Daniel Svensson, the so far TuS Lubbecke player, will continue his career in Skjern. He has decided to join the Danish club, and has signed one-year contract with Skjern. Before joining Lubbecke, Svensson has played for Ajax Farum, FC Kopenhagen, Aalborg and BM Toledo.Florian von Gruchalla had playing minutes this season for Flensburg-Handewitt, but it was obviously not enough in order for the young player to develop himself, scoring only 22 goals this season. He will be leaving the club and in the new season will be moving to Gummersbach. Gummersbach will find the 23-year old left-handed back useful in the team, and should make good tandem with Raul Santos.KIF Kolding were touted as the biggest favorites this season to win the Danish league, however – despite reaching the final, the team were defeated in the two-legged duel against Aalborg. This has made the KIF Kolding management extremely unhappy, and has opted to sack the current coach – Peter Bredsdorff Larsen. Lars Jeppesen will lead the team in the upcoming cup game. daniel svenssonflorian von gruchallagummersbachKIF Koldinglars jeppesenpeter larsen ← Previous Story Nikola Karabatic in F.C Barcelona next four years! Next Story → Magnus Jernemyr leaves Barca
Slovakian left wing Martin Stranovsky (29) won’t seat on the bench in FC Barcelona after transfer of Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson from THW Kiel! Ex-member of Ademar Leon would like to get more minutes on the court somewhere else and team and the played agreed about release clausule. Stranovsky is now ready for a new challenge in the proffesional career… ← Previous Story 36 MATCHES: DKB Bundesliga 2014/2015 with 19 teams – Uwe Schwenker is new President! Next Story → Junior Women’s WCH 2014: Norge girls are the most convincing FC BarcelonaMartin Stranovsky
Group CSubotaCelje – Vardar 26:27Chekhovskie Medvedi – Veszprem 32:37Rhein Neckar Löwen – Montpellier 35:24 Here are the complete results of the Mens’ EHF Champions League Round 1:Group AMetalurg – PSG 22:27La Rioja – Meshkov Brest 39:31PPD Zagreb – Kiel 27:25 EHF CL ← Previous Story SEHA (Round 5): Tatran Presov trash Borac! Next Story → Sensation in Zagreb – Flensburg’s disaster in Kolding Group DKadetten : Kielce 28:33 (14:15)Dunkerque – Aalborg 21:26Pick Szeged – Motor Zaporožje 27:26 Group BSubota:Wisla Plock – Besiktas 28:19Kolding – Flensburg 35:21Alingsas – Barcelona 28:38
← Previous Story Macedonians sack Risto Magdincev Next Story → Azoty Pulawy sack Dragan Markovic Croatian PPD Zagreb’s captain Zlatko Horvat is forced to forget on handball matches in the next four weeks. Croatian right wing has broke his right hand (metacarpal bone) against Naturhouse La Rioja at EHF CL Round 4 match in Logrono (21:22) and won’t be able to help his team-mates in upcoming matches in SEHA GAZPROM SS league, but also, he will be out from the NT squad for the EHF EURO 2016 qualifications start against the Netherlands (October 30) and Turkey (November 2).
FC BarcelonaMarko Kopljar Croatian star from PSG Handball, Marko Kopljar, will play for FC Barcelona from the next season, according Balkan-Handball.com. The 29 years-old lefthander is on the end of the contract with the French team, but his aims will stay high in the future by signing contract with the most succesful team in the history of handball.A 210 cm tall Kopljar will join lefthanders, Lazarov and Gurbindo on the right back position. Since Kiril Lazarov extended contract with the Spanish champions, the only question about status is linked with the Spanish right back… ← Previous Story FC Barcelona celebrate fifth consecutive ASOBAL title! Next Story → Ilic, Lazarov and Hansen still in the race for “Golden ball”
← Previous Story FRANCE 2017: Tickets, official song, Mont Blanc… Next Story → SG Flensburg beat Rhein Neckar Lowen in SAP Arena Erlend MamelundHaslum HK Norwegian national team player and EX-THW Kiel member Erlend Mamelund announced retirement for summer 2017! The 32-years old left back, but firstly, defensive specialist, had desire to finish his career even earlier but a call from the handball institution like THW Kiel, extended his handball life, when he left his Haslum HK for a while.Mamelund began his career in Haslum HK, afterwards he player at HSG Nordhorn, SG Flensburg-Handewitt, FC København and Montpellier HB.Is it 33 time to say goodbye to handball, it’s right question, but obviously guys in Norway have chance to make career even without proffesional sport.
