Monday, June 30, 2008
Ireland: Provisional Licence Law Change -Noel Brett, CEO of the Road Safety Authority discusses implications
Click on player to listen to the full interview.
The law requiring learner drivers on a second provisional licence to be accompanied by a fully qualified driver comes into effect from midnight tonight.
The change in the driving licence system, announced by Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey last year, affects up to 92,000 people.
Holders of all other provisional licences are already required to be accompanied.
Drivers may only get a third or later provisional licence if they can show that they have taken a driving test within the previous two years....(RTE )
According to Sean O'Rourke on RTE Radio News At One programme Assistant Garda Commissioner Eddie Rock has stated that the guards " Will be applying the law in an appropriate and proportional manner".
Friday, June 27, 2008
Obama is attempting to square the circle to reach out to the evangelical right. He is endeavouring to prise sufficient evangelicals and Catholics from the GOP to scuttle the McCain campaign. Unfortunately for him his Christianity is contaminated by his adherence secular humanist beliefs. In reality his true religion is secular humanist in character with a little leavening of Christianity. When Obama is faced with a choice between Christian principles and secular humanism he invariably opts for secular humanism. He has the most liberal voting record in the Senate and is a powerful supporter of partial birth abortion. He supports the destruction of the unborn child in the womb. He supports barbarism. The Fifth Commandment states” thou shalt not kill”. There are no ifs no buts here. No provision for the woman's right to choose.
You see Obama wishes to have his cake and eat it. The pro-abortion position is irreconcilable with the anti-abortion position. Obama attempts to bridge the irreconcilable with obfuscatory rhetoric. Lets be blunt. He has deliberately misrepresented scripture in an effort to justify the unjustifiable. The devil can quote scripture to suit his own purposes. Similarly with Obama.
Obama has said:
"Even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools?" Obama said. "Would we go with James Dobson's or Al Sharpton's?" referring to the civil rights leader.
Here he is attempting to muddy the waters to justify his secular humanism. The Ten Commandments must the guiding principles for all Christians.
Obama supports the culture of death. McCain supports the culture of life. As such Barack has set himself against Christian principles. Flowery language is no substitute for fundamental principles. Secular humanism is the enemy of Christianity. A President Obama will appoint liberal judges. A President McCain will appoint conservative judges.
McCain is riding the Christian horse. Obama is riding the Secular Humanist horse.
Catholics and evangelicals must not be seduced by the syrupy rhetoric of Obama.
Obama’s secular humanism is the antithesis of Christianity.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
New York Times-Roger Cohen attacks the Irish electorate's rejection of Lisbon Treaty in "The Muck of the Irish"
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Per Damien Mulley
According to The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in its latest Quarterly Economic Commentary the economy will experience a recession this year for the first time since 1983, and a return to net emigration in 2009. Ireland of the Celtic Tiger is no more.
It expects that the economy will contract in size by 0.4% this year. The ESRI calculates that the volume of domestic spending this year will fall by 2.6 %. Investment spending is expected to fall by 14.9%. Real consumer spending growth in 2008 is expected to reach just 1%.
The ESRI predicts an economic growth of 1.9% for 2009.
It expects that net emigration will reach 20,000 in 2009.
The unemployment rate is forecast to rise from 4.5% in 2007 to 6% this year and 7.1% in 2009. The Government had a budget surplus of €5.2 billion in 2006. It will have a budget deficit of €7.4 billion in 2009 according to the ESRI. This represents a deterioration of more than €12.5 billion in the space of three years.
The ESRI predicts an inflation rate of 4.5 % for 2008.
Quite frankly many of the problems were foreseeable three years ago. In the run in to the 2007 General Election the FF/PD Government ramped up public expenditure. It rose by 13% alone in 2007. It undoubtedly helped FF win the General Election. However the flood of taxes into the Government coffers-which supported this splurge- stemmed mainly from an unsustainable property boom. Now the bubble has burst with house construction down from 90,000 three years ago to 40,000-45,000 this year.
