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first_imgA Diamond, East Bank Demerara, resident on Friday appeared at the Vreed-en-Hoop Magistrate’s Court charged with unlawful possession.Narsingh Beepat, 35, pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him by Magistrate Christel Lambert.It is alleged that on June 14, 2016 at Diamond Housing Scheme, he was found to be in possession of one gas stove and two bird cages, which were not his property.The Prosecution contended that on the day in questioned, acting on information, the Police went to Diamond Housing Scheme, to a house, which was apparently locked.While there, they heard a noise coming from the back of the house and upon inspecting, they saw the defendant attempting to lift a gas stove.An alarm was raised and the Police attempted to arrest the defendant but he escape.However, later as the officers were patrolling the area, the defendant was seen walking with the two bird cages in his hand and he was apprehended.He was taken to the Vreed-en-Hoop Police Station where he was charged with the offence. Beepat was granted $30,000 bail. The case will continue on September 13, 2016.last_img read more

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first_imgSome called it the Nimba ‘scare’, others termed it Nimba disturbance; for some, it was the ‘Yekepa Raid’, among others. But what is clear is that last week’s violent incidence in Nimba is a national wakeup call that must be checked on from all fronts; behind-the-scene happenings, hidden but eventual causes, and mechanisms that would prevent future occurrences on not justArcelorMittal but also all current and future investments, whether foreign or locally-owned.The obvious condemnation of what transpired seems, however, to be the only thing on everyone’s lips without a second thought to what may have led to such a violent scene like never witnessed in the post-war country’s decade-long years of peace. With no intention on my part to justify such violence (which warrant immense and immediate action against perpetrators and their hidden supporters), we must use the ArcelorMittal situation to put into place corrective measures on issues bordering around how we sign concession agreements, on how we raise expectations of would-be beneficiaries, how we manage or direct proceeds derived out of social funds, and how we follow-up with the least of the contents of the agreements.As a matter of fact, post-war concessions, be they agricultural like oil palm or rubber or industrial like mining, are all protest-prone to the extent that fire-arms violence erupts at times. The case of the 2007 Liberia Agriculture Company (LAC) anti-expansion violence that killed its Belgian national, Bruno Mitchell who was the Plantation Manager is enough reason for all Liberians and their foreign investors to take cure for avoiding such.For the case at hand, Nimba youths have in recent months never rested from expressing their frustrations over ArcelorMittal’s operations until it reached boiling point last week. They had demanded, or probably appealed for greater Liberian employment, implementation and in some cases completion of projects and other infrastructural developments to include schools, hospitals and roads and even a vocational training center in Yekepa and improvement of workers’ conditions, among others.The company, on the other hand—though maintained that it has lived up to its corporate responsibility at 100 percent—had engaged the locals regularly during and after their protests.Whatever became of the outcomes of the engagements, however, was not reflected in the recent violence that reportedly left about four national police officers injured and millions of dollars’ worth of properties damaged.But as the company picks up the pieces in counting its losses and has since resumed operations, let’s take a look at some of the issues.When Our Lawmakers Pen ‘Hasty’ Agreements The ArcelorMittal deal was initiated during the Gyude Bryant Transitional Government during a time when warring-fractional lawmakers on Capitol Hill were deemed to have ratified the deal under dubious circumstances, prompting the revision of a deal put forth on the table at around US$900 million to be spent over 25 years.On 17 August 2005, the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) entered into a Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) with Mittal Steel to exploit Liberia’s reserves of iron ore.  Of course, it was renegotiated by the current administration in 2006, apparently fueled by a Global Witness report that raised some alarms over some issues in the Byrant deal.But a year and few months after the revision of the deal, ArcelorMittal in 2008 donated 100 Toyota Hilux DXD4 double-cabin pickups to members of the 52nd National Legislature to be used, according to the company’s former CEO Joseph Matthews, for agricultural purposes in their respective constituencies. The donation ceremony which was held in the Executive Mansion yard was said to be in response to the President’s request for Liberia’s partners to assist in the reconstruction efforts of the government’s agriculture development drive. That met public condemnations too on grounds that it was meant to influence the lawmakers over future actions of the company.But the deal had the potential to bring a range of benefits, including increased government revenues, the creation of employment positions and improved infrastructure to a nation fresh from the ashes of war and at the time yearned for investment opportunities. Nonetheless, the terms and conditions of the MDA attracted significant criticism from civil society groups due to their alleged impact on human rights.In