Ireland's Eye - a round up of top Irish news stories
Catch up on some of the news coming out of Ireland
A total of 17 people were convicted of fraud. Among those convicted was a 30-year-old woman from the Dungannon area who claimed £26,381.27 in income support despite being in work. For the offence she received a two year prison term suspended for three years.
In April last year a 50-year-old man from Mid-Ulster received a nine month prison term suspended for two years after being convicted of falsely claiming £29,988.11 in incapacity benefit when he was working.
Other cases include a 34-year-old man from the Cookstown area who falsely claimed £14,439.67 in Income Support while working, and a 32-year-old woman from the Dungannon area who received 200 hours of community service plus an order to pay court costs of £58 after claiming benefits worth £8,287.95 while in work.
Throughout Northern Ireland there were 592 convictions for benefit fraud in the time period. The total amount fraudulently claimed was £4.5 million and may have accumulated over a number of years.
Sinn Fein's Bronwyn McGahan said that some people could be falsely claiming benefits as a result of the recession.
“Benefit fraud is illegal and should not be happening, but I believe that many people who are normally law abiding are been forced into taking this action more due to need rather than greed," she said.
“The current dire economic situation and the Tory welfare cuts are putting people into poverty and some are unfortunately taking a chance to claim monies that they are not entitled to.”
Student Intimidated by Twin Bullies
A student at Davitt College in Castlebar is allegedly being so intimidated by twin brothers that he can’t sleep at night. The horrifying ordeal suffered by the teenager was outlined by Councilor Michael Kilcoyne at a meeting of the Castlebar Joint Policing Committee (JPC).
Kilcoyne explained that the youth’s father informed him that his son was being continuously intimidated by a pair of teenage twins who wait outside the school gates to bully and assault him. The twins have allegedly threatened to stab the victim, and the boy’s father now has to collect and drop off his son at the school door.
A letter written by the boy’s doctor was read out to the JPC members which stated that the child is upset and unable to sleep. He also refuses medication to help him, because he “feels he needs to be on guard at all times.” The doctor also called for the local authority to deal with the matter.
“The twins were at the school with one on each side of the footpath. They are causing a major problem to this child. It is an awful situation, he is afraid to sleep in his own home. We have to do something about it. It can’t carry on like this,” Kilcoyne said.
The victim’s account of the bullying has been supported by his school’s vice principal Gerry King in a letter that was read out at the JPC meeting.
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it's a SHAME, that she went all these years with the WRONG diagnosis....as long as people do their RESEARCH on the illness, it help.....i feel for her