Domagoj Pavlovic ← Previous Story RK Vojvodina and coach Bosko Rudic part ways Next Story → EHF CL TOP 5 GOALS (Round 1): Pure magic by Simonet and Dibirov One of the leaders at RK PPD Zagreb, Domagoj Pavlovic, suffered a thumb injury during the match against Swedish Kristianstad and is expected to miss two months, announced Croatian team.He will miss important period of season starting from tonight match against RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko on home court.The 24-years old playmaker has a lot of problems with injuries in his proffesional career. He already had two surgeries of his shooting shoulder.
7.FRISCH AUF! Göppingen4:2-7 5.Bergischer HC4:2+10 2.SG Flensburg-Handewitt6:0+19 Despite a lot of good signings in the last two seasons, MT Melsungen are still far away from the leading teams of DKB Bundesliga. That proved the last night away challenge at SAP Arena in Mannheim, where domestic Rhein Neckar Lowen have been too strong for Heiko Grimm’s squad.Rhein-Neckar Löwen – MT Melsungen 34:26 (17:13)Rhein-Neckar Löwen: Appelgren, Palicka; Schmid (8/1), Lipovina, Sigurdsson (6/5), Radivojevic, Tollbring, Abutovic, Mensah (2), Fäth (4), Groetzki (2), Taleski, Guardiola, Petersson (6), Nielsen, Kohlbacher (6)MT Melsungen: Sjöstrand, Simic; Maric (3), Kühn (6), Lemke, Ignatow, Kunkel (2), Mikkelsen (3/2), Danner, P. Müller, Schneider, Allendorf, Birkefeld (6), M. Müller (4), Pavlovic (2)Furious Flensburg win in Berlin – Magdeburg on 3/3 after WetzlarSTANDINGS: 1.Rhein-Neckar Löwen6:0+21 3.SC Magdeburg6:0+18 8.HC Erlangen2:2-1 4.THW Kiel4:0+11 15.TBV Lemgo Lippe2:4-10 12.TSV GWD Minden2:4-4 17.Die Eulen Ludwigshafen0:6-12 dkb bundesligaMT MelsungenRhein Neckar Lowen 13.MT Melsungen2:4-4 6.TSV Hannover-Burgdorf4:2+3 14.Füchse Berlin2:4-6 16.VfL Gummersbach0:4-9 10.SC DHfK Leipzig2:4-2 ← Previous Story SENSATION IN SLOVENIA: Krka beat Celje PL to win Super Cup! Next Story → TOP U20 EURO 2018 scorer Gregor Ocvirk to replace Gorbok at RK Vardar Skopje 9.TVB 1898 Stuttgart2:2-5 11.HSG Wetzlar2:4-3 18.SG BBM Bietigheim0:6-19
“I’ve already said very clearly and very publicly that it is unacceptable that any state would bug a friendly state, eavesdrop on telephone conversations or try to establish intelligence in that way,” he said today.He said that the matter has already been raised at an official level with officials from the US embassy here as well as at an EU level with the US Secretary of State John Kerry, saying it is something the Irish government is very clear on.“The bugging of other people’s telephones… you know, friends don’t bug each other’s telephones,” Gilmore added.Read: Gilmore raised concerns over US spying with embassy in Dublin this summerRead: NSA ‘tapped into links to Google, Yahoo data centres’ TÁNAISTE EAMON GILMORE has said that the government does not have any information that the US National Security Agency (NSA) carried out surveillance on Ireland, but said eavesdropping is unacceptable.Speaking after a meeting with the US diplomat charged with talks on outstanding issues in Northern Ireland, Richard Haass, Gilmore said that it is “unacceptable” that any other state would spy on a friendly state.He told reporters: “We’ve no information in relation to activity here. But I want to make it very clear that eavesdropping on telephones here or indeed anywhere else in Europe is not acceptable to us.”It emerged today that Gilmore raised the issue of NSA spying at the Council of Europe headquarters in Brussels with officials “at a senior official level” in the US Embassy in Dublin earlier this year.