a 2006 report entitled ‘Heavy Mittal?’, Global Witness noted that the presence of a stabilization clause in the MDA could undermine Liberia’s right to regulate important public policy areas, such as human rights and the environment. Although the MDA acknowledged that the project was subject to Liberian law, it imposed a number of restrictions on its application including concerns that the MDA precluded modifications to applicable Liberian law without the prior consent of the company. As a result, the report noted that the company was effectively in a position to refuse to consent to any new law or other form of regulation for the duration of the contract.Another concern was that the MDA guaranteed that the duties and rights of the company under the agreement shall never be derogated from or otherwise prejudiced by any law or by the action or inaction of the government. As a result, the MDA guaranteed that the duties and rights of the company would take precedence over any domestic law, international law or other form of regulation and that the Liberian Government was obliged to indemnify the company for any and all “claims, liabilities, costs, expenses, losses and damages” as a result of a failure by the government to honor its obligations under the MDA – even if such failure was required under Liberian law.But the renegotiated MDA of December 2006 between the Liberian Government and ArcelorMittal saw an amended stabilization clause which still superseded Liberian law on income tax, royalties and other payments due to the government substantially restricted. The amended MDA also made expressed provision for the protection of specific human rights in relation to the project. For example, under that renegotiated agreement, ArcelorMittal is bound to ensure that its private security force follows the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, that the company must respect certain rights of third parties within the project area including the right of specified people to use infrastructure within the project area. It also called for the company to no longer has the right to secure (at no additional cost) public land outside of the concession area that is necessary for the operation of the project. Acquisition of such land is now subject to good faith negotiation between the parties.In short, the renegotiated settlement provides for stronger human rights protection. According to Global Witness at the time, “the renegotiated agreement showed it was possible to secure profitable commercial terms, whilst also safeguarding the interests of the host state and its population.” This, it said, gives Liberia a real chance of extracting reasonable benefits from the concession.  However, the real benefits of this contract to Liberia, Global Witness notes, could only be truly assessed once the company started its operations.And so, are the previously raised issues in that report that led to the renegotiation like human rights, improved working conditions and benefits of the locals being addressed?Were Huge Expectations Raised For Locals?Another issue we must consider in the aftermath of the Yekepa violence is whether the expectations of the locals were raised beyond the company’s capacities.ArcelorMittal contributes US$3 million annually to a development fund as enshrined in the MDA for the three counties where it operates (with Nimba where the mines are located receiving the largest trunk of US$1.5 million dollars, Grand Bassa where the company ships ores through its port receiving US$1 million while Bong receives the remaining half a million because the company’s rail passes through that county).I remain a testimony to projects in these counties that derived out of the Corporate Funds including community colleges in Nimba and Grand Bassa Counties, among others. The understanding is that legislators, administrators and the citizenries from these counties derive at how they spend their allotted portions of the Funds which ArcelorMittal boosts of being in full commitment to in terms of up-to-date payments.But aside from this, it is also understood that the company committed itself to other initiatives outside the MDA which may seem to be causing the current problems. Nothing in the MDA says the company should pave the Ganta-Yekepa Road, for instance, but ArcelorMittal made a commitment to this and other issues advanced by the locals. As a matter of fact, locals in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County do have their demands too outside the MDA to which the Company committed to doing but dragging or refusing to do so later may cause problems (which we hope not for).May we use the Yekepa scenario to avoid raising expectations of would-be beneficiaries and how we ratify concessions; how we manage or direct proceeds derived out of social funds, and how we follow-up with the least of the contents of the agreements.In this case, with the reported losses sustained by the company, its target of reaching 100 million tons  by next year would not reached as was in 2012 when its target of 4 million tons could not be met due to weather. A reported capital investment of US$800 million in rails, port, infrastructure, among others is worth protecting but the situation also speaks to how fragile ArcelorMittal’s own security (the hired PGS) is and the need to bolster it.About the Author: Nat Bayjay is a Media Consultant/Communication specialist. Doubling as a PUL Best Investigative & Best Environmental Journalist in 2011, Bayjay uses his journalistic profession to always highlight issues in the country including political, economical and socio issues through in-depth articles and news analyses. He’s reachable on: