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

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News from the 32

Graveyard dispute

A Ballybofey man is threatening to have the remains of his parents exhumed from a Donegal graveyard as he feels their grave has not been treated with respect.

Brian Sweeney said he is considering moving the remains of his late parents from the Stranorlar parish graveyard at Drumboe due to an ongoing dispute he is having with the local graveyard committee.

Sweeney claims graves are driven over by a digger, and the excavation of graves by the digger has been causing the sides of existing graves to collapse and headstones to shift. Headstones have been moved to allow access to the mechanical digger, Sweeney claims.

However, referring to Sweeney's claim that a headstone was removed to allow a grave to be dug, the graveyard committee said in a letter last year that they believe the movement of the headstone was caused by subsidence and the headstone was replaced "in a respectable and professional manner."

Meanwhile, Sweeney wants to erect a surround over the family plot, which the family has paid for, to protect it, but he has been prohibited by the committee, which says the graveyard is a lawn cemetery and surrounds are not allowed.

A sign in the graveyard states that the graveyard is for headstones only and surrounds should not be erected.  The ban on surrounds goes back as far as 1978.

A spokesman for the committee said staff takes great care when working around graves.  He denied that the digger is driven over the grave, but if it does come close to graves any damage done is repaired.

"No other family has had an issue with anything in that cemetery," he said. "This has been a lawn cemetery from day one in 1978, for maintenance purposes."

He said there have been some offenders to the no surrounds rule, but those families will be written to on the matter "as they are going against the wishes of the parish.”

"Down the years the priests have had to refuse other people who wanted to put up surrounds and there were a few who went against that," he said.

A solicitor's letter sent to Sweeney on behalf of the Stranorlar parish in March this year said the ban on surrounds is a "firm rule" and "under no circumstances" should Sweeney attempt to erect a surround.  The committee said that while surrounds had been erected before the formation of the committee, there is nothing they can do about that. "Going ahead, we have to instigate the rule of no surrounds," the letter states.

Sweeney said he is considering the drastic move of having the remains of his parents exhumed and moved to another graveyard.

He has written to the parish graveyard committee and the Bishop of Raphoe Dr. Philip Boyce about the matter.
-Donegal Democrat

Englishman wins claim

An English-born fireman who lives in Co. Limerick has been awarded 5,000 in compensation after an equality officer ruled he was discriminated against by his employer, Limerick City Council.

Martin Mannering initiated proceedings against the local authority two years ago following a number of incidents while he was at work. At an equality tribunal hearing in May, Mannering said on one occasion a racist note was posted on his locker at work.

"This is Limerick, Ireland, not Middlesborough," read the note, which suggested that Mannering should "take the advice" of another named colleague.

The tribunal was told the reference to Middlesborough related to where Mannering was originally from.

Mannering said the anonymous note could only have come from within the fire station, and Limerick City Council had failed to protect him from that type of harassment.

The council rejected the allegation that it had discriminated against Mannering because of his nationality. The tribunal was told that Mannering and his union representative met staff at the human resources department shortly after the incident.

The local authority said Mannering and his representative frustrated an internal investigation of the complaint.

However, in his decision, equality officer Stephen Bonnlander ruled that Limerick City Council had discriminated against Mannering, who began work as a fireman in 2001.

He said the chief fire officer had allowed Mannering to transfer to Dublin Fire Service on health and safety grounds, but had not followed up on his harassment claim.

"I find that the chief fire officer's failure to insist on an investigation, in contravention of the very clear obligations which the respondent's anti-harassment policy places on staff members of his level of seniority, amounts to a failure to take steps as are reasonably practicable to prevent the complainant's harassment,” said Bonnlander.

Limerick City Council was ordered to pay Mannering 5,000 in compensation for distress.
 -Limerick Leader
 
Ancient head found

Forget about a once in a lifetime discovery -- one Mohill farmer made the discovery of, quite literally, thousands of lifetimes, after he uncovered a Neolithic axe head.

Bernie Reynolds was checking on cattle on land at Cloonboney, Mohill on Monday, July 12 when he noticed an unusually shaped stone half lying in the churned-up earth beneath a tree.

Bringing his find home, Reynolds checked the Internet for similar stones and quickly realized that he was, in fact, in possession of a axe head which was at the very least 2,000 years old.

Reynolds immediately contacted experts at the Irish National Museum and sent images of the axe head for evaluation.
A spokesperson for the Irish National Museum, Mary Cahill, confirmed they were following up on the find of "what looks like a very nice stone axe head."

Although she stressed that staff had, as yet, only viewed photos of the find, Cahill said that it appeared to "generally date to the Neolithic period" (approximately between 4000BC to 2500 BC).

Neolithic migrant men and women were Ireland's first farmers who raised animals and cultivated the soil.  A major production and use of Irish stone axes is especially noted during Neolithic times, and while a large number of such axe heads have been found around the country, only 18 finds from Leitrim have been recorded by the National Museum.

A geologist will now be called on to identify the type of stone used in creating the axe head and to also look at the wear on the head itself.

Cahill stressed that anyone who finds an object of archaeological interest is obliged, under Irish law, to report their discovery to the National Museum.

After initial contact museum staff arrange to view the object and will carry out an assessment.
 -Leitrim Observer

Ryanair flyer arrested after complaining about the food
 
A Ryanair passenger has been arrested after he complained about the quality of a 4.50 sandwich.

The man was detained by police when his flight landed after crew complained he had become disruptive.

But Henrik Ulven, 52, from Oslo, said he merely asked for a refund after he bought a sandwich and was unhappy with its quality.
He was shocked when arrested upon arrival at Rygge Airport near Oslo on Tuesday, July 20.

Ulven said he was traveling from Berlin to Oslo when he complained to a stewardess about the sandwich.

"I first ordered a hot meal which they didn't have, and then I asked for a second hot meal which they didn't have either,” he said.

"I asked the girl what they actually had and I ordered a chicken premium sandwich, which cost 4.50 and was supposed to have been freshly made.  My money was in my jacket in the overhead locker so I told her I would pay her when I was able to get up again.

"The sandwich looked nice and healthy but when I tasted it, it was soft and rubbery and nothing at all like it looked in the photo. I called the girl and said I was not paying for that."

Ulven claims the cabin crew member then said she would have to report him to the authorities.
- Belfast Telegraph
 
iPad on Sale

The Apple iPad went on sale in the Republic of Ireland on Friday.

Up to 70 people queued outside Compu b, near Dublin's Grafton Street.

However, queues were not as large as those in the U.K., when the product went on sale there earlier in the summer.

The iPad ranges in price from $600 for 16GB memory and WiFi capability, to $1,000 for 64GB memory and both WiFi and 3G capability.

While retailers say trade was brisk on Friday, the product has not sold out.
 

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