MKB Veszprem. Without any lost point in Hungary and with position number 1 in very strong group in front of HSV and Montpellier at the EHF Champions League.– Season is great, but it’s not over. Until May, we must to improve some segments in our play. We have to make a good results in Montpellier and Kolding, because the Champions League is only what we interested for. We had a great matches at the start of this competition and that is why we must to keep form also after World Championship. Our mainly and only goal is to achieve Final Four in Koln. Everything else will be big dissapointment for Veszprem. In this situation, I think that F4 is realistic plan.How you finding motivation for playing in Hungary? You don’t have strong national league or rivals as Pick Szeged was. Probably it isn’t easy to keep good form…– EHF CL is competition of interest for all players. In Veszprem, yes, we have problems with motivation, because we didn’t lost any single point last two and a half years! That is so bad for young players, who had only 12,13 strong games during season. Veszprem as Veszprem exists to be Hungarian champion, but also to achieve something big in the Champions League. It isn’t easy, when you play at Saturday agains HSV Hamburg and then in Thursday with some weak team,which you beat with 25 goal difference.Is it possible to left Veszprem to Kiel, before 2012, what is an initial year of yours three seasons contract? An example for that is Žarko Šešum, who sign for RNL…– People from THW Kiel publish that option in media last October, I think, with a plan to give enough time to Veszprem’s owner, to think about that. I think that they made that, because they want to see me next summer. Sincerely, my big wish, also, is to come to Kiel next summer – 2011. I had and still have a very nice time in Veszprem, but for the club and for me, personally, maybe it is the best solution to end everything after this season. Even if I stay until 2012, no problem. I will do everything like a proffesional.You had broken knee ligaments, what was the reason for missed EURO 2010 in Austria. In front of the TV, you watched defeats of Serbia from Iceland and Austria and only draw with Iceland, which wasn’t enough for Main Round (13th place). How did you see that?– Pre period and also a period of tournament in Hungary, when I had unlucky in October 2009 was really good. I believe that we can make something in Austria, but after all, just disappointed, because we finished EURO 2010 after four days. We also didn’t have lucky in the matches with Iceland and Austria. Many of the people lost faith in our possibilites, but we bring them back after winning against Czech Republic in qualification for WC 2011, for what people in Serbia thought that we had small chances. We made it. Now, we are on the way to Sweden.In Serbia exists confusion about potential of the national team. Vujin, Stojković, Ilić, Šešum and other serious names of the handball world, but you will face Denmark and Croatia in the Preliminary Group A in Malmo. How you can beat them – favorites?-These two matches are third and fourth in the Group. First, we have to beat Algeria and Australia, win four points and relaxed going in matches with the favorites. For win against such a rivals, everything has to be perfect. Goalkeepers, attacks, strong defense. It is not realistic to say, that Serbia is a favorite. Denmark coming without five important players, At the last WC in Croatia, we had them, 59 minutes, but we didn’t survive that last 60 seconds. With Croatia will be a game „goal for goal“, no matter, which year or name of the players are. Both teams will be over motivated to win and that will be very interesting for spectators and TV.Who are the favorites to win WC 2011?– France. They are to much over rivals. Fantastic individuals, all in two or three best players in the World on their position.You became one of the best right backs on the Planet. Who are the best players at your position in your opinion?– Olafur Stefansson. He is still big, playing in TOP team at high level. His games in Magdeburg and Ciudad Real were my inspiration, when I was young player. Also, Marcin Lijewski playing for many years on high level…ŽIKA BOGDANOVIĆPhoto: sportgeza.hu Marko VujinMKB VeszpremSerbian handball ← Previous Story Bastian Rutschmann in FA Goppingen from 2011/12 Next Story → Icelandic player of 2010 – Alexander Petersson
After today’s final matches of the qualifying groups for the Champions League, the teams that will participate in the upcoming Champions League tournaments are known. At the Wild Card tournament, Vive Kielce beat Rhein-Neckar Lowen in a thriller game, with 32:30 after extra time. Metalurg also had a very hard game against Norwegian Haslum, and only won in the last seconds of the game, with 29:28. A bit surprising maybe, the ‘Underdog’ IK Savehof beat Dinamo Minsk at the tournament in Vienna, with 33:32. Easiest game of all, it seems, had Partizan that brushed away the Portuguese champion, Porto Vitalis, with 33:26. ← Previous Story Champ. League Qualifications – Day of Decisions; Vive Kielce-RNL in spotlight Next Story → Bundesliga begins: Kiel thrashes Flensburg!