nbayjay2010@gmail.com/0777-402737Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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first_imgShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Last Saturday’s speaker at Cuttington University’s 53rd Commencement Convocation, Dr. Kenneth Y. Best (KYB), has challenged CU Administration to redouble her efforts to help that university forge ahead to establish more colleges in strategic disciplines.This, he believes, would  ensure that Liberia takes the great leap forward in agriculture, agro-industries, business, industry, manufacturing and technology.He spoke on the theme, “Redeeming Liberia for Liberians,” to the over 500 graduates, their parents, well-wishers and an array of government officials as well as members of the Clergy attending the ceremony.According to Dr. Best Cuttington should lead the way to revive Liberia’s vanishing culture by encouraging and enabling parents and the schools to teach their children to speak Liberian languages, and learn Liberian history and Liberian culture.Cuttington, he said, must train historians and people of letters, who write and publish books and literature for our own academic requirements from kindergarten to university level, and put Liberia on the world literary map.“In my humble view, the priority issue that outweighs anything on the long laundry list of problems to fix Liberia is our Education System,” said Dr. Best.According to him, Liberia once had many strong academic institutions—the College of West Africa, which trained most Liberian leasers, St. Theresa Convent, St. Patrick’s, St. John’s, the Lutheran Training Institute, Bishop Ferguson High and the Booker Washington Institute.Most of these schools were established my missionaries and many of the country’s luminaries on the national and world stage passed through those halls of learning and went forth into the world well prepared.Unfortunately, Dr. Best said, the sheen of academic excellence began to fade once the missionaries left, and now many of those once famous schools “are on life support with crumbling and inadequate structures, lack of instructional materials and, most serious of all, critical shortage of qualified teachers and under-compensation of qualified ones.“Many of our schools are overcrowded, lack books, laboratories, libraries and other learning materials,  drinking water, toilets, recreational facilities,” Dr. Best observed.Another sad aspect he  observed on the education shelf, is that those young children who are not in school can be found on the streets, selling cold water, candy, etc. or in the markets and down waterside being breadwinners at age seven and up.“Tens of thousands of our young people are loitering and languishing with no means of an education or skills training.”The Commencement Speaker  then called on the government to join forces with private citizens and willing  partners to raise the funds needed to begin the work of building the country’s academic system from the foundation to make up the time lost by the youth during the civil war and as a result of our foolhardy neglect.Yes, we can do this, he insisted.  “We have the abilities and the intellect to design an education system that produces youth, men and women who love and fear God, love and support one another, are passionate about and committed to Liberia and to our families; an education system that imparts  not only knowledge and skills, but also high moral values, good character, respect for the rule of law,  work ethic, professionalism and integrity, a love for learning, critical thinking and the development of an inquiring mind that knows how to ask critical questions and work to find the answers.”last_img read more

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first_imgTomorrow, Friday April 10, 2015 has been declared Fast and Prayer Day, a national holiday.  According to a Proclamation by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Day is being set aside “as a day of supplication, prayer, fasting and meditation” to acknowledge God’s deliverance and to implore His continued blessings upon the nation and people.We think the early fathers were wise in setting aside a special day for fast and prayer, for despite our many pitfalls, it is a fact that this nation has been created and sustained throughout its turbulent history by God Himself. Who led Joseph Jenkins Roberts, at the young age of 20,  brilliant, hardworking and purposeful, with a liberal education, aboard a ship, The Harriet, along with many others, bound for the Grain Coast on March 24, 1829?  God!Who, in the face of serious threats from the indigenous majority who seriously suspected the intentions of the settlers, raised up a powerful and influential Chief named Boatswain, to come to the rescue of the hapless immigrants and save the colony that later became Africa’s first Independent Republic?  God!Who, in the face of gunboat threats by the powerful British Empire against the tiny, extremely insecure Commonwealth of Liberia, led J.J. Roberts to convene a Constitutional Convention in January, 1847 to decide on the creation of a sovereign, independent State?  God!Who led this serious minded patriot to be chosen over a brilliant lawyer, S. Benedict, to become Liberia’s first President who, because of his astute and effective leadership abilities, was called back five times to serve as President? God!Who, despite the vicious territorial aggrandizement by the great colonial powers to the west, the east and the  south, chopping of huge chunks of Liberia’s territory, left us yet with 43,000 square miles of green, mineral-rich acreage and 350 miles of coastline? God!Who led President Daniel E. Warner, in 1864, attempting to rescue a dwindling population faced with disease and death, to invite people from the West Indies, Barbados, in particular, to migrate to Liberia in 1865?  