Mom Cremated on TV
AN unreserved apology has been publicly given to a Waterford family left traumatized by a TG4 program screened on January 13 that showed their late mother being embalmed at a Dungarvan undertakers.
The family was traumatized after switching over to the TV station to witness their deceased mother’s entire embalming process being secretly filmed. They took legal action and received an out-of-court settlement from producers.
The relatives of Noreen McGrath, 71, from Dungarvan, took the case after watching TG4’s controversial Adhlacóirí (undertakers) program which followed undertakers in Dungarvan, Connemara and Donegal. It was shown at the 2009 Galway Film Fleadh.
The five children of Mrs. McGrath, who passed away at Waterford Regional Hospital in September 2007, were unaware of any recording when they tuned into the show on January 13.
They immediately recognized their mother’s body on Dungarvan undertakers James Kiely and Sons’ slab as incisions were made and blood was drained from her remains.
The family said they had never given permission for the work to be filmed and were unaware of any potential coverage between 2007 and the 2010 broadcast -- a statement TG4 has acknowledged is accurate.
In court proceedings against film production company, Wildfire, and David Kiely of James Kiely and Sons, Mrs. McGrath’s daughter Aine Nic Crait said her family was traumatized by what they saw. The matter was settled out of court.
In a public published apology, last week, TG4 confirmed the details of the case but failed to clarify why permission was not obtained.
“We unquestionably accept that no permission was obtained and we accept that the broadcast was in no way made or authorized by each of these persons or any of them,” the statement said.
The statement added that the program will never be aired again.
Waterford News & Star
Out of Control Teen
A 13-YEAR-old boy from Limerick city who a court heard is “practically uncontrollable” was arrested by Gardai (police) as the Health Service Executive (HSE) does not have a suitable place for him.
The youngster, who cannot be named, appeared before the Children’s Court charged with assaulting a care worker and causing thousands of euro worth of damage at a HSE care facility in the city.
Superintendent John Scanlan told the court the defendant had also threatened care workers at a number of other HSE facilities across the country on dates in February and March and, he said, more than ****40,000 worth of damage was caused by the teenager who “went missing” on a number of occasions.
The court was told one that of the care centers where he went missing from is located in West Limerick.
Scanlan said Gardai, in consultation with the National Juvenile Office, “reluctantly” charged the youth in relation to the most recent incident.
“There is a view on the Garda side that we should not criminalize him,” he said, adding that Gardai would be willing to withdraw the charges if a place becomes available for the defendant at a secure facility.
Solicitor Ted McCarthy, representing the teenager, said there were “behavioral difficulties” with his client, who has been in the care of the HSE for a number of months.
Solicitor Muiris Gavin, representing the HSE, said a decision has been made that the defendant should be placed in a secure care unit.
“Availability is the current issue and we are actively looking at where he can go,” he said.
Gavin added that the teenager is “practically uncontrollable,” and he said his “pattern of behavior” would most likely have continued had Gardai not intervened.
No Access for Disabled
DISABLED people in the Shannon area have to pay substantial taxi fares because of a problem in using public transport.
The issue was highlighted at a meeting of Shannon Town Council last week, when it was explained that disabled people are having difficulty accessing buses.
Councilor Tony McMahon introduced a motion asking the town council to engage with both Bus Éireann and Clare County Council to “ensure wheelchair/disabled access to buses serving the Shannon area.” He said it was “an indictment on society and services if someone with a disability can’t access a bus.”
In a written reply to McMahon, area engineer Eugene O’Shea said, “If works are required for disabled access, funding would have to be identified for these works. A meeting would also be required with all relevant parties.”
Commenting on this, McMahon said, “I would have assumed that something as essential would have been talked about already and it’s a shame that we have to discuss it at this time in our history.”
He felt the cost to the council would be minimal, involving “a few shovels of concrete here and there” and that there is a moral obligation involved.
Sinn Fein representative Cathy McCafferty said a meeting should be sought with Bus Éireann, adding people are being forced to pay *****40 in taxi fares to go to the hospital in Limerick. She described the situation as “totally unacceptable.”
Councilor Patricia McCarthy said not having proper access to public transport is a form of discrimination.
Fake Alarm Alert
A TOP security expert in Donegal has revealed there are bogus companies selling alarms in the county without license, and simply preying on people’s fears of being burgled.
Jimmy Melly, from the North West Alarm Systems in Donegal Town warned, “Unfortunately there is a large number of illegal operators in the county at the moment who are operating without license.
“This industry is very, very strict. We are inspected at least once a year. People should know that it is illegal for anyone to install an alarm without a license.
“There are people out there who are telling homeowners that they are installing alarms to certain standards and they’re not. The bottom line is this -- you have to be very careful who you let into your house.”
Melly said he was standing up for legitimate operators in the county, adding: “I have no qualms with a home owner choosing to use a company other than us for their alarm system; I just want the public to know that they should hire a fully qualified licensed operator. Otherwise they are using someone who is operating illegally and there is no comeback whatsoever for the homeowner.
“The fact is that unless you are using a licensed operator with properly trained and vetted staff, you don’t know who you are letting into your home. These people could be criminals.”
The home and business security expert – with offices in Donegal Town and Letterkenny – revealed demand had soared in recent weeks for home alarms.
Said Melly, “We have been flat out with people seeking security assessments for their homes. There is a lot of fear out there.
“It’s the nature of the break-ins as well with creeper burglars stealing from homes while people are sleeping in their homes at night.”
THE newest addition to the Dublin Zoo family is being so carefully guarded by its mother that keepers still can’t tell if it’s a boy or a girl.
The as yet unnamed baby western lowland gorilla was born on Sunday, March 27.
The infant, which weighed just four pounds, has been cradled constantly by its proud and protective mother Lena since birth to the extent that keepers haven’t been able to establish the baby’s sex yet.
Ciaran McMahon, team leader responsible for the gorillas, said they were over the moon with the new addition as it is a great success in the European breeding program for the critically endangered primates.
“The youngster is doing very well. Within minutes the baby was feeding from mum Lena which is a very good sign,” he stated.
“We can tell that the infant is strong because there are a lot of head movements.
“Lena is a great mother and so far she hasn’t let go of her newborn.
“She will continue to cradle the baby in her arms non stop for the next two to three months.
“When she does eventually let the toddler out of her arms to explore, the youngster won’t go far because Lena will not allow the baby to go more than an arm’s length away.”
Protective mother Lena, 27, who has held her little one close to her chest since birth, is an experienced mother as this is her fifth offspring.
She has a very close relationship with the baby’s father Harry, the dominant silverback of the zoo’s group of gorillas.
The history behind “When Irish Eyes are Smiling”