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


Drunk Drag Queen

A PROFESSIONAL drag queen stopped for drunk driving after a charity event told Galway District Court that he did not walk the five minutes to his home because it was not safe to do so in the city while dressed up as he was.

Eamon Cunniss, 38, with an address in Bohermore, who pleaded guilty to drink driving at Eyre Square on February 6, was later fined €500 with three months to pay and disqualified from driving for a mandatory 12 months.

Inspector Mick Coppinger told the court that at 3:17 a.m. the defendant was stopped on suspicion of drunk driving and later gave a breath sample of 43 micrograms of alcohol per 100 ml of breath.

Defense solicitor Ciara Macklin said that the loss of a driving license would have a profound affect on her client who is a dance teacher and performer, regularly traveling by car and clocking up 900 miles per week. She added that on the night in question Cunniss had been taking part in a charity event in the city.

Noting the defendant’s address, Judge Fahy asked why Cunniss did not take a five minute walk to his house. Cunniss explained that it would not have been safe for him to walk to his home in Bohermore because he was dressed as a drag queen, and that while it is acceptable to do so in Dublin it was not in Galway city.

When Fahy quibbled that he should always bring a pair of flats with him, Cunniss replied, “I do, in my handbag, but it is not very ladylike.”

The defendant, through his solicitor, asked for the disqualification to be postponed as he was due to participate in a number of charity events over the Christmas period.

Fahy then noted that it was unfortunate that Cunniss had not taken the decision to walk home to which Cunniss replied, “I had five G&Ts over the whole night, I didn’t think that would be enough to put me over. And I had a few sausages in the pub.”

“You need to be careful in future. Now when you are doing charity events you have to drink 7Up or water if you are driving,” said Fahy, who postponed the disqualification until February 1, 2012.
Galway Advertiser



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Sick Boy Suffers

AN eight-year-old boy who suffers from cerebral palsy contracted a stomach infection after his family was forced to reuse his feeding syringes because of mismanagement by the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Kyle Corcoran’s mother Amy, from Graiguecullen, has to feed her little boy by tube six times a day. For the past three weeks, rather than disposing of the 60 ml food syringes each time, she has had to wash and reuse them because the HSE doesn’t have any more supplies.

“It’s not good enough. The syringes are very hard to reuse, they’re not designed to be reused. When we’re in the hospital they throw them out after every time. We can’t do that. It’s madness,” added Corcoran, whose son was born with cerebral palsy and learning difficulties.

“This isn’t the first time the supplies have been low. His syringes are special order; it takes a month to order them. He’s on them a year now. They surely know by now he needs them every month.”

Kyle’s weak immune system has suffered as a result of the HSE’s lack of supplies, and he contracted a stomach infection from the syringes.

“It’s very serious. If his infection gets bad he could be back in Crumlin Children’s Hospital. It’s so frustrating and it’s hurting him,” his mother says.

A spokesperson for the HSE declined to comment but added, “The HSE takes any complaints or concerns relating to the level of patient care very seriously.”
Carlow Nationalist

Freezing to Death

ELDERLY people are dying in their own homes because they can’t afford to heat them properly, according to Age Action Ireland Now, which is leading a campaign to force the government to reverse cuts to the free gas and electricity allowances for pensioners.

This shocking revelation that old people are dying from the cold emerged from research carried out by Age Action, which is appealing to people from Laois to support its stance on the issue, stressing that the cuts would cause “severe hardship” to the most vulnerable of older people this winter.

The cuts commenced in September and, as winter sets in, Age Action spokesperson Eamon Timmons described the situation as “literally a life and death issue” for hundreds of older people who will struggle to heat their homes to a safe level in the months ahead.