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In brief: Grieving parents and girlfriend of Cork air crash pilot return to Spain

CORK air crash pilot Jordi Sola Lopez's grieving parents and girlfriend flew back to Barcelona from Ireland yesterday after identifying his remains.

They returned without his body, which has remained at a morgue in Cork.

A source close to the family said: "They're back in Spain. Jordi's body is still in Ireland."

Jordi's parents are thought to live in his home town of Manresa, about 30 miles north of Barcelona. Girlfriend Sarabel Ruiz lives in a three-bed apartment in the small town of Montcada i Reixac just outside the Catalan capital.

A neighbour, who asked not to be named said: "Jordi would often come round to pick her up in his Mercedes and they looked very happy together, a lovely young couple very much in love. It's horrible news."

Family of slain Provo to sue UK MoD

THE family of an IRA man shot dead by the organisation 20 years ago is suing the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) for damages over his death.

Eoin Morley was killed by the IRA in the Derrybeg Estate in Newry in April 1990 after masked gunmen burst into his girlfriend's home.

A former British army agent who had infiltrated the IRA in Newry was questioned by detectives about Morley's death in 2005 but released without charge.

In a brief statement the Ministry of Defence confirmed that it had received papers from a solicitor on behalf of the Morley family. The leading Belfast solicitor Kevin Winters, who is representing the family, declined to make any comment.

Queen's visit pencilled in for May 15

Queen Elizabeth will arrive in Ireland on May 15 say security sources. She will stay at Farmleigh in the Phoenix Park in Dublin (the official Irish state guesthouse) for the duration of her first state visit, expected to last three days.

And she has expressed a wish to visit a tree planted in 1853 by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria -- popularly known in Ireland as "the Famine Queen".

President Mary McAleese is understood to have been instrumental in the project, working behind the scenes to arrange the bridge-building visit.

No winner of €2.7m Lotto jackpot

THERE was no winner of last night's €2,766,486 Lotto jackpot. The numbers were 9, 10, 16, 26, 38, 43 (bonus 15).

There were two Match 5+bonus winners who will each receive €125,000; 51 Match 5s (€1,753); 115 Match 4+bonus (€194); 2,461 Match 4s (€56); 3,288 Match 3+bonus (€28); and 40,369 Match 3s (€5). The Lotto Plus 1 numbers were 6, 11, 17, 24, 28, 37 (bonus 5) and the Lotto Plus 2 numbers were 5, 7, 17, 20, 30, 32 (bonus 21).

In the UK draw for a stg£4.4m prize, the numbers were 16, 24, 27, 28, 30, 36 (bonus 35).

Builder to challenge lay litigant ruling

THE Supreme Court has allowed a landmark legal challenge that could have ramifications for cash-strapped company directors trying to save on legal fees.

The case was taken by builder Jerry Beades, who challenged a ruling preventing company directors from appearing as lay litigants.

He argued that his constitutional rights were breached because he was not allowed to represent one of his own building firms in court after a receiver was appointed last year. The Supreme Court found that the issues raised by Mr Beades merited a full hearing. The State will have to bear the cost. Mr Beades, who has campaigned on bank overcharging in the past, said the issue was an important one in the current economic climate.

Many company directors who find themselves in court are unable to afford legal fees because they are in financial difficulties. He argued that the court service should do more to provide facilities to assist lay litigants.

Date set for 'finger-chopping' trial

THE trial of a man charged with chopping off a female artist's fingers will go ahead next month. James Kenny, 36, who is currently in custody, will appear before Dublin Circuit Court on March 2 charged with assault causing harm to graphic artist Asta Digimaite at her home in Prospect Hill, Finglas, Dublin, on September 2, 2009.

Kenny is further charged, separately, with the false imprisonment and aggravated burglary of Alexandra Trotsenko, at the same address on the same date.

Details of the charge state that he was armed with a large machete knife and a butcher's knife at the time.

During the alleged assault, Ms Digimaite lost two fingers. They were subsequently successfully reattached. The 31-year-old was taken to hospital by ambulance after wandering out in the street after the alleged incident and brought to a nearby hotel by a concerned onlooker.

Murder victim's parents in SF plea

THE parents of Paul Quinn, of Cullyhanna, Co Down, who was brutally murdered in October 2007 have asked the Irish electorate to challenge Sinn Fein candidates on the party's stance about their son's murder. Stephen and Breege Quinn said immediately after Paul was murdered that there was IRA involvement in the killing.

"We formed a group to lobby for justice for Paul. All political parties in Ireland gave us some level of support -- bar Sinn Fein who totally denied IRA involvement in Paul's murder and attempted to criminalise our dead son.

"Even their MPs and some TDs became involved in this slur," the parents said in a statement yesterday.

Feathers fly in whiskey court case

IRISH whiskey brand Wild Geese has ruffled the feathers of the makers of the American bourbon Wild Turkey.

The row between the brands broke out in Australia where Wild Geese won a court case against the owners of Wild Turkey -- Italian giant Campari -- who claimed there was a "deceptive similarity" between the two names.

But the court favoured Brisbane patent specialist Ken Philp, who successfully argued that the Irish whiskey name refers to Irish Jacobite soldiers that left Ireland to join French armies after the defeat of King James in 1690.

"Irish soldiers were forced out of Ireland after I think it was Cromwell and they fled to the continent and they became known as the Wild Geese," Mr Philp said.

The court ignored his historical inaccuracies (the Wild Geese fled after the Williamite Wars, some 40 years after Cromwell's Irish campaign), but their legal decision gives Wild Geese the autonomy to continue trading in Australia.

"The geese have beaten the turkey in the courts of almost every country -- except the US," Mr Philp said later.

Wild Turkey has until the end of the month to appeal.

'Hooked Live!' nets two top anglers

SOME of the biggest names in Irish and British angling will show off their skills and give advice at a big two-day fishing show in Dublin.

Hooked Live! returns to the Citywest Hotel on February 26 and 27. Two of the top TV angling personalities at the show will be Paul Young and Henry Gilbey. For more information visit Hooked.ie.

Sunday Independent