By Patrick Markey
New York was not the only place to have St. Patrick’s Day parade troubles.
After a split between organizers and residents furious at a decision to drop their area from the official route, Tralee was scheduled to hold a second, unofficial parade march through the town.
The Kerry’s Eye newspaper recently reported more than 40 outraged residents of Boherbee planned their alternative celebration after they had been dropped from the traditional route which had passed through the area for decades.
The newspaper received dozens of calls in the run-up to March 17 in support of the St. Patrick’s Day protesters.
Local businessman Bill Kirby threatened to withdraw his Brogue Inn float from the official event and to withdraw from the Chamber of Commerce if the organizers refused to return to the traditional parade route.
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But the Chamber of Commerce refused to budge. The main parade organizing body cited safety concerns as the reason for the route change this year.
"We are going ahead with our original plan," said Margaret Healy, one of the organizers. "It was hatched in the best interests of the town. We are not politicians and this is the best we came up with. Where were all these people when we were planning the parade?"
Manual dexterity is a definite an advantage for a magician pulling rabbits out of a hat.
But children’s magician Ian Wragg has one distinct disadvantage: He’s allergic to the animals.
The Belfast Telegraph reports that Wragg gets no help from drugs such as antihistamines.
"I’ve now learned to handle the rabbits for short periods of time to help overcome my allergy. But if they are near me for more than a minute my eyes are in agony and I start to sneeze my head off, I just can’t go on," the magician told the paper.
"I have often thought it was ironic that a magician should be allergic to rabbits. It’s like a carpenter being allergic to wood."
Wragg set up his business when he was 18 after receiving a £1,000 grant from Darlington Borough Council. He has worked in Spain and the Canary Islands and performs at children’s parties, corporate dinners and social functions
Despite his difficulties, Wragg said the show must always go on with his latest rabbit Homer.
"If I’m dying on my feet, there is one sure way of getting the kids screaming with delight and that is when I produce Homer."
The Hurdlestown House Dog Hotel in Limerick offers luxury service for dogs, daily grooming, 10 acres of exercise paddocks and a chocolate each night in the warm, dry and centrally heated rooms.
For a few more punts, canine visitors can even get extra treats such as the pooch’s own television, swimming pool, massage, toys and special menus including steak.
But when gárdaí searched the Limerick animal hotel recently, they found more than dog collars and expensive leather leads.
After being called to the hotel twice in one week, investigators discovered an arsenal of weapons and arrested one man after the Russian owner had reportedly confronted an intruder and been shot and stabbed.
The Limerick Post reported that the bizarre incident began early on a recent Sunday morning when gárdaí were told the hotel owner, Nicholas Krivenko, and his Austrian partner, Sybille Hintze, had been shot by an intruder.
But gárdaí had also been called to the hotel a week earlier when they were told Krivenko had been stabbed by another intruder. On the second occasion he was released within hours from a Limerick hospital after being treated for a gunshot wound to his leg.
Supt. Sean Corcoran told the paper: "A man is in custody, we are not looking for anyone else, and we have seized a large assortment of weapons, including a single barreled shotgun, knives, swords and cross bows."