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


Sex Letters to Wrong Woman
A 59-YEAR old man sent sexually explicit letters and sex toys to a woman in her sixties, Ballymena Magistrates Court heard. But it was later discovered that the items were being sent to the wrong woman.

Charles Alexander Waring, from Drumtara, appeared at court to contest the charges of sending articles that would cause offense and harassment. When questioned about the offenses by his barrister Stephen Law, it was revealed that the series of events stems from a relationship Waring had with a woman almost 30 years ago.

"I had a relationship with a woman a long time ago, it only lasted three months.  I never seen her or heard from her since. But then last summer I was in the Tower Center and a young girl in her twenties sat beside me and we got chatting,” said Waring.

Waring told the court the young woman said she was the woman's daughter and encouraged him to get in touch with her and handed him an address in Millfield.  Waring then went on to write three letters of an explicit sexual nature "detailing his exploits,” and how he would be in a position to meet her needs. He posted the letters to the address he was given.

The house he sent the letters to turned out not to be the one intended. It was the home of a woman in her sixties who was clearly distressed by the graphic sexual descriptions.

Asked by his lawyer if the details he had included in the letter were a true "reflection of his prowess,” Waring answered no, explaining his health would not allow him.

Waring went on to tell the court that he was surprised he had not received a reply, so he continued to send a further eight letters detailing his so-called "ability" and many suggestions of role plays.

The court heard how the defendant went to great effort and expense with what he posted by including items such as pornographic catalogues and explicit lollipops.

When asked if it came as a shock that he had in fact been sending the letters and items to someone else, Waring said he was "embarrassed and ashamed" and that he had never met the woman who lived at the address.

The court also heard that Waring got the bus to Millfield and walked around the area where the occupant of the house was able to see him and subsequently felt harassed.

District Judge Perry questioned Waring on why he did not approach the house, to which he said he was "too nervous and not in the right frame of mind.”

Perry added, "Can I say the details in these letters is not indicative of someone who is nervous!"
Asked was he a bit of a fantasist Waring answered, "A wee bit.”

Judgment on the case was reserved.

Ballymena Guardian

Job or House
A DERRY mother says she’s been told she may have to give up her job to secure a house for herself and her two children.

Erin Doherty, from Abbots Walk in the Bogside, says she is considering walking out of her job at a local restaurant in a bid to maximize her chances of getting a Housing Executive property.

Doherty, who’s been on the housing list for more than three years, says she is currently sleeping on the sofa in a relative’s house, where one of her children has to share a bedroom with his grandmother.

She claims she’s been told that the only way to secure the points she needs to get a house is to become unemployed.

Kathleen Bradley, of the Dove House Community Assist Project, said many people are considering giving up their jobs to land a Housing Executive property.

She explained that Doherty has 160 points on the housing list but requires 180 to stand any chance of getting a house.

“This is the dilemma that Erin is now faced with -- work on or be housed,” said Bradley.

At present, Doherty and her two kids, aged one and three, live in a three bedroom Bogside property with their paternal grandmother, two uncles and aunt.

“I sleep on the sofa, Xavier in a cot beside me and Caidin shares a bedroom with his granny,” she said.

“It is no way to live.”

Derry Journal

Not So Happy Memories
FOURTEEN survivors from the 1949 sixth class of St Patrick’s National School in Castlebar came together last week for the first time since leaving it 63 years ago. Reminiscences were exchanged and lifetime experiences recounted as the motley bunch gathered outside the old school at Chapel Street to bridge the chasm.

The world was recovering from World War II in 1949. The inter-party government led by John A. Costello was in power.  Mayo were about to win the Connacht senior football title for the second year running, and the pupils of sixth class had just sat the primary cert.

There were 40 in the class from all social strata. Some had stayed on for a second year not so much to repeat the exam as to reach their 14th birthday when they would be released at last from the horrors of a harsh regime.

There was no central heating in those days. Blazing turf fires in the winter, for which pupils were expected to contribute a couple of hard-found shillings annually, provided the heat that never reached those sitting in the middle or in the back seats.