Teen Waits on Trolley
A 15-YEAR-old girl from Limerick city remained on a trolley for over 50 hours in the Mid-Western Regional hospital last week as she waited to be treated for a kidney and bladder infection.

The mother of the teenage girl, who did not wish to be named, said she was admitted to the hospital at 8:30 a.m. on Monday after she collapsed at home and was transported by ambulance to the hospital.  On Wednesday afternoon, after being on a trolley for 54 hours, her daughter was finally moved to a bed.

Figures released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organization show that 27 people were on trolleys in the Regional on Wednesday alone, among some 385 people waiting on trolleys for a bed in hospitals across the country. 

A spokesperson for the hospital said the facility is under “acute pressure” due to a number of factors including the vomiting bug, respiratory ailments and a post-Christmas surge “which seems to be more pressing this year than previous years.” 

The mother said she was told at 2 a.m. on Wednesday that her daughter was being moved to a bed, but said she was simply moved to another trolley in a corridor of one ward with a screen around her.

“She’s only 15 years old and looks like someone homeless the way she’s been left on the trolley. I just feel like crying looking at her,” she said, speaking before a bed was located.

“The nurses and doctors have been fantastic, but are rushed off their feet and can’t do anything more for us.

“People beside her were nearly falling on top of her. You couldn’t walk around the trolleys there was so many around her. She has a kidney and bladder infection and also picked up the vomiting bug since she’s been in the hospital.”

Limerick Leader

Frozen Food Thieves
WHEN Margaret McGee went to get her family some food on New Year’s Eve, she felt a little bit like Mother Hubbard. But instead of her cupboard being bare, she discovered that sneaky thieves had stolen every bit of food out of her fridge freezer.

“All I was left with was a pepperoni pizza,” she said. “Every bit of food I had in the chest freezer in my outside shed was gone.”

McGee, of Woodview Close, explained that while she has a freezer in her kitchen, she keeps a chest freezer in her shed to store extra food in.

She reckons the fast food thieves struck sometime between Christmas and December 31 when she asked her daughter to get food from the freezer.

“I had been using the food from inside the house full sure I had a back-up supply, but when my daughter came back and said there was nothing in the freezer I was shocked,” she said. “All the meat and vegetables that I had were gone. I was left with just the pizza.”

McGee said the thieves must have either brought a large bag to carry the food away or else made a number of trips to her freezer.

“They had to get over an eight-foot wall. The back gate was locked all the time. I think they scaled the wall because they left a garden chair against it,” said McGee, who said the only time she left the house over Christmas was to attend bingo.

“Times must be really hard when people are breaking in to take food,” she said, adding that she heard reports of other people in the area having bags of coal stolen.

McGee reported the theft to the Gardai (police), who told her they had heard of people stealing heating oil, but this was the first time they had heard of anybody taking food.

Tipperary Star

Early AM Predator
A DISABLED pensioner who was the victim of an early morning sex pest has issued an emotional warning to other women in the Ballymoney area after she was left shaken and afraid.

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, was taking her dog for their regular early morning stroll close to her Cloneen Drive home around 6:50 a.m. last Monday when a man dressed in dark clothing stepped out of the bushes and asked her to perform a lewd sex act on him. 

"I have lived in Ballymoney all my life and can genuinely say I have never been afraid before now. I was just going about my normal routine, walking the dog when all of a sudden this man appeared in front of me, touching himself and going over rude talk,” the mother of three said.

“I was scared, but didn't want him to see that I was so I told him I couldn't make out what he was saying. He came closer and repeated his request, but this time my dog jumped up on him and started to growl, so the man stepped back. “It was disgusting. My concern was for some young girls that I often meet at that time of the day."

The woman said as soon as she reached her home she locked her door and called the police.
She added, "I am disabled so I can't move very fast, but I kept looking back at where this man had been to make sure he wasn't following me home. I called my daughter who calmed me down and scolded me for being out so early that it was still dark. I won't be doing that again." The feisty pensioner said the exchange shook her "to the core" and left her feeling vulnerable. She added, "I would warn others to be wary if they were to stumble across this man. Stay away from him and be careful, because his tone of voice was scary."

Ballymoney Chronicle

Semi-Naked Disco
THE organizer of a Roscommon Town teenage disco has “apologized sincerely” to parents who have expressed outrage at their children posing for pictures with semi-naked models, which were uploaded to the Internet.

Almost 500 teenagers attended a recent Christmas disco which was organized by Sonic Ents, a Roscommon-based company. At the event, two scantily dressed females and a male posed for photographs with the teens. More than 500 photographs were later uploaded to the company’s Facebook page.

A spokesperson for the events company explained that the disco was aimed at teenagers from 14 to 18 years old, but accepted that younger people may have gained entry.

“We had a fire and laser show outside as part of the event. The two female entertainers performed fire breathing outside the hotel, but I didn’t know what costumes they were going to be wearing. It was through a promotions company in Dublin that I organized them,” he said.

“It was a Christmas disco, so I wanted a Santa to be there. I didn’t know that he was going to be wearing just a pair of shorts, but I really did not intend to cause any upset and I apologize to any parents who were offended.”

Management at the Abbey Hotel, where the disco was held, also condemned what took place at the teenage event. “We have made our feelings known to the promoter and can assure people that this will not happen again,” said Tom Grealy.

The spokesperson for the organizers maintained that all posters promoting the event advised that there would be photography on the night.

“We’ve had six discos previously and nobody has complained about the pictures being uploaded. If anyone wants to contact us, we can remove them, but it is stated clearly on the adverts for the discos,” he said.

“We work very hard to ensure that those who come along are safe, that there is no alcohol and no fighting.  Eight licensed bouncers were hired as well as other staff on duty on the night to ensure the safety of all those who came through the doors.”

Roscommon Herald

New License Rules
MOTORISTS applying for a driving license will have to travel to an approved central depot to have their photograph taken.  The move comes in after new regulations came into play this year.
And the cost of a new license will is also set to increase to €55, more than double the current charge of €25.

From September photographs for the new credit card sized license can only be taken by Credit Card Systems, a Dublin-based company appointed by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to operate the system nationally.

However, it means that applicants will no longer be able to go to their local pharmacy or local photographer because only images taken by Credit Card Systems will be accepted.

It is understood the company will provide more than one official application point in each county, but it has yet to announce where these will be.

The Irish Pharmacy Union says the change will have a devastating impact on their members with possible job losses.

"It doesn't make sense that you can get a passport photo taken locally by a pharmacist or photographer or even yourself, but now you have to deal with a firm nominated by the RSA to get a driving license picture taken," he said.

The union has called on the RSA to reconsider and allow people have their photograph taken wherever they wish.

"This would ensure that consumer choice and a level playing field prevails in the market," they added.

From the end of next week all first-time learner permits and first-time driving licenses will be issued as a plastic card the size of a credit card.

Evening Herald

Model and fitness fanatic Holly Carpenter at the launch of the Life Style Sports Mens & Womens Fitness Campaign 2013Photocall Ireland