Source: Shutterstock9. HorrorLiterally everything fun that ever happened in the world is occurring right now and you’re not there. Source: Somegif Source: Shutterstock10. ResignationIt’s 3am, you’re awake and safe to say you’ve made the worst decision of your life. Sleep well, sleep well. Source: PhotoBucketAh don’t worry. They’re not having as much fun as it seems… we’re sure of it. Source: Thought Catalog SO YOU’VE DECIDED to stay in. Well done. Your wallet, liver etc, will thank you. But none of this really matters when FOMO hits.Urban Dictionary defines FOMO (noun) asa state of mental or emotional strain caused by the fear of missing out.It can be a debilitating condition, but you too can feel normal again after 10 harrowing steps.1. Certainty and anticipationYou tell yourself you’re definitely NOT going out tonight. It’s been a tough week, it’s dark, it’s cold and all you want to do when you get home from work is stay in with some wine and the Late Late. Source: Mrwgifs2. The game-changerThe text arrives. The invitation out. Take it or leave it?3. JustificationYou’re doing the right thing, you’re sure of it. Think about it, you’re saving money, your liver, and you’ll feel great tomorrow. It’s highly unlikely anything amazing is going to happen anyway. Source: Wihelmina Upton4. The ‘What If’The first Facebook check-in you see, and this do-goodery means nothing to you. You’d happily give up every penny you had for a single pint in a stuffy pub somewhere.Time is ticking by and the offer is still out there. Now there’s another. Why is EVERYTHING happening on this one night. Source: Shelly265. AcceptanceNo, you’re definitely staying in. In fact, you pity those who’ve gone out. There’s the rain.This stack of DVDs and books and TV shows will keep you occupied. Source: Tumblr6. SmugnessAh sure it’s probably too late to go out now, and it’s still raining. HATE to be out. Source: Glamour7. DoubtOh dear God this is so boring why didn’t I go out? Source: Zap2it8. Social stalkingA little check of Facebook or Twitter can’t hurt.Everyone is having the time of their lives. People you thought were definitely not going out are out and they’re all having a gas time without you. WHY AREN’T THEY TWEETING MORE? Source: Vodkacranberryclooney Your Definitive Guide To Being Too Old To Be Out Tonight>The 23 stages of the weekend everyone goes through>
AN INVESTIGATION IS under way at Letterkenny General Hospital following allegations that a four-year-old child was hit by a doctor.Management at the hospital have confirmed they are investigating a “trust in care” incident “concerning a child who was attending the hospital, accompanied by its parent”.According to The Irish Times, which first reported the alleged incident, a doctor at the facility has been suspended while the investigation is carried out.A spokesperson for Letterkenny General Hospital wouldn’t be drawn on the details of the case, but confirmed the inquiry was under way.A statement from the hospital (part of the West/North West Hospitals Group) states that the investigation will be guided by two policies:“The “Children First” policy states that the key principles informing best practice are that the welfare of children is of paramount importance and that all personnel and health professionals, irrespective of the position held within the organisation, have a responsibility towards child protection and welfare.“The ‘Trust in Care’ policy aims to ensure any allegations or complaints against a member of staff are thoroughly investigated. “This policy states that, ‘at an appropriate stage in the process, management should take whatever protective measures are necessary to ensure that no patient/client or staff member is exposed to unacceptable risk. These protective measures are not disciplinary measures and may include putting the staff member off duty with pay pending the outcome of the investigation’.”According to the statement, appropriate action will be taken once the results of the investigation are known “up to and including disciplinary action” including, where appropriate, “the reporting of the incident to external authorities”.Read: €10 million set aside for Letterkenny hospital rebuild >Read: Letterkenny Hospital partially evacuated after flooding destroys ground floor >
