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Around Ireland Bird deaths spark mystery

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Stephen McKinley

Locals in Donabate, near Fingal, were horrified to find hundreds of dead seagulls on Corballis Beach, according to the Fingal Independent.

The beach is near to Baleally dump, but it is not yet known if there is a connection to the birds’ deaths. Tests have been carried out on some of the dead birds at a nearby environmental laboratory, but no conclusive results have been announced, said Maurice McDonough of the Fingal Council Environmental Services.

Macroom bomb hoax

"You’d better have homes to go to in a hurry . . . "

Patrons at Dineen’s Bar in Macroom received a rude and early last call last week, when a local man called in a hoax bomb scare to Gardai. Police officers cleared the bar and sealed it off, sending more than 50 customers out into a snow shower. The unnamed local man later confessed to the gardai, and will be charged at the end of the month, according to The Corkman newspaper.

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"When you get a call of that nature, there are two possibilities," said a Gardai spokesman, "either it is real, or it is not real."

Judge on the go-slow

Judge Flann Brennan of Drogheda has had enough: after holding court sessions in an unheated bingo hall, the judge has threatened to end all court proceedings until a better facility is found, according to a report in the Drogheda Independent.

"Small one-horse and one-and-a-half-horse towns have got better courthouses," said Justice Brennan, adding that he felt like "some kind of judicial Santa Claus."

The judge’s bench currently sits on the stage facing a bingo board and decorative flags and bunting. Drogheda’s old courthouse has never been reopened since it fell into disrepair in the early 1990s. Currently, Brennan is only hearing adjournments and uncontested cases in protest.

Courting controversy

Meanwhile, in County Mayo, it’s the courts that are giving grief as well. T.D. Michael Ring has accused the government of wanting to "shut down rural Ireland" after five courthouses in Newport, Castlebar, Ballina, Ballycastle and Ballyhaunis were closed. But larger facilites are due to open in all but Newport, which will be transferred to Westport.

Galway gangs grief

And perhaps they’ll need all those courthouses after all: Galway city senator Margaret Cox is outraged at what she has described as a wave of "recreational violence" — indiscriminate attacks on locals from people for whom she says drink and drugs do not provide a sufficient high. Cox told the Tuam Herald that she knew three innocent victims of such gang attacks over the Christmas period.

Hugh drops in Dew Drop

By comparison, news from the Dew Drop Inn in Kill, Co. Kildare, is of a celebrity, not criminal, version. Jaws dropped in the Dew Drop when in walked actor Hugh Grant for lunch of Irish Stew and pints of Guinness with two friends, reports the Leinster Leader.

"He was a real gentleman," bar manager Lorraine Tierney told the Leinster Leader.

"People were sending text messages to each other. It was great for business."

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