All news is local

The late Big Bertha enjoying a relaxing moment with her owner Jerome O'Leary.

The late Big Bertha enjoy­ing a relax­ing moment with her owner Jerome O’Leary.

How now old cow - Can we get a name for this cow? Please!

How now old cow — Can we get a name for this cow? Please!



The top story from the local papers on Friday’s Anton Sav­age Show on Today FM was a won­drous story that local Irish papers seem to love: the story of Ireland’s old­est cow!

Writ­ing in the Con­nacht Tri­bune, Declan Tier­ney says there is every pos­si­bil­ity that the old­est cow in the coun­try could be graz­ing on lands in Bal­li­nasloe and is in the own­er­ship of a local Sinn Fein councillor.

And while the (unnamed) 30 year old Short­horn Cross has given birth to an amaz­ing 25 calves, it doesn’t mean that she is giv­ing up just yet.

Accord­ing to Cllr. Der­mot Con­nolly the elderly cow is cur­rently hav­ing a rela­tion­ship with a bull so there is a pos­si­bil­ity of an amaz­ing 26th calf later on this year.

It is some­thing of a phe­nom­e­non that a cow would sur­vive that long but she has been well treated by Der­mot who inher­ited the ani­mal from his late uncle Ownie from Cloon­keen, Killoran.

Der­mot Con­nolly has no inten­tion of sell­ing the cow. She is first up when it comes to feed­ing time. “She def­i­nitely has not lost her appetite,” he said adding she is well ahead of him when its time to feed.

It is a great age for a cow and I have heard of other cows that make it over the 20 year mark but noth­ing like this. I can’t say for def­i­nite that she is the old­est in the coun­try but she is cer­tainly up there,” Der­mot added.

He has evi­dence from the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture that the cow was born on Jan­u­ary 1, 1985.

Der­mot has been farm­ing since he was 14 years of age and is cur­rently in his third term as a mem­ber of Gal­way County Coun­cil. He ran for the Dail last time out and, while he wasn’t elected, there is some spec­u­la­tion that he might con­test again.



(FOOTNOTE — I reckon a cam­paign to name this cow (if she’s not already named and it’s been kept out of the pub­lic eye) should get underway.

The story of Big Bertha

The Bal­li­nasloe cow is not Ireland’s old­est ever cow. That hon­our belongs to ‘Big Bertha’, who lived until she was 49 years of age.

The Kerry cow was born when World War 2 raged on St Patrick’s Day 1944 and died just three months shy of her 50th birth­day in 1993.

In between, she man­aged to fit in a lot more excite­ment than a nor­mal cow. Besides push­ing out 39 chil­dren, for which she was awarded a Guin­ness World Record for most calves from one cow, she also man­aged to help raise thou­sands for char­ity by mak­ing celebrity appear­ances at events.

She led her local St. Patrick’s Day parade, but since the noise and all the peo­ple were a bit much for her, her owner always calmed her nerves by feed­ing her whiskey beforehand.

Bertha was even­tu­ally awarded her sec­ond Guin­ness honor for Old­est Ever Cow. When she died, the locals held a wake for her in her favorite pub, which was “packed to suf­fo­ca­tion” with peo­ple toast­ing her mem­ory. If you ever want to go see her, her stuffed body is on dis­play at a B&B in Kil­lar­ney. Some of her off­spring may still be roam­ing fields in the Kingdom.

For more on Big Bertha, click HERE


Accord­ing to Enda Cun­ning­ham, A BIRDIE has become a haz­ard for golfers on the fair­ways of Oughter­ard Golf Club!

For a bogey grey crow and his caddy pal have been steal­ing golf balls since last Novem­ber in the belief that they will make a tasty egg snack.

The ban­dit duo wait in the wings on the fifth hole – a short Par 3 of just 107 metres – and swoop on balls as they land near the green, before drop­ping them in an adja­cent bog in an attempt to break them and ‘feed’ on the contents.

Dozens of balls have been stolen by the klepto-crows, although the noto­ri­ous duo haven’t been seen the past cou­ple of weeks. Club Vice-President Bar­bara Buck­ley – also a keen envi­ron­men­tal­ist – told the Con­nacht Tri­bune that the delin­quents were brazen in their raids.

In the space of five min­utes, eight or nine balls would van­ish. Two grey crows were wait­ing in the wings around the cor­ner on the fifth. When the balls landed near the green, ‘bang’, they were down and gone.

Peo­ple mis­tak­enly believe they take them to a par­tic­u­lar place to hoard. They don’t, they drop them on the ground to smash them, believ­ing they’re eggs, a source of food.

The sixth is beside a lake, and then the sev­enth comes back by the fifth, so they were there wait­ing to strike again. “It was great fun for a while, and peo­ple saw the funny side of it. But if you’re los­ing Pro V1 balls at €3 or €4 each, it’s not funny for long! You could lose three balls in three holes,” she said.

She added that there has been no sign of the delin­quent duo in recent weeks. “Maybe they got a present of balls for Christ­mas,” said Barbara.


