Jigsaw Queen
IT took 100 hours of painstakingly piecing together the world’s largest-ever jigsaw -- but an amazing 32,256 pieces later and Ann Doyle has done it!
Last Wednesday Doyle, from Tullow, completed the gigantic jigsaw in the Dome in Graiguecullen – a fantastic achievement that very few people in the world have accomplished.
“It took 100 hours to complete it,” said Doyle, who, when asked if it was difficult, replied, “Ah no, no jigsaw is a problem to me.”
“The bigger the better and the harder the better, I wouldn’t get frustrated one bit. I just love them,” she added.
Doyle admits she did have pains in her hands, neck and back as, piece by piece, she put the huge jigsaw together and then stuck it down, before mounting it onto a wall at the Dome.
The Graiguecullen amusement center gave Doyle the space to make the gigantic jigsaw, which measures an incredible 17 feet long.
The jigsaw, which is internationally recognized as the world’s largest, is based on the work of artist Keith Haring.
Doyle sorted out all the edges and the colors first.  That alone took two hours, and then she started making it in rows, with 288 pieces on each row.
Doyle’s brother-in-law Sean and husband Paddy framed the jigsaw and placed it on the wall in the Dome, where it will be a permanent reminder of her great work.

Carlow Nationalist

Pub Sex Show a Hit
A VIDEO of a “sex show” in a pub in Limerick city received nearly 1,000 hits on YouTube last week before it was removed due to its sensational content.
According to ratings figures, it is now officially the most popular story on the Limerick Leader website to date this year.
A man who was celebrating his 40th birthday in the bar was treated to a stripper by friends who gathered around to watch the act.
The four-minute video, in which the semi-naked Limerick man is clearly identifiable, shows him romping on a pool table and engaging in explicit acts with the stripper in a side room of the bar.
Management of the pub located in Limerick city said this has never happened in the bar before and “will never take place here again.”
“The bar was busy and there was only one barman on duty at the time. Someone slipped this woman into the pool room,” said a spokesperson.
“It was an unfortunate incident that happened unbeknownst to us and couldn’t be stopped at the time. On the CCTV footage it’s all over and done with in about four minutes.”
It is believed the woman is of Eastern European origin, according to other sources close to the bar.
The video shows the man taking off the woman’s bra, groping her breasts and lifting her up on to the pool table, before simulating various sexual acts. His friends -- including a number of females -- can be heard whooping and hollering in encouragement during the session.
The short video was taken by another Limerick man and uploaded to YouTube, with others congratulating him on the site for being “a legend” and a “gas man.”
“This is the talk of Limerick. Everyone in town has it on their phones; it’s doing the rounds. It’s just a bit of a laugh. Sure they were all consenting adults,” said one man who contacted the Limerick Leader.
The video was uploaded about two weeks ago, under the title “Must see 40-year-old strip tease turns to sex show.” But it was removed because its contents “violated YouTube’s terms and conditions.”
Karen McHugh, the chief executive of Doras Luimni, a local support group for all migrants, branded the video “unbelievable, shocking and appalling.”
“It is very concerning that this was taken in a public place, with people standing around clapping. It is worrying that this seems to be normalizing that it is OK to abuse women’s bodies,” she said.
“It’s quite worrying that this seems to be a pattern of behavior that’s become normal in Irish society,” she said.

Limerick Leader

Addiction Rise

THE number of heroin addicts seeking treatment in Roscommon has risen by more than 800% over the last six years, one of the highest increases in the country.
Figures from the National Documentation Center on Drug Use indicated that in the period from 2004 to 2010, people receiving treatment for opiate addiction had jumped from six cases in 2004 to a worrying 54 in 2010.
Community substance counselor Karen Gavin said that the figures had shown a dramatic increase, but pointed out that figures were minimal to begin with.
"It is important to point out that those figures in 2004 were from a low base and although there has been a major increase in the number of people using our services, the figures are a lot lower than other parts of the country,” she said.
"There is no denying that the incidences of drug addiction are increasing and this is across the board. Drug addition is affecting both men and women and there isn't a class distinction, every group is affected. What people sometimes forget about is the impact that having a drug user in the family and the consequences that it has on home life.”
Every county in the country has recorded substantial increases in heroin treatment ranging from a minimum of 20% to as high as 3,000%.
As the number of people seeking treatment in the county increases, the number of counselors has not been increased.  In Roscommon there are just two substance misuse counselors dealing with addicts across the entire county, and those seeking treatment have to travel to the methadone clinic in Galway for initial treatment as no facility exists in Roscommon.

Roscommon Herald

Fury Over New Tax

THE household charge tax is the final straw for Ardee health worker Noel Scott, who says he will go to jail rather than pay the controversial tax.
The Cherrybrook resident said “enough is enough” and joined the anti-charge campaign after attending a meeting in the mid-Louth town.
Scott and his wife, Elaine, who have two teenagers, Gary and Chloe, are finding it hard to make ends meet at the moment so they can't imagine how people who are not working are coping with the added charges and taxes.
“The government needs to listen to the people who voted them in because we didn't give them a mandate to hit us with all these taxes,” Scott said.
“I object to the bully boy tactics which are being employed on people and the propaganda that they are using against people by trying to convince us that this tax will pay for local essential services. It won't.
“If I thought it was being used for parks or fire services, then I would have no problem with handing over the money. But this was the final straw and I am prepared to do whatever it takes to stop this charge. I would go to jail over this.”
Doyle says homeowners need to ask themselves that if the charge is 100 this time, how much will it increase over the coming years?
Accusing Minister of State Fergus O'Dowd and others of “selling their constituents down the river,” Doyle does feel that it would “do no harm” to see elected representatives get involved in the Anti-Household Charge campaign.
This is the first time that Scott has become involved with any protest group, but he is determined to keep the fight going all the way to the March deadline and beyond.
“Having seen the cuts in the health service and suffered the other increased taxes and charges, I decided now is the time to make a stand,” he says.

Drogheda Independent

Fear Over Cutbacks

A COURAGEOUS young Navan woman who suffers from severe disabilities fears she may lose her hard-won independence because of Health Service Executive (HSE) cutbacks.
Jane Fennessy, who lives on her own at Bailis, Johnstown, says she hasn't been able to sleep since a HSE official informed her of cutbacks to her care, which could force her to abandon her independent life in her own apartment.
Her home help hours have been cut almost in half, and an on-call service in the apartment block where she lives is being withdrawn.
"This is a severe fire hazard. I would not be able to get out of the apartment myself in the event of an emergency," Fennessy said.
She explained that she needs help to go to the toilet or even to make a cup of tea, and if she drops or spills something. The on-call service was a great help to her in this way, but the new care plan she was handed by the HSE removes this service, she said.
Fennessy has cerebral palsy and as well as being a wheelchair user, and she also has difficulties using her hands.
However, the intelligent 25 year-old enjoys an independent life, loves going to concerts, shopping and keeps in contact with friends and family on Facebook.

Meath Chronicle

St Patrick's Day Parade. Performers from around the country and internationally take part in the annual St Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin City centre.Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland