In Short


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

High Court to rule later in month on college redundancy in junction

The High Court will rule later this month on an application by the chief operating officer of Independent Colleges for an injunction preventing his employers making him redundant. The injunction is sought pending the outcome of a full court action.

Philip Burke, also a law lecturer and a shareholder of Independent Colleges, claims he was informed earlier this month he was to be made redundant because of the economic situation. Mr Burke, who is paid €250,000 a year, claims he is being made redundant as part of a bid to “hijack” a business which he claims he has helped to build up. Independent Colleges has denied his claims. Yesterday, Ms Justice Mary Laffoy reserved her decision on the injunction application.

Woman found sewage in hallway

A Co Meath woman found excrement in the hallway and living room of her new home, Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Matthew Deery, said yesterday. The sewage oozed from her downstairs loo, he said. Marie Mc Closkey, of Millbrook, Johnstown Wood, Navan had moved into her new home on June 21st, 2003 and four days later found the ground floor flooded. Judge Deery awarded her €14,500 damages against developers Hollioake Ltd, of Wasdale House, Rathfarnham, Dublin, and said a blockage in the sewerage system was responsible.

Man jailed for theft church bells

A 28-year-old father of six has been sentenced to two years in prison at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for stealing antique church bells worth €45,000. John Cash, of Cherrywood Crescent, Clondalkin, later told gardaí he assumed the bells were scrap metal when he found them in a compound. They were in storage while the church steeple was being renovated. He pleaded guilty to the theft of the bells from the Mount Argus Church in Harold's Cross on July 5th, 2009. The final 15 months of his sentence were suspended for two years.

Manslaughter charge for grandparents

The grandparents of a severely disabled teenage girl have been charged with her manslaughter nearly a decade ago.

David Johnston (87) and Sarah Johnston (83) are also accused of cruelty towards Rebecca McKeown (14). The couple, of Carwood Drive, Glengormley, Co Antrim, deny causing harm to the child. They were not present when the case came before Belfast Magistrates Court yesterday. A decision on whether they should stand trial is expected before Christmas. A postmortem found Rebecca, who was born blind and unable to speak, died from shock and blood loss.

Older people suffering increased anxiety because of recession

The recession is having a major impact on older people with many experiencing high levels of anxiety over the threat of reduced incomes, increased taxes and cuts in vital services, according to a new study.

The Inequalities, Pensions and the Recession study, commissioned by the Centre for Ageing Research and Development, shows the rate of older people at risk of poverty fell to just over 11 per cent in 2008 from 24.7 per cent in 2004. The research, led by Prof Paddy Hillyard of Queen’s University, Belfast, in association with Dr Maureen Lyons of University College Dublin, reveals significant disparities in income and pensions among the older population.

New social housing model proposed

A further 1,400 homes could be made available for social housing if the Government changes the current funding model, the national federation for non-profit housing organisations has said.

The Irish Council for Social Housing said the traditional capital investment programme for providing social housing is no longer available and proposed a new mixed funding model.

Application to demolish Collins's school refused

An Taisce yesterday welcomed a decision by An Bord Pleanála to refuse an application to demolish the national school which Michael Collins attended at Lissavaird in west Cork.

The national trust appealed the decision by Cork County Council in May to allow the demolition of the school to relocate a petrol station and develop three houses.

An Bord Pleanála refused the application on the grounds that the remaining structure of Lisavaird National School where Michael Collins, a principal figure in the War of Independence attended school, “is of special historical interest and significance and that its demolition has not been justified”.

An Taisce is now seeking to promote a development which would secure the refurbishment and suitable use for the building, heritage officer Ian Lumley said.

Website for research papers

A web site,, aims to build Ireland’s reputation abroad as a place where high quality research takes place, writes Dick Ahlstrom.

The site will provide a single location for finding research papers coming out of the third level sector.

Tánaiste Mary Coughlan officially launched the site yesterday although it was opened up last July. Since then it has received 540,000 visits.