A MEMORIAL to two children killed by an IRA bomb in Warrington, England in 1993 has been stolen.
A plaque that formed part of the River of Life, a memorial for victims of the Warrington blast, was taken from a wall in Bridge Street in a suspected metal theft.
Three-year-old Johnathan Ball and 12-year-old Tim Parry were both killed by two small bombs placed in litter bins on the street, while 54 others were injured in the Cheshire town.
The Bishop of Warrington, the Right Reverend Richard Blackburn, said his prayers were with both families.
He said, "This is senseless vandalism, grieving not only the families but the whole community. I appeal to all who have any information to assist the police and help take this investigation forward.”
Tim Parry's father, Colin, said there had been a spate of war memorial thefts around the U.K.
"Anyone with a conscience or any sense of decency would know that there might be other things that might be less emotionally damaging to take,” he said.
His son was killed when two bombs exploded within a minute of each other on March 20, 1993, in an area crowded with shoppers.
Johnathan died at the scene, while Tim was gravely wounded. He died on March 25 when doctors switched off his life support machine.
The memorial was stolen some time between April 20 and May 5.
Heroin Easier Than Milk
DROGHEDA'S ongoing drugs problem is being ignored by local politicians, it has been claimed, with not one elected representative turning up to a recent debate on the issue.
The Drogheda Drugs and Alcohol Forum held a meeting featuring a drug busting detective and a counselor from the Aislinn Center, who outlined the ongoing issues with abuse and addiction, but only a handful of people turned out to listen to them.
“It's easier to get heroin than a pint of milk in Drogheda. We have a huge problem here with alcohol and drug use and an increasing dependency on prescription drugs. We wanted people to hear those stories tonight, but they didn't turn up,” Kieran Traynor from the forum stated as he looked around the room, which had barely 20 people in it.
The group posted out over 178 invitations and contacted over 200 more people.
“We invited all the politicians . . . we invited schools to come and hear what's going on, first hand.
But they are not here,” he continued.
It was revealed that drug deals take place on a regular basis on West Street and much more needs to be done to alert the public about the problems out there.
The gathering heard detailed information from Detective Sergeant Brian Mohan, who admitted that his unit is “flat out” in the war on drugs.
He maintains the biggest problem facing society is alcohol, because that's where addiction begins, and he feels there must be a two-fold campaign to tackle drugs, via education and supply reduction.
“The Internet is a huge issue now and that is where parents must be vigilant. Children from as young as 10 are on tablets. The whole thing has exploded,” he stated.
“You must also be aware that your child's best friend could be their drug dealer. They don't hide down alleyways. They are out there in the community and you must make sure you know your children's friends.”
A DRUGGED driver who managed to drive his car on three wheels while sparks flew off the front rim at 50 mph was banned from driving for 10 years.
At Mallow court, Superintendent Pat McCarthy said Garda (police officer) John Horgan observed the driver, John Casey, driving "with the front tire missing while the car drove on the rim with sparks coming off the wheel," at 6:50 a.m. at Kilnockan in Mallow.
Horgan signaled for the silver Honda Accord to stop and the driver pulled into a petrol forecourt.
The court heard Casey had 52 previous convictions and was already banned from driving.
Casey, of Fairhill, Cork, was arrested and taken to Mallow Garda station where a sample tested positive for cannabis.
Solicitor Cathal Lombard said his 37-year-old client was married with four children and was unemployed. He said Casey had gone through some severe difficulties in his life, but is taking steps to improve.
Judge Brian Sheridan issued a four month suspended sentence. "If he follows the routine which he now wants to take then he will do well," said Sheridan.
Daughter Refuses School
THE father of a 14-year-old girl who attended just eight days of school during her first year at secondary school has been told he will face a custodial sentence if his daughter does not attend school for the remainder of the year.
The man, who cannot be named, appeared before Balbriggan District Court as a result of a prosecution taken by the National Education Board.
Solicitor for the defense Fiona D'Arcy said her client was entering a plea of guilty. She said he admitted his daughter was not attending school but this was through no fault of his own.