By Patrick Markey
A Galway immigrant living in America during the 1960s was saved from fighting in the Vietnam War by his knowledge of the Irish language, the Galway Advertiser reported recently.
The paper reports that in a new TnaG documentary, Breamdam O’Tuairisc, originally from Inverin, tells an interviewer that after immigrating to England he moved to the United States in 1965, where he was called up for military service and drafted to the 61st Mechanized Infantry Division.
Once he had completed his active service training, O’Tuairisc was placed on active reserve duty for two years, waiting for papers to be shipped out to Southeast Asia. Eventually his draft to go to Vietnam came through.
But, reports the TnaG series, the crafty Galway man managed to delay his shipment by filling out the paperwork in Irish
"The document had to be sent to Ireland for translation. By the time the application form had reached the army, my time was up. I had only seven months left and they could not send me to Vietnam."
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O’Tuairisc admits that had he been drafted into the war he would have joined thousands of others who fled back to Ireland to avoid the conflict. The only other Irishman he knew at his base, Peter Nee, 21, was killed in Vietnam.
Antrim ticket strikes gold
A Belfast man living on the tropical island Bermuda may have struck it rich.
According to the Belfast News, Patrick McErleam, who works on the island as a hotel waiter, may have hit the jackpot in the National Lottery.
McErleam reportedly told his local paper that he had won the multi-million-pound pot, but local lottery officials had yet to confirm the win.
McErleam, 34, who has lived on the island for 15 years, said a relative had picked his numbers for him in County Antrim.
"I don’t really want any publicity, The money is going in the bank and that is it," he told the local paper. "I’m going to continue my life as it is," the Antrim man said optimistically.
Galway man facing sex charges
A former Christian Brother has been charged with indecent assault, the sixth man to be hit with charges following a garda investigation into sexual-abuse allegations between 1959 and 1991 at an industrial school.
According to the Galway Advertiser, the man appeared before a district court recently charged with assaulting a boy in his care and causing him actual bodily harm in 1980. He was also charged with indecently assaulting another boy around the same time. The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Five other Christian Brothers are facing a total of 76 charges of indecent assault of teenage boys under their care at the school.
Sligo tomb world’s oldest?
Tombs uncovered at a cemetery in Carrowmore, County Sligo may prove Ireland’s largest burial site is older than even the Egyptian pyramids, making them perhaps the world’s oldest stone buildings.
The Irish Times reported recently that Tomb 2a on the Carrowmore site, which was excavated this month, suggests that the site could be 7,400 years old, more than 700 years older than any other free-standing piece of architecture in Western Europe.
A healthy dose of skepticism continues to color the debate over claims that the tomb is older than the Egyptian ruins. Previously, the oldest stone building in Europe had been thought to be around 6,300 years old. But carbon testing on the Carrowmore site in the 1970s seemed to show that the Stone Age hunter-gather inhabitants of the Sligo site constructed small stone tombs more than 7,400 years ago.
Excavators on the site hope that the recent opening of Tomb 2a could provide further proof of the site’s age. Carbon testing continues.