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Around Ireland Flying Sharks Over Kerry

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Patrick Markey

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into Kerry waters, the United States Air Force has decided to make you think again.

The Air Force is helping fly five sharks to the region’s Dingle Oceanworld, reports the Kerryman newspaper.

Oceanworld had purchased the sharks – three Tigers and two Browns – earlier this year from a Florida businessman, but the marine park was having difficulty getting the finny fiends over to Kerry, according to center director Kevin Flannery.

“The sharks have to be anesthetized to be transported and we had just 48 hours to get them from Florida to Kerry, but no airline would allow us to keep staff in the hold to monitor them,” Flannery said.

The park staff wrote to U.S. Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, who put them in touch with her military attache, Col. Bill Torpey, who arranged the flight.

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The Air Force is flying the U.S. Navy Band out to Ireland for the Independence Day celebrations and will transport the sharks at that time as well.

“They have plenty of spare capacity in their cargo hold, so they’re going to carry them over for us – we just have to the get sharks from Florida up to Andrews Air Base in Maryland,” Flannery said.

The sharks will be deprived of food to ensure they don’t vomit or choke on the flight and then woken up in their new abode.

“These lads will be anesthetized and they will have to be got moving again when they wake up, so a dive team will have to swim around with them and get them swimming again,” he explained.

An Irish World Cup holder

Fiona Costello may be the only Irish person to ever hold a World Cup.

According to the Limerick Leader, Costello, who is from Faha, Patrickswell, works for the top French PR firm, the company that deals with the World Cup public relations for the soccer body FIFA. That means she gets to look after the cup itself until July 12 as it is taken around France on promotional tours.

“I am responsible for the World Cup Trophy Tour,” she told the newspaper. “We are taking the World Cup around France. There is an exhibition trailer and a different football-related activities taking place at each event. The trophy I have in my possession at all times will be the trophy that will be won and kept by the winning team.”

With such an important prize in her hands, the Limerick lass is accompanied by two security guards at all times during the tour – just in case.

Strabane student electrocuted

A 22-year-old Strabane student found dead at a McDonald’s last week had been electrocuted after she went to use the automatic hand-drier inside the bathroom.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that Ciara McGinley, a Queens University language student, was celebrating the finish of her final exams when she collapsed in the disabled toilets of the fast food restaurant at Bradbury Place, Belfast.

A Health and Safety Department investigation revealed that the hand drier was probably the cause of her death.

“We have taken away the drier for further examination and we’re checking the restaurant’s electrical records,” safety inspector Paul Scott told the paper.

Friends and family were devastated by the girl’s sudden and tragic death.

“We weren’t too worried when Ciara didn’t come home on Wednesday night,” said one girl who shared an apartment with the victim.

“We thought she’d gone to a party or stayed with other friends. Then the police arrived and told us she was dead.”

Britain’s beach bomb hassles

Meath County Council is demanding that Britain pay for the cost of dealing with several incendiary devices found washed up on a local Laytown beach.

The Drogheda Independent reports that at a recent meeting councilors were told that four devices had been found in less than a week. Army bomb disposal units have already destroyed seven devices, believed to be phosphorous bombs, which experts said can become unstable once out of the water. Civil Defense units have been patrolling the beach and signs have been placed up to warn residents of the possible danger.

Several council members were concerned that the munitions had been dumped by the British in the Beaufort Dyke after World War II.

“There are probably more materials dumped there than the British have admitted,” one member said.

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