The economy was growing strongly in 2005, 2006 and 2007. It did not need a huge injection of public expenditure, which just fuelled inflation. Richard Bruton FG spokesman on Finance railed strongly against this approach as did some economists such Dr. Alan Ahearne , David McWilliams and George Lee. Dr Alan Ahearne warned about the dangers of a crash in house prices. More recently Jim Power has been critical.
Unfortunately many economists were swept along on the tide of boom and bloom.
Critics were painted as prophets of doom who were talking down the economy.
A more prudent approach to Government spending from 2005-2007 would have allowed the Government some leeway. Now the cupboard is bare. There are precedents for the inadvisability of the budgetary strategy adopted by FF/PDs in 2006 and 2007.
The boom bust approach was adopted by FF in 1977-81. Its 1977 Manifesto was a winner with the electorate promising no rates and no car tax. FF inherited an economy, which had come out of recession and was growing solidly. The Lynch and Haughey Governments pump primed public expenditure –much of it funded by borrowing. By 1981-82 the economy was in serious trouble. The hardship of the 80s had its genesis in this irresponsible Manifesto.
In the run in to the 2002 General Election the FF/PD Government let public expenditure rip. Once more Charlie McCreevy slammed on the brakes in the wake of the 2002 General Election.
The FF/PD/Green Government is now facing a double whammy. Internally tax revenue is way below expectations, the housing sector is in free fall, inflation is close to 5%, and unemployment has risen by 48,000 in the last twelve months. Externally rising fuel prices and higher interest rates have impinged strongly on the Irish economy.
The ESRI expects the general government balance to show a deficit of 2.8 % of gross domestic product this year after a 0.3 percent surplus in 2007 and worsen to a 3.9 % deficit in 2009.
"On the face of it, a breach of the 3 % ... (EU Stability and Growth Pact) guideline in a single year does not signal the death knell of fiscal prudence and given our very low debt levels could well be afforded," it said in the survey.
This advice from the ESRI should be binned immediately. The country cannot buy its way out of the mess. Unfortunately hard decisions on public expenditure are necessary. The advice from the ESRI would return Ireland to the failed policies of the late 70s and 80s.
It is likely that the real tax burden will rise. This will be supplemented by increases in stealth taxes such as local authority charges, and by large public expenditure cuts. All in all not a pretty picture.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Ireland’s No vote on Lisbon Treaty blows French attack on Ireland’s Corporation Profits Tax out of the water
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Libyan Leader Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi: Obama Suffers Inferiority Complex That Might Make Him Behave "Whiter Than the White." He Should Be Proud of His African, Muslim Identity. Ben-Gurion Gave the Green Light for the Killing of JFK :
Following are excerpts from a public address delivered by Libyan Leader Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi marking the anniversary of the U.S. air raid on Libya. The address aired on Al-Jazeera TV on June 11, 2008:Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi:
It has been proven that there is no democracy in [the U.S.]. Rather, it is a dictatorship no different than the dictatorships of Hitler, Napoleon, Mussolini, Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, and the rest of the tyrants. In the days of crazy Reagan, the American president issued a presidential order to launch a war against Libya, for example, a presidential order to besiege Libya, a presidential order to boycott Libya, and so on. Is this a democracy or a dictatorship?[...]
There are elections in America now. Along came a black citizen of Kenyan African origins, a Muslim, who had studied in an Islamic school in Indonesia. His name is Obama. All the people in the Arab and Islamic world and in Africa applauded this man. They welcomed him and prayed for him and for his success, and they may have even been involved in legitimate contribution campaigns to enable him to win the American presidency. But we were taken by surprise when our African Kenyan brother, who is an American national, made statements that shocked all his supporters in the Arab world, in Africa, and in the Islamic world.
