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


This year he was driven to the shelter of a public toilet during the sub-zero temperatures.

Speaking about Pavelka’s situation, Hassett said his client has been living in these public facilities “during the really harsh weather, and apart from that he has been living rough.”

“He is a victim of the recession. He came here to work when there was work. He invested his time and the rest of his life in moving to Ireland as a permanent move and this disappeared overnight. He is an alcoholic and with time on his hands and with no work, lapsed back into bad habits.

“The prospect of going home is very grim because things are worse at home in the Czech Republic. 

“There’ll be a view that the likes of him shouldn’t be here, but you have homeless people living in Ennis and that’s a reality,” Hassett said.

Clare Champion

Shortage of Graves
THE tradition of burying people in their own parish or village may soon disappear with the introduction of a major restructuring of the cemeteries service by Meath County Council.

As cemeteries in local towns and villages continue to fill up, officials have warned it will not be possible in future for the council to provide replacement burial grounds throughout the county. Cemeteries may in future have to be provided on a “regional” basis.

However, although up to 10 percent of deceased people are cremated, the council has firmly ruled out the building of a crematorium in the county.

The cost of dying, already expensive, will also go up with the strong possibility that charges for graves will rise. At present, a single grave in Duleek cemetery is €600 for a single grave and €1,200 for a double. 

Officials hinted that a future cost in new burial grounds might be pitched at €900 for a single and €3,000 for a four-space plot.

Many cemeteries in the county operate an unwritten “locals only” burial policy to prevent cemeteries from filling up quickly, and the council also has hinted that some Dublin people have sought to bury relatives in Meath cemeteries because of high city burial costs.

Senior council officials Larry Whelan and Caroline Corrigan, in a briefing on the council’s proposed 30-year plan for cemeteries this week, said that economics would dictate that it would not be possible in future to provide a burial ground in every parish. It has also been made clear by the churches that they can be ruled out as providers of new cemeteries.

Meath Chronicle

Childhood Obesity

AN organization representing dieticians has called on the Department of Health to develop a national strategy for childhood obesity prevention.

The Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute said there are only three obesity programs for children in Ireland and that 73 percent of the country does not have access to such prevention courses.

The institute said approximately one in four or 30,000 primary school children are either overweight or obese.

The group has also called for the retail sector to withdraw their vending machines from schools.

The department said that tackling obesity was a priority for Minister James Reilly, who has set up a special action group to address the issue.