By Patrick Markey
If you ever thought your local postal service was troublesome, consider Lauren Bodkin.
The 8-year-old Tuam youngster recently received a letter from a cousin in England that had made an unexpected diversion through Calcutta.
The local press reported that Bodkin had just about given up hope of receiving the letter posted by her cousin in Middlesex at the start of the summer.
The two 8-year olds have been writing to one another for a while. Bodkin’s relative Mary mailed her regular letter in the UK in June, but it arrived more than four months later.
"The postman was just as surprised and a little embarrassed — he called to say he didn’t know how it had happened," Bodkin’s father said.
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A close look at the envelope revealed at least part of the story — it carries three stamps from post offices in the Indian city of Calcutta, all dating from June and July. Sadly, after such a long journey only the empty envelope arrived with its contents long gone.
Nearly 50 percent of young women get so drunk at least once a week that they make decisions which put them in danger, according to a recent report.
The Belfast Telegraph reports that a recent magazine survey found that 50 percent of women have walked home alone when drunk and one-third admitted to having unprotected sex just because they were out of control.
The survey, carried out in September among 1,000 18- to 30-year-olds, also found that 19 percent of young women confessed to driving while over the limit and another 19 percent admitted getting into "dodgy" cars to get home because they were drunk.
It also revealed that 41 percent confessed to a one-night stand that they would never have done had they been sober; one in three women have had to rush to their doctor for the morning-after pill after booze-fueled sex and 10 percent for a suspected sexually transmitted disease.
The results of the survey, "Drink, Sex, Drugs & You," appears in the December issue of the women’s magazine Company.
Forty-one percent of women admitted to binge drinking at weekends, 84 percent said they started drinking before the age of 16 and 25 percent drank twice as much when on holiday.
Claim from the grave
The body of a wealthy South Kerry farmer who died two years ago without making a will may be exhumed following a request from a woman claiming to be his daughter.
The Kerryman newspaper reports that the woman will apply to Kerry County Council for an exhumation license in the hope that DNA testing on Michael Clifford’s remains will prove conclusively that she is his daughter and entitled to inherit his estate.
Clifford was not married and has no relatives living in the area when he died in March 1998.
"It is most unusual for someone to seek an exhumation license. It’s certainly not something that happens very frequently though we do normally accede to such requests," acting county secretary Philip O’Sullivan said.
Although Clifford lived a modest lifestyle, he was understood to be quite wealthy and his land was described locally as prime farming land. According to locals, it was well known in the area that he had a daughter and that she attended his funeral.