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


Coates urged dog owners to neuter female dogs to avoid the arrival of puppies, and said that if puppies are born and are unwanted contact should be made with the OSPCA.

Offaly Independent

Rampant Thuggery
CONCERNED Castlebar parents say that children are living in fear of robbery and violence by a gang of youths terrorizing the town.  Councilor Michael Kilcoyne chaired a recent meeting of 27 angry and worried parents.

“These children are being beaten for money and their mobile phones,” said Kilcoyne. He said that a gang of thugs is targeting students on their way to and from school. “One parents also told me that her child is afraid to go into town on a Saturday and Sunday,” said Kilcoyne.

The meeting heard that the bulk of the gang is made up of teenage members of the traveling community, but that settled youths are also involved in the bullying and harassment. “They’ll approach a child take the phone of him and you can now text credit from one phone to another. They are also making kids hop up and down to see if any change jingles in their pockets,” said Kilcoyne.

Parents told the meeting that children were also receiving abusive texts from the culprits threatening to stab and cut them. There was anger that the Gardai (police) have failed to tackle the problem. One woman said that when the contacted the Gardai she was told they could not do anything as the offenders were underage.

Kilcoyne said the thugs sometimes hop the school walls and gates to get at their victims or lie in wait outside the school. Another woman told the meeting that they are across the road from Davitt College every day, while it was also reported that on the day of the meeting a gang congregated outside St. Gerald’s College. 

“Most of this is going on unseen. It’s happening in the laneways and alleys of our town,” commented Kilcoyne. “They are violent and kids are petrified.”

Kilcoyne said that a wider problem already exists in Castlebar with three families in three separate estate forced to move due to harassment and intimidation from neighbors. A meeting has now been arranged to take place this week between worried parents and the local superintendent and senior Health Service Executive social worker.

Western People

Girl Sick After Diet Pills

A TEENAGE girl had part of her colon removed after she ingested illegal diet pills bought online.

The 18-year-old developed a life threatening illness after taking the slimming product Botanical Soft Gel.

The young girl faced organ failure associated with ischaemic colitis, a medical condition in which the large intestine is inflamed so much there is an inadequate blood supply.

It can have devastating consequences, and the girl underwent life saving treatment at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.

The teen told doctors that she bought the pills online to "tone up" for a holiday.

The Irish Medicines Board (IMB) analyzed the pills and found high doses of sibutramine, an appetite suppressant similar to amphetamines.

Earlier this year the IMB issued a "strong precautionary message" for consumers about the health dangers of sibutramine in slimming products earlier this year.

Sibutramine was withdrawn from use as a medicine in Ireland and across the entire EU in early 2010 due to the increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.  But thousands of these products are still available for purchase illegally online.

Custom officials have reported a 600 percent increase in seizure of the products with the substance between 2009 and last year.

Evening Herald