Sexualized Language Firing
STAFF at a local crèche were fired for using “inappropriate, sexualized language” in front of a four-year-old, a Health Service Executive (HSE) report has revealed.
Two members of staff were let go from the facility after a pre-school teacher instructed the little girl to tell another carer to “close her legs.”
The report gives details of the incident which happened in Truesdales Nursery and Montessori, Burrin Road (no longer trading under this name) in early 2009.
A mother made the complaint to the HSE after her child’s teacher “got her to tell the girl in the kitchen ‘to close her legs.’” The complaint went on to say that the little girl was told to reply “kiss my bum.”
The distraught mother said that while her child has “a fantastic imagination,” she wouldn’t question what her daughter had told her about the incident. She immediately removed the child from the facility, but later returned her to the care center following a disciplinary meeting of the staff members involved.
The swift action of the crèche manager and owner, Melanie Watson, who was absent on the day in question, meant that the staff were “suspended immediately” and subsequently let go.
“As soon as the complaint was made known to me, the two staff members in question were suspended pending an investigation and were subsequently let go,” Watson told the Carlow Nationalist.
“The inappropriate use of language in this incident is something which I do not tolerate in my business. I regret very much that this occurred as I always strive to uphold the highest possible standards.”
A HSE investigation launched into the incident found that the complaint was upheld but no further action was necessary,
Both staff in question admitted the incident, and the kitchen worker added that when she received the initial message from the child, she “did not respond verbally, rather she tapped her own bottom and carried on preparing lunch.” Despite being “taken aback and shocked,” she admitted that she did not report the incident to management in the crèche.”

Carlow Nationalist

Pint Sized Fool
IT might have seemed like a good idea at first for a man to have brought in a pint of the black stuff to court following his lunch during Portlaoise District Court recess, but Lord knows what he was thinking.
The 53-year-old Portlaoise man was to have his case heard during the morning session of a recent Thursday sitting of the court, but things didn’t work out that way. Instead, his case was put back to the 2 p.m. session.
When it did resume and proceedings were underway, the door of the court opened at exactly 2:08 p.m.  A stunned silence fell over the court as everyone turned to watch the man swagger into the room with a pint of Guinness in one hand and a rolled cigarette in the other.
While making his way to his seat, he momentarily paused, looked up at Judge Haughton, bowed slightly and said “with all due respects” before taking his seat with a broad smile across his face.
The man’s defense might not have been the best because, just as he was about to take another sup from his pint, three members of the Gardai took matters into their own hands and escorted the gentleman from the courtroom.
When the man’s case was called later, his solicitor, Josephine Fitzpatrick, told Judge Haughton, “I don’t think the case will be heard today.”

Laois Nationalist

Discrimination Persists
DESPITE living in the city for 10 years and more, many in Waterford’s “new” communities still experience racist abuse. They also fail to report incidents to the Gardai (police) for fear they will be rubbished, and they face obstacles when seeking naturalization or looking for jobs.
The blocks to integration were spelled out by a large gathering of people from Eastern Europe and Africa who attended International Day Against Racism at the Garda station in Ballybricken two weeks ago.
Taxi driver Frank Oduh, who has been living in Waterford for the past 10 years, told how in the past week he had been asked by a woman in the city why he didn’t go back to where he came from.
Michael Omotoeso has been living in Ireland for 14 years. He said that he knew of many cases where people had been turned down for naturalization three or four times simply because they had failed to pay a parking.
Others, he said, feared reporting racial attacks to the Gardai for fear their claims would be rubbished, and that was stopping them from integrating into the community.
Omotoeso also said that when contacted it often took Gardai three to four hours to respond to a complaint.
Virtually all of those who attended the event highlighted the huge support they received from community Gardai, and a preference was expressed to have direct contact with those members of the force rather than contacting the station itself.
Responding to the concerns, Chief Superintendent Pat Murphy said that in order to keep all communities safe, it was "absolutely essential that all incidents are reported to the Gardai.”
He said that while the outcome might not be what the victim wanted at least the civil authority would know about it. He added, "You have a small minority involved in thuggery. We find that in every community there are a few people that are blackguards with a violent disposition who think they can get away with it.
"If you have people who don’t report incidents we are providing a free canvas for a small group who want to rule by fear and get away with thuggery."
As he addressed the gathering, Murphy said it was important for Gardai to engage with all people in the city, and he said it was important for Gardai to uphold the dignity and freedom of all people as they went about their daily lives.

Waterford News & Star

Peeved at Potholes
A SURVEY carried out by AA Ireland has placed Roscommon at the top of the complaints list for pothole related damage to vehicles.
The survey, carried out in January, found that 23.4% of 209 Roscommon motorists surveyed had hit a pothole or damaged road surface, which necessitated a garage repair or a call-out to the AA. This was the highest percentage of complaints for any county nationwide.
However, Mejalla Hunt, director of services for roads with Roscommon County Council, said that many of the surfaces around the county had been repaired since the survey was carried.
“I don’t have a lot of faith in that kind of survey, it’s a representation rather than an exact science. We’ve had two severe winters in the county and this winter we had four weeks of continual snow resting on surfaces. That had a significant impact on roads throughout the county,” Hunt said.
“The condition of those roads was aggravated by the delay in doing the work and the bad weather conditions. The bigger programs got delayed but those programs are now being rolled out. The Lanesboro Road in Roscommon town is completed, the Circular Road will be completed this week and then we will be doing the Boyle Road.”
Miriam O’Neill, press officer with AA Ireland, said that in response to the sustained level of complaints, which had continued into March, AA Ireland had launched an online petition calling on local authorities to make pothole repairs a priority.

Roscommon Herald

Puppies to Die?

SEVEN innocent puppies that were abandoned two weeks ago are facing death because the Athlone and West Midlands Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) does not have enough money to vaccinate them.
The mixed breed puppies, along with an eighth puppy, were abandoned outside the ASPCA sanctuary in Tang and are now facing a trip to the pound due to the society being unable to pay for vaccinations.
ASPCA inspector Paul McCormack said it would break his heart to have to send the puppies to the pound, the first time the society would have to do this, but said it is a real prospect unless they can come up with the money to vaccinate them.
McCormack said that some time between Thursday night and Friday morning, a box of eight puppies was dropped outside the gate of the animal sanctuary. One of the puppies has since received a home after being vaccinated by the person who took him in.
Of the remaining seven puppies, McCormack said, "We can't afford to vaccinate them. We are desperately looking for funds so we can vaccinate them. Without money we will be forced to send them to the pound. We've never had to do that before but with little or no money in the account we might be forced to do that. It breaks my heart."
McCormack said every week the society is getting phone calls from people looking for them to take in dogs, and he said abandoned horses and donkeys are also a huge problem, with Westmeath and Roscommon county councils inundated with calls about abandoned horses.
He said he suspected the puppies were about six weeks old.  It costs roughly ***45 to vaccinate a dog.

Westmeath Independent