Ireland's Eye: What's going on in the old sod this week
A look at news from around Ireland
Help Is on the Way
The Ashbourne father who last week made a desperate plea for the life-saving cancer drug Ipilimumab (Ipy) had his wish granted when Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny announced last Thursday that the drug would be made available to cancer patients here.
Martin McMahon, 44, is suffering from advanced malignant melanoma and believes the revolutionary new drug is his only hope to save his life. However, the drug has not been available in Ireland as it had not been licensed, though it is available in the United States.
He made an emotional appeal last week for the drug to be made available, and his family had been launching a fundraising campaign to finance his treatment with Ipy.
However, last Thursday, it was announced that Ipy will be made available to patients in Ireland who have a very aggressive form of malignant melanoma. The Health Service Executive (HSE) has reached agreement with the drug's manufacturers, Bristol-Myers Squibb, following negotiations going back as far as November.
McMahon said it was great news and a compassionate, Christian thing to do. "It has been a rollercoaster week, but it was a victory for common sense," he added.
He has no idea yet when his treatment will begin and said he will discuss that shortly with his oncologist.
"It is on the table now, which is great," he said.
A Latvian woman sustained serious facial injuries after a 13-year-old girl threw a piece of glass at her as she walked home from work near the city center.
Limerick Circuit Court heard the girl, who is now 16, was one of a number of young girls who racially taunted the woman and her daughter as they were walking in the John Street area at around 6:30 p.m. on March 2, 2010.
Garda (police officer) Anne Marie O’Shea said the injured party received 14 stitches above her left eye and that she has a permanent scar as a result of the unprovoked attack.
O’Shea said the 47-year-old had lost her job as a result of the incident, and she told the court she is still nervous when out and about.
The woman was not present in court for the sentencing hearing.
The court was told the culprit, who had taken drink and drugs on the date of the offense, was identified on CCTV from a nearby shop.
Prosecutor John O’Sullivan said the defendant had six previous convictions. “It could have been much worse, it could have been tragic,” he said.
Barrister Mark Nicholas said the incident was a disgrace and should not have happened.
However, he questioned the role of his client’s parents in controlling her.
“Children should be in by a certain time at night. They should not be allowed to run wild, and they certainly should not be drinking and taking drugs,” he said.
Judge Carroll Moran said it was a “very serious offense,” and he said the appropriate sentence for an adult is three years imprisonment.
However, he adjourned the matter until October 2 to facilitate the completion of a probation report.
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