Ellen’s Twilight: A Time for Evenhandedness and Constitutional Tolerance

first_imgThe abrupt closure last Saturday of Benoni Urey’s radio station, situated at 10th Street, Sinkor, is a highly disturbing development indeed. A Ministry of Information press release issued Sunday by Deputy Minister Isaac Jackson said the closure action was executed by the Civil Law Court. But the press as well as bystanders and passersby observed a full contingent of officers of the Police Support Unit (PSU) and the Emergency Response Unit (ERU), clad in full riot gear, standing outside the radio station, as though in full readiness for combat.One bystander remarked that the scene was a vivid reminder of the frequent attacks which the Samuel K. Doe and People’s Redemption government launched against the Daily Observer newspaper in the 1980s. What is most disturbing about this terribly unfortunate incident is that this is the third time the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf government has moved to close down a media house. That is apart from the closure in November 2011 of Kings FM, Love FM (now LIB-24) and Power FM/TV. These closures were in connection with a riot at the party headquarters of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), executed on the eve of the election run-off between the incumbent President Sirleaf’s Unity Party and the CDC. The GOL said that in taking that action against the three electronic media outlets, GOL attempted to preempt a Rwanda-style radio broadcast that incited people to riot and kill. The three closures we refer to in this editorial are directly related to actions by these media houses which GOL deemed were particularly critical of the presidency. The first was in 2014 when government summarily shut down The Chronicle newspaper owned and operated by Philipbert Browne. This newspaper had been launching a persistent campaign calling for an alleged “interim government” that it said was in the making to unseat the incumbent national leadership headed by President Sirleaf. The second, which occurred on July 4, 2016, was the closure of the Voice FM operated by Henry Costa, whose highly controversial talk show were very critical of the country’s current political administration. Costa then moved his talk show to Mr. Urey’s LIB-24 FM. Costa’s prime offense this time was a letter allegedly written by President Sirleaf to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alex Tyler, proposing a certain change in the statues. Costa conjectured that the letter had something to do with the Global Witness allegations of several government officials who involved in changing some of the country’s laws and regulations to accommodate the mining interests of the UK-based Sable Mining. Costa, in his talk show last week, interpreted the President’s letter to the Speaker to mean that she was the one whom Global Witness called “Big Boy 1.”That, too, was, in Costa’s typical style, highly explosive; and that may have tipped the sudden action against Urey’s station, which Costa was now using to air his broadcasts.It is not clear how or whether Costa definitively linked the President to any wrong doing by her letter to Tyler. We do not see how the President’s letter to Tyler linked her to any impropriety. Be that as it may, we are deeply saddened by the government’s over reaction. There