Born in a Corridor
Mothers are having to give birth in corridors due to overcrowding in Dublin's maternity hospitals, it has been claimed.
Campaigners say the pressure on hospitals is so great that some women never make it to the delivery rooms.
The Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services (AIMS) said there is evidence that corridor births are taking place. It is calling for a greater emphasis on midwife-led births to reduce the number of hospital visits by mothers with "low-risk" pregnancies.
"Corridor births will happen from time to time, usually when labor goes very quickly and when there is very intense pressure on the hospitals," said AIMS spokeswoman Krytsia Lynch.
"But I'm sure mothers' privacy is maintained as best they can in those circumstances.”
At least one new mother, writing on an internet forum last week, gave an account of her corridor birth at the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street. The hospital has said it could not comment on individual cases, but stopped short of denying that such births happened.
"I can't say it has never happened but it's not usual at all," said the hospital's director of midwifery and nursing, Mary Brosnan.
"What does happen, if there isn't a delivery room due to overcrowding and someone comes in in a very fast labor, they will be put into an ante-room, but we try to give everybody the privacy and dignity they need.”
The hospital has 10 delivery rooms and an average day sees around 25 births, but this can rise to 40 on a busy day.
Clubbing for Kids
Limerick City East councilor Gerry McLoughlin has criticized nightclub bouncers for not letting a Leaving Certificate (high school) student into a nightclub.
He has also expressed sympathy with the youths who go out socializing at the weekend and have to carry expensive passports around, claiming the worry they might lose them ruins their nights out.
The Limerick Chronicle reported on how St. Mary's Park student Chantelle Johnson was being refused entry into places in the city by bouncers who claim she is underage, or too drunk. This is despite the fact she carries two forms of ID on nights out.
She says her friends drawn mostly from Corbally and her native St, Mary's Park, no longer contact her when they go out because they know she won't get past the bouncers.
McLoughlin, a friend of the family who teaches Chantelle’s brother, says bouncers in the city single out youngsters from deprived parts of the city, like St. Mary's Park, an area he represents.
"I know this family, they are a very good family, a very respectable family in St. Mary's Park. This young lady has done nothing out of the way, and I believe whoever the bouncers are, they have an obligation not to discriminate against anyone in the city. It has gone on for far too long," he said.
"Why should youngsters have to bring ID to a night club? They are entitled to have a good time, this is their city, and you have to look after a passport on a night out."
Glove in Toast
AN Omagh woman got more than she expected in her morning toast when she discovered parts of an oven glove baked into the bread.
The contamination, which consisted of a “hessian type” material, was discovered by the local woman who purchased the Hovis white bread from a local shop just before Christmas 2008.
She had toasted the bread and had begun to eat it when she noticed the material.
She contacted the Environmental Health Department of Omagh District Council and, following a complete investigation, the case came before Omagh Magistrates Court.
The council successfully prosecuted Premier Foods Group Limited based in Hertfordshire, England which produces Hovis branded bread, for selling food which failed to comply with food safety legislation.
After hearing the circumstances of the case, and in particular the opinion of the Home Authority for the bakery, that the bakery had not taken all reasonable steps and precautions to prevent the foreign body contamination occurring, District Judge Greg McCourt imposed a fine of £750 on the company and ordered it to pay legal and court costs of £85.
Chief Environmental Health Officer of Premier Foods admitted breaking environmental health laws and said it apologized for any distress caused.
A spokesman for the Herefordshire-based company said, "We go to great lengths to assure the quality of our great British brands, but on this isolated occasion we have fallen short of our usual high standards and apologize for any distress caused to the customer."
Limavady for Danny
IF it's good enough for country legend Johnny Cash to sing “Danny Boy” then it should be good enough for Limavady borough's new multi-million pound civic center.
That was the declaration from SDLP Councilor Gerry Mullan, who told fellow councilors he heard Cash, who features the song on his album, American Recordings IV: The Man Comes Around, sing a rendition of the world famous tune on television recently. Not to use the "Danny Boy brand" would be a missed opportunity, said Mullan.
"This is a state-of-the-art building for the people of the borough, especially young people, a center of excellence," he declared.
"We have the Danny Boy brand in Limavady. What's the point in having it if we don't harness and promote it?"
Limavady councilors discussed five names out of dozens of entries from the public -- Limavady Town Hall, Drumceatt Center, Broighter Arts and Cultural Centre, the Danny Boy Arts Center and Keenaught Center.
But as discussions about what to call the new center progressed, Mullan admitted he was "out on a limb on this one.”
Deputy Mayor George Robinson and SDLP Councilor Michael Carten agreed council should go with Limavady Town Hall, "a sort of traditional name that everyone can identify with".
Mullan objected, claiming it was not in keeping with what the building was designed for and said it denoted "heavy robed and antiquated business" and not the state-of-the-art" building he envisaged.
"We have a brand new building costing £3 million and we call it Limavady Town Hall! This is an opportunity to promote the borough. This will be an opportunity missed if we don't."
Director of development Valerie Richmond warned councilors while there was no specific time frame "the sooner we get a name the better" as stationery, advertising and signage needed to be sorted.
Councilors are to discuss the matter next month. The center will open sometime in June.
Man Freezes to Death
A SCARTAGLEN man froze to death outside his house after he fell on ice as he struggled to get up the boreen to his remote home.
The body of Thomas Cleary, who was aged in his fifties, was discovered by neighbors at 12.30 a.m. on Friday, January 15, less than 30 meters from the front door of his home in Kilsarcon, Scartaglen.
Gardai (police) and paramedics rushed to the scene but were unable to get vehicles up to the house because of the ice. Gardai were forced to call in Kerry County Council to grit the boreen linking Cleary's home to the main Scartaglin/Castleisland road so an ambulance could get to the scene.
Cleary's remains were taken to Kerry General Hospital where a post mortem was carried out. The results of the post mortem are expected in the coming weeks.
It appears Cleary froze to death after he fell on the icy road within sight of his front door. He had taken to parking his car at a junction some 400 meters from his home during the icy weather as it had become impossible to drive up the incline to his front yard.
Cleary is believed to have been returning from a shopping trip to Castleisland on Thursday evening when the accident occurred, and he could have been lying outside his home for many hours before passing neighbors saw his body.
QVC Success Story
A WESTPORT-based clothing manufacturer is benefiting handsomely from the growing phenomenon of television shopping in the U.S.
Carraig Donn teamed up with the QVC shopping channel last year and obtained orders for 31,000 garments from the unique initiative. It took three months to complete the orders which yielded earnings of $1.4 million.
The growth in business for Carraig Donn has led to the creation of an additional 20 jobs at the company’s production plant in Westport. The retailer employs 250 people throughout the country and has 20 shops nationwide. Its center of operations is in Westport where 33 people are employed, rising to 45 at peak times.
Minister for Labor Affairs Dara Calleary was in Westport for the announcement of the new jobs, which will be in the production, sales and marketing departments.
Pat Hughes, managing director of Carraig Donn, said the company is in the process of opening a full-time showroom in London where potential buyers can speak to a sales team and place orders. The company’s board has been working with Enterprise Ireland for the past year on its exciting expansion plan.
“We realized that to survive and expand we had to be export-led with contemporary fashion. We are organizing a full-time showroom in London with sales people in it.
We are investing in areas of good design, sales and marketing which will copperfasten the base we have here.”