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Around Ireland: tilting at windmills

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Stephen McKinley

Controversy is raging on Ireland’s north coast over plans for wind farms to be built on the Inishowen peninsula.

The so-called “clean” energy source will defile the spoiled sea views, some residents have said.

Dermot Gordon, a realtor in Portstewart, Co. Derry, said: “Quite a high percentage of people who come to Portstewart want to enjoy the view. They feel if they are coming to the north coast they want to see the sea and they would like to be able to afford that view from their own homes. If the view is affected, people are certainly not going to be very happy about it.”

DERRY VIOLENCE

Violence against women is an increasing concern in Derry, according to the Derry Journal.

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Brian Edwards, 41, was convicted recently of stabbing Julie McLaughlin 25 times and slitting her throat from ear to ear. Foyle Women’s Aid called the attack “harrowing and stressful.”

“We would urge any women who are in an abusive relationship to seek help and support,” FWA’s Marie Brown said.

“It is a very dangerous time for women when they are trying to break away from men who are perpetrators of both psychological and physical abuse. Many young women do not view stalking and controlling behavior as a serious indicator of the risk to them.”

THE HOMECOMING

A Clareman living in Yonkers, N.Y., has become the subject of an RTE documentary called “A Sort of Homecoming,” part of a series about returning immigrants.

Tom Gleeson left Ireland in 1987 and is now pondering the return with his wife, Siobhan, and their children.

They hope to return to Ireland before their fourth child is born. They want their daughter Amanda to attend primary school in Cratloe, where they also plan to build a home.

MOUSE MEETING

Sullivan’s Bar in Kilcormac, Co. Offaly, was the place to be for a race meeting with a difference last week: a mouse race.

The mice race in a specially designed 12- lane Perspex race track, which is fully enclosed, so as to prevent any escape attempts.

“Macra wanted to try something new and we think this idea is going to be a sure fire hit. Mouse racing is fast and furious and unlike other race nights, this will be totally live, which is always more fun and unpredictable,” said County Macra President Enda Doolan.

County Chairman Nigel Larkin was quick to dispel suggestions that any harm will come to the mice.

“We will be taking great care of the mice before, during and after the event,” he said, adding that “the public will be kept back a good distance from the race track, so as not to panic or worry the mice.”

KELLY’S CAREER

The revival of interest in the career of Australian outlaw Ned Kelly has continued, with a lecture taking place last week in County Cork.

The Blarney Historical Society’s March lecture was on the topic of Kelly’s last stand.

Kelly was an expert with a “running-iron” on stolen, branded stock and was a deadly accurate shot with a revolver or a rifle.

According to historians, he was loyal his friends and supporters, to the extent that he would risk his own skin to ensure the well-being of an ally. Unfortunately, his life was all too brief and he was executed at the age of 25.

Through it all, Kelly emerges as an utterly imposing individual, as he did from the mist at Glenrowan, clad in his world-famous suit of armor, for his extraordinary last stand.

Pro-Kelly sentiment is at an all-time high in Australia.

CLOUTING FOR ATHY

The Leinster Leader reports this week on the career of a young Athy boxer, Roy Sheahan, who will fight for his first senior title this week.

“This is a great achievement for a young man,” commented the St. Michael’s Boxing Club chief, Dom O’Rourke. “We are all very proud of him.”

In the semifinal, Sheahan defeated Michael Kelly, the hot favorite for the title. Kelly is 26 years old and won the National Senior title last year.

“It was a close fight,” O’Rourke said. “He won by just one point.”

Roy will face Paul McCluskey from St. Canice’s in Northern Ireland in this Friday’s bout at the National Stadium.

PUPPETRY OF VIOLENCE

School pupils in Strabane, Co. Tyrone, have been learning about school bullying from a group of puppets.

Derry youth worker Paul McNulty has put together a show called “The Ramblin’ Scallywags Puppet Theatre.” It tackles a range of issues such as bullying, drugs, alcohol and prejudice.

McNulty told the Strabane Gazette, “The main aim of the show is to address the problem of bullying. We want to let schools, teachers and pupils know that there is something out there that could help in the fight against bullying.”

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