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Around Ireland Drunk as a . . . pig?

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Stephen McKinley

Did you hear the one about the pig from Wicklow? An American movie producer offered an apology after a young pig on the Wicklow set of the film Animal Farm ended up drunk.

Animal rights activists had already complained about the treatment of animals used in the making of the movie. The U.S. executive producer, Robert Halmi of Hallmark Entertainment, apologized for the incident involving the pig. Halmi apologized in a letter to activists, saying "the terrible incident about the inebriated pig is true and the handler was fired on the spot."

Solstice disappointment

Crowds gathered as usual at Newgrange this year to watch the winter solstice, only to be disappointed. The annual, ancient display of light on astronomical engravings, caused by the coincidence of the sun’s rays with a narrow portal in the stone cairn, failed to appear due to unbroken cloudy skies over the area.

Other ancient sites in the area are becoming increasingly popular. At nearby Dowth, a large number of people were able to see the sun’s rays penetrate the chamber within this ancient mound. A spectacular dawn greeted visitors at the standing stones at Baltry, on Dec. 21.

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Concern over STD

A doctor in the small town of Duncannon, Co. Wexford, has expressed alarm at the increase of sexually transmitted diseases in the area, and said that the rise could presage a country-wide increase in diseases such as chlamydia.

"With modern values and a highly mobile and much-traveled population, sexually transmitted disease is no longer an urban problem, and is now just as likely to be seen in a rural/ provincial setting," Dr. Kevin Byrne said.

Fishy laws

New laws regarding fishing boats have raised concern in Connaught, where a considerable amount of tourist trade is generated by deep-sea fishing cruises.

The new laws are designed to increase passenger safety, but, according to Pat Walsh of the Connaught Council of the Irish Federation of Sea Anglers, "If these regulations become law, then we as an organization are gone."

However, the minister for the marine and natural resources, Frank Fahey, T.D., has indicated his desire to consult the deep-sea fishing trade over a compromise.

WWWexford

North Wexford is now online with a new website aimed at tourists and visitors. The North Wexford and Gorey area tourism chief, Colin Webb, has high hopes for the site’s influence on the tourist trade. By summer 2001, visitors should be able to access all the information they need on the area, as well as make reservations online and check out local businesses and services. The new web site address will be www.northwexford.com.

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