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‘Salary Harmonization’ Dominates Supreme Court’s Opening

first_imgChief Justice Francis Saye Korkpor: ” Judges should not be given the cause to be corrupted.”Chief Justice Francis Korkpor: “As priest of justice, a judge should not be given the cause to be corrupted in the performance of his/her judicial duties so as to be justified for any disciplinary action taken against him/her if found deficient in those qualities.”A decision by the legislature to create an Act to be named “An Act to Establish the National Remuneration Standardization of 2019”, with the intent to give the government legal rights to institute its salary harmonization plan to cover all government workers was the biggest theme on Monday, October 14 during the opening of the October 2019 Term of the Supreme Court that was attended by hundreds of lawyers.Recently, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel Tweah, defended the salary harmonization policy, saying that it was the country’s international partners and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that gave the advise requesting that the harmonization of pay salary should not exempt any of the three branches of government, including the legislators themselves. This in essence includes workers of the three branches of government and even public corporations.However, addressing his audience, many of whom were lawyers at yesterday’s ceremony, Chief Justice Francis Saye Korkpor, partly quoted Judicial Canon #6 under the caption: “Judges as Government Paid Officials,” which he said, provides that “As priest of justice, a judge should not be given the cause to be corrupted in the performance of his judicial duties, so as to be justified for any disciplinary action taken against him/her if found deficient in those qualities.”The entire Cannon#6 also states: “The judge is a government paid official, and must be paid adequately, he/she holds an exalted position, which prevents him from engaging in any business pursuit, therefore, he must be provided with the necessities of life, and with every means by which he will be able to perform his judicial duties effectively, efficiently and speedily.”It continues: “The judge must be encouraged and given the incentive to live a decent and dignified life that would prevent financial and domestic worries, and enable him to repel temptation, which is susceptible to human life. As priest of justice, a judge should not be given the cause to be corrupted in the performance of his/her judicial duties so as to be justified for any disciplinary action taken against him/her if found deficient in those qualities.”Justice Korkpor said he has followed with keen interest national discussion on the issue of salary harmonization to the point that the legislature has promulgated an Act to “Establish the National Remuneration Standardization of 2019.”“Let me comment on the burning issue that has to do with the ongoing process of salary harmonization,” Justice Korkpor said, asking his audience to carefully look at Article 72 of the 1986 Constitution.Article 72 provides: “The Justices of the Supreme Court, and all other judges shall receive such salaries, allowances and benefits as shall be established by law. Such salaries shall be subject to taxes as defined by law, provided that they shall not otherwise be diminished. Allowances and benefits paid to Justices of the Supreme Court and judges of subordinate courts may by law, be increased but may not be diminished except under a national program enacted by the Legislature; nor shall such allowance and benefits be subject to taxation.”That provision, also states: “The Chief Justice and the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court and judges of subordinate courts of record shall be retired at the age 70; provided, however, that a justice of judge, who has attained that age may continue in office for as long as may be necessary to enable him/her to render judgment or perform any other judicial duty in regard to proceedings entertained by him/her before he/she attained that age.”In light of the foregoing, Korkpor added, “We urge that any process of harmonizing or standardizing salaries of government officials and senior civil servants take into consideration requisite provision of the law, especially when applying to the judiciary to ensure justice and equality.”As though he was thinking about the effect of the salary harmonization on the judiciary, Justice Korkpor also expressed interest to be a part of any processes in that direction, meaning his money should be cut by whatever percentage.“We are prepared to work with, and engage the requisite government functionaries to provide necessary input(s) for proper application of the Act to the judiciary,” Korkpor said.In his intervention, the president of the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA), Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe, said that before the LNBA says anything on the matter, they would be happy if they were to know the salaries, allowances and benefits of the Chief Justice, the president, vice president, the speaker, the president pro-tempore, justices, ministers and judges.