All the ghosts on the Quay of Waterford seem to be resting at the present time as there hasn’t been a report of any paranormal happenings since the summer. Hopefully it will stay that way because, really, it can get very tiresome avoiding whores’ ghosts who don’t seem to want to take ‘no’ for an answer.

But now that the Theatre Royal has been refurbished and renovated, some people are wondering if the theatre’s famous 19th century ghost has been giving the heave-ho or will he be back in his usual perch in the dress circle. It is said that he is searching for the love of his life who was a beautiful dancer who died while he was on an out of town trip. Over the years, scores of performers, especially dancers, have claimed to have seen him staring down at them. Altogether now, WOOOoooo!

Mind you, they are all agog up the road in Carlow where the town is abuzz with rumours that one of the theatres in the Carlow Cineplex is haunted by the ghost of an old man.

Apparently a teenager ran screaming from Theatre Three in the complex when the figure of an old man wearing a hat suddenly materialised beside him. Witnesses said the youth was white as a sheet and absolutely terrified. The story took legs when it was reported that a staff member had confided to a member of the public that it wasn’t the first time such a thing had happened and that some of the staff were afraid to go into that part of the complex.

Management at the cinema said it had no comment to make but ghostbuster Cormac Strain from the Leinster Paranormal Organisation revealed he had carried out investigations in the nearby Shopping Centre and had made recordings that he simply couldn’t explain. It would not be unreasonable to conclude that there might be something going on, he said. However, Mr Strain did point out that there were a number of aerials on the roof of the shopping centre and suggested that when a person’s brain was hit by electromagnetic waves it sometimes caused paranoia and fear.


Big bills for septic tank owners?

Thousands of home-owners with septic tanks are facing serious upgrade bills following a recent ruling by the European Count of Justice.

Two weeks ago, the European Court ruled that Ireland had not complied with EU law concerning the operation of septic tanks and evidence of septic-tank related pollution in the Lough Leane catchment area of Kerry was used as an example of this country’s negligence. Apparently, it was shown that 12 per cent of the polluting phosphorus seeping into the lake came from domestic septic tanks.

It seems a great many septic tanks do not conform to the guidelines introduced by the Environmental Protection Agency five years ago and engineers estimate that €4,000 per home would be a conservative estimate of the work needed to be done.

According to the European Court’s ruling, the Irish State has failed to adopt all the laws and regulations necessary to comply with Articles 4 and 8 of the Domestic Waste Waters Directive with the sole exception of County Cavan, so congratulations to them.

A legal loophole is protecting


As the campaign to rid our roads of drunk drivers continues, it has emerged that many people charged with drug-driving have been escaping conviction because of a legal loophole. Apparently, the get-out defence was discovered by a group of Galway based solicitors who have succeeded in getting District Court convictions overturned in the Circuit Court.

There are specific figures laid down in the Road Traffic Act regarding alcohol levels, something Minister Noel Dempsey is going to reduce further. However, while the Act states that it is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs, nowhere in the Act does it specify what level of drugs is considered to be unacceptable or dangerous for a motorist. Because no set limits are laid down, Gardai have had to rely on a Section of the Act that permits them to give evidence that, in their opinion, the person was incapable of driving. They were mostly successful in the lower court but the evidence didn’t hold up in the higher arena.

Always beware of microphones

A recent flight out of Waterford Regional Airport to Birmingham was packed to capacity and, immediately after take-off, the pilot switched on the intercom and welcomed his passengers aboard and informed them of airspeed, altitude and arrival time at their destination.

But, when he had finished his message, he forgot to flick the off-switch on the microphone and the entire plane could hear him chatting with his co-pilot. “Do you know what”, he said, “What I’d love now is a hot cup of coffee and then a big session with that new air-hostess, my God, she is the most beautiful woman I’ve ever laid my eyes on.”

The air-hostess in question was busy at the back of the aircraft as the pilot’s words were being relayed and, her face as red as a beetroot, she sprinted up the aisle in order to tell the loose-tongued captain his microphone was still on. Then, just as she reached the cockpit door, a wag in the plane piped up. “Take it easy, love, and steady up. We know you’re in a hurry to see the captain but, don’t forget, he wants a cup of coffee first.”

Despite the door being closed, the pilot and co-pilot could hear the laughing and applause and wondered what was going on!