In the announcement sent to the media, RK Lovcen and Pero Milosevic have agreed to mutual termination of the contract. Milosevic took over the coaching role in Lovcen last year, and won the double crown in Montenegro, and won the sixth place in SEHA. However, the beginning of this one has been good at all, the team losing both matches in the CL-Quals to Porto and Sloga, as well as losing to better KIF Kolding side in the EHF Cup later. The team also netted three wins, two defeats and one draw in this year’s SEHA. ← Previous Story EC 2014 Quals: Macedonia travels to Portugal with three changes, Georgievski left out!? Next Story → Yevgeny Trefilov had a micro heart attack – Without handball in November lovcenmilosevicPero Milosevic
← Previous Story VIDEO: Andrea Lekic Magic moments Next Story → Bundesliga (Round 33): Neuhausen relegated Another player that is certain to leave Wisla Plock after the departure of Ferenc Ilyes, is the Norwegian international Christian Spanne. He has joined the club in 2011 after playing in Drammen his whole career. The right wing has not been given much chance to prove himself this season in Europe and at home he and the club had to concede the Polish championship title to Vive Targi Kielce. He has not been offered a new contract by Wisla Plock. christian spanneFerenc Ilyespolska handballVive Targi KielceWisla Plock
kent-harry anderssonNiklas LandinRhein Neckar LowenTHW Kiel ← Previous Story HC Vardar wants Rutenka, Karabatic, Sterbik and Lazarov?! Next Story → Left kneecap injury to keep Felipe Borges out for three months After the brilliant display at the European Championship 2014 in Denmark, and despite the final loss to France, Niklas Landin has become a star and as a result now many clubs are seeking him. Among them are Paris SG, THW Kiel and Barcelona. He currently plays for Rhein-Neckar Lowen, and former Lowen assistant manager Kent-Harry Andersson thinks that he if he’s after money he should join Paris SG, while if he wants competition and sport he should be looking the options between his current club and THW Kiel.Link to the full article. source: hbold.dk
The Hungarian energy company MVM Magyar Villamos Művek Zrt. has signed a contract with the organisers of the WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4, becoming the event’s title sponsor for the second year in a row. The event’s official name will be the 2015 MVM EHF FINAL4.The final weekend of the WOMEN’S EHF Champions League and pinnacle event of women’s club handball will take place on 9/10 May 2015 in the Papp László Sportaréna in Budapest.One year ago, Hungarian side Győri Audi ETO KC lifted the trophy after a thrilling final victory against Montenegrin club Buducnost in front of 10,000 fans.Commenting on the agreement, Peter Vargo, Managing Director of EHF Marketing, said: “The fact that MVM has become the event’s title sponsor underlines its prestige and the reputation that women’s handball has in Europe.”Csilla Nagy, Deputy Communications Director of MVM, said: “Last year’s MVM EHF FINAL4 was a huge success as 10,000 fans celebrated women’s handball together with the participating teams.“We continue in our efforts to give ‘a lot of energy’ to the best European handball teams and we are proud to be the title sponsor of the 2015 MVM EHF FINAL4. We believe the event will increase the rank of both Hungary and our company on the national as well as on the international level.”The Hungarian Handball Federation, as co-hosts of the 2015 MVM EHF FINAL4, welcomes the title sponsor.“With the successful organisation of the 2014 MVM EHF FINAL4 we have proven that Hungary is a perfect venue for Europe’s biggest women’s club handball event,” said Iván Vetési, President of Hungarian Handball Federation (HHF).