By Stephen McKinley
A demented Friesian cow went on an hour-and-a-half rampage at Kilcloghans near Tuam last week, attacking a man wearing a red T-shirt and causing gardai to close a route used by hillwalkers.
One officer was knocked to the ground by the cow, and a walker had his shoulder dislocated by the 2-ton animal.
Others fled, one witness describing that the cow’s “mouth was frothing and with steam coming out of her nose.”
Johnny Joyce told the Tuam Herald, “I thought, ‘I am dead, I am finished,’ ” before seeing the animal jump clean over him, through his son’s garden.
After 90 minutes of rampaging, the cow’s owner appeared and was able to lead her away. Police had been expected to have to shoot the animal, but it suddenly clamed down.
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BSE, or mad cow disease, was suspected, as well as a sudden change in the cow’s magnesium levels, but no one was able to say for sure.
The death of a Waterford family 22 years ago in a fire in Donegal has been reexamined this week by Gardai.
Jim and Ann Brennan and their two children, Deirdre, 6, and John, 3, were killed Aug. 8, 1980 in the Bundoran Central Hotel fire.
Six others also lost their lives, and now it is thought that they might have been victims of a loyalist attack, and not an electrical fire, as was concluded at the time.
Weeks before the fire, an unnamed hotel proprietor in Bundoran received a tip from what he described as a member of American intelligence who had infiltrated a loyalist paramilitary group.
“The warning was very serious and quite specific. It referred to Bundoran and July,” the man told the Munster Express newspaper. Although the hotel burned down in August, it came days after the IRA murdered a UDR man in Pettigoe, Co. Fermanagh.
Ten out of every 11 burglaries in County Fermanagh go unsolved, according to latest crime figures, which have caused outrage.
Of 420 break-ins in 2001, only 37 were solved by the local Police Service of Northern Ireland. Eleven “offenses against the state” were committed in Fermanagh, of which only one was solved.
Responding to the figures, chief inspector John Barr at Enniskillen Police Station told the Impartial Reporter: “I wouldn’t consider there to be a big crime wave in Fermanagh. I know that is cold comfort if you get your house broken into.”
Barr asked that the public be more vigilant, given that much of the crime appears to be opportunistic.
“I think the public has an obligation to play their part,” he said. “Criminals are walking through open doors,” he said.
From Killybegs, Donegal’s leading fishing town, comes a variety of news celebrating the locality’s premier industry.
Mary Coughlan, from near Killybegs, has been appointed the Irish government’s minister for social and family affairs.
Coughlan opened a new art gallery in June called “That Gallery” at Mountcharles. Kevin Sharkey, director of the gallery, predicted that the many sea- and fishing-themed artworks would prove popular.
Meanwhile, the Killybegs women’s group announced that during the three-day July “Fish Ireland” festival, it would host a free coffee morning.
It was also announced that 38 new white fishing vessels will be developed for the Killybeggs fleet, ranging in size from 15 to 46 meters.
Queen M’bh and Ferdia descended the Cooley Mountains in County Louth last week, followed by an army of followers and attendants.
They made their way to Carlingford, where her highness was greeted by a medieval banquet.
It was all part of an event named “In the Footsteps of Cuchulainn.” Jacqui Lynden played M’bh and Chris Mahnken, from Indiana, whose mother is from Carlingford, played Ferdia.
Many of the walkers had come all the way from M’bh’s fortress in Roscommon.
MALLOW’S LITTLE MAN
Mallow, Co. Cork, residents are excited by the news that the town’s famous “Little Man,” a cast iron statue dating from the 1880s, will be restored to its home on the Clockhouse.
The statue was struck by a passing truck in 1959, when it was taken away and never repaired.
The statue incorporated a fountain that served passing horses and donkeys.
A hotel owner in Clare has attacked authorities for failing to deal with what he says is a serious problem caused by travelers.
“For over three years there have always been a couple of caravans illegally parked,” Brian Dunne told the Clare Champion. “Down the road there is a Limerick County Council halting site that is very well managed and we have no problem with that.
“The place looks filthy and Clare and Limerick local authorities are passing the buck. We have no problem with the travelers themselves, but we are coming into the peak eight to 10 weeks of our season and our business is being affected too much.”