Ireland's Eye - A round up of top Irish news stories


Ban Hoodies
A CASTLEBAR councilor has called on the local council to examine the possibility of banning hoodies in the town.

Michael Kilcoyne made the comment at a Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting last week.  He said that a number of crimes, including the theft of a bread van, have been committed by hoodie-wearing culprits.

Kilcoyne said that the garment makes it difficult to identify criminals on CCTV.
Superintendent Joe McKenna said that hoodies often make CCTV identification difficult, but the same applies to hats and scarves.

Meanwhile, the JPC was told that in 50 percent of juvenile crimes committed in the Castlebar area, alcohol is a factor.

Last year there were 108 juvenile referrals to Garda (police officer) Mick Fahy. Court action was involved in 36 percent of cases.

Fahy said that one individual was responsible for a quarter of the offenses that came before the court, and a total of five teenagers were responsible for all the young offenders cases which came before the courts in 2012.  Fahy said that the juvenile crime figures in Castlebar are improving.

“A very small handful are responsible for most of the stuff that goes on,” he said.
In 2012 there was a decrease in all crime, apart from robbery.  The Gardai asked for young people to come forward if they themselves are a victim of crime.

Western People

No Easter Meals

EASTER was the “last straw” for the Canal View Restaurant in Keshcarrigan which closed its premises last week.

Despite advertising locally, ordering food and having staff waiting “we didn’t get one phone call over Easter,” owner Steve Taylor said.

Taylor, who took over the restaurant 18 months ago, said they “lost a fortune” over the Easter holidays, and they had no other option but to close the restaurant located on the Fenagh side of Keshcarrigan.

Taylor said they enjoyed their time in Keshcarrigan over the past year and a half.  They had a great year in 2012 but this year was a bit of a no show.

“Christmas was okay, we were closed for January and February, and March opened well but Easter let us down,” Taylor said.

He said he even checked the phone line to see if it had been working because they were so shocked at the lack of phone calls.

He said in Keshcarrigan they have no “passing trade” if people are going to dine, they usually plan ahead and book.

Following on from Easter, Taylor said they could not see any future. “It is a losing battle” he sighed.

Leitrim Observer

Lucky Butcher
A LONGFORD father of two who scooped over €1 million in Saturday night’s national lottery only purchased his winning ticket because of a last minute decision to visit his local butcher.

Ger Hand only made his way into Lanesboro with the view of picking up a few items from the south Longford village’s sole meat specialist, Terry McLoughlin.

But it was also an apparent lack of car parking availability on what was a typically busy Saturday that ultimately convinced the Newtowncashel man to try his luck in the national lotto.

“I was on my way into Lanesboro and just said to myself I’d go into the butcher.  I remember pulling out €15 from my pocket, getting a mineral and about to do a €10 quick pick. Whatever came over me I changed my mind and said, Ah sure I’ll do a €12 one instead,’” he recalled less than 48 hours after his €1.25 million win.

As it turned out, that late change of heart had little affect as Hand’s winning numbers appeared on the ticket’s penultimate line, allowing him to scoop one half of the Saturday, April 13 €2.5 million jackpot.

The Bord Na Mona employee said the trip to butcher McLoughlin led to his good fortune.

“There’s no doubt about it.  If Terry wasn’t there I wouldn’t have done it,” Hand said.

And in a further twist, Hand revealed he didn’t actually check his ticket until the following morning.

“We were at a function in the Peer Inn in Newtowncashel when Margaret Gillen, our local hairdresser, mentioned that Joe O’Brien had sold the winning ticket,” he said.

A quick visit down to O’Brien’s confirmed what Ger had suspected all along, paving the way for widespread celebrations.

Asked how he intended spending the money, Ger confided both he and his family were still weighing their options.

One decision he has made his mind up about, however, is his day to day work with Bord Na Mona.

“Oh be God, I’ll keep working,” was his frank and sprightly reply.

“Nothing is decided yet, but I’m not going to go around and start leaping around the place.”

The one bonus, he said, was the fact he could now give his two daughters, Ann-Marie and Laura the future he had always longed for.

“At least I have their education secured. That, to tell you the truth, is a weight off my mind especially with the way the economy is going,” he added.