Tag: Cork

Cork Woman’s Heartache as Sister Remains Missing in India

THIS ARTICLE BY THE LOGICAL RADICAL WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE PRINT EDITION OF THE EVENING ECHO, I HAVE DECIDED TO PUT THIS UP HERE FOR THE SAKE OF THE YOUNG WOMAN MISSING, AS THE NEWSPAPER HASN’T DONE SO YET.

Ilze Skromane’s voice breaks talking about her sister’s love for animals, nature and people. “My sister is wonderful, she is very friendly, warm and trustworthy,” she says.

The Cork woman hasn’t seen her sister Liga since the early hours of March 14 when she went missing while on a “healing vacation” in Kerala, India. She was last seen on Kerala’s Kovalam beach.

ilze skromane liga skromane missing india cork
Liga (right) and Ilze (left)

Ilze, owner of a beauty salon in Cork, says that she noticed her sister was suffering from “post-traumatic depression” since last August. As Liga was not responding well to mainstream treatment, the Skromane sisters decided to try an alternative medicine: Ayurveda healing.

“Liga always wanted to visit India, and I offered her to come with me and start Ayurveda Programme,” she says. Ayurveda treatment is an ancient Hindu method of healing. The programme usually consists of daily yoga and meditation routines.

On February 21, the sisters arrived at Dharma Ayurveda Healing Centre – an Ayurveda yoga retreat in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala in Southwest India – where Liga was supposed to undergo a six-week treatment programme.

ilze skromane liga skromane missing india cork
Liga (right) and Ilze (left)

On the morning of her disappearance, Liga had complained about a “slight headache” and asked her sister to attend their morning yoga class by herself.

“I asked would she like me to ask for some headache medicine from the doctor, but she said it would go away if I just lie down,” Ilze says.

“I put a cold, wet towel on her forehead, gave her a kiss and a cuddle and said I’ll see her soon,” she recalls.

An hour later, Ilze returned to their room and found her sister missing.

”When I didn’t find her in the room I thought she had gone for a walk,” she says. After a few hours, Ilze started to get anxious. Finally, the centre’s staff informed her that an auto-rickshaw (a motorised three-wheeler for hire in India) driver is confident that he has given Liga a lift to the beach that morning.

“When the driver said that he gave her a lift to the beach I felt a ray of hope and thought oh maybe she just decided to go for a walk on the beach,” Ilze says.

The driver claims that Liga had paid him to take her to the “closest beach” to the area, and had asked him to “keep the change”.  Ilze says her sister has taken “2000 Indian Rupees (€25) at the most” with herself.

“I went to the beach and started searching and very quickly realised that she was not there and then panic started to set in,” Ilze recalls.

Liga has left her passport and belongings in their room. The 33-year-old woman holds a Latvian passport and a permanent Irish residency. Liga has been living away from her sister, as she’d moved to Swords, Dublin to live with her partner Andrew Jordan since a few years ago. The Dublin man arrived in Kerala on an emergency visa on March 17.

Ilze says distance never hurt their strong sisterly bond. “We’re the closest sisters. We would rarely fight even though I was in Cork managing my business and she had to go to Dublin, but we still had a very good relationship,” she says.

Liga and Ilze’s parents in Latvia are especially worried and distance is making them more anxious. “My parents wanted to come over, but I told them not to because it would only distress them more,” Ilze says.Not knowing what has happened to Liga is what troubles Ilze the most. “It is very hard when you don’t know anything, and there is no comfort, and you keep wondering is she okay?”

ilze skromane liga skromane missing india cork
Top right Liga their brother Erwin and wife bottom right Ilze mum Vesma dad Janis and Family cat Minkans

The Cork woman fears that her sister might be held hostage. “It could be that she’s being held against her will for some reason,” she says.

Numerous missing person posters of Ilze have been distributed in Kerala and nearby areas. Ilze had since briefed the media in a press conference and is reaching out to Indian, Latvian and Irish authorities for help.

