4 TOPIC • 9 November, 2017 NEWS Have you been ripped off by your bank? Free seminar on Wednesday in Mullingar Politician Pearse Doherty is quoted as saying that the latest Irish banking scandal, aka the tracker scandal, is “the greatest swindle in Irish history”. However, Right2Homes representative Sandra Daly said this week that she believes the revelations to date were only “the tip of the iceberg”. “Banks have seemingly stolen money from Irish families and all under the nose of our Central Bank. I would suggest that anyone who thinks they have a “healthy” mortgage, have it checked immediately, be it a tracker, fixed or variable rate.” This week, Oireachtas Finance committee chairperson, Deputy John McGuinness stated that he had corresponded with ECB President Mario Draghi, and spoken with his office, to stress the importance of him now getting involved in yet another banking scandal. “As the Europeans regulator he should absolutely be getting involved and should be actioning some kind of oversight and direction in the process and directly into compensation and redress for consumers. I believe the deputy governor has raised the issue at some recent ECB meetings. I think Irish people want to see accountability at this stage from the banks and not the issue pushed to one side! A radical approach is needed towards the banking sector on this subject and at the very least the Tyrrellspass Lip Sync is a night not to be missed The official launch of the Tyrrellspass GAA Lip Sync Battles took place last Friday evening and a great night’s entertainment is promised when the show takes place on Friday week, 17 November, in the Mullingar Park Hotel. The reason behind the fundraiser is to develop facilities that will benefit the Tyrrellspass community. Back in 2012, the the Tyrrellspass GAA Club was offered approx. 5 acres, of the land adjacent to the existing playing pitch. With the cost being of purchase so high and considering the ensuing development costs, it was decided not to progress with the purchase of this land at that time. In 2014, the entire field, 10.75 acres was placed on the market and Tyrrellspass GAA purchased the land at a much-reduced price. We didn’t let this opportunity to slip by! So, now we have this land, it is our intention to develop it and recreate a playing field, or two, for our GAA and to provide sports and recreational facilities for the Tyrrellspass Community. Now we need to take the next step and that is what our Lip Sync Fundraiser aims to do. To achieve our goal, we hope to raise in the region of €750,000 over the next five years. A lot of money, we know, but with hard work and the generosity of our sponsors, our community and taking advantage of the various sporting and community grants, we are confident that our target is within our reach over the five-year period. To the groups taking part in our fundraiser this year we want to say a massive Thank You, without your help it could not be done. We also want to thank all the sponsors who have contributed to date, remember if you haven’t done so it’s not too late…. Thanks to the Stageserv LipSync Battles Ireland team, Martin & Ornamarie for the guidance and support that you have given. Thanks to the committee for their work to date, it’s not finished...yet! So please some along on Friday, 17 November and lend your support to all of those taking part and in turn show support for the ambition of Tyrrellspass GAA Football club. (More next week) Burglary at Bank of Ireland Kinnegad A burglary occurred at the Bank of Ireland, Kinnegad, at 3.05am on Thursday, 2nd of November. The burglars gained entry by smashing the window of the premises. They then took some post and a post bag containing documents. The incident was captured on CCTV cameras and Gardaí are investigating the burglary. Sandra Daly of Rights2Homes. Gardai should be involved. Apologies to consumers who have been affected will not suffice.” A FUNDING PLATFORM Ms. Daly said that Right2Homes, an Irish notfor-profit community initiative, was there to provide a funding platform to support legal initiatives aimed at preventing bank repossessions of family homes in Ireland. They have submissions before the Oireachtas Committee on the establishment of a National Housing Co-op (The National Housing Coop Bill 2017) which the group say, would see the Co-Op purchase distressed loans and keep people from “the grasp of the vultures”. “On a recent trip from Ireland to New York, to promote the Bill, it is wholly evident that we have a willingness of ethical funding from America to purchase the NPL’s (non-performing loans) from all the main banks involved. The vehicle to which to do so is a charitable organisation. The Bill that we currently have before the House of the Oireachtas would facilitate this. I think this is a watershed moment, and the current Government needs to take action on removing anything which would hinder progress in allowing such an entity to be the purchaser of distressed mortgages. This would be a huge benefit to individuals and families who have suffered long and hard enough at the hands of our banks.” Ms Daly’s company (Compliance Check Ireland), now an agent for IBIG (The International Banking Investigation Group), is hosting a free seminar on Wednesday of this week, 8 November at 7:30pm in the Greville Arms Hotel. “I would urge all mortgage holders to attend. The acclaimed Forths forensic accounting firm is now officially operating with IBIG. Up to 99% of accounts checked to date have been overcharged. Analysis is free, subject to terms and conditions,” she Can you suggest a worthy People of the Year Award winner? Every year, for more than four decades, the People of the Year Awards have been organised by Rehab and have been shown live on RTE One television, revealing unsung Irish heroes living in communities across Ireland. Rehab are looking for nominations from the public, in helping to identify this year’s Award recipients. If you think you know someone who has done something extraordinary, who has made a real difference, and gone way beyond the call of duty, and whom you consider deserves a People of the