By Stephen McKinley
Miserable news from Northern Ireland: the body of a newborn girl found last month on the outskirts of Belfast had been stabbed multiple times, police revealed.
The body was found near Carryduff on March 26 by a boy and a girl, aged 10 and 11.
“This little baby girl suffered wounds which were incredibly nasty to her,” said PSNI Detective Inspector Roy McComb.
Also in the news from Gleanvy, near Belfast, was a man stopped by police who was found to be in possession of more than 200,000 ecstasy tablets, worth over _2 million.
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Police said that it was one of the largest hauls ever found in Northern Ireland.
THE DEEPEST DIVISIONS
In Fermanagh, anger flared between Marina Hassard, whose father was killed by the IRA in 1988, and Sinn Fein councilor Pat Cox during a town hall meeting about a memorial to three IRA men.
Hassard and her family had earlier handed letter to Cox and other Sinn Fein members demanding the removal of the memorial.
According to the Impartial Reporter, Cox later said that “it was ironic that both William Hassard and Fred Love and the three IRA men, Joseph McManus, Antoine MacGiolla Bhrighe and Ciaran Fleming, to whom the monument is dedicated, ‘had died for the cause of Ireland.’ The former ‘died trying to keep in place the installations of the forces of occupation’ and the other men who died were trying to remove these installations, he said.”
From the public gallery, Hassard interjected, “My father would not be spoken to or dictated to by IRA terrorists. That is scandalous.” Hassard’s father was killed with colleague Frederick Love after they had finished maintenance work at an RUC station. Their car was hit by over 100 bullets in the attack.
The letter handed over by Hassard read: “If you want to be known as a political party who sincerely wishes to be at peace with your Protestant co-inhabitants, then now would be a good time to show some good will.”
Invited to condemn their killings, Cox said: “I’ll not condemn it. I’ll condemn what caused those problems — the British presence on this island.”
Green Party activists in Waterford have attacked the sewage treatment facilities in the city.
“The primitive state of sewage disposal in Waterford is appalling,” Brenadan McCann told the Munster Express last week. “Basically, apart from the fact that sewer pipes are now underground, sewage treatment in Waterford is the same today as it was in Victorian or even medieval times. Our sewage flows down our toilets, through the sewer pipes and into settlement tanks, where some of the sludge is removed for landfilling.”
A squid will be making its debut at the new Carlow County Musuem, which will open shortly.
According to the Carlow People newspaper, the fossilized creature is about 300 million years old, and was found near Old Leighlin.
UP THE WALLS
In Wicklow, Charlie Kavanagh is literally going up the wall — he is setting off to walk the Great Wall of China for charity.
So far he has yet to raise the initial euro 4,500 that he needs for the trip. But Kavanagh doesn’t plan to walk the entire wall — only an 80-kilometer stretch.
Kavanagh’s cause is the Simon Community, an organization that helps the homeless.
J-LO IN LONGFORD?
Look out, Longford — Hollywood could be coming your way. Jennifer Lopez has revealed that she would like to take a cruise on Moon River, the legendary cruise ship on the Shannon at Carrick
Clement Gaffney, food and beverage manager at the Westbury Hotel, met J-Lo in Los Angeles, where he was cheering for his cousin Cathal Gaffney, whose animated short film, “Give Up Your Aul’ Sins” was nominated for an Oscar.
The film didn’t win, but Gaffney got to meet the singer and actor, who confessed her interest in a visit to Carrick, and a trip on the Moon River.
Swords, the attractive small town near Dublin International Airport, is the subject of a row over illegal drugs.
Gardai in Swords have rejected a claim by a heroin addict who told the Fingal Independent that “Swords is now a mecca for drugs. The problem is being swept under the carpet.”
Local gardaf replied that the drug problem in Swords is “no worse or no better than any like sized town in the country.”
“I’m not going to say there are no drugs in Swords,” said Superintendent Noel McLoughlin, “but neither are they freely available.”
QUEEN MUM PAL
A Roscommon woman found herself at the Queen Mother’s funeral in London last week.
Timmy Monroe, wife of the late Monroe chieftain Patrick, is by birth a member of the French family, who gave their name to Frenchpark, and is a cousin of the De Freynes, who were a land-owning family in County Roscommon.
Monroe was a friend of the Queen Mother’s since 1948, when they met at Foulis Castle in Inverness in Scotland.
The Queen Mother was a regular visitor to Foulis, last stopping by in October 2001.
Threatening anti-Catholic graffiti appeared on walls in Coleraine, Co. Derry, recently.
A message on a wall in Harpur’s Hill, reads: ‘”To those Taigs who objected to our mural — hope you enjoyed living here.”
Local SDLP representative John Dallat said he received a number of calls from ordinary decent people in the Unionist community complaining about the graffiti.
“This threat has, understandably, instilled renewed fear among Catholics that they are to be, once again, targeted by thugs who are not elected and have no mandate from anyone. The subsequent erection of a ‘theme park’ of paramilitary flags in time for a band parade last Friday evening has compounded apprehension that the very positive work done by community groups is to be undermined by the bullyboys,” Dallat said.