are two reasons: first, this has brought the whole Global Witness allegations into sharper public focus and has forced people to sit up and think and listen and speak out and do their own investigation in a matter that seemed to be dying down already.We are deeply saddened, secondly, because we cannot see how this closure of yet another media house can help the President’s image—and legacy. There have been numerous criticisms against her administration. However, the one thing that people have unequivocally credited her with is her tolerance of media criticism. Here is a Liberian President who has staunchly followed President Tolbert’s lead in rejecting the iron bar that President Tubman imposed on freedom of speech and of the press. As far as Tubman, Doe and Charles Taylor were concerned, these freedoms were nowhere in the Liberian Constitution. And yet they were—and are—and despite the draconian laws still on our books, President Sirleaf has effectively avoided using them against the media, and actually constantly advocated their repeal.That is why she became only the second African leader to sign the Table Mountain Declaration.We pray that the President will maintain the tolerance she has exercised since her tenure began in 2006 and deal evenhandedly with the media on the high moral ground of constitutional faithfulness and tolerance.At the same time, we urge all our media colleagues to be equally evenhanded and fair to all whom they cover.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

BOYLES CLOSE 30-YEAR GAP TO WIN DONEGAL INTERNATIONAL RALLY

first_imgBoyle-ing – the Lettermacaward men leadThe Boyle Boys celebrate> Pic Clive WassonLETTERMACAWARD’S Declan Boyle is Donegal International Rally champion – the first Donegal home crew win in 31 years.He and navigator Brian finished 30 seconds ahead of their nearest rivals.It’s the first Donegal Driver since James Cullen in 99 and and the 1st ALL DONEGAL crew since Vincent Bonner and Seamus McGettigan in 1983. Defending champions Sam Moffett and James O Reilly were second with former champions Gary Jennings and Rory Kennedy finished third.Josh Moffett and John Rowan took the Group N honours from Stephen Mc Cann and Lisa O Dowd with Aaron Mc Hale and Paul Mc Gee in third spot.The National event was won by Monaghan’s Gary Mc Phillips & Paul Sheridan from local crew Conor Harvey & Gerard Callaghan in 2nd spot with Frank Kelly & Liam Brennan third. Local crews Brian Brogan/Damien Mc Gettigan in 4th and Damien Gallagher / Mac Walsh in 5th also had great events.All the positions are below: Rory and Garry O/ACarDriver/CodriverMakeClassPosSS20RoadTotalDiff 1stDiff Prev12Declan Boyle/Brian BoyleSubaru WRC6O/A10:17.00:002:21:56.421Sam Moffett/James O’ReillyFord Fiesta WRC6O/A10:19.80:002:22:31.20:34.80:34.833Garry Jennings/Rory KennedySubaru WRC6O/A10:24.70:002:25:14.33:17.92:43.146Derek McGarrity/James McKeeSubaru WRC6110:25.60:002:26:41.64:45.21:27.3510Josh Moffett/John RowanMitsubishi Evo 94111:28.50:002:33:09.211:12.86:27.6625Stephen McCann/Lisa O’DowdMitsubishi Evo 94211:51.10:002:37:57.616:01.24:48.4728Aaron McHale/Paul McGeeMitsubishi Evo 94311:40.70:002:40:02.418:06.02:04.8883Callum Devine/Liam McLaughlinFord Fiesta R22111:41.90:002:43:41.121:44.73:38.79109Richard Tanahill/Aileen KellyPeugeot 2082211:44.50:002:44:17.722:21.30:36.61041Brian O’Keefe/Sean