Category: Archive

Around Ireland Top cop returns to Westmeath

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Stephen McKinley Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, is preparing a special honor for one of its emigrant sons, who will return from Canada to receive the award on May 29.

Chris Braiden retired as a superintendent with the Edmonton, Alberta, Police Service in 1993, but his route to the highest ranks of policing was by no means direct.

Braiden applied to join the Gardai before he left Ireland, and was rejected because he did not speak Gaelic. Then, in England, the police turned him down because he is missing a finger on one hand. Finally, in Canada, the police force initially rejected him because he is color blind.

He finally managed to join the police force of a small town, hitting the streets without any formal training or even a uniform at first — the town was soon swallowed up by the expanding city of Edmonton, and Braiden began his rise to eventually become superintendent. He has since established his own company and acted as a consultant to police forces in nine out of the 11 Canadian provinces and territories and in 45 of the 50 states in the U.S.

Town Commission chairman Frank McIntyre told the Westemeath Examiner that Braiden had been at the forefront of the introduction of community policing in Edmonton and, later, Canada as a whole.

Stars in their eyes

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"Stars in their eyes" gets a local spin in Dromard, Co. Longford, on Friday, April 27 when Chris Donohue will stage a distinctly Dromard-esque show with the purpose of raising money for adults and children with learning difficulties. The show will take place in the Breffni Arms Hotel, Arva.

"Fifty percent of the funds raised will go toward adults and children with learning difficulties and the remainder will be divided between the Dromard Rural Development Ass and the Dromard Minor Club," Chris told the Longford Leader.

Twelve acts have committed themselves to performing on the big night.

"We have everything from Abba to Westlife, the Three Tenors, Garth Brooks, Thin Lizzy and The Village People all set to perform and the talent is just amazing," Donohue said.

Tried to con cops

After being caught driving without insurance, 18-year-old John Anthony Quinn of Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, tried to convince police officers that his car had been stolen and driven by someone else.

His defense lawyer said Quinn had acted foolishly and he was fortunate he had not been prosecuted for wasting police time. He was fined $400 and his license was revoked for six months.

Travelers moved on

The Clare Champion reports this week that a family of travelers has been ordered to move from its encampment near the entrance of the Woodstock golf course outside Ennis.

The district court justice, Judge Albert O’Dea, learned that Limerick Corporation has accommodation for the travelers, so he was satisfied that the family should not be harmed by the move.

The Faulkner family arrived at Shanaway Road, Ennis, with four caravans just before Christmas.

Living hell

The living conditions of a man in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, have been described as "horrific poverty," and apparently he is not the only person the locality to be living in squalor.

James McGlynn, 46, sleeps on a broken wooden pallet with a rain-soaked mattress and a threadbare blanket. His local council-owned cottage has broken windows and it is surrounded by several inches of mud. The house has no cooking or heating facilities, nor has the stove been usable for five years. At the same time the cottage does not have any sanitation facilities or running water.

The electricity supply and sockets and vandals smashed the remaining panes of glass in the windows.

According to the Tirconnaill Tribune, "Mr. McGlynn lives alone and is a self-confessed chronic alcoholic and he admits he drinks openly in Letterkenny to black out his pain and suffering. He describes himself as a social outcast in the midst of urban affluence and despite being surrounded by people nobody thought it worth their while knocking on his door to offer any assistance."

Ian McGarvey, who is executive chairman of the county’s Care of the Aged Committee, has demanded an urgent investigation by Donegal County Council.

Adams language plea

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has told the Andersonstown News in Belfast that the Irish language needs a boost in television and film programming.

According to Adams, requirements in the Good Friday agreement for Irish have not yet been realized.

"While some progress has been made, there is clearly resistance within the system here to the sort of fundamental change that is necessary," he said.

"In recent months we have specifically challenged the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure on the issue of Irish language television and film production."

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