FORMER GAA PRESIDENT Seán Kelly has indicated that the organisation may look at saving Hayes’ Hotel in Tipperary, the birthplace of the GAA which recently went into receivership, following his approach to them in the last week.Speaking to TheJournal.ie in Brussels, the current Fine Gael MEP said he has raised the matter with GAA general secretary Páraic Duffy who told him in a response that he will bring the matter to a meeting of the GAA Central Council at Croke Park this weekend.Kelly wants the organisation to either buy the hotel outright or to enter into partnership with other bodies “to ensure that this iconic part of our heritage is preserved for posterity”.Hayes’ Hotel went into receivership in April and remains open but there have been growing calls for the GAA to intervene.A Labour senator, Denis Landy, has said it is “our duty to ensure that this iconic building is preserved, protected and handed on to future generations”.Meanwhile, Kelly told this website: “We’re very lucky, unlike most organisations that were founded way back in the 19th century, that the exact place where it is located is still there. “So now that it is still there we must ensure that it is preserved for posterity and I think the GAA has an important role to play in that.”Kelly said he had written to the GAA a number of years ago, suggesting that it buy the hotel and run it commercially but was told that this is not something the organisation would engage in.He believes that the GAA is increasingly aware of the need to preserve the hotel where the GAA was founded on 1 November 1884 by Michael Cusack and Maurice Davin.“This is bigger than just commercial activity and I’ve also suggested, by setting up a committee, they could look into partnerships and give themselves options which they mightn’t have looked at initially,” he said.A spokesperson for the GAA was not available to comment at the time of publication.Read: Central Council to decide on 2014 Hurling League format this weekend
BRITISH SOCIAL SERVICES forcibly removed a baby from a pregnant Italian woman’s womb by caesarean section while she was in the country on a work trip, a report says.The woman was sedated and then had the girl taken out of her body after authorities in Essex, eastern England, obtained a court order, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper said, citing her lawyers.The authorities said the woman had had a mental breakdown and it acted in the best interests of the child, which is now 15 months old, the paper said.The Italian mother has now launched a legal battle for the child, which is being put up for adoption by the social services, it said.“I have never heard of anything like this in all my 40 years in the job,” her lawyer, Brendan Fleming, told The Sunday Telegraph.The woman had flown into Britain in 2012 for a two-week training course when she suffered a panic attack, which her family believe was due to her failure to take medicine for a bipolar condition, the newspaper said.She has since launched legal action in Britain and Italy for the return of her daughter but has been told that the child will be placed for adoption.A British lawmaker, John Hemming from the Liberal Democrat party, will raise the case in parliament this week, the newspaper said.It quoted Essex council as saying it did not comment on ongoing cases.- © AFP, 2013Read: English law ‘does not prohibit gender-specific abortions’>
POLICE IN NORTHERN Ireland are investigating after the body of a 30-year-old woman was found on a Belfast street this morning.The woman was discovered in the Antrim Road area of Belfast at around 8.50am today.The PSNI said they are investigating all circumstances surrounding the death but that there are no further details about what happened to the woman at this stage.A post mortem examination is to be carried out to determine the cause of death.