Among that group came several great men—Arthur Barclay, Edwin Barclay, proclaimed to be our most gifted President, Louis Arthur Grimes, an erudite jurist, and Albert Porte, whose prophetic writings tried, for nearly 60 years, to save Liberia from self-destruction?  God!Who led President Daniel E. Howard, after Germany bombed the French Cable on Snapper Hill, to call the people to their churches to toll the bells to seek God’s urgent, divine intervention to save this tiny, weak nation from extinction? God!Who saved us from colonization by either Britain or France, or both, during the Fernando Po crisis in 1930? Through Edwin Barclay and Grimes—God!Who has yet sustained us as a sovereign nation and people, despite our failure to use our immense God-given human and natural resources to pull our people out of poverty and backwardness? God!Who was it that raised up foreign friends, both from Africa and worldwide to save us from fratricidal strife? God!Who is it that has now saved us once again from the strange, unknown but deadly enemy called Ebola, that in a matter of weeks killed thousands of our people and viciously disrupted our livelihood, including the economy?  God!Who, despite the doomsday predictions of Armageddon, by some during which 8000 Liberians would die per week—that would have been 24,000 per month!— who has led us to the fast approaching end of this deadly scourge? God!Shall we then, having been so richly blessed in so many ways  by our beneficent Creator, not gather in our homes, churches and mosques to fast and pray in worship, praise and thanksgiving to this gracious and good God?  Surely, we must.In our fasting and praying tomorrow, Friday, April 10, 2015, let us implore this gracious, powerful and righteous   God to change our minds and attitudes from animosity, corruption, deceit, envy, greed, hatred, selfishness and unpatriotic actions to love—love for God, for one another and for country.  Let us pray for leadership, present and future, that will pull us out of poverty and backwardness and lead us, at long last, to our cherished dream of development and prosperity. And let us yet ever proclaim, “To God be the glory!”      Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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first_imgGallizzi was named to the interim post in July, with a new superintendent expected by December. karen.maeshiro@dailynews.com (661) 267-5744160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! About 15 people applied by the first deadline, Oct.20, but board members were told several people who missed the deadline wanted to apply. The application period was extended until March, which brought in about 13 more candidates. Of the original 15, nine were no longer in the running because they did not submit a complete application, decided to stay at their current jobs or found employment elsewhere, officials with the consulting company said. The 19 candidates are either superintendents, assistant superintendents or associate superintendents. Several are from out of state, but the majority are from California. Trustees have said they hope to have someone hired by the end of the school year. With the superintendent search taking longer than expected, the board in January gave Gallizzi a 10percent raise, to an annual salary of $160,000. PALMDALE – Palmdale School District trustees have narrowed their superintendent search to four candidates and are expected to interview the applicants in late April or early May, officials said Wednesday. Nineteen people applied for the post, and the consulting company the district hired whittled down that field for the board to consider, interim Superintendent Roger Gallizzi said. The district is seeking to replace former Superintendent Jack Gyves, who retired in June. Gallizzi, an assistant superintendent, has been serving in his interim post and is not a candidate. The district had extended the deadline once to allow more people to apply. last_img read more

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first_img Allan Rodrigues de Souza 1 Liverpool teen ace Allan is set to join Belgian club Sint-Truiden on loan until the end of the season.The Merseysiders bought the Brazilian midfielder from Internacional last summer and has spent the first half of the season with Finnish side SJK.Allan has now returned to Anfield and has been training with the senior side over the winter period but is set to be shipped out again to gain more first-team experience.According to Het Laatste Nieuws, Liverpool are in talks with Sint-Truiden over the player’s wages and are set to announce a deal early next week.last_img read more

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first_imgTina’s Studios & ApartmentsIF THE sun shone here all summer, you’d probably never leave for a trip abroad.So if it’s a break at home or abroad you are looking for, look no further:HOME: KILLYBEGS Our home recommendation this week is beautiful Killybegs (except if you live there in which case you’re on your hols all year round!). The Bay View Hotel and leisure centre and the Tara Hotel offer great deals at this time of the year in the centre of a town known for its great nights out. There are plenty of B&Bs and self-catering cottages around Ireland’s biggest fishing port. And if it’s fish you are looking for, you couldn’t have landed at a better plaice (see what we did there?).Shine’s and Melly’s offer wonderful home-cooked ready-to-go food but there’s fine dining at the hotels too or the classy