News from around the 32 counties of Ireland, week of August 4 2013


College authorities had urged the tribunal not to hear Pierce Parker’s case, which they described as “a diatribe,” “vexatious and frivolous”.

Mr. Parker, an Asian-American postgraduate student, had made several internal complaints of racial discrimination against fellow students and others between 2009 and 2011 – all of which were dismissed.
[Source: Limerick Leader]


Representatives from Longford’s elderly and disabled population believe sweeping government cutbacks to home adaptation grants will push indebted families deeper into poverty, writes Liam Cosgrove.

It emerged two weeks ago that new applications for house adaptation grants will be sanctioned this year.

North Longford pensioner Mary Ellen Gray was one of courageous few to speak out on the enforced changes. She said the modest incomes senior citizens have to survive on could mean necessary upgrades for some like hand rails, kitchen aids and other appliances might have to be put on the long finger.
[Source: Longford Leader]


A former mushroom site on the racecourse road has been turned into a caravan park in recent times, with up to 13 caravans present on the site at any given time.

A concerned resident from Ath Lethan, the housing estate just across the road from the site, spoke to the Dundalk Democrat about the deterioration of the site over the past eight years.

“I first moved into my residence in Ath Lethan in 2005 and back then the site was being used a dumping ground.”
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]


When John Kearns found a bunch of balloons in some ferns on his land in Carrowkilleen, Crossmolina in the early afternoon on July 20, he gave them to his nephews and their cousin, thinking no more of them.

That was until his brother-in-law, Patrick Howley, Google-searched the web address printed on the balloons, which suggested that the very same balloons had traveled an astonishing 300 miles in 24 hours from Tavistock in West Devon, England.

“John thought there was someone walking along the hedges but after going over he realized they were balloons so he gave them to my twin sons Joseph and Conor and their cousin Michael,” explained Mr. Howley.
[Source: The Mayo News]


A Garda (police) operation to raise awareness of driving behavior kicked-off across the county last Thursday and continues throughout the month of August with checkpoints on the county’s main roads and motorways.

Inspector John Gordon, who is in charge of traffic in the Meath Division, explained that Operation Focus is designed to bring to the attention of road users the ongoing enforcement in relation to the main causes of accidents including speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, dangerous driving, the non-use of seatbelts, and the unlawful use of mobile phones.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]


A new cross-community sports complex close to the Irish border will be called the Peace Link.

The project was supported with $10.3 million worth of funding from the European Union's Peace III program.

The 14-acre in Clones, in County Monaghan, in the Irish Republic, will be designed to host major competitions of all sporting traditions.
[Source: BBC News]


Pigs will fly through the streets of Tullamore on Saturday, August 10, on the eve of the town’s annual show.

The streets around Hugh Lynch’s Bar will be thronged when the novelty pig racing event, which is approved by animal cruelty organizations,, will bring traffic to a halt.

Six pigs along with their own miniature knitted jockeys will take part in each of the six races and will gallop down a purpose built 60-meter track complete with small jumps while bookies will be on hand to take spectator bets before each race.
[Source: Offaly Express]


A 51-year-old man, who raped a young girl on several occasions in County Roscommon and who told Gardaí (police) it was "just a compulsion," has been jailed for eight years.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to five charges of oral rape, five charges of anal rape, five charges of vaginal rape and five charges of sexual assault between 2004 and 2008.

The girl (14) was aged between five and eight when the offenses took place.
[Source: Roscommon Herald]


A “recluse” convicted of sexually abusing a young boy in Ballyshannon in the 1960s and 1970s has been jailed for two years. He was also convicted of indecently assaulting the boy’s younger brother.

Sixty-three-year-old Brian McMahon of Temple Street, Sligo, had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 35 charges of indecent assault between 1966 and 1974, but was convicted earlier this year.

McMahon was six years older than the victim who was aged 10 when the offenses started. He was also convicted on one charge of indecently assaulting the boy’s then 13-year-old brother, between September 1973 and September 1974, also in Ballyshannon.
[Source: Highland Radio]