Plea to stay together

A heartbroken 93-year-old grandfather has made a poignant plea to health authorities to allow him live out the final years of his life with his wife of 66 years.

Patrick Rushe was separated from his wife, Molly, 92, for the first time in almost 70 years when she was admitted to a Co. Sligo nursing home two years ago, and now he's begging the Health Service Executive (HSE) to provide a place for him in the same facility.

Rushe’s daughter, Alice Gilmartin, said it would mean everything to her father if he was able to live in the same nursing home as his wife so that they could spend their last years together.

"They're married for 66 years and they miss each other so much. I bring Dad to visit Mum every Wednesday and when he's leaving he always says that he would love to stay there," she says.

While declining to comment on Rushe's case, the HSE told The Sligo Champion that an applicant refused long term nursing home care can appeal the decision within 40 days.

"The HSE aims to support older people in their own homes for as long as possible with support from home help, home care packages, meals on wheels, day care, day hospitals, interventions from general practitioners, public health nurse and other health care professionals,” a statement said.

The Sligo Champion

Killing Fields

A farmer who was building up his flock following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease has spoken of his horror of finding sheep killed and mauled by dogs two weekends ago.

Francis McGuigan from Bavan, Omeath, found two dogs worrying the sheep on his farm at 7 a.m. on Sunday, July 3.

“Five of the sheep were killed outright and 14 had to be put down by the vet as their throats were torn out. Another 11 were injured and the rest of the flock were very stressed,” he said.

“It's very distressing. We're looking at these lovely ewe lambs with their throats torn out.”

McGuigan said that his flock had been attacked by dogs on a number of previous occasions this year, but this was the worst incident so far.

“I shot one of the dogs but the other one escaped,” he admitted.  “I have about 300 sheep on the farm and on the mountains and you can't be watching them all the time. Dog owners should keep their animals under control.”
He said the attacks on his sheep had cost him about ****3,000 this year alone.

“The sheep are worth about €130 a head and then there's vets bills and the cost of having the bodies removed,” McGuigan added.

“We've been building up the flock since the foot and mouth, trying to get sheep used to the mountains. Once they are attacked by dogs they are never the same again.”

Matthew McGreehan, chairman of the IFA Hill Farmers Committee appealed to dog owners to keep their animals under control.

He said there was a particularly bad problem with dogs roaming in the Omeath area this year which was a matter of concern for local farmers.
The incident at Bavan is being investigated by the Gardai (police) and Louth County Council's dog warden service.

The Argus

Firefighter to dealer

A Swords-based ex-airport fireman who went into drug dealing to pay off his business debts has been jailed for four years.

Brendan O'Herlihy, 40, had taken out a sub-prime second mortgage on his home to pay off business loans but was forced to deal drugs when he couldn't work because of injury.

He was found with €124,500 worth of various drugs in his home.

He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cocaine, cannabis resin and cannabis herb for sale or supply at his home on October 1, 2009. 

Garda Colm Donoghue said that the drugs were found in O'Herlihy's house after Gardai got a search warrant.  The bulk of the haul was made up of a kilogram of cocaine worth €70,000.

The court was told O'Herlihy was very remorseful and would find prison more difficult because he had worked with the Airport Police.

O'Herlihy told Gardai he was holding onto the cocaine for someone else. He admitted he was trying to sell the cannabis but it was difficult because he had been sold low quality “bushweed.”

He said he was mixing the low quality cannabis with other cannabis to make it easier to sell.  Gardai also found lists of names, weighing scales, blenders and packaging.

Defense counsel Michael O'Higgins said O'Herlihy was a fire officer with the Dublin Airport Police and was married with three children.

He set up three businesses renting bouncy castles in 2006 which for which he had to borrow €180,000. None of the businesses have made any profit since.

O'Herlihy got a subprime second mortgage to pay off the loans and is now €17,000 in arrears. He injured his back in work in 2006 and was out for 15 months.  When he went back he was injured again and out for another six months.

O'Higgins said his client suffers from ongoing depression which was made worse by his debts. 

Judge Martin Nolan said a prison term was unavoidable and but took into account O'Herlihy's previous good character and lack of previous convictions.

Fingal Independent

Defending Grandma

A party-goer split another man's head open in an attack at a Dublin hotel last November because the victim had bitten his grandmother, a court heard.
Anthony Cullen, 28, found out that the man had bitten his grandmother on the lip weeks earlier and "took the law into his own hands" and set upon him.

The victim was left with a scar above his eye and needed five stitches.

Cullen was given a one-month suspended sentence after Dublin District Court heard that he handed himself in to Gardai after the incident.

Garda Neil Woods told the court the accused approached Kevin Hanney on the night and struck him on the head.

He had to go to the Mater Hospital, where he received five stitches to his left eyebrow. Cullen was arrested after giving himself up at a Garda station.

The court heard the accused had served a prison sentence for robbery and had recently been released from jail when the incident happened.

Cullen was aware that, some weeks previously, the injured party had allegedly bitten his grandmother on the lip.

He was at a family birthday party on the night when he came across the victim and lost his temper, his solicitor said.

He was stating this by way of background and was not in any way trying to justify his actions, the court heard.

"He was only out of prison a short time at the time of the offense," his solicitor said.

Cullen did not generally drink any more because alcohol had been a difficulty for him.

Compensation was "not a reality" for the accused at the moment, his solicitor added, because Cullen is unemployed.

"This was an unprovoked attack in terms of that particular evening," Judge Elizabeth MacGrath said. "Mr. Cullen was attending a family event in a hotel and Mr. Hanney was out enjoying himself as well. People should not be subjected to that kind of conduct on an evening out."

The judge suspended the sentence for a year.

Evening Herald

Cruelty to dogs

A man who left two dogs and a pup outside in freezing cold temperatures was ordered to pay expenses of almost €1,000 to the ISPCA at a sitting of Carlow District Court.

Craig Fagan, 21, of Castledermot, was charged with three counts of cruelty to animals at his address on January 5, 2010.

Inspector Brendan Hughes said on the day in question he went to Fagan's home following complaints to Gardai that dogs had been abandoned.
On arrival there was no one home. A Dogue de Bordeaux dog which was severely underweight with wounds on its back was found in the backyard, as was a Springer Spaniel bitch.

The Spaniel had recently had a litter but there was no sign of the litter initially.

The Dogue de Bordeaux had a growth on his eye and his eyelashes were growing back into themselves which is a very painful condition.

He said the Springer Spaniel was in reasonably good body condition but was heavily infested with fleas.

Hughes said he had to force the door of the dog run open because it was frozen shut as a result for the cold weather.  Inside the kennel there was a three to four week old pup covered in fleas and non responsive.
He said the body temperature of the pup was very low.

All three animals were brought to ISPCA headquarters where they were treated. Fagan was later interviewed and he admitted he accepted responsibility for the dogs.

Hughes said Fagan “genuinely didn't feel he had done anything wrong.”
Fagan's defending solicitor said Fagan “accepts he could have and should have done more” for the dogs.

The court heard the bitch and the pup had been successfully re-homed together, while the Dogue de Bordeaux had subsequently died of an unrelated condition.

Judge David Anderson said he was “struck by his comments that he had done nothing wrong” and fined Fagan €250. He also ordered him to pay costs of €961.70 to the ISPCA.

Carlow People

Leah Hayden and Lauren Gleeson with Hollister surf Dude James