Articles in Category: National Interest

Irish woman (21) dies after 'falling from balcony' in Tenerife

By Meadhbh McGrath

A young Irish woman has died while on holidays in Tenerife.

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Las Teresitas Beach, Tenerife

The 21-year-old, who has not yet been named, is understood to be from Cork city.

There are reports - so far unconfirmed - that the woman died after falling from a balcony.

She is understood to be from the Mayfield area of Cork city.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that it is providing consular assistance.

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Divers recover body of boy taken by alligator at Disney resort

2-year-old was playing at lagoon’s edge in Florida when he was dragged into water

Police divers on Wednesday recovered the body of a 2-year-old boy who was grabbed by an alligator in front of his family during a vacation at Walt DisneyWorld in Orlando, Florida.

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Lane Graves (2) whose body has been recovered after he was snatched off a Walt Disney World beach in Orlando, Florida, by an alligator and dragged underwater. Photograph: Orange County Sheriff’s Office/PA Wire

The child was snatched by the alligator as he played at the water’s edge on Tuesday night and dragged into a lagoon despite his parents’ effort to save him.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said he and a Catholic priest had informed the family that the boy’s body had been recovered near where he vanished and was completely intact.

An autopsy would be carried out, Mr Demings added, but the presumption was that the child was drowned by the alligator.

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“It was a tough message to deliver,” Demings told a news conference. “Of course the family was distraught, but also I believe somewhat relieved that we were able to find their son. . . so that they can come to grips with what has happened.”

The alligator was believed to be between 4 and 7 feet (1.2 and 2 meters) long.

Wildlife officials earlier captured and killed five of the reptiles from Seven Seas Lagoon and opened them up to look for traces of the boy. Nick Wiley, head of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said it was too early to say whether one of those five might be the culprit.

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“There is a good chance we already have the alligator because we focused our efforts in that proximity, in that area where this incident occurred,” he said, adding that the probe would focus on results of forensic tests and bite marks on the child’s body.

The resort closed its beaches and recreational marinas on Wednesday while search teams scoured the lagoon, a man-made lake reaching 14 feet (4.2 meters) in depth.

The family, on vacation from the OmahaNebraska suburb of Elkhorn, were named as Matt and Melissa Graves. Their son was named Lane.

There are signs prohibiting swimming at the lagoon but the boy was grabbed as he was playing at the water’s edge while his family relaxed nearby on the shore, authorities said.

The signs did not specifically warn about alligators, a Disney spokeswoman said, adding that the company would review the situation.

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The boy’s father rushed into the water and suffered minor cuts on his arm as he fought to wrestle his child from the alligator’s grasp, said Jeff Williamson, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities said the boy’s mother tried to rescue him too. A lifeguard on duty also was unable to reach the toddler in time.

Alligators are not uncommon in the Seven Seas Lagoon, Mr Wiley said. Alligators have killed five people in Florida in the last 10 years, according to state data.

Mr Wiley said the wildlife commission works with the resort to remove “nuisance alligators” - classed as those which have lost their fear of humans - whenever they are reported.

Disney has operated in the area for 45 years and never had this type of incident, Mr Demings said.

The Walt Disney World Resort is the world’s most-visited theme park. About 20.5 million people visited the park’s Magic Kingdom in 2015, according to the Themed Entertainment Association.

A Walt Disney World Resort spokeswoman said everyone there was devastated by the accident.

Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger issued a statement to express his sympathies “as a parent and a grandparent.” A Disney spokeswoman said Mr Iger also talked with the family by telephone on Wednesday.

William Lopez (41) an evangelical pastor from San Francisco, was on vacation with his wife and seven-year-old daughter. He said he thought a path around part of the lagoon should have been fenced off.

“If we have that kind of aggressive animals we should have been safeguarded,” Mr Lopez said. “I hope they do something to correct this so that it never happens again. Because we love to come here.”