We hope that this is merely an elections "clearance sale," as they say in Egypt – in other words, merely an elections lie. As you know, this is the farce of elections – a person lies and lies to people, just so that they will vote for him, and afterwards, when they say to him: :"You promised this and that," he says: "No, this was just elections propaganda." This is the farce of democracy for you. He says: "This was propaganda, and you thought I was being serious. I was fooling you to get your votes."Allah willing, it will turn out that this was merely elections propaganda. Obama said he would turn Jerusalem into the eternal capital of the Israelis. This indicates that our brother Obama is ignorant of international politics, and is not familiar with the Middle East conflict.................................
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Today the King of spin EU Farm Commissioner Mandelson made a slashing attack on the Irish Yes campaign. He said in reference to the debate in Ireland “All of those fears should have been addressed all those misrepresentations should have been corrected. Frankly, the untruths that were put out by some of the propagandists should have been rebutted right at the beginning of this campaign. [By the Yes campaign]
If you don't defuse it and demolish it instantly, it gets its skates on and it's around the country and everyone is assuming it's right before the other side get up on their soapbox."
Peter Mandelson should look closer to home. His behaviour at the WTO talks triggered a massive rural backlash and protest vote at the polls. This came not alone from farm families but from small businessmen dependent on farming and food processing workers. Has he forgotten the destruction of the sugar beet industry? He appears well on the way to destroying Irish agriculture. Spin Mr Mandelson does not put bread and butter on the table.
Mandelson could show his bona fides at the WTO talks and desist from lecturing the Irish electorate.
Today former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing said that Ireland must either hold a second referendum on the EU reform treaty or negotiate a special accord with the European Union in the wake of its No vote last Thursday.
Giscard d'Estaing was the chairman of the Convention that drafted the EU constitution, which collapsed when French and Dutch voters rejected the text in 2005.
He said in an interview to RTL radio. "A country that represents 0.7 percent of the European population...cannot decide for the others." Once more he is dictating to the Irish.
This intervention is unhelpful and displays arrogance typical of an out of touch liberal. This is par for the course with d’Estaing who was critical of “mistakes” made by French and Dutch voters when they rejected the EU Constitution in referenda.
Whether elitists like it or not a large segment of the Irish electorate has major concerns with the Lisbon Treaty. It is time to address them now. Cast iron guarantees from the EU on Corporation Profits Tax, neutrality and abortion-with no loopholes Mr d’Estaing- are essential, allied to a change in policy by Mandelson or his successor at the WTO talks. Otherwise this crisis will persist. It is time to put d’Estaing and Mandelson out to pasture.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Electoral Area Boundary Committee Report 2008 for Co. Waterford recommends radical changes for 2009 Local Elections
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
ARLINGTON, VA -- U.S. Senator John McCain's campaign today announced a group of prominent Democratic and unaffiliated leaders and activists who have joined "Citizens for McCain," a new grassroots effort headed by Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) to rally Americans of all political parties to support John McCain's candidacy.
