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


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


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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.”