Articles in Category: National Interest

Gardaí search for missing Galway teenager

Gardaí have asked for the public’s help to find missing teenager Klaudia Sadowska.

The 15-year-old has been missing from her home in Lissadyra, Tuam, Co Galway since last Friday evening.


Klaudia was last seen when she left her home at about 7pm.

She is described as being 5 ft 3' in height, slim build, long brown hair and a fair complexion, blue eyes and an Irish accent.

It is not known what she was wearing when she left her home.

Gardaí are concerned for Klaudia's welfare and anyone with information are asked to contact Tuam Garda Station on 093-24202, The Garda Confidential Line, 1800 666111 or any Garda Station.

Death of golfer found in lake being treated as a tragic incident

Gardaí are treating the death of a man on a Cork golf course as a tragic incident.

The man, named locally as Maurice Hennigan was discovered lying by a water hazard on the Lee Valley golf course shortly after 11am yesterday.


Paramedics were at the scene within minutes of the alarm being raised but Mr Hennigan, who was in his 60s, was pronounced dead before he could be transferred to Cork University Hospital.

It is thought that he fell into the lake while playing an early morning game of golf on his own - possibly following a heart attack.

the single man, from Ballincollig, Co Cork, was found by staff shortly after 11am.

Separate investigations are being carried out by the gardaí and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).



25-year-old hospitalised after being swept to sea by rogue wave

A 25-year-old man is recovering in hospital after he was knocked by a rogue wave in Co Clare this afternoon, writes Patrick Flynn.

The American tourist was standing on the shoreline at Doolin Point with his wife when he was swept off his feet.


The man was tossed onto rocks resulting in multiple injuries. The man's wife escaped injury.

The alarm was raised at around 4.00pm and the Irish Coast Guard marine rescue sub centre alerted the Doolin unit of the service.

Volunteers from the nearby Coast Guard station made their way to the scene where they located the injured man.

The casualty was assessed and stabilised by first responders before being stretchered over 500 metres to a carpark where an ambulance was waiting.

He was taken to University Hospital Limerick for treatment.

Mrs Browne's Boys actor raises €11k out of €15k fundraising target so far

Mrs Browne's Boys actor, Danny O'Carroll, who plays Buster Brady in the popular show has raised €10,942 out of a goal of €15,000 in aid of Pieta House and Louise James, mother and wife of the victims who tragically died in the Buncrana Pier tragedy.


Danny O'Carroll as Buster Brady

Some individuals have donated up to €500 each towards the worthy causes. You can donate by clicking here.

The fundraiser will take place on Friday May 20th in the Mount Errigal Hotel and celebrities such as Jeremy Kyle, Kodaline's lead singer, Mundy, Jason Quigley, Jason McAteer and some of the cast of Mrs Brownes Boys will attend, among others. Check out the full list of celebs attending by clicking here.

A day of golfing is also planned for earlier in the day and prices to participate are on the poster below.



Thousands of Irish people could be refused entry to US under new passport requirements

Thousands of Irish people with a valid passport can still be refused entry to the US after a strict change in the country's entry requirements.

From April 1, all travellers to America must have a biometric, or e-passport, or they won't be allowed into the country.


Irish passport holders who have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA), must also get a valid electronic passport.

The US embassy in Dublin posted on their website: "The U.S. Embassy in Ireland wishes to remind all Irish passport holders who are able to travel to the United States via the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) that as of 01 April 2016, they must have a valid electronic passport."

The passport must have a machine-readable zone on the biographic page and must be an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric information about the passport owner.



Magdalene laundries report ‘not accurate or respectful’ to women who suffered

The McAleese report is “neither accurate nor respectful” in the suffering women endured in Magdalene laundries, it has been claimed, writes Conall Ó Fátharta.

The comments were made by Claire McGettrick of Justice for Magdalenes Research, accepting a Dublin Lord Mayor Award on behalf of the Magdalene women.

She said survivors felt vindicated by an apology from Taoiseach Enda Kenny, but repeated the group’s claim the McAleese report did not disclose the full story with regard to the Magdalene laundries.


“On the surface, the women have been vindicated since Enda Kenny’s emotional apology in 2013.

“Beneath, however, there is the inescapable reality that the official State record on the experiences of Magdalene women is neither accurate nor respectful of what they endured.

“The State’s official position is that a very small level of physical abuse took place in the laundries and we absolutely refute this assertion,” said Ms McGettrick.