PROMINENT DEMOCRATS AND INDEPENDENTS JOIN "CITIZENS FOR MCCAIN"
Former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson (Arizona)
Former Arizona State Legislator Phil Hubbard (Arizona)
Mammoth Mayor Craig Williams (Arizona)
Former Arizona LULAC Director Ray Gans (Arizona)
Democratic 25th Precinct Chair Silverio "Silver" Salazar (Colorado)
Adviser to Democratic Presidential Candidates and Georgetown University Professor Robert Lieber (District of Columbia)
Blogger on HillaryClinton.com Renee Slater (Florida)
Former Sheriff of Highlands County Howard Godwin (Florida)
Jewish Outreach Adviser to Senator Hillary Clinton Rabbi Cheryl Jacobs
Georgia Political Director for Gore-Lieberman '00 Joseph O'Farrell Jr. (Georgia)
Former Democratic Des Moines County Chair Bruce Shulte (Illinois)
Former State Representative Brian Golden (Massachusetts)
Commander of Newport Memorial-VFW Post 1119 Francis Harding, Jr. (Maine)
Former Palmyra Budget Committee Member Herb Bates (Maine)
Former Lt. Governor and State Supreme Court Justice Alexander "Sandy" Keith (Minnesota)
Former U.S Representative and 2002 Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tim Penny (Minnesota)
Former State Representative Steve Wenzel (Minnesota)
City Clerk Judi May (Mississippi)
County Supervisor Gary Dearman (Mississippi)
Alderman Bill Mosby (Mississippi)
Former State Representative Jim Gamache (Missouri)
Presiding Commissioner in New Madrid County, Clyde Hawes (Missouri)
Former Concord Mayor Bill Veroneau (New Hampshire)
Former Democratic Mayor of Waterford Township George Fallon (New Jersey)
Former Democratic Committeeman in Warren Township Jeffrey Golkin (New Jersey)
Former State Chair of Environmentalists for Clinton-Gore 1992 Roberta Weisbrod (New York)
Former Majority Leader in the State Senate David Carlin (Rhode Island)
Former Texas Democratic Party Chairman Roy Orr (Texas)
Elected National Delegate for Senator Hillary Clinton Debra Bartoshevich (Wisconsin)
Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Philip Frye (West Virginia)
Monday, June 16, 2008
Quite frankly I cannot understand what all the panic is about. The Dutch and French voted No in an EU referendum. Were those countries ostracised? Of course not.
Ireland needs cast iron guarantees on several issues such as Corporation Profits Tax, Neutrality, Social Issues and the loss of a Commissioner. It is essential that the 12.5% Tax rate is safeguarded. Otherwise the country will become an industrial desert. It is pointless being good Europeans if we sell out on these issues.
Watertight guarantees on Neutrality and Social Issues should not be beyond the bounds of diplomatic ingenuity.
The office of Junior Commissioner could be created for countries losing a Commissioner.
Greater understanding from the EU on Ireland difficulties in the fields of agriculture and fishing would generate goodwill in rural communities and help seal the deal.
It is time for solutions.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Journalist Michael O’Regan took a very hard line on some of the No voters. However I thing that it is necessary to delve into the mindset of NO voters.
Critics of the No vote in common with the major political parties and the EU Commission have failed to get the message been sent out by voters in countries such as Ireland, France and Holland.
The No vote is not a rejection of the EU. However it is a message to integrationists to slow down. Many in Ireland see the EU Commission as remote undemocratic and at times dictatorial. Comments from Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission and some French politicians cemented this view.
Farmers labouring under increased EU induced bureaucracy and quotas have begun to realise that their way of life is under serious threat. The destruction of the Irish Sugar beet industry by the EU Commission has alarmed farmers and struck a psychological blow. Whilst it may have slipped from public consciousness it was at the back of many farmers minds. The fear is that the dairying, beef, poultry and pig farming sectors will disappear in a similar manner.
Yet the Commission is perceived in rural Ireland as not taking a hard line with on foreign food imports which lack traceability. EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson’s antics at the WTO negotiations where he appears prepared to sell out agriculture struck terror into farmers. There is a feeling that Commissioners are too powerful and not accountable to the electorate.
As farming declines large numbers of small businesses dependent on farming are under pressure. Many small businessmen, shopkeepers et al voted No for this reason.
Many workers in food processing voted No fearful for their jobs.
As EU inspired liberalisation of the postal service comes about the rural Post Offices have come under increasing threat.
The coastal communities hammered by EU regulation-specifically fishermen- are on the verge of revolt.
The reality that much of the productive sector in rural Ireland is increasingly hampered by EU Commission induced regulation.
Many people’s backs are to the wall. Elites in the Pale have failed to take cognisance of the the economic stresses building up in rural Ireland
Others voted No because the 12.5% Corporation Profits Tax is under threat. This is not a groundless fear. France and Germany appear determined to destroy Ireland’s competitive advantage. Ireland must defend this tax rate at all costs. There can be no surrender on this issue.