Open one (1810) Never open on Christmas Eve (540) A NEW SURVEY is giving an insight into how Irish family Christmasses have changed in the past fifty or so years.One thousand people across Ireland were surveyed about their experiences and traditions and the results show that more and more people are opening presents on Christmas Eve.The research, carried out by Amarach on behalf of Argos, showed that while more than two thirds of people still wait until Christmas morning to see what they got, twenty percent are allowed to open one gift, while 13 per cent open more than one.The practice of opening presents on the 24th is more prevalent among the 15-34 year age group, while only 14 per cent of those over 55 have a tradition of early present reveals.Did he come?The most popular time for getting up on Christmas morning was between 6-8am for three quarters of the people surveyed, while one per cent said they got up at 3am. THREE AM! Open more than one (1149) Source: Amarach Research/ArgosNearly half of Irish adults said that they had Christmas stockings and gifts under the tree as a kid, and 26 per cent of those kept their stockings at the end of their beds.This was most prevalent in the over 55 age group, with younger age categories leaving their stockings beside the tree.When it came to toys board games were most commonly associated with childhood Christmasses, followed by bikes, Lego and train sets. Monopoly was the king of the board games, with Snakes and Ladders in second place.Monopoly is still the favourite with 48 per cent of those surveyed saying it would be top for them this Christmas, followed by Scrabble and Trivial pursuit.What about you? What time did you get up at on Christmas morning? And what toys stick in your memory? Most importantly, where do you stand on opening presents on Christmas Eve? Poll Results: Never open on Christmas EveOpen oneOpen more than oneVote8 Christmas school rituals every Irish child knows>5 things the French need to know about Penneys>Watch this guy build an explosive Christmas tree, then blow it up>
WITH THERE BEING more than two million apps across the three main app stores, smartphone and tablet users have never been more spoilt for choice.Not only has the quantity of apps have risen, but the quality has increased as well. While covering all of them is an impossible task, here are a small selection of the best apps from 2013.Anyone who’s only recently received a smartphone should check out our list of the best starter apps here.DotsFor: iOS, AndroidCost: FreeDeceptively simple, but incredibly addictive, Dots is a compulsive game that will swallow up all your free time as you try to beat your own high score.Robot Unicorn Attack IIFor: iOS, AndroidCost: FreeA eccentric platform runner, Robot Unicorn Attack II is every bit as bizarre as the name suggests. The theme tune alone will be stuck in your head.Super Stickman Golf 2For: iOS, AndroidCost: Free (Android), €2.69 (iOS)A fun and quirky golf game, Super Stickman Golf 2 puts you through numerous unconventional worlds as you try to get a below par score for each course.Clumsy NinjaFor: iOSCost: FreeAn impressive ragdoll physics engine is the basis for this great tamagotchi-style game as you train your ninja up to become the best.Infinity Blade IIIFor: iOSCost: €2.69An action packed hack and slash game which pits you against knights and other monstrosities, Infinity Blade III is one of the sharpest games around, both graphically and gameplay-wise. The original is now free should you want to try before you buy.Cut The Rope IIFor: iOSCost: €0.89The sequel to one of the most popular smartphone games arrived last week on iPhone and is every bit as addictive. An Android version is expected in the new year and is worth the download.Duolingo For: iOS, Android Cost: FreeWant to learn a new language? Duolingo will teach you the basics of French, Spanish, German and Portuguese in bite-sized chunks that’s both fun and easy to handle.VSCO Cam For: iOS, Android Cost: FreeOne of the best photo editing apps out there, VSCO is an essential download for anyone serious about photography.IFTTT For: iOS Cost: FreeFor those unfamiliar with IF This Then That (IFTTT), it’s a web app which combines actions together. For example, if you post photos on Instagram, you can create a IFTTT formula where every time this happens, it’s automatically posted on Twitter as well.Downloading and using it is much easier than explaining it (thankfully) and the iOS app builds upon the foundations set by the web app.Soundwave For: iOS, Android Cost: FreeThe music discovery app lets you see what songs people are listening to in your area. A novel way of discovering new tracks and artists.Ridiculous FishingFor: iOS, AndroidCost: €2.69A wonderfully crafted game, send your line down as far as possible, hook as many fish as you can, bring them back up and blast them with your shotgun. Exactly the way fishing should be.OceanhornFor: iOSCost: €7.99If you’re a fan of The Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker, Oceanhorn is a nice homage to the series and is a decent game in its own right.LimboFor: iOSCost: €4.49A puzzle platformer that will play upon your fears, Limbo is a work of art that everyone should play. For a game that practically expects you to fail before completing a puzzle, it’s tense and the art direction adds to this atmosphere.FoldifyFor: iOS (iPad)Cost: €3.59Anyone who’s interested in arts and crafts will love this app. Draw, create and print out your 3D creations for the world to see.Digg ReaderFor: iOS, AndroidCost: FreeDigg’s resurrection from a forum to a content aggregation site has paid off massively. Not only is its content fantastic, it also has a RSS reader which former Google Reader users