21 January 2022
Five things that got Dubs talking this week

1. Missing mum

It's now two weeks since 45-year-old Bernadette Connolly went missing from the Swords area, with concerns for her welfare growing each passing day. This evening, a prayer service will be held at her local church in the hope Bernadette can be "brought home to her loving family". She was last seen on Donabate beach at around noon on January 7 where she was dropped off by a taxi. Further possible sightings are being investigated in both Wicklow and Wexford after her daughter made an emotional appeal for help.

2. Poolbeg towers

The iconic chimneys dominate the city skyline, but for how much longer? It's a question Dubliners may soon have to grapple with, no matter how much they love the red and white towers. Despite commitments by the ESB that they won't be knocked down, they aren't currently on the list of protected structures. It emerged this week that further investigation is to be carried out into the foundations of the two chimneys, said by one recent observer to be "crumbling". It will determine the expected lifespan of the two towers and what comes next.

3. Save Moore Street

To many Dubliners, it symbolises the sounds and smells of a bygone era. To others, it's sacred ground and the scene of some of the 1916 Rising's most poignant moments. The opening salvo of an ambitious €500m revamp of the Moore Street area has just been fired, in the form of planning applications recently approved by Dublin City Council. But those very same plans have prompted the Save Moore Street group to organise a protest rally tomorrow. Andrew Lynch looks at why the plans by UK developers Hammerson have hit a raw nerve.

4. Sandra O'Brien

Despite being a fitness fanatic and marathon runner, 55-year-old Sandra O'Brien died eight days after contracting food poisoning at her grand-niece’s communion party. Hers was the only death in an outbreak of 72 cases linked to parties in north Co Dublin over two days in 2017. An inquest heard this week of the “devastating and untimely loss” of a “vibrant and healthy woman”. Her husband Michael also outlined the heartbreaking days and series of hospital visits leading up to her tragic death.

5. 'YZ'

Not the American rapper, but the ringleader behind the abduction and torture of Kevin Lunney, a director of Quinn Industrial Holdings, in 2019. The 40-year-old, who inflicted most of Mr Lunney's serious injuries, had been jailed for 30 years for his role in the brutal attack. This included breaking his leg, carving QIH into his chest and dousing his wounds in bleach. However, a court order meant he remained anonymous, known only as 'YZ'. This week, that court order was lifted and the Dubliner's true identity could finally be revealed.

Good week for

Dublin Fire Brigade - Thirty-five new DFB recruits were deployed in stations across the city this week, with a further 45 due to commence training next month. However, some warn it's still not enough to keep essential services going.

Bad week for

Kellie Walton - The former payroll administrator, who stole over €870,000 from Virgin Media over the course of a decade, was this week jailed for two years.

If you watch one thing…

The latest episode of Laochra Gael on TG4 is a must for Dublin fans. It features decorated midfielder Michael Darragh Macauley talking about everything from his passion for football to overcoming tragedy. If you missed it last night, catch up now on the RTÉ player.

And finally…

Ever wondered what happened to the likes of Jay, Phil, Cormac and Kelly? It's 10 years since they first appeared on our screens in Tallafornia, Ireland's answer to Geordie Shore. We catch up with the cast members to find out where they are now, and what it was really like getting paid to have fun in the sun.


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