Lost Pooch Found, Not Returned
A KEADY family has slammed the council's stray dog re-homing policy after their St. Bernard pet had been given a new home less than a week after it went missing -- and the new owners have refused to give the dog back.

Donagh Nugent's eight-month old dog Bella, bought from a breeder in Carlow, went missing on February 13 outside their home. The distressed family searched for days and eventually came to the assumption their dog had been stolen.

In a last ditch attempt, a phone call was made to the dog kennel on Monday, February 18 but there was no answer. Another call was made the next day, and the family were told there was "good and bad news.”

“The good news was Bella had been found on the Wednesday she had gone missing,” Nugent said.

“The bad news was she had been re-homed the following Tuesday."

The pound explained that they could only hold the dog for five days, but Nugent wasn't aware that the five days included weekends and not five working days.

Despite contacting the new owners to inform them Bella's family had rang the pound, they have declined to return the dog to its original owners.

“To be fair to the pound, they have done everything they can to retrieve our dog.  The new owners had originally said they would return Bella but after speaking with the Citizens Advice, they changed their mind and will not return our dog,” Nugent said.

"We just feel like we have been stolen from. Bella was our dog and we loved her very much. I would like to ask the new owners to reconsider and return the dog to us."

SDLP Councilor Thomas O'Hanlon has called for an urgent review of how long the council's own dog warden service keep dogs before being re-homed.

Ulster Gazette

Dying Dublin?
DUBLIN city center is in danger of "dying" during the day, a councilor has warned.
John O’Hara issued the alert after it emerged the city's retail core -– including Grafton Street on the Southside and Henry Street on the Northside –- is "losing market share.”

"With regard to retail, it has to be said the city center is losing market share not only to shopping centers but to digital media (which is) exemplified by HMV closing," O’Hara said, referring to the U.K. music store chain which recently shuttered its doors.

But on the positive side, the capital's nightlife seems to be thriving.

"There is, according to recent planning applications, a growth in restaurants, eating-out facilities and evening entertainment in the city. Maybe that's something we need to look at in the future -– is that a trend we should be promoting or not?" he said.

Fine Gael's Bill Tormey said foot traffic in the city center "seems to be in decline and the traders seem to be losing profits.”

"It seems to be that there may be a long-term trend evolving here where the city center is in fact dying," he said.

"It's okay to say we're getting more people in for food and entertainment later on, but that means that the city can die in the daytime and suddenly come alive and then die again," he added.

They were speaking after the council released a review of the implementation of the city development plan, one of the aims of which is to strengthen the capital as a national retail destination.

Evening Herald

Negligence Suit
THE Western Health and Social Care Trust and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) are being sued over a case in which a convicted sex offender killed himself and his family in a house fire in Omagh six years ago.

Relatives are claiming there was negligence in the supervision and monitoring of Arthur McElhill, who set fire to his house in Lammy. The fire in 2007 claimed the lives of his partner, Lorraine McGovern, 29, and their five young children. The relatives have lodged legal papers at the High Court in Belfast.

A coroner later ruled that McElhill burned the house because McGovern threatened to leave him. She died in the blaze along with children Caroline, 13; Sean, seven; Bellina, four; one-year-old Clodagh and 10-month-old baby James.

McElhill, who was a heavy drinker and suffering from depression, was also killed. He had previously been convicted of sexually assaulting teenage girls and was on the sex offenders register. It also emerged that he had been having sex with a 16-year-old girl in the weeks before the fire.

The action is being brought by Kevin McGovern. The writ claims damages on behalf of the estate of McGovern and her children, saying there was a breach of duty by the health authority and the police.

The papers allege that the loss sustained by the estate of each of the six deceased was due to the negligence and breach of duty by the defendants with regard to the supervision, monitoring, care and control of McElhill, and the care and supervision of the six deceased.

A further review of the case has been listed for October.

Tyrone Constitution

Village Support
DANNY Lafferty of Creeslough said he has gotten a great response from the local public in recent days, since he reported he had 100 days to save his long-established Creeslough businesses.

“The public response has been very gratifying and wholehearted,” Lafferty said, adding that he’s seen a boost in his sales.

The people of Creeslough and surrounding communities rallied around Lafferty and his family at a public meeting last week which was attended by about 1,000 people.  The meeting had been called in response to the recent announcement that the two shops, pub and filling station he owns in the village had gone into examinership.

Those who attended the meeting pledged their support to the businesses and said their loss would be a critical blow to the village. People at the meeting were encouraged to do more shopping locally where possible.

“We understand that people go to the German discounters and the multinationals, but we’re trying to say if they can give us €20-30 a week per house extra it’s going to save the village,” Lafferty said.

Lafferty said he understood the financial pressures people face.  “People are wary of where they stand and the public needs every penny in their pockets,” he said. “I personally understand that.”

However, he added, “I don’t want Creeslough to be seen as a drive-through village where there is nothing to stop for.”

As well as that, he said, the local shops provide a personal service.

“We know everybody who is coming in here and we’re proud to be able to do that,” Lafferty added.

Donegal Democrat

Wrong Prescription

A 59-YEAR-old Castlebar woman who presented to Mayo General Hospital with chest earlier this month was sent home with the prescription of a 90-year-old man from Mulranny.

Independent councilor Michael Kilcoyne raised the issue at a meeting of Castlebar Town Council where he said the issue was only discovered the next day when a family member of the woman went to get her prescription filled in a pharmacy and it was the pharmacist who pointed out that the name on it was for a man who lived in Mulranny.

“She was brought up to the hospital with chest pains on Saturday night and was discharged later with a chest infection,” a family member said.

“There was no chemist open until Sunday and her daughter went down to get it. The pharmacist noticed that the prescription wasn’t for her mother, but for a man in Mulranny who lived in a nursing home. 

“On Monday we got in touch with the hospital and they sorted it out. Both of them had been prescribed the same things and that’s how the mix up occurred, and the hospital manager did ring later that day to apologize. It was a mistake, but it could have been very serious if the pharmacist didn’t notice and there were different drugs prescribed.”

Kilcoyne said that was not good enough and shows the pressure that staff are under in Mayo General.

“Imagine if the person was allergic to something that they were prescribed and the mistake was never picked up by the pharmacist. The staff are under serious pressure up there and that’s when mistakes happen,” he said.

Mayo Advertiser

UPSKILLING -- On Friday, elderly Dubliners learned new digital skills in the Digital Hub as part of Digital Dublin Day.Photocall Ireland