HaydeSubaru Impreza4412:02.00:002:45:41.023:44.61:23.311104Martin O’Donnell/John M O’DonnellHonda Civic1112:32.70:002:49:18.527:22.13:37.51284Ed Twomey/William LynchFord Fiesta ST2312:15.60:002:50:43.828:47.41:25.313141Alistair Glenn/Paul GallagherPeugeot 2062413:48.90:003:13:48.451:52.023:04.6Results for the National categoryO/ACarDriver/CodriverMakeClassPosSS20RoadTotalDiff 1stDiff Prev114Gary McPhillips/Paul SheridanFord Escort Mk214O/A10:58.60:002:30:06.4232Conor Harvey/Gerard CallaghanFord Escort14O/A10:51.50:002:31:24.21:17.81:17.8319Frank Kelly/Liam BrennanFord Escort14O/A10:36.70:002:31:34.01:27.60:09.8422Brian Brogan/Damien McGettiganFord Escort Mk214110:59.80:002:33:10.03:03.61:36.0520Damien Gallagher/Mac WalshFord Escort14210:54.60:152:34:46.84:40.41:36.8618Wesley Patterson/Johnny BairdFord Escort14310:58.50:002:35:21.45:15.00:34.67160Richard Moffett/Martin ConnollyToyota Starlet13111:07.50:002:35:32.65:26.20:11.28165Vivian Hamill/Stephen ThorntonFord Escort RS14411:03.60:002:37:53.07:46.62:20.4945John McQuaid/Seamus O’ConnorFord Escort Mk214511:06.80:002:39:26.79:20.31:33.71031Jim McKenna/Thomas TreanorFord Escort14611:32.30:002:40:15.510:09.10:48.81142Patrick McHugh/Pauric O’DonnellFord Escort13211:26.30:002:40:28.710:22.30:13.21236Robbie Peoples/Keith StewartFord Escort Mk214712:17.20:002:41:53.811:47.41:25.11370Gerard McQuaid/Gary QuinlanFord Escort Mk213311:12.80:002:42:03.711:57.30:09.91454Adrian McElhinney/Paddy GormanFord Escort Mk213411:28.80:002:42:23.212:16.80:19.51567Paul Doherty/Hugh CollFord Escort Mk213511:34.10:002:42:50.212:43.80:27.01651Kevin Bradley/Graham HendersonFord Escort Mk211R111:45.50:002:44:08.814:02.41:18.61744Kieron Graffin/Paddy RobinsonMitsubishi Evo1016111:30.90:002:44:17.114:10.70:08.318156Anthony Hand/James McCarvilleFord Escort Mk211R211:18.50:002:44:33.614:27.20:16.51972Paul Gallagher/Patrick GallagherFord Escort Mk111R311:36.80:002:44:41.414:35.00:07.82047Thomas Keys/Dean O’SullivanFord Escort Mk213611:40.10:002:44:41.414:35.02199Garry Gallagher/Lee CullenToyota Corolla11R411:35.40:002:44:52.614:46.20:11.222110Paul Creamer/Patrick DurningHonda Civic11F111:56.90:002:45:07.115:00.70:14.52382Gerard McFall/Conor O’LoanMitsubishi Evo 916211:30.90:002:45:18.115:11.70:11.02448Gary McElhinney/Johny CharlestonFord Escort Mk213711:50.20:002:45:37.915:31.50:19.82580Enda McCormack/Colin FitzgeraldHyundai WRC15111:33.50:002:45:41.815:35.40:03.92692Liam McFall/Matthew McKennaMitsubishi Evo 916311:41.20:002:45:43.415:37.00:01.62795Liam McMullan/John CollHonda Civic11F212:05.30:002:46:15.216:08.80:31.82896Barry McGill/Derek HeenaFord Escort Mk29111:50.60:002:46:29.416:23.00:14.229115James McDermott/Paul McDermottVauxhall Chevette12112:06.90:002:47:53.417:47.01:24.03068John Dolan/Jack McGinleyFord Escort Mk213811:51.00:002:49:12.019:05.61:18.63178Ashley Dickson/Niall BurnsMitsubishi Evo916411:51.80:002:49:39.319:32.90:27.33279Liam Egan/Raymond CoppingerToyota Corolla WRC15212:11.90:002:49:39.719:33.30:00.43374Eamonn Doherty/Loretta KellyFord Escort Mk211R511:53.50:002:49:43.619:37.20:03.93450John Watters/David KellyFord Escort14812:12.00:002:50:00.319:53.90:16.73590Denis Ferry/James HeraghtySubaru Impreza15312:27.00:002:50:16.620:10.20:16.336118Andrew Hegarty/Eoin KellyFord Escort Mk212212:11.50:002:50:28.320:21.90:11.73763Donal Connolly/Danny McLaughlinFord