Ireland’s Eye - a round of top Irish news stories


Sligo House Fall
HOUSE prices in Sligo have fallen sharply with the average price now 52 percent down from the peak, according to the latest House Price Report. The average asking price in Sligo fell by 6.2 percent between June and September.

The average price is now 140,000, a fall of 52% from the peak.
Nationally, the asking price of property in Ireland fell by over three percent in the third quarter of 2012, down 14 percent from the same period last year.

Ronan Lyons, economist at said, "The latest report confirms that policymakers need to stop thinking of one national property market. Conditions vary dramatically between Dublin, where the number of properties for sale is at its lowest point since early 2007, and large parts of Munster and Connacht, where stock for sale remains very high.

"This is seen in activity levels, also, with over half of Dublin listings sold or sale agreed within three months, compared to one quarter in many parts of the country."

Sligo Champion

Warning Against Gays
THERE was uproar in the Newry Council Chamber when Unionist councilor Henry Reilly said signs should have been erected "warning" people that the Pride in Newry parade was a "homosexual event."

Reilly said that several constituents had called him complaining that they were shocked by what they witnessed at the event.

“Numerous people contacted me to say that they were not aware of what exactly the event was when they attended it," he said.  “It was promoted as a family day out and it certainly was not.

“In the future I think the council should put up signs warning people that it is a homosexual event."

The comments prompted uproar from Sinn Fein councilors who branded Reilly as homophobic.

“I saw enough warning signs years ago when I was over in England, such as No Irish Need Apply," said Councilor Pat McGinn.

“I am totally opposed to this and totally opposed to the idea that anyone should be able to veto another human being's right to their choice of lifestyle.”

“If we allow such pronouncements to go unchallenged gay people will end up being treated like lepers, something no civilized society can afford."

Councilor Brendan Curran called for Reilly's remarks to be recorded and referred to the council's solicitor.

“He seems to want gay people to walk around with bells around their necks," he said.  

Reilly said he stood by his comments. “Perhaps warning was the wrong word, perhaps I should have said explaining, but the principal remains the same," he said.

“This was marketed as a Pride in Newry event. People went to it thinking it was about pride in your area or pride in your town but it wasn't, it was a gay pride parade.

“I had numerous families calling me about this. One family in particular were shopping in town with their young son while the parade was on.  The child asked, ‘What's that daddy?’ and when the father turned around he saw a man dressed as a woman on the bonnet of a car.

“When they left the shop there were men kissing each other all over the place. It's just not appropriate. It wouldn't be appropriate if it was a man and woman kissing."

Newry Democrat

Mass Money Thief
A WOMAN admitted taking 15 in change from a collection basket in the middle of Mass in a brazen theft at St. Michael’s Church.

Pamela McNamara, 25, of McGarry House, Alphonsus Street, had gone into the church with her boyfriend as services were ongoing at around 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 4.

Sergeant Donal Cronin told Limerick District Court that as the basket was being passed around, 15 had been taken from it.

Five days later, Gardai (police) went to the neighboring pastoral center on Denmark Street to view CCTV footage. McNamara, somebody Cronin said was well-known to Gardai, was identified and later made admissions.

McNamara also pleaded guilty to a separate offense of handling stolen property -- a passport and a wallet -- after she was approached by Gardai at Clancy Strand on September 9.

The accused has accumulated 61 previous convictions, a record Judge Eugene O’Kelly described as “dreadful.”

“Congregations in churches,” he remarked, “are expected to contribute; the cash flow is not supposed to be going in the other direction.”

The accused’s boyfriend is serving two months in prison.

Ted McCarthy, solicitor, said his client had only lately been given access to her children - all four of whom are in care -- because she has “started to comply with the requests of the social worker to do something about her drug problem.”

Before the court was a recovering heroin addict whose offending “is motivated by the addiction from which she suffers.” But she had been giving samples to a drug treatment agency for the past six weeks and was clean to date, McCarthy said.