“As this matter has now been introduced for public consideration, a full knowledge of the salaries and or allowances and benefits of the Chief Justice, the President, the Vice President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President Pro-Tempore, Justices, ministers and judges will be helpful for the LNBA participation in the emerging public discourse on the issue raised by Chief Justice Korkpor,” Gongloe said.He said that based on such vital information, the issue of disparities between the salaries, allowances and benefits for the senior government officials of the other two branches of government, and those of the judiciary can be fully discussed and resolved, “because we are aware of  Article 72 of the Constitution.”The LNBA’ president explained that the same article 72 provides that the allowances and benefits of justices and judges should not be subject to taxation.“In any case, where it is determined  that the act reduces the salaries of the chief justice, justices and judges or subject their allowances and benefits to taxation; this court has a remedy as it has done in an other matters through a  ‘Sua Sponte’ consideration of the constitutionality of the act.“While the current issue of fairness in the implementation of the law on salary harmonization is being considered, we call for the maintenance of zero tolerance of corruption in the judiciary under all circumstances,” Gongloe advised the branches of government.Gongloe told Korkpor and the gathering that as of his view, the issue is an administrative matter that should be taken up at the highest level of government as a coordinate branch of government.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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How one Donegal businesswoman knitted a community together

first_imgA simple pair of knitting needles, a few balls of yarn and a pattern – that’s all that Rosaleen Hegarty says is required to create a beautiful garment.To create a company that has been around for 40 years and had 550 workers at its peak takes a lot more crafting.Eighty-three-year-old entrepreneur Rosaleen remains at the helm of Crana Knits. Over the years, she has delivered an amazing contribution to Donegal and her mentoring, knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit has inspired many others to think outside the box.  Rosaleen will be a keynote speaker at the Donegal Women in Business Network 2019 Conference on October 1st. She is a perfect fit for the #LookingBackMovingForward theme, which celebrates all Donegal businesswomen through the decades.Rosaleen’s workshop in Buncrana is a treasure trove of textiles from the years gone by, filled with unique pieces, 1,000 patterns and a few special sweaters made for some of the world’s biggest fashion designers. JW Anderson once hailed Rosaleen a ‘genius knitter’, while writer Vawn Corrigan saw her as the ‘doyen of Aran’.Even today, visitors from the US call to Rosaleen’s door hoping to buy an Aran sweater – a piece of Irish heritage that they know is designed and knitted to perfection. How a teacher from Inishowen became the premier name in Irish knitting is a story that weaves into Rosaleen’s personal and business life. Rosaleen recently shared her story with DonegalWoman.ie, asking this at the start of the interview: “Guess how many times I’ve been in a hospital theatre when a surgeon has lifted a knife?”“Twenty-three.“I’m a cancer survivor, I had three different types of cancer over the years, but I’m still here,” she said.Rosaleen was once a primary teacher in Cockhill, in the days when needlework was on the curriculum. She had every girl in the school trained up, so by the time they finished they were knitting sweaters.Back in 1950s Buncrana, once a girl reached the age of 14 there was no secondary school for her, and she couldn’t start in one of the local textile factories until she reached 16.  Rosaleen Hegarty, Crana KnitsAran knitting was beginning to emerge as a fashion, so Rosaleen enlisted her friends to order sweaters. She wrote the patterns and gave out the wool to the girls. “I would get 10 shillings out of the women to give to the girl for pocket money, and that’s why they loved knitting,” she said.The girls taught their mothers, sisters and neighbours to knit, and soon a knitting empire was born in Buncrana. Little did they know that this was the origin of Crana Hand Knits, a company that would represent the knitting tradition all over the world.Rosaleen Hegarty, Crana KnitsBusiness was going great until Rosaleen, who is a mother of six, was first diagnosed with cancer at the age of 46.  She underwent a hysterectomy, but two years later, she had to have a mastectomy and twelve months of chemotherapy. Many other procedures followed over the years and Rosaleen has never gotten the all-clear, and to return to teaching she had to be clear for five years. But her knitters were always there for her.“At the time of the cancer I called on the key knitters, I told them the truth – I said I don’t know how long I’m going to be here, why don’t you form yourselves into a little co-op, because there is good knitters all around and things are going well, and I’ll help you as long as I can.“They came back to me and said ‘we’re just going to do it a little different, we’ll help you as long as you are here’. I just kept on,” she said.Crana Knits was registered in 1979. The business base soon expanded from a spare room in Rosaleen’s family home to two portacabins out the back. A perfectionist in her trade, Rosaleen was motivated by poor knitting in other parts of the country to establish her own knitting school.