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


Great Game for Armagh
GOSFORD Castle will feature heavily in the third series of the hit HBO show Game of Thrones. Filming at the castle and the surrounding forest started last week and continued well into the weekend.

But only a few lucky members of the public were able to catch a glimpse of the cast as a blanket of security descended upon the immediate area. Dozens of lorries took up car parks throughout Gosford, while numerous cameras have been placed on and around the castle.

This isn't the first time that Gosford has featured in Game of Thrones following a brief appearance in season two. As well as that, staging was set up in the picturesque gardens while scenes were also shot deep within the forest.

The return of Game of Thrones has been greeted with plenty of excitement from local fans of the show. Fans have traveled from across Northern Ireland in a bid to catch a glimpse of the action. But a veil of secrecy has been placed on everyone involved in the show, from lead actors, extras and production staff. 

While little secret has been made that the show is mainly based in Northern Ireland, the exact whereabouts of filming has remained a tight-lipped secret. But what is known is that, given filming has been continuing for almost a week, the Armagh landmark is set to play a key role in season three of the show  

The pilot program and the first two series of Game of Thrones attracted funding of £6 million from Invest NI, but that money has been shown to have brought in £40 million to the Northern Irish economy. And another £3.2 million of public money will go towards the series currently being filmed.

Ulster Gazette

Exposed Man Fined
A MAN who was lying on the street with his genitals exposed as children played in the area has been fined £200.

Kevin Joseph Grint, of Harty Court, pleaded guilty to indecent behavior on July 13.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard police were called to the Ballymagroarty street at around 6 p.m. because the 54-year-old had been lying in the street with his trousers around his ankles and his “genitals clearly exposed.” The court was told there were children in the area at the time and their “mothers removed them as quickly as possible.”

Another neighbor got Grint back into his home, and when police arrived it was clear he was drunk. When asked about the incident he told police that his “belt wasn’t working and my trousers fell down.”

A defense solicitor told the court her client was going to another house in the street to get a loan of a belt when he tripped and his trousers fell down.

She said it was “not a deliberate attempt to go out and behave in an indecent manner” or to offend anyone.

The solicitor added that Grint was “highly embarrassed” for the “dreadful incident” and “accepts it shouldn’t have happened.”

Fining Grint £200, District Judge Barney McElholm also imposed an offender levy of £15.

Derry Journal

Priest Says No Abortion
AN Arranmore curate has told his congregation that any legislation on abortion should not be passed under the terms of the X case, saying he believed that would make Irish abortion laws the most liberal in Europe.

Father John Joe Duffy told parishioners that he welcomed the decision of Donegal County Council, which voted at their regular meeting last month to oppose any form of legislation of abortion.

“I welcome the decision taken by Donegal County Council in relation to their stance on the abortion issue, in that they are not in favor of the minister for health, James Reilly legislating for abortion under the terms of the X case,” Duffy said.  The X case in 1992 concerned a 14-year-old Irish girl who was raped by her neighbor and got pregnant, but Irish law at the time prohibited her from getting an abortion even though she was suicidal. 

However, the head of the Irish Family Planning Association said that even if legislation were brought in for the X case, Irish legislation would remain among the most restrictive in Europe.
Duffy called on all political representatives to state their position on the subject.

“It is time to get off the fence. I am calling, in particular, on Sinn Fein locally and nationally to clearly state where they stand, in the same manner that I am calling on all political parties to clearly state where they stand. It is now time for political parties to show moral courage and protect the rights of the unborn child,” Duffy said.

He added that this was going to be a very difficult debate, and urged everyone to be sensitive to the language they use.

“Abortion is wrong under any circumstances and no matter how you may try to dress it up linguistically, it is what it is,” he said. “But we must be exceptionally sensitive in our use of language in relation to the future debate which will be on abortion.”