“I’m sure that once again in 2015 the fans, who will come to Budapest from all over Europe, are poised to experience an extraordinary sports event on 9/10 May.”About the 2015 MVM EHF FINAL42015 is the second consecutive year that the WOMEN’S EHF Champions League culminates in an EHF FINAL4-weekend and is not decided by home and away matches between the two eventual finalists.After the successful premiere last year with 10,000 fans following the matches in a sold-out Papp László Sportaréna, the EHF and EHF Marketing reached an agreement with the Hungarian Handball Federation as local organisers until 2016.The four participating teams are known once the quarter-finals will have been played by 12 April 2015. Two days later, on 14 April, the draw for the 2015 MVM EHF FINAL4 will take place. On this occasion a new trophy for the eventual winners, designed by graduates of the renowned Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest, will be presented.The semi-finals at the 2015 MVM EHF FINAL4 will be played on Saturday, 9 May; the match for third place and the final on Sunday, 10 May. The exact throw-off times will be communicated in due time. More information and tickets at www.ehfFINAL4.com.SOURCE: EHF ← Previous Story SEHA GAZPROM F4 All Star team announced Next Story → Celje Pivovarna Lasko win 18th Slovenian Cup trophy
← Previous Story Goran Perkovac last chance for TUS Lubbecke Next Story → Siraba Dembele to Rostov Don! Denis BuntićPick Szeged PICK Szeged coach Juan Carlos Pastor plans to make a “new team” for the upcoming season. Slovenians, Staš Skube and Mario Šoštarić, but also Russian left back Sergey Gorbok are already there for the 2016/2017, but also one interesting name waiting to be promoted – Denis Buntić! The 33 years-old Vive Tauron Kielce right back will end his contract with Polish champions in summer 2016 after five years in the club.Croatian star will replace Gabor Ancsin in Hungarian team.Buntić has played also in BM Ademar Leon (2008-2011), Cimos Koper (2007-2008), PPD Zagreb (2005-2007), HRK Izviđač (until 2005)…
Aleksandar StojanovićBalmazujvaros ← Previous Story Japan to make handball revolution with Sigurdsson on the bench? Next Story → Gudmundur Gudmundsson to leave Danish bench! The small Hungarian team Balmazujvaros got a player with international reputation. Currently at 11th place in the national league with only three points from 10 matches, will get support from Serbian right back Aleksandar Stojanovic. The 33-years old lefthander was free agent last four months since his departure from the Swiss Kadetten Schaffhausen, where he spent last seven years!Stojanovic played also at RK Vardar, RK Metalurg, RK Cimos Koper and RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko abroad, with domestic experience at RK Vrbas and RK Jagodina.He was a member of Serbian national team at Men’s World Championship 2009 and EHF EURO 2010.
Croatia handballFrance 2017zeljko babic ← Previous Story FRANCE 2017: Handball doors open at Bercy! Next Story → Norwegians admit that SG Flensburg interest for Christian Berge It is never boring to follow Croatian handball team on their ways to the medal battles, but their national team coach Zeljko Babic put everything into another dimension with his emotional statements after matches in which he is mostly thankful to the Jesus and Lady of Medjugorje. The former Meshkov Brest coach qualified with Croatia to semi-final for the second time on his third tournament. He and his guys are ready to give 100% against Norway on Friday 20.45 at the second semi-final at AccorHotels Arena in Bercy:We will be ready. This is momentum. We are going until the end. I told already to my players that this is not a game anymore. It’s a war – said Babic and added something about pressure which he feels during the tournament by media:I will not change myself and my attitudes even they could cost me seven, not one, seven dissmisals from the bench! – concludes Babic.
