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Norway Gunman may escape prison

Anders Behring Breivik, responsible for the killing of 77 people in Norway four months ago, may escape prison, it has been revealed. The gunman set off a car bomb in Oslo, killing eight people, before heading to the island of Utoeya disguised as a policeman, where he shot dead 69 teenagers.

Behring Breivik has been assessed by psychiatrists, who have concluded that Breivik was insane at the time of the murders. Norwegian website VG stated that Mr Breivik was suffering from “psychosis”, a condition which changed his mental state and dramatically affected his judgement.

This report, which was presented to the Oslo district court this morning, still needs to be examined by a medical commission in order to make sure it meets the professional criteria required. However, if it is accepted as a viable experts’ opinion it could mean that Behring Breivik could not be sentenced to a prison term, but would instead be transferred to a mental institution, where he would undergo psychiatric treatment.

Murder Trial Nears Conclusion

The murder trial of Thomas O Connor has reached it’s closing stages. Irish News Review reported how Thomas O Connor was on trial for murdering his friend John O Brien at Farrankelly Road Delgany on 4th June 2010, by hitting him repeatedly with a rock.
The trial is being held at the Central Criminal Court and is presided over by Mr Justice Barry White. The court has now heard all of the evidence. Mr O Connor who has pleaded not guilty, has to wait until the closing stages are completed and the jury reaches a verdict.

Inquiry being carried out into libel actions of RTE

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has been requested to carry out an inquiry into the slander of Fr Kevin Reynolds by RTE. In the programme Primetime Investigates, which was aired last May, it was wrongly stated that Fr Reynolds sexually abused a girl and fathered a child in Kenya, Africa. Fr Reynolds, last week, was awarded compensation for this defamation and received an apology from RTE.
However this incident has raised some serious concerns as to how RTE could have allowed this libel could have possibly occured. In an interview with Morning Ireland, Minister for Communications, Mr Pat Rabbite said he could not recall a lapse this serious. He said “the management of RTE understands the gravity of it and that public disquiet has to be allayed.”
 (Fr Kevin Reynolds)
The Cabinet, yesterday, called for an inquiry to be carried out to investigate in these matters and will report it’s findings in two months time.
Last night Taoiseach Enda Kenny said, of the inquiry, that “clearly there is a need to see that the very high standard (of journalism) which normally pertains be restored”.
RTE will not carry out an internal inquiry, it was stated, as there has been a “grevious” drop in their normally high standards. The Taoiseach said that the inquiry had to be “totally above board”.
RTE’s Director General, Noel Curran, has taken a step back from these matters, stating that he was not involved in the airing of the program in question; ‘Mission to Prey’. However, he did state that he took “absolute responsibility” for the matter and it would be treated “in the most grave way”
Curran said that there was a “process” which had to be carried out and this is why the people responsible have never lost their jobs. He admitted that a lot of mistakes had been made, one being the fact that a paternity test was never carried out to prove claims that Fr Reynolds had fathered a child, despite the fact that Fr Reynolds had offered to do one.
The new series of ‘Prime Time Investigates’ was due to be aired next month, but has been suspended. The Broadcast Authority of Ireland will report their findings in two months time.

Mayor of Naas will not offer help to Black Africans

Councillor Darren Scully, the mayor of Naas, Co Kildare, has stated that he will no longer be offering any assistance to the African residents of his community.
He made this decision, he says, after receiving a lot of aggression from representatives of the coloured community and has decided that he will no longer work with them. Scully was eager to stress that this view is his alone and does not reflect the views of Naas County Council as a whole. Any black African who came to him, he has stated, will be referred to another colleague.

Darren Scully with Enda Kenny

In an interview with radio station KFM, Mr Scully said the following;

“I have been met with aggressiveness and bad manners…I have also been met with the race card, (they say) ‘Oh yeah, you will help white people, but you don’t help black people’.

“So after a while I made a decision that I was just not going to take on representations from black Africans, that I would be very courteous to them and I would pass on their query to other public representatives.

“Everything I do as a councillor is for the general good…It saddens me that people would call me a racist, because I’m not.”

Murder Trial Continues As Defendant Confesses to Hitting Friend With Rock

 “I only hit him two or three times” was the explanation given by Thomas O` Connor to the gardai, after being accused of murdering his best friend by hitting him with a rock.

Thomas O` Connor, of Greystones, was accused of murdering John O Brien on June 4 2010 and has pleaded not guilty. In an interview, upon being arrested, Mr O Connor insisted “I only hit him two or three times”, but agreed, when asked, that it was possible that he had lost control during the row, during which he claims he was hit also, by the victim. O Connor is quoted as saying “ I knew I had done serious damage but I didn’t think I had killed him,”

Detective Sergeant Eamonn O Neill said that O`Connor made a map for gardaì, as it would be impossible for them to find the rock used otherwise. He also stated that the accused did not accept a solicitor and answered every question posed, even though he did not, lawfully, have to.

Deputy State Pathologist, Dr Michael Curtis examined the body and reported that a large part of the skull was shattered. He decided that O Brien died of catastrophic brain injury due to blunt force trauma to the head. This could have been caused by the rock he had been hit with.

Dr Curtis also stated that the victim had been intoxicated at the time of his death. His blood alcohol level was 236 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood, but he had not been taking drugs at the time of death.

The trial continues, presided over by Mr Justice Barry White.

