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


It paints a picture of thousands of dwellings and business premises across rural Galway being abandoned by their owners in the wake of ongoing cuts in services.

According to Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív, he believes that there was a concerted campaign to downgrade country areas and says that in 20 years time the face of rural Galway would be irreparably changed.

“In 20 years time we will have half the number of GAA clubs in Galway because the people simply won’t be there to fill teams. Even the rural pub will become a thing of the past,” he predicted.

-Connacht Sentinel

Suing the State

A man has sued the state, alleging that when he was a nine-year-old orphan, he was "boarded out" to work as a farm boy in "quasi-servitude.”

The now 50-year-old man is also suing a religious order that ran the orphanage where he had lived from when he was a baby until he was boarded out.

He alleges he was sexually abused by other children in the orphanage.

The Health Service Executive (HSE), the minister for health and the religious order deny his claim and want the case struck out on grounds of delay. The case began 12 years ago. Suzanne Boylan, counsel for the man, said he initiated the High Court proceedings before a redress board claim.

While the board recently sanctioned an interim payment of €10,000 for him, it had reserved its position on compensation for his period of "boarding out" as a farm boy.

The man is unwell and not in a position to give immediate instructions, counsel added.

Boylan said she wanted an adjournment to take instructions but hoped the matter could be resolved through the redress board.

Gerard Clarke SC, for the minister, Ireland and the attorney general, said the man's claim related to a period from 1971 to 1981 when he was boarded out to a brother and sister in the west of Ireland.

He had attended a respected secondary school in Sligo and University College Galway and went on to obtain a professional qualification.

The brother and sister to whom he was boarded out had since died and there was no one else to give evidence as to his treatment, counsel said.

The state's ability to defend the case was therefore completely and totally prejudiced.

Justice Hogan noted the man's claim appeared to be that he was held in a position of quasi-servitude while boarded out.

If the redress board resolved the matter in his favor, legal costs would be the only outstanding matter, the judge said.

He "earnestly hoped" a decision could be made by the board before the case returned before him in five weeks, he added.

-Sligo Champion

Missing Body Mystery

Human remains found in a car discovered on the bed of the River Blackwater in Fermoy are to be tested to ascertain if they are those of a local man who has been missing for 22 years.

A Garda spokesman confirmed that the car found by members of the Blackwater Sub Aqua Search and Rescue was a Daihatsu Charade, the same make and model as that driven by local businessman and former Labor county councilor William Fennessy.

Fennessy, 54, who owned a pub, undertaker and auctioneers in Fermoy, mysteriously disappeared in March 1990 and his car was never found.

His wife Noreen and brother James waited by the riverside as dive teams made a number of trips out to the submerged car on the river bed.

Clutching a piece of paper with the registration number of his brother's car on it, James said he hoped the discovery would finally bring closure to the family.

"It would be an end. For the past 22-years we have been unable to say what happened," he said.

Garda superintendent Mick Comyns confirmed that human remains and other items were removed from the car.

"First indications would seem to suggest that this car was a Daihatsu similar to the one owned by Mr. Fennessy. However, it may take some time before we are able to make a positive ID on the recovered remains through either dental records or DNA," say Comyns.

- The Corkman