“Danke Dagur” was highlight of All Star match of DKB Bundesliga in Leipzig, where 7.000 fans enjoyed gala night og German handball.The Icelandic coach Dagur Sigurdsson got standing ovations from 7.000 fans, but also all the players, his successor Christian Prokop and all DHB people, for all what he did in 28 months on German NT bench.http://www.handball-planet.com/video-best-moments-of-dhb-all-star-match-2017/Sigurdsson came in 2014 before Qatar 2015 and began fantastic campaign with German team, who lost place on handball world’s map without playing at Men’s EHF EURO 2014 and losing Play-Off for World Championship 2015.After sixth place in Qatar (Germany got wild-card), European gold and Olympic bronze came as TOP of Sigurdsson’s knowledge with completely reconstructed roster. Even early elimination at World Championship 2017, where Germany were defeated against Qatar in eighth-finals, couldn’t ruine image of his campaign… Dagur Sigurdsson ← Previous Story VIDEO: Best moments of DHB All Star match 2017! Next Story → Lino Cervar denies talks with Croatia: I have a big respect to Macedonia
seha gazprom league ← Previous Story MARCH 24: Rhein Neckar Lowen x2 in Kiel and Kielce Next Story → No handball in Serbia – U20 Qual. tournament canceled SEHA Gazprom League announced the BEST 7 for March 2018, the last month of the regular season 2017/2018.To remind you that the Final4 of the strong competition will be played in Skopje, Macedonia, between April 13-15.The semi-final’s pairs are RK Vardar – HC Meshkov Brest and RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko – RK PPD Zagreb.GoalkeeperStrahinja Milic – HC VardarLeft wingerNiko Medved – HC Gorenje VelenjeRight wingerGal Marguc – HC Celje Pivovarna LaskoPivotVeselin Jelic – HC Dinamo Left backBorut Mackovsek – HC Celje Pivovarna LaskoMiddle backFilip Kuzmanovski – HC Metalurg Right back Zlatko Horvat – HC PPD ZagrebCoachRaul Gonzalez – HC Vardar
European Handball Federation established the new format of the competition EHF EURO Cup 2020 in which playing host nations of the Men’s EHF EURO 2020, Norway, Denmark and Austria alongside reigning EURO champions Spain.Norway beat Austria 43:31 in the opener. One of the world’s best shooters Sander Sagosen had a bomb for Austrian goalkeeper…Take a look… Sander Sagosen ← Previous Story EHF EURO 2020 Qual: Belgium and Faroe Islands hits of Day 1! Next Story → VIDEO: Omeyer-Buffon “face to face” moment in Paris
PATIENT FOCUS SAID it wants a “wide-ranging” investigation to be undertaken in the maternity care at Portlaoise hospital going back at least ten years.The patient advocacy group said they are working with a number of the women and families who were involved in the RTÉ Investigations Unit programme who state they were not told investigations had taken place into their babies’ deaths.They said the RTE investigation programme tonight will reveal a very “worrying situation”.DeathsThe babies were alive at the onset of labour but died either during the labour or within seven days of their birth at a Maternity Unit in Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise. All of the deaths occurred over a six-year period.According to RTÉ, in the cases it examined there were no congenital abnormalities, which means that the babies “did not have a physical condition where their ability to survive was diminished resulting in death”.Patient Focus state that it is “alarming that the recommendations of several reviews seem to have been ignored at the unit appearing to lead to the unnecessary deaths of babies. Hospital management must be held accountable for not ensuring that these recommendations were acted upon speedily”.They added that health professional too have responsibility for the quality of care they provide to women and babies.Immediate action by the HSE and hospital management should be taken, they said, adding that the HSE should set up a helpline for women due to give birth in the near future at the hospital.ReviewWomen and their families will require details regarding the safeguards and changes, if any, put in place at the unit as a result of the recommendations of reviews and inquests into baby deaths, they said.In addition, they want the HSE to contact anyone who may have been involved in an adverse event or review or investigation at the unit in the past and fund a second opinion for all those so concerned.Patient Focus called on the Minister for Health and Children to consider as a matter of urgency the need for a wider review in relation to the care provided to mothers and babies in other maternity units.The special Prime Time programme airs tonight.Related: Deaths of babies at maternity units investigated>
