Sunday 17 December 2017

In brief: Embassies asked for help as 10-year effort to find Hep C victims nears end

A global hunt is on to track down the remaining women who were given contaminated blood during the Hepatitis C catastrophe. By the time the 10-year programme to locate all potential victims ends, Ireland's worst-ever health scandal is expected to have cost the State more than €1bn arising from compensation, legal fees, inquiry reports and the programme to track down people who received infected blood.

Irish embassies have been asked to assist in the final push. Dr Emer Lawlor, deputy national medical director of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS), said the tracing programme should be concluded by May next year.

So far, 3,726 recipients have been identified. Of these people, 2,599 tested negative and 325 had evidence of exposure to Hepatitis C but have since lost the virus.

In all, 295 people still have Hep C. "It means from that particular period, there are still 71 people whose identities are known to the IBTS who have still not been tested. Of these, 32 people declined to be tested," said Dr Lawlor.

Divers search for missing woman

Divers were yesterday searching for a woman after a pair of shoes was found along a riverbank. Members of the Sheephaven sub-aqua club from Co Donegal assisted gardai as they searched the Port Bridge, Letterkenny.

The search is for a local woman who has not been seen since the early hours of Friday morning. Una Boyle, 43, from Ballyraine, Letterkenny is a single woman who lives with her mother. She is 5' 4'' in height, has black hair and was last seen wearing a navy fleece jacket.

No winner of €4m Lotto jackpot

THERE was no winner of last night's €3,937,113 Lotto jackpot. The numbers were 1, 7, 24, 31, 33, 38 (bonus 35).

There were no Match 5+bonus winners but 43 Match 5s get €1,970 each; 111 Match 4+bonus (€191); 2,485 Match 4s (€53); 2,991 Match 3+bonus (€29); and 42,269 Match 3s (€5). The Lotto Plus 1 numbers were 4, 12, 26, 28, 29, 41 (bonus 19) and the Lotto Plus 2 numbers were 1, 6, 28, 32, 33, 37 (bonus 11).

And in the UK draw for stg£4.4, the numbers were 11, 15, 24, 33, 43, 49 (bonus 27).

Clarification: Councillor Barry Cowen

In an article in the Sunday Independent last week 'Our natural resources can power recovery' by Eddie Hobbs, it was stated that the Taoiseach Brian Cowen's brother had joined the board of a company that plans to build a power station in Co Offaly.

Councillor Barry Cowen, the Taoiseach's brother, has no interest in and is not a member of the board of the company referred to, Lumcloon Energy. Mr Cowen, a member of Offaly County Council, says that as a councillor he supported the building of the power station, which has been approved by An Bord Pleanala.

"I supported it as I would any industry like that, which is replacing old power stations and creating jobs," he told the Sunday Independent.

Mayor reveals capital New Year plan

Dublin's New Year Festival of celebrations has been announced by Lord Mayor Gerry Breen at the Mansion House. Among the events announced for the three-day programme were shows from world-renowned street performers Jack Wise, Grant Goldie, Jack Flash and Pete Dobbing, who will perform in key locations across the city.

Solas is a family event at Dublin Castle, which will be transformed into a wonderland of light and illumination. The Dublin Gospel Choir will also perform at the historic Christ Church Cathedral on the night. Other events planned for the city include fun-fairs, family circus workshops and New Year at the Guinness Storehouse.

Power failure forces gigs to switch

The Coronas' sold-out show at Dublin's Olympia Theatre last Friday night was stopped because of a power failure. The lead singer sang three songs to the audience before they were told the show was over. The concert will now take place this Tuesday, December 14, at the Olympia, and all tickets remain valid.

As a result, the Celtic Tenors show scheduled to take place at The Olympia on that date has been transferred to The Academy in Abbey Street, Dublin. The Olympia Theatre, artists and promoters MCD apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Two illegal cigarette busts save €3m

Customs officers who searched a consignment of instant noodles at Dublin Port instead discovered eight million John Player cigarettes.

The shipment had arrived in a 40ft container from Singapore. In another seizure in Coolock, Dublin, officers backed up by armed gardai seized another 20ft container from China packed with four million branded cigarettes. The two seizures were worth an estimated €3.6m, representing a potential loss to the Exchequer of €3m.

Gardai recover machinery worth €1m

MORE than €1m of plant and machinery, some stolen in the UK earlier this year, has been recovered by gardai in Balbriggan, Co Dublin. Members of the Stolen Motor Vehicle Unit, assisted by local gardai from Laytown, Co Meath, made the discovery.

Fifteen units, including tractors, excavators and mobile cranes were discovered in the search. Investigating gardai have as yet made no arrests.

Racehorse trainer leaves €3m in will

Well-known racehorse trainer Cornelius Collins has left more than €3m in his will, which went to probate in Dublin last week. Mr Collins, from The Curragh, Co Kildare, who died on January 30, 2007, left €3,446,164.

Other wills: Patrick Cronnelly, Mulhuddart, Co Dublin, €23,151,388; John Russell, Portlaoise, Co Laois, €4,970,458; James Buckley, Belgooly, Co Cork, €2,275,918 and Winifred Hickey, Ballytore, Co Kildare, €2,270,962.

The value of wills includes property, including the family home, and should not be regarded as a cash amount

Sunday Independent

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