Jim Hill, a theme park historian who runs a popular Disney fan blog, agreed with Mr Demings the company has been “aggressive” about managing the risk from alligators.

But he said that the attack, combined with other recent bad news in the area, could make people reconsider plans to visit Walt Disney World.

Edward Jones analyst Robin Diedrich said there might be a slight decline in Walt Disney World attendance, but it would not be material to the company.

“I think most people would reasonably conclude they will get the issue under control and it’s probably safe to go,” she said.

Nurse lay dead in children's hospital for up to two days

A Garda investigation is under way into the tragic death of a nurse whose body lay undiscovered in a hospital for nearly two days. By Tom Brady, Eilish O'Regan and Luke Byrne

It is understood that the nurse was last seen on duty on Sunday in Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin.

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She was found on Tuesday morning in one of the rooms in the hospital which are set aside for parents' accommodation.

When her body was discovered, efforts were made to resuscitate her, but it was too late.

Gardaí have launched an investigation into the death of the nurse, who was in her early 30s, but are satisfied that there was no foul play.

A senior officer told the Irish Independent that they were treating the death as a tragedy.

The investigation will include an examination of how a member of staff was in possession of a key for a parents' room.

Accommodation for parents is provided in a special section of the hospital. Some parents, whose child is a patient at the hospital, can be allocated a room to stay - but they often return to their home for a few days.

In such situations, the room is unlikely to be visited by staff.

The nurse's body was found in one of these room that are used occasionally by parents for resting.

The nurse is understood to have completed her shift in the hospital on Sunday and then went into the room, which was unoccupied.

Initial inquiries suggest that she died shortly afterwards. But her body was not discovered by staff until Tuesday.

Staff at the hospital are understood to be devastated by the death of their colleague.

A spokeswoman for the hospital confirmed the death of a staff member. She said: "Our thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences go out to the staff member's family and friends and colleagues here at Our Ladys's Hospital.

"The hospital will be making no further comment as it is the subject of a garda investigation."

The general secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, Liam Doran, said the union had no comment.

He said he was aware of the incident and that it was a terrible tragedy.

Plane tragedy: police release names of the two men missing presumed dead after their aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from City of Derry Airport

The names of the two men missing presumed dead after their plane crashed shortly after taking off from City of Derry Airport were released last night.

The small aircraft took off from the local airport last Thursday but never reached its destination in Scotland.

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Parts of the aircraft have been found in waters off the north coast but the two passengers have not been found.

They were 66-year-old Terry Driffield (above left) and 68-year-old Ray Hymas, both of whom are from North Yorkshire.

The families of two men have expressed their thanks to all agencies and in particular all the volunteers who have given up their time to search for their loved ones.

Speaking about the search operation, Inspector Michael McDonnell said: “During this search operation Police have been supported in their efforts by the work of Community Rescue Service, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, RNLI, Northern Ireland Environment agency and North West Mountain Rescue.

“State of the art SONAR equipment and seabed scanning equipment has also been deployed, to ensure that appropriate technical expertise is being utilised to maximise the effectiveness of the overall operation.

“The PSNI helicopter has also conducted over-flights of the harbour and further out to sea. A series of boats and vessels have also been involved in the search on the water.”

Inspector McDonnell added: “The Community Rescue Service team will continue in their search of the area and they along with police will continue to respond to any sightings reported.

“I would like to thank all agencies concerned for their continued support. Over the coming days we will continue to work with search and rescue teams, when called upon. I would also ask the public to be vigilant if they are near Glenarm Harbour and coastlines.

“Anyone who notices anything unusual is asked to contact police on the non-emergency number 101.”

Brexit fears - will passports be needed on Donegal to Derry ferry service?

As the debate intensifies regarding the Brexit vote in Britain and Northern Ireland, there are growing concerns about the impact on Ireland, and indeed Donegal, should a majority vote to leave the EU.

The prospect of border controls being reintroduced between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland if the "leave campaign" wins would have serious implications for Donegal in particular.