“We’re trying to ask the parliament and embassies [Latvian and Irish] to pressure them [Indian authorities] to put more men on the ground and look for Liga,” Ilze says. “It would be much appreciated if the Irish Embassy could help us.”

Andrew Jordan had claimed that the Department of Foreign Affairs is reluctant to offer aid as Liga is not an Irish citizen. The Department of Foreign Affairs’s press office says “the department does not comment on individual cases” and did not respond to queries regarding their general policy toward similar situations.

The Latvian embassy in India, however, says they are working closely with Irish authorities to find Liga.

“The Embassy of Latvia highly appreciates constructive and professional cooperation with the Embassy and the Honorary Consul of Ireland in Chennai, who have offered their assistance. The search for the missing woman is a high priority for both Embassies in India,” reads the Latvian Embassy’s statement. According to the Latvian Embassy in India, Sweden has also announced its willingness to assist with search efforts.

Ilze is full of gratitude for her fellow Corkonians’ support during this challenging time.

“First of all I just want to say thank you so much to people in Cork who have sent me so many messages and please just keep sharing Liga’s story,” she says.

Ilze has also set up a Facebook page called “Missing in Kerala” to facilitate contact for people with any useful information about her sister.

Liga is 5’6, skinny with dark hair and blue eyes. Indian police are offering a reward of 2 lakh (nearly €1,240) to those who can lead them to her.

https://www.facebook.com/MissingInKerala.Liga/

 

 

 

 

 

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Abtran’s Employee Conflict Drags On

Ireland’s massive outsourcing group Abtran continues to be the target of a growing online campaign organised by disgruntled employees.

The campaign initially organised by a few current and former employees gained momentum overnight when it took the form of a Facebook page called “Scabtran.”

Scabtran Abtran Controversy Workers Rights
Scabtran Logo Made by Abtran’s Dissatisfied Employees

Launched about a week ago the page has now gained over a thousand followers. Page’s organisers encourage former and current Abtran employees to share their experience of working at one of the largest customer service providers in the country.

A large number of Abtran’s employees claimed that the company is not allowing them sufficient toilet breaks.

“The company doesn’t treat us like human beings, human beings have a right to use the bathroom,” one current employee said.

“If your desk is at the very end of the floor, one employee said, it may take you a minute or a minute half to actually get to the toilet, given that you must make this journey twice that could take up all your seven minutes other times you have to hold it in. Because if you go over this time, your manager documents it and you can be written up for a disciplinary hearing.”

Abtran Workers Exploitation Cork City Employees
Banner put by Abtran’s disgruntled employees on Lapps Quay

“ The  only time team leaders make an effort to talk to us, one Abtran employee said, is when we do something wrong, they do not care about the instances when you do a good job, only when you failed.”

Several other employees accused Abtran of “providing a poor working environment and ignoring complaints.”

Responding to the allegations Tim Kinsella of MKC Communication whose firm represents Abtran said that his client is “an entirely reputable company and a caring and responsible employer in every respect.”

In an Email sent to all employees, Pat Ryan Chief Executive Officer of Abtran asked workers to “not let the campaign affect their morale.”

“I also personally am intent on ensuring that Abtran listens and reacts appropriately to employees,” vowed Mr Ryan in the now leaked Email.

According to Mr Ryan, the campaign is “entirely malicious” and is “trying to damage Abtran’s reputation.”

“As this campaign has also now made threatening remarks,” Mr Ryan added, “I am working closely with our legal team who are liaising with the relevant authorities to ensure this is dealt with appropriately.”

“There haven’t been any threatening remarks besides constant union pushing,” said Alex Homits, a spokesperson for the campaign.

“Ryan’s Email to employees,” Homits said, “has gained us hundreds of followers overnight.”

The so-called Scabtran posters are visible in bus stops around Cork city centre as well.

Abtran remains one of Ireland’s largest and most successful outsourcing groups. In 2016, Sky awarded a contract to Abtran which created 130 new jobs at Abtran Cork. In 2010, Abtran reported more than 75% surge in profits. Abtran has branches in Dublin and Cork.

