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The DSPCA's annual Summer Pet Fest attracted over 3,000 visitors and their pets to the family fun day in Dublin on Sunday. Photo by: Photocall Ireland

Ireland's Eye – A roundup of top Irish news stories

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The DSPCA's annual Summer Pet Fest attracted over 3,000 visitors and their pets to the family fun day in Dublin on Sunday. Photo by: Photocall Ireland

Animal Cruelty Abuse
JEERS and sexual insults were hurled at a woman who went to a Kilrush pub to get water for horses, ponies and donkeys that were standing in the searing heat at the local fair last week.

The woman, who doesn’t want to be named for fear of reprisals, said she “felt very threatened” when she tried to do something to help the animals that she claimed were being ill treated at Kilrush Horse Fair.

“I was horrified to see the horses standing all day in the belting hot sun with no shade and no water. None of their owners would provide water so I had to go in and out of the pub with a small container and give water to them, one by one, amidst jeers and sexual insults,” the woman revealed.

“In about an hour and a half or so I had hydrated all but one, who was so scared of me I had to back away for fear of being kicked. They were so grateful, especially the breastfeeding mothers,” she added.

The West Clare woman said if she had a trailer and €200 to spare, she would have bought a terrified, skinny donkey just to get it out of its terrible existence.

“There was an albino pony that was sunburned around the eyes and nose,” she added.
The person claimed some parked horseboxes contained distressed animals in them.

“One box had three horses squashed into it. They were so distressed they tried to hoof their way out. When they were finally released, they were repeatedly whipped with the reins to calm them down, which common sense will tell does exactly the opposite.

“There was one nice man in the middle who gratefully received the water and thanked me. The rest of them cared nothing for their animals and found it amazing that I care about their well-being.

“I know these fairs are going on for years but surely in this day and age certain standards should be met? The local SPCA attends other fairs around the country. Why not this one?”
The complainant said the reactions she overheard from the tourists were not good.

“Something needs to be done about this. I felt very threatened by the horse owners and they watched me as I went to my car,” she said.

Kilrush town clerk John Corry said the town council was aware of issues at last week’s horse fair.

“I wish to confirm that Kilrush Town Council police the horse fair by means of our community warden. On the day of the most recent horse fair the community warden became concerned for the welfare of some horses because of the very hot weather and reported this to Frankie Coote, SPCA warden. Animal welfare is something which Kilrush Town Council would indeed be conscious of as part of the policing of these bylaws,” Corry stated.

The Clare Champion

Settlement for Girl

A FOUR-year-old Donegal girl who suffered brain damage at birth has received a High Court settlement of €1.3 million after a case was taken against the Health Service Executive (HSE) for negligence and breach of duty.

Sarah McFeely from Lismonaghan, Letterkenny suffered cerebral palsy which resulted in her being severely disabled.

Her mother, Bronagh Colhoun, said she was given an excessive amount of a drug used to stimulate labor which caused her baby to be brain damaged.

There were also deficiencies in the delivery of the baby and in the care she received immediately after birth at Letterkenny General Hospital on September 28, 2008.

The legal action was launched when Colhoun tried to get an explanation for her daughter’s condition, but was refused a meeting with medical staff.

The case has been adjourned for three years, when it is hoped a statutory scheme will be in place to allow for further periodic payments.

Justice Sean Ryan said it was a very good settlement for Sarah. He said while money would not solve the problems, the absence of it could make things a lot worse.

The family’s solicitor said they were pleased with the settlement, but disappointed it had taken so long for the HSE to admit liability.

Donegal Democrat

Bail for Wedding
A BALLYHAUNIS man has been remanded on bail to July 2, in order to give him enough time to get married and have his honeymoon. 


Thomas McDonagh was arrested on May 29 in Ballyhaunis after he allegedly stole a mobile phone worth €180. 
Solicitor Evan O’Dwyer asked Judge Mary Devins to put the matter back to the July 2 sitting of Ballyhaunis District Court in order to give his client time to get married and go on honeymoon. 


After asking for legal aid to be granted as his client is in receipt of social welfare, Devins questioned O’Dwyer in relation to who was paying for the nuptials. 
 O’Dwyer told the court that his client was currently paying off a caravan which he intends to use as a home for himself and his wife-to-be.

The Mayo News

AIDS on the Rise

HIV has continued to rise in Ireland, new figures from the Dublin AIDS Alliance (DAA) show.
On Irish AIDS Day on June 15, the DAA revealed that there were 341 new HIV diagnoses in Ireland in 2012, a seven percent increase on 2011 figures.

Susan Donlon, prevention education and training coordinator, said the highest proportion of new HIV diagnoses was among men having sex with men (MSM).

“This is the highest number of new HIV diagnoses ever recorded for MSM in Ireland,” she said. “We have seen a 180 percent increase in HIV diagnoses among MSM over the past 10 years (from 76 in 2003 to 166 in 2012), and significantly, more than one third (36 percent) of MSM newly diagnosed in 2012 were aged younger than 30 years.”

The 2012 data is contained in the latest HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) HIV and AIDS report that shows how a total of 6,629 people have been newly diagnosed with HIV in Ireland since the early 1980s to the end of 2012.

“Targeted initiatives such as the Man2Man program are fundamental to reaching population groups most at risk of HIV infection,” Donlon added.

“However, if we are to see any reduction in the incidence of new infections, consistent messages over a sustained period of time are required and must be resourced.”

Ireland’s first National Sexual Health Strategy is currently being developed to promote the integration of HIV prevention and health services within a broader sexual health context.

Dublin People

Pro-Life Lit
For Kids

CHILDREN at a South Dublin primary school were given anti-abortion literature by teachers.
Pupils at the Harold School in Glasthule, South Dublin, were told to put the material in their schoolbags and take it home.

It's understood that a senior official connected to the school handed hundreds of pro-life leaflets to the principal and asked they be given to pupils.

The principal is believed to have placed the literature in the teachers' pigeonholes.
It is not clear whether the principal knew what was in the leaflets.

Three teachers, two of them women, handed the material out to the children in their classrooms -– the rest of the teachers discarded the leaflets.

Furious parents demanded a meeting with the school which took place last Thursday.

There were heated scenes at the meeting, according to sources, as parents demanded to know why such material was given to their children.

It's understood that the official responsible for the material attended the meeting and apologized for his actions.

However some parents are understood to be likely to demand the individual's resignation.

"The bottom line is children were given highly politicized anti-abortion material and told to put it in their school bags to bring home.  That is absolutely outrageous and should not ever happen," one parent said.

It's believed that up to 90 children may have taken the material home.

Evening Herald

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