Ireland's Eye: What's going on in the old sod this week
A look at news from around Ireland
Strong Man, Strong Stomach
WHAT does it take to put yourself in the running for a strongman title?
Tullamore man Keith Maher knows the answer -- "7,500 calories a day, in the run-up to a competition, and 5,000 calories a day when you've no competition on."
That's the sort of calorie count that would have most rushed to hospital within a week, but Maher stays slim thanks to a grueling regime of gym attendance.
And that sort of discipline is what makes him strong enough to pull an articulated lorry -- all by himself.
Maher recently came second in the All-Ireland strongman competition in Derry. The August bank holiday weekend will see him join with Wexford strongman Paul Roberts to fly the flag for Ireland in the Ultimate World Strongman competition taking place at Columb Barracks in Mullingar.
Maher, originally from Tullamore, lives in Carlow with wife Olivia and their 10 year old daughter and six year old son, and Olivia reveals that he is very serious about his training.
"He goes to the Escape gym in Carlow every day and spends a couple of hours there -- every day except maybe he might allow himself a Sunday off," she says.
He also trains with the Kilkenny Strongman Club.
Maher’s immense strength has its benefits. By trade he's a carpenter, and he can lift quantities of wood that the average carpenter would baulk at.
At the competition in Derry, Maher pulled a 13 ton lorry 20 meters. He hardly broke a sweat.
"It wasn't that heavy," he says nonchalantly.
Stuck Horse Saved
A HORSE stranded up to its stomach in thick mud along the banks of a tributary of the River Swilly was saved by an heroic effort from volunteers.
Members of the Donegal Pet Rescue volunteer service were alerted to the stricken animal near the Riverside Shopping Complex on the Neil T. Blaney Road on Sunday, July 15.
This is the same stretch of river was where another horse lay dead for a number of days two months ago.
The drama unfolded when the first three volunteers arrived to find the animal submerged up to its chest on the muddy bank.
A photograph of the stricken horse was posted on Facebook through the Donegal Pet Rescue page asking for help after they alerted the ISPCA, which was unavailable, and local Gardai (police) who were delayed getting to the scene due to another incident.
The strong image of the stricken animal on the social media site prompted a lot of reaction, and within a short there were a number of helpers on the scene.
A spokesperson for the group said they would like to thank everyone who helped save the horse.
“Thankfully we have some of the best friends on Facebook who gave up their Sunday morning to come and help in any way that they could. As for posting a photo we feel that this was the only way people could understand the urgency of our plea and would continue to do so in order to help get matter out there and resolved quickly,” the spokesperson stated.
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