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

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Over 20,000 people took part in Dublin's annual Gay Pride parade

Rapists on the Loose

The distraught aunt of a Kerry teenager at the center of an alleged rape attack has told of her niece’s shocking ordeal.

And she has warned families in the town to be careful to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen to their children or other female relatives.

Gardai (police) are still hunting for six men, aged in their late teens and early twenties, following the reported daylight sexual attack on the 16-year-old girl, which allegedly took place at Rath Cemetery, on the main Tralee to Killarney road, at approximately 9 p.m. on Sunday, June 13.

The girl, described by her aunt as an "extremely innocent, naïve 16-year-old," said she was initially taken to a house near Rath by six men, whom she described as non-Irish but well known in the area, and then to the cemetery where the alleged vicious sex attack took place.

According to the victim’s aunt, who has gone public in the hope that it will help track down the culprits, the girl is still in a state of shock and the family is unsure how long her traumatic ordeal lasted.

"I don’t think that it has quite hit her yet. It’s been a hectic week for her," said the woman, who cannot be identified to protect the privacy of the young victim.

"We’re not too sure as of yet as to how long she was kept. It’s still quite hard for her. She was taken to a house and then to the graveyard by three men who viciously sexually assaulted her.

"She is 16 and certainly did not consent to it. Either way, it is illegal and an extremely serious crime," she remarked.

The girl’s aunt said the teenager’s mother began searching for her when she failed to return home at a pre-arranged time.

"She was due home at nine o’clock that evening. Sometimes she forgets the time, so my sister tried to ring her. When she could not get in touch with her, she went out to look for her

"She saw her coming running, screaming down the road. She told her that this had happened.”

The woman said the men suspected of involvement were still in the area when her sister found her daughter, but they fled the town soon afterwards.

"She knows what direction they went, but by the time the guards got there, they weren’t around," she said.

The teenager’s aunt appealed for witnesses to come forward and contact Gardai and she explained that the alleged attackers are well known in the area. She also claimed that there has been numerous previous attacks in the vicinity.

"Somebody must have seen something because it was in daylight and it was on a very busy main road,” she said.

"People need to be vigilant and mind their daughters and sisters. They should be aware that these people are around.”

The alleged rape victim’s aunt went on to criticize the circumstances of her niece’s subsequent examination at the sexual assault treatment unit in Cork, where she said, the young girl was examined by a male doctor.

"There was no female doctor available which is another point I want to highlight," the girl’s aunt said.

A special incident room has been set up at Tralee Garda Station and a number of experienced detectives have been assigned to the case.
-The Kingdom

 
No Israel Support

The members of Waterford City Council have backed a call for the expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland.

They were responding to a motion tabled by Sinn Fein Councilor David Cullinane condemning Israel for its attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and the deaths of nine humanitarian aid workers.

In addressing the meeting, Cullinane said, “There are times when you must take a stand and defend what is right. We are taking a stand for those international aid workers who were killed and those attempting to help the long suffering Palestinian people,” he said.

“We are defending human rights, civil rights and international law. Israel is a rogue state, which is out of control. The indiscriminate and indefensible murder of nine humanitarian aid workers was an act of cowardice,” he said.

According to Cullinane, Israel continuously flouts international law. “There is a responsibility on all democrats to defend international law and human rights. Such violations by the state of Israel must meet with resistance and consequences,” he said.

“We must take a stand and go beyond condemnation. We must support the call for the Israeli ambassador to be expelled.”

Councilor Seamus Ryan requested that the motion be forwarded to every other council in the country to seek their support.
-Waterford News & Star

Anarchy in Carlow

Heroin dealing on the streets, violent attacks on women and children, windows of houses and cars smashed in the dead of night -- no, this is not a major center, but rather, it is Willow Park, Tullow Road, Carlow.

The tiny 16-house Carlow town council-controlled Willow Park is in real danger of meltdown following the latest frightening incident in a long-running feud between local residents and a small number of alleged drug dealers and troublemakers.

At 12:45 a.m. on Friday, June 18, the front window of a family home was smashed in with a golf club. Seconds later the windows of the family vehicle were also smashed in, and in the seconds it took for the terrified family to get downstairs, the vandals had fled into the night.

The family, with three young children, stayed awake all night in case the yobs would return, and now they and a number of their fellow Willow Park residents are coming together to make a stand for their children’s future.

“We are standing up together to get the trouble out of the estate,” said one of the residents. “A lot of people are willing to help us and we are not afraid of these people. Something needs to be done.

“They are dealing drugs at the front of the estate in broad daylight. Someone is going to get hurt or burned out of it. What happens next? This is torture up here,” the resident added.

The beleaguered residents claim that their only desire is to have a nice estate where they can rear their children in safety. The council-controlled estate, which borders the private Willow Park, has only been open for four years, but such is the level of intimidation and torment being inflicted on the majority of the residents that many believe something tragic will have to happen before action is taken.

“My house has been robbed twice. We have been assaulted three times in four years, there is anti-social behavior, vandalism, drug dealing, our garden shed was robbed, one woman was assaulted with a Coke bottle, and petrol bombs were thrown at another person’s garden shed,” said a resident.

“My daughter has been slapped around by other children and all of the children in the estate are witnessing this violence. We need to get the trouble out the estate. We won’t lie down on this.”

Assistant town clerk Seamus de Faoite says that the incident on Friday morning is being investigated under the anti-social policy of the council, and that if there are any criminal convictions proven against any tenant, then legal proceedings will be issued to have them evicted.
-Carlow Nationalist

‘Dead’ Baby Alive and Well

The misdiagnosed miscarriage saga at University Hospital Galway took a further twist when the chairperson of the Health Service Executive (HSE) West’s regional health forum revealed he was contacted by the family of a woman who was wrongly told she had lost her unborn baby 19 years ago.

Padraig Conneely said the patient did not accept this viewpoint and sought a second ultrasound scan which revealed her baby was alive. This child is “healthy” and “working” today, said the former mayor.

He was commenting at a meeting of the health forum at Merlin Park Hospital. It heard that 47 people had contacted the helpline set up by the local health authority in the wake of the baby scan errors hitting the headlines recently.

A number of Galway women went public with their stories after a Dublin mother made the news when she told how she was erroneously told by Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda that the baby she was carrying was dead. The Galway mothers were former patients of UHG and had sought second opinions after refusing to accept the hospital’s opinion that they had miscarried their babies.

Referring to the HSE’s Miscarriage Misdiagnosis Review Team, which will examine cases in the past five years where drugs or surgical treatment was recommended when miscarriage was erroneously diagnosed, Conneely said some incidents occurred more than five years ago.

He stated some women who may have been in this position more than 20 years ago and did not seek a second opinion will never know the truth. Most patients, especially in the past, would accept the consultant’s diagnosis.

However, in some situations this has been “sullied” and “tainted” and proved not to be the case regretfully, he said. He feared there may be many incidents going back many years.

A key change in practice is already being implemented in all public maternity units. Consultant obstetricians must now approve a decision to use drugs or surgical intervention in women who have had a miscarriage diagnosed.
-Galway Advertiser

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