STAFF at one of Dublin's best-known restaurants are donating their tips in a bid to keep it afloat.
Eden Restaurant in Temple Bar is being pursued for six-figure debts allegedly owed to its landlord, Temple Bar Cultural Trust.
Legal proceedings have been formally launched against the restaurant with a demand that it pay €50,000 in arrears by May 31.
High-profile owner Jay Bourke today spoke of how his staff have even begun donating their tips in a bid to keep the landmark restaurant open.
Owner Jay Bourke said, "The only reason Eden is still open is because of the incredible spirit shown by our staff. My staff are even donating their tips and I'm incredibly proud of them.
"We've been through so much with this place. We refuse to give up now."
Mr. Bourke admitted that he and co-owner Eoin Foyle are in "negotiations" with Temple Bar Cultural Trust to stay open.
"We are faced with extortionate rents and we need to negotiate what we owe with our landlords," he said.
"They claim we owe them money we can't afford. We will try and sit down with them and ensure that we can stay as we've built this place up to what it is today.”
Drunk Doc in Trouble
A DOCTOR who crashed and rolled his car off the M6 motorway was banned from driving for four years after he was convicted of refusing to provide a sample to Gardai (police).
Such was his condition at the scene on the evening of August 7, the court heard, that the first person to stop for Zahir Mohamed, 48, of Lakepoint, Mullingar was another doctor who actually called the Gardai rather than an ambulance and subsequently reported him to the Medical Council.
Garda (police officer) Darren Murphy gave evidence of attending the accident at the off-ramp at Kilbeggan where he felt the “erratic behavior” of the doctor and a failed roadside test compelled him to arrest the defendant and bring him back to Athlone for an intoxilizer test.
Noting the defendant’s shortness of breath on the drive back, Murphy told him he was calling a doctor to collect a blood or urine sample, both of which he refused to give.
Defense solicitor Padraig Quinn assured the court his client was persisting in pleading not guilty, and swearing in on the Koran, Mohamed told the judge that on the day in question he had been hypoglycemic because he was observing his Ramadan fast, and on that day had not eaten since 3 a.m.
He said the doctor who stopped had refused to treat his injuries, calling the Gardai instead, and that the doctor in the Garda station had also refused to treat him.
“Nobody cared...I was treated badly and discriminated against,” said the qualified psychiatrist and general practitioner who works as a locum around the Midlands.
“The doctor (in the Garda station) did not say hello to me. I told him I would never give anything,” he said.
However, Judge Seamus Hughes pointed out that Mohamed had been seen by two doctors that night, neither of whom felt he had to be hospitalized.
It was also revealed Mohamed had answered “No” when asked by the member-in-charge at the Garda station whether he was injured or suffering from any medical condition, and that he had not reported his perceived “racial abuse” to him.
“Here’s my problem, Mr. Quinn. When it comes to specifics, his answers are evasive. I simply don’t believe a word he says,” said the judge.
“As far as I’m concerned he was over the top on the night, and over the top in my court,” said the judge before banning Mohamed for the mandatory four years, and fining him €750.
Cop Tribute Vandalized
THERE has been outrage at the action of heartless vandals who smashed the memorial to the late Garda Gary McLoughlin, who died in the line of duty, before placing part of it outside his girlfriend’s home in Buncrana.
The memorial was erected by McLoughlin’s family in Lisfannon, Burt, near where the patrol car he was driving in December 2009 was struck by a car being pursued by Gardai. He later died from his injuries.
The plaque read: “For some moments in life there are no words.”
Gardai say they are “sickened and disgusted’ by the act.
They believe the plaque was targeted by vandals and smashed into pieces. Part of the plaque was later left outside the home of Shauna Bradley, McLoughlin’s girlfriend, almost 20 kilometers away in Buncrana, on the bonnet of her brother’s car.
Garda Superintendent Kevin English said, “I have no words to adequately describe what happened – it was sick, vile and sinister in the extreme and it has caused untold hurt to the family of Gary, the community and all his colleagues.
“It is a depraved act carried out by people who have no respect for anyone and it is a direct attack on Gary, his family and An Garda Siochana,” he said.
He added he spoke with McLoughlin’s family in his hometown of Fenagh in Co. Leitrim and they were “devastated” by the news.
“These people not only removed the plaque but also sprayed graffiti on it. I don’t know how anyone can stoop so low. I don’t know how much more this family can take,” English said.
A Garda investigation is under way, and he vowed everything will be done to track down the people who carried out the heartless act.
Raphoe man Martin McDermott, was sentenced last year to seven years for his manslaughter.
Disgusting Yard Dump
A THREE foot high mountain of dirty nappies, or diapers, is among the large quantity of waste a Ballinrobe couple have continually refused to remove from their own back garden, a court heard.
Tom and Ann Sweeney failed to appear before Castlebar District Court last week for prosecutions relating to them dumping waste in their back garden and refusing to remove it since Mayo County Council first investigated the issue in August 2011. The couple has four children, aged from seven to two, who live in the house.
Upon viewing pictures of the garden taken only last week, Judge Mary Devins expressed her shock at what she described as a “mountain” of nappies and said the dumping was “utterly shocking.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything worse than the photo of the nappies,” she said.
Des Hannick, environmental enforcement officer with Mayo County Council, said that the amount of rubbish in the garden would fill two skips, and that he had received a number of complaints from local residents about vermin and the smell from the rubbish.
He said that while initially the rubbish was in the body of the garden, it was now so large in volume that it was pushing up against the back door of the house. It included household rubbish, overflowing bins and the nappies, located close to the back door of the house.
The Sweeneys were up for two charges under the Waste Management Act. Hannick added that Mayo County Council had given the Sweeneys “more than an ample opportunity” to remove the rubbish.
Describing the dumping as “appalling,” Ward McEllin, solicitor for Mayo County Council, said the council had “bent over backwards” in this case. He said that it was his hope that the Sweeneys would be in court where they might be asked to remove the rubbish or go to jail.
Devins issued a bench warrant for their arrest.
A GALWAY fertility clinic is the first in Ireland to invest in new technology which boasts impressive results -- pregnancy rates have increased by 20%.
Dr. Declan Egan, the medical director of Galway Fertility, described the new embryoscope incubator system, which cost in excess of €100,000, as arguably the “biggest leap forward” in fertility technology that he has seen in more than 20 years in the business.
The embryoscope allows the embryologist to examine the development of the embryos using a high-powered camera system. This compiles images of them every 20 minutes without needing to remove them from the stable environment inside the incubator.
There are fewer than 100 of these high tech incubators in human in-vitro fertilization clinics around the world and Galway Fertility has the only one in Ireland.
Jenny Cloherty, the acting laboratory director of Galway Fertility, revealed that from the first 54 cases cultured in the embryoscope, a pregnancy rate of 50% was reported, an increase of approximately 20 per cent. This group included a significant proportion of difficult cases, people who had repeated failed IVF cycles in the past.
Presenting the clinic’s findings at the Irish Fertility Society’s AGM in Dublin recently, she outlined that in addition to this, 39% of the cases resulted in additional viable embryos for freezing. This should give the couples involved another chance of a pregnancy from the same cycle.