A South African visitor to Limerick city walked away with a “one in a million find” after a visit to a flea market in the Milk Market last month.
Jason Ludlow, from Johannesburg, bought an American first edition copy of Emily Bronte’s classic Wuthering Heights from an unsuspecting stallholder at the Milk Market, which he then sold for a staggering €8,000 upon his return to his home country. He paid just €3 for the book.
“I was in Ireland and Limerick in March and April, and was very lucky to have found such a great old book at the Friday Flea Market,” he said from Angola.
“It was a rare copy of Wuthering Heights printed in 1848 that I’ve subsequently sold for a substantial amount,” he added.
“That is amazing,” said a spokesperson for the market. “We have only been running for a month -- we have only had six of the markets. It is hugely successful, people have reacted positively. This is one in a million, I don’t know what else to say.”
Killed By a Cow
An elderly arthritic farmer was crushed by a cow after he stumbled while moving animals, an inquest has heard.
John Beattie, 74, landed on the ground as he herded female cattle on his farm in Kildowney Hill, Glarryford, in January this year. His son William saw an animal on top of his chest.
“I turned around and saw my father on the ground and the cattle was standing on his chest with its rear leg,” he told the Belfast inquest last Thursday.
Beattie was taken to Antrim Area Hospital but died three days later after sustaining rib fractures and a torn diaphragm under the massive beast.
William Beattie added, “I said to him, ‘How bad are you? He said, ‘I am brave and bad.’”
The animals were being put on a lorry for transport to a meat plant in Coleraine.
The ground was slippery and a health and safety expert concluded that the lifelong farmer may have lost his footing.
Health and Safety Executive inspector John Spiers said. “John Beattie may have stumbled when he entered the pen and then was trampled by one of the animals.”
Coroner John Leckey said it was a slippery environment and observed that the older farmer figured high in the casualty statistics.
“It is something to do. Farmers tend not to retire in the true sense of the word,” he said.
Leckey said the system of moving the cattle was normal and there were enough people to do the procedure safely. His finding was that he died from a chest injury due to being crushed by a heifer, with other heart conditions significant factors in why he died.
Woman Rapist Convicted
An Edenderry woman found guilty of digitally raping another woman in Australia is appealing her two and a half year sentence.
Anne Marie O’Loughlin began her appeal against her conviction at the Court of Appeal in Brisbane last Monday.
The 26-year-old had been working as a nurse in Australia for the past two and a half years and was due to return to Ireland last December.
During a five-day trial in Brisbane last December, a 12-man jury convicted her of two counts of digital rape and one of the deprivation of liberty of a woman in the female toilets in the Caxton Hotel in Brisbane on November 29.
Prosecutor Chris Minnery called for O’Loughlin to be sentenced to three years with release on parole after she served 18 months.
Saying her behavior was “completely out of character,” Damian Walsh, defending barrister, asked for a sentence of nine months.
Judge David Reid describing the matter as “a tragic event for all concerned.”
“It is particularly distressing. A security officer at the Caxton described you as unduly intoxicated. You were finding it hard to stay on your feet and almost fell down some stairs,” commented Judge Reid to the defendant.
He added, “I hope you will use your time in prison to address issues you have with the consumption of alcohol and sexual aggression.”
O’Loughlin will be eligible for parole on March 3 next year, her 27th birthday, having served 18 months including time already spent in prison.
Legal representation for Ms O’Loughlin claimed at her appeal that she had not received a fair trial.
At the Brisbane Court of Appeal Jeff Hunter SC said the judge at the trial has misdirected the jury on the issue of mistaken belief of consent.
“The complainant’s inability to set out how she ended up in the cubicle with a woman she didn’t know is a significant matter,” Hunter said, highlighting that the victim had never explained the origins of the offense.
He also said the victim had given the police one version and her husband another version of what had happened.
Where’s Are the Coins?
Visitors and locals alike have been throwing coins into the fountain in the world famous Rose Garden at Kilkenny Castle for many years and hoping their wishes will come true. The legend has grown that if you throw in a euro or less into the water you will have great luck.
Some members of the workforce at the castle emptied the fountain of coinage at regular intervals through out the year when the fountain itself had to be closed for maintenance.
The Office of Public Works (OPW) which operates the castle on behalf of the people of Kilkenny admitted that until recently it had no knowledge of this and had, until now, no idea what happened the coins discarded by tourists and residents.
The OPW said that this had been done without the knowledge of the management at castle. After looking in to the matter, the OPW said that the coins left in the fountain by the general public had been collected by some of the staff at the castle, with no formal arrangement in place for their usage.
“The management at the Castle have put a stop to this practice, and formal arrangements are now in place to have the coins collected and donated to a local registered charity,” Neil Ryan, spokesman for the castle, said. Management had no idea where the money collected from the fountain until now went, and did not address the matter in a short statement issued.
It is understood that when the fountain is cleaned out it normally has between €200 and €300 in it. Because there was no receipt supplied by those who collected the coins to show the money was going to a local charity, it is uncertain where the money went.
The money may have been put straight into the collection boxes of local churches. And there is no hint of impropriety on behalf of staff because there was no breach of any rules or regulations.
Indeed, at the famous Trevi Fountain located in the heart of Rome, a man who collected coins at the fountain every day was brought to court in 1992 by the municipal police, but the action was struck out after the judge ruled that since the coins had been intentionally discarded by tourists at the fountain, there was no crime because you could not take something which did not belong to anyone.
A Northsude Dublin retailer says he’s not surprised by new figures revealing the capital as the second highest area in the country for illegal cigarette seizures.
Benny Gilsenan, owner of Benny’s Newsagents on Emmet Place, beside Croke Park, was reacting to statistics released by the Irish Tobacco Manufacturers Advisory Committee (ITMAC) identifying Dublin as a major nationwide blackspot for the illegal cigarette trade.
The research, carried out by ITMAC, shows that 52.2 million cigarettes were seized by customs throughout Dublin last year, with a value of €17.4 million to the Irish economy.
The figure is second only to the border counties of Louth and Armagh, where just under 70 million counterfeit cigarettes were intercepted.
Gilsenan, a founding member of the group Retailers Against Smuggling, suspects that the black market trade in cigarettes is on the rise as criminals get wise to checks being mounted by customs officials.
“They’re splitting their load into different containers, as the chances of several trucks getting inspected consecutively are very slim,” he said.
“Instead of putting €1 million euro worth of cigarettes into one lorry, they’re putting a million cigarettes into four or five containers.
“That way, if one container gets caught, they can still be guaranteed of getting at least 75% of their consignment through every time.”
Gilsenan, who opened his shop in Dublin 40 years ago, also expressed concern that new legislation introduced last year aimed at cracking down on cigarette smugglers is not being adequately enforced.
“I’m not in favor of jail. That only costs the taxpayer. We have to hurt them in the pocket, whether they’re smuggling 200 cigarettes, 2,000 or two million.”
Dublin saw the highest amount of prosecutions for illegal cigarette crime in 2010, with 26 people prosecuted for smuggling and four people for selling illegal cigarettes.
A spokesperson for ITMAC warned that the billion euro lost to the Irish economy from cigarette smuggling is being channeled into serious organized crime, including the hard drug trade.