 

Gerry Adams’s Final Goodbye to Cork as the Leader of Sinn Féin

Gerry Adams stopped at Cork city tonight as part of his tour around the country as the outgoing leader of Sinn Fein.

Gerry Adams Goodbye Cork
Gerry Adams says goodbye to Cork

Speaking to the crowd of his supporters in Cork, he emphasized the importance of keeping the movement alive after his departure.

Gerry Adams Cork Sinn Fein girl
Gerry Adams says goodbye to his Cork supporters

” Let’s go forward together united, with courage and hope and the very very highest expectations,” Mr. Adams said.

Gerry Adams expressed his confidence in the party members and commended the party’s Cork councilors – Henry Cremin in particular.

Adams touched on the abortion topic as well and said that the referendum would be the best solution for the ongoing debate.

” I’m not for abortion, but I am a man, women have to protected and trusted,” the 69-year-old politician said.

Gerry Adams’ career as the Sinn Fein leader expands to more than three decades.

Gerry Adams Cork Commons Inn Hotel Farewell Liadh Ní Riada
Gerry Adams kissing Liadh Ní Riada Sinn Fein Gaelic Officer

The Belfast-native remains the most enigmatic Irish politicians of all time. Mr. Adams never disassociated himself from the Irish Republican Army (IRA) although he insists that he was never an IRA member.

While his supporters hail him as a hero, he is hated by some as an avid supporter of the IRA.

The group is known to be responsible for more than 1,700 deaths.

Adams was accused of helping the IRA carrying out attacks during what became known as the Bloody Friday.

He was later acquitted of all charges.

Adams is the survivor of several assassination attempts.

Gerry Adams Commons Inn Hotel
Gerry Adams at the commons inn hotel

His brother’s conviction of rape in 2013 brought more unwanted controversy to the life of the seasoned politician.

He was arrested and acquitted of a 70s murder charge the very same year.

Adams has been married to his wife of 47 years Collette who does not make public appearances with her husband. Their son Gearoid is a well-known figure in the Gaelic football world.

Gerry Adams Cork Commons Inn Hotel
Gerry Adams Speaking at the Commons Inn Hotel Cork city

Asked by the Logical Radical if McGuinness’s death has influenced his decision to step down as the Sinn  Fein leader, the 69-year-old politician said: ” Yes, we had a bond together.”

Adams shook hands and took selfies with his Cork supporters at tonight’s event.

Huge Turn up for the Repeal the 8th Rally in Cork

Cork residents gathered outside the City’s Grand Parade Library to demand the legalization of abortion this afternoon.

Cork Library Grand Parade Repeal the 8th
Repeal the 8th Rally in Cork City

The event which lasted for two hours included a march from Grand Parade to Parnell Place, Patrick’s Street and back. Speakers from various organizations also spoke to protesters.

Cork Abortion Rights Rally
Cork People Mach for Abortion Rights

Union of Students in Ireland President, Annie Hoey, was the first talker of the event. Hoey compared today’s protest to marriage referendum protests in Cork and said:” We do not need to call for a referendum anymore, we are having a referendum.”

Annie Hoey Cork Abortion Rally Mick Barry
Annie Hoey President of Student Union in Cork Speaks to the Crowd

Hoey encouraged everyone to get registered to vote in the long-awaited 8th Amendment referendum.

Abortion Rally Students Cork UCC
Students Showed up in Large Numbers

Liz Madden of Cork Feminista was the second speaker of the protest. “ Statistic from the U.K. Government shows that 3000 Irish women have traveled to the UK to access abortion,” said Madden to the crowd. Madden counted poverty, being underage, being in unhealthy relationships, dealing with mental issues as some of the reasons for why women are willing to travel to the United Kingdom to access abortion. “There are many reasons why women want to have an abortion, and it’s not even our place to ask,” added Madden.

Actress, comedian, and writer Tara Flynn also spoke to the crowd. Flynn said that since her experience with abortion (having to travel to Netherlands to access abortion) she has become involved in this campaign.

