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Around Ireland Her lucky tree

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Patrick Markey

A County Fermanagh woman is taking a fresh look at life this week after surviving a fall from a cliff and landing relatively unscathed in a treetop.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that the woman is recovering in hospital after her miraculous escape from the 150-foot plunge.

Friends looked on in horror as the woman disappeared over the edge and into a plummeting gorge near Knockcarn Cliff in Derrygonnelly, Co. Fermanagh.

The newspaper reports that, incredibly, she escaped with relatively minor injuries when a tree broke her fall. Her condition is described as ill but stable. The woman’s friends on the cliff top managed to alert a passing British Army Gazelle helicopter and a second army Puma helicopter lowered a paramedic and an RUC officer to help the woman onto a stretcher.

"She was a very lucky lady. If she had not been caught by this tree she would have fallen a lot further," an army spokesman said.

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Underwater mystery

Gold bullion, German U boats and a famous murderer from British history got another airing recently when a cameraman from the Irish language television channel descended with a team of divers off the coast of Donegal.

The Examiner newspaper reports that a diving crew was filming an episode of "Eire Fo Fhoinn" (Ireland under the Waves).

The cameraman was documenting the search for 25 missing gold bars lost on the wreck of the SS Laurentic, a White Star line cruiser, built in 1908.

The vessel, which weighed 14,950 tons and was 500 feet long, sank with the loss of 350 crew in 1917. It was carrying £5 million in the in 3,211 gold bars.

The vessel was instrumental in capturing murderer Dr Crippen. After killing his wife in 1910, he boarded the SS Montrose at Liverpool, bound for America and freedom. But Scotland Yard realized the SS Laurentic could make the crossing faster.

The ship overtook the Montrose with a detective on board and he was waiting on the pier to arrest the fugitive.

Wedding bells

Most couples enjoy a little attention when they tie the knot.

But one pair managed to host hundreds of thousands of uninvited guests at their recent ceremony in Enniscorthy.

The New Ross Echo reports that Catherine O’Brien and groom Fabio Brugnoli were getting married at St. Aidan’s cathedral just as the famous local Fleadh Cheóil na h-Éireann was at its peak — and many of the 150,000 spectators were making their way past the church gates.

Neither the wedding party nor the unusual spectators seemed to mind the interruptions.

Limerick leader

A group of hapless thieves tried their hand at kidnapping recently by holding to ransom several ponies stolen from Fossetts Circus.

The strange kidnap tale took a new twist with confirmation that £200 had been offered for the animals safe return.

But the Limerick Leader reports that soon after the theft of the Shetland ponies, gárdaí had found the animals the next day during an unrelated investigation.

During a gárda investigation into criminal damage in the Hyde Road area, a confrontation occurred between two detective gárdaí from Roxboro and two men.

"The cap of a pillar was thrown at one detective from an elevated position and he put his hand up to save his head being hit," said Superintendent Willie Keane.

The detective sustained a shoulder injury while the other had his knee injured. The culprits fled the scene and shortly afterwards the two ponies were found at the back of a house.

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