This week a leading Inishowen business man, Francis Callaghan, has been speaking to the Inish Times newspaper.

He fears that a "leave" vote could set the development of Inishowen back by 40 years.

And he has raised the issue of whether a "leave" vote would lead to things like passports being required on the Greencastle (Co. Donegal) to Magilligan (Co. Derry) ferry service which is set to resume again shortly.

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EU referendum fueling upsurge in applications for Irish passport in UK

The EU referendum is fuelling a surge in applications for Irish passports among British people.

Figures obtained by Sky News reveal a 25 percent increase in the number of applications being made from Britain.

A desire to remain as an EU citizen – in the event of a ‘Leave’ vote – is seen as a key factor.

The Taoiseach will be in Belfast today where he’ll urge citizens North of the border to vote to stay within the European Union.

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Gardaí are concerned for a 14-year-old girl missing since Tuesday

Gardaí have issued an appeal for help locating a missing 14-year-old girl.

Karla O'Reilly was last seen in Ballivor shortly after midnight on Tuesday. 

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She is described as being 5'8" in height, brown hair with blonde ends and blue eyes. When last seen she was wearing a grey hoodie.

Gardai in Trim, Co. Meath have sought the public’s assistance in tracing her whereabouts.

A spokesman said: "Gardaí are concerned for Karla and asking for anyone who has seen her or who can assist in location her is asked to contact Trim Garda Station on 046 9481540, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station."

 

New era of cheaper air travel due to land as fees slashed

By John Mulligan

Airline passengers are set for a new era of cheaper travel, with fares across Europe and the globe continuing to fall.

A decline in fuel costs, more airline capacity and more intense competition have prompted carriers to cut prices. Now, flyers are reaping the benefits.

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The outgoing director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Tony Tyler, told an audience of global aviation executives in Dublin yesterday that the organisation expects global airlines to make combined profits this year of $39.4bn (€35.3bn).

But he added that the amount of profit, or yield, they generate will fall 7pc in 2016. That yield decline reflects a fall in average ticket prices.

Past month, Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary said that he expected average fares at the airline to decline by 7pc over the summer, and by 12pc during the winter.

That's because cheaper oil has allowed rivals to cut their prices in an attempt to compete with carriers such as Ryanair.

There's also strong competition on the transatlantic market, which is putting some downward pressure on fares.

The fall in air fares also comes as Ryanair confirmed it's slashing baggage costs for customers.

It has been streamlining baggage charges as part of its 'Always Getting Better' customer service improvement programme.

Ryanair said that on flights with a duration of under two hours, checked baggage fees for a 15kg case will be cut by 50pc from €30 to €15.

On flights lasting under three hours, those baggage fees will drop by 17pc to €25. On flights of over three hours, baggage fees won't be changed.

Bags weighing up to 20kg will also see price cuts, although not as sharp as the lighter baggage.

The airline said the lower prices will benefit 92pc of its flyers. A spokesman added: "Ryanair customers can look forward to more improvements as part of Year Three of our 'Always Getting Better' programme - which includes even lower fares, more new routes, new digital features and new cabin interiors."

Some airlines habitually hike baggage fees at the start of the summer season.

Fianna Fáil tourism spokesman, Robert Troy, warned: "These increases in air travel costs will act as a disincentive for people who are planning to travel to Ireland. Ultimately, it will put unnecessary pressure on job creation in the tourism sector.

"There's no justification for the increase in fees and it seems airlines are just attempting to take advantage of the busy summer tourism season."

Beloved Fungie the dolphin suffers deep gash 'from boat propeller'

Ireland's most beloved mammal has sustained an injury believed to be due to a propeller blade of a passing boat. By Louise Kelly

Dingle resident Fungie suffered a deep gash along his side that extends over to the side of the dorsal fin.

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Credit: Facebook

However, Fungie fans have been warned not to panic as he appears to not be in too much pain as a result of the injury.

Chairman of the Dingle Boatmen's Association, Jimmy Flannery Jnr said that wild bottlenosed dolphins get injured quite regularly.