will love.Swype Keyboard For: Android Cost: €1.46A gesture type keyboard that is an essential download for all Android users. It takes a bit of getting used to, but once you do, you’ll wonder how you’ve ever lived without it.Nokia Camera For: Windows Phone Cost: FreeOne of Nokia’s biggest strengths is the quality of camera its Lumia range has so it’s only fitting that the best Windows Phone camera app comes from it as well. A plethora of features and editing options means it one of the best camera apps around.MyAppFree For: Windows Phone Cost: FreeThis app searches the Windows Phone app store to find the latest and best apps that have been made free. With one new app every day, it can uncover some real gems making it an essential download.Strata Free For: Android Cost: FreeA smart puzzle game, the premise of Strata is to strategically create layers of patterns. Like all good puzzle games, it starts off simple but becomes more complex as you progress.Rayman Fiesta Run For: iOS, Android Cost: €2.69Another platform runner, Rayman Fiesta Run is definitely one of the more colourful and vibrant versions of the genre out there. A number of clever twists means it’s worth a look.Asphalt 8: Airborne For: iOS, Android, Windows Phone Cost: Free, €0.99 (Windows Phone)A fun arcade racer that doesn’t take itself too seriously, Asphalt 8 focuses on tricks and aerial stunts as you race to the finishing line.Flow Free For: iOS, Android, Windows Phone Cost: FreeA relaxing puzzle game, the aim is to connect the same colours pipes together and is another example of being easy to learn, but gets challenging the further you progress. Should you finish the free game, you can purchase the expansion packs which will allow you to continue the fun.Box For: iOS, Android, Windows Phone Cost: FreeA collaboration tool for businesses, Box syncs with Google Docs and Salesforce and is a brilliant productivity tool for those regularly using either service. It also allows you to assign tasks and update in real-time so that everyone is up to date.Fresh Paint For: Windows Phone Cost: FreeIf you’re feeling creative, Fresh Paint is a very polished app and one of the best of its kind on any platform. There’s a whole variety of features and templates to get you started, but should you wish, you can draw whatever comes to mind.StreambelsFor: AndroidCost: FreeThis app allows you to stream video and photos from your smartphone or tablet directly to your TV. Handy for those waiting for Chromecast to arrive over here.MovesFor: iOS, AndroidCost: €2.69 (iOS), Free (Android)Moves is a unique activity tracker as it only requires your smartphone to track your progress and not an accompanying gadget. The app is always on and it tracks the distance you’ve covered, how many calories you’ve burned and locations so you get the full picture of how active you are.Read: 10 messaging apps that are worth downloading >Read: 10 ways to improve your smartphone’s battery life >
ON THE FIRST day of hearing from witnesses in one of the biggest court cases the country has ever seen, the trial of three former senior executives of Anglo Irish Bank heard from four witnesses in the first two hours.Beginning at 10.37am today, the court heard from an economics lecturer, the former company secretary of Anglo Irish Bank, an employee of the Irish Stock Exchange and an employee of the Companies Registration Office.The courtroom was again filled to capacity with standing-room only in Court 19 at the Criminal Courts of Justice, although the numbers were marginally smaller than yesterday, the first day of the trial.The court was shown relevant documents on three large-screen televisions screens placed around the courtroom, including one document showing the directors of Anglo Irish Bank in 2008.Seán FitzPatrick of Greystones, Pat Whelan of Malahide, and William McAteer of Auburn Villas in Rathmines have all pleaded not guilty to charges under section 60 of the Companies Act of providing unlawful financial assistance to people – including the so-called Maple 10 – to buy shares in the bank in 2008.The first of an estimated 103 witnesses was an employee of the Companies Registration Office, who had to prepare certificates which tracked any changes – including changes of directors – to companies on the register.“You have the dubious honour of being the first witness in this case,” senior counsel Úna Ní Raifeartaigh for the prosecution told Claire Pyke.The prosecution went through the list of executive directors and non-executive directors of Anglo Irish Bank, included the three accused, and the dates when they were appointed.UCC economics lecturer Seamus Coffey told the court about Contracts for Difference (CFDs), the complex financial tool used by Seán Quinn which increased his ownership in the now-defunct bank.Coffey compared CFDs to betting on a horse, saying that rather than actually buying the horse, people can bet on the horse and will be interested in the outcome of the race. He said that one of the keys to CFDs is difference – if the horse wins by a large amount then the bet would be worth more. However if the horse loses then the bet will be worth less.Members of the 15-person jury, made up of 8 women and 7 men, took notes as Coffey detailed the process by which people can take out CFDsCounsel for Seán Fitzpatrick Michael O’Higgins SC asked Coffey if the brokers or people who trade in derivatives always do well out of them.“It’s a bit like that Trading Places movie where they’re explaining that the great thing was that win lose or draw, the great thing was that they always got paid,” said O’Higgins.Coffey said that CFDs were “bound only” by the imaginations of people working in the industry, and said that they had excellent imaginations.