There is a strong fear that the EU Court of Human Rights would impose abortion on Ireland.
Working class voters-many of whom had begun too see living standards rise- have seen a rise in unemployment.
In summary the EU Commission has scored an own goal. It comes across as arrogant and out of touch not just to many Irish voters but many voters in France, Germany, Holland and Sweden. It needs to listen. It must be made more accountable. It must become more democratic. If it persists in ignoring large numbers of EU voters it runs the risk of spawning new extreme right wing and left wing parties.
Cast iron guarantees on issues such as Corporation Profits Tax, Social legislation and Irish agriculture are a sine qua non in any new negotiations to salvage the Lisbon Treaty. A little humility from the EU Commission mightn’t go amiss either.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Sen. Clinton said : "I do not want to fix the problems of Social Security on the backs of middle-class families and seniors. If you lift the cap completely, that is a $1 trillion tax increase. I don't think we need to do that." (Sen. Hillary Clinton, CNN Democratic Presidential Debate, Las Vegas, NV, 11/15/07)
Firstly this is a vote against the Lisbon Treaty and not a vote against the EU as such. However it indicates a strong concern at the direction in which the EU is moving. This concern exists amongst voters not alone in Ireland but in countries such as France, Holland, Denmark and Sweden. There is a strong belief that Eurocrats are following their own agenda and are not in tune with the views of the voters. As the EU enlarges it runs the risk of disintegrating under the pressure of its own contradictions.
It is noticeable that Working Class areas voted strongly against the Treaty whilst more Middle Class areas were more in favour. In general rural voters leaned against the Treaty. The combined strength of FF, FG and Labour and the political establishment was unable to secure a Yes vote.
Reasons for Ireland’s No vote:
(1) Voters were not prepared to accept a loss of influence- particularly the loss of a Commissioner.
(2) Fear of the development of a European army- many women feared that their sons could be sent to war.
(3) Interference from Jose Manuel Barroso and threats from French politicians that Ireland would suffer angered voters.
(4) A fear that Europe is becoming increasingly bureaucratic and a pent up anger at high levels of bureaucracy.
(5) Anger in rural areas with Peter Mandelson, EU Trade Commissioner and a fear that the EU is determined to sacrifice farmers at the WTO. Agriculture is under enormous pressure. The destruction of Ireland's sugar beet industry is fresh in the minds of farmers.
(6) Fishing communities are under extreme economic pressure. They have protested strongly in the ballot box.
(7) Working class voters vented their anger at high inflation and increasing unemployment especially in building and construction.
(8) Many voters did not understand the Treaty.
(9) Respected businessmen such as Ulick McEvaddy and Declan Ganley-leader of Libertas- came out against the Treaty. In addition the NO campaign had excellent media performers such as Caroline Simons.
(10) Fear that Ireland’s 12.5% Corporations profits Tax would disappear.
A feeling that the EU Commission is undemocratic and is unprepared to listen to ordinary voters.
(11) Fear that abortion could be legalised.
(12) Some newspapers such as the Sunday Times opposed the Treaty. Shane Ross- business editor of the Sunday Independent- outlined arguments against the Treaty in a very influential article.
(13) Some voters wished to protest against the Government.
(14) The Government campaign was in all probability too slow getting off the ground.
(15) The NO campaign - a loose coalition of Libertas, some businessmen, Sinn Fein, some unions,the Socialist Party tapped into the mood of discontent which has been heightened by bleak economic news. Many voters are fearful for their future economic prospects.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Obama’s taxation policies are a mirror image of the failed taxation policies of the French and Swedish Socialist parties.
He has promised to raise the capital gains tax from the current 15% to 28%. This is a recipe for disaster. Lower rates of capital gains tax bring in higher revenue yields. Reganomics proved the veracity of this statement.
Obama’s capital gains tax increase will hit 100 million American tax payers. Investors are likely to move in advance of an Obama Presidency- to sell shares. This may trigger a stock market crash.
