OFFICIAL figures for racist, religious and homophobic attacks are severely underestimated, according to immigrant support groups.
Garda figures account for only a third of the number of incidents detailed on a new national 'hate crime' reporting hotline. The Integration Centre and the Irish Immigrant Council believe the confidential hotline offers an accurate picture of such attacks. Over the first three months of this year, the hotline dealt with 60 specific incidents nationwide. However, over the same period, garda statistics indicate that just 19 incidents took place.
200 DRIVERS OFF ROAD
MORE than 200 motorists have been put off the road here after being disqualified for dangerous driving in the UK.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) said the drivers have been banned since January 2010, when mutual recognition of driving disqualifications between the UK and Republic of Ireland came into force. New figures from the RSA show that 61 drivers have been banned so far this year. This compares with 104 last year, and 136 in 2011.
MEMORIAL THUMBS UP
A MEMORIAL honouring the emergency services and commemorating more than 100 people lost at sea is to be put up on a Kerry island.
The Valentia Lost at Sea committee has secured planning permission to erect a memorial at Knightstown Pier which should be in place by next summer. The memorial – which is two heads mounted on local slate – will cost €50,000 and has been commissioned from Cornish sculptor Joseph Hillier.
A Dublin suburb buzzed with speculation as to the identity of the new millionaire in their midst.
The winner was determined to stay out of the limelight as local people gathered around Decies Mini Market in Ballyfermot where the €3.96m winning ticket was sold. But no one seemed to have any clue about who had bought the lucky ticket on Thursday of last week.
BOMB TEAM IN SCHOOL
The Army bomb disposal team was called to a girls' secondary school to deal with a chemical that had become unstable.
The chemical, dinitrophenylhydrazine, was in the laboratory of Santa Sabina in Sutton, Co Dublin. A number of units arrived shortly after 5.30pm yesterday. The chemical was taken to a military installation where it was made safe through the use of a controlled explosion.