City footbridges that are a pleasure to walk over

first_imgPrint Email Facebook James Ring, Director of Limerick Civic Trust tells Marie Hobbins about the acquisition of two city footbridges for the city.TWO of Limerick city’s bridges that have instant eye appeal and are appropriately decorative in their settings owe a lot to the care and attention of Limerick Civic Trust. The two footbridges are the Sylvester O’Halloran Bridge which connects the Potato Market to the park at the rear of the Hunt Museum and the Guiness Bridge on the Park Canal.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “It is hard to believe that this bridge is standing for 26 years, after being erected in 1986,” says James Ring, Director of Limerick Civic Trust.“The bridge is named after the renowned surgeon, historian and antiquarian, Dr. Sylvester O’Halloran (1728-1807) who lived nearby on Merchant’s Quay.“While it is hard to imagine the river scene of Limerick without this footbridge, in 1986 a lot of arguing took place in the background between Limerick Civic Trust and City Hall regarding the naming of the bridge.“City Hall informed the Civic Trust that it would not be allowed to name the bridge as this was a municipal function, despite its construction being the idea of the Civic Trust but thankfully in the end, two city councillors and historians, the late former mayor, Jim Kemmy and former mayor, Frank Prendergast, agreed to propose the name and secured the required approval.“I would guess it was hard to argue with those two political heavyweights in their day.”Pointing out that the arguments didn’t end there as the colour of the paintwork on the bridge was also an issue, Dr Ring said:“While black and grey were suggested, the architect Hugh Murray argued for blue, “as the bridge was “designed to be seen”“The story goes that once the City Hall building revealed a pink portico, the blue bridge was no longer an issue. Thankfully I wasn’t in charge then – or they would have got a nice luminous one, just to annoy them.”Referring to another footbridge – the Guinness Bridge on the Park Canal, which was opened in 1997, he pointed out:“This bridge is two feet longer than the O’Halloran Bridge at 105 feet.“You have to admit, the idea of this bridge was fantastic – it completely opened up a huge uninterrupted walkway from the University of Limerick to Corbally and beyond.“Whilst I am sure it wasn’t in the minds of the Civic Trust back then, when you consider the amount of world class athletes based in UL you can see the advantage they have of using the bridge as part of their training run.“The marathon runner and elite athlete, Paula Radcliffe nearly knocked me into the river on one of my cycles to UL back in my college days.”James points out that as Guinness sponsored the bridge, it is called after the company.“Also of course Guinness had a long association with the canal but in the opening ceremony, the bridge was dedicated to the memory of the great Limerick historian, Kevin Hannan.“Both bridges were two huge projects carried out by the Civic Trust, which shows the Civic Trust’s way of thinking – we look for practical work projects that, while they may seem small or sometimes may not be regarded as a priority, once they are completed, it’s hard to imagine what it was like without them.”Paying tribute to Limerick City Council for its renovation of the Daniel O’Connell Monument in The Crescent, Dr Ring says:“The water feature is an eye-catching addition which I think looks fantastic, unlike some other sculptures around the city.” Twitter WhatsAppcenter_img Advertisement Linkedin Previous articleRecord entry secured for Thomond SwimNext articleNew legal service for migrants admin NewsLocal NewsCity footbridges that are a pleasure to walk overBy admin – August 27, 2012 924 last_img read more

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Juneteenth in a time of reckoning