"It's not the first time Fungie would have suffered a scratch or a scrape. It is deeper than normal - but we're not overly concerned about it," Flannery told independent.ie.

"We've been out to see him already this morning and I've made a few enquiries. There's not a lot we can do - it should be healed within a few days."

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Credit: Facebook

The solitary male bottlenose dolphin was first spotted in 1983 in Dingle harbour by late lighthouse keeper Paddy Ferriter.

Experts admit they are amazed the 300kg mammal has remained there ever since, as it is not consistent with dolphin behaviour.

According to the 'Fungie Forever' Facebook page - which regularly monitors the friendly mammal's activities - said Fungie has been injured by a boat propeller.

"Fungie knows the boats here and propellers, and knows perfecty how to avoid them, but sometimes he is a bit to attracted to visiting boats and they can have newer and faster props," read the statement.

 

Gardai probe claims baby was left alone in hot car while family shopped

A garda investigation is underway following claims that a newborn baby was left alone in the back of a car on a sizzling hot day for 20 minutes while her parents went shopping. By Meadhbh McGrath

Gardai have confirmed that they are investigating after footage of the alleged incident was posted on social media.

The footage, a 19-second video clip, was recorded on a mobile phone.

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Market Green Shopping Centre in Middleton, Co Cork.

Yesterday, a woman called Shauna told RTE's Liveline how she had been sitting in her car outside the Market Green Shopping Centre in Middleton, Co Cork, when the family pulled up next to her yesterday afternoon.

When they left the car, the baby was strapped into a car seat while direct sunlight poured in through the four windows.

“I saw a car where two parents and a six-year-old child left a baby who looked about two weeks old alone,” she told the programme, noting that her car reported the temperature as 24C.

“The four windows were open a small bit. I was able to put my hand in to open the door – wasps could have got in, anyone could have opened it and robbed the child if they wanted to.”

Shauna had driven to the shopping centre with her mother and her two-year-old son, who had fallen asleep in the car. While her mother went shopping, Shauna stayed in the car to supervise the boy.

Another vehicle pulled up next to her, and she noticed the family walking away while the baby was left in the car.

She added that the child/parent parking area was so far from the shop that the family would not have been able to see their baby.

Shauna said she was concerned about the baby and reached into the car to open the door and give the baby some fresh air.

“She was wide awake. She was actually a happy baby, but it’s wrong to leave any child in the car. I was able to put my hand in, unlock it and open the door,” she said.

“I was watching my child asleep in my car, the air conditioning was on so at least it was cool in the car, but the sun was shining right on this baby, so I opened the door and I could feel the burst of heat.”

The family did not return for close to 20 minutes, during which time Shauna called the gardaí and reported the model of the car and its registration number.

“I waited around and there were more people gathering, they couldn’t believe it. The reaction was unreal,” she added.

Shauna also took a video of the incident, which she subsequently posted to Facebook.

“If they came out and said they hadn’t done it, I wanted to have proof of it, because it is cruel,” she said.

When the family arrived back to the car, they were told the guards were on the way. However, Shauna said the guards did not appear, and when she called back she was told they did not have any officers available.

When she warned the family she would be posting the video online, the father reportedly said “do what you want”.

The video garnered thousands of views and comments, but was later removed.

“Nearly five hours after I posted the video, the guards rang me and asked me to take it down, because the mother was there distraught and in tears because her mother saw the video overseas.

“I kind of thought, 'is that it?' I just thought, 'oh my god, that’s why she’s worried, because her mother saw it'. So I took it down after that.”

Banker who grew up in Donegal found guilty by jury in Anglo case

A former banker with Anglo Irish Bank, who grew up in Donegal, has been found guilty of criminal conspiracy in relation to the presentation of the bank’s accounts in 2008.

Willie McAteer (65), who now lives at Greenrath, Tipperary Town, Co Tipperary, was found guilty today by a jury in Dublin.

