Category: Archive

Around Ireland: Enormous Rhubarb, Enlarging Lucan and is Bundoran a dump?

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter


Lucan is the fastest growing area of Ireland in terms of population, according to a new report.

The Dublin suburb has reached 21,785 in 2002.

Local TDs and councilors have warned that Lucan’s population looks set to further rise to 60,000 in five years and action must be taken by the Government to address infrastructure problems across the Lucan area.

The population for Ireland is now just under four million, an increase by over 290,000 persons between 1996 and 2002 or an increase of eight per cent in six years. This is the highest population level in the country since 1871.


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From Donegal comes news that Brendan McDaid has grown a rhubarb plant that may make it into the Guinness Book of Records.

At three foot, three inches tall, the plant is big enough to make ten rhubarb tarts.

How did he do it?

“Plenty of cow manure and loads of patience, that’s the secret,” he told reporters last week.

It is not the first time McDaid has tried his hand at gardening feats.

Last year, he grew a carrot in a milk bottle, and now wants to try growing a potato in a glove, to see if he can coax it to be hand-shaped.

And the rhubarb has interesting qualities aside from its size, McDaid said with a wink.

“It’s a great aphrodisiac, you know?”


Also in Donegal, the town of Bundoran, renowned as an Irish holiday destination for generations, was infuriated by the Sunday people newspaper, which called it ‘a kip.’

A column by a staff writer also said that Bundoran was like “the back streets of Las Vegas only with cheaper hookers.”

“We asked for a right to reply to the comments made the previous week instead we got this big, ‘It’s a kip’ headline with no justification,” said local councilor Tiernan Brady.

Council chair Elizabeth McIntyre agreed.

“As far as I can see it is merely an attempt to elevate the paper and the journalist to greater recognition. If they wanted to be fair and write a balanced report they would have listened to and carried both sides of the story. Instead they have made a gross exaggeration,” she said.

Unfortunately under Irish law, a town cannot sue for defamation of character, the way a person can.


In Strabane, Co. Tyrone, the face of Padre Pio has allegedly appeared on the wall of a house.

Nigel and Teresa Doherty said local residents had been flocking to their home at 33 Ballycolman Estate to catch a glimpse of the saintly vision.

They believe the distinctive facial features of Padre Pio are clearly visible on the plasterwork of the garage wall, which they built on, to the side of their house last year.

The young married couple say they are now reluctant to paint over the image of the bearded Italian saint who was recently canonized by Pope John Paul II over 30 years after his death.


Andrew William Birney of Fermanagh was in court last week charged with hitting his mother.

Jailing him for three months, magistrate Bonita Boyd said Birney was “particularly unpleasant.”

Birney admitted assaulting his mother and his brother’s girlfriend. In May he was convicted of assaulting his sister, according to the Impartial Reporter.

Drink was a factor in all the assaults, witnesses told the court.

Counsel for the defense Des Fahy said, “there’s nothing showing a propensity for violence.”


World famous comedian the late Spike Milligan could soon have a memorial to his memory in Sligo.

According to the Sligo Champion, Milligan’s father was born on Holborn Street in Sligo town.

Local artist Bernard McDonagh said that the memorial he had in mind would reflect Milligan’s youth spent in India. His father was a physical instructor in the Royal Irish Artillery and served in India, where Spike was born.

Milligan is remembered for his surreal sense of humor, which he attributed to his lifelong manic depression.


The Mayo News reported last week on the opening of the Battery Park Irish Hunger Memorial, which incorporates a ruined house from the county.

Brothers Tom and Chris Slack had donated the cottage to the New York Municipal Authority after it ran an international competition seeking submissions from artists on an appropriate Irish Famine memorial.

The sense of a memorial as more than a static statement about the past was echoed in President McAleese’s moving speech in which she talked of Ireland as a “First World country with a Third World memory.”

The memorial was the work of new York artist Brian Tolle.


Former South African President F. W. de Klerk will visit Wicklow next week, according to the Bray People newspaper.

He will speak at the ninth annual Glencree Summer School, and his speech has been titled ‘Building a Culturally Inclusive Society in a Post Conflict Environment.’

Other speakers at the event include Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, Colin Parry, whose son Tim was killed by an IRA bomb in Warrington in 1996, and PUP leader David Ervine.

The event’s representative, Helen Byrne said that “many of those addressing the conference are academics who have spent years working in the field of conflict resolution.”

The summer school will take place in the newly refurbished Barracks Building, opened by Prince Charles during his Irish visit last February.

Anybody who is interested in taking part should contact Helen on 00-353-1-282-9711.


Norway and Sweden came to Roscommon last week, when a group of Scandinavian dancers performed at the O’Carolan Harp and Traditional Music Festival in the pretty village of Keadue, according to the Roscommon Herald.

The event was a spectacular show with a truly international flavor.


News from Derry this week involves drink.

Derry alcoholics have been in greater danger since a small band of dealers in the city started selling potentially lethal industrial strength alcohol at a very low price. Four people are thought to have died from the stuff already.

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein MLA Mary Nelis told the Derry Journal that Derry’s Bull Park is being destroyed by “vodka swigging, foul mouthed teenagers,” who have trashed the place.

In the latest incident at the weekend a highly flammable foam mat placed under swings to protect children if they fall, was set alight, and bottles smashed throughout the park.

Also, the newspaper reports that illegal taxi drivers have been making money purchasing and delivering booze to children as young as 12.

One local father said he was disgusted after finding his 16 year old son slumped “in a heap” beside a 13 year-old in a similar state after a drinking binge at the weekend.

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