first_imgCelebrated annually in the African American community but unfamiliar to many Americans, Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery across the nation, with the last piece falling into place when the Union Army took official control of Texas on June 19, 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Now it is recognized as a state holiday in 45 states and Washington, D.C. Efforts to make it a federal holiday have been unsuccessful. This year’s celebration, however, comes amid continuing protests and a national reckoning with the legacies of slavery and racism, triggered by the police killing of George Floyd. To understand the significance of Juneteenth, a blending of the words June and 19th, we asked some members of the Harvard community what the holiday means to them.Todne ThomasAssistant Professor of African American Religions at Harvard Divinity School; Suzanne Young Murray Assistant Professor at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study,As we are situated between the recent pandemic of COVID-19 and the sustained pandemic of anti-black racism, Juneteenth is now entering the limelight as a holiday that may be on the brink of national observance. As an Affrilachian anthropologist conducting research on black church arson in Knoxville, Tenn., for me Juneteenth often takes a backseat to the emancipation holiday of Aug. 8. Referred to as “the eight of eight” in local parlance, it commemorates the day that [then-Tennessee military governor and later president] Andrew Johnson freed enslaved people whom he had held in bondage in 1863. [A year later he would free all the rest of the enslaved individuals in the state.] Since 1863, it’s been celebrated in Tennessee and is currently under consideration as a state holiday. As a scholar tasked with illuminating lived phenomena from the bottom up, I confess I am more inspired by the stories-within-the-stories of Juneteenth and Aug. 8. I am more interested with the self-liberation and collective acknowledgments of freedom celebrated by the formerly enslaved rather than the official readings or granting of freedom by the state or slaveholders. I am excited about the thickening archive of stories that depict how African Americans inhabited and commemorated their freedom. And in this moment, I am particularly curious about how the contemporary descendants of the enslaved like myself will make meaning of the fact that their ancestors’ abolitionist efforts were victorious.David Harris, Ph.D.’92Managing Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School,Juneteenth is a defining day. However empty the promise of freedom often appears to have been, Juneteenth has remained a day uniquely celebrated by the descendants of the formerly enslaved. Its importance far outweighs any other secular holiday, and its celebration carries with it a special, unique quality. In a nation that consistently fails to educate us or uses education to misguide us, Juneteenth is our rendering of history; it is an active assertion of our determination to be free. We come together, perhaps this year virtually, but powerfully nonetheless, in community. Indeed, we come together to assert what years of enslavement attacked but could not destroy: our incredibly strong bonds of family, friendship, and fellowship. We use the day to pass along family and community history in the midst of good food and good cheer. There is song and dance and storytelling, and it is thus that we affirm ourselves.Samantha O’Sullivan ’22Joint concentrator in physics and African American studies; co-founder and president of the Generational African American Student Association,I was never really taught about it in school. I learned about it a few years ago when I read about it, and since then it has meant a lot to me. It symbolizes independence for African Americans in this country. It also made me realize the irony in the celebration of the Fourth of July because we celebrate American independence, and yet there were many people who were not independent or free. I now view Juneteenth as the true Independence Day, because that was the day when all Americans got their freedom.It’s really great that Juneteenth is gaining national attention. It shows that people are finally waking up to our lived reality in this country and our experience and struggles. Hopefully, it’ll become a federal holiday. Last fall, a group of students and I founded a student group, the Generational African American Student Association (GAASA), and one of our goals was to celebrate Juneteenth as a sort of African American Independence Day to educate the Harvard community. We’re organizing a virtual celebration on June 19 at 7 p.m. EST. It’ll be educational but also a celebration. My family plans to cook a big meal.Opeoluwa Falako ’22Concentrator in African and African American Studies and molecular and cellular biology; president of the Harvard Black Students Association,A simple Google search will tell you that Juneteenth is a holiday that marks the end of slavery. However, the actual meaning of the day is so much deeper. It represents the first few steps away taken by black people from captivity and toward equality in this country. Although the first Juneteenth happened over 100 years ago, black people are a long way from feeling true equality, as we have to deal with the oppressive practices that plague American society. The protests in reaction to the slaying of George Floyd at the hands of the police and the overall Black Lives Matter Movement is a direct response to these oppressive systems. It is important that holidays like Juneteenth exist not only to celebrate how far we have come but to also demonstrate that we still have a long way to go. The celebration must go beyond the black community, however. There should be more widespread education about the significance of Juneteenth and other important moments of Black History by our non-black peers; only then can we, as a society, collectively continue on the path to equality for black people.Kenneth MackLawrence D. Biele Professor of Law at Harvard Law School; affiliate professor of history at Harvard University,I didn’t grow up with Juneteenth. As we know, the holiday originated in Texas and spread through other communities through migrants from Texas. In the place I grew up, Harrisburg, Pa., we didn’t celebrate Juneteenth.I first heard about Juneteenth as an adult from friends who had lived in the South or closer to the places where Juneteenth has been traditionally celebrated. But when I heard about it, it certainly resonated with me. There are gatherings of African Americans all over the country that celebrate forms of autonomy, where things that might look like recreational activities, picnics, etc., in fact are assertions of autonomy in a world in which African American lives are devalued.When I grew up in the 1970s and ’80s, there were many black Americans who had never heard of Juneteenth. Part of the reason is that Juneteenth has been a celebration that occurred within certain black communities. The communities of white Americans that surrounded them often were not paying attention, and that is probably one of the major reasons why Juneteenth is unknown to most white Americans.I’d be in favor of starting a conversation about making Juneteenth a national holiday. But to get Martin Luther King’s birthday to be a national holiday was a very long and complicated struggle that was resisted on the federal level and on the state level, and it’s still resented in some quarters. And secondly, I’d say that there are a number of reforms that have been proposed growing out of the killing of George Floyd that would be more protective of black lives and black aspirations, and those probably should come first.But the reason why we should at least consider it is that we don’t have a celebration of emancipation. We have the Martin Luther King birthday, which is an incredibly important celebration of a particular time and of the person who, with many others, was part of the movement that helped eradicate Jim Crow and make America modern, in terms of race. The centuries of slavery in North America, the long struggle to abolish it, the dehumanization of human beings under that institution, and the push headed by both black and white Americans to come to grips with that problem don’t have a national commemoration. We commemorate Abraham Lincoln in various ways, but we don’t have a national commemoration of the triumph over slavery, which has to be one of the most important moments in American history. One should consider Juneteenth in that context. The best case to be made for Juneteenth would be as a commemoration of both the legacy of slavery and the success of the movement to abolish formal slavery in the United States.Jeraul Mackey ’21Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Ph.D. student; member of the W.E.B. Du Bois Graduate Society Steering Committee,I knew about Juneteenth growing up in New Orleans. We didn’t celebrate it the way you would celebrate Christmas, but friends and family would say, “Happy Juneteenth” to each other. But as I got into institutions that are predominantly white, the history of Juneteenth was not there or as salient as it was when I was growing up.To me, what is important about Juneteenth is that we’re not celebrating the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, but instead we celebrate the change in the material conditions of folks on the ground, when the last enslaved people in the country became free.Now that many corporations are embracing this holiday, which is very much a black holiday, it makes me wonder whether they are willing to do more than putting up a press release full of platitudes, or take actions to improve the lives of those who live on the margins of society. The story of Juneteenth tells us that 2½ years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Union officers arrived in Galveston with the news. But we know that plantation owners knew that enslaved Africans were free long before the Union officers showed up in Galveston. The story is a reminder of how those who claimed ignorance perpetuated the exploitation of black people for their own benefit for 2½ years, a period in which many folks were terrorized, tormented, and maybe even killed.I see this Juneteenth as an opportunity for folks within and across the diaspora, as well as individuals outside of it, to understand the importance of the holiday. It’s not only a chance to look back at history, at the life and experience of black folks whose ancestors came here as chattel, as enslaved Africans; but we should also reflect on how that history connects with the moment we’re in now, and remember what Martin Luther King Jr. said, “No one is free until we are all free,” and that we’re in this struggle together.Tommy AmakerHead coach, Harvard Basketball,It is important that we acknowledge and celebrate the significance of Juneteenth. It is one of the more meaningful dates in our nation’s history. It should always be a day we all reflect on our journey to become a more just and fair society — in every way. The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more