THE BREWING OF beer is ancient and pre-dates civilisation itself. In fact, some now believe that it was the brewing of beer that prompted early humans to leave behind the nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle and take up a more settled existence. The very roots of civilisation and agriculture are to be found in the brewing of beer. The driving force that pushed us ever further is also to be found in there; the earliest known forms of the written word are actually about beer or contain references to it. That’s a subject for another article, though, because today I would like to talk about ancient brewing in Ireland.St Patrick’s Day 2014 is almost upon us and Ireland is going through a sort of renaissance when it comes to beer. What was brewing like on this island in ancient times? Evidence of brewing in Ireland dates back to the Bronze Age. In 2007, Moore Group, an Irish archaeology and heritage consultancy, put forward the hypothesis that a type of site commonly found all over Europe was used to brew beer. These are called fulacht fiadh or ‘burnt mound’ and there are over 4,500 in Ireland.A fulacht fiadh is essentially a pit in the ground which seems to have been used for many different purposes, and brewing beer is believed to have been one of them. Evidence indicates that the primary purpose of a fulacht fiadh was to heat water by immersing pre-heated rocks in the trough. Hot water is necessary to convert the starches in malted grain in to fermentable sugars.Early writingsOne of the most famous pieces of early writings called the Hymn to Ninkasi from 1800 BC is actually the earliest known recipe for beer. I won’t copy the whole thing here but an important verse states the following:You are the one who handles the dough,[and] with a big shovel,Mixing in a pit, the bappir with sweet aromaticsSo the brewing of beer in ground pits had been around for a long time indeed, and it seems logical that this method would have made its way to Ireland a couple of centuries later.The time of St Patrick was about 400-500 AD. In those days, technology didn’t advance very fast so beer would have been brewed in a similar way. Instead of pits in the ground, we would have had custom built vats or bath-like structures. Beer would have been a very different drink than what we know today. The primary difference was the lack of hops, a rather recent addition to beer. Various herbs like heather and bog myrtle would have been used to balance some of the sweetness but beer during the time of St Patrick would have been a very sweet beverage. This sort of beer would have been the norm until the introduction of hops in the 13th century – however the addition of hops didn’t reach the UK until the 1500s to the UK and so presumably Ireland, too, which was more or less under English rule at the time.MicrobreweriesBetween 1829 and 1841 there was an estimated 171 breweries on the Island of Ireland. By the 1980s we were down to just three brewing companies producing a number of different brands of beer. The mid to late 1990s saw a brief resurgence of Irish brewing with a number of small breweries or “microbreweries” opening up. The Porterhouse, Carlow Brewing Company and the Franciscan Well. It wouldn’t be until 2006 that we would see a real renaissance in Irish brewing but it has come in leaps and bounds.Today we have over 30 active breweries with over a dozen more in the planning stage. It is estimated that by the end of the year, we will be at about 50. What’s the reason for this? Firstly there was the government tax break for microbreweries. Second there were people passionately writing about beer. Beoir was formed to educate the consumer and become Ireland’s first beer consumer group representing Ireland on a European level as a member of the European Beer Consumers’ Union (EBCU). The recession also helped as consumers started demanding value/quality for money.This St Patrick’s weekend there will be a craft beer and food festival inside the CHQ building at the IFSC in Dublin. There’s no better way to sample some of Ireland’s best beers from independent breweries than by popping along. More info can be found on their website: www.irishfest.ieAnd if you would rather just find a good pub, there’s an app for that. The BeoirFinder app is available on both Android and iOS.Reuben Gray is a freelance and beer writer. He is the author of TaleofAle.com and is also the chairman of Beoir, Ireland’s beer consumer group.Read: Beer ‘tasting’ robot in Spain drinks lager and pilsnerRead: Mesmerising time-lapse video shows how beer ferments
