Crazy in Love

A Killyclogher man's attempts to win the heart of a local woman on St. Valentine's Day turned sour after he was remanded in custody on charges of making threats to kill, assault and harassment.

Dermot Logue appeared before Omagh Magistrates Court last week.  A police officer told the court that the offenses arose when Logue visited the Tirquin Road home of a woman with whom he wanted to set up house with.

She had rejected his advances, which have allegedly included letters and phone calls over a period of several years.

The court heard that Logue was refusing to leave the garden of the home and was banging on the door when he arrived at the house.

"It was reported that the defendant was causing a nuisance and banging on the door. When police arrived he was being restrained and was removed from the area," said the officer.

The court heard Logue accused a man who answered the door of being an “imposter” and had told the woman, who the investigating officer said was expecting a child, that she still had time to “get rid of it” and live with him.

Logue had stated that he wished to buy a plot of land for the woman and himself to live in.  He was subsequently told to calm down by the woman's father, but instead was said to have aggressively stood up to him.

"He (Logue) had to be restrained and was heavily intoxicated. A complaint was made the following morning by the woman who said she was frightened and concerned to be living in the same area," the officer continued.

Logue denied making the threats to kill and harassment in an initial statement, but admitted writing and sending the letters and phoning and calling at the home of the woman.

Police objected to bail, saying that if it was granted it could lead to further offenses. An investigating officer also described Logue's behavior as unpredictable.

He said the woman who alleges that she is being harassed by Logue had considered leaving the Tirquin Road area with her family as they believed that Logue posed a threat. The court heard that Logue is living with his mother and is around 200 meters from the home occupied by the alleged injured party.

However, defense solicitor Michael Fahy, cross-examining the officer, questioned why the alleged injured party had not made contact with police for assistance previously.

He said that there had been no interference with witnesses in the past and that it was in the power of the court to issue bail conditions, including the power of restriction to enter certain areas.

"The defendant is absolutely adamant that he will adhere to the conditions of bail," he said.

Rejecting the bail application, District Judge Greg McCourt expressed concern that there could be potential interference of witnesses.

Logue was remanded in custody to appear again at Omagh Magistrates Court via videolink on March 16.

Ulster Herald

Holiday Cuts

TRIM town councilors who are attending St. Patrick's Day celebrations abroad are to fund their trips from their own pocket, following the council's decision to axe funding for foreign travel in the 2010 budget.

Councilor Gerard Reilly is to represent the town at the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York, while Councilor Vincent McHugh is planning to attend the London parade.

Both are traveling "under their own steam" after the council decided to set aside the budget for foreign travel to go towards a feasibility study for a new enterprise centre in the town.

Reilly also encouraged the new councilors to consider going to London for the parade and said it was a great experience.

Meanwhile, Cathaoirleach (speaker) Ray Butler congratulated his fellow councilors for being in the national headlines as being the council to claim the lowest expenses in the country.

He said he was very proud to see that Trim Town Council was the lowest council in Ireland when it came to claiming expenses, at just 89 per head.

Meath Chronicle

Rat Infested Home

A SINGLE mother of four has threatened to bring a dead rat to the next meeting of the borough council to highlight her desperate plight.

Karen Smith who lives in Carmelite Cottages, Marsh Road, is fed up with the plague of rats around her home and now just wants to move.

“I want to be transferred to a house fit to be lived in,” she said. “This house is an unfit place for children to live.” Three of her children have special needs.

“Chloe (11) has eczema and asthma and shouldn't be near rats, Christopher (9) has ADHD, Joshua (6) has autism and I thought little Megan (1) had been bitten by the giant rat I killed last week.”

Smith first alerted the Drogheda Independent to her plight after she brought in pictures of a giant rat she had killed in her sitting room, inches from where her toddler sat playing.

“I came in from the garden and Megan was crying, and that's when I saw this huge rat and my first instinct was to throw a foot stool at him,” Smith recalls.

“I was sure he had bitten her, so I grabbed the stunned rat with the fire tongs and threw him into an old planter. He was dead the next morning.”

The Drogheda Independent contacted the council and within hours, they blocked up holes at the front door and inside the house.

“I told them I was going to bring a rat to a borough council meeting,” she added.

This is not the first time Smith has had problems with vermin.

“The council has been round several times before, and they've blocked up holes inside and out before. But now I just want to move from here,” she stated.

“They have told me in the past that tenants are responsible for rodents, and that's grand, but they are responsible for repairs, and the rats are going to keep coming back because of the state of the house.

“I'd love them to move me to a bigger house, and I've put in for a transfer but nothing has happened.”

Her case has been forwarded to the appropriate authorities by Louth councilor Frank Godfrey.

“There has been a huge amount of building in Drogheda in recent years and you just wonder where the rat population has ended up,” he said.

“In the past, the local council had a rat catcher and I think it's time to consider bringing one back.”

Drogheda Independent

Costly Chips

GOING out for a 2 bag of chips one day last year ended up costing a Carlow woman a total of 1,650 when she ended up before the local District Court.

Mary Lynch of Tullow Road was fined 1,200 for driving without insurance and a further 450 for driving without a license following offenses at Dublin Street on September 11. She was also banned from driving for four years.

The court heard how the offenses came to light after Garda (police officer) John O'Connor was passing by and saw a car parked in a space for disabled drivers.

He waited for the owner to return to the vehicle, and asked why the car had been left there. Lynch replied that she had just gone to get a bag of chips.

During the conversation that ensued, it emerged that she had no insurance or license to drive the car, and so she was summonsed to last week's court.  She failed to appear, but the fines and ban were handed down in her absence.

Carlow People

Danny Ball

LIMAVADY’S £30,000 Danny Boy stone sculpture should be broken up and used to fill pot holes, a councilor has claimed.

The Jane Ross Commemoration Sculpture at the top of Market Street is an eyesore and a waste of money, according to Councilor Leslie Cubitt. He claims it is good for nothing except a urinal used by weekend revelers and that in recent weeks parts of the sculpture, known by some as “the ball on the wall,” have crumbled and cracked.

"The frost has destroyed the ball on the wall. It's cracked all round the edges.  I don't think it can be repaired," Cubitt said.

Last year, it was proposed the sculpture by award-winning artist Phillip Flanagan be moved to the new Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Center, due to open this summer, but Cubitt thinks it won't make it that far.

"If they move it, it will disintegrate. You know, I have never liked the thing. I mean, what is it? It's a piece of Portland stone and anything made of that disintegrates. It's an ugly thing,” Cubitt said.

“For the price we paid for it, £30,000, we could have had two bronze statues. I have not come across one member of the public who likes it.  It should be put to some good use. Break it up and fill pot holes with it! That's what they should do with it."

Cubitt called on the architects and contractors working on the multi-million pound civic center to donate two bronze statues depicting the characters behind the “Danny Boy” tune, the blind fiddler Jimmy McCurry and Jane Ross.

He said the gesture would be "in recognition of the sacrifice made by the ratepayers paying for it (the centre). I think this would be a great act. They would last forever unlike the ball on the wall. Bronze won't disintegrate."

Derry Journal