KERRYMAN — Healy Raes, drink dri­ving and Cuckoo Land — Part 2

In 2013 Cllr Danny Healy-Rae attracted global head­lines with his pro­posal for spe­cial per­mits to allow peo­ple liv­ing in iso­lated areas to drive home after drink­ing a few pints. The pub­li­cans plans, car­ried by Kerry County Coun­cil, were rejected by the Government.

Now, two years on, the dynasty are at it again. Danny has been joined by son Johnny call­ing for drink dri­ving laws to be re-examined as elderly farm­ers are now trapped, iso­lated and liv­ing in fear in their homes. They “have no way open to them to travel to their local pub to have a cou­ple of drinks” said Danny who tabled a Motion on the sub­ject at a Coun­cil meeting.

He dis­cussed two farm­ers who unable to go to the pub and back are liv­ing iso­lated lonely lives in con­stant fear of crim­i­nals and other inter­lop­ers. One man has no lights, no TV and no fire, whilst the other hides in an out­house if he hears any­one approach­ing the house.

Johnny says they should be allowed to drive to the pub.

“I grew up in a bar and I learned more from the patrons than I ever did in any school,” said Johnny back­ing the per­mit call.

Fel­low Coun­cil­lors opposed the motion. Inde­pene­dent Cllr Donal Grady: “I strongly oppose this ludi­crous sug­ges­tion. Fear is caused by a lack of Garda and the clo­sure of Garda Sta­tions not because some­one can’t have a pint! You live in Cuckoo Land if you think we should have dif­fer­ent laws in this county.”

LEITRIM OBSERVER — Proof that all pol­i­tics is local…

Sligo/North Leitrim Sinn Fein TD Michael Col­reavy has announced he will not con­test the next gen­eral elec­tion, and his rea­sons are pos­si­bly proof pos­i­tive that all pol­i­tics are local.

He tells the Leitrim Observer “I have given 100% to my work as a Dail rep­re­sen­ta­tive. As a home bird who loves fam­ily and the North West I found it dif­fi­cult to spend so much time in Dublin. I missed time with my fam­ily and grand­chil­dren. I missed going to foot­ball matches or just going for a quiet pint and maybe a bit of Irish music of a Fri­day night. I missed going on an odd break for rest and relax­ation. I missed normality.”

What Life will be like if the inter­net dies.…

If you ever wanted to know what life would be like with­out broad­band and the inter­net, phones, debit and credit cards, then ask some­one from Westport.

Accord­ing to the Mayo News, the town spent A WEEK with­out these mod­ern things we take for granted when an eir­com line was sev­ered by roadworks.

It caused chaos for West­port busi­nesses writes Áine Ryan. 

THEY even have credit card machines that work on stalls in Morocco,” was the view of one dis­com­moded Amer­i­can vis­i­tor.  He wasn’t the only per­son put out by the seven-day out­age from Feb­ru­ary 6 to 13, which left busi­nesses along Bridge Street, Mar­ket Lane and parts of The Mall in West­port with­out tele­phone, broad­band and credit-card-machine ser­vices.

“It would have been a dis­as­ter if it hap­pened dur­ing the tourism sea­son, as most tourists don’t carry cash,” one shop­keeper said. “It was Third World stan­dards to be left with­out these ser­vices for an entire week. He said he phoned the eir­com 1891 num­ber every day and each time got some­one with no knowl­edge of the fault who offered to take his details.

Busy restau­ra­teur Frankie Mal­lon of An Port Mór said “No one told us what was going on. We had to ask cus­tomers to go out on the street and get cash. If they didn’t want to do that, they had to trust us with their credit card num­bers. It was a night­mare for us.“

Eir­com said due to exten­sive and com­plex dam­age the cables took longer to repair than usual.

MAYO NEWS — Mayo has high­est num­ber of cen­te­nar­i­ans


Anton McNulty has the answer to one of the big ques­tions — the secret to long life — in this weeks Mayo News. Where will you live longer in this world? Mayo.
It has the high­est num­ber of cen­te­nar­i­ans in the coun­try per pop­u­la­tion. A total of 402 cen­te­nar­i­ans were in receipt of an old-age pen­sion from the depart­ment of Social Pro­tec­tion as of the last day of 2014 — two and a half times more cen­te­nar­i­ans than in Dublin.
In 2013, only Long­ford had more while in 2012 only the neigh­bour­ing coun­ties of Roscom­mon and Sligo had greater fig­ures.
If you lived in Car­low or Laois you were less likely to receive a let­ter and a cheque from Áras an Uachtarain with the two Lein­ster coun­ties record­ing the low­est num­ber of 100-plus-year-olds per head of pop­u­la­tion for the past four years run­ning.

Gra­ham Nor­ton “they’re shite”

IT’S not often you will see a Mayo man and ‘50 Shades of Grey’ in the same sen­tence. 
That all changed last Fri­day night when Fox­ford man Daniel Igoe voiced his opin­ion on the book that has been adapted into what is the worst film so far this year.

