By Patrick Markey
Kerry bog champ
A Kerry woman is the new Irish record holder — for bog snorkeling.
The Examiner newspaper reported recently that Julia Galvin, Ireland’s national champion, also clinched a top 50 slot in the world rankings of this quirky, murky sport at a recent tournament in Wales.
Despite the unfamiliar sights of frogs, a water scorpion and great crested newts in the Welsh bog, Julia splashed to an impressive 44th place overall.
The champ seemed pleased with her time of three minutes and 30 seconds.
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"I’m disappointed in one sense but terribly happy in another," said Galvin after her heroics in Llanwrtyd Wells.
"I did my best, so I can’t say I let the country down too much," she said.
Galvin said she felt being sent off third on the 60-meter course was of no help. The channel wasn’t opened up and being caught up in the weeds was a hindrance, she explained.
While recovering from a crippling back injury last year, Galvin read about the sport in the Guinness Book of Records in hospital. The bug bit.
Her swimming has been guided by Tralee coach Jer McDonnell, while, more recently, she learned the techniques of snorkeling from David Meade from Castlegregory.
At 28, Galvin is considered a youngster in the sport.
Fancy parking in Dublin in the Millennium. Be prepared to pay through the nose.
The Sunday Business Post reports that nine car parking spaces at the rear of a Georgian building on Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Square were recently sold for £50,000 a spot.
Despite the high price, the cars in these spaces won’t even get shelter from the elements. But they are protected from vandals by locked gates.
Auctioneer Christie’s will auction another three car spaces near Leeson Street on the market for £30,000 each.
If you’re buying a city center apartment you can expect to pay up to £20,000 to buy a space for your car.
But Dublin isn’t alone in the high priced parking stakes. Galway, too, has seen the rates for car parking spaces rise, with prices being quoted of up to £15,000 a space. Canny property owners in Dublin city center are now renting out their driveways and their back gardens to motorists and so too are apartment owners who do not need their spaces during the day.
Cork datre-rape warning
A warning about increased use of so-called "date rape" drugs in Ireland has been given by the Cork Rape Crisis Center.
The drugs, many of them tasteless, colourless and odorless, are slipped into unsuspecting victim’s drinks in bars, discos or nightclubs and work as a form of "chemical cosh."
The Cork center has seen seven victims so far this year — compared to six during the whole of last year — and estimates that as many as 30 rapes could have been committed throughout the country.
The center’s Mary Crilly, who has been monitoring the situation, said one of the main drugs being used was Rohypnol, also known as roofies, a powerful sedative mainly used to treat insomnia. High doses can cause amnesia for up to 24 hours.
She said it was a useful drug when used as medication. "But when it is misused in a situation like this, it paralyzes women," she said. "It is 10 times stronger than Valium.
"Women have told us that they can either remember something happening, remember being completely paralysed and they can’t move a muscle, but they can remember being touched and more or less being raped and others can remember nothing but wake up the next day and know they have been assaulted and raped."