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Limerick loses ground-breaking humanitarian leader

first_imgFr Finucane formally retired in 2002 but never stopped working for Concern. In 2004, without hesitation, he abandoned all plans for the summer and flew to Sudan to lead Concern’s response to the Darfur crisis and later went on to oversee Concern’s operations in tsunami-affected Sri Lanka. Throughout, he remained passionate and engaged in everything to do with Concern including serving on the board of Concern Worldwide US.Active to the end, Fr Finucane walked around Inishturk Island, off the coast of Galway a few weeks ago with 70 Concern volunteers he had worked with over the years. Email Print Fun home-schooling challenges launched by Concern Linkedin Facebook NewsCommunityLimerick loses ground-breaking humanitarian leaderBy Editor – June 9, 2017 1119 WhatsApp Limerick woman preventing spread of COVID-19 in South Sudan No vaccines in Limerick yet COVID-19 volunteerism is a glimpse of what the future can be for church and community Statement from President Higgins on ‘Gaisce sa Bhaile’ Twitter TAGSBishop Brendan LeahyConcernFather Jack FinucanefeaturedPresident Michael D Higgins Walk in Covid testing available in Limerick from Saturday 10th April Advertisement With Compliments. The late Fr. Jack Finucane, Concern Worldwide pictured in Somalia. Picture: Liam Burke Press 22The late Fr. Jack Finucane pictured in Somalia.Father Jack Finucane, one of Ireland’s leading humanitarians, has passed away at the age of 80.Born in Limerick in 1937 and ordained a priest in 1963, Fr Finucane was sent to Nigeria with the Holy Ghost Fathers and was at the heart of the distribution of aid flown into Biafra by Concern and other relief organisations. Following the surrender of Biafra, he was arrested by the Nigerian authorities and spent several weeks in prison before being deported.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up During the 1984 famine in Ethiopia Fr Finucane’s knowledge of the country and his considerable diplomatic skills enabled Concern to mount a massive response to the crisis. By the time that famine received worldwide attention, Concern had a team of 46 expatriates and 890 national staff on the ground. Fr Finucane was an advisor to Bob Geldof and his Live Aid team and in 1985, he brought a young Bono on his first trip to Ethiopia, the singer has since credited him with having a huge influence on his thinking with regard to international development.Speaking about the life of Fr Finucane, CEO of Concern Worldwide, Dominic MacSorley, remarked: “An unassuming leader, he brought intelligence, drive and passion to what is now Ireland’s leading humanitarian and development organisation. Along with his brother, Aengus, they were a bridge between Ireland’s long tradition of missionary work defining contemporary humanitarian response characterised by professional, practical, compassionate solutions on the ground. Together, they brought a nation with them.The late Fr Jack Finucane who died this week“What Jack has achieved may never be fully quantified but he has saved and improved the lives of millions of people caught up in crisis and poverty. Sorely missed, he leaves behind a legacy of incredible humanitarian significance.”Paying tribute, President Michael D. Higgins, said, “It is with great sadness that I have learned of the death of Fr Jack Finucane. Jack and his late brother Fr Aengus Finucane were inspirational figures and their life’s work leaves a real, positive and enduring legacy for millions of people across the globe, as well as having contributed to Ireland’s reputation abroad in the best possible sense.”Mayor Kieran O’Hanlon also paid tribute to one of Limerick’s great ambassadors, “On behalf of the people of Limerick, I would like to offer condolences to the Finucane family on the death of Fr Jack. His work with those from developing countries is unsurpassed.  From the Biafran region in Nigeria to Bangladesh and Ethiopia, Fr Jack has tended to some of the poorest people in the world. He co-founded Concern in 1968 along with his brother Fr Aengus, Fr Raymond Kennedy as well as John and Kay O’Loughlin Kennedy.  This is a charity which has stood the test of time and is a by word for professionalism and caring.”Limerick Bishop, Brendan Leahy, offered his own touching testimony to a man he greatly admired, “In life there are many people placed on pedestals, people we consider, and rightly so, heroes. We all need people to look up to.  But it is no exaggeration to say that Fr. Jack Finucane was the embodiment of what it means to be a hero – someone who protects and defends.“His work and achievements with his brother, the late Fr. Jack Finucane, and others with Concern were remarkable in any context, helping to bring it from a small organisation into a global force that today represents the triumphs of human spirit in how it helps the poorest people right across the world. The late Fr Aengus Finucane who died in 2009 and his brother Fr Jack Finucane who died this week photograhed when they were awarded the Freedom of the Limerick City“I was also interested to hear that despite leaving Limerick at the age of 18, Limerick never left him.  He remained at all times in touch with what was going on here, not least on the sporting front.“It is also heartwarming today to hear of just how proud he was of being a priest.  He had a calling and answered it.  Not just that, he fulfilled everything possible that could be expected of one man or woman’s calling.  A beautiful characteristic also was that, by all accounts, he was extremely modest, never looking for attention for, or boasting about, his very considerable achievements,” Bishop Leahy concluded. 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Sorghum genome