“The report which informs that position completely ignored 795 pages of survivor testimony submitted by Justice for Magdalenes which clearly outlined individual instances of physical assault and similar offences, as well as a prevailing culture of abuse in these institutions.”

She also repeated the organisation’s view the State’s position on how long women spent in laundries was not accurate.


“The State’s official position on duration of stay is that most women and girls admitted to the laundries spent less than a year there, and we also refute this claim.

“Research conducted by our organisation on two Dublin laundries indicates that approximately half of the women registered between 1954-64 in High Park and Donnybrook died in those laundries.”

The group pointed out Magdalene survivors present at the ceremony, and the deceased women who were represented by family members, spent a combined total of 127 years and 10 months behind laundry walls.

Ms McGettrick also accused the Government of cutting “corner after corner” on the implementation of the ex-gratia scheme as recommended by Mr Justice Quirke, saying “many issues remain outstanding”.

She also called for justice for the women who died in Magdalene Laundries and who lie in unmarked graves around the country.

The Department of Justice has refuted the organisation’s claims on numerous occasions, stating that it is committed to fully implementing all of Mr Justice Quirke’s recommendations.

During a Seanad debate last year, equality minister Aodhán O Riordáin accused JFMR of “misinformation” and issuing “factually incorrect” press releases on the issue.

The Department of Justice has also claimed many of the allegations made by JFMR around duration of stay were “not supported by the facts uncovered by the McAleese Committee”, and that an analysis of its oral testimony “was not, in fact, testimony of persons who had been in the institutions or of persons who had direct knowledge of the facts”.



First golden eagle bred in captivity in Ireland

A golden eagle chick has been bred in captivity for the first time in Ireland - sparking hope for efforts to reintroduce the birds of prey here. By Elaine Keogh

The chick, whose sex is not yet known, is just over two weeks old and was bred using artificial insemination by Brian McCann, who owns Newgrange Falconry, a mobile falconry school based in Co Louth. Mr McCann said he has been trying to breed from the parent golden eagles for years.


"This has been a fantastic thing to do as it has never been done in Ireland before," he said. "It is a first and we are making history here."


He owns the parent birds - Olga is Russian while Odin is German. Olga, inset with chick, is now successfully caring for her eaglet, which is her first offspring. "The parents are two very fabulous and beautiful birds," he said.

Lorcan O'Toole, general manager of the Golden Eagle Trust, said it was a great achievement.


Brian McCann of Newgrange Falconry

Body of newborn baby girl found in Wicklow waste facility

Gardaí have said the body discovered this morning at Bray recycling plant is that of a newborn baby girl.

Gardaí have said the body discovered this morning at Bray recycling plant is that of a newborn baby girl.

Dr. Marie Cassidy, the State Pathologist, is at the scene.

Superintendent Pat Ward who is in charge of the investigation wishes to make the following appeal to the public.

"We don’t know what exactly happened leading up to the birth of the baby. However, it is possible that the baby was stillborn and if this is the case my priority now is to get all medical assistance and support to the babies mum”.

"I am very concerned for the welfare of the mum of this baby as she is possibly in a distressed state and in need of medical assistance. I would please ask for the mum to seek immediate medical treatment.

"I am available here at Bray Garda Station to help the mum and dad of this baby girl and if they would contact me or Sergeant Sorcha Fitzpatrick here at Bray Garda Station we will deal with any contact with us discreetly and sensitively."


Press conference at Bray Garda Station about body of an infant found at a recycling plant at Fassaroe. Supt. Pat Ward and Sgt. Sorcha Fitzpatrick speak.’ 

"Our main focus is the mum of the baby girl," he said. "Mum can be assured that if she contacts us we will be as caring as we can to her.

"We are making a heartfelt appeal for mum to contact us."

Detectives do not yet know if the baby was born alive or still-born, but they believe it was a full-term pregnancy.

It is thought the death of the baby occurred recently.


State pathologist Marie Cassidy carried out a preliminary examination where the baby's remains were found.

A full post-mortem examination is expected to take place today.

The recycling plant at Fassaroe, not far from the county border between Wicklow and Dublin, deals with waste from across the country.


"We don't know what exactly happened leading up to the birth of the baby," Mr Ward said.

"However, it is possible that the baby was still-born and if this is the case my priority now is to get all medical assistance and support to the baby's mum.

