RBS 6 Nations: Omitting O’Gara from the discussion

first_imgDUBLIN, IRELAND – FEBRUARY 10: Ireland player Ronan O’ Gara looks on dejectedly during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and England at Aviva Stadium on February 10, 2013 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) Man in the moment: Ronan O’Gara in 2009, celebrating the drop goal that won the Triple Crown against WalesBy Alan DymockTHE FIRST, fast, now ethos of modern media means that you are furnished with soundbites and breaking news at breakneck speed. However, aside from endless repetition and retweets, we are all at risk of forgetting anything more than a month back because we are always straining our eyes to look ahead.Kicking on: Lansdowne Road in 2000So when Ronan O’Gara was left out of this weeks Ireland RBS 6 Nations squad everyone lurched forward, rather than looking back or stopping to let him have his say, or even considering that he could play for Ireland in the coming weeks due to injuries. With Jonathan Sexton injured and Paddy Jackson struggling, O’Gara could still be an Irish AN O’Ther.When he was first dropped, though, everyone immediately assumed that he would retire. Not that he could still feasibly wear green again. The jig would be up. So long, and thanks for all the kicks. Quick. Who’s next?Deference will undoubtedly be paid when everything settles down, but up to this point it has been speculation founded on international careers gone by. Players play; get dropped; bow out. That’s the perceived natural order of things, or so we’re told, and it would be awfully convenient for everyone if it would remain thus for the foreseeable future, thanks very much.Yet Ronan O’Gara, despite appearing for most of his career to have a default setting whereby he could line up a touch finder or slide-rule a penalty kick with no fuss at all, has rarely had a predictable life in rugby.His is a career in which the fat lady has not yet sung, despite the chatter. He is still revered in Munster, having famously booted them beyond Biarritz in the 2006 Heineken Cup final, and he did so again in 2008, this time against Toulouse. If he never pulls on a green jersey again, he can still prowl around Thomond Park for the good of his province. The risk at times like this is to assume he will limp off the scene, so everyone must eulogise, you know, ‘balance be damned, we’re toasting a great’. However, it is fairer, and indeed more respectful, to look at the blemishes as well as the achievements.For Ireland, O’Gara has been as near to constant as a professional in a contact sport can get. He is 36 this week, but has amassed a whopping 128 caps. In the Six Nations he has appeared more than anyone else, 61 times, and has scored more points than anyone else, chalking up 551 points. He has been on tour with the Lions to Australia in 2001, New Zealand in 2005 and South Africa in 2009.Disappointing cameo: Loss to England, Aviva Stadium, 2013There have been lows, of course. Despite the Grand Slam winning kicks of 2009 or the record breaking appearances in World Cups, there have always been questions about O’Gara’s temperament or his dedication to the tackle. He was charged down by prop Gethin Jenkins during the 2005 decider with Wales and he was unceremoniously sat down by Rodrigo Roncero in 2008, something that has happened intermittently throughout his time on the turf. His rush of blood, kick and mid-air hit against the Springboks in ’09 was another lowlight. There have been criticisms that he sat too deep, threw too many risky passes, never made breaks.For all of this, though there are highlights. His try against France in the Croke corner in 2007. His performances in wins against Australia, 2002, South Africa and Argentina, 2004, and the 2009 Triple Crown. It is also pertinent to forget the stories about him being too keen on a punt and the hideous assault from Duncan McRae in 2001. O’Gara is an interesting and complex guy, but this is a rugby issue and everything must be looked at with that overused word, balance.Allow him the chance to talk about his career when he’s ready, without foisting retirement on him. He could be recalled, he could be cast out, he could quit. Let’s pass around the soundbites when we know. After that we can try to figure out why he intrigued and divided us so much. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALSlast_img read more

RFI correspondent still held on terrorism charges after ten months

first_img CameroonAfrica Condemning abuses Judicial harassmentImprisonedFreedom of expressionJihadism June 8, 2016 – Updated on October 21, 2016 RFI correspondent still held on terrorism charges after ten months May 19, 2021 Find out more Ahmed Abba News Cameroonian journalist Paul Chouta sentenced and fined in defamation case May 31, 2021 Find out more Cameroonian reporter jailed since August, abandoned by justice system Case against Amadou Vamoulké baseless, French lawyers tell Cameroon court Receive email alerts News Newscenter_img April 23, 2021 Find out more Held provisionally for more than ten months, Abba is due to appear before a military court in Yaoundé today for the latest in a series of hearings that keep on being adjourned. He is charged with complicity in acts of terrorism and failure to report acts of terrorism to the authorities.Arrested during a routine police check in the northern city Maroua on 30 July, Abba spent 15 days in police custody in Maroua before being handed over to the national intelligence service in Yaoundé, the capital, where he was held incommunicado for three months.He was denied access to a lawyer throughout this period. He was also denied access to a doctor for treatment to injuries resulting from the beatings he allegedly received. He was finally taken to the national gendarmerie for questioning for the first time on 13 November.According to his lawyer, he is charged in connection with interviews he conducted in the course of preparing a report on Boko Haram, the Jihadi terrorist group that is active in northern Cameroon as well as northeastern Nigeria and other nearby countries. The authorities say he should have shared his information with them.“The Cameroonian authorities do not seem to understand the vital importance of the principle of the protection of sources, which allows journalists to get access to sensitive information with greater ease,” RSF said.“It is unacceptable that a journalist who just did his job has been detained for such a long time and in such appalling conditions. We call on the authorities to free Ahmed Abba without further delay and to abandon all proceedings against him.”His trial began on 29 February but the military court has repeatedly adjourned its hearings and sent him back to prison. At the hearing on 25 April, the court rejected a motion by his lawyer, Charles Tchoungang, to abandon the prosecution on the grounds of the grave violations of Abba’s rights ever since his arrest.Abba is not the only Cameroonian journalist being prosecuted on this kind of charge. In January, RSF issued a press release condemning the trial of three journalists, Baba Wame, Rodrigue Ndeutchoua Tongue and Félix Cyriaque Ebolé Bola, on charges of failing to report a matter affecting state security. The next hearing is scheduled for 17 June.Cameroonian journalists are often the victims of abuses by the authorities and the police. The National Council for Communication, which is closely allied with the government, has closed five media outlets and suspended 11 journalists since the start of the year.Cameroon is ranked 126th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index. RSF_en Organisation Follow the news on Cameroon to go further CameroonAfrica Condemning abuses Judicial harassmentImprisonedFreedom of expressionJihadism News Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled by the continuing judicial persecution of Ahmed Abba, Radio France Internationale’s Hausa-language correspondent in northern Cameroon, and urges the authorities to drop all charges and release him at once. Help by sharing this information last_img read more