The night fire parade at the Festival of the Fires- The night fire parade at the Festival of the Fires site on the Hill of Uisneach, Co. Westmeath on Sunday night.Photocall Ireland

What Summer?

HOPES of a sunny summer in Dublin are about to be washed away.
Workers returning after the bank holiday weekend will be have to contend with rain, rain and more rain.

Grey skies are set to dominate for the coming week, and there is very little sign that things are going to improve anytime soon.

Forecasters are giving a very gloomy outlook, with the only good news being that the showers shouldn't be heavy enough to cause flood fears.

Wednesday brings the only dry day of the week -- although there will still be a threat of some rain.

Then it is set to get even worse when "rain will arrive in the south and then extend steadily northwards."

Temperatures will be "well below normal" and next weekend isn't looking any better.

Evening Herald

Pot Growers Caught

OVER 200 cannabis plants were discovered by Gardai (police) in a sophisticated grow house operation in a rented property outside Castlerea town.  They discovered over 72,000 worth of cannabis plants in the converted attic of the property.

The attic had been converted to cultivate the production of cannabis with sophisticated heat lamps and a water irrigation system in place.

Up to six officers from the Castlerea Detective Unit were involved in the operation. It is understood that Gardai were acting on a tip off.

They discovered three foreign nationals on the property during the raid. No arrests were made, but investigations are still ongoing.

Sergeant Shane Killian of Castlerea Garda Station said officers were "very happy" with the operation, which had resulted in the seizing of a significant quantity of cannabis plants.

"This was a very successful operation as there were over 200 cannabis plants, over 72,000 worth of drugs. The plants were found in the attic of the rented house. It was a sophisticated job with heating lamps, water and other equipment," said Killian.

It is understood that the bungalow, located in a rural area two to three miles out-side Castlerea, had been rented for the past number of months. 
Roscommon Champion

Hospital Emergency

NURSES have called on hospital management to re-open beds in University Hospital Galway as a matter of urgency to relieve serious overcrowding.

There are now concerns about patient safety in the hospital where patients are left on trolleys in inpatient wards while 17 beds remain closed due to lack of staffing.

Last week were 29 patients waiting on trolleys, marking 10 days in a row that the situation in the Emergency Department was described as “a crisis.”

Hospital management had declared a “full capacity” protocol, which is usually only declared during high emergency alerts such as a major accident.

The crisis has led to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organization calling on hospital management to reopen beds in both UHG and in Merlin Park to relieve the pressure on patients and staff. There are 17 beds closed in UHG and 91 closed in Merlin Park Hospital.

A spokeswoman for the INMO said, “INMO members in the hospital are seriously concerned regarding the health and safety of patients. There are wards in the hospital with insufficient staff to deliver basic nursing care, and the situation is now causing untold human suffering for patients and making it increasingly difficult for members to practice safe care.”

The INMO’s trolley watch shows that 354 patients spent time on trolleys in April, awaiting an in-patient bed.
Galway City Tribune

Swine Flu Sleep
A STAMULLEN woman whose 12-year-old daughter suffers from a sleep disorder linked to the swine flu jab is calling for a compensation program and educational support from the government.

Hilary Dowdall's daughter Chloe was diagnosed with narcolepsy, a rare condition which means she falls asleep suddenly and unexpectedly, six weeks after receiving the Pandemrix vaccine.

Dowdall welcomed last week's report which found the risk of narcolepsy is 13 times higher among those given the swine flu vaccine Pandemrix, compared to unvaccinated individuals, but says she is not surprised by the results.

“We knew there was a link for a long time, but we are glad that it is finally being recognized,” she said.

“We are currently engaging with the HSE and the main assistance we want is educational support, including an assessment for classroom help, psychological exams and counseling, as well as compensation by way of financial assistance.

“It is good that we have been issued with medical cards. However, the clinic Chloe needs to attend is in the Mater Private so we still need to pay.”

The nightmare began for Chloe just a few weeks after she was given the swine flu jab in school, like thousands others in the country.

“She was a healthy, active girl until she got the injection, and then she started to get very drowsy during the day, having to put her head down on her desk at school a few times a day and sleep,” Dowdall says of her daughter.

“After blood tests and brain scans, we were told she has narcolepsy, and she is on a course of stimulants which keeps her awake throughout the day.”

As they processed the devastating news, it wasn't until Chloe's grandmother read an article that they made the link to the vaccination.

“I suppose if I knew what I know now I wouldn't have taken the risk,” says Dowdall.

“The fist reaction is to blame yourself, but there was world-wide panic at the time of the epidemic, and no one questioned getting it.”

Drogheda Independent

McIlroy Kerry Hoax
DOZENS of golf fans and members of the press waited in vain for hours for a glimpse of superstar Rory McIlroy in Ballybunion on Saturday, April 28 after the town's renowned golf club was caught out by an elaborate hoax.

Young McIlroy fans waited for hours at Ballybunion on Saturday morning just to catch a glimpse of the Northern Ireland superstar after word went out that he was coming to town. Some families had arrived to the course before 7:30 a.m. as an excited atmosphere took shape. Photographers, national journalists and crowds of people waited patiently for hours.

However, disappointment began to set in among the group as it became apparent the golfing superstar was not coming. By mid-morning McIlroy's many teed-off north Kerry fans gradually dispersed.

Ballybunion was among four courses on the west coast stung by the same hoaxer. The club was contacted by a man claiming to be an agent for golfer Mark O'Meara, asking if it would be possible for O'Meara and McIlroy to play a round together on the old course prior to attending the Heineken Cup Ulster/Edinburgh match in Dublin.

Ballybunion is no stranger to hosting some of the world's top golfers, with the course among Tom Watson's favorite links. The club took the caller at face value as he came across as very plausible, and they made preparations accordingly.

Extra caterers were called in for the morning and the course was spruced up to ensure it was in tip-top shape for the visiting star.

"It was looking immaculate," photographer Dominic Walsh said. He was dispatched by The Examiner after the paper was contacted by Ballybunion Golf Club following the hoax call.

"The saddest thing about it was the disappointment on the faces of his young fans. There was a lot of junior players there and you could see how excited they were by it all.  

There was a great buzz, but became clear by 11:30 a.m. that he wasn't coming and everyone just kind of dispersed."
Lahinch, Doonbeg and Adare Manor were the other courses reportedly stung by the hoaxer.

The Kerryman