Around Ireland: a Romanian is deported, a tragedy in Tramore, and a Nazi’s son visits Derry
February 16, 2011
Northern Ireland’s population is rising, according to the latest statistics out of Belfast. Speeding the rise is a two-fold rise in birth rate and falling death rate.
A total of 21,959 children were born to Northern Ireland mothers in 2001, an increase of more than 400 on the previous year’s total of 21,512.
Last year also saw the lowest death rate for 10 years. A total of 14,513 Northern Ireland residents died in 2001, a fall of 390 on the previous year.
From Fermanagh comes news that a popular Romanian man has been deported for overstaying his visa.
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Well known for his work behind Pat’s Bar and his interest in water polo, Daniel Marin worked as a volunteer at the Share center in Lisnaskea. He coached the Northern Ireland women’s water polo team to its first Commonwealth Games in Manchester earlier this year.
On Saturday, July 27, according to the Impartial Reporter, immigration officials arrived from Belfast with members of the PSNI and asked Marin to accompany them to Enniskillen Police Station. He was then transferred to Maghaberry and deported to Romania the following Wednesday.
The owner of Pat’s Bar, Ronan O’Hare, said that he was upset to see Marin leave in this way, and said that if he made it back legally to Northern Ireland, the job would remain open.
The newspaper opined that it was a shame to see an honest man deported in these circumstances.
The Downpatrick Recorder praised the peaceful passing of a loyalist parade in Downpatrick recently, saying that it was the quietest in 20 years.
Police dog teams backed by 120 officers and soldiers watched the Red Hand Defenders parade pass, unlike last year when they charged a loyalist mob with batons.
There were 29 bands in the parade, and Red Hand Defenders bandmaster Stephen Strain said he felt the parade went “extremely well.”
As the evening wore on a number of supporters became rowdier through drink and at 10 p.m. two supporters pulled open the barricade and members of Crossbar Young Defenders marched toward police before they turned back when officers approached with shields and dogs. The barricade was then pulled back into place by Red Hand Defenders members.
The 35th Mary of Dungloe was crowned last week in Donegal. Jolene McMonagle, 22, from Falcarragh, lifted the honor and recalled how her late mother had told her years ago that she would one day be chosen as Mary of Dungloe.
McMonagle, a nutritionist, told the Tirconnaill Tribune that she planned to go to Scotland’s Dundee University to become a doctor, and that she also had a $30,000 scholarship to take her to the U.S. Her father, Cathal, joined her on stage, as well as her uncle Pete, who flew over from New York. Singer Daniel O’Donnell was the host of the evening.
QUINN IN CORK
In Macroom, Co. Cork, crowds gathered in the town square to watch actor Aidan Quinn in action, filming a new movie called “Songs for a Raggy Boy.”
Later, Quinn told the Corkman newspaper that he was delighted with his visit to Macroom.
“All of the locals have been great, really friendly — sometimes too friendly, as you can’t get out of a pub,” he said.
He added that the movie was a somber affair that would “make people think.”
The Sligo Champion reports on a marathon tractor drive, to take place from Malin Head in Donegal to Mizen Head in Cork to raise money for the Special Olympics.
On day one, Aug. 13, the tractor drive will start in Carndonagh, Co. Donegal, working its way through Buncrana, Burnfoot, Letterkenny, Stranorlar, Donegal and Ballyshannon.
Day two of the journey will start in Ballyshannon, continuing through Bundoran into Sligo, on to Tubbercurry, Charlestown, Claremorris, Tuam and finishing the second day in Galway.
Day three will continue into Gort, Ennis, Limerick, and Tipperary, finishing in Ballylanders. The final leg of the journey will start in Ballylanders, on to Mitchelstown, Fermoy, Cork, Bandon, Clonakilty, Ballydehob and finally ending at Mizen Head.
The Special Olympics will be held in Ireland next year, and will dwarf even the World Cup fever of earlier this year, in being Ireland’s biggest-ever sporting event.
TRAGEDY IN TRAMORE
Tramore, Co. Waterford, mourned at the weekend after 16-year-old John Flavin died tragically in a fairground accident.
He was working on a bungee-like slingshot ride when he sustained a blow to the head from the pod that carries occupants into the air and drops them again.
Gardai said that the ride was monitored by a security camera, and that they would be studying the recorded footage of the incident.
According to the Munster Express, the Flavin family is well known in sports circles, John Flavin having hurled for Mount Sion and Waterford in his youth and his son David having kept goal for the Waterford soccer team for a number of years before immigrating to the United States in the early 1990s. John Flavin, who was a driver for Martin Cullen for a period while he was minister of state in the last government, has also been captain of the Waterford Golf Club.
NAZI KIN TO VISIT
A peace conference in Derry will see an unusual visitor in the Maiden City: Hitler’s godson Martin Bormann.
Bormann’s father, Martin, was one of the most senior Nazis under the German dictator. At the end of World War II, Bormann Sr. disappeared and was sentenced to death at Nuremberg in absentia. His body was never found and there was continued speculation that he was hiding in South America for years, until some remains were identified in 1972.
His son became a priest after the war, and has toured the world speaking about the evils of Nazism and totalitarianism.
Bormann will be accompanied by a panel including Dan Bar-on (Isr’l), Sami Adwan (Palestine) and Merle Friedman (South Africa).
They will take part in seminars on peacemaking, entitled “Peace is Tough.”
SMOKING BAN BLASTED
The Vintners Federation of Ireland met in Limerick last week and blasted the government’s plans to ban smoking in bars and pubs.
The VFI claims that a blanket ban on smoking would be impossible to police and says that the livelihood of 65,000 people employed in the trade would be at risk if such a proposal became law.
Newly elected VFI president Joe Browne predicted a bleak future for Irish pubs if the ban was enforced.
“If the government is so adamant in its approach to improving the nation’s health through reducing the incidence of smoking, why doesn’t it channel the massive taxes it makes on cigarettes into health educational programs?” Browne said. “For every pack of 20 cigarettes sold in Ireland, the government receives 79 percent of the price in tax receipts. Banning smoking in pubs is a soft option for them rather than tackling the core issue of assisting people give up cigarettes through funding health awareness campaigns.”