Thursday 26 April 2018

Send UN peacekeepers to famine-hit Horn of Africa -- GOAL chief O'Shea

THE UN Security Council needs to urgently intervene in famine-hit Somalia with a peacekeeping force to allow a meaningful relief operation to be mounted to save the lives of four million people, according to GOAL chief John O'Shea.

The call came as it emerged that Irish people have given the largest per capita donations in Europe, €7m so far, to alleviate the famine in the Horn of Africa -- an average of €1.15 for Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia compared with 80c in the UK, and 14c in Belgium. But Mr O'Shea said no one was taking overall responsibility for the relief effort on the ground, particularly in Somalia, where people are worst-affected.

He added: "Unless large-scale quantities of supplies are brought in by truck and by sea and a clear command structure is established, many of these people will perish.

Meanwhile, Dochas, the umbrella organisation for Irish aid agencies, said that while there were serious problems at home the donation figures showed the Irish people weren't immune to the suffering of others.

Reform Department is 'blazing a trail'

THE newly formed Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has taken an early lead in living up to its own aspiration to cultivate a new ethos of caution in public spending, according to Reform Minister Brendan Howlin.

Following the controversy over the refurbishment of his ministerial offices, which included the charging of €47 for a toilet sign, Mr Howlin said: "The creation of an entirely new Department of Public Expenditure and Reform will cost the taxpayer a maximum of €50,000. It is unlikely any other department of this scale has been set up so cost-effectively before.''

Councillors in bid to save courthouse

COUNCILLORS have demanded an urgent cash handout to save a historic building in the centre of Castleblayney, Co Monaghan.

The building, a former courthouse that was condemned on public safety grounds by the county council some years ago, has been sealed off with steel barriers after slabs of masonry fell from the roof. Now, the town council is appealing to Monaghan County Council and the International Fund for Ireland for urgent cash restore the structure.

Gardai appeal for car crash witnesses

GARDAI have appealed for witnesses after a 23-year-old pedestrian was seriously injured when was struck by a car in Dublin. The collision between the pedestrian and a car happened on Coultry Road, Ballymun, at around 5.30pm on Friday.

The pedestrian was later treated in the Mater Hospital, where his condition was described as critical but stable. The driver of the car was uninjured. Any witnesses should contact Ballymun garda station on 01 666 4400, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.

Two winners of €2.6m Lotto jackpot

There were two winners of last night's €2,652,957 Lotto jackpot. The numbers drawn were 9, 21, 26, 31, 39, 42 (bonus 5).

The Lotto Plus 1 numbers were 7, 17, 24, 25, 29, 31 (bonus 2) and the Lotto Plus 2 numbers were 2, 18, 29, 34, 36, 39 (bonus 3).

Travel firm closes with loss of 14 jobs

A Cork-based online travel company has ceased trading with the loss of 14 jobs. MyguideIreland, which has offices in Skibbereen, Co Cork, and Boston in the USA, said a liquidator would be appointed to the company in the coming days after it lost key merchant account facilities which had had an impact on its cash flow.

Around 500 people are currently on holidays with the company in Ireland but will not be disrupted by the closure. The spokesman could not say how many bookings the company had, or if those who had paid for holidays would get their money back.

Woman (68) missing for two days

GARDAI have asked for the public's help in tracing a 68-year-old woman who has been missing for almost two days. Charlotte Fitzpatrick, of Kilmore Close, Artane, Dublin, was last seen at her home on Friday morning at around 9.30am.

Mrs Fitzpatrick is described as 5ft 3in with short, grey hair, green eyes and was last seen wearing black trousers, black top, and a beige short blazer. Anyone with information should contact Coolock garda station on 01 666 4200, or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.

Rebuilt Mizen Head footbridge opens

A 148FT-HIGH footbridge that spans 164ft across a sea gorge on the south-west tip of Ireland has reopened.

The Mizen Head bridge, built more than 100 years ago, has been faithfully reconstructed in its original style.

Private sector bucks HSE job freeze

DESPITE a HSE freeze on hiring key staff, Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) said up to 500 nursing vacancies existed in private and voluntary nursing homes across the country -- with up to 1,400 nursing posts expected to be created over the next 12 months.

The job figures were revealed in a NHI survey that also showed around 70 per cent of homes have problems recruiting staff.

Tensions high ahead of Orange parade

ALLEGATIONS of a campaign by republicans to drive out Protestant families from a predominately nationalist village in the North have sparked fears of sectarian violence ahead of a controversial Orange parade.

Tensions in north Antrim village of Rasharkin were rising last night, with loyalists claiming the UDA was being urged to act against "continuing sectarian attacks on Protestants in the area". The annual Rasharkin parade is scheduled for August 19.

Company director leaves €5.5m in will

A DUBLIN company director, Martin J White, of The Hill, Malahide, Co Dublin, 2008 has left €5,533,173 in his will.

Andrew O'Shaughnessy, of Dripsey Castle, Dripsey, Co Cork has left €2,927,832; Mark Tierney, a retired lawyer of Marlborough road, Glenageary, Co Dublin left €2,651,223; Paul F Reid, an insurance broker, of Island View, Malahide, Dublin, left €1,285,476; Eugene Rudden, a builder of Grange Road, Baldoyle, Dublin, left €1,251,125; and Mary Leavy, a shop assistant of Shangliss Road, Santry, Dublin has left €1,076,653.

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

Sunday Independent

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