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The family of a five year-old girl who suffers from a rare bone disorder are facing being made homeless as their benefits have been stopped.

Sarah Morrison was born with brittle bone disease and has only survived due to specialist care received in the UK.

The family moved to Sheffield from Letterkenny so that Sarah could be close to the specialists in the Sheffield Children’s Hospital. The family returned to Letterkenny in October and made claims for benefits.

The Department of Social Welfare has written to the family saying payments will be stopped until information requested has been given. Sarah’s father say he has given all information requested and cannot understand why the payments will be stopped. The family’s landlord has now ordered them to leave their home in Letterkenny by the end of the month because €970 of rent has not been paid. The family were hoping that back payments from the department would cover the rent arrears.

Mr. Morrison says he has stopped social welfare payments he was receiving in the UK, closed his bank account that the payments were being paid to and has sent his tenancy agreement to the department as requested.

Sarah requires 24-hour care and Mr. Morrison had been receiving carer’s allowance while Sarah’s mother has been receiving disability allowance because she suffers from severe epilepsy.

Sarah was born with 30 rib fractures due to the rare bone condition osteogenesis imperfecta she was given just 48 hours to live. But she has defied medical experts by surviving to five
She needs 24 hour care and has a feeding pump and a nasal-gastric tube. She could break bones just by sneezing or coughing.

She attended Letterkenny General Hospital up to 15 times a month and must attend a Dublin hospital every three months for treatment.

“We are going to be homeless at the end of the month. A disabled child is going to be on the street. We do not have nay money to secure another tenancy. The landlord has been very patient.”
(Source: Donegal Democrat)


A Pontzpass man has escaped immediate imprisonment after his elderly victim - described by the judge as "everybody's granny" - said she just wants to be left alone.

District Judge Eamonn King had deferred sentencing Christopher Smith of Aughan Road in order to allow his elderly neighbor, who he admitted assaulting in her home, to give a victim impact statement.

Smith has originally planned to contest the case against him but changed his plea to guilty on the day of the hearing.

The court was told that police were contacted by Smith's neighbor shortly after 9pm on May 21. 
She told the officers that the 25-year-old had forced his way into her home demanding money.

Describing his eyes as "bulging and crazed as if he was high", the 69-year-old victim told police Smith had pushed her and ripped her glasses from her face.
Police later found the injured party's glasses in the pocket of Smith's tracksuit bottoms.

The court heard that he denied everything and told police he'd been at a friend's house where he'd drank two bottles of wine. 
Describing his neighbor as "a frail lady", Smith claimed that he would call regularly with her and help her out by doing errands. He subsequently claimed to have no memory of the evening in question.

However, on the day of his scheduled contest the court heard that Smith accepted the prosecution's version of events and was thoroughly ashamed. 
The court was told that he'd been drinking at a friend's and had taken a taxi home "after a long and heavy day" but didn't have the £3.50 taxi fare and had called to his neighbor's convinced that she owed him money. 

(Source: Newry Democrat)


A man who sexually abused his girlfriend's 12-year-old sister after a party in her house has been given community service instead of a jail term.

The Romanian claimed afterwards that he had no recollection of the incident because he was too drunk.

Judge Desmond Hogan said that it was a serious offence but at the lower end of the scale. He sentenced him to two years, suspended in full on condition he completes 240 hours community service.

The man pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexually abusing the girl in the bedroom of her Dublin home in the early hours of April 26, 2009.
(Source: The Evening Herald)


A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a 27-year-old businessman convicted of selling food that was unsafe to eat.

Members of the public may have unwittingly eaten the chicken and turkey produced by Nigel Desmond Wilson at his slaughterhouse at Newtownbutler in Co Fermanagh.

The prosecution was brought by the Food Standards Agency.

Fermanagh Magistrate's Court heard that when Department of Agriculture and Rural Development officials visited the plant on the Crom Road at Newtownbutler they found decaying animal by-products infested with maggots and blood stains on the floor and clothing and no cleaning process in operation.