Drink Made Him Violent

A Cystic fibrosis sufferer who punched two pedestrians in random attacks has avoided jail after a judge heard prison could adversely affect his condition.

Damien Saul, 26, had been drinking all night before he punched a physicist and an American tourist. The court heard he doesn’t usually drink, and alcohol has a particularly bad effect on him due to his condition.
Saul’s defense counsel said prison would affect his ability to carry out his “cystic fibrosis maintenance procedures,” and that any infection would make treatment even more difficult.

Judge Yvonne Murray called it a difficult case. She said that alcohol would not normally be accepted as an excuse, but this was an exception.

Murphy imposed a 15-month sentence for each attack but suspended them for two years on condition he stays out of trouble. “You have to be careful now with the drink Damien,” she told Saul as he was leaving.

Saul, of Crumlin, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to two men at Arran Quay and Ellis Quay on November 28, 2009.

He has no previous convictions and has never come to Garda (police) attention before.

The first victim was walking to his work as a physicist in Trinity College when Saul and another man approached him. Saul said something to him before “smashing” him in the face.

The second victim was an American holidaymaker waiting at a bus stop on Ellis Quay. Saul asked him for “some change” before threatening, “I’m going to kill you.” Saul then punched the tourist, breaking his nose, and walked away.

He was arrested and initially denied the attacks. He said he had been drinking since the night before and had consumed about 10 pints.

Defense counsel said that Saul suffers “extensive” health problems resulting from his condition and that he is on numerous medications and has to do physical therapy several times a day.

Irish Daily Star

Bored Teenagers

A lack of recreational facilities for teenagers in Killarney is leading to an increased level of underage drinking in the town, according to Kerry county councilor Brendan Cronin.

Cronin told a meeting of Kerry County Council on Monday that the issue of teenage drinking, and in particular how these teens are gaining access to alcohol, needs to be addressed immediately.

He claimed that he is aware of one instance during which an adult man was seen by a parent buying drink for a number of youths, and said this man has been reported to Gardai in Killarney.

“A number of concerns have been brought to my attention on the issue of teenage drinking by parents of young teens who have just started going out,” said Cronin.

“The worrying issue is the consumption and availability of alcohol in the town and the consequences it has.”
Cronin blasted the lack of facilities in Killarney for teens, stating that, bar the cinema, there is absolutely nothing for them to do on a night out.

He said facilities have to be developed for those aged between 13 and 17 years of age, and the issue needs to be addressed with the joint policing board and Killarney Town Council.

Describing the issues as “identical” in Tralee, Fine Gael councilor Jim Finucane said that the council should call on the Kerry Diocesan Youth Service to outline in detail the services that are available in Tralee and Killarney for this age group.

“This is a state funded organization set up to provide facilities for young people, so we should write to them and have them outline what these services are,” said Finucane.

“It seems to me that these agencies have not changes what they do even though the situation has certainly changed.”

The Kerryman

Dogs Left Neglected

Eight puppies were discovered in a derelict house outside Carlow town last week and were so badly neglected some of them had suffered brain damage.

Three of the pups were so ill that they had to be put down, while the rest of them were infested with mange.

A resident in Carlow town stumbled upon the puppies by accident and, sickened by their appalling condition, took them home.

However, he knew that he couldn't help them as they were too far gone and so the little creatures eventually landed in dog lover's Barbara Mooney's house.

Eighty-year-old Mooney runs the Sunset Appeal, a dog rescue home, in Ballycullane, Co. Wexford. She's been rescuing dogs for years but was still shocked by state of the puppies.

“I'm 80 years old now and in all my years, I've never seen dogs in such bad condition,” she said. “I don't understand how anyone could do this. I reckon the puppies were abandoned in the house in Carlow after being neglected for weeks by the owner.”

Once she saw the dogs, she immediately phoned the vet who knew it was too late for three of the wretched creatures.

Mooney says that they were so malnourished they were suffering from brain damage, while another dog was so weak he fell into his water bowl.

The five remaining dogs, which are cross breed Lurchers, are slowly making a recovery and will stay in her home until they're healthy.

She's now appealing for all dog owners, whether in counties Carlow or Wexford or beyond, to contact her if they need help with their pets.

“Any dog in trouble or any dog owner in trouble with their pet should call me and I'll help them,” Mooney said.

Carlow Nationalist

Kept Fundraising Money

A Skerries man who raised €650 for a friend as part of a fundraising project and then failed to hand over the money was made pay back the cash and fined €850 at a sitting of Balbriggan District Court.

Colm McDonough pleaded guilty to deceiving people out of money on dates between July 2010 and August 2010 in Skerries.

Garda Darragh Gannon told the court that McDonough was acting as a fundraiser collecting money for his friend David Lumsden, and deceived a person out of  €100 on a date unknown in July 2010 in Skerries.
He also deceived another person out of €300 on July 21, 2010, at Sherlock Terrace. McDonagh further deceived another person out of €250 on a date between July and August 4, 2010 at Sherlock Terrace, Skerries.

“He received a total of €650 and was supposed to hand it over to the party who was supposed to receive it but this did not happen,” said Gannon.

McDonough's solicitor Donogh McGowan told the court that McDonough was friends with Lumsden and offered to help fundraise for his motorcycle race.

“The money was collected in good faith but when McDonough had the money in his possession, their friendship broke down and my client did not pay over the money to Lumsden,” explained McGowan.
The defendant then ran into financial difficulties and used the money for his own expenses. “He is not someone who went off with a collection box. There was an agreement from the outset,” McGowan said.
“When the friendship fell apart, he put his head in the sand and never faced up to what he had done. This is an unfortunate matter due to the breakdown of a friendship.”

McDonough, 42, who is an unemployed landscape gardener, handed over the €650 in cash to the court.
Judge Patrick Brady fined McDonough a total of €850 for the offenses.

Fingal Independent

Train Your Replacements

STAFF at the Vodafone center in Dundalk are being asked to train the foreign workers who are set to replace them over the next year.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) confirmed that they have been in talks with both Vodafone and Rigney Dolphin, who employ the majority of workers facing redundancy by spring 2012.

Vodafone announced four weeks ago that they are outsourcing over 100 jobs from their centers in Dundalk and Dublin to Egypt and India.

“Vodafone are prepared to offer their staff voluntary redundancy, or redeployment within the company,” said Ronan Cunningham of the CWU Dundalk branch.

“Rigney Dolphin have said they will enter into negotiations with the union to 'map out a process' for those who are contracted by them to work at Vodafone.

“We are also being told that anyone taken on by Rigney Dolphin are not being given the option of voluntary redundancy.”

Instead, he explained, staff who are facing the prospect of being laid off within the next few months are being asked to take on different roles in the time they have left at the company.

The CWU spokesman said the most “unreasonable request” was that staff train foreign workers who are set to take their jobs.

“These staff arrived in Dundalk on Monday, and our members are being asked to train them. You can imagine the way our members feel about this,” said Cunningham.

He said the union had not agreed to this request, and were due to hold a meeting with all of their local members to discuss the requests being made by Rigney Dolphin.

The Argus

Some of the thousands of people that dressed up to take part in the gay pride parade march along the streets of Dublin on Saturday.