 Tara Flynn Cork Abortion Rights Rally
Actress Tara Flynn Speaks to the Pro-Choice Crowd

“Anti-choice rhetoric has had the floor all to itself. That’s why we need to let people know what exactly pro-choice means. Pro-choice is not pro-abortion. It is pro-facts, pro-reality, and pro-kindness. It is pro-pregnant people from every class and background,” added the Irish comedian.

Pro-life vs. Pro-choice Cork Face off
A Pro-Life Activists Crashes the Pro-Choice Rally

After the rally, more people spoke to the crowd including a South African asylum seeker who had traveled to Ireland while pregnant and was shocked to find out that abortion was illegal in the country. “ It was a huge culture shock for me because where I come from in South Africa, abortion is legal. It has been since 1994.”

South African immigrant pro choice cork
South African Immigrant and Pro-choice Activist Speaks to the Crowd

Eli Doliver from University College Cork’s feminist society was the last speaker of the gathering. “ The government fails the women who leave the country to seek medical help. Last year alone more than 3000 women went to England and Wales to access abortion. Doliver called the fact that Irish women have to travel to England to seek abortion “an international disgrace” for the country.

Eli Doliver Abortion Rights Rally Cork Library Grand Parade UCC Feminists
Eli Doliver of UCC Feminist Society Speaks to the Crowd

Pro-life activists also stood behind with their banners and displayed their objection throughout the event.

Pro life Christianity Virgin Mary
A Pro-Life Woman Holding a Picture of Virgin Mary

One Pro-life activist crashed the pro-choice rally and was trying to convince the protester that they are wrong. Abortion rights in Ireland were specially brought into the spotlight in 2015 and after the death of Savita Halappanavar. Halappanavar was a young dentist who died due to complications of a septic miscarriage after being denied an abortion.

Pro life Anti Abortion Activists Cork Ireland
Pro-Life Activists Stood behind the Whole time

 

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla Shames Cork People for not supporting his Street Names Change Campaign

Banners printed and advertised around the city by Diarmaid Ó Cadhla and his followers shames Cork people for not supporting the campaign for changing British street names in Cork.

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla , Cork, Shaming Cork , Shame on Cork
New Banners around Cork Shaming People for not supporting Ó Cadhla ‘s Anti-British Agenda

The campaign was first started by Ó Cadhla back in October last year when the Cork man had not been appointed as a County Councillor yet.
The banners invite people to Ó Cadhla’s office located at 99 Douglas Street on June 27th to discuss the issue. This meeting is part of series of sessions devoted to changing British street names in Cork, such as Victoria’s Cross, Marlborough Street, etc.
Inside O’Cadhla’s Meetings
Ó Cadhla’s meetings usually take place in his tiny office at 99 Douglas Street. Corkonians who attend the meetings are usually older citizens. The same group of his supporters regularly attend the meetings – except for people who attend out of curiosity or to object the cause.

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla's office, Changing Street Names
Picture of an Anti-British Meeting at Ó Cadhla’s Office

This campaign along with the Irexit activism has given Ó Cadhla a considerable amount of publicity lately, helping him to get elected as Cork County Councillor from Cobh.

inside Diarmaid Ó Cadhla's office,
Code of Conduct at Councillor Ó Cadhla’s office

Just a few months ago the Councillor was detained on charges of vandalism when the Gardaí caught him painting on British street signs of the city. Ó Cadhla claims he was verbally abused by the Gardaí during an alleged two hours questioning.

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla Arrest, Vandalism, Gardaí , Garda Síochána
A Text Message Sent by Ó Cadhla to his Supporters after being Released from the Garda Station

In an exclusive interview with The Logical Radical last year, Ó Cadhla painted a gloomy image of the country and promoted nationalistic ideas.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9Rj-HNFUjS6QkxNcWhPeDZPMlk/view

It is the first time that Councillor Ó Cadhla is shaming Cork people while promoting his Anti-British agenda.

 

Cork County Councillor Sets EU Flag on Fire on Europe Day

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla Independent Councillor for Cobh, set the EU flag on fire in front of the City Hall this evening.

