Emigration Hits GAA
GAA clubs across Carlow are counting the cost of the economic downturn as they struggle to field teams and are forced to consider amalgamating with the opposition. Mass emigration, alongside retirements, has left the future of clubs around the county in trouble.
Intermediate side Leighlinbridge are just one of the many clubs suffering, having lost eight players from last year’s team, ruling them out of the junior championship. Club chairman Sean Haughney, is fearful.
“We had two teams for the last 10 years. We are struggling now with one team. At the present time if we lost two or three more players we could be in dire trouble,” he said.
In the past he had the luxury of omitting players who did not show for training. This is not the case now.
“We have just asked players to come up and play. That is how bad the scenario is. Realistically speaking we would not have had a team this year if we hadn’t done that,” he said.
But Leighlinbridge are not alone. Naomh Eoin has a strong player base but will only be fielding two teams instead of the usual three.
Clubs who have competed side by side may now have to consider amalgamating if they are to continue to exist.
Haughney said he is “Leighlinbridge to the backbone,” but concedes his is open-minded about the future of the club.
Girl Struck by Needle
A YOUNG city girl was rushed to hospital after she fell into a heap of rubbish containing a half-full heroin needle.
Holly Sheehy, just nine years old, was playing in a laneway near her home on the Abbey Lane, King’s Island with friends when she fell off her scooter into a heap of rubbish next to a laneway close to her home.
This contained a used needle containing what doctors confirmed to be heroin. The syringe connected with the tip of her finger.
After realizing this, Holly’s mother Irene rushed her to the infectious diseases clinic at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital where she was kept overnight.
Now, the St, John’s National School student is on a cocktail of five drugs in the morning and the evening, designed to eradicate any threat of HIV and hepatitis B.
Holly has to take these for the next month, and she has to undergo further tests at Crumlin Children’s Hospital in Dublin.
Her mother-of-10 Irene described it as her “worst nightmare,” and called on the council to carry out daily clean-ups of all housing estates to ensure this appalling incident does not happen to any other youngster.
“I am appalled this is going on in our street. I know people do it [take heroin] but I am appalled that these needles are being left lying around. If it did not stick into my child accidentally, another young person could have picked it up,” she said.
“You just don’t know what is going on in your street when you sleep at night.”
Holly says she is struggling to keep the remedies inside, as they are making her sick.
“I feel so sick and queasy. I am also struggling to keep my food down, and I cannot sleep properly at night,” she explained.
The morning after the incident, Irene approached Sinn Fein city councilor Maurice Quinlivan and her local Garda (police) station at Mary Street.
Both parties contacted Limerick City Council who immediately sent staff to the area to clean up the rubbish.
A BALLINROBE man who has thrown large amounts of rubbish, including soiled nappies, into the rear garden of his home has been given two weeks to get it cleaned up or else face jail.
Tom Sweeney had failed to appear before Castlebar District Court in May. The court heard how a three-foot high “mountain” of dirty nappies was among the large quantity of waste that residents Tom and Ann Sweeney had continually refused to remove from their own back garden. A bench warrant was issued in May for their arrest.
Des Hannick, environmental enforcement officer with Mayo County Council, said that nothing had been done to address the problem.
Tom Sweeney appeared before the court and produced a receipt for a skip which he said would arrive the following day. Judge Mary Devins said that one skip would not clear the rubbish.
Cathy McDarby, defending solicitor, said that her company had been putting pressure on the Sweeneys to get the matter sorted and that the garden was “disgusting.”
“I pity the poor people living nearby, they must have all sorts of furry friends,” she told the court. She asked for one adjournment to try to have the problem dealt with for once and for all.
Ward McEllin, solicitor representing Mayo County Council, said it was time something was done.
“You’ve young kids and one on the way and you are subjecting them and your neighbors to this squalor. The dirty nappies are thrown in a heap in your back garden. How can you consider this acceptable in a modern day society?” he said.
Devins said she didn’t know how a newborn could be brought home to such a dwelling, and said if the Health Service Executive called they might find they need to take the children away.
Devins said the new child will have to cope with having their father in jail if the mess was not cleared up by the time of the next court sitting, July 18. Sweeney also has to bring evidence that he is subscribing to a regular bin collection.
Men Leaving for Work
OVER the past year, the number of men on the live register in Kildare dropped from 12,114 in June 2011 to 11,851 in June 2012, and the number of women on the register increased from 6,897 to 7,169.
According to Teresa Whelan from the Kildare Resource Centers for the Unemployed, less men are availing of their services because they have left the country.
“It’s very simple, the reason that the number of men on the register is falling is because they are emigrating. The Kildare area is experiencing a massive problem with emigration and that is having a bearing on the figures that we are seeing. While there are many couples who are leaving it is primarily men going abroad for work,” she said.
Whelan says that unemployment isn’t discriminating along skill and age lines.
“At our resource centers we are seeing a wide range of people are coming in to us. There are young, medium and old, skilled and unskilled and as well as those who were self-employed and employees in the past,” she said.
The latest statistics show 19,020 people signing on at the county’s three social welfare centers, an increase of 720 on the previous month.
IRISH people are smoking less and younger adults are not buying cigarettes as frequently as their parents.
Research has shown that the average smoker reduced their intake by two cigarettes a day in 2010 compared to the previous 12 months.
The smokers’ survey, conducted by the Revenue Commissioners, showed those under the age of 25 who do smoke are more likely to stub out less than 10 times a day. By contrast, the majority of older people smoke 11 or more cigarettes every 24 hours.
When the research was carried out in 2008, Irish smokers were lighting up 17.74 times a day. This fell slightly when the same survey was done, with a bigger sample, in 2009. And by 2010, the average daily rate had dropped to 15.47.
Face-to-face interviews showed that 29% of Irish smokers paid more than €8.51 per packet, which was before the most recent duty increase imposed by Finance Minister Michael Noonan late last year.
The Revenue Commissioners believe its own studies, coupled with similar research, support the view that the habit is slowly dying out. It said statisticians would have to revise the way they estimate overall cigarette use in Ireland to reflect the declining trend in average consumption per smoker.
"Data from the Office of Tobacco Control [OTC] prevalence tracker suggests that smoking prevalence rates have declined in recent years," it said. "In addition, results from this current wave of illegal cigarettes research and from the OTC smoking prevalence tracker indicate that smokers are smoking fewer cigarettes than before."
According to the Revenue survey, Irish men were still smoking more than women by an average of 1.5 cigarettes a day. The proportion of male heavy smokers (who consumed 21 or more a day) was far greater than women at 13% compared with 5%.
However, the bad habits appeared to be phasing out among the younger generation. Those aged between 18-24 had smoked five less a day (12.39) than those who were between 45 and 54.
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