Escort12311:53.50:002:50:28.420:22.00:00.13864Jason Roache/Paddy McCruddenFord Escort Mk213912:04.00:002:50:42.020:35.60:13.639114Kevin McHugh/Evan HughesFord Escort Mk2131011:53.80:002:51:10.521:04.10:28.540116Dan McCanny/Martin GallogleyFord Escort131112:11.00:002:51:15.021:08.60:04.54158RCal McCarthy/Eamonn DulleaHonda Civic11F311:26.75:002:52:23.922:17.51:08.94291Christy Carey/Kieran BaileyMitsubishi Evo 820112:11.80:002:52:27.722:21.30:03.843125Charlie Heraghty/Pearse McBrideToyota Corolla11R611:41.30:002:53:26.923:20.50:59.244113Shaun Callaghan/Patrick McBrideFord Escort Mk2131212:19.90:002:53:29.423:23.00:02.545145Johnny Wilhare/Cahir WilhareHonda Civic11F412:30.60:002:53:48.723:42.30:19.346123Stanley McKeown/Mervyn HawthorneToyota Corolla11R712:16.30:002:54:14.824:08.40:26.147131Dermot McGroary/Evin HendersonTalbot Sunbeam10112:30.20:002:55:49.325:42.91:34.548146Thomas McGlinchey/Tony CurranFord Escort131313:39.00:002:56:14.626:08.20:25.349126John Sweeney/Emmett KellyHonda Civic16512:47.00:002:56:54.926:48.50:40.350101Trevor Graham/Ian GallagherToyota Corolla11R812:47.80:153:00:27.630:21.23:32.751121Geoffrey Nevin/Paul NevinFord Escort Mk212412:54.00:003:00:29.530:23.10:01.952140Shane Carr/Ciaran CarrVauxhall Nova10213:10.20:003:02:04.431:58.01:34.953143Andrew McLaughlin/Stephen McLaughlinHonda Civic11F513:15.30:003:02:07.132:00.70:02.754127RLeonard Craig/Dermot McCaffertyToyota Starlet11R912:11.05:003:02:30.932:24.50:23.855132Eamon McLaughlin/Sean ToppingFord Escort10313:12.50:003:04:17.234:10.81:46.35689RNiall McCullagh/Ryan McCloskeyMitsubishi Evo 620211:48.25:003:04:49.534:43.10:32.357129Caolan Gaffney/Joey KaneToyota Corolla11R1012:33.31:303:05:13.335:06.90:23.85897Brendan O’Reilly/Damien McCabeFord Escort Mk29213:18.42:303:06:45.136:38.71:31.859136Anthony Breen/Jill WhiteSubaru Impreza20312:28.40:003:06:54.636:48.20:09.56062RJohn Bonner/Leon JordanFord Escort Mk2131411:08.75:003:10:09.140:02.73:14.561111RMark Boyle/Charles GallagherHonda Civic11F612:35.15:003:10:12.540:06.10:03.46288RDeclan Hall/Chris CorrToyota Corolla11R1111:41.35:003:10:37.140:30.70:24.663149Kyle McGettigan/Liam DohertyToyota Corolla11R1212:52.40:453:10:38.840:32.40:01.764148Kelvin Gorney/Kieran BurkeCitroen Saxo11F713:59.10:003:12:17.842:11.41:39.065147RGerard Gibbons/Adrian RankinFord Escort Mk211R1312:43.65:003:12:50.742:44.30:32.966100RMichael McClafferty/Damien WhoriskeyHonda Civic11F811:57.65:003:12:55.942:49.50:05.267151Pj Wilhare/Darren SheilsFord Escort RS200012513:19.90:003:15:29.245:22.82:33.368152RMickey Peoples/Lian McIntyreFord Escort131512:13.45:003:15:40.745:34.30:11.569134RPatrick Bradley/Niall McDaidFord Escort G3131611:54.65:003:15:59.245:52.80:18.570144RTerence Diver/Donal McElaneyHonda Civic11F912:13.05:003:27:01.056:54.611:01.871142RShane McLaughlin/Steven BoyleVauxhall Nova9312:51.55:003:29:54.659:48.22:53.672137RAlan Browne/Michael DonnellanSubaru Impreza20413:37.25:003:33:48.21:03:41.83:53.673112RPauric Dufffy/Kevin GlynnCitroen C2R216612:17.67:003:37:03.71:06:57.33:15.574117RPatrick Bonner/Jamsie WardFord Escort Mk212612:43.95:003:40:43.31:10:36.93:39.675154RAndrew Stewart/Tony GallagherMitsubishi Evo415413:21.76:003:45:57.61:15:51.25:14.3BOYLES CLOSE 30-YEAR GAP TO WIN DONEGAL INTERNATIONAL RALLY was last modified: June 22nd, 2014 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:donegal rallylast_img read more