By Patrick Markey
Artistic taste fell foul to political correctness after a Waterford council decided to reject a plan to place a statue of a naked female at the entrance of a public housing estate in Dungarvan.
What one supporter said was "a dignified portrayal of an Irish woman as the bedrock and ultimate support in Irish society" was rejected as inappropriate by council members who voted instead just for a rather more conservative sundial.
The Munster Express reports that Fine Gael Councilor John Deasy made a few cracks about the area’s lack of sunshine for the timepiece, adding that the council’s rejection of a Rubenesque work of art had bared the group’s puritanical soul.
"We should be a little more adventurous, especially when we are paying £5,500 for a work of art," Deasy said.
"I do not believe anybody would consider the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen or Venus de Milo, which is in the Louvre in Paris, as distasteful, so why should it be inappropriate to have an Irish woman ‘au natural’ in Dungarvan?" he asked.
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And who says new is always best?
A Letterkenny woman whose husband bought her a 29-year-old VW Beetle as a wedding present last year was celebrating recently after the car became the country’s oldest vehicle to pass the National Car Test the first time.
The Donegal News and Derry People reports that Kelly McIntyre-Barrett was absolutely thrilled her coveted Beetle passed the test and was now looking forward to many years of trouble-free and economical motoring.
"I always liked the VW Beetle. When it first came out it was described as the poor man’s Rolls Royce but went on to become on of the most popular cars in the world. I was thrilled when my husband bought me one as a wedding present," Barrett said.
"I was confident that it would pass all along," she added.
Previously, the oldest car to have passed the test in Donegal was an 18-year-old Ford Orion. But that passed the second time around at the test center.
Limerick doctors are scratching their heads after a woman who was given three months to live with cancer received the all clear and claimed it was a miraculous cure she received in Lourdes.
Celine Frawley, who is 66, was told her cancer was untreatable. The disease had spread through her back and doctors could neither operate nor use chemotherapy.
But Frawley told the Limerick Leader in Lourdes that she believes an experience she had at the French pilgrimage site two years ago caused her cancer to disappear.
"My cancer is cured. My statement out in the regional hospital two years ago was that I had three months to live. Now it has completely gone. And the cancer was in my back in a place they couldn’t operate on it," she told the paper.
Doctors at the Limerick Regional Hospital confirmed that the cancer is gone, but as yet no full investigation has taken place.
"Two years ago she was told that she hadn’t six months to live and, I mean, the doctors are baffled. They haven’t pursued it, but she’s still here as large as life. So miracles do happen. There’s no question about that," Director of the Limerick Diocesan Pilgrimage Fr. Donal McNamara said.
Irish health officials investigating a lethal flesh-eating virus have detected the bug in patients already admitted to hospitals, according to a recent report.
The Examiner newspaper reports that the Southern Health Board discovered as many as 263 patients had picked up the MRSA bug, which generally attacks the infirm and elderly and can cause blood poisoning and serious infections.
The study found that 2.2 people per 100,000 in the Southern Health Board area had the bug and the national average for those carrying the bacteria was found to be 7.6 per 100,000 people.
Hoping to reduce those figures, the national Disease Surveillance Center suggested a reduction in the number of antibiotics prescribed, instruction to hospital staff on necessary personal hygiene, regular cleaning of wards, and immediate isolation of MRSA cases.