He is a strong believer in higher Government spending. His promises so far amount to $800 billion over four years.
He intends to allow the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts to expire in 2010. This will raise taxes on millions of Americans by many billions of dollars.
He intends to tamper with the $102,000 FICA payroll tax cap. A President Obama will ensure that anyone making over $102,000 will pay an additional 7% in taxes on earned income.
He also intends to target the loan dividend tax rate implemented by George Bush.
Obama’s rhetoric may hypnotise many voters but his taxation policies leave a sour taste. He is on the extreme left of the Democratic Party and is no more than a tax and spend liberal. He is the darling of the Democratic Socialists of America .This group was formed from an amalgamation of Trotskyites, Communists and extreme left elements.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
New CSO figures just issued show that when adjusted for seasonal factors, the register rose to 207,300 in May. That's up 7,600 on figures for April and over 47,000 higher than May 2007. These figures indicate a massive 30% increase in one year as Ireland dips into recession. Job losses are now spread across the whole economy, not just the housing sector.
Ireland’s unemployment rate now stands at 5.4% - a half percentage point higher than at the start of the year.
The May Exchequer Return figures show that Ireland is headed for a €3 billion shortfall in taxes - on top of an already planned-for €5 billion Government deficit this year.
There has been a €10 billion reversal in our public finances. Ireland had a €2 billion surplus in 2006. Over the last two years the Government has increased its day-to-day spending by 65%. It must attempt to curb the increase in public expenditure at a time when unemployment has breached the psychologically important 200,000 barrier. It now has the worst of all worlds. Planned cuts will be painful and will trigger a backlash.
The massive increase in public expenditure contributed to the feel good factor, which helped to propel FF to election success in 2007. It is now time for retrenchment.
The 2007 General Election was the election to lose. FG and Labour politicians will thank their lucky stars.
- Presidential Candidate
- John McCain
- Barack Obama
- Congressional Spending
- $8.8 billion
- $40.5 billion
- Proposed Spending
- $6.9 billion
- $307.2 billion
* NTU Congressional Rating
- John McCain
- 88% (A)
- Barack Obama
- 5% (Fail)
*The Washington DC- based National Taxpayers Union, a non profit making group which aims to protect private wallets from the government's claws rated both candidates based on his willingness to spend the taxpayers priceless dollars. Here Obama scores just 5% indicating an irresponsible approach to spending. An Obama Presidency will be characterised by rocketing taxation.
John McCain scores an excellent 88% indicating that he is a prudent spender. The natural corollary of this is that a McCain Presidency will be characterised by low taxation.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Tonight at a meeting of the Waterford Co Board in Dungarvan Davy Fitzgerald- star former Clare goalkeeper was ratified as the new manager of the Waterford Senior Hurling team.
He will be accompanied by Maurice Geary of Ballyduff Upper and Peter Queally of Ballydurn. Davy Fitzgerald has won two All Ireland Senior Hurling medals with Clare. He has coached LIT to two Fitzgibbon Cup victories and has a strong club coaching record. He is sure to bring energy and enthusiasm to the task.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Justin's seven years as Manager have been quite successful. In this period Waterford has won three Munster Senior Hurling titles and one National League title. As a hurling purist McCarthy greatly improved the players' skill levels. Waterford confronted and defeated teams such as Cork and Tipperary in some of the greatest hurling games that I have ever seen. McCarthy instilled a will and determination to win. This had been missing heretofore. Waterford players no longer suffered from an inferiority complex.
It was no secret that all was not well in the camp for some time and that some players were unhappy with the manager. The have finally got their way. Can they now deliver the exclusive All Ireland? One thing is certain. This is an appalling mess in the middle of the hurling season.
There is speculation as to the likely replacement. Names such as Eddie O'Connor, Donal O'Grady, Tom Ryan and Nicky Cashin have been mentioned. It is probably best if a manager is chosen from outside the county. Such a manager can take hard decisions and keep inter club rivalry at bay.
