Neither as an individual nor as a newspaper are we condoning speeding on our roads but, all the same, many people will be interested in the news that hundreds of motorists in County Galway, who were caught for speeding, could have their fines returned and the penalty points removed from the driving licences.

It seems an anomaly has been uncovered regarding the issuing of fines from speed vans at two locations. Apparently, the fines were issued stating incorrect postal addresses for the locations of the vans.

Local people say a speed van is a common presence on the road close to Galway Airport where motorists are ‘sitting ducks’ because it is a wide stretch where the speed limit is just 60 km/h. Drivers caught speeding there were issued with notices saying they had been detected at Kiltullagh, Claregalway, when the correct address should be Kiltullagh, Oranmore. Consequently, according to local legal eagles, the fines can be successfully appealed by the motorists who were nabbed by the privately operated speed detectors. The same situation applies to a second location on the N11 between Tuam and Galway where fines were also issued from an incorrect postal address.

Hand-made coffins

At least one of Waterford’s undertakers is offering a new coffin service at present that appears to be very successful

This time last year, carpenter Kevin Shiel from Kilmore in County Wexford was sitting in his kitchen showroom with little or nothing to do. He had some quality wood at his disposal so, on a whim, he made a hand-built, quality coffin and it looked so good he decided to use up the wood by making another. Then, just because he had them, he offered one each to two local undertakers and before he got home that night they were on the phone looking for more.

Despite being more expensive than the mass-produced caskets, people went for them straight away when offered a choice by the undertakers. Kevin still builds kitchens when the orders come through but he is also operating a thriving and profitable business servicing the needs of seven undertakers in Wexford and Waterford.

The sting in the tail came when he told his mother about his new line of business expecting that she might be apprehensive. To his surprise, she was delighted and informed him that his grandfather, a Mr Griffin who lived in the West Cork village of Goleen, close to Mizen Head, was a carpenter who had built coffins all his working life. The phrase, ‘What comes around, goes around’, came to mind!

His time wasn’t up!

There was one lucky holidaymaker whom Ballybunion was relieved to see the back of last week and let’s hope he doesn’t make Tramore his next port of call!

On the Wednesday, a young man in his early 20s from Cork city was rescued from the sea off the Kerry resort’s Long Strand. All the emergency services swept into action but, luckily for the holidaymaker, his plight was spotted by other beach users and he had been pulled from the sea by time the rescue personnel arrived.

Unfortunately, on the Saturday, three days later, the same man had to be rescued again – this time he fell 100ft into the sea from the high cliffs overlooking the Ladies Beach.

Lifeguards took the unconscious man from the water onto the beach from where he was winched up to the Shannon-based rescue helicopter that quickly whisked him off to Kerry General Hospital.

The victim’s survival after such a drop was described as ‘miraculous’ by one of the emergency personnel who said it appeared that a combination of water and soft sand saved his life.

Angry, mystery blonde

According to reports, a mystery, blonde woman in a Mercedes car caused quite a sensation for our South East neighbours in the middle of Carlow town one morning last week.

The incident occurred sometime between 9.30 and 10am and passers-by were amazed to see the attractive woman in a gold-coloured Mercedes repeatedly ramming a Toyota Corolla. The Corolla was struck so many times it was moved a distance of about 14 feet and pushed up onto a footpath before the woman sped away. According to the daughter of the man who owns the Toyota, the car is probably a write-off and the entire bizarre incident was a nightmare for him.

No explanation has been offered for the incident but the Toyota owner’s daughter is quoted as saying her father ‘always parked there’ which suggests that the woman in the Mercedes might have been boxed in by the smaller car. Gardai are making enquiries!

A dancing car!

A moving car of a different kind was witness by some Waterford people on holiday in Achill Island last week. Tourists and residents alike could only watch in awe as a mini-tornado ripped through the village of Keel. Lots of damage was done to property and they all observed an unoccupied car ‘dancing on the road’ as the wind swirled through the village at about 7pm on the Saturday night.

A man missing!

The following incident did not occur in Waterford so no complaints from my friends in the City Council, please! People in a certain estate were bemused to see two men working their way up and down the streets. One would dig a hole and his companion would immediately fill it back in again. They did this so often and so diligently that people couldn’t help but admire their hard work but everybody was puzzled as to what they were actually doing.

In the end, a retired man who had the time to follow their progress for over an hour approached the pair. He complimented them on their efforts but wondered why they were digging holes and then filling them in again. “It’s like this , boss,” replied one of the men, “our mate who usually plants the trees is sick today so we’re carrying on without him!”