He outed him­self as the only man in the audi­ence to have read the steamy EL James book. Asked by host Gra­ham Nor­ton if he liked the books, Daniel replied can­didly, ‘No, they were sh**e ’

Dan, who lives in the UK, explained the lead up to events on Today FM’s ‘Anton Sav­age Show’ yes­ter­day (Mon­day).

Asked if he had ‘really’ read the books, Daniel admit­ted that he had only read the first book because his girl­friend had it on hol­i­days in Amer­ica and he had noth­ing to do on a bus journey.
Igoe told Anton Sav­age that he didn’t think he would be spot­ted when he put his hand up, but actor Stephen Man­gan saw him.

Who knows what’s in store for the Fox­ford man next, per­haps a lit­er­ary critic role spe­cial­is­ing in Mills and Boon!


If you’re dri­ving in Clare, and the town of Ennis, the Clare Peo­ple news­pa­per is warn­ing you to be wary of the next motorist that flashes their lights to sig­nal you out onto a road because Ennis has been iden­ti­fied as a hot spot for organ­ised insur­ance fraud — with gangs of fraud­sters pur­posely caus­ing traf­fic acci­dents in order to make lav­ish insur­ance claims.

Research con­ducted by Insur­ance Ire­land has sin­gled out Ennis as the cen­tre of a ring of fraud­u­lent claims which have cost the insur­ance indus­try and the emer­gency ser­vices mil­lions of euro.

The fraud­sters employ two main tac­tics to ensnare unsus­pect­ing drivers.

The first — known as ‘flash for cash’ — involves a dri­ver flash­ing his head­lights to sig­nal another car onto the road — how­ever, instead of allow­ing the car onto the road, the fraud­sters instead accel­er­ates and causes a collision.

The sec­ond involves dis­con­nect­ing the brake lights and pur­posely brak­ing sud­denly, forc­ing the cars behind to crash into them. There have also been a num­ber of local acci­dents where rela­tions have crashed into each other’s cars in order to claim insur­ance for whiplash.

Insur­ance Ire­land are cur­rently ramp­ing up their inves­ti­ga­tion of sus­pi­cious claims, which includes search­ing the social media sites of peo­ple involved in acci­dents, but have appealed to any­one dri­ving in the Ennis area to be extra vigilant.

It is a lucra­tive busi­ness. A fairly rou­tine whiplash injury in Ire­land can be worth any­thing from €15,000 to €18,000.

If you have four peo­ple mak­ing false insur­ance claims in one car it gets very expen­sive very quickly and that puts up insur­ance costs for every­one,” Michael Horan of Insur­ance Ire­land told The Clare Peo­ple yesterday.

You might also have the gar­daí and ambu­lances called to the scene and then the peo­ple mak­ing the false claims are tak­ing up space unnec­es­sar­ily in acci­dent and emer­gency depart­ments which are already overstretched.”

this week’s token court cases

LONGFORD LEADER — ‘Light fin­gered’ defen­dant stole lamb

A man who stole a pet lamb was ordered to engage with the Pro­ba­tion Ser­vice dur­ing a recent hear­ing at Long­ford Dis­trict Court.

The 25 year old Long­ford man appeared before Judge Sea­mus Hughes charged with steal­ing a pet lamb at the Mall Com­plex, Long­ford and of steal­ing a hedge trim­mers at the Bal­li­nalee Road, Long­ford, three days later.

Inspec­tor Ollie Baker told the court that on July 5 last the defen­dant was seen walk­ing a pet lamb with a lead to his car at the Mall Com­plex in Long­ford town.

Three days later he drove his car to a hous­ing estate where he stole the hedge trim­mers from a van.

Judge Hughes told the defend­ing solic­i­tor “Mr Quinn, your client appears to be a bit light fin­gered and hasn’t been suc­cess­ful so far because he got caught in his endeav­ours,” fumed Judge Hughes.
KERRYMAN — Thief gets what the label promised
A Kil­lar­ney man got exactly what the label promised when he took a bot­tle of ‘Guilty’ per­fume from a Water­ville phar­macy, throw­ing a €10 deposit at the store man­ager as he left say­ing “I’ll come back with the rest”.

The man told Caher­siveen Dis­trict Court that he had intended to return to pay the bal­ance of €32 for the Gucci per­fume, but a pal died and he left town.

Judge James O’Connor said the man “was away with the fairies… He has come up with the great­est of sceals, and is liv­ing in cloud cuckoo land. He is a ruacán.” He then fined him €250 and won­dered if there was a per­fume called ‘Not Guilty’

KER­Ry­MAN — Dad faces jail over cannabis sprout­ing from cannabis plants
A father of five caught with 19 cannabis plants val­ued at over €15,000 claims they mirac­u­lously appeared in his poly­tun­nel after he had merely watered a tomato plant and another ‘scrawn of a plant’ beside it.

Judge James O’Connor didn’t buy the expla­na­tion and will pass a two week prison sen­tence. “One doesn’t get into that sit­u­a­tion with­out knowl­edge of the game, the plant, the sit­u­a­tion and the com­mod­ity” he said. He said the defence was more sen­sa­tional than a John B Keane story.

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