A MUMBAI COURT has convicted four men over the gang-rape of a photographer on assignment in the Indian city last year, a case that reignited nationwide anger over women’s safety.The court found the men guilty of raping the 22-year-old in August last year at an abandoned mill compound, where she had gone to take photos with a male colleague, close to an upscale area of the financial city.Mohammed Salim Ansari, Siraj Rehmat Khan, Vijay Mohan Jadhav and Mohammed Kasim Hafeez Shaikh, also known as Kasim Bangali, aged between 18 to 27 at the time of their arrest, were in the south Mumbai court to hear the verdict.“All the four accused are found guilty of committing forced sex,” said Judge Shalini Phansalkar Joshi, adding that the four would be sentenced on Friday when they could be handed life in prison.The judge said they were also found guilty of other offences including having unnatural sex, showing pornography to the woman and forcing her to perform similar acts, stripping her, and destroying evidence.Separate attackThe attack sparked outrage in the financial hub Mumbai, which had long been considered safer for women than the capital New Delhi, where the fatal gang-rape of a young student in December shook the nation.The court in Mumbai (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool) Handcuffed and surrounded by police in the court, the four, wearing shirts and jeans, showed little emotion as the verdict was read out.A fifth accused is being tried separately by a juvenile court.Three of the men, Jadhav, Ansari and Shaikh, were also found guilty during the same hearing on Thursday of gang-raping an 18-year-old telephone operator one month earlier in July last year at the same mill compound.She came forward to police after the photographer’s case made headline news around the country.Threatened with broken beer bottlePolice say the photographer was threatened with a broken beer bottle by her attackers, while her male colleague accompanying her was beaten and tied up with a belt while she was assaulted.A police van carries the accused men towards the court (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool) The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was admitted to hospital for several days with injuries after the attack and collapsed in court as she gave evidence in October.Police have described her four attackers as unemployed school drop-outs, while three of them live in slums close to the mills. After their arrest, neighbours told AFP that they were a gang of youths known for petty theft and drinking in the area.“It’s going to send a strong signal to would-be offenders,” Himanshu Roy, who was joint police commissioner at the time of the attack, told the NDTV news channel, of the verdict.Roy said there were “no words which can really commend her enough” for her efforts and cooperation in the case.ProtestsThe attack on the student in Delhi in December 2012 sparked weeks of angry street protests about India’s treatment of women and led to tougher laws for rapists and other sex offenders.A police officer looks out from a van carrying the accused (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool) Four men were sentenced to death last September over that attack, but the Supreme Court earlier this month stayed the execution of two of them while their appeal is heard.Sex crimes have continued across India despite the national outrage.In one of the most high-profile cases, a leading editor was charged last month with raping a colleague in a hotel lift in the coastal state of Goa.- © AFP, 2014Read: Female photojournalist gang-raped in India >
DUBLIN PLAYER CIARAN Kilkenny believes the fitness levels of GAA players rank high despite former Irish athlete Jerry Kiernan’s recent criticism of the physical capabilities of the county’s Gaelic footballers and hurlers.Kilkenny is well placed to offer a judgement after his recent stint in professional sport in Australian Rules with the Melbourne-based club Hawthorn.In January the Castleknock youngster opted to return to Ireland to resume his GAA career.Kiernan’s controversial comments on Newstalk recently prompted a heated reaction from inter-county players after the 1984 Olympian criticised the GAA players grants scheme.When asked yesterday in Croke Park for his views on the fitness levels of players in the wake of Kiernan’s remarks, Kilkenny was praiseworthy of his colleagues around the country.