Statement by Justin McCarthy:"Today I informed the Chairman of Waterford County Board that I intend to step down as manager of the Waterford Senior Hurling team. I made the decision as I feel I no longer have the full support of all the players on the team. I would like to thank the County Board for their co-operation, and for the support they have always given me, and I wish the players and the new management team every success in the future. I also want to thank the selectors and backroom team, and the great loyal supporters who have followed Waterford through thick and thin. Over the last seven years Waterford has enjoyed unprecedented success on the hurling field and I am privileged to have been involved with such a great team. I regret that my decision to step down has come in the middle of the championship season, however I feel it is the best course of action for everybody involved. I will be making no further comment at this time."
End of Statement
Finley Crampton really shouldn't be here. Although his parents would have loved another child, they knew their baby could inherit a life-threatening kidney condition – and they couldn't take the risk.
After all, their first son had died of the condition and the second was born with serious kidney damage.
So when Finley's mother, Jodie Percival, became pregnant while on the Pill, she and her fiance Billy Crampton, 35, made the agonising decision to abort this child.
'Deciding to terminate at eight weeks was just utterly horrible but I couldn't cope with the anguish of losing another baby,' said Miss Percival, 25.
However, Finley had other ideas. And some time after the operation, Miss Percival felt a fluttering in her stomach.
Eventually her doctor sent her for a scan – and she discovered she was 19 weeks pregnant.
The child had survived the abortion and thrived in the womb. 'I couldn't believe it,' said Miss Percival. 'This was the baby I thought I'd terminated.
'At first I was angry that this was happening to us, that the procedure had failed.
'I wrote to the hospital, I couldn't believe that they had let me down like this. They wrote back and apologised and said it was very rare.'
But a week later, another scan confirmed that this baby had kidney problems too, like the couple's previous children.
Miss Percival carries a gene which triggers multicystic dysplastic kidney – which causes cysts to grow on the kidneys of an unborn baby.
Her first baby, Thane, had lived for only 20 minutes after she was forced to deliver him prematurely.
Her second son, Lewis, now 20 months, was born with a similar condition. He survives on one kidney.
However, doctors told the couple from Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, that this child was likely to survive, so they decided he deserved a chance.
And in November, Finley was born three weeks premature, at 6lb 3oz.
He had minor kidney damage but is expected to lead a normal life.
'I knew if that operation hadn't failed he wouldn't have been there,' said Miss Percival, a hairdresser.
'I just couldn't believe that this child had got through it all and looked so perfect.
'He may need an operation but as only one of his kidneys is affected he can survive.
'I still struggle to believe just what he has fought through. Now he's here I wouldn't change it for the world.'
Such stories are not unknown:
Gianna Jessen came into the world as a surprise. Her 17-year-old mother knew she was pregnant. She also knew she didn't want to be. She underwent an abortion procedure, having toxic saline solution injected into the womb during the third trimester.
Jessen, then in the womb for 7½ months, spent 18 hours in the solution. "It burns the baby inside and out," she said. "(The mother) is to deliver a dead baby within 24 hours." But when a 2-pound Jessen emerged, she was alive.
"I did not die that day," Jessen said. "I was delivered alive in a Los Angeles County abortion clinic in a room full of teenage girls who had already had the saline injections and were feeling their children die inside of them."
In this video both Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Joe Biden launch devastating attacks on Obama's lack of experience. John Edwards states that (Obama's) rhetoric is not enough. Hillary Clinton states that John McCain brings a life time of experience and crosses the Commander in Chief threshold. She stated that Obama brings a speech from 2002. In essence neither Edwards, Clinton or Biden believes that Obama has the experience necessary to assume the position of Commander in Chief.
HILLARY CLINTON: In this election, we need a nominee who can pass the Commander-In-Chief test. Someone ready on day one, to defend our country and keep our families safe. And we need a President who passes that test.