"I am very concerned for the welfare of the mum of this baby as she is possibly in a distressed state and in need of medical assistance.

"I would please ask for the mum to seek immediate medical treatment."

Mr Ward said he is also available to "help the mum and dad of this baby girl, and if they would contact me or Sergeant Sorcha Fitzpatrick here at Bray Garda Station we will deal with any contact with us discreetly and sensitively".

The discovery was made at around 11am.

Staff at the recycling centre are said to have been left upset by the incident.

Gardaí said they are working with the Health Service Executive and will return to the scene today to carry out a further examination around the waste where the body was found.


The body of the newborn infant found at Greenstar Recycling , Fassaroe, Bray, Co. Wicklow is removed from the scene this evening. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

Greenstar confirmed it is helping investigators.

"We are supporting the gardaí with their inquiries," a spokeswoman said. "The company will not be making any statement regarding the incident."

The recycling plant has a number of large sheds.

The garda operation appeared to be focused around one particular machine at the rear of one of the sheds.


The scene at Greenstar Recycling, Fassaroe, Bray, Co Wicklow. Picture: Collins

Forensic detectives dressed in white overalls could be seen at the machine sifting through waste close to a conveyor belt.

A garda photographer was also present at the scene.


An aerial view of the Greenstar recycling facility in Bray, Co Wicklow. Picture: Google Maps

Man in 50s dies after serious three-vehicle crash

A man in his 50s has died and five others have been taken to hospital after a serious three-vehicle crash in County Antrim.

A man in his 50s has died and five others have been taken to hospital after a serious three-vehicle crash in County Antrim.

The crash happened on the Collin Road in Tildarg near Ballyclare on Monday evening.

Two of those who are injured are critically ill in the Royal Victoria Hospital.

The police said that the Collin Road is closed at its junction with Braepark Road.


Mother who lost five family members in Buncrana tragedy runs marathon with her daughter's rescuer

A mother who lost five members of her family when their car plunged off a pier has run a marathon in memory of her son just weeks after the tragedy.

Louise James paid an emotional tribute to more than 100 runners - including a hero who saved her baby daughter from drowning in the accident - who joined her in the race.

Crossing the line at the Belfast Marathon, she said her eight-year-old son Evan would have been proud of them all.

"I want to thank every single person who took part to remember Evan, whether you ran the race or have put your hand in your pocket to donate," she said.


Louise James running in the Belfast marathon. Pic: PA

"You did something remarkable in his name and to celebrate his life. I know he would be proud."

Ms James' partner Sean McGrotty, 46, died alongside Evan, her other son Mark, 12, her mother Ruth Daniels, 57, and her sister 14-year-old Jodie Lee Daniels when their SUV sank after sliding off a slipway in Buncrana, Co Donegal, in March.

Ms James, from Derry, had been away for the weekend when the accident happened.

The rescue of her four-month-old daughter Rionaghac-Ann, the sole survivor, is her only reason to go on living, she has said.

Davitt Walsh, who without fear for his own life jumped into the water and saved the baby, was among those who completed the marathon to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy UK.


Louise James who ran in the Belfast marathon in memory of her son and who lost five members of her family when their car plunged off a pier with Davitt Walsh (right) who jumped in and saved her baby. Pic: PA

Evan suffered from the muscle-wasting condition, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which leads to increasing disability and cuts lives short.

"Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a heart-breaking condition," said Ms James after the race.

"There are hundreds of young people who live with it today.

"For them, we need to raise awareness of Duchenne. We need to help make sure that children and their families in the future don't face the same fears and challenges that we did.

"It means so much that people who knew Evan and my family, and many who didn't, have come together like this."

Family, friends and neighbours of Ms James ran together as Team Evan.


Runners that ran in the Belfast marathon in memory of the son of Louise James who lost five members of her family when their car plunged off a pier. Pic: PA

They wore a specially designed t-shirt featuring Evan and his big brother Mark.

Robert Meadowcroft, chief executive of Muscular Dystrophy UK, offered heartfelt thanks to the team.

"It's impossible to comprehend what Louise, her family and friends must be going through," he said.

"We are in awe of the strength of character they display in resolving to do something so tremendous to celebrate the lives of those lost."


‘Miracle’ credited to Irish priest 70 years after sainthood campaign began

Woman who prayed to Fr John Sullivan made ‘miraculous’ recovery from a cancer. By Paddy Agnew (Rome)

A miracle allegedly performed more than 60 years ago has led to Irish Jesuit Fr John Sullivan being approved for beatification by the Catholic Church.


