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


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.

Carlow Nationalist

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.

Limerick Leader

Filthy Backyard

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.