first_imgThe sorghum and rice connectionFor example, Paterson’s team discovered that sorghum’s seed protein genes are completely different than rice seed protein genes. But they don’t know how and why.“The genes don’t just stand out and say, ‘Here I am. This is why I’m different from rice,’” Paterson said. “We have a lot of new questions to ask.”He would like to continue to build on his 17 years of sorghum research to find out what happened to sorghum and rice’s common ancestor millions of years ago to form the plants that sustain us today. Multiple uses Production is shifting away from seed-based biofuel to cellulose-based production, a process for which sorghum also shows great promise. This shifted prompted the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute’s involvement in sorghum sequencing.The sorghum genome sequence also has other uses. Johnson grass, a crop related to sorghum, is one of the world’s worst weeds. Paterson hopes that by using the sequence, researchers can find better ways of controlling the weed.A third use of the genome sequence will be to understand the reasons that sorghum, rice and other cereals are different from one another.Sorghum is only the second grass genome sequenced. Rice was the first. While the two grasses are similar – 93 percent of the genes present in sorghum are also found in rice – the differences are important enough to warrant closer inspection. By Stephanie SchupskaUniversity of GeorgiaSoutherners may best know sorghum as sweet, biscuit-topping syrup. But the small grain’s uses range from a dependable, drought-tolerant food crop to biofuel source, says a University of Georgia researcher.“Sorghum’s importance is enormous,” said Andrew Paterson, a distinguished research professor and director of the Plant Genome Mapping Laboratory. PGML is a joint unit of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.Paterson and his collaborators – from as close as South Carolina and as far away as India, Pakistan and Germany – have mapped and analyzed the genome of Sorghum bicolor, placing 98 percent of its genes in their chromosomal context. At 730 million bases, or letters of DNA, sorghum has a genetic code a quarter the size of the human genome.The results of the study appear in the Jan. 29 issue of the international science journal Nature. Why is this information important? Drought tolerance makes sorghum important in dry regions like northeast Africa and the U.S. southern plains. It needs only half the water it takes to grow corn. “Not nearly as much has been invested in sorghum as in corn,” Paterson said. “According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, sorghum yields increased less than one percent per year over the last 45 years, only about half the rate of corn, rice and wheat yields. Something is wrong with this picture. If new information and tools from the sequencing change that, it’ll improve millions of people’s lives.”The sorghum that Paterson studied is drought tolerant, but its wild cousins can survive on even less water and resist more diseases and pests. Breeders can use the sequence as a tool to blend desirable traits into more improved commercial plants. Biofuel potential The sequenced sorghum genome is also being used to improve biofuel crops like sugarcane and Miscanthus, a genus of 15 species of perennial grasses that is a leading biofuel crop in Europe. These plants have much larger and more complicated genomes than sorghum. A close relative, sorghum can be a guide to accelerating their improvement. In the U.S., it’s not clear whether Miscanthus or switchgrass will dominate the biofuel arena, Paterson said, but recent side-by-side studies show that Miscanthus out yields switchgrass by as much as three to one.Sorghum is also used to make biofuel and currently is the No. 2 source of fuel ethanol in the U.S. Corn is No. 1. last_img read more

Clemson’s Swinney earns respect from Syracuse after postgame congratulations

first_imgOn a national level, the stories to come out of this game will be about the shakeup at the top of the Associated Press Poll. It’ll be about the questions surrounding Clemson’s ability to make the College Football Playoff, let alone repeat as national champions.But on Friday night, Swinney himself made sure to shift that narrative toward, who he felt, was more deserving.“There’s a lot of pain in our locker room, but this is a story about Syracuse,” Swinney said. “… The story of the night is that Syracuse outplayed us.”Zaire Franklin said he saw Swinney addressing some SU players on the field after the game. Then, when he came into the locker room, he addressed Steve Ishmael directly and even took a picture with a few players, Franklin said.“He was just humble,” Franklin said. “I don’t even know how to describe it. That was pretty cool. That was pretty awesome.” Comments AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBoth teams met at midfield after Friday night’s contest to shake hands and kickoff the Atlantic Coast Conference’s “Fall Sportsmanship Week.” But the feelings the staged events were supposed to encourage proved to be genuine postgame for Swinney, who stopped inside Syracuse’s (4-3, 2-1 ACC) locker room after the upset victory over No. 2 Clemson (6-1, 4-1) and addressed the team.“Utmost respect to Coach Swinney,” quarterback Eric Dungey said. “He came up to us after the game. Class-act program.”Both Babers and Dungey had very little to say when asked about last year’s 54-0 blowout loss to the Tigers. Still, they had nothing but praise for Clemson in the week leading up to the game. And after, that feeling remained.“Coach Dabo,” Babers said in the press conference leading up to the game, “one of the premier programs and the way he does it is absolutely the right way.” Published on October 14, 2017 at 2:10 am Contact Tomer: [email protected] | @tomer_langer Syracuse head coach Dino Babers and Clemson head man Dabo Swinney embraced on the block “S” in the Carrier Dome. The Orange had just beaten the Tigers, ending the longest active winning streak in the FBS and putting a dent into Clemson’s postseason resume.As the two met, ESPN cameras zoomed in on them. It caught Swinney telling Babers “I’m so happy for you.” Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more