ENERGY PROVIDER BORD Gáis has said that 100,000 repayment plans have been agreed with customers with over 62,000 pay-as-you-go meters installed in homes across the country.In its annual report today the company said there had been a 29 per cent increase in pre tax profits of €121 million for 2012 with total revenue growing by one per cent to €1.6 billion.The company’s dividend to the government was €23.8 million last year, a fall from €33.1 million in 2011 with profits today meaning that the dividend for 2013 will be €36.3 million.In total the company, which is required to give 30 per cent of its profit to the State, has paid €854 million to the Exchequer since its inception in 1976.The energy consumer advice website uSwitch.ie said today that the figures released show 94,000 Bord Gáis customers are in arrears and added that its own research shows that almost three-quarters of Irish consumers have gone cold in their homes in order to contain energy costs.It advised customers to take steps to save money by ensuring their homes are as energy efficient as possible and they are paying the lowest possible prices for energy use.Read: Energy usage in Ireland dropped 12 per cent in just three yearsMore: ‘Leave the immersion on’: Your tips for saving energy… and money
THE PRIVATISATION OF waste collection in Dublin City has been criticised after a councillor said she and her colleagues were told yesterday that it costs the council between €250 – €300,000 a year to dispose of illegal rubbish.Dublin City Council central area manager Charlie Lowe met with city councillors for the central area to brief them on the illegal dumping/litter situation.Cllr Mary Fitzpatrick said that at the meeting Lowe told them that Dublin City Council is collecting thousands of dumped bags every day at a cost of ‘between €250- and €300,000 per year’ to dispose of it.ProblemThe Fianna Fáil councillor said that this problem “was caused by the disastrous decision of the majority Labour and Fine Gael Councillors to privatise bin collections in Dublin City in 2012″. I think the city council made a mistake when they were privatised the bin service in that they didn’t fully understand what the impact on the ground would be.She said the privatisation was “always going to end in disaster” because “there is no regulator for waste collections, the government has failed to introduce the national bin waiver scheme they promised, the legislative changes that are needed to bring effective prosecutions are not in place and there is no evidence of any real savings”.Cllr Fitzpatrick said that at the meeting she objected to the recent proposal that Dublin City Council stops cleaning in parts of Dublin’s north inner city in an effort to curb illegal dumping.The proposal came on foot of the setting up of an action group to deal with the issue. “To do this would be wrong. It would make a bad situation worse,” said the councillor.It would penalise responsible residents who do dispose of their rubbish properly. It will send the wrong message about Dublin Central and damage the local community and businesses.She has now called on Dublin City Council to introduce a low cost weekly community collection that will allow people avail of a pay-as you go, group collection. She is also calling for the council to extend the opening hours for bring centres in the central area.The area manager agreed to consider the views of the councillors and to bring a report to the next meeting of the Central Area Committee in May 2013 on this.Cllr Fitzgerald said that she hoped privatisation could be ended, and that she wouldn’t accept it could not be ended because of a cost issue as “what we have at the moment is all of this cost being incurred and absolutely no revenue – it is unsustainable”.She also criticised the prices of bags set by some private waste collectors, saying one company charges €9 for three bags which is “an outrageous charge”.“I do have confidence in the central area manager and the area staff ,” she concluded, saying that they are “taking a very difficult task and they are putting significant effort into trying to solve it.”Read: 271 fined for illegal dumping in Dublin’s inner city since December>Read: Blog shines spotlight on Dublin city’s illegal dumping problem>Read: Council could ‘name and shame’ illegal rubbish dumpers>