An interesting court case that was held in Castlebar last week will strike a chord with any motorist who has ever been stuck behind a slow moving vehicle. Before the court was a farmer who created a long line of traffic in his wake as he returned from a local Mart with his tractor and trailer.

Garda John Daly told the court he came up behind a line of traffic travelling at 15 to 20 mph shortly before 2pm on July 19th last. More vehicles began to back up behind him so, at every safe opportunity, he overtook cars in front of him until eventually he managed to stop the tractor and trailer. At that stage, said Garda Daly, there were twenty vehicles behind the tractor.

Garda Daly said there were at least six locations along the route where the defendant could have pulled in to let traffic go by and, when asked him why he hadn’t done so, he replied that he was ‘entitled to be on the road the same as everybody else’. The defendant had not paid an on-the-spot fine and was now before the court charged with driving without due care and consideration.

Defence solicitor Aidan Crowley challenged Garda Daly’s version of events stating that his client did not believe there had been a safe place to permit cars to pass and he also denied that he only pulled in when stopped by the garda. In his direct evidence, the defendant said he also drove a school bus on narrow roads and regularly pulled in to let faster moving traffic pass him by. However, if vehicles came up behind slow moving traffic they had to wait until it was safe to overtake.

Disqualifying the farmer for one year, Judge Mary Devins said she was accepting Garda Daly’s evidence and, in her opinion, the defendant’s arrogance was palpable. On the day in question, he considered his business to be far more important than anyone else’s and he was still convinced he did nothing wrong. He was as entitled as anybody else to be on the road but he did not have the right to force other people to drive at 15 mph and to cause a dangerous back-up of traffic.

The peaceful, rural community of Ballynakill down the road in County Wexford was shaken up last week when an upmarket, detached house in the area was raided by a large force of gardai.

A Wexford house of ill repute



The house, named ‘Aoibhneas’ which means bliss or delight, was suspected of being a high-class brothel. Following the raid, a 34-year-old man from the Czech Republic appeared before a special sitting of the District Court. He was released on bail after surrendering his passport and agreeing to sign on daily at a Garda Station. Three women, believed to be from Portugal, Latvia and Mexico, were also arrested and questioned and, in their case, a file will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Local residents said they were shocked and surprised to hear allegations that such activity was being conducted at the house in question as Ballynakill was a very respectable area where the residents of the expensive houses kept themselves to themselves.

Mind you, the local wags are working overtime because the area’s pubs are buzzing with lots of mischievous remarks following a rumour that gardai had the house, and its visitors, under surveillance for some time.


Beware of unprotected and casual sex


On a related issue, which is not the most pleasant thing to be writing about, recent figures show the number of people acquiring sexually transmitted diseases has soared in recent years.

It would appear that the figures are divided evenly between males and females and most are in the 18 to 45-year-old age group. Among the main reasons thought to be responsible are binge-drinking among the under-30s, inadequate sex education and increased foreign travel.

The HSE points out that more people than before are actually attending for screening and infectious diseases Consultants believe there is a need for health promotion campaigns to focus on sexually transmitted diseases as well as on pregnancy prevention. 


‘Phenomenal’ sale of land


I came across an unusual property story last week that appears to contradict the general flow in other parts of the country. Apparently, there has been an unprecedented surge in the number of farmers who want to dispose of land, especially small-holdings, in the North Galway area.

Tuam auctioneer, Martin Tyrell, is recognised as one of the leading sellers of agricultural land in the county and said he was absolutely mystified at the sudden interest. He said he was now being offered more land to sell than at the height of the boom even though it was only making €12,000 an acre compared to €20,000 for the same land only a year ago.

Mr. Tyrell said he never asked clients why they were selling land as it was a private matter for themselves but he could only describe the present activity as ‘phenomenal’. On the other hand, said the auctioneer, he was of the opinion that land purchased now represented a sound investment for the future.

The auctioneer may well be correct in what he is saying but I can’t help but wonder is there something that the farmers in North Galway know that everybody else doesn’t! 


When Mary met Mickey


A well known Ferrybank man was at Waterford Regional Airport waiting to board a flight to Luton when he observed the most attractive women he had ever seen striding confidently across the Departures Lounge. He couldn’t take his eyes off her as she really was his dream woman from her beautiful figure and well-cut suit to the amazing smile she flashed at the attendant who checked her in.

Even as he buckled himself into his seat, Mickey couldn’t get the woman out of his mind and then he almost fainted when she arrived into the plane and sat down beside him. “Hello”, she said to Mickey cheerfully, flashing him an equally warm smile to the one he had seen earlier. He was so smitten, it was all he could do to return her greeting.

But then he pulled himself together. “Hold up now, Sunshine”, he said to himself firmly, “get your act together and who knows what might happen.”

She smiled at him again and, this time, she introduced herself. “Hi, I’m Virginia, I’m a medical consultant at Waterford Regional Hospital and I’m off to attend a seminar in London.” Mickey told her he had recently taken early retirement and was going to London for the weekend to visit friends and catch a show in the West End. “What is your conference about”, he asked, his confidence starting to rise.

“Believe it or not”, said Virginia, “I am a guest speaker at a major seminar on nymphomania.” She could see the shock on Mickey’s face so she quickly assured him that she wasn’t a nymphomaniac herself. “Don’t be alarmed, you’re safe enough”, she laughed. “Worse fecking luck”, thought Mickey, glumly.

As the flight progressed, the two chatted and, when Mickey asked her about the speech she was going to deliver at the conference, she told him she was going to talk about sexual myths that continued to persist despite all the evidence to the contrary. “For instance”, said Virginia, “it’s a widely held belief that African men are the most generously endowed and that French men are the best lovers. Actually, the truth of the matter is that native American Indians are the most endowed and the best lovers are Jewish men.”

They were so engrossed in their conversation that they hadn’t realised their journey was over and it was time to disembark. “It was nice meeting you and I hope you enjoy your weekend”, said Virginia, “by the way, you never did tell me your name.”

Mickey puffed out his chest and flashed his cheesiest grin. “It’s Geronimo”, he said, “my name is Geronimo Goldberg.”