“I think GAA players are up their fitness-wise because we have a very high endurance base. At the same time you’re getting hit from every different angle so various different parts of your body are being worked.“I think the GAA is just as professional as Australia because you could be training four or five times a week. You could have two games in that week as well so we’re up there at the very top I think.”Kilkenny returned to training last night with Jim Gavin’s Dublin senior side and is in line to feature in next Saturday’s Division 1 league game against Mayo after impressing greatly for the county U21 side last week.He confessed he is satisfied with his decision to return to Ireland but revealed that he was confident that he could have forged a career in the AFL and coped with the physical demands of the sport.“I thought I would have had a good chance of making it because I was doing pretty well at all the endurance aspects. I would be in the top group fitness-wise over there so I thought I would have had a good chance“At the end of the day I weighed up would I rather win All-Irelands in football and hurling and titles with my club and college and all these other aspects or win the Grand Final. aAnd I was raised to win All-Irelands. That was embedded in me, the whole tradition of my Dad playing and my cousins and everything. At the end of the day I’m proud about our history and our culture and I’d rather win All-Irelands than win Grand Finals.”‘They tell themselves they’re training hard’ – Kiernan critical of GAA Players Scheme
Be warned: If you don’t want to see a placenta, don’t scroll down.YOU’RE PROBABLY AWARE that some (OK, a few) people like to eat the placenta after giving birth.You may not have known that you can drink it in a smoothie.Step forward Emma and Darragh, an Irish couple who feature on today’s The Morning Show on TV3.Having just brought a new life in the world, they decide to put the organ that recently emerged from Emma’s womb into a blender, and drink it with fruit. Over to you, Darragh:It’s apparently full of nutrients and hormones. Emma’s up for it and I’m supporting her.They call in placenta smoothie specialist – yes, that’s a thing – Lorraine Duffy, who bleaches down the surfaces and whips out the placenta from its Tupperware in the fridge.Here we go:Step 1: Put the placenta in a saucepan and maul it about a bit“It’s a good size anyway,” Lorraine remarks cheerfully.Step 2: Make a ‘placenta print’A keepsake which, she explains, many parents today like to hold on to. Whatever happened to tiny handprints?Now, isn’t that lovely?Step 3: Blend!Lorraine slices out a segment of the placenta (“I felt around for a nice good fleshy piece […] There’s no smell off it or anything like that”) and lobs it in the blender with some fruit.The blenders are only used once and then discarded for hygiene reasons. Here’s how it looks:Step 4: DrinkDarragh is first to try the concoction.He’s non-committal. Says it tastes like a smoothie, then adds:I’ve just drank a part of something that was my child and my girlfriend.Darragh seems vaguely troubled, as is only reasonable. Then it’s off to the hospital with the smoothie in yet more Tupperware so Emma can get it down her.For some reason the smoothie seems to have turned a slightly browner colour in transit:All images: TV3′s The Morning ShowYum.The verdict? “It tastes like a smoothie.”And that, dear readers, is how you make a placenta smoothie. Here’s the video if you want to relive the process:YouTube/TV3ArchiveColumn: 11 things nobody tells you about giving birth>14 things you hated as a kid that you LOVE as an adult>
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNakFo6GbBs&feature=youtu.be(YouTube: thejournal.ie)“IF YOU HAVE been sexually abused, you don’t need help in nine months time or two years. You need help immediately.”In a recent broad-ranging interview, TheJournal.ie asked Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald about waiting lists for therapy and counselling services for young victims of sexual abuse.She said she was “constantly amazed” by the lack of basic services in Ireland after years of being a relatively rich country.“So, we’re constantly trying to improve that situation and give more money to counselling,” she said. “But my department is not exempt from cutbacks either. That is the reality of borrowing that one billion a month.”Although Ireland has been named as the 10th best country in the world to be a child, Fitzgerald noted that there are some children, particularly those in poverty, from migrant families or in the Traveller community, who face “more pressures”.