Ireland's Eye: What's going on in the old sod
A look news from around Ireland
Unwed Limerick Moms
Limerick city continues to have the highest rate of births outside of marriage, according to new figures published by the Central Statistics Office.
According to the latest Vital Statistics figures, 100 (58%) of the 173 births recorded in the city during July, August and September last of year were born to mothers who were stated they were not married at the time.
However, in just over a third (36%) of those cases the mother said she and the child’s father were living at the same address in the city.
Of the babies born to women living in Limerick, 211 of the 618 (34%) were born to unmarried mothers.
This figure is on a par with the national average but represents a slight increase when compared to the previous quarter of 2010.
Of the 211 unmarried women, just under half (105) stated they were living at the same address as the child’s father.
According to the Central Statistics Office, mothers from the city who gave birth during the third quarter of last year were among the youngest in the country. The average age was 29.1 compared to 31.1 in the country.
The figures also show that 12 woman from the city and 19 from the county were aged under 20 when they gave birth between July and September last year.
In the city, the highest number of births (50) was recorded amongst women aged between 25 and 29 whereas in the county the highest number (212) was within the 30-34 age group.
There were a total of 33 babies born to women from Limerick who were aged over 40 at the time they gave birth.
The latest Vital Statistics figures also show that Limerick city has the lowest birth rate in the country at just 11 births per 1000 head of population.
The birth rate in County Limerick is 18.9 and the national rate is 17.2.
Island for Sale
A 70-acre Mayo island is on sale for less than a million euro.
Island Mor in Clew Bay is listed for sale at www.privateislandsonline.com, a website aimed at some of the world’s richest investors.
Island Mor is among three Irish islands on the site and is on the market for just over ****900,000.
Island Mor comes complete with its own pontoon, sheltered cove to moor boats and access to running water and electricity. The website described its sale as “the opportunity of a lifetime.”
“This is a unique opportunity for an investor or developer to obtain 70 acres of one of the finest islands in the bay. The island, situated just a couple of miles from the coast, is blessed with both rugged beauty and charm.
“Island Mor offers the perfect opportunity for island living. The island’s natural shape bestows it with a natural cove that is well protected and sheltered. This cove is a secure mooring place for boats.
“The possibilities regarding Island Mor are endless,” the website adds.
The site labels Ireland as one of the “cleanest countries in Europe.”
During the 1950s the island was heavily populated, but these days its residents are holidaymakers who have homes on the island.
Clew Bay locals believe that a large plot on the island may have already been sold, but the website says it has not been informed of any sale.
Clew Bay, which is reputed to have 365 islands, is no stranger to the rich and famous. At the height of his fame in the 1960s, the Beatles’ John Lennon bought the 19-acre Dorinish Island in Clew Bay for just £1,700. It later became a hippy commune before being sold by Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono.
Child Takes Ecstasy
A young girl was rushed to hospital after taking an ecstasy tablet she found while playing with pals. The five-year-old took the pill after finding the drugs in a green area near her Dublin home.
A group of children playing on the Dublin 13 housing estate found around 50 pills in a cigarette box last week.
One five-year-old girl swallowed a tablet and developed palpitations, shakes and a very high temperature and was taken to Temple Street Hospital.
Another five children from the Killary Grove estate in Donaghmede are believed to have licked or touched the drugs and were admitted to hospital for observation.
One parent said it had been confirmed that the yellow tablets, stamped with a harp design, were ecstasy.
"Panic hit everyone and an ambulance was called. The youngest girl started reacting about 20 to 30 minutes after she took it. She has drips and everything on her now,” said the parent.
"Apparently one of the children found the cigarette packet and it was full of tablets, and being the young children that they are, they were all looking at them and licking them.”
Another parent said, "One child had swallowed it, so I went to alert the other parents and it was then that I stumbled across 50 ecstasy tablets in a driveway.
The child who took the tablet was kept in the hospital and monitored closely.
A source close to the family said. "They put her on an ECG machine because her heart rate was pumping like mad. But now she's going to be all right.
"She was in no danger last night but whether there's going to be any side effects or anything I don't know.
"Four of them were given doses of charcoal to prevent anything seeping through their stomach and into the bloodstream, and the others were being kept in hospital and their blood pressure was being monitored every 15 minutes.
"We're lucky we're not looking at six dead children. Had they sat in a corner and had a little party for themselves, things could have been a lot different."
A horse that was subjected to “absolute neglect” for almost a year was found starving to death in a field in Ballinabranna last week.
The old horse, which has “an absolutely gorgeous temperament,” was “skin and bones” when found by ISPCA inspector Brendan Hughes. But the animal should hopefully make a full recovery.
“It was about 130-200 kilograms underweight. You could stand it on a podium and use it to teach an anatomy class, that’s how wasted away it was,” said Hughes.
The underweight animal had to be sedated in order to remove it from where it was found at a local forest in Clogrennane. It is believed that the animal was dumped by its owners.
A Ballinabranna resident reported the distressed horse to the ISPCA, which took it to the animal care centre in Longford for an assessment and treatment.
“It’s a long road but hopefully it will come around and we’ll get it a good home. As long as there’s no extensive internal damage, there’s absolutely no reason why it can’t have a good quality of life for another eight to 12 years,” said Hughes, who hopes to find a new home for the friendly animal.
“Whatever the reason for abandoning this horse – the recession or they just didn’t want it anymore – why not call somebody for help?”
Dogs put to sleep
Nearly 460 dogs were put to sleep in Co. Wexford last year after the county council failed to find new homes for them.
According to figures published by the Department of the Environment, 796 dogs were seized by warden Johnny Colfer last year while a further 516 were surrendered by their owners.
The council managed to find homes for 845 dogs but, unfortunately, 35% of all of the animals that were rescued were put to sleep.
Remarkably, the county council managed to re-home a higher percentage of its rescue dogs last year, in the midst of the worst recession in the history of the state, than in 2006, at the height of the boom.
In 2006, 1,541 dogs were admitted to pounds in Wexford and nearly 800 of these were put to sleep -- over 55%. In 2006 and 2007, more dogs were put down in Wexford then were saved.
Additionally, the numbers of dogs surrendered each year, by owners who are no longer either willing or able to care for their pets, has remained relatively constant over the past five years and reached a high, of 575, in 2006.
The numbers of dogs successfully re-homed increased every year up to 2009, with the 2010 figures showing a slight deterioration, from 70% of dogs re-homed in 2009 to 65% the following year.
HDTV for prisoners
Flat screen televisions were installed for inmates of Castlerea prison last week, but the Irish Prison Service has said that this was a cheaper alternative to fixing the televisions already in the cells.
A spokesperson for the service confirmed that 17” flat screen televisions had been installed to 15 cells in the prison as part of a replacement program.
“It is a fact that it is next to impossible to purchase anything other than these flat screens now when buying a television. The cost to repair the damage to them was actually greater than the cost of buying a new flat screen television,” said the spokesperson.
“Plus, these new screens are neater and less chance of contraband materials being hidden in them. These new televisions were installed as part of an end of life replacement program. It was not an extravagant decision, rather it was a practical one.”
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