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Photo: Collins Courts

The jury also found former head of capital markets John Bowe (52) from Glasnevin, Dublin, guilty.

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Photo: Collins Courts

The jury spent almost 38 hours deliberating after what is reported to be have been the longest criminal trial in the history of the State.

Both men were remanded on continuing bail to Friday by Judge Martin Nolan.

Tomorrow, the jury will resume deliberations in relation to two further defendants, Denis Casey and Peter Fitzpatrick, both of whom are former executives with Irish Life and Permanent.

Anglo's former head of Capital Markets, John Bowe, and the bank's former finance director, Willie McAteer, had denied conspiring with former Irish Life and Permanent executives, Denis Casey and Peter Fitzpatrick, and others to mislead depositors, lenders and investors by making Anglo Irish Bank's corporate deposits look larger than they actually were.

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The prosecution alleged that McAteer authorised a €7.2bn scheme between March 1, 2008 and September 30, 2008 to bolster Anglo's balance sheet and that Bowe was involved in executing it.

The unanimous guilty verdicts against Bowe and McAteer were returned yesterday afternoon after almost 38 hours of jury deliberations over the course of nine days at Dublin's Circuit Criminal Court.

The jury will resume deliberations in relation to Mr Casey and Mr Fitzpatrick this morning, the 85th day of the trial.

Conspiracy to defraud is one of a series of inchoate (early stage but not complete) offences. The offence of conspiracy to defraud is not on the statute books and trial judge Martin Nolan will have discretion on what sentence to impose.

Bowe (52) and McAteer (65) were on trial accused of conspiring to mislead investors, depositors and lenders about the true health of Anglo.

Judge Nolan remanded the two men on continuing bail until Friday after hearing that there was no objection to bail.

There was no reaction from the men when the verdicts were read out at Dublin's Circuit Criminal Court.

The verdicts came after the jury had queried whether the verdicts that they had reached on two counts would impinge on the other two counts.

The judge told the jury that to bring in guilty verdicts, the jurors must find at least two people conspired together.

The State's case was that the four men were involved in setting up a circular scheme of billion-euro transactions where Anglo lent money to ILP and ILP sent the money back, via their assurance firm Irish Life Assurance, to Anglo.

The scheme was designed so that the deposits came from the assurance company and would be treated as customer deposits, which are considered a better measure of a bank's strength than inter-bank loans.

The €7.2bn deposit was later accounted for in Anglo's preliminary results on December 3, 2008, as part of Anglo's customer deposits figure.

The prosecution alleged that the entire objective of the scheme was to mislead anybody reading Anglo's accounts by artificially inflating the customer deposits number from €44bn to €51bn, a difference of 16pc.

Lawyers for the Anglo accused had argued that their clients believed that the deposits were real deposits and were accounted for correctly on Anglo's balance sheet and so no fraud was carried out.

The prosecution argued that there was no commercial substance to the transactions and that their only purpose was to deceive.

Lawyers defending the former ILP executives argued that their clients had no control over how Anglo would account for the deposits and had no intention to mislead the public.

The guilty bankers

Willie McAteer

Donegal native Willie McAteer was one of the most senior executives at Anglo Irish Bank by the time of the crash, and was a director with a seat at the board.

Originally trained as a chartered accountant, he was a partner at KPMG before moving into senior roles in finance – and eventually joining Anglo Irish Bank in 1992.

For much of his 15 years with the bank, he helped oversee the period of massive growth which lasted until the crash.

By 2008, Mr McAteer was second-in-command after David Drumm at Anglo Irish Bank, and as finance director he was responsible for managing risk as well as finance at the lender.

John Bowe

Career banker John Bowe joined Anglo Irish Bank in 2001 as head of its debt capital markets unit, part of the bank that borrowed on the markets and dealt with other lenders. He previously worked at a number of other banks.

By 2006 he had been appointed to Anglo’s senior executive board, putting him just below director level. His job at the bank, of keeping cash at adequate levels, became intense during the crisis, as international firms pulled billions in deposits out of Anglo.