Year award, you can nominate them now. You could also nominate in one of the specific categories, Young Person of the Year, International Person of the Year, Sports Person of the year or Community Group of the Year. The closing date for entries is Friday, 1 December and its easy to nominate, as all you need to do is fill in the short nomination form on www.peopleoftheyear.com. You can also contact the People of the Year office for a nomination form, by calling 01- 2057397. The Awards will be presented live on RTE One television on Saturday, 3 March, 2018 at the Mansion House in Dublin. MAN STABBED IN KINNEGAD Gardaí are continuing a definite line of enquiry in their efforts to find a man who was involved in a stabbing incident in Kinnegad that left one man seriously injured. The incident began in a lane way in the Heathfield housing estate in Kinnegad at 11.15am on Saturday morning, 4 November. Gardaí believe that a house party, which may have lasted the entire night, may have been ongoing when the incident occurred. A man in his 20s was attacked by a man in his 30s with the injured party receiving five stab wounds. The victim suffered a punctured lung and a laceration to his liver amongst his injuries. The emergency services were called and it was decided to airlift the man to Tallaght Hospital in Dublin where he was treated for his serious injuries. The suspect fled the scene immediately. Gardaí arrived on the scene and searched for the weapon that was used but could not locate it. Gardaí preserved the scene which was technically examined by the Scenes of Crime officers. An extensive search was carried out to find the suspect but he could not be located. A case conference was arranged for Kinnegad on Sunday and Gardaí spoke to a number of witnesses to the incident. Gardaí believe the men involved were known to each other and both were from the Kinnegad area. Gardaí believe they know the suspect involved but as of yet have not located him. It is understood the injured man is expected to recover from the injuries he suffered. Christmas Market volunteers sought said. With this year’s Mullingar Christmas Market fast approaching, and due to take place on 7, 8, 9 and 10 December, the Chamber of Commerce President, Tom Hyland told a Town Team meeting this week that the Chamber are currently seeking volunteers. “We want to encourage people to visit Mullingar and (ask people) to enhance the town wherever possible. Anything that can be done in terms of window dressing would be appreciated and we are discussing running a shop window competition.” Angela Maher, Town Team, said there are now footfall counters in town, provided by the County Council. Mr. Hyland said that there will be free carpark parking on 8,9, 16, 21, 22 and 23 December and possibly, 7 December. He reminded locals that the €12,700 Christmas Lights reimbursement scheme is still in place and to contact the Chamber for the application form. This caused an exchange of words between Des Walsh and Tom Hyland, as the former said that the Council merely collect the money on behalf of the businesses. “There was never an application process. They are not giving us anything that we are not entitled to,” said Mr. Walsh. Mr Hyland said that an application form had been put in place, but Des Walsh insisted that the money belonged to the town. “They are just collecting it on our behalf.” Mr Hyland said that the fund is distributed according to costs submitted, to which Mr. Walsh replied that the Council were “changing the rules and regulations to what was agreed by the streets.” CRIME NEWS MAN ATTACKED IN ASHEFIELD, MULLINGAR A man was attacked by another man at 12.20am on Wednesday, November 1 in Ashefield Mullingar. The man was attacked in the driveway of a house and when Gardaí were called to the scene they found the injured man lying on the ground. An ambulance was called to the scene and the emergency services treated the injured man for facial injuries. Gardaí are following a definite line of enquiry regarding the suspect, who is believed to be in his 20s and from the Mullingar area. HOTEL NIGHT PORTER INJURED A man, working as a night porter in a hotel in Mullingar, was bitten on the arm after an incident at the hotel in the early hours of Monday morning last. At 4am on Monday, 6 November a man who was attending a wedding reception at the hotel caused a disturbance and was asked to leave the hotel. Before doing so, the man, who was in his 30s and from the Dublin area, got involved with a dispute with the night porter of the hotel, and it is understood he bit the porter on the arm before fleeing the hotel. Gardaí were called to the hotel and they are continuing to investigate the matter. YOUNGSTER STOLE WATCH Gardaí were called to the scene of an incident that occurred in the centre of Mullingar town in which a young child was believed to have stolen a watch from a teenager. The incident occurred at 5.20pm on Sunday, 5 November when a young child stole a watch from a teenager. However an alert and quick thinking adult nearby saw the incident and apprehended the youngster until Gardaí arrived on the scene. MAN ARRESTED AFTER CAUSING DAMAGE TO HOUSE A Mullingar man in his 30s was arrested after he caused damage to a house in the Newbrook Grove area of Mullingar. The incident occurred at 4.15pm on Monday, 30 October when a man began causing a disturbance outside a house in Newbrook Grove. The man became very aggressive and then broke a window of the house. Gardaí arrived on the scene and arrested the man. It is understood the man may have been intoxicated. It was also discovered that the house which the man attacked was not the house he intended to attack and was in fact the wrong house he called to. CHAINSAWS STOLEN Two chainsaws, a red Skill saw and a Husquvarna saw were both stolen from a garage in Monilea, Mullingar. The theft occurred overnight, between 1.45pm on the Friday, 3 November and 9am on Saturday, 4 November.
TOPIC • 9 November, 2017 NEWS 5 Charley Bradley, Declan Murphy, Mona Lyng, Carmel Kerrigan, John Cochrane, Veronica Larkin, Cllr. John Shaw, Robert Bennett and Mike Nolan. Festival