Priceless Pet

The saying “a dog is man’s best friend” certainly rings true with Alan Graham, 49, who runs a vehicle recovery business at his home in Garvary.

About eight years ago, he bought Molly, a top ranked breeder Alsatian as a family pet. Then, two and half years ago, disaster struck as Molly was lying out in the sun in the yard and was driven over.

Her injuries included several breaks to a hind leg, four breaks to her pelvis and a gaping five inch open wound in her leg that failed to hold the stitches. “I was told four times by different people to put her down, but between myself and [vet] Chris Welsh and his nurse Maggie, who used to take Molly home at weekends, we managed to get her back on the road.”

Graham estimates that, to date he has spent £7,500 to ensure his pet’s recovery, and that’s not counting its ongoing medication. Molly’s rehabilitation included two weeks with a specialist in Dublin and with another in Belfast, and a regular three times a week, one-hour dip in the Atlantic off Rossnowlagh, even in cold weather.

“The salt water is a great job for the open wound,” he explained. “They tried to stitch it but the skin kept breaking , so they left it to heal naturally.”

So, wasn’t that an awful lot of money to spend? “I didn’t look at it that way at all. She’s the closest pet I ever had,” Graham said.

Molly spends her days happily in the yard.  With her for company is her daughter Susie and grand-daughter, and Graham’s own children Ruby and Luke.
- Fermanagh Herald

Stole From Bereaved Parents

Gardai (police) issued a description of a man they are seeking after the car of a grieving Glanworth couple was broken into as they visited the grave of their son.

The shocking incident took place as Frances and Patrick Murphy visited the grave of their son Micheál, who had been laid to rest only two days previously.

Micheál, 14, was buried at St. Dominic's Cemetery on Monday after tragically losing his life following a fall from a tractor.

The family members, who had gone to Micheál's graveside at about 7:20 p.m., returned to the car 45 minutes later to find that the driver's window had been smashed. Mrs. Murphy's handbag had been taken from the car.  It contained a mobile phone holding the last messages from Micheál to his mother, cash and a stone with the image of an angel on it.

Glanworth parish priest Father Michael Corkery described the robbery as a "heinous act.”

"It's evil minded people that do this kind of thing. It's completely inhuman to inflict still more pain on a family that is already grieving the loss of a loved one," said Corkery.
A Garda spokesman said they believed the Murphy family were the victims of an opportunist thief.

"We would like to speak to one particular individual who was seen acting suspiciously in the area on the day in question," he said.
- The Corkman

Longford Doesn’t Tweet

According to a graphic released by digital advertising and marketing specialist eighttwenty, Longford people tweet least in the country.

The digital agency has given a county by county breakdown for Twitter usage, and Longford is at the bottom. With only 0.28 percent of tweets in Ireland coming from Longford, the county ranks way below everywhere else.

Unsurprisingly, Dublin and Cork ranked on top with 36.18 percent and 12.70 percent of tweets respectively, but unexpectedly, Louth came third with 5.24 percent. Galway is way down on the list in seventh place and Limerick is tenth.

With over 600,000 active daily users on Twitter, eighttwenty estimated that there are 1,128 tweets per 1,000 Longford people. This is relatively low considering the average Twitter user tweets a couple of times daily.

Eighttwenty have speculated that a high level of emigration from the county could be the cause of the low usage as the majority of users are aged 15-35. Cavan, Roscommon and Leitrim also score low in the report.
- Longford Leader

Stuffed Classrooms

Almost one in three primary school pupils in Wicklow is in a “supersize” classroom of more than 30 children according to the latest figures from the Department of Education.

The figures released last week as children returned to the classroom show that Wicklow is the worst affected area in the country with a total of 31.5 percent of children in classes of 30 or more.
With a total of 30.6 percent of primary pupils in classes of 30 or more Limerick is the second worst affected area.

With the rise of primary school enrollments, average class sizes are increasing almost everywhere in Ireland and children in areas of rapid population growth are among the worst affected. Boom areas on the outskirts of Dublin and neighboring counties along with counties Cork and Waterford area also badly affected.

In contrast, class sizes are generally stable, or falling, in many rural areas and in cities, reflecting trends in population.

The average class size rose to 24.7 in 2012-‘13, up from 24.5 the previous year. It compares with an EU average of 20.

However, the slight increase in the national average masks a shocking jump in the number of pupils in classes of 30 or more, the precise impact of which depends on where a family lives.

Primary pupils in Wicklow and Limerick counties are almost twice as likely to be squeezed into a class of 30 or more, when compared with those in the largely rural Cavan and Roscommon, where the rate is 16.2 percent.
- Bray People

Family Thief

A man who stole money from his cousin’s birthday party has been jailed for five months.
David Gerard McCloskey of Creggan Heights pleaded guilty to two charges of handling property stolen in the Republic of Ireland on June 7.

Derry Magistrates Court heard £295 and €60 were reported missing from the birthday party in Buncrana which he had attended.  The 23-year-old was arrested in relation to motoring offenses later that day and a quantity of sterling and euro were found in his possession.

Defense solicitor Seamus Quigley said his client found the money outside where the birthday party was being held. However, he made “no enquiries about it whatsoever.”
It was revealed McCloskey has a record for dishonesty.

Judge Barney McElholm said, “When I had heard he took this money from a birthday party I wondered how low can you go - then I learn it was his cousin’s birthday party”.
- Derry Journal

Tackling Bullying

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn has announced that €40,000 is to be provided to support anti-bullying training sessions for parents.

Around 70 sessions will take place between now and the end of the year.

The training program is being developed as part of the Action Plan on Bullying.  It will be run by the National Parents Council.

It aims to educate parents about anti-bullying procedures in schools and about how to teach their children to manage relationships, be resilient and to have empathy for others.
Quinn has urged parents to take the time to attend the training sessions.

"The procedures give a great opportunity to reinvigorate and strengthen our approach to preventing and tackling bullying in schools,” he said.

The sessions will last for two-and-a-half hours at various locations across the country.
- RTE News