In short


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

Shoe on other foot as German students send toys to Ireland

A group of German students, who spent a semester studying Ireland, organised a campus-wide campaign to collect shoe boxes of toys to send to the needy in Ireland.

Society of St Vincent de Paul national president Maireád Bushnell said the donation was unexpected but very welcome and would help brighten up Christmas for many children. “This donation reflects the tremendous generosity of people. The response to our annual appeal in Ireland has been wonderful.” More than 130 shoe boxes filled with toys and gifts were delivered last Monday and were distributed to families, mainly in the Dublin area. The delivery and collection was sponsored by the Irish-German Fellowship in Saarland.

Several Irish charities organise similar shoe-box appeals each Christmas to send to children in developing countries in Africa and Eastern Europe.

State defends role in animal welfare

The Department of Agriculture has defended its input into the welfare of Irish horses and said it had given more than €3.6 million this year to groups dealing with the problem, writes Seán MacConnell.

It was responding to a New York Times report which said thousands of horses were being abandoned here due to the recession.

A spokesman for the department said it worked closely with horse welfare groups and other animal welfare charity groups. It said the department had provided €1.21 million to assist them in their work this week.

The department had also given €2.5 million to local authorities to reimburse them for expenses under the Control of Horses Act.

 Climber airlifted from Slieve Mish

A man was airlifted from the snow-covered Slieve Mish mountains in Co Kerry yesterday evening after becoming exhausted during a mountain walk.

The man, believed to be in his late 30s, had set off alone on the mountain range between Dingle and Tralee early in the day intending to do a circle of the area. He later used his mobile phone to alert services to say he was suffering from exhaustion.

The Kerry Mountain Rescue assembled and the Sikorsky search and rescue helicopter began a search.

Shortly after 4pm it winched the man from a point 2,500 ft up near Derrymore.

He was lifted to Farranfore airport and did not need hospitalisation.