Ireland's Eye: What's going on in the old sod
Mom, child killed in accident
A 20-year-old Donegal man whose dangerous driving caused the death of his 16-year-old girlfriend and their three-month-old daughter has been given a two-year-jail sentence substituted by 240 hours of community service.
Christopher Hanlon from Lettermacaward pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the deaths of Kerry-Ann Meehan, originally from Derry and her daughter, Neisha.
Hanlon was driving of the Toyota Corolla which collided with an Isuzu Trooper jeep which was pulling a trailer containing sheep.
Letterkenny Circuit Court heard a that blow-out on a tire which had been worn down by Hanlon performing handbrake turns caused him to lose control at Tullygay outside Letterkenny on June 16, 2008.
The family had been driving from Derry -- where they had been visiting Kerry Ann's grandparents -- to Doochary, where they had recently set up home in a rented flat.
Hanlon told Gardai (police) he knew the tires were bald and he had intended to change them.
The car was traveling at between 80kph and 98kph, and while the speed was not excessive for the road it was for the condition of the tires, the court heard.
Giving evidence to the court, Hanlon said waking up to the news that Kerry-Ann and Neisha were gone and he had missed their funerals was unbearable. He apologized to the Meehan family for what he had done.
Meehan's mother, Anna, told the court she felt Hanlon should get a custodial sentence because he had been irresponsible and reckless in driving with bald tires.
Judge John O'Hagan said Hanlon was a special case who should not be categorized as a boy racer. Hanlon had already served part of his punishment and would be serving it for the rest of his life, he said.
O'Hagan imposed a two-year prison sentence substituted with 240 hours community service. Hanlon was also disqualified from driving for eight years.
- Donegal Democrat
Years wait for help
The parents of a six-year-old Portarlington boy, recently diagnosed with a learning and physical disability, has been told that there is a 3 1/2 year waiting list for crucial therapy their boy needs.
After years waiting on a diagnosis for their son, Anthony and Louise Lynch say they have now hit another brick wall.
"All we want is to provide the best for our kids like every parent in the country, but we feel the systems and paths we are forced to follow will not have the best outcome for our son," Anthony said. "It leaves us feeling like we have failed him."
A person with dyspraxia has problems with movement and coordination. Although dyspraxia does not affect a person's intelligence it can cause learning difficulties, especially for children.
Daniel's parents have been told that their son needs physiotherapy for his low muscle tone, and occupational therapy to help him develop vital social skills, but the Lynch's have been told that there are long waiting lists for both services.
"We recently received a letter from the Health Service Executive (HSE) informing us that the occupational therapist (OT) was currently out sick and would then be commencing maternity leave. The letter said that Daniel would be seen in due course," Louise explained.
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