In Short


A round-up of today's other stories in brief

Search for two fishermen whose vessel failed to return to Skerries

A search began for two fishermen missing off the Dublin coast last night. It is understood the two local men, in their 20s and 40s, were on board a small open fishing vessel that left Skerries harbour at about 11am yesterday.

The alarm was raised shortly after 6.30pm when they failed to return to port. A spokesman for Dublin Coast Guard said debris identified as part of the vessel was located halfway between Skerries and Rockabill Island yesterday evening.

He said the Howth, Skerries and Clougherhead lifeboats were searching the area last night, accompanied for a time by the Dublin Coastguard rescue helicopter. The search was due to resume at first light today when it will be broadened.

Ireland in denial over ghost estates

Ireland is in a “state of hiatus” and denial about unfinished ghost estates, according to the Housing and Sustainable Communities Agency’s chief executive John O’Connor.

Almost a year after his agency was set up to address the issue, there appeared to be a state of “suspended reality” precluding action, Mr O’Connor has said.

Mr O’Connor was speaking at Engineers Ireland’s annual conference in Galway yesterday.

“Doing nothing and waiting is not going to work,” Mr O’Connor said.

Taoiseach's US visit cost €14,000

The Taoiseach’s visit to the US for the traditional St Patrick’s Day festivities cost €14,259.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore’s three-day visit to New York and Washington DC cost €4788.05, according to official figures, although this does not include the cost of travel claims which have not been processed yet.

The Tánaiste also travelled by Government jet, for which no cost is recorded.

They supplied information about their visits in response to a parliamentary question from Labour deputy Seán Kenny.

Loughinisland report due in May

The delayed report from the Police Ombudsman on the RUC handling of the Loughinisland pub murders in 1994 is due for publication shortly after the May Assembly and local government elections.

A spokesman for Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson said the report would be made public on the week of May 9th.

Six men died and five others were wounded when two UVF gunmen burst into the Heights Bar in the tiny village of Loughinisland, Co Down, in June 1994. Sixty shots were fired at customers who were watching Ireland play Italy in the World Cup on TV.

Mr Hutchinson’s report, which deals with claims that the RUC colluded with the loyalist killers, was due for publication last September and then again in March. The delays have prompted concern among relatives of the murder victims and political representatives.

SDLP leader and South Down MP Margaret Ritchie, who met Mr Hutchinson on Thursday, said she had been told the latest delay “was not because of new information received but about ‘due diligence’ issues”.