Fr John Sullivan

Even though several miracles have been attributed to Fr Sullivan, his path to sainthood has not exactly been fast since his name was registered by the postulator of causes for sainthood as far back as 1944.

His cause has now moved on because the Congregation For The Cause of Saints this winter ruled that he had indeed performed a miracle.

That miracle allegedly happened in 1954 when Dublin woman Delia Farnham, who had been praying to Fr Sullivan, made a “miraculous” recovery from a cancerous neck tumour.

Among other miracles attributed to Fr Sullivan was one concerning the nephew of Irish revolutionary, Michael Collins.

The “Big Fella’s” nephew, also called Michael Collins, had suffered a paralysis as a child. Fr Sullivan reportedly prayed with the boy and also touched his damaged leg. Subsequently, the “trouble” with young Collins’ leg ended and it never again recurred.

The child of a mixed marriage, John Sullivan’s life was marked by a remarkable ecumenical and spiritual journey.

Born in 1861 into a wealthy Dublin family, he was the son of Edward Sullivan, a member of the Church of Ireland, a successful barrister and later the Lord Chancellor of Ireland. His mother, Elizabeth Bailey, was a Roman Catholic from a prominent land-owning family in Passage West, Co Cork.

As was the custom of the time, he was raised as a Protestant but converted to Catholicism at the age of 35, being ordained a priest 11 years later. He subsequently joined the teaching staff at the Jesuit school of Clongowes Wood where he remained for the rest of his life.

Known for his life of deep prayer and his work with the poor and afflicted, Fr Sullivan was a familiar figure in the villages of Kildare, close to Clongowes, as he spent much of his time walking and cycling to visit those who were troubled, sick or dying. Even before his death in 1933, many people had testified to the healing power of his prayers.

Jesuit Fr Conor Harper, the vice postulator for the Sullivan cause, has gone on record to emphasise the important ecumenical aspect of Fr Sullivan’s life, pointing out that he is “remembered and revered” by both the Catholic and Protestant traditions.

The Church of Ireland Archbishop Michael Jackson, quoted by the Clongowes Wood website, touched on the same theme, saying: “We in the Church of Ireland give thanks for the public recognition of holiness, humility and service of humanity on the part of John Sullivan.

“We rejoice in the fact that, as well as living a life that honoured God and the Jesuit Order, he spent half of his life as a member of the Church of Ireland. In this sense the recognition of his holiness has a strong ecumenical feel to it, as he never rejected the influence of the Anglican tradition on his spiritual flourishing.

“Members of Portora Royal School, where John Sullivan was educated, will also rejoice on this day.”

As of now, no date has been set for the beatification, which Pope Francis approved this week, but an annual anniversary Mass in memory of Father Sullivan will be celebrated by Bishop Denis Nulty in Clongowes Wood College on Sunday 8th May.

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern quoted Fr Sullivan in his farewell speech to the Dáil in 2008: “Take life in instalments. This day now, at least let this be a good day. Be always beginning. Let the past go. Now let me do whatever I have the power to do.”

Gardaí seal off Dublin garden in search for two newborns allegedly buried there

Gardaí have sealed off the garden of a house in south Dublin ahead of a planned excavation following a claim by a woman that she was raped as a child and gave birth to two babies.

The now 53-year-old woman has come forward to tell officers at Sundrive Road Garda station that as a young girl she was abused by a number of men - including a close relative - with the attacks starting when she was just five years old in 1966.


 Sundrive Road Garda station

She claims that when she was 12 years old she became pregnant and when she gave birth, the baby was taken from her by a close relative and suffocated before being buried in the back garden.

She said the same thing happened when she was 14 years old. Gardaí have interviewed the woman and are understood to have corroborated details of her story.

According to UTV Ireland, as part of their investigation detectives also plan to talk to a woman who is aged in her 90s about the claims made. At least one of those accused of raping the victim is dead.

The excavation of the garden in Walkinstown will involve the help of a forensic anthropologist and a forensic archaeologist.

It is believed that, even though the babies would have been very small, there will still be traces of them if they were buried in the location.

Gardaí served a search warrant at an address in south Dublin yesterday evening.

It is anticipated the search will last for up to a month.

Gardaí say the results of the dig will determine the future direction of the investigation.