Mr Bowe continued to work with Anglo after it was taken over by the State. He was part of a team that dealt with the restructuring of the Quinn Group loans.

The charge

Bowe and McAteer pleaded not guilty to conspiring together and with others to mislead investors by setting up a €7.2bn circular transaction scheme between March 1 and September 30, 2008 in order to bolster Anglo’s balance sheet.

The State’s case was that the four men were involved in setting up a circular scheme of billion-euro transactions where Anglo Irish Bank lent money to ILP and ILP sent the money back to Anglo via its assurance firm, Irish Life Assurance.

Yesterday, the jury was told that although all four of the defendants were named on each charge sheet, the jury could find one of them guilty of conspiring with others and acquit three.

Trial judge Martin Nolan said that to bring in guilty verdicts on conspiracy charges, the jurors must find that at least two people conspired together.

The penalty

Conspiracy to defraud is one of a series of inchoate offences, commonly described as a crime of preparing for, or seeking to commit, another crime.

Conspiracy to defraud is a common-law offence, meaning that it is not on the statute books and a court is “at large” when it comes to sentencing.

Six years ago, the Law Reform Commission, the Government’s law reform watchdog, published a report on inchoate offences and recommended the retention of the offence of conspiracy to defraud, which the commission said was “sufficiently clear in scope to remain a valuable part of the criminal law”.

 

Shocking images of teen girls disrespecting graves at Irish cemetery posted on social media

Security is being stepped up at Belfast's City Cemetery in the wake of the incident. By Angela Rainey

Belfast City Council, which runs the cemetery between the Falls and Springfield Road, says wardens will be increasing patrols and removing anyone behaving in an anti-social or disrespectful manner.

Six teenage girls were pictured clambering onto graves, lying on some in the prayer position, and hanging over headstones to take selfies for Facebook.

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The photographs which were posted on social media of a gang of teenage girls in Belfast City Cemetery

In one picture, a girl posed with a wreath saying "uncle" which the group removed from a recently deceased person's grave.

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The girls, who are aged around 16 and claim to be pupils at a Catholic secondary school in Belfast, are seen smiling and posing. In another photograph, two hide their faces as they are snapped by their friends.

A spokesperson for Belfast City Council said: "This sort of behaviour is contrary to the council's published regulations relating to acceptable conduct in our cemeteries, which require people to conduct themselves in a quiet and orderly manner at all times. The council's park wardens will be stepping up their patrolling to try and stop this sort of behaviour."

Residents in west Belfast say a number of wreaths were destroyed and they are revolted and disgusted by the teenagers' antics and have branded them "disgraceful, sick and classless."

Many shared the photos in the hope of "naming and shaming" the girls, who one resident described as "vermin".

DUP MLA William Humphrey condemned the act and urged people to be sensitive to those with loved ones in the cemeteries. "People should respect the likes of graveyards and places of worship and be careful of their behaviour there," he said.

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"These teenagers need to remember that people's loved ones are laid to rest there and that graveyards are a place that many go to for peace, to remember their relatives and to draw comfort. For people to disrespect graves in such a way is unacceptable and insensitive and I would like to ask anyone using the cemetery to remember the grieving families of those buried there."

A PSNI spokesperson said anyone desecrating graves, causing a public nuisance or being disorderly during opening hours of the cemetery could face arrest.

Anyone accessing the graveyard after hours would be deemed as trespassing, they said.

They added: "Anyone with any concerns should contact PSNI by calling 101 in a non-emergency."

 

 

Investigation into death of woman at National Maternity Hospital

The National Maternity Hospital in Dublin has set up an investigation into the death of a pregnant woman while undergoing emergency surgery earlier this month, RTÉ News has learned.

Malak Kuzbary Thawley, was 34 years old and pregnant for the first time when she died at Holles Street hospital on 8 May.

