Wednesday 21 February 2018

In Brief: We almost lost the sense of community that defines us as a nation, says Higgins

President Michael D Higgins has spoken about greed and avarice in Ireland that threatened to jeopardise the country's essential sense of community.

Speaking at the Westmeath Co Council Cathaoirleach Awards ceremony in Mullingar, he said: "As we are all now aware, we have recently closed a chapter on our national narrative during which we had risked losing that essential sense of community which so defines us as a nation and allowing instead the growth of an individualistic culture in Irish society; a culture which valued a person in terms of their personal wealth, their ability to accumulate material goods, and a culture which allowed the needs of the individual to supercede the needs of the collective – or of society as a whole," he said yesterday.

"For some it was a time to sustain the needs of the economy at the expense of other considerations. Now many of us are realising the value of turning to an older wisdom that, while respecting material comfort and security as a basic right of all, also recognises that many of the most valuable things in life cannot be measured."


THERE was no winner of last night's €2,581,779 Lotto jackpot. The numbers were 3, 7, 14, 33, 36, 41 (bonus 25).

There were three Match 5+bonus winners who each receive €25,000; 50 Match 5s (€1,356); 129 Match 4+bonus (€132); 2,216 Match 4s (€47); 2,858 Match 3+bonus (€24); and 33,830 match 3s (€5). The Lotto Plus 1 numbers were 9, 20, 23, 26, 29, 35 (bonus 2) and the Lotto Plus 2 numbers were 4, 17, 22, 32, 41, 43 (bonus 12).

Meanwhile, in the UK draw for stg£3.7m the numbers were 8, 24, 26, 28, 36, 43 (bonus 34).


Cannabis resin and herb with an estimated value of €1m was seized by the Garda National Drugs Unit in a search of an industrial premises in the North West Business Centre in Blanchardstown, Dublin. More than 100 kilos were found and a 39-year-old man arrested at the scene is being questioned at Blanchardstown Garda Station.


A 31-year-old Pakistani man has appeared in court charged with the rape of a 24-year-old woman with Down syndrome in a street off the South Circular Road in Dublin last Wednesday week.

Det Insp Sean Campbell told Dublin District Court yesterday that when charged at Kevin Street Garda Station, the man replied: "Nothing to say." Reporting restrictions were imposed and the man cannot be named.

Judge David McHugh refused a defence application for bail, saying that evidence given by Det Insp Campbell suggested "it was safe to assume he presents a flight risk".


SPORTS and media personalities have taken on Special Olympic athletes in a range of sports to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 2003 World Games in Ireland.

Former Dublin GAA player Jason Sherlock captained a team of celebrities in the capital against Special Olympic athletes from Carmona Cougars Special Olympics Club and Palmerstown Wildcats Special Olympics Club.

In Cork, football manager Conor Counihan headed up a team against local Special Olympics athletes from Owenabue Special Olympics Gymnastics Club and Ballincollig Special Olympics Club.

"We are determined to go from strength to strength, despite a 59 per cent cut in government funding since 2008. Special Olympics will not stop until every person on the island of Ireland who has an intellectual disability has the opportunity to participate in a sport or developmental activity of their choice in their local community," Special Olympics Ireland CEO Matt English said.


A former Maze Prison H block at the centre of a major political row in the North contains the cell where a TD began the hunger strike that led to his death in 1981.

Past and present prison officers say the preserved H6 Block at the disused Maze site is ideal for republicans to exploit a tear-jerk connection with the 1981 hunger strikes.

Officers pointed out that two of the hunger strikers who died began their fasts in the one remaining H Block preserved along with the prison hospital on the former prison site which is to be developed beside a Conflict Resolution centre with €18.8m of EC aid.

Kieran Doherty, who became a TD for the Cavan-Monaghan constituency in the 1981 election, and Micky Devine, an INLA prisoner, both began their hunger strikes in H6, the officers said.


Aldi has pledged to support its milk farmers by committing to pay them an additional seven per cent per litre on the price of its milk.

The increase is being paid to farmers who supply the stores Irish "Clonbawn" milk range. Aldi is currently conducting its annual tender for the supply of milk to its 100 stores in Ireland and is expected to conclude these negotiations in the coming weeks.


A Sinn Fein Minister received minor injuries during a police operation to monitor an Orange Order parade in north Belfast.

Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilin was hit by a PSNI vehicle after she came to the aid of fellow MLA Gerry Kelly, the party said. Mr Kelly attempted to stop the armoured Land Rover and was then dragged 50 yards as it drove away in the city on Friday night.

Ms Ni Chuilin was treated in hospital for minor injuries sustained when she also tried to stop the Land Rover.

The Culture Minister and Mr Kelly joined a nationalist residents' protest against the annual Tour of the North parade, which passed off with little incident.


BEST-selling fantasy author Anne McCaffrey has left almost €1m in her Irish estate. The American-born writer rose to fame in the late 1970s with The White Dragon, one of the first science fiction books to top the New York Times bestseller list. Ms McCaffrey, of Timmore Lane, Newcastle, Co Wicklow, who died on November 21, 2011, left €938,954.

Other wills: chartered accountant Daniel M McGing, of Killiney, Dublin, left €3,006,446; barrister Thomas J Fallon, of Blackrock, left €1,915,134; restaurateur Bernard Gentile, of Rathgar, Dublin, left €1,856,120; Michael McNamara, a consultant, of Foxrock, Co Dublin, left €1,723,223; and Patrick J O'Connor, an orthodontist, Glounthaune, Co Cork, left €1,680,712.

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

Irish Independent

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