The Oregon gunman who was a 'supporter' of IRA and hero Dublin scouts who rescued two men - what happened while you were sleeping
Published 02/10/2015 | 07:14
The gunman who shot dead at least nine people dead in the latest shooting massacre in the US has been identified as Chris Harper Mercer (26).
A number of media outlets in the US have reported that Mercer has shown apparent support for the IRA in the past, and had a morbid interest in the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012.
Mercer died in the shoot-out with police.
There is no known motive as to why Mercer carried out the shooting. The incident occurred at Umpqua Community college in the small rural town of Roseburg, about 180 miles south of Portland, Oregon.
There is no known motive for the shooting, which has also left dozens of people seriously wounded.
However, US media outlets have highlighted Mercer's online presence.
A Myspace page bearing Mercer's name features pictures of masked gunmen and references to the Irish Republican army. The account features an apparent front page of 'An Phoblacht', with the headlines 'British Army Could Not Defeat IRA'. Another image bears the caption 'IRA undefeated army'.
Mercer also appeared to be prolific user of file-sharing system Bittorrent.
According to The Guardian, an email address 'email@example.com' was found to be associated with Mercer via a public records search, and is linked to an account that bears the username 'Lithium_Love'.
The final video uploaded by this user to the site, just three days ago, was a BBC documentary called 'Surviving Sandy Hook' about the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012.
After news of the shooting emerged, President Barack Obama angrily said America had made a "political choice" to allow mass shootings like the one in Oregon to occur and blasted the National Rifle Association (NRA)lobby group for blocking reform of US gun laws.
Appearing in the White House briefing room with a grim expression and a frustrated tone, Obama challenged US voters of all political stripes to hold their leaders accountable if they wanted to prevent such tragedies from happening again.
"This is a political choice that we make, to allow this to happen every few months in America," Obama told reporters after the latest shooting at a community college in an Oregon town in which nine people were killed before police fatally shot the gunman.
"We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction," he said.
Back at home, a Dublin scout troop have been hailed as heroes after rescuing two kayakers after their boat crashed in dangerous waters in Co Kildare.
The rescue was captured on video.
The heart-stopping video shows a tandem kayak smash into a bridge during the annual Liffey descent in Co Kildare last Saturday (September 26).
The boat split in two sending its paddlers into the rushing waters.
But thankfully a volunteer rescue team, made up of Dublin scouts, abseiled from Leixlip bridge seconds later preventing a potential fatality.
The entire incident was caught on camera and the volunteers, some of whom are teenagers, have been praised for their brave actions.
Venture Scout leader with 160th Ardlea and 1st Dublin Ronan Fields can be seen in the clip abseiling to the river.
The volunteer quickly released British kayakers Sam Weller and Steven Bush who were caught between the bridge and their shattered boat.
In business news, PayPal Ireland are asking its staff for spare rooms.
The company's Ireland boss Louise Phelan has revealed that the massive multi-national is asking its staff to offer rooms to new employees, who cannot find rental accommodation here.
PayPal, which employs some 2,400 people in Dublin and Dundalk, is now requesting that staff make spare rooms available because of the dire shortage of homes and apartments to rent.
Speaking at the Construction Industry Federation annual conference, Ms Phelan warned the situation was now "at crisis point" and was at the stage where Ireland would lose foreign direct investment and the crucial jobs that come with it.
Ms Phelan's comments came as property agents Savills warned that the rapid increase in Dublin's population was putting huge strain on the capital's housing and infrastructure.
Read more here: PayPal asking its staff for spare rooms in rental crisis
Today's papers all feature the Oregon shooting.
The 'Irish Independent' features the faces of the seven-member gang who were collectively sentenced to 105 years in jail for terrorising Mark and Emma Corcoran, and their three young daughters, at their home in Co Tipperary.
The seven men, all in their twenties and from Dublin, were sentenced at Clonmel Circuit Court yesterday. A number of them smirked and blew kisses while leaving the court building after Tuesday's hearing of the case and yesterday after they were sentenced. 'Final Insult' is the Herald's main headline on their front page today.
Read more here: Judge warns criminals of 'heavy price to pay'
Today's 'Irish Daily Star' carries an interview with the friend of the late Cathriona White, who died from an apparent suicide at her home in Los Angeles. Cathriona (28), from Cappawhite in Co Tipperary, was the former girlfriend of the Hollywood actor Jim Carrey.
Jenny Burpee was one of two friends who discovered Cathriona's body at her home on Monday evening.
Jenny said she called around to her friend's home after not hearing from her for three days.
"I've lost my best friend, my soul sister. I will never get over it," she told the newspaper.
Read more here: The Mask star and his delicate Irish flower
A surge in tax receipts has strengthened the Government's hand ahead of October's budget, the Irish Times is reporting today.
Exchequer figures show tax payments in September beat targets by more than €300 million.
Read more here: Tax recovering but debt remains high, says Central Bank