Kitty Kelly’s or Castle Murray House just out the road.Looking for great coffee? Then Nicky’s cafe inside the SuperValu is superb (they sell gifts there too!)This part of the Wild Atlantic Way is very special, with so many things to do and see. For more on a holiday away from it all right here in Donegal go to www.killybegs.ie. AWAY: RHODES is one of Greece’s most beautiful islands, packed with adventure and history.Just outside Faliraki (party central if you’re young, free and single) Tina’s Studios make for a brilliant base. They offer a pool scene with a party feel, a 24-hour bar, and easy access to the action in the town centre.Everything is within easy reach here. It’s a 20-minute stroll from the beach, and 15 minutes from Faliraki’s bars and clubs. If you fancy a night out in swish Rhodes Town, meanwhile, hop on the bus – there’s a stop right outside.Tina’s Studios (our main picture above) are whitewashed, with typically Greek terracotta roof tiles. Each one comes equipped with satellite TV and a little kitchen, and looks out towards a big swimming pool.Go there on July 13 out of Dublin for 7 nights with www.falconholidays.ie for just €488 per person. Price is for self-catering. You can go B&B for another 78 quid (but take our advice, you’ll NEVER be home in time!) Transfers, luggage etc are all included. Advertisement AWAY: TENERIFE: A firm favourite all year round thomson.co.uk are offering the Gran Muthu Golf Plaza Hotel in Golf Del Sur next Sunday, June 26th, for Stg£340 per person sharing in a one-bedroom apartment.There are six other options out of Belfast International next Sunday, all under Stg£400.DD TRAVEL: GRAB A LAST-MINUTE BARGAIN HOME OR AWAY! was last modified: June 18th, 2016 by John2Share 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:donegalholidaysKillybegsRhodeslast_img read more

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first_imgLIVE FROM CROKE PARK.Donegal lead Cork by a single point at half-time – 0-08 to 0-07.It’s been a sea of green and gold at Croker  – and the noise to match. The Donegal men have more than held their own against Cork and could have been further ahead, missing some chances to extend the lead.It has been a nerve-jangling first 35 minutes and despite what the pundits have said, Donegal are leading by a single score.The sides have been level seven times in a very tight contest.Michael Murphy opened the scoring in the second minute, pointing from a free but Corkk equalised through Paul Kerrigan. Paddy Kelly then put Cork ahead only for Colm McFadden to square it at two points a piece from a free.McFadden scored again after a superb move – Donegal’s first point from open play; but Cork’s Donnacha O’Connor squares it again from a free.It was end to end stuff – and Donegal took the lead again, this time Murphy scoring a point from a free after McBrearty was flattened.Ciaran Sheehan in the 20th minute brings it level again at 0-4 to 0-4.Both sides traded scores until Mark McHugh gives Donegal a half-time lead – 0-08 to 0-07. It could have been two points but Michael Murphy misses an easy chance.More nail-biting to come!DONEGAL: Paul Durcan (Four Masters); Paddy McGrath (Ardara), Neil McGee (Gweedore), Frank McGlynn (Glenfin); Eamonn McGee (Gweedore), Karl Lacey (Four Masters), Anthony Thompson (Naomh Conaill); Neil Gallagher (Glenswilly), Rory Kavanagh (St Eunan’s); Ryan Bradley (Buncrana), Leo McLoone (Naomh Conaill), Mark McHugh (Kilcar); Patrick McBrearty (Kilcar), Michael Murphy (Glenswilly), Colm McFadden (St Michael’s).DONEGAL LEAD AT HALF TIME BY A POINT was last modified: August 26th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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

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first_imgGREENCASTLE’S Roma McLaughlin inspired Ireland to a superb U19 win against 3-0 victory over Azerbaijan in their UEFA Elite Phase Qualifier in Tallaght Stadium.Following their defeat to Germany on Tuesday, Ireland much-needed 3-0 win was spearheaded by the Donegal striker, who brilliantly volleyed Dave Connell’s side ahead after just 15 minutes.Although Dearbhaile Beirne should have added a second as the interval approach, the second duly arrived on the hour after McLaughlin was sent sprawling in the box. Hayley Nolan tucked the resultant penalty into the left corner.Full-back Niamh Prior put the result beyond their limited opponents by burying the rebound after Lucy McCartan’s shot was spilled into her path.Germany are assured of top spot and a place in the summer finals before Sunday’s concluding group fixture against Azerbaijan, meaning Ireland must beat Poland and hope it’s enough to clinch the sole best runner-up slot and join them at the showpeice in Slovakia.Dave Connell’s side were utterly dominate and limited Azerbaijan to just one shot on goal in the second half.The victory sees Ireland move into second place in Group 1 with three points, behind leaders Germany who defeated Poland 1-0 in the group’s earlier game.Ireland’s final game sees them face Poland in Tallaght Stadium on Sunday with a 2pm kick off. Republic of Ireland: Dunne, Nelson, Keenan, McCarthy, Prior, Gargan (Kearns HT), Nolan, McCartan, Finn (Nolan 56), Beirne, McLaughlin (Lynch 73).Azerbaijan: Sharifova, Sanchez, Borukova, Mammadova, S.Ortiz, Jalili (Ozdemir 65), M.Ortiz, Loa, Bakarandze (Mansimova 83), Aliyeva (Teymurova 77), Relea.Referee: Ana Minic (Serbia).SUPER ROMA INSPIRES IRELAND TO STUNNING U19 VICTORY was last modified: April 8th, 2016 by John2Share 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:GreencastleIrelandroma mclaughlinsoccerU19swomen’slast_img read more

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