SENATOR O DOMHNAILL TO LEARN FATE OF HIGH COURT CHALLENGE

first_imgSenator O’DomhnaillDONEGAL Senator Brian O Domhnaill will find out today if his High Court challenge to the Standards In Public Office (SIPO) committee has been successful.SIPO wants to question Mr O Domhnaill over his expenses claims between 2006 and 2007, when he was a Donegal County Councillor but he insists the probe must be conducted in Irish. SIPO was due to begin a public session concerning the expenses matter last June, but that did not proceed after Mr O Domhnaill secured leave from the High Court days earlier to bring his challenge.In his judicial review proceedings, the Senator claims that SIPO is not entitled to deal with the case on the grounds that the matter arose from an anonymous complaint by a member of the public.He wants orders requiring the case to be heard by a commission comprising members who are bilingual and able to conduct and understand the proceedings without the assistance of an interpreter.Unless the tribunal is bilingual, his rights as an Irish speaker will be infringed, he claimed.He alleges he will be disadvantaged if an interpreter is necessary to translate the evidence and submissions given on his behalf in Irish. Translator evidence is not similar to direct evidence and he would be marginalised, he has claimed in court.The proceedings, brought against SIPO, the Minister for the Environment and the State, were conducted in Irish before Mr Justice Gerard Hogan over two days last November.The judge will issue his ruling later today.In opposing the case, SIPO and the State contend the complaint being investigated relates to alleged duplication of expenses claims and the investigation is in the public interest.SIPO said the complaint was made in a letter dated May 28, 2012, sent to it by the mayor and county manager of Donegal County Council following an investigation by the two men of a referral made to them by the ethics registrar of the council.While acknowledging information in an anonymous letter had prompted the ethics registrar to examine matters, SIPO contends the complaint being investigated by it is not a referral of that anonymous letter by the mayor and county manager – but rather a complaint by those men arising from their view certain specified acts set out in their report may have been done by Mr O Domhnaill.SIPO also denied that Mr O Domhnaill is entitled to orders requiring that members of the commission should be bilingual. As there is no requirement in the Constitution for judges or members of the Oireachtas to be bilingual, that requirement should not be imposed on commission members, it says.SENATOR O DOMHNAILL TO LEARN FATE OF HIGH COURT CHALLENGE was last modified: January 13th, 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:SENATOR O DOMHNAILL TO LEARN FATE OF HIGH COURT CHALLENGElast_img read more

Stewart Says Deadly Crash Accident

first_imgHUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — There were days when Tony Stewart couldn’t get out of bed. It was a chore to take a shower, to leave his room. The television was on, he would stare at it, and have no idea what he was watching.He didn’t care about racing. He didn’t want to talk to anyone, let alone face his family, friends or other drivers. Stewart’s grief over the death of Kevin Ward Jr. was overwhelming, and he couldn’t find his way out of the fog.Stewart, one of NASCAR’s biggest stars, spent three weeks in seclusion at his Indiana home after the car he was driving struck and killed Ward at a dirt track in upstate New York. He describes those weeks as the darkest of his life.“I know 100 percent in my heart and in my mind that I did not do anything wrong. This was 100 percent an accident,” Stewart told The Associated Press on Sept. 25 in his first interview since a Grand Jury decided he would not be charged in Ward’s death.On the advice of legal counsel, Stewart would not describe what he remembers about the crash at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.Ward and Stewart had been racing for position when Ward crashed, exited his vehicle and walked down the dark track in an apparent attempt to confront Stewart. A toxicology report found Ward also had marijuana in his system.Ward’s family has said “the matter is not at rest,” and Stewart may still face a civil lawsuit.Sitting on the couch of his North Carolina home, a sprint car race in Arkansas on mute on the television, Stewart said not being able to talk about what happened is extending his anguish.“It keeps me from moving forward. It just stays there, hanging over my head,” Stewart said.Ward and Stewart didn’t know each other, and Stewart doesn’t recall them ever talking. He laments that in the scrutiny that followed — some questioned if Stewart had tried to intimidate Ward for stepping on the track — that the loss of the 20-year-old driver and his promising career fell to the background. He said he can’t imagine how the Ward family is feeling.“I guess the end result is I don’t blame them for anything they say,” he said.Understanding how to deal with his grief and getting back on the track was difficult. Stewart has had his share of controversy and drama in his volatile but successful 16-year NASCAR career; none of it prepared him for the emotions he felt following Ward’s death.He said he needed professional help to cope with the situation, and asking for assistance wasn’t easy. Stewart, 43, isn’t married, has no children and keeps a tight inner circle. He’s a solitary figure of sorts, someone who broods and stews alone, and opening himself up for self-examination was a monumental task.He had no choice.“You sit there and you wrack your brain, you try to analyze ‘Why did this happen?’” Stewart said. “I made myself miserable just trying to make sense of it … I just couldn’t function. I’ve never been in a position where I just couldn’t function.”His tumble into depression began almost immediately. Stewart left Canandaigua after the crash and went to Watkins Glen, where he was scheduled to race the next morning. It was roughly 2 a.m. when he got back to his motorhome, and he looks back now and says he was in shock.But Stewart is a racer through and through, and racers pick themselves up and race. So that’s what he told his team he would do.He wanted to get into his No. 14 Chevrolet that Sunday and go, because that’s what he had done his entire life. But when he woke up the next morning, he realized immediately he was in no condition to be in a car, nor did he have the desire to drive.He did an about-face and pulled out of the race, the first of three he sat out.“You race hurt, you race sick and that’s the way racers have always been,” he said. “You say you can go do what you need to do, and then it becomes very clear that you can’t.”He watched the closing laps on television at home in Indiana, only because he wanted to see the late-race battle for a berth in NASCAR’s playoffs. He watched half of the race he missed in Michigan.Stewart said practices and qualifying sessions didn’t interest him, even as the three other cars he co-owns at Stewart-Haas Racing continued with their season without their leader at the track.It wasn’t until Bristol, the third race he missed, that Stewart was interested in watching. “It just wasn’t important to me,” he said.But he had to go back to work eventually, and he had to get out of his house. If he didn’t give himself a routine, he would never begin to heal.So Stewart returned to the track at the end of the August, racing at Atlanta, where he received a rousing ovation from the crowd during driver introductions. It wasn’t easy going to the track — it still isn’t — and although he’s back in his car, his life is far from normal.At home in North Carolina, Stewart barely steps outside the house. He needed a hairdresser to come to his place just to get a much-needed haircut.“You are part of something so tragic and so unthinkable, it’s hard to face anybody,” he said. “It was hard to wrap my arms around this, and it still is. I haven’t been a part of society for more than six weeks. You are scared to be around anybody, you are embarrassed to be around anybody because of what happened.”Focus comes whenever he pulls on his helmet and fires up his engine. Though his performance has been horrific by his own standards in his last three races, getting back into the car is a step toward normalcy.The rest of the time? A day feels like a month. His mind wanders, his emotions get the best of him.“There hasn’t been a day that’s gone by that I haven’t thought about it. And it will be like that all your life,” he said. “You are never going to forget about it. You are never going to not see it happen all over again. It’s going to be a part of me forever.”(JENNA FRYER, AP Auto Racing Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more