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Around Ireland One fry too many

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Limerick may be famous as the home of author Frank McCourt, but medical professionals it is fast becoming associated with another name: Cholesterol County.

According to the Limerick Leader, recent statistics from the Mid-Western Health Board show that 334 deaths from Isch’mic heart disease were recorded in Limerick City and county during one year. That is the heart ailment linked to a fatty diet.

The county had 198 deaths while the entire Midwestern region recorded 669 heart-related deaths for the same period.

According to Sheila King, the health board’s newly appointed community nutritionist, the county’s people eat too much fat, too many fries and neglect regular checks on their cholesterol.

Latest figures show that 53 percent of Irish men are overweight, with 33 percent of females registering above average, while 60 percent of males and 71 percent of females in this country eat more than the recommended amount of fat.

“It is not all bad news,” King said recently. “Healthy eating is now becoming more popular throughout the city and county with 57 percent eating more fruit and vegetables. Generally we are poor fish eaters but very good potato eaters, which is not all that

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bad,” King said.

“One fry each week is all right,” said King, “and an average of seven eggs per week is acceptable. It is all about getting the balance right.”

Mayo fraudster jailed

He rose from a penniless carpenter, went to England for a work and eventually became a “gang master” providing labor for building sites around the country.

Mayo-born Liam Gallagher, 47, was jailed in England recently for a _3.7 million five-year tax and VAT fraud, according to the Examiner newspaper. He had been held in custody since last month awaiting sentencing.

Gallagher was broke when he went to England in 1987 to find work while his wife stayed at home. He became a gang master supplying laborers to sites, including the London Underground and the Jubilee Line Extension. But Gallagher didn’t like to pay his taxes, prosecutors charged. In fact, he went without paying bills of _1.6 million and _2.1 million to Inland Revenue after being paid gross by seven main contractors.

Gallagher, who lived in a bedsit before the fraud and moved to his lover’s five-bedroom house after she separated from her husband, was sentenced to two years jail. But he is expected to be released almost immediately after serving a year and a week on remand in custody.

Limerick hack behind bars

A Limerick journalist who sexually assaulted a teenage schoolgirl in a hotel bedroom in 1994 and 1995 has been jailed for seven years by Dublin Circuit Criminal Court judge.

Frank Hamilton, who was editor of the now closed Limerick Weekly Echo and a former senior press officer with Shannon Development, was given two consecutive sentences of three-and-a-half years, according to the Limerick Leader.

Gardai and customs officers found 69 child and bestiality pornographic videos in a raid on a Limerick premises, where they encountered Hamilton. He made two full statements of admission of his role in sexual activities with schoolgirls.

“In my view, he will pose a continuing threat to girls of this age,” the judge said.

The teenage girl revealed that another man currently before the court had befriended her when she was aged 10 to 11 and had “groomed” her for child prostitution. He would bring her under an alias to the hotel to meet Hamilton, who would pay him _40 to _50 after each session.

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