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Fireman settles damages claim

A FIREMAN has settled a High Court damages claim against his employer over injuries he sustained after allegedly falling 15 feet while fighting a blaze in a derelict bungalow.

Vincent McGuinness (40) Springfield Manor, Red Barns Road, Dundalk, Louth sued Dundalk Town Council for negligence over the equipment provided for him to fight the fire. The claims were denied.

The case opened on Wednesday and when it was due to resume yesterday, the court heard the case had been settled. No details were revealed.

Girl's sail solo bid reaches end

AN Australian teen who has spent seven months at sea in a bid to become the youngest person to sail solo, nonstop and unassisted around the world is just a few hundred nautical miles from her goal, and likened the excitement over her return to the anticipation of Christmas.

Sixteen-year-old Jessica Watson is expected to sail past the finish line at the entrance to Sydney Harbour tomorrow, capping off a nearly 23,000 nautical mile voyage.

Abused altar boys get €14m

Former altar boys who sued the Catholic Church in Vermont over allegations of sexual abuse by priests 30 years ago will share a settlement of more than €13.9m.

An arbitrator will divide the settlement among the 26 victims, depending on the nature of their injuries, their recoveries and other factors.

The lawsuits accused the Diocese of Burlington of negligent hiring and many of the cases centred on the defrocked Rev Edward Paquette, now 80, who was the target of allegations before he transferred to Vermont in the mid-1970s.

Anna Nicole's ex sells her stuff

Anna Nicole Smith's former boyfriend Larry Birkhead is selling 250 personal belongings from her estate at a Las Vegas auction.

The items being sold at Planet Hollywood on June 26 include outfits worn by the late model, paintings and a collection of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia. Proceeds will go to charity and a trust fund for Smith and Mr Birkhead's daughter Dannielynn.