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Fines urged after fags bust

A COALITION of convenience shops is urging the Government to bring in stiff fines to combat cigarette smuggling after Customs officials seized contraband cigarettes worth €314,575 during a raid in Dublin's north inner city.

Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS) said the problem of cigarette smuggling will continue unless there are minimum fines of €10,000 to discourage the sale of cigarettes on the black market.

RAS spokesman Benny Gilsenan said: "There are organised crime gangs bringing in vast amounts of illegal cigarettes, defrauding the State and the retail sector."


Teaching time religious focus

PRIMARY school teachers are using time for teaching reading, writing and maths to prepare children for making their Communion and Confirmation.

Over 70pc of 363 teachers said the preparation of children for the sacraments takes more time than is officially available. Often, an extra nine hours of teaching a week is being used, the survey by the INTO found.

Teachers are supposed to devote just half an hour a day to religion.


Flying nun in charity skydive

FLYING nun Sr Patricia Wall is drumming up support for her fundraising skydive which will see the 75-year-old take a leap of faith from 10,000 feet.

The Presentation Sister from Ballingarry, Thurles, Co Tipperary, took to the pitch before the Tipperary v Kilkenny match in Semple Stadium to ask the crowd to support her worthy cause.

Sr Patricia will undertake her skydive in Birr, Co Offaly, in May and hopes to raise €150,000 for Aware.


Emergency landing for jet

A TRANSATLANTIC jet made an unscheduled landing at Shannon Airport early yesterday after a passenger collapsed in her seat and couldn't be roused.

Air Canada flight 872 was still over the North Atlantic and about an hour west of Ireland when the crew raised the alarm. The flight was en route from Toronto in Canada to Frankfurt in Germany.

The woman was rushed to the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Limerick.