Dolphin lover’s sad death

The funeral of a Dublin mother who died while on holidays after fulfilling a lifelong dream took place on Monday.

Mother of two Jane O'Connor, 49, suffered a massive heart attack just hours after swimming with dolphins in a Florida water park.

The service took place in the Church of St. Paul of the Cross in Mount Argus, the same church where she got married to her husband Niall.
It was Niall who found the body of his wife of 23 years on Friday, August 13 in the holiday home where they were staying.

Along with their two teenage sons, Luke and Aaron, they had been on a two-week holiday to celebrate Jane's 50th birthday. She would have been 50 this week.

Just hours before her death, the family had spent the day in the Discovery Cove theme park. There, Jane was finally able to fulfill her dream of swimming with dolphins.

O'Connor said his wife, who was a special needs assistant, had loved dolphins and had always wanted to swim with them.

Instead of holding a party for her 50th birthday, the family decided to go to Orlando.

Jane died after returning to their rented holiday home from a meal out. She was found collapsed in a bathroom just before midnight. Efforts by emergency services to revive her failed and she was pronounced dead in hospital a short time later.

O'Connor described Jane as his "life," adding the family has lost someone "very, very special."

Her death notice states she died suddenly "on her dream trip to swim with the dolphins in Florida."
- Evening Herald
Heartless dog thief

A Northside Dublin girl has been left devastated after her beloved dog, which she bought with her Communion money, was stolen from her garden in Swords.

Alanah Gargan’s precious whippet pup, which she bought from the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) 18 months ago, was taken from the family’s garden in broad daylight on Sunday, August 1.

The 10-year-old girl is inconsolable. She isn’t sleeping and looks out the window from morning till night hoping that her dog will return.

The whippet, named Lucy, is described as being one of the most gentle of dogs and terrified of nearly everything. It is believed she may have been stolen for breeding purposes.

However, Alanah’s mother Naomi said that the pet is invaluable to her family but completely worthless to anyone else as she is neutered.
“We are just devastated,” she said.  “I can’t understand how anybody would be so cruel as to take a child’s dog.”

Lucy was badly physically abused and neglected before she was rescued by the DSPCA.

“She’s like another member of the family,” Naomi stated.   “Lucy has been my daughter’s best friend for the last 18 months.”

The devastated family have put up posters all over the North Side and have posted appeals and information on all lost dog sites in Ireland and the U.K. for fear the whippet has been taken abroad for breeding.

This type of dog is popular with “dognappers” as they are bred and their offspring sold for a hefty price.

The Gargan family are sure that Lucy hasn’t run away as she has never done so before. She is also micro-chipped so if she was found the family would have heard by now.

“Lucy got a raw deal when she was abused and neglected before,” Naomi explained.

“We had given her a good home and lots of love only for her to be taken again. It’s just awful and we can’t help but think of what state she’s in right now.”
-Dublin People

Mortality in Derry

People living in deprived areas of Derry are likely to die five years earlier than those in other areas of the city, it has emerged.
The figures were revealed in the first annual report by the director of public health.

They also show that people from all areas of the city have a lower life expectancy than the Northern Ireland average for both men and women.

In Northern Ireland, the life expectancy for males is 76.2 years and for females 81.2 years. However, in Derry, the life expectancy is 74.5 years and 79.7 years respectively.

In the Brandywell, life expectancy for males is lower again at 70 years, and in Shantallow the life expectancy for women is less than 75 years.

The report also revealed further inequalities of health in Derry's most socially disadvantaged areas.

People living in deprived areas of the city are more likely to die from an alcohol related death, be admitted to hospital for self harm or smoke during pregnancy. Teenage pregnancy rates are also higher in deprived areas of the city.

Smoking is also a huge concern for the Public Health Agency, with one in three Derry people smoking and unskilled manual workers four times more likely to be a smoker than the professional classes.

This is also putting a significant burden on the health service, costing £23 million per year.
-Derry Journal

Sloppy cows

Shameless hussies are making a right royal mess at one of Sligo’s top tourist attractions, and the locals are hopping mad.

And no, it is not any Big Brother wannabes, but a herd of cows who are causing a bit of a stink on Mullaghmore beach which has recently lost its blue flag status.

Visitors to the golden crescent beach are having to tread softly lest they tread on some squelchy cow droppings on the golden strand.
Last week an eagle-eyed north Sligo resident said locals are sick and tired of seeing cows taking over the beach.

“They even had a wee Charolais bull with them last week and were driving him clean mad. There were about 15 cows and a few bould heifers strutting around the beach like they were on some kind of fashion parade,” said the local.

“They were after having a good feed of grass and then they started to decorate the beach with their droppings,” the resident lamented. “What tourist wants to lie down with their towel on the beach and waken up beside a smelly ugly cow?”

The resident called on Sligo County Council to put up a fence to stop the bovine invasion.

“This is an absolute disgrace and I am calling on the council to put up a fence immediately. Mullaghmore beach is the jewel in the tourist crown of north Sligo. We don’t want it to turn into a public sewer for silly cows and a brainless bull.”
- Sligo Weekender

Horse abandoned

An emaciated, starving horse was rescued in Portarlington recently, highlighting the growing problem of unwanted horses in the county.
The charity Irish Horse Welfare Trust (IHWT) rescued the starving stallion, which was abandoned and callously tied to a tree off the Mountmellick road. The horse was left on a bank next to railway lines for three days hidden from view without food or water.

A passenger on a passing train saw the animal and reported it to Gardai (police), who contact the IHWT. The horse required emergency treatment, and it took 10 liters of saline to re-hydrate the animal.

Volunteers spent two hours attempting to insert a drip feed as the horse’s veins continually collapsed. Volunteers also had to prop the animal’s head up as the stallion had no strength to do so.

The horse had numerous sores after the rope around its neck bore in around its head. Its gums were also seriously damaged as the desperate animal had worn away at the stump of the tree for nourishment.

IHWT volunteer Karen Kerry said the horse was now doing well and the group were hopeful that the animal would be re-homed.

The identity of the horse’s owners, who are liable for criminal prosecution, remain a mystery as the horse was not micro-chipped.

Chairperson of LSPCA Catriona Smyth said calls relating to unwanted and maltreated horses had increased “300%” in the last year.  She expects calls to increase once more during the winter.

“It will be worse in winter. Once the grass is gone owners will have to pay for fodder and then we will be inundated with calls as horses are abandoned,” she said.
-Laois Nationalist

Google news

Google has announced the creation of 200 new jobs in Dublin, as the company sets up a new operations center in the city.
Google already employs 1,500 people in Barrow Street in Dublin 4, and the new center will be based in Eastpoint Business Park in the city.

The new center will work with the company's location based products such as Google Local and Google Maps, and plans to be up and running this year.

The company says that recruiting has already started for entry level graduates with one or two years experience and strong IT skills.
“Dublin is rapidly becoming the multilingual Internet capital of Europe and Google is proud to be leading the charge on this and further increasing our presence here,” commented David Martin, the company's director of geo operations in Europe.

“The Dublin Operations Center will primarily focus on our geographic based products to ensure a great local experience for our users across Europe,” he added.


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