By Stephen McKinley
Honest . . . or not strong enough? Thieves who stole a motor from a Lough Ree diving club search boat later appeared to have "returned" the equipment by leaving it behind a headstone in Clonbonny Cemetery, near Lanesboro, Co. Longford.
"It’s a fairly heavy piece of equipment," said owner Frank Casey, "and normally would take two or more to lift it."
Club members went to take the boat out on Tuesday, to look for a man missing since December, when they discovered that the engine was missing, reports the Longford Leader. Perhaps the thieves simply found it too heavy to carry very far.
Three suspected incidents in recent weeks have led to fears of a meningitis outbreak in Enniscorthy, but the South Eastern Health Board has denied that there is any cause for alarm. No school in the town has been put on alert, according to the Enniscorthy Guardian, but the health board has inoculated 45,000 people against meningitis type C.
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Residents of Mohill, Co. Leitrim, residents are outraged. An Bord Pleanála, the board of planning regulations, has overturned the Leitrim County Council’s refusal to grant permission for a telecommunications tower. Esat Digifone Limited appealed the refusal and its appeal was upheld. The chairman of the local protest group described it as "a shameful act."
A farmer who was found guilty of cruelty to animals, and who refused to pay a £5,000 fine, was jailed for six months at Wexford District Court, according to the Wexford Echo.
Gerard Roche of Duncormick was found guilty of multiple counts of cruelty, and when given the option of paying the fine, refused and told Judge Donnchadh O Buachalla, "I am quite determined that I am not paying."
The judge also asked Roche where his solicitor was, and Roche confidently replied, "I don’t need one."
Amy comes home
Amy Roche returned home to Arklow last week after undergoing heart surgery in the John Hopkins Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. She was sitting up in her hospital bed eating just 20 hours after having her operation. Amy’s mother told the Wicklow People that she had received many phone calls of support and concern. But Amy has taken it all in her stride — at 20 months old, even heart surgery doesn’t weigh heavily.
Safe to drink
The Corkman reports this week that after a tributary of the Clyda River was contaminated by agricultural pollution, Mallow locals were concerned about their drinking water. But town engineer Aidan Weir defended the supply vigorously, saying that the water was treated to the highest standards of purification, and even if it didn’t taste like Ballygowan or Kerry Spring bottle water, it was still safe to sup.
Grass is greener
The grass is greener in County Derry, apparently. The BBC and other news outlets reported that a pensioner in Limavady, Lena Hunt, singlehandedly scuppered plans to build a multi-million pound supermarket because she refused to sell her garden to developers.
Why? "Because I can go out and walk in it and see the birds, and the bees, and I’m quite happy doing that," she said.
Astonishingly, Hunt even turned down a final offer of £250,000, which must have made her garden as expensive as a chunk of Manhattan.
The Markets area of Belfast said a final farewell to local republican activist Joe Myles. The Andersonstown News recorded that Myles’s passing is the end of an era. He was first involved in republican activism when aged 17 in 1941, and after time served in the Crumlin Road jail, he went to the U.S., settling in Detroit. He refused to become a U.S. citizen, and continued his activism — in 1973, he was arrested in Canada while in possession of firearms which led to a further term in prison and deportation to Ireland when he reentered the United States.