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February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Patrick Markey

Northern Ireland’s postal workers will be delivering with new flair soon when they become the first in Britain to wear newly designed uniforms.

The Royal Mail spent £50 million on the snazzy new outfits for the UK’s 143,000 postal workers, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

Northern Ireland’s 2,500 postal workers will start sporting the new look beginning in the spring.

The Harrington jackets, zip-up hipster coats with detachable fleece liners, stormproofs and new-style hats will become "part and parcel" of outfits over the next two years, the paper reports. The first new designs for over a decade, the uniforms combined comfort and quality with safety, the Royal Mail said.

"We have the biggest uniformed workforce in the UK, and they face tough conditions, day after day. We have worked closely with our people to develop a range of clothing that is smart, comfortable and contemporary," Royal Mail assistant managing director Ken Wright said.

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Friends share £1.8m

Two Lotto winners and 50 of their family members and friends booked into a Dublin hotel recently with a £1.8 million reason to celebrate.

Friends Stephen Ryan, a truck driver, and Michael Power, a mill worker, have been playing the Lotto on and off for the last year and finally hit the jackpot.

"We don’t do it every Wednesday and Saturday night, but we always spend a few bob when the prize is big," Ryan told The Examiner newspaper. Ryan, who lives in a council house in Cappamore with his partner, Mary, and their five children — almost didn’t manage to grab a ticket this time around. He called to a Lotto agent to play a £6 quick pick ticket, but the terminal was down due to a storm. So he drove to another store in Drumkeen, where he bought the golden ticket, the paper reported.

When asked what it felt like to be rich, he replied: "It’s good, it’s very good." His first purchases with his new found wealth — £900,000 — will be a new house and a car, and a Christmas holiday in Disneyworld for the children.

Power, who works at O’Connor’s Mills in Limerick, is single but has 15 brothers and sisters and £900,000 in the bank. He has never flown and plans to fulfill his lifelong ambition to visit Hawaii.

Off the hook

A Cork uncle and nephew appeared in court recently after they got into a fracas over fly fishing.

The Corkman newspaper reports that the two men appeared in court after Vincent Downes asked Patrick Willis to make him a copy of a fishing fly as Willis was well renowned for his expertise in creating the replica baits. Unfortunately, when Willis returned with the copies, Downes believed the original fishing fly had gone missing.

Thinking Willis was trying to dupe him, Downes had a few drinks and went to confront Willis about the missing Orange Dabbler fly.

The two soon came to blows. The judge in dropping the charges said, "I think it is sad that this incident did wind up in court and I am glad that both parties got off the hook, or so to speak."

Meath pub shooting

Garda in Westmeath are hunting for a gang of gunmen who shot and seriously injured a local publican’s son in an armed robbery on a bar recently.

The Meath Chronicle reports that Sean Donoghue, 24, was shot in the stomach after three armed raiders bust into Donoghue’s pub in Drumconrath at around 4:10 a.m. on a recent Tuesday. The robbers took cigarettes and cash before heading upstairs to search the rest of the building. Here they encountered Donoghue and shot him before fleeing. He was taken to an area hospital for emergency surgery.

Derry Joyrider crackdown

Angry Derry residents took to the streets recently in protest over the increasing number of joyriding incidents plaguing the area, and the RUC has confirmed that it has set up a new unit to deal with the problem.

According to the Derry Journal, residents protested outside the Slievemore Park home of a youth they accused of being a joyrider. Carrying signs that read "Leave our cars alone," the protesters demanded that the alleged joyrider leave the area immediately.

Superintendent Peter Sheridan, a commander for the Derry area, said there has been an increased number of incidents in the Shantallow area, and that the RUC has established a special team to counter joyriders and set up stinger operations.

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