News from the 32

Road Rage Mystery

A Droghega man has appealed for witnesses to come forward after he sustained a broken nose and fractured cheekbone in an alleged vicious road rage assault.

John Plunkett, who works as a bus driver in Dublin, was traveling through Duleek Street on his way to the Donore Road when the events leading up to the attack unfolded shortly after 2 p.m. on a recent Tuesday.

“I was finished work and I was after passing the Pheasant on my way round the S bend adjacent to the Beamore Road when another car came straight through the stop sign,” explained Plunkett.

“I pointed to the road marking and the stop sign to show I had the right of way and he basically went mad, gesturing at me and hitting the steering wheel. He was absolutely out of control.

“I continued on and he followed after me. I got as far as John's Shop and he tried to overtake me. There was a truck coming the other way and he had to swerve and move back behind me.

“I was taking the turn up the Donore Road and I was just about to take it when he seemed to try to cut me off before I made the turn. I was thinking, Jesus this fella has a death wish.  He then tried to undertake me on the inside. He was flashing his lights and beeping the horn like a lunatic so I pulled in at the bottle bank on the bottom of the Donore Road to call the Gardai (police).”

However, Plunkett went on to explain that the other driver, who was in his 40s, then pulled in behind him, got out and started kicking Plunkett’s car.

“I thought, what is this lunatic doing, so I went to get out of the car and he went running back to his car shouting expletives at me.

“I approached him, put my hand on his shoulder and asked him to explain his actions and then he just turned and swung his arm at me. He started thumping me and the thumps kept on coming. He knocked my glasses off so I couldn't see what was happening, and he broke my nose and fractured my jaw.”

Plunkett said that after the vicious assault he drove straight to the Garda station to report the incident before being brought to the Lourdes Hospital for medical treatment.

He said there were “at least four or five” people in the area when the attack happened and he is now appealing to anyone who witnessed the events to come forward and give their account to Gardai.

Drogheda Independent

Jailed for Terminal Threat


A Kilkenny man who threatened to blow up the terminal building at Rosslare Europort has been sentenced to four months detention.

Michael McKevitt appeared before Wexford District Court charged with being drunk in public and acting in a threatening, abusive and insulting manner at Rosslare Europort on Tuesday, December 29.

Inspector Pat McDonald said that at 10 p.m. that night the Gardai in Wexford received a call from security staff at the terminal building about a drunk male who was acting in a threatening and abusive manner.

“He said he was going to blow up the building and everyone in it. He also made personal threats to the staff,” said McDonald.

McKevitt also kicked the doors of the terminal building at the busy port, the court heard.

McDonald informed Judge Donnchadh O Buachalla that McKevitt had one previous conviction for a burglary offense, which saw him receive a two month suspended sentence at Waterford District Court last November.

Eva Lalor, for McKevitt, explained that her client was on a ferry from Fishguard to Rosslare, but due to adverse weather conditions it was unable to dock.

It then returned back to Fishguard before making a successful arrival in Rosslare much later in the day than scheduled.

The buses had stopped running at that stage, but Lalor said all the passengers were informed that transport would be provided for them.

Lalor explained that McKevitt “lost the head” when he heard that the bus would only go as far as Waterford, leaving him with no way to get home to Kilkenny.

The court heard that McKevitt had “a few drinks” and had no money left as he spent it during his extended stay on the ferry.

Lalor pointed out that he is just 20 years old and “certainly has some growing up to do.”

O Buachalla convicted McKevitt of acting in a threatening, abusive and insulting manner and sentenced him to four months detention, with the public drunkenness charge taken into consideration.

Lalor pointed out that her client had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and asked for the sentence to be suspended.

“No, he got a suspended sentence just three months ago,” said O Buachalla.

New Ross Independent

Shocking Cat Beheading

A beheaded cat which had been skinned and gutted next to a children's playground in Shanganagh Park was found by a man out walking his dog on New Year's Day, the latest in a string of such discoveries in the area.

It is believed that the practice of “blooding” greyhounds is behind the grim finds.
The said that he realized something was wrong when his dog wouldn't even go into the field.  He saw crows flocking around something on the ground and went over to investigate.

The barbaric practice of blooding is widespread in Ireland, and an integral part of both greyhound racing and hare coursing.

CEO of the Dublin SPCA Jimmy Cahill said that the facts in the Shanganagh case point towards blooding for “lamping,” or hunting rabbits at night.  He said that blooding has been outlawed by Bord na gCan, the Irish greyhound racing body.

Trainers believe a dog is likely to perform better if it is allowed to savage a live rabbit, hare or cat. The taste of blood is deemed to give it an edge. “They would be likely to use lurchers,” explained Cahill.

The trainer ties the captive animal to a pole, and waits until the dog has been whipped up into a frenzy of bloodlust before releasing it to attack. Alternatively, the animal's back legs are broken so that the dog catches it within seconds and rips it apart.

Blooding is especially cruel when applied to a cat, because it has tougher skin than a rabbit or hare and takes much longer to die. Family pets that mysteriously disappear may end up in the hands of unscrupulous trainers, so cat owners should be vigilant if blooding is prevalent in their areas.

Bray People

Mercury Partner Dies

THE former partner of music superstar Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the band Queen, has been laid to rest in his native Carlow after losing his battle with cancer on New Year's Day.

Seamus (Jim) Hutton was buried in Bennekerry Cemetery on Sunday after his funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Mary's Church there.

A huge crowd attended the funeral service, a testament to his and the Hutton family's popularity. He'd been sick for some time and passed away just three days before his 61st birthday.

On Sunday night, local band After Dark paid tribute to his memory by dedicating a rendition of Queen's famous “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the Barracks Bar, Carlow.
The deceased was described by close friends and neighbors as “a complete gentleman,” adding that he was very well respected and liked.

Hutton had moved back to Carlow following the death of the Queen frontman from an AIDS-related illness in 1991, and worked as a carpenter and handyman with one of his brothers while living at Rutland Terrace in Bennekerry.

He first met Mercury while working as a barber at London's exclusive Savoy Hotel in 1983, but initially didn't even recognize the giant of the pop music world. They soon became close, however, and he lived with the famous singer in London from 1985 until Mercury's death six years later.

Hutton nursed the singer through the later stages of his illness, and was referred to as “my husband” by Mercury during his final days.

He told of his life with the singer in a book called Mercury and Me which was published in November 1994 by Bloomsbury Publications, and also in a number of interviews on British TV which followed the book's publication.

He had by now also been diagnosed as HIV positive, and left London in 1996 to move back to Carlow, where he spent the final years of his life.

The Queen anthem “Barcelona” was played at his graveside as he was laid to rest, while tributes were paid to him on many Queen fan websites.

Queen's guitarist Brian May also paid tribute to Hutton on his own website. “Jim and Freddie were close for many years, and in modern parlance would have been called civil partners. Jim was a quiet and gentle soul, unimpressed and faintly amused by the machinations of fame, rock and roll, and Queen, and so provided Freddie with a refreshingly different view on life.”

Hutton is survived by his brothers, sisters, aunts, other relations, and friends.

Carlow People