“There was too much rubbish knitting going out,” she said. “I couldn’t bear to see knitting that wasn’t right.”The National Knitting Centre was opened in Lisfannon in 1990. From there, machine knitters and crochet workers created clothing for stores such as Dunnes Stores and Dorothy Perkins.Meanwhile, the hand-knitting business supplied Blarney, Carraig Dunn, Quills, House of Ireland and the American market.“At that time I had built up and had 550 knitters. I had a little van and about 18 full-time workers in Lisfannon. All the hand-knitting was done in the homes,” Rosaleen said.Crana KnitsRosaleen travelled the length and breadth of Ireland with suitcases of clothing, taking orders and selling to stores. She also put her own stamp on Aran through ClannArans – a brand of sweaters designed around Irish and Irish-American clan names.At the same time, Rosaleen came on the radar of international designers who ordered eclectic woollen creations from her for the catwalks and boutiques.Rosaleen Hegarty, Crana Knits, looking back at the patterns she wrote for designersA designer sweater created by Crana Hand KnitsChristian Lacroix, Jean Charles de Castelbajac and JW Anderson, to name but a few, have featured works from Crana Knits. She also supplied a baby shop owned by Susie Hilfiger.“Tommy Hilfiger and his wife Susie would have been down here quite often. If they had a gift they wanted to give anybody, they would come to me for a sweater,” Rosaleen recalled.Derry-born actress Roma Downey, star of Touched by an Angel, is also a big fan of Crana Knits. She wore a woollen coat in a winter scene of the popular series and has championed the company on social media.Some of Rosaleen’s most creative patterns were written for the catwalks, and even worn by the designers themselves.“The last big designer I had was Jonathan Anderson. We actually knitted a babysuit for him,” Rosaleen said.“He was here and he saw a baby suit I had on a doll. He decided for the show in London he wanted one, but it was to fit him. Six foot two and big long arms and big long legs. And he wanted it in pink.“I drafted out a pattern for one of my knitters and she knitted it.”The only thing Rosaleen struggled with was getting one of her male accountants to try it on for size. Inishowen men clearly weren’t too accustomed to wearing pink one-piece suits.Rosaleen Hegarty with the babysuit that inspired Jonathan AndersonNorthern Irish designer Jonathan Anderson loved the suit so much that he wore it on the catwalk twice – first in pink and dyed black the second time. Rosaleen was invited over to London Fashion Week as the fashion house won the menswear award for knitwear.Many more invitations came from the US throughout Rosaleen’s career. She represented Donegal and the Irish knitting sector at Milwaukee Irish Fest, the Ireland Show in Secaucus and in Boston with the Irish Trade Board.“I exported before I sold on the Irish market,” she explained.The Crana Knits American market sales began with Alex McGrath of Donegal Imports, who recommended Rosaleen to his contacts across the States. She still exports to Irish stores in America, as well as Japan, with around 50 Irish knitters working for her across the country.The broad reach of her company made Rosaleen stand out among the first members of the Donegal Women in Business Network. At the first-ever meeting in Ballybofey in 1999, she found that no other local businesswomen were exporting at that time. Buncrana businesswoman Rosaleen Hegarty (Crana Hand Knits) at the Donegal Women in Business Network Local Enterprise Week event on International Women’s Day, 8th March 2019Looking ahead to the future of her own sector, Rosaleen is not so hopeful for modern day knitting.“It’s dying out,” she said. “Even the small Irish shops in American are closing.”To revive the craft, she said she would love to see knitting being taught in schools again.Rosaleen is doing her part to keep the art alive by preserving her patterns. A thick folder, packed with reams of patterns is the starting point of her book. It’s a work-in-progress, she said, with 50 lessons on Irish Aran Knitting to help people discover a love for the ‘fascinating craft’.Rosaleen’s unique skill for writing patterns is what has set Crana Knits apart, she believes. “I put it all down to writing patterns, knowing your business and being unique with your designs.”Some of her staff have been with the company for over three decades. In this time though, Rosaleen has yet to find someone to continue with the art of pattern writing. This, she said, is all she needs to hand over the reins.“I will retire like that (clicks her fingers) if somebody would take over, but I have fifty people working and I am not going to let them down.”If you’d like to hear more insights from this iconic Donegal businesswoman, make sure to come to the Donegal Women in Business Network’s 20th Anniversary Conference on October 1st. Tickets are on sale now at: https://bit.ly/2MjteJTRosaleen Hegarty and Donegal Women in Business Network PRO Evelyn Mc GlynnHow one Donegal businesswoman knitted a community together was last modified: September 23rd, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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:buncranacrana knitsdonegal women in businessknitwearrosaleen hegartytextileslast_img read more