By Stephen McKinley
Judge Timothy Crowley was in court last week, but on the wrong side of the bench. Balbriggan district court heard that Crowley was rushing to the courthouse and sped past a group of 57 schoolchildren from St. Peter and Paul’s national school. Schoolteacher Maura Ellis Carroll later complained to the police that Crowley’s car passed the children at a dangerous speed, sounding the car horn "continuously." But Judge Flann Brennan acquitted Crowley of the charge, according to the Irish Independent.
Who wants to be a thousandaire?
Move over, Regis Philbin. In Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, Mick Wafer staged his own version of the now-famous TV show, choosing 10 contestants at random out of an audience of 120 at An Cruiscin Lan, reported the Enniscorthy Guardian. The same rules of the game applied, including the 50:50, phone-a-friend and ask-the-audience segments. The big difference was that the maximum prize money is only £1,000, so Regis Philbin won’t be too concerned about losing his job yet.
Kildare kids shine at science
Kildare children were blinding with science at the Young Scientist and Technology competition at the RDS in Dublin recently. The Leinster Leader reported that two students, Brian Cooney and Roberto Conti, won the Intel award for their geriatric table design, while Shane Mellon and Thomas Browne came second in their category with a special spoon designed for people with disabilities.
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Sleeping in van
In Sligo, the father of a Traveler family has appealed for assistance in finding better accommodation for his six sons, who currently have to sleep in the back of a van each night.
"My sons are freezing at night in the van," John Ward told the Sligo Champion. "I cannot turn on the engine because of the fumes."
Ward said that he has 10 children, four of whom sleep in his caravan, but the boys have to make do with the van. Ward says even another caravan would help.
Firemen or snowmen?
After they arrived to tackle a chimney fire in Blessington, Co. Wicklow, firemen found their source of water had frozen, and were forced to improvise — by throwing snowballs down the chimney, according to the Wicklow People. Cllr. Jim Ruttle said it is an outrage that the firemen are so poorly equipped, and raised questions over the firemen’s current temporary garage, a corrugated iron shed with no heating.
No water in Kerry
Killarney, Tralee and Castleisland residents were left without water last week after a major water main burst due to the freezing weather. Kerry County Council Engineer Ger McNamara said his men worked quickly to fix the problem, but that meant that another pipe breach, at Brosna, left 17 homes without water for longer.
Angry scenes erupted in Armagh Magistrates Court after a Tandragee man walked free from a charge of double murder. Steven Leslie Revels, 19, was accused of stabbing Andrew Robb, 19, and David McIlwaine, 18, almost a year ago. Their bodies were found outside Tandragee, reported the Ulster Gazette, just hours after they left a disco.
Scam in Ballyclare
Cops in Ballyclare, Co. Antrim, have warned the public about an apparent credit card fraudster in the area. The person has been calling up residents and claiming to represent an American holiday company, and then asking for full credit card details in order to "confirm the holiday." People who were called grew suspicious when the caller’s accent changed from American to Northern Irish, said the Ballyclare Gazette.