Breaking Dawn Part 1: A review of the latest installment in the Twilight Saga


The most anticipated wedding (and sex scenes) of the year has finally arrived this weekend, as Edward Cullen and Bella Swan finally marry in the fourth installment of the Twilight movie saga, Breaking Dawn Part 1.
The movie, which is the first part of Myer’s final book, Breaking Dawn, focuses on Bella and Edward’s wedding, honeymoon and subsequent pregnancy. The film opens with Jacob tearing off his shirt, as he seems to do a -lot- throughout the entire movie saga, Edward’s comment in Eclipse seems somewhat appropriate. “Doesn’t he own a shirt?”
We see the normal marriage preparations. Venue, dress, shoes, bachelor party, pre wedding jitters; before the unconventional couple finally exchange vows and tie the knot, before leaving for their honeymoon on Isle Esme, off the coast of Rio de Janerio. Finally able to comsummate their relationship, the couple do so. After their first time, the furniture has been ruined and Bella is bruised. Edward worries about having hurt her and is reluctant to bed her a second time for this reason, and the couple end up spending their time playing chess instead. However, they end up doing the deed again, and Bella falls pregnant, much to the disgust of Jacob and the werewolf pack. But they aren’t the only party worried. The Cullen family are worried too, a vampire impregnating a human has never happened before and Bella’s body seems “incompatible” with the fetus. To add to their worries, Alice can no longer see a future for Bella.
This movie catered to it’s long term fans perfectly, giving them everything they have expected; a moody Jacob, a glowering, brooding Edward and a sulking Bella. But for fans of the movie, this installment was actually quite enjoyable. It contained the perfect mix of drama, action and humour, and complemented the book perfectly.
The acting was as expected, and the actors stuck to their moody, broody, sulky roles that have come to be expected of them. Taylor Lautner (Jacob) really stood out, to me, in this film. His acting skills have improved and there are some really convincing scenes between him and Kirsten Steward (Bella Swan) as he tries to convince her firstly not to sleep with Edward, not to keep the baby, etc. Robert Pattison is a good actor and he did deliver, but I felt his performance has grown rather predictable. We had expected him to be moody, glowering and brooding and he gave us this on a plate, almost.
This being said, it’s not necessarily the fault of the actors, Lautner, Stewart and Pattison are all good actors, but as far as script and dialogue goes, there’s not much to work on. The dialogue was predictable and, at points, almost laughable. The characters aren’t allowed to move up or to develop. from their expected moods and roles.
This is not a movie to watch if you have not followed the series from the first tale. If you are not familiar with the characters and the plots this movie will end up as a rather big dissappointment.

That being said, if you are a Twilight fan you will love this movie. It delivers what is promised and ends the movie just as you want more. It complements the book perfectly, as I’ve said. It’s accurate and very well put together. People who have followed this from the first book and/or movie will enjoy Breaking Dawn Part 1.
My verdict: Predictable.
I am a Twilight fan, but putting aside the books and remaining objective about this, it was very predictable, as I’ve pointed out. Dialogue, acting, plot. We knew how they’d react, what they’d do next. This was obvious even to people who may not have read the book before seeing the movie. Predictable sums up the movie for me completely.

Harney Defends “very decent” €130,000 pension

Former Irish politician Mary Harney has defended her €130,000 a year pension as “very decent”, stating that she feels she is worth this amount. The former Tainiste defended her large pension by claiming that she deserved it, as she had already taken “substantial cuts”, when the pensions of TDs and public servants were cut last year.

Mary Harney, who was formerly Minister for Health, is set to pick up a pension worth €129, 805 for the rest of her life and feels she deserves this as she had dedicated her life, a career spanning 34 years, in politics. In an intervew with online tv station Kildare TV she said “many people have dedicated their life to politics. In my case, I spent 34 years in politics. I don’t have business interests. I don’t have another career.

“Many people can move easily from politics into another career or from one career to another. Many politicians have given their whole life to public service.”

This revelation about Ms Harney’s pension followed Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s announcement that he would not be cutting the, already huge, pensions of former politicians and government ministers. However, it was revealed, that he is planing to cut public service workers by 23, 500, increase VAT to 23% and impose a 5% cut on maintenance grants paid out to university students. These revelations came last night after the Irish Budget plan was leaked to the German parliament, in a document provided to them.

Government sources have blamed the European Commission for this.

Government fury over Budget leak

It has been revealed that EU officials have leaked details of Ireland’s budget plans to the German parliament, before Irish TDs had a chance to see anything. Irish Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, was left embarrassed and furious when this came to light. When he was asked how, exactly, this important document found it’s way to the German parliament, the Taoiseach simply said “I have no idea”. But it has been revealed that government sources are laying the blame at the feet of the European Commission, as they passed on a document to the German parliament, stating that the VAT rates would be raised by 2pc.

The document, which was presented to the German government states that the Irish government have “decided to focus on indirect tax increases to deliver the bulk of the €16bn additional tax effort required in 2012.

“To this end, the VAT rate is being raised by two percentage points to 23pc, which wil generate €0.67bn.”

This increase would raise €670m in taxes. However, this move has been criticised by consumer lobby groups, who have pointed out that the rise would cause an increase in household bills, and most families would spend less than they have previously spent on other goods.

While the government have vehemently denied that this document contained any budget plans, government sources report that there has been a lot of anger over the fact that the document was given to another country’s parliament.

There has already been a public outcry over the fact that this informatiuon was leaked to Germany, Dermot Jewell, of the Consumer’s Association said that “it beggars belief that the German parliament is told about this before the Dail”.

Finance spokesman for Fianna Fail, Michael McGrath said “if this proves to be true, it would be a staggering and unprecented breach of faith with the Irish people and Irish parliament.

The government has denied that any budget plans were in the document. They are insisting that no decisions were made yet.