Ireland's Eye: What's going on in the old sod


Lucky Find
A South African visitor to Limerick city walked away with a “one in a million find” after a visit to a flea market in the Milk Market last month.
Jason Ludlow, from Johannesburg, bought an American first edition copy of Emily Bronte’s classic Wuthering Heights from an unsuspecting stallholder at the Milk Market, which he then sold for a staggering €8,000 upon his return to his home country.  He paid just €3 for the book.
“I was in Ireland and Limerick in March and April, and was very lucky to have found such a great old book at the Friday Flea Market,” he said from Angola.
“It was a rare copy of Wuthering Heights printed in 1848 that I’ve subsequently sold for a substantial amount,” he added.
“That is amazing,” said a spokesperson for the market. “We have only been running for a month -- we have only had six of the markets. It is hugely successful, people have reacted positively. This is one in a million, I don’t know what else to say.”

Limerick Leader

Killed By a Cow
An elderly arthritic farmer was crushed by a cow after he stumbled while moving animals, an inquest has heard.
John Beattie, 74, landed on the ground as he herded female cattle on his farm in Kildowney Hill, Glarryford, in January this year. His son William saw an animal on top of his chest.
“I turned around and saw my father on the ground and the cattle was standing on his chest with its rear leg,” he told the Belfast inquest last Thursday.
Beattie was taken to Antrim Area Hospital but died three days later after sustaining rib fractures and a torn diaphragm under the massive beast.
William Beattie added, “I said to him, ‘How bad are you? He said, ‘I am brave and bad.’”
The animals were being put on a lorry for transport to a meat plant in Coleraine.
The ground was slippery and a health and safety expert concluded that the lifelong farmer may have lost his footing.
Health and Safety Executive inspector John Spiers said. “John Beattie may have stumbled when he entered the pen and then was trampled by one of the animals.”
Coroner John Leckey said it was a slippery environment and observed that the older farmer figured high in the casualty statistics.
“It is something to do.  Farmers tend not to retire in the true sense of the word,” he said.
Leckey said the system of moving the cattle was normal and there were enough people to do the procedure safely. His finding was that he died from a chest injury due to being crushed by a heifer, with other heart conditions significant factors in why he died.

Ballymena Times

Woman Rapist Convicted
An Edenderry woman found guilty of digitally raping another woman in Australia is appealing her two and a half year sentence.
Anne Marie O’Loughlin began her appeal against her conviction at the Court of Appeal in Brisbane last Monday.
The 26-year-old had been working as a nurse in Australia for the past two and a half years and was due to return to Ireland last December.
During a five-day trial in Brisbane last December, a 12-man jury convicted her of two counts of digital rape and one of the deprivation of liberty of a woman in the female toilets in the Caxton Hotel in Brisbane on November 29.
Prosecutor Chris Minnery called for O’Loughlin to be sentenced to three years with release on parole after she served 18 months.
Saying her behavior was “completely out of character,” Damian Walsh, defending barrister, asked for a sentence of nine months.
Judge David Reid describing the matter as “a tragic event for all concerned.”
“It is particularly distressing. A security officer at the Caxton described you as unduly intoxicated. You were finding it hard to stay on your feet and almost fell down some stairs,” commented Judge Reid to the defendant.
He added, “I hope you will use your time in prison to address issues you have with the consumption of alcohol and sexual aggression.”
O’Loughlin will be eligible for parole on March 3 next year, her 27th birthday, having served 18 months including time already spent in prison.
Legal representation for Ms O’Loughlin claimed at her appeal that she had not received a fair trial.
At the Brisbane Court of Appeal Jeff Hunter SC said the judge at the trial has misdirected the jury on the issue of mistaken belief of consent.
“The complainant’s inability to set out how she ended up in the cubicle with a woman she didn’t know is a significant matter,” Hunter said, highlighting that the victim had never explained the origins of the offense.
He also said the victim had given the police one version and her husband another version of what had happened.