Good and Bad Portlaoise
A lack of jobs in Portlaoise is the worst thing about the town, according to locals.
In a website survey conducted by Portlaoise man John Brennan, one in three respondents declared the lack of employment opportunities as their least favourite thing about Portlaoise.
The town’s litter problem and lack of cleanliness was the second choice.
An absence of Garda presence on the streets (16%), “clannish” locals (8%), poor shopping (4%) and drug abuse (4%) were the other main bones of contention for townies.
Asked what they liked most about Portlaoise, almost 40% of respondents declared the town’s geographical location as their favorite thing.
One in four who replied to the survey said that more jobs would most improve the town; 24% believed pedestrianizing the main street would be the way to go.
However, one person had a novel idea of what would provide the greatest boost to Portlaoise. “Get a KFC,” he suggested.
- Laois Nationalist
Making a Twit of Mayor
The Mayor of Limerick Jim Long is to refer a fake Twitter account to Gardai for investigation in a bid to get it removed.
The Twitter account, called @MayorJimbo, is apparently a parody of Limerick’s first citizen, containing references to his and deputy mayor Kevin Kiely’s upcoming trade mission to China.
Kiely also moved to slam the “sick” people who have set up the accounts on the social media website, and said they should “refer themselves to a psychiatrist.” He said he will also refer the same information for investigation after the account contained thinly veiled references to him.
It is the nature of the comments which has also prompted the mayor to indicate he may launch a private case once the culprit is caught.
One tweet reads, “Shud I sheav off da tash? Kiley sez it is a mark of rirsresprct bad manners to da Ceinee lads. I tink he is taken da piss.”
Another reads, “Off to Chineeland telling the forginers what ta do.”
A further tweet states: “Me chins is wobbling off da scale today [sic].”
Long said, “When I discover this person, I would like to think all their assets are in their own name, because I will take what they have.”
He confirmed the communications had been referred to the Gardai (police), adding, “The disappointing thing for me is that they don’t come up and say these things to my face. But they wouldn’t because they know what they would get.”
Kiely says he believes the Twitter account was set up to mock his and Long’s trip.
“Obviously, some people are sore because we got in there first. I won’t pass any apology to anybody on going on my trip to China with the mayor. I was invited when I met the Chinese Ambassador, and I am going over with the intention of meeting people, promoting Limerick and bringing jobs back.”
- Limerick Leader
Hat Thief Pays
A MAN who stole another man's Munster rugby hat and then bit him on the nose when he asked for it back has been ordered to pay €1,000 to his victim.
Thomas Barrett of Castleisland appeared before Castleisland District Court where he pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at Main Street, Castleisland, on December 19, 2010.
The court heard that Barrett's victim had been standing in a crowd outside a nightclub at around 2: 30 a.m. waiting for a taxi he had called earlier. Barrett then approached him and grabbed a Munster Rugby hat from his head.
When the man asked for his hat back Barrett laughed at him and then "lunged at him" and bit his nose leaving teeth marks.
Inspector Donal Ashe said that the victim told Gardai that Barrett had "bit me like a bear.”
Defense solicitor Dave Ramsay said the offense was on the "lower end of the scale" when compared with other offenses under same act.
He added that his client, a 30-year-old father-of-two, came from a very good family and had not come to Garda attention recently.
Judge James O'Connor adjourned the case until May 30, and Barrett was told to have at least €1,000 in compensation for his victim.
- The Kerryman
Small Schools Protest
MORE than 2,000 teachers, parents and children attended a recent protest march in Castlebar last against cuts to small rural schools.
The demonstrators marched from the Mall to the constituency office of Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny on Tucker Street, where a letter of protest was handed to Councilor Ger Deere, who is also assistant to the taoiseach. During the march, which closed off the town center for over an hour, the protestors chanted, “Enda Kenny, shame on you.”
The march was organized by the Save Our Small Schools Group and comprised pupils, teachers and parents who traveled from all areas of the province. A second march was held in Gweedore in Co Donegal where 500 people took part.
Catriona Carty, principal of Glenmore National School in Crossmolina, promised that further protests would be held in the main towns in every county over the coming weeks.
"We have planned an 'occupy each town' day where protests will be held which will shut down the town for an hour at 2 p.m. on a Saturday until we get a result,” she said.
She said the protest gathered momentum when larger primary schools became involved after realizing the possible effects of the cutbacks to their general teacher allocation hours.
Carty slammed the Irish National Teachers Organization (INTO), describing them as "an absolute disgrace" and accusing them of showing little or no support for their members. She said she had planned to ask all teachers at the protest to pull their membership as the union is doing nothing for rural schools.
- Western People
Cemetery Dog Ban
NAAS Town Council may not have quite gone to the dogs, but local councilors were vocal about a proposal to ban dogs from the cemetery.
Dogs – or what they leave behind them in the form of fecal matter and the unwillingness of some owners to clean it up – led to differences of opinion at a recent council meeting.
Some councilors objected to a move to keep dogs out, except guide dogs.
Councilor Ger Dunne said if people had to leave dogs tied at the cemetery entrance instead the animals might be stolen.
“A lot of people go the cemetery with dogs and it wasn’t a problem in the past. People brings their dogs for a walk there,” said Councilor Rioghnagh Bracken.
Referring to dog dirt left around Naas, Councilor Seamie Moore said, “You’d think it was elephants who did it.” He was opposed to dogs being let in to the burial ground.
Town clerk Ken Kavanagh supported the ban and said that dogs cannot be allowed out anywhere without a leash.
“We’ve had complaints from people about people jumping up on them,” he said.
Although the stipulation banning dogs forms part of new bye-laws governing use of the cemetery, it will not be rigidly enforced.
- Leinster Leader
Pub Kegs Stolen
Brazen thieves loaded kegs of beer and spirits into a van in a Dublin pub robbery -- while the bar was full of customers.
The robbery took place at the Summit Inn in Howth last Thursday night, when a car and a van pulled up outside the pub.
Four raiders broke into the pub and proceeded to remove large quantities of stock.
By the time manager PJ O'Connor came across the robbery, at 9:30 p.m., only one member of the gang was still in the storeroom.
The thief tried to get past O'Connor, who was standing in the doorway, but he threw the hooded thug into crates of beer.
The raider eventually escaped by car with an accomplice, but not before brandishing what appeared to be a weapon when O'Connor ran outside to note the registration plate.
The two other thieves had already left in the van.
Gardai in Howth are investigating.
- Evening Herald