By Patrick Markey
A workplace prank involving an airhose has left a young Cork man in a critical condition.
The Examiner reports that the man, an employee at a sawmill, was held down by workmates who stuck a high-powered airhose up his rectum — and turned it on.
The man retreated to a car, where he was found half an hour later and treated by the emergency services. His internal injuries were so serious that he was rushed in critical condition to hospital for emergency treatment.
Gardaí are investigating the assault, which occurred at Grainger’s Sawmills Ltd., Timber Merchants in Enniskeane, Co. Cork. Management at the sawmills are cooperating fully with the investigation, the paper reported.
Three young staff members are believed to have been involved in the attack. The incident drew comparisons to an prank that turned into a horrific accident in Dublin a few years ago. On that occasion, days before his wedding, a man was stripped naked and tied down by workmates. Thinking it contained water, they threw bucket of acid into his face. The man suffered severe injuries, scarring him for life.
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Court hearings are often emotional occasions. But gardai in Roscrea in Tipperary were forced to quell a small riot recently when court proceedings erupted into violence involving about 40 people.
The Tipperary Star newspaper reported that cars were damaged and threats were made as as many as 40 people reigned blows and kicked vehicles carrying parties involved in the court hearing.
As those involved in the case left the court a melee could be heard outside. Gardai on duty outside were joined by members of the force from the court building and they intervened in a bid to halt the disturbance.
One man was taken into custody and the remainder soon took off in other vehicles. Gardai mounted patrols around the town, and in Birr, to prevent an escalation of tensions.
Inside the courtroom, the complainant in the case had earlier been asked to remain calm as tensions mounted. He challenged the accused, saying "come out now with your billhooks. Smash the windows now." Judge Martin told him that he would go to prison if he did not calm down.
The case involved three men who had been charged with damaging the complainant’s caravan and pick-up truck, having slashhooks, and with committing a breach of the peace.
With a solar eclipse set to plunge much of Southern England and Ireland into daytime darkness, businesses from bars to media outlets are jumping at the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime promotion opportunity.
But not all specials on offer for Wednesday’s eclipse are legitimate.
Drug dealers are believed to be importing specially designed ecstasy tablets for the eclipse, reports the Examiner newspaper. The E- tablets, stamped with a sun and moon logo, are called as "Clipse Trips."
Produced in Holland, Belgium and Germany, they were developed to target people heading to the many music festivals taking place in south west England and across the continent.
"In terms of supply, we could be a couple of weeks behind them here. If its in the UK we would expect to see it here," a member of the Garda Drugs Squad said.
Drug manufacturers often tailor their product to changing fashions. Every type of ecstasy has a stamp on it and 350 different logos are known to gardaí. These include Fred Flintstone, Batman, smily faces, the letters O.D. and the Rolex Crown. Most common recently is the Mitsubishi three diamonds mark.
Gardaí have been seizing so-called Millennium ecstasy tablets for the past year.
"At the moment the Millennium tabs have MDMA (ecstasy) in them. In the middle of last year it was amphetamine," a member of the Garda Forensic Science Unit said. A tablet with the "MM" logo is expected to be available soon.
According to pharmacologist, Dr. Des Corrigan the logos are merely marketing effects and the makers would not be able to modify the drugs to increase the user’s eclipse experience.
"They wouldn’t have the kind of subtle variations. People might claim it will enhance your ability to enjoy the eclipse, but it wouldn’t be true," he said.