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Yum yum! A selection of favorite holiday treats got prominent placement at a market stand on Henry Street in Dublin on Monday morning. Photo by: Photocall Ireland

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

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Yum yum! A selection of favorite holiday treats got prominent placement at a market stand on Henry Street in Dublin on Monday morning. Photo by: Photocall Ireland

Bestiality Man Avoids Jail

A Limerick man has avoided a prison sentence after he admitted arranging a fatal and “tragic” meeting for a local woman to have sex with his Alsatian dog in Patrickswell four years ago.

Sean McDonnell, 58, who now resides in England, was greeted with hugs from his daughter at Limerick Circuit Court after Judge Carroll Moran handed down a three-year suspended sentence.

The former bus driver pleaded guilty to buggery with a German shepherd, under section 61 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, and faced a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The 43-year-old Limerick mother, whose identity has not been disclosed, died after the act, but the exact cause of her death remains undetermined. The court heard that DNA samples taken from the woman’s vagina matched the accused’s dog.

Moran said, “Even in these tolerant times acts of bestiality are socially repugnant,” but he felt McDonnell would not benefit from a custodial sentence, having already been severely punished through adverse publicity. He also lost his job and is separated from his family, after feeling compelled to move out of Limerick.

The judge said he was “shocked” to be told about the number of hits to pornographic sites on McDonnell’s computer, which the court heard ran to 1.5 million hits in the space of five months.

He said one of the mitigating factors in the case was that the woman went to the house of her own free will and consent, and there was no element of coercion.

The judge said the defendant did not have a role in her death, and “could not have anticipated it.”

McDonnell is due to continue receiving counseling in the U.K., and took an oath in court to this effect.

The defendant, a father of three, called the emergency services and when the ambulance and paramedics arrived they found the woman in an unusual state of dress.

The court heard McDonnell, who has no previous convictions, made no effort made to alter her state of dress or interfere with her in any way before the paramedics arrived.

McDonnell contacted his doctor twice as he realized she was in distress, her color had turned blue, and then she “collapsed as a result of contact with the dog.”

A post-mortem examination was conducted by the state pathologist, and the cause of death remains undetermined.

Limerick Leader

Holiday Drink Warning

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar and An Garda Siochána (police) have given their support to the drinkaware.ie/RSA Morning After campaign.  As the Christmas party season is in full swing, drinkaware.ie is encouraging people to pace their drinking and to remember the morning after.

Drinkaware.ie chief executive Fionnuala Sheehan said, "The reality is it takes your body about one hour to get rid of one standard drink - that's a glass of beer or cider, a small glass of wine, or a pub measure of spirits. So if you are drinking on a night out this Christmas, you might still be over the legal limit the next morning.

"The message from drinkaware.ie is to take responsibility for your drinking. Do the maths and if you suspect that you might not be okay to drive, then make alternative arrangements."  

Drinkaware.ie is encouraging people to pace their drinking over the festive season. "Interspersing alcoholic drinks with water or soft drinks will slow down the pace of your drinking and help you to drink moderately. It will also help you to remain well hydrated and you'll be more likely to keep track of how many alcoholic drinks you're consuming," Sheehan added.

Noel Brett, CEO of the Road Safety Authority (RSA) said: "The RSA is delighted to partner with drinkaware.ie again this year to highlight the danger of drink driving the morning after. Drink driving is drink driving no matter what time of the day it is, however it is important to make drivers aware of the fact that they may, unknowingly, be unfit to drive the morning after a night drinking. As the campaign says, if you have been drinking the night before the only cure is time."

Assistant commissioner Gerard Philips said, "We obviously do not wish to hamper anyone's enjoyment over the festive period but we must remind every driver that wherever they socialize and consume alcohol, whether it be in a bar or a house, the same enforcement and now lower drink driving limits apply. We appeal to every driver to ensure they are completely alcohol free before they think about driving any vehicle, no matter what time of the day or night it may be."

Meath Chronicle

Hospital Fleas

A patient rights advocate is calling on University Hospital Galway not to take any “shortcuts” in dealing with an outbreak of fleas at the facility.

Mary Tierney of Patient Focus says a multi-disciplinary approach must be taken to eradicate the problem at the regional hospital’s outpatient department.

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