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Around IrelandTragedy takes Dingle boy’s life

February 15, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Patrick Markey

A 3-year-old boy was killed in a tragic accident recently when his 5-year-old friend accidentally started up a car and fatally pinned the toddler against an embankment.

Gardai said the young victim, David O’Connell, was killed instantly in the accident in Ballyhea, just outside Dingle, according to the Kerryman newspaper.

“There is a palpable air of grief all over Dingle,” said Garda Joe Joyce, one of the first to arrive on the scene.

Gardai said young David was playing outside the home of Eileen O’Conner, a day-care provider who was looking after the youngster and several other children. When the mother of two young boys came to collect her children, she left her other 5-year-old son inside her car. The boy started fiddling with the vehicle’s ignition key and sent the car lurching forward, pinning David into a low, grassy embankment.

David was rushed to nearby St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, but he was pronounced dead on arrival.

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“Everyone who knew David said he was a lovely little boy. The word dote has been used by so many people who knew him. He was a real character, full of the joys of life,” said Fr. Owen McCarthy, a local curate.

Cork goes Caribbean

Rastafari came to the rebel county recently as Cork got an infusion of Caribbean culture during Ireland’s first major regg’ festival.

Local talent Eyeball & Goat, the Jah Love Sound System, The Bellyman and 2nd Nature of Dub joined musical forces with 30 other acts from England and beyond, reported The Irish Times.

The Guinness Roots and Regg’ Festival filled the area with Rasta grooves and island reflections: London-based DJ with Zion Train Sound System, Neil Perch, told the paper Cork is a frequent chillin’ spot.

“Cork has always been a really mellow place to come,” Perch said.

Westmeath aid to Bosnia

From Westmeath to Bosnia, they’re taking a message of hope.

As part of a mercy mission, residents and business owners from Moate and Athlone recently packed a truck full of medical supplies and clothing and headed off to the Bosnian town of Gradiska, the Westmeath Independent reported.

The Interlink truck will be given a United Nations escort until it reaches the Gradiska Health Center, where the driver will hand over its precious load – infant feeders, enthotracheal tubing, and special mattresses. Local medical companies supplied over 20 pallets of equipment for free.

“We saw the Gradiska Health Center and it was in very, very dire need of equipment, especially for the children,” Mary Thorton, one of two Westmeath women whose husbands are Gardai on United Nations duty in the war-torn region. On one visit to the center, the two women realized that the center had only one thermometer for three wards, and drew up a list of necessaries before returning home.

Tale of the Brothers Grim

A district judge in Lifford called two brothers who had not spoken to each other for 20 years “stupid old fools” after they attacked each other, one wielding a pitchfork.

The Donegal Democrat reports that the two men recently appeared in Letterkenny Court, where one was charged with assaulting the other with the farm tool during an unresolved dispute over a patch of land.

Patrick McCay was charged with assaulting his brother Jim Joe McCay in an afternoon brawl. “It didn’t pierce the skin; it only went through the clothing. He blamed his brother for the assault,” a Garda told the court.

As the story unfolded, the court heard the two brothers had quite a history between them.

They had lived in the same house for 20 years, but hadn’t spoken to each other during that time. Jim Joe’s seriously ill wife and two daughters also lived in the house, where they just tolerated his brother.

The difficulties came about because the house and 20 acres of land had been left to the brothers but no will had been made out. Both men had several claims and counterclaims to the property running through the court system.

The judge told the men life was too short for that kind of stupidity, and bonded one of the brothers over to the peace, telling them both not to waste the court’s time.

Massive hunt for Cork rapist

Cork Gardai visited 450 homes recently as part of their investigation into the rape of an 8-year-old girl a week ago Saturday.

According to The Irish Times, the girl was playing with her 6-year-old sister in the Dillons Cross area of Cork City when they were approached by a man in his late teens or early 20s.

After telling the girls to get shelter from the pouring rain and offering them ice cream, he dragged the 8-year-old to a wasteground area and raped her, Gardai said.

Supt. P.J. Brennan of the Mayfield Garda station told the Times that no effort was being spared in trying to catch the suspect. Investigators theorize that the suspect may have been loitering in the general area for some time before the attack. Brennan said the extensive house-to-house enquiries had drawn a blank so far.

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