“Irish childhood has changed dramatically over the past 20, 30 years…Ireland was not always a good place to be a child. It is much better now but there is no room for complacency,” she continued.Asked about current austerity measures and their impact on already vulnerable children, the Minister said it was something that government needs to be “extremely sensitive” about every time there is a budgetary decision that impacts on children and families.Family law court proceedingsThe Fine Gael deputy believes the opening up of family law court proceedings to reporters is a “very positive development” as it will ensure consistency and transparency.It will also highlight to the public the nature of the “serious problems” which some children live with day-to-day. See more here:(YouTube: thejournal.ie)CyberbullyingAccording to Fitzgerald, some schools across Ireland are still “a bit ashamed” to admit there is bullying amongst their student bodies.“But look they have to face up to it, they have to put policies in place,” she said. “They have to interrupt it more than anything else.”Hear more about cyberbullying and solutions here:(YouTube: thejournal.ie)Fostering inspectionsEarlier this year, inspectors from HIQA said they were not assured that all children in fostering services in the Dublin north west region were safe.The watchdog is currently compiling six more reports following examinations of child protection standards. “It is the right thing to do,” said Fitzgerald. “But it is not going to be all a good news story.”Find out more here:(YouTube: thejournal.ie)Direct Provision“One of the big problems is that we have children in Ireland whose whole experience of childhood has been in a centre.”Learn more here:(YouTube: thejournal.ie)Children FirstLegislation to put the Children First guidelines on a statutory footing has been a priority of the government since it entered office more than two years ago. What has been the hold up?(YouTube: thejournal.ie)More from TheJournal.ie‘s interview with Minister Frances Fitzgerald:Minister: ‘It is a disgrace there are so few women in politics’
THE EUROPEAN UNION’S highest court has found that the Irish state is obliged to step in and pay the pensions of some private sector workers whose pension funds have become insolvent.The European Court of Justice said Ireland was obliged to protect former workers at Waterford Crystal who were left with only a small fraction of their contributory pension funds when they were laid off.The ten workers were made redundant when their employer went bankrupt in 2009 – when it also emerged that their pension fund was insolvent and would only be able to cover between 18 and 28 per cent of their pensions.Participation in the defined benefit pension scheme was mandatory for all employees in Waterford Crystal.They had taken a case to the High Court in Dublin, arguing that the Irish state was required under European law to protect their rights and recover the difference. That court had referred several questions to the European Court of Justice.The ECJ found that the EU’s Insolvency Directive did not draw distinctions between the various reasons why a company might go insolvent – but instead “lays down a general obligation to protect the interests of employees and leaves it to Member States to define” how those obligations are met.It also ruled that the State contributory pension for old-age pensions should not be taken into account when examining the State’s responsibility to those workers – and that Ireland’s own economic situation does not mitigate its requirement to protect its workers.An earlier case taken by a British worker in 2007 had found that member states had to ensure workers received at least 49 per cent of the total value of their pension.The case will now be referred back to the High Court, which will decide the extent to which Ireland will have to cover the pensions – but the earlier ECJ ruling means sets 49 per cent as a working minimum. In the British case, the UK ended up covering 90 per cent of the worker’s pension.Every EU member state had been contacted and briefed on their responsibilities after that ruling – but the court this morning ruled that Ireland had not fulfilled its requirements in this regard, which was “a serious breach of that Member State’s obligations”.The case could have major ramifications for Ireland, as the successful challenge by the ten workers could open the floodgates for a series of similar claims from Waterford workers – and from employees at other firms whose pension funds disappeared in the crisis.Some 1,500 workers lost their jobs when the Waterford Crystal plant shut down in 2009.
