A Year in Brief: Part One


What a year it’s been; Hitler birthday cakes, mutant rats, and Bob Geldof off to space! To celebrate the end of another 365 days here are some of NIB’s favourite stories of the year.

Kicking off the year in festive spirit a man in Derry was fined after stealing a CCTV camera which “became his friend”. Police found Peter Morrison, 24, drunk and “petting” the camera as they arrived to arrest him. CCTV pets are for life not just for Christmas.

Aoife Quinn told the courts this year she signed a Russian job contract without knowing what it said and then threw her copy away. She also opened four bank accounts in Dubai for her wages – 320,000 US Dollars or Euro, she wasn’t sure which. None of which sounded at all suspicious in the continuous Quinn fraud trial.

Independent Galway councillor Michael Fahy said he would support Danny Healy-Rae in his mission to allow elderly, rural dwellers to drink and drive to prevent rural isolation. While the idea has been ridiculed by many – not least Ray D’Arcy who hung up on Healy-Rae saying he gave him a headache – there were murmurs of support around the country, drunken murmurs. The kind you make before you fall off your stool. The Kerry councillor said it was unfair that drink-driving laws were also applied to those driving tractors.

A research team led by an archaeologist from University College Cork found the world’s oldest shoe! Yep. The team, led by Dr Ron Pinhasi, originally from Israel but living in Cork since 2007, were on an expedition in Armenia when they discovered the 5,500-year-old shoe. What did the academic have to say about such a discovery? “It is not known whether the shoe belonged to a man or a woman.”

“Where is the duck? I know you have it. I want to see it. Take it out. I’d like to see where the duck is and what have you done with it.” Is apparently what a security guard asked a customer of Smyth’s toy store in Belgard Road, Tallaght, loudly and in an aggressive manner in front of other shoppers back in the spring. David Mongan who was considering buying said toy duck, tried to sue Smyth’s and their security company for defamation after the incident left him depressed but his case was thrown out by Mr Justice Eamon De Valera. Where is the duck now News in Brief would like to know? Take it out, we want to see it!

Ireland was honoured with inclusion on British Geo Technologists Online’s list of ’vaguely rude place names’. Locations on the list include Muff in Donegal and Nobber in Meath. Gary Gale, a geo technologist aimed to combine the British love of innuendo with actual geography, creating the interactive map, charting places around the world with names that will cause titters.

One of NIB’s favourite stories of the year was the publican fined €700 for allowing 51 nuns to drink after hours in his establishment. Christy Walsh proprietor of the Well Bar in Listowel, Co Kerry was fined after being caught twice on the same night for allowing the 51 punters dressed as nuns to stay on in the pub and enjoy a few jars. Mr Walsh was on the committee for “Nunday” an annual event on which 1,436 men, women and children dress up as nuns to raise money for charity and were trying to break the Guinness world record for having the most people dressed as nuns in one place. His solicitor suggested he could plead his client could not refuse nuns but was not sure that would get him off.

An aircraft that suffered problems on a runway at Dublin Airport was revealed to have been carrying a cargo of rats and mice from England. The airlines name? BinAir. It regularly deposits the rodents every Thursday morning for reasons NIB will not even begin to fathom but you can bet it has something to do with Bono.

New insolvency legislation suggested we sell our kids if we find ourselves in financial difficulties. Irish children are apparently sought after around the world with boys between eight and ten going for anything between €8 and €9.50.

“Council workers must pre-plan road works, fill in reports detailing repairs to be carried out and use appropriate signage to alert members of the public.” Of course they should. Actually doing the repairs though? That’s a different matter. Three county council workers from Cork have been suspended (on full pay) after attempting to fill in a pothole. Bastards. They had been on their way back to the council depot when they spotted a large pothole and stopped to fill it in even though IT WAS NOT ON THEIR OFFICIAL LIST OF JOBS. A health and safety worker promptly spotted them doing the work and reported them to the local authority for breaching health and safety. Have a day off mate.

Remember when Enda got egged? Well, then it all came out, Leinster House was up to something.  The house ushers were being taught the art of jiu-jitsu to deal with “aggressors”. 19 members of staff attended self-defence courses apparently to avoid such egg related incidents and presumably at a cost to the tax-payer. NIB still isn’t sure Enda wasn’t establishing his own private army.

Talking of tax costs, a soldier was sent a property tax bill for €427 for his entire barracks in what Revenue labelled “a blunder”, stating it was; ’only an estimate’.

Church of Ireland Archbishop in Dublin, Michael Jackson, reassured the country sectarianism was; ‘alive and well’ in the city. The Archbishop was speaking at a colloquium in Trinity College on Anglican perspectives to Vatican II, the council held in 1962 to address Catholicism’s place in the modern world. Jackson went on to highlight the importance of universal equality saying; ‘it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white’ but was strenuous in his denial that Billie Jean was in fact his ‘baby’.

Never mind the church, we love our mammies. A 24-year-old man arrested in Derry during 2013, sweetly told police officers; ‘If you touch me I will tell my ma’. After arriving at Strand Road police station in an inebriated state, Gary Deehan told members of the PSNI; ‘I don’t give a f***’until he was taken into custody. District Judge Barney McElholm fined the young man €100 and described his comment as; ‘my favourite remark’.

During the year Enda was in Spain, Eamon was up north and Martin McGuinness has been in the IRA. Sorry, slip of the tongue there, meant to say McGuinness was talking about the IFA. In addressing the issue of sectarianism in football the Sinn Fein representative made the same unfortunate slip. How everyone laughed. Well you would, just in case.

Apparently some Irish students, who had now been waiting as long as a year for their college grants turned to a new online initiative, signing themselves up as “sugar daddies” and “sugar babies” ‘providing a mutually beneficial’ opportunity for young men and woman to court older partners in return for gifts or cash. A similar scheme suggested by James Reilly was rejected by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.

Stay tuned to Irish News Review for part two which go live next Friday.

Image courtesy of Joe.ie

  1. December 27th, 2013

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