JOHN EDWARDS: Rhetoric is not enough. High falutin language is not enough.
HILLARY CLINTON: ...No time for speeches and on the job training. Senator McCain will bring a lifetime of experience to the campaign, I will bring a lifetime of experience, and Senator Obama will bring a speech that he gave in 2002.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You were asked "Is he ready?" You said "I think he can be ready, but right now I don't believe he is. The Presidency is not something that lends itself to on the job training."
JOE BIDEN: I think that I stand by the statement.
BILL CLINTON: When's the last time we elected a President, based on one year of service in the Senate before he started running? He will have been a Senator longer by the time he is inaugurated, but essentially once you start running for President full time, you don't have time to do much else.
HILLARY CLINTON: I think it's imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the Commander-In-Chief threshold. And, I believe that I have done that, certainly Senator McCain has done that, and you will have to ask Senator Obama with respect to his candidacy.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Swiss flyer Ueli 'Sputnik' Gegenschatz, glides from above the Aran Islands over Galway Bay to Connemara
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Monday, June 2, 2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008
This was one of the poorest performances from a Waterford side since the early eighties.
Whilst deprived of the services of injured players Ken McGrath, Eoin Kelly, Eoin Murphy and Paul Flynn, the reality is that the team with some notable exceptions displayed an insipid attitude and appeared singularly short of the fitness levels required.
An insidious mentality has begun to permeate hurling circles in Waterford. There is a belief that the Munster Championship has lost its significance. This appears to have translated to the players. There was a lack of appetite for this game.
In marked contrast the Clare players were superbly fit. Except for the first ten minutes of the game the Bannermen were on top.
Their backs hunted in packs. Waterford forwards were generally surrounded by two to three players. Waterford attackers attempted to mix it with the Clare backs. This led to bunching and suited the Clare defence. More ground play, less bunching and more wing play and low ball could have opened up the Clare defence. Waterford forwards were largely static and failed to move off the man. They were sitting ducks for the no nonsense Clare defenders. Waterford forwards generally played as individuals. John Mullane gave probably the greatest performance of his life in a Waterford shirt and was certainly man of the match.
It is obvious that injuries have taken their toll on Dan Shanahan and Seamus Prendergast. It was noticeable that Clare halfbacks cleared their lines with little pressure being exerted by Waterford half forwards.
The Waterford defence was under extreme pressure throughout the game. Similarly at centre field Clare dominated. Both in defence and at centre field the Waterford marking was too loose. A simple illustration of this, Diarmaid McMahon was moved onto Brian Phelan. He promptly drifted away from his marker and scored three points in quick succession in the first half. Even in victory loose marking has been a facet of the team’s play, which was unsatisfactory. Much of the pressure exerted on Waterford backs emanated from ball supplied by Clare halfbacks and centre-field. In fairness Dave Bennett was immaculate from placed balls.
It is time to radically recast the team. Ken McGrath should be placed at full back and Brick Walsh at centre back. Tony Browne is beginning to slow and should be placed in a corner back position. Kevin Moran should be tried at centre field. It is time for Waterford mentors to insist on man to man marking in defence. They must be ruthless with players on this issue. In the course of Championship matches one mentor should supervise the backs, another keep an eye on centre field and a third should monitor the forward line.
Finally in future National Hurling League campaigns Waterford must experiment more. Today Garry Hurney was thrown in at the deep end. He has plenty of potential but would have benefited greatly from experience gained in the National Hurling League.
It is back to the qualifiers now for Waterford. The team has the capacity- especially with the return of injured players- to undo the damage inflicted today. The back room team must radically recast the defence for the game against Antrim. Hopefully fitness levels will improve. Tight marking by the defence and centre field is a sine qua non. No opponents should remain loose between the 65 metre line and the Waterford goaline. A return to combination play by the forwards allied to more wing play and ground hurling is an essential prerequisite for success. In addition forwards must move off the backs more.