In Short


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

50 jobs to be lost at factory in Celbridge

The trade union Siptu has warned that 50 jobs are to be lost at a manufacturing plant in Celbridge, Co Kildare.

Well Screen Technologies is expected to cease production by next summer.

The company, which makes drilling equipment for the oil industry, told the union at a meeting yesterday of its plans to move production to Cyprus.The company has confirmed that the closure was planned but the managing director was not available for comment last night.

NUJ chair critical of INM director

The chairman of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) Irish executive council last night criticised a director of the Independent News Media Group for "failing to negotiate" with the union regarding the closure of a Waterford local newspaper.

An estimated four full-time employees and up to six freelance operators learned on Tuesday that separate editions of the Waterford People newspaper would cease to be produced in the city and county.

Three weeks ago, three senior members of staff were given a week's notice before being let go, while two freelance photographers have since left of their own accord.

Chairman of the NUJ's southeast branch Damien Tiernan said staff had not been given notice when they were informed of the job losses by INM group operations director Michael Ryan on Tuesday.

O'Leary attack on 'wastrel' Ahern

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary has accused former taoiseach Bertie Ahern, of having "squandered the wealth of a generation".

The outspoken airline executive launched the attack during a radio interview yesterday on the Ray D'Arcy Show on Today FM.

"I had very little time for Bertie when he was in power; I don't have any time for him since," Mr O'Leary said, when asked if he had seen the RTÉ documentary on the former taoiseach. "Bertie squandered the wealth of a generation and I think in time it will be proven he was a useless wastrel."

Attempts to contact Mr Ahern for comment were unsuccessful yesterday.

Bertie Ahern's car damaged by fire

THE STATE car of former taoiseach Bertie Ahern was damaged by fire in Dublin city centre last night.

A newspaper was set alight and placed under Mr Ahern's Mercedes Benz where it was parked in front of the main entrance to St Stephen's Green Shopping Centre at about 8.15pm, gardaí said.

Mr Ahern was not in the car at the time of the fire. He was attending the launch of Deirdre Purcell's new book at the Hughes and Hughes bookshop in the centre.

The fire brigade was called to the scene. However, Waqar Nafees, a member of staff at the Bus Stop newsagent on the corner of Grafton Street, said he had already put out the fire after a man came into the shop looking for a fire extinguisher.

He said there seemed to be a lot of damage to the car, which was driven away after the fire was put out.Gardaí said it will be examined today.

Cannabis grower gets two years

A "multitalented young man" who grew 20 cannabis plants in the attic of his rented home has been sentenced at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two years in prison.

Ronan Reddy (30) represented Ireland aged 14 and 15 in two world and one European sailing championships and was on the Irish team that won the Federation's Nations Cup.

Reddy, Waterloo Road, Ballsbridge, and Springhill Avenue, Deansgrange, pleaded guilty to cultivation of cannabis plants and to possession of cannabis resin and grass at the house in Stepaside in February 2007.

Guard faked place of work break-in

A security guard who faked a break-in at the construction yard in Kilmacud, Co Dublin where he worked and stole €24,000 worth of timber flooring to repay drug dealers, has had his sentence adjourned at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

John Mullaly (28), McKee Park, Blackhorse Avenue, Grangegorman, orchestrated the robbery to pay back more than €15,500 worth of liquid cocaine he lost when he was arrested two years ago.

He received a two-year suspended sentence for the drugs for which he said he was paid €100 to pick up.

Pelvic injuries case settled

A plant fitter has settled his High Court action over serious pelvic and other injuries sustained in an accident on a construction site in which he was crushed between two heavy earth- moving machines.

Michael Lynch (37), Glanmire, Cork, suffered severe urological injuries which left him with permanent erectile dysfunction and require him to wear a catheter.

Mr Lynch alleged negligence against his employer, Denis Moriarty (The Kerries) Ltd, Basin View, Tralee, and Pat O'Donnell and Co Ltd, Richmond Avenue, Fairview, Dublin, the suppliers of the machinery.

On the second day of the action yesterday, Dr John O'Mahony SC, for Mr Lynch, said the case had been settled and could be struck out. Mr Justice Frank Clarke made that order.

Developer's libel action settled

A developer has settled his High Court action for libel in a newspaper article concerning the acquisition of lands for the M3 motorway.

Cathal McCarthy, Garlow Cross, Navan, Co Meath, had sued Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Ltd over an article published in the then Ireland on Sundaynewspaper, now the Irish Mail on Sunday, on March 13th 2005.

Man admits youth's manslaughter

A Dublin man has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of a Nigerian youth who was shot through the door of his apartment in Co Meath.

Joseph Sullivan (24), Ballyfermot Road, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Trim Circuit Court yesterday to the unlawful killing of Sumbo Owoiya (17) in August 2007.