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Bank to ease mortgage pain

THE Central Bank is to make it easier for homeowners to obtain negative equity mortgages.

Deputy governor Matthew Elderfield said negative equity would remain an "unpleasant reality" for many borrowers for years to come.

At the Harvard Business School Alumni Club of Ireland, Mr Elderfield said he supported moves to help those in negative equity who could afford to pay a bigger mortgage.

An estimated 40pc of homeowners are in negative equity, but Mr Elderfield said 93pc of those borrowers were not in arrears.

Fire threat man

gets four years

A MAN has been sentenced to four years for threatening to burn down an elderly woman's caravan home because he thought she had sold his horse.

Liam Deegan (20), of Kilmore Willows, Ballyjamesduff, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to demanding money with menace on dates between April 1 and June 24, 2010.

The court heard Deegan had given his horse to the woman because she looked after horses near her home in Blanchardstown.

She said Deegan got it into his head that she had sold the horse, when in fact she had passed the horse on to someone else to take care of.

Rapist father gets 19 years

A man who fathered three children after raping his daughter and stepdaughter was jailed for 19 years today.

The man (51), was described as a "cruel, violent, controlling, manipulative sexual offender" as he was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court in England. The court heard that he raped the two teenage girls up to three times a week.

Serbs 'on right track for EU'

Serbia's candidacy for EU membership shows the country is on "the right track" after years of wars and isolation, says its president, Boris Tadic.

However, Mr Tadic also insisted Serbia will never recognise the independence of Kosovo, even though it is ready to continue key talks with its former province for the sake of further EU integration.