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla, EU Flag Burning , City Hall, Europe Day
Diarmaid Ó Cadhla sets the EU Flag on Fire on Europe Day

Ó Cadhla who was surrounded by dozens of his supporters and bystanders spoke to them before setting the EU flag on fire.

Counting examples of other Europen Union countries Councillor Ó Cadhla said:” We’ve seen the heated debate in France and Holland, we know European Union membership is a red hot issue,” before going to praise Italy’s nationalist party for promising to hold a referendum on leaving the EU (Italexit) if elected in the next general election.

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla Eu Flag Burning City Hall Cork
Diarmaid Ó Cadhla Speaking Next to EU’s Burnt Flag

Ó Cadhla counted the entrance of the United Kingdom the main reason behind Ireland’s joining the EU back in 1973. ” We are going to modernize you, they said. What has happened? We now have the highest levels of homelessness since the Great Famine,” said O’Cadhla blaming country’s housing crisis on the European Union Membership.

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla Cork City Hall Irexit
Diarmaid Ó Cadhla Standing in Front of Cork’s City Hall

” We have a lack of future for young people, every day is filled with anxiety. Senior citizens are afraid to get sick, so they’d be left on hospital trolleys. This is what modernization has brought us!”

Ó Cadhla finished his speech in Gaelic language and set the EU’s flag on fire in front of the City Hall to his supporters’ delight. He then invited his supporters to his office at 99 Douglas Street to have ” many cups of tea.”

Irexit Ó Cadhla Cork City Hall
Anti-EU Banner left Outside Cork City Hall by Ó Cadhla Supporters

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla who considers himself an independent politician had made news recently when he got arrested on charges of vandalism while painting on British street signs in Cork. Ó Cadhla was released after a couple of hours of questioning by the gardaí.

He was also briefly jailed for refusing to disclose his campaign donations for his unsuccessful run in Ireland’s 2011 general election. The jail time was due to his refusal to pay a 300 Euro fine.

He is currently serving as  Councillor for Cobh in Cork County Councill.

 

 

 

Village Hall Plays Host to the Second Cork Loves Music Event

The second edition of Cork Loves Music event will kick-start on 27th of April in Patrick’s Quay’s Village Hall Vintage Shop.

Cork Loves Music , Mike McGrath-Bryan
The second Cork Loves Music will Take Place on 27th of April at Village Hall Vintage Shop

The evening of talks and live performances will feature writer and Editor Jamie Coughlan former radio programming director Colm O’Sullivian, and music bloggers Gary Meyler and Siobhán “Shiv” Brosnan.

Lowli, Spekulativ Fiktion & JusMe and Circuits of Heaven are going to perform live music at the event.

The changing faces of music journalism, the place of Irish artists in foreign and domestic media and media relations policies for artists and producers are among the topics that will be discussed at Thursday night’s event, according to the announcement published on the event’s social media page.

Mike McGrath-Bryan Music journalist and one of the main organizers of the event said that he is hoping to expand the knowledge of art and music in the community with these series of events.

“Local, interesting acts are the ones that we choose,” said McGrath –Bryan about the organizers’ preference in selecting the event’s acts.

McGrath-Bryan also described the first Cork Loves Music event as an introduction to these series of events that would hopefully “lead to larger ones.”

Music journalist Jamie Coughlan who is also a guest speaker at the event described his concern for addressing the issues in the music industry and starting a dialogue between “people from different sides of the industry” as the primary motivations behind his participation in the event.

Coughlan believes that the exchange of insights between people from the sector is the most significant opportunity that the event is providing for the individuals involved in the music industry. The journalist is hopeful that such talks would take place all over the country.

The last Cork Loves Music event was held back in February at Coughlan’s Live. Young, budding musicians performed in the February’s event. Journalists such as Irish Examiner’s Ellie O’Byrne and also First Music Contact’s (FMC) CEO Angela Dorgan were the event’s guest speakers of the previous gathering.

The event first started in September last year as part of TEDx talks and got expanded following its success.