Singing to a different tune

 

What with Michael Hutchence's daughter, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, becoming an unfortunate celebrity before her first birthday and Madonna's child being breast-fed by a wet nurse, Dolores O'Riordan's intentions for her son sounded refreshingly wholesome. The Cranberries singer, whose personal fortune amounts to £36 million, intends her baby son to learn Irish, said Kerry's Eye. Taylor Baxter Burton (inspired by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton? A brand of soup?) was born in Toronto, Canada. A £500,000 Irish home awaits him in Dunquin where, the newspaper told us, Dolores remains "very popular".

Yet another sexual abuse scandal surfaced. This time the alleged victims are mildly mentally handicapped teenage students in the care of St Vincent's school, Lisnagry. The Limerick Leader said that the students have given "video evidence" as part of an investigation.

The Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Michael Neary, travelled to two west of Ireland parishes to apologise from the altar for acts of paedophilia carried out by one of his priests when he was based there, said the Connaught Telegraph. Dr Neary made the special journey shortly after the sentencing to seven years of Father Martin Greaney (56), for indecently assaulting young girls.

"I'm not Santa - says Minister" was the Longford Leader's headline. Shane MacCabe wrote that councillors thinking of belting out a chorus of Noel, Noel . . . were quickly brought down to earth by the Minister for Environment and Local Government, Mr Noel Dempsey. "One of the most powerful men in Fianna Fail" came in person to hear what the people of Longford want most - a solution to their landfill problems.

"There's a landfill problem in Longford, and I'll say this to you fairly directly . . . do something about this within the next 12 months, because you're going to have your landfill closed down." Other items on the Christmas list - a swimming pool, water and sewerage schemes and road projects - were similarly dismissed. Mr Dempsey "was helpful but not complimentary to Longford County Council, suggesting on a number of occasions that the local authority was irresponsible in its actions or inactions trying to be all things to all citizens on a hopeless budget", the newspaper added.

Outspoken Nenagh councillor, Mr Jimmy Moran, is threatening a hunger strike over demands for a number of major infrastructural schemes which are holding up major developments in the town, said the Tipperary Star. The Fianna Fail councillor said he is willing to take a leaf out of the book of Little Island, Co Cork, residents who went on hunger strike in a bid to force a meeting with Mr Dempsey over a proposed giant sewage treatment plant.

Meath County Council will today approve plans to allow Navan to double in size over the next five years, said the Weekender. Plans to rezone 700 acres in the town for housing are included in the Navan Development Plan. The plan has been "uncontroversial", despite the huge changes it predicts, including 4,000 new houses bringing almost 15,000 people to Navan and pushing the population up to 26,500.