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UK DB schemes see big bulk-annuity opportunities in wake of Brexit

first_imgTrustees and sponsors of defined benefit (DB) pension schemes in the UK need to take another look at risk levels in their schemes given the swiftly changing Brexit environment, and could cash in on good bulk-annuity opportunities as pricing fluctuates, according to consultants.Mercer’s UK leader of bulk pensions insurance advisory, David Ellis, said: “Rapidly changing political and economic circumstances following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union have reinforced the need for trustees and sponsors to look again at their pension schemes.”In the company’s latest market review of UK DB bulk pensions insurance, he said trustees and sponsors should check that what they were doing continued to be relevant, and that the scheme’s overall level of risk was still appropriate.In the second half of this year, market volatility will be a key theme, said Harry Harper of the Mercer division. “There is potential for significant bulk-annuity pricing opportunities to appear, for those in the right place at the right time,” he said.The second half promises to be “interesting” now that the volume of quotation requests from pension schemes increased rapidly mid-year, he said.“The nature of the quotation requests is also changing – instead of the pensioner-only pricing requests from earlier in 2016, we now see a growing number of exercises that include deferred members,” Harper said.On deferred member pricing, he said the wide range seen since the introduction of Solvency II from 1 January 2016 showed indications of stabilising. “We see signs of more aggressive pricing for those members in the second half of the year,” he said. Meanwhile, Aon Hewitt said in its UK bulk-annuity market update that, over the first half of this year, bulk annuity pricing had improved year on year relative to other asset classes used to back pension liabilities.Volatile financial markets following the EU referendum in the UK have created pricing opportunities, it said.“Some providers indicated that their pricing improved materially relative to Gilts in the first days after the Brexit vote, driven by a widening in credit spreads,” Aon Hewitt said in the report. “This was an excellent opportunity for schemes seeking to settle risk.”Of course, schemes need to be actively in the market to get such deals, it added.“A scheme can engage with the market, obtain competitive quotations, select a preferred insurer, agree terms and then monitor movements in the insurer’s pricing against an agreed trigger,” the firm said.In the first half of July, it said credit spreads had fallen back – “but there is every chance of further market disruption over the coming months given the political environment”. Earlier this week, the closed ICI Pension Fund insured £750m (€891m) of its DB liabilities with Legal & General, in its fifth buy-in, just after the EU referendum.L&G commented that the “strength and depth” of its relationship with the ICI Pension Fund had allowed it to move fast when the market opportunity arose.last_img read more

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Congratulations – it’s a Ford Foetus

first_imgStuff co.nz 14 June 2016Family First Comment: Nope – it’s a Holden Human, or a Lamborghini Life, or a Baby Benz It was just a normal checkup on his pregnant wife.But Reddit user Brewhaus3223 spotted something unusual with the ultrasound image, and it wasn’t until he zoom-zoomed into the picture that he noticed a familiar shape – his wife was giving birth to a sports car.Naturally he posted the picture online and users raced to come up with the best pun.“The Fast and the Fetus,” “The All-New Ford Fetus!” or “Is it a Boygatti or a Girlarri?”He told the website Someecards that this is the couple’s second child. Their first was through IVF and they did not expect to conceive naturally.“A miracle happened and my wife became pregnant naturally, well as naturally as you can when you’re carrying a car.”For the record, it’s a Boygatti.http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/parenting/pregnancy/81069173/Congratulations-its-a-Ford-Foetus?cid=app-iPhonelast_img read more

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