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European food position for Prof Wall

Minister for Health Mary Harney has congratulated Prof Patrick Wall on his appointment as chairman of the European Food Safety Authority Management Board yesterday.

Prof Wall is associate professor of public health at the UCD school of public health and population science and is the former chief executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

"This is a not only a tribute to him personally and professionally, but also to his pioneering work as the first chief executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland," Ms Harney said.

Award scheme for teen volunteers

A new youth awards programme has been launched to recognise the voluntary work of the young. The Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards are open to all Irish teenagers.

The top 20 applicants will receive €500 each and engraved silver medallions. Two finalists will be named All-Ireland youth volunteers of the year by the Taoiseach next March. The All-Ireland selection committee will be chaired by Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume.

The finalists will also get a trip to Washington for the US Spirit of Community Awards programme.The programme was created in the US in 1995.

Minister for Education Mary Hanafin said it was important to foster the spirit of volunteerism at a young age. Information and forms are available at www.

Man died from hatchet attack

A man most likely lapsed into unconsciousness when he suffered the first of several hatchet blows to the head when he was attacked, an inquest heard yesterday.

State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy said Gerald Hackett (49) suffered up to 29 cuts and fractures to his head after he was attacked with a hatchet by Mark Allingham (then 22) in Midleton, Co Cork, four years ago.

Det Garda Tom O'Halloran said he found Mr Hackett lying on his back in an outhouse at 10.40pm on October 20th, 2002. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Mr Hackett, Friars Walk in Cork city, had been seen leaving the Mill House Simon Community shelter at about 2.40pm on October 18th. He was later seen with Allingham who was subsequently convicted of his murder.

At yesterday's inquest, a jury returned a verdict that Mr Hackett died from head injuries resulting from a hatchet attack.

Motorcyclist dies in Dublin crash

A motorcyclist has been killed in a single-vehicle crash near his home. Glen O'Toole (26) was found seriously injured near his overturned motorcycle at Edenmore Avenue, Dublin, shortly after midnight on Monday.

Councillor to run in Meath East

Meath independent councillor Brian Fitzgerald has declared his intention to run in the Meath East constituency in next year's general election.

Mr Fitzgerald, a TD from 1992-97, has been a member of Meath County Council for 21 years and twice served as its chairman. He is a Siptu official and a former member of the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation.