By Patrick Markey
You could never call Susan Ni Rahilly shy.
The Wexford author and freelance journalist caused quite a stir recently when she went horseback riding at a local park in County Clare — without any clothes.
The 45-year-old author showed off her cellulite-free body as a publicity stunt designed to boost sales of her latest book, "Don’t Howl at the Moon," which is being billed as "the angry woman’s anti-cellulite book."
The book details how Ni Rahilly achieved a cellulite-free body and how any woman can do the same by following her plan.
The naked stunt drew a large crowd to see the author shed her clothing before climbing on board a gray gelding named Max and trotting around in the shadow of the local castle, much to the amusement of many visiting American tourists.
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While America struggles with a burgeoning prison population, in Ireland’s jails, at least, another ratio is making the news — prison staff outnumber those locked behind bars.
This unusual ratio was revealed recently by Justice Minister John O’Donoghue. Prisons had 101 more staff than prisoners — 2,840 people are in custody in prisons and places of detention in the state. There are a total of 2,941 serving staff, of whom 2,344 are prison officers, reports the Irish Independent.
In addition, the Vocational Education Committees employs 172 full-time teachers for work in prisons and places of detention, the minister said. The average annual cost of keeping an offender in custody is £53,400 based on 1998 figures.
Wine is the source of life to some, but two Italians living in Wexford recently took their passion for vino a little too far.
The two Italian nationals resident in Ireland illegally imported more than a thousand liters of wine through Rosslare Harbor. Both were fined at a local district court after they admitted the offenses and said the wine was for their own personal consumption and their families and friends, reports the Wexford People. One man said the wine was their stock for Christmas.
Outlining the case, the state solicitor said people were entitled to bring in 90 liters of wine for their own personal consumption, but that one man had tried to bring in 639 liters, valued at £4,236 and the other man had smuggled in 450 liters, valued at £3,134. When a customs official inspected the defendants’ truck, he found 150 liters in the rear and another 1,200 liters concealed in the front of the vehicle.
Father’s Day is supposed to be a family celebration.
But this year one group of Dublin dads decided fast outside the Post Office to highlight what they describe as the failure of the family court system.
The 12-hour protest was organized by members of a parenting support group, Parental Equality. The group said the fathers were driven to holding the fast due to family courts’ failure to enforce access orders granted to separated parents, according to the Northside People newspaper.
Current legislation provides penalties for failure to allow access once an order has been granted. But according to Parental Equality chairman, Liam Ryan, the penalties are never applied.
"Courts normally make orders awarding custody to one parent, usually the mother, with access granted to the other," said Mr. Ryan. "We have parents coming into us every week who have access orders in their possession, but these are not worth the paper they are written on," he said.
"Father’s Day is very painful for the many men who are being denied access orders legally granted by the courts," he said.