Great Game for Armagh
GOSFORD Castle will feature heavily in the third series of the hit HBO show Game of Thrones. Filming at the castle and the surrounding forest started last week and continued well into the weekend.
But only a few lucky members of the public were able to catch a glimpse of the cast as a blanket of security descended upon the immediate area. Dozens of lorries took up car parks throughout Gosford, while numerous cameras have been placed on and around the castle.
This isn't the first time that Gosford has featured in Game of Thrones following a brief appearance in season two. As well as that, staging was set up in the picturesque gardens while scenes were also shot deep within the forest.
The return of Game of Thrones has been greeted with plenty of excitement from local fans of the show. Fans have traveled from across Northern Ireland in a bid to catch a glimpse of the action. But a veil of secrecy has been placed on everyone involved in the show, from lead actors, extras and production staff.
While little secret has been made that the show is mainly based in Northern Ireland, the exact whereabouts of filming has remained a tight-lipped secret. But what is known is that, given filming has been continuing for almost a week, the Armagh landmark is set to play a key role in season three of the show
The pilot program and the first two series of Game of Thrones attracted funding of £6 million from Invest NI, but that money has been shown to have brought in £40 million to the Northern Irish economy. And another £3.2 million of public money will go towards the series currently being filmed.
Exposed Man Fined
A MAN who was lying on the street with his genitals exposed as children played in the area has been fined £200.
Kevin Joseph Grint, of Harty Court, pleaded guilty to indecent behavior on July 13.
Derry Magistrate’s Court heard police were called to the Ballymagroarty street at around 6 p.m. because the 54-year-old had been lying in the street with his trousers around his ankles and his “genitals clearly exposed.” The court was told there were children in the area at the time and their “mothers removed them as quickly as possible.”
Another neighbor got Grint back into his home, and when police arrived it was clear he was drunk. When asked about the incident he told police that his “belt wasn’t working and my trousers fell down.”
A defense solicitor told the court her client was going to another house in the street to get a loan of a belt when he tripped and his trousers fell down.
She said it was “not a deliberate attempt to go out and behave in an indecent manner” or to offend anyone.
The solicitor added that Grint was “highly embarrassed” for the “dreadful incident” and “accepts it shouldn’t have happened.”
Fining Grint £200, District Judge Barney McElholm also imposed an offender levy of £15.
Priest Says No Abortion
AN Arranmore curate has told his congregation that any legislation on abortion should not be passed under the terms of the X case, saying he believed that would make Irish abortion laws the most liberal in Europe.
Father John Joe Duffy told parishioners that he welcomed the decision of Donegal County Council, which voted at their regular meeting last month to oppose any form of legislation of abortion.
“I welcome the decision taken by Donegal County Council in relation to their stance on the abortion issue, in that they are not in favor of the minister for health, James Reilly legislating for abortion under the terms of the X case,” Duffy said. The X case in 1992 concerned a 14-year-old Irish girl who was raped by her neighbor and got pregnant, but Irish law at the time prohibited her from getting an abortion even though she was suicidal.
However, the head of the Irish Family Planning Association said that even if legislation were brought in for the X case, Irish legislation would remain among the most restrictive in Europe.
Duffy called on all political representatives to state their position on the subject.
“It is time to get off the fence. I am calling, in particular, on Sinn Fein locally and nationally to clearly state where they stand, in the same manner that I am calling on all political parties to clearly state where they stand. It is now time for political parties to show moral courage and protect the rights of the unborn child,” Duffy said.
He added that this was going to be a very difficult debate, and urged everyone to be sensitive to the language they use.
“Abortion is wrong under any circumstances and no matter how you may try to dress it up linguistically, it is what it is,” he said. “But we must be exceptionally sensitive in our use of language in relation to the future debate which will be on abortion.”
He added that he believed any legislation adopted in terms of the X case would make Irish abortion laws the most liberal in Europe.
“The only way that the abortion debate can be revisited is by a referendum where the choice will be put to all the Irish people and that all Irish people will have their say on this matter,” Duffy said. “Legislation is not the way forward on this issue, and it would be wrong for any government to forward this matter by legislation alone.”
Washing Machine Queen
CECILIA O’Dwyer hangs the rest of us out to dry when it comes to looking after washing machines.
The Cappamore grandmother has had just two washing machines in the last 44 years, with barely a problem. At one wash a day that works out at over 16,000 loads -- and with four children and living on a farm it could even have been a lot more.
In 1986, Cecilia won a Miele competition to find the oldest model of their machine in the country. Her 30-year-old machine took the prize.
Cecilia’s husband William bought it when it was already 12 years old. The replacement isn’t going too badly for her either!
When she won the competition in 1986 Miele asked for the washing machine so they could put it in their showroom in Dublin. Automatic washing machines were all the rage in the eighties, so off went
Cecilia to Todds in O’Connell Street, where she purchased a Zanussi model for £320.
History has repeated itself as 26 years later her Zanussi washing machine is still going strong.
“It is as good as the old one. I must be good to mind things,” laughed Cecilia.
When she saw a piece on her old Miele in the Limerick Leader newspaper, Cecilia said it brought back lovely memories.
It was purchased by her husband William way back in 1968 for a mere £2 at a DeCourcy auction in Limerick.
“I thought I would be killed when I arrived home with it. I was sent into town to buy a new machine and here I am coming home with one for £2,” said Mr. O’Dwyer.
As it was already 12 years old Cecilia wondered how long it would keep working. It was the bargain of the century as new washing machines cost around £150 then. The only thing that ever had to be replaced was a roller which only cost one shilling.
The fact that the O’Dwyers are farmers meant her washing machines have had extra strain due to mucky clothes, but they just kept on going until the cows come home.
And if Zanussi plans to run a competition for their oldest washing machine in Ireland Cecilia could be in line for a double.
Charity Closes to Cut Costs
CHILDREN’S charity Barnardos has closed its offices and services for one week because of repeated cuts to its budget over the past number of years which have resulted in a reduction of its statutory income.
The charity also says it is experiencing a decline in donations.
A spokesperson said the decision was made by management in December 2011 to temporarily lay off staff for one week.
They say that all the families and children they work with, as well as the 400 staff and volunteers, had months of advance notice about the decision.
The timing of the move was done so as to have the least impact, they said.
All of Barnardos services are closed this week. However, the charity's network of shops located in Cork, Wexford, Carlow and Dublin will remain open.
A number of fundraising staff are also available if people want to make a donation.
In case of emergency calls, including those with child protection concerns, people can call a dedicated mobile number.