OUR BLISTERING SUMMER last year meant that we drank more cider, helping the owner of the Bulmers brand deliver a boost in profit this year.In a statement released today, C&C said that its Bulmers brand “outperformed the marketplace, highlighting the beneficial effect of a good summer on cider consumption”.The group said that net revenue from cider sales increased by 1.7 per cent in the Republic of Ireland, which it said helped drive a general upswing in profitability.Indeed, cider in Ireland seems to sell itself during good weather, with the positive figures for last year achieved despite a €3 million cut in advertising and promotion spend.In the UK, where the cider is sold as Magners, sales in Scotland climbed by 6.5 per cent year on year.Irish beer volumes for the company’s stable of brands, which includes Tennants, were up 3.7 per cent in the year.Profits upRevenue and profits from the Irish arm of the drinks giant were considerably higher last year.Full financial year results for the company show an increase of 157.4 per cent in revenue to €237.3 million, while operating profits also climbed 22.6 per cent to €48.2 million.The strong results were in part driven by C&C’s acquisition of distributor Gleeson in 2012.When Gleeson revenues are excluded, the operating profit still grew by 9.4 per cent to €43 million.C&C drinks company acquires number two US cider brand>Up to 35 jobs to go at Bulmers following merger with drinks group>
SAM WARBURTON MUST love getting paired up with head coach Warren Gatland for press conferences. The flanker sat alongside the New Zealander for 25 minutes at Carton House this afternoon and spoke, when questioned, on four occasions.While Gatland was attempting to dead-bat questions about ERC Player of the Year Jonny Wilkinson and ruling Sean O’Brien out of Leinster’s Pro12 Final [unbeknownst to a hopeful Leinster], Warburton chatted amiably about putting squad committees together, learning calls and watching a heap of Super Rugby.When Gatland defiantly declared he had no doubts about the 24-year-old Welshman leading the British & Irish Lions this summer, perhaps it is because he knew he, as a Kiwi, would draw most of the attention and flak. Warburton’s chief responsibility will be to lead the Lions with the amazing, combative spirit that got Wales to the brink of a World Cup Final in 2011.His job, in the back row, has been made easier by the injuries that have ruled Australian flankers David Pocock and George Smith out of the upcoming tour. The loss of such star names must give the Lions back row [too good for Chris Robshaw in Gatland’s estimation] and edge?“I don’t think so,” Warburton told TheScore.ie, ”I’ve been watching a lot of Super Rugby lately. I don’t usually watch a lot of rugby but have been watching the Aussie sides a bit and the two 7s they’ve got in the side have been doing great this year. Warburton in training at Carton House today. (©INPHO/Billy Stickland)While two captaincy candidates, Ryan Jones and Robshaw, were left out of the 37-man group, the Irish favourites of Paul O’Connell and Brian O’Driscoll had to content themselves with squad places and hopes of making the starting XV. O’Connell, along with Conor Murray, has been in Lions camp for a week already and, as captain in 2009, is a vital source of advice and guidance for Warburton.“I roomed with Paul last week and it was more getting to know each other in that first week,” he said.He has shown, whether he knows it or not, leadership already during that week, whether it is just chatting to players in training or at the end of sessions. For me, personally, that’s great. I welcome that from any player. He’s a great guy to have around.“I’m sure those guys, from Leicester and Leinster, will add to that when they are around. That experience and leadership to the group. So far, Paul has been a great influence on myself.”Right now, says Warburton, the excitement levels are under control but he expects that to change once the 37 players board their long haul flight to Hong Kong. Learning the calls, for lineouts, backline moves and more, is now the priority.The committees, a staple of touring club and international sides, have been drawn up with Jonathan Davies in charge of forfeits and fines [a rolling dice will decide the fate of an unlucky player] and Mike Philips entrusted with the role of tour guide for each new city the players are stationed in during the seven-week tour.One can only imagine that Ireland’s Cian Healy eagerly volunteering his services as maker of playlists when he hooks up with the squad next Monday.All work, no play and Jonny Wilkinson raises tension as Lions land in IrelandGatland won’t be handing Wilkinson a late Lions call-up If they can afford to have an injury in one position, it is probably No. 7. The two guys [Michael Hooper and Liam Gill] they have there now are at the top standard and would be as tough to play against as Smith and Pocock.”