Councillor says confirmation of new Children’s Hospital site bad news for Donegal parents

Planning permission has been granted to the new National Children’s Hospital at St. James’ in Dublin.

The 650 million euro facility is due to open in 2020, after suffering years of planning setbacks.

Donegal County Council unanimously supported a motion from Councillor Gerry McMonagle which called for the new hospital to be located on the M50 providing better access.

He brought the motion off the back of concerns expressed to him from parents of sick children.

Councillor McMonagle says the site approved today is not suitable.



Dad-of-two dies in early morning canal crash

A man in his 30s has died after the car he was driving left the road and entered the Grand Canal near Allenwood in Co Kildare early this morning. By Conor Feehan

Emergency services were called to the scene just before 6am after a passer-by spotted the car in the water.


A man has died after the car in which he was travelling in entered the canal just off the R403 near Allenwood, Co Kildare. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

It is unclear how the car left the road but sources at the scene reported that it was submerged in the water after it crashed.

The man's body was removed to Naas General Hospital where a post mortem will be carried out, and the scene is being preserved pending an examination by crash investigators.

This morning the car could be seen on its roof partially submerged in the canal where the emergency services had pulled it in towards the narrow road that links Allenwood to the townland of Killinagh.

The area where the incident happened is on a narrow road just off the R403 near Allenwood.

The man who died is in his mid 30s and from the Carbury area, not far from where his car crashed.

Locals, who knew the man who died, arrived at the scene this morning in shock.

They said the man was a single father of two young children who lived and worked locally.

A woman who lives beside where the incident occurred said she did not hear the car tumble off the road.

"The first I knew about it was when I saw the fire brigade outside the house at around 6.15 this morning," she said.

"It's not unusual for cars to go into the canal around here. It has happened before," she added.

One local who came to the scene said the narrow road is not lit at night and there is no barrier between it and the canal.



'My family have drowned, I know they have,' shocked teen told tourists

A teenage girl watched in horror as her father, brother and brother's girlfriend drowned after a freak wave turned a summer fishing trip into tragedy. By Ralph Riegel

A Cork coroner's inquest heard that Charlotte Davis Ryan (13) was soaking wet and in deep shock as she told three stunned Welsh tourists out for a hill walk that her family had just drowned.

"I know they are dead - I saw their heads go down," the traumatised teen explained.

"My family have drowned. I know they have."

The trembling teen said her brother, Barry Davis Ryan (20), and his girlfriend, Niamh O'Connor (20), had been swept into the sea from rocks outside Baltimore in west Cork on June 30 last.


Rescue teams search off the Beacon in Baltimore, Co Cork. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Her father, Barry John Ryan (51), had then bravely dived into the sea to rescue them.

Coroner Frank O'Connell was told the family group had gone to enjoy some rock fishing.

The two men who drowned are the son and grandson of Penneys retail empire founder Arthur Ryan (80).


In a garda statement, Charlotte said her brother had gone out to the farthest rock.

"A big wave splashed over us," she told gardaí.

"It got Barry and Niamh soaked. Then another big wave came and it hit us.

"Me and my Dad got soaked and got pushed up against the rocks.

"Barry and Niamh got pushed out to sea by the pressure of the sea. Barry was further out. Niamh was screaming.

"My Dad told me to go climb back up the rocks and get help.

"He swam out to Niamh (closest) and he got there - then I saw their heads go under."

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster ruled all three died from drowning.

The inquest was attended by Ann Davis Ryan, who lost her husband and son in the tragedy. The inquest had to be briefly suspended when Mrs Davis Ryan collapsed.

Also in attendance were Ms O'Connor's parents.

Mr O'Connell extended his deepest sympathies to the Ryan, Davis and O'Connor families as he recorded verdicts of accidental death for all three.

"They were so, so unlucky. These freak waves can happen," he said.

"He (Mr Ryan Snr) gave his life in the course of trying to save the two others. He was an extremely brave and courageous man to make that decision.

"His actions are a testament to the quality of the man," the coroner said.

Colin Ryan, who lost his brother and nephew in the tragedy, thanked the search officials.

"We would just like to say thank you to the Irish Coastguard, to Baltimore RNLI, to the brave volunteers and especially all those divers - as well as the gardaí and people of west Cork who were incredibly supportive throughout this entire trauma," Mr Ryan said.


Arthur Ryan