Ms Thawley, a teacher, was from Syria and her husband Alan is from the United States and both had been living and working in Ireland for the past three years.

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The couple had been together for over ten years.

Ms Thawley was seven weeks pregnant when a scan conducted at a private Dublin clinic at 1.29pm on 8 May confirmed she had an ectopic pregnancy.

She was advised to attend Holles Street hospital urgently and did so with her husband.

There another scan confirmed the ectopic pregnancy.

Ectopic pregnancies, where the embryo implants somewhere other than in the uterus, are rare and serious.

Ms Thawley was advised that she would require urgent surgery.

Solicitor for the family Caoimhe Haughey told RTÉ News that Ms Thawley and her husband inquired about using Methotrexate, a medication that is used to speed up the miscarriage process.

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Caoimhe Haughey

However, the family was told the ectopic pregnancy was urgent and so she was scheduled for theatre.

During the operation there was a vascular injury, which is recorded in the medical records, and Ms Thawley died at 7.57pm.

The coroner was notified of the case.

The internal investigation into the case has been commissioned by Master of Holles Street Dr Rhona Mahony.

The Terms of Reference are that it will establish the factual circumstances leading up to the incident, identify any key causal factors that may have occurred, identify any contributory factors and make recommendations.

The investigation team consists of seven members and includes an external investigator.

The Terms of Reference say it is expected to take around 45 days to complete its work.

The final report will go to the Master of Holles Street, the patient's family, and the Ireland East Hospital Group, which the hospital is a part of.

Ms Thawley's husband is currently in the US in the care of his family and friends.

The National Maternity Hospital issued a statement to RTÉ News this afternoon confirming "that a maternal death took place during 2016.

"Every maternal death is a deeply tragic event and as always our thoughts are with the loved ones of the deceased.

"As with all maternal deaths this case is subject to the coronial process and the hospital is unable to make any comment", the statement said.

Meanwhile, the Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services Ireland has called for compulsory inquests following any maternal death.

The organisation said it was saddened and shocked to hear of the death at the National Maternity Hospital.

AIMSI chairperson Krysia Lynch said accountability and transparency are essential when such events occur.

The organisation was involved in assisting Mr Thawley after his wife's death.

 

Gardaí ask for help in finding heavily pregnant teenager missing for over two weeks

Gardaí in Dublin are appealing for the public's help in tracing the whereabouts of a missing 17-year-old Albanian national.

Antonesa Hasani, who is pregnant, was last seen in Rathfarnham on the afternoon of Sunday, May 15.

She is described as being five feet four inches tall and with long brown hair.

Gardaí also say she is "heavily pregnant" and has poor English.

Anyone with any information on her whereabouts is being asked to to contact Rathfarnham Garda Station on 01 6666500 or any Garda station.

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Fisherman (48) dies diving for shellfish

A popular Galway fisherman has died after getting into difficulty while diving.. By Wayne O'Connor

Marty Nee (48), from Tully Cross, drowned while fishing for shellfish on Saturday.

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The father of three was helping a friend fishing near Leenaun when he got into difficulty at 7pm.

Emergency services were called to the scene but were unable to resuscitate him.

Mr Nee was pronounced dead a short time later at Mayo University Hospital, Castlebar.

Marian Herriott, from the Connemara Mussel Festival, said Mr Nee - who ran Marty's Mussels with his wife Catherine - was a highly regarded fisherman.

"They supplied all of the mussels that were used for the demonstrations during the festival last month.

"His family lived here for generations. It is a terrible tragedy for the area.

"He was a lovely guy who worked very hard. He spent all hours out on the boat and working on the mussel lines.

"He was very popular in the area, a great guy."

Ms Herriott said he was known as a skilled and accomplished diver.

"He had been diving for years. I heard about it shortly after (it happened) but he must have come into some sort of difficulty. It is just very sad."

Local Sinn Féin councillor Tom Healy said the community was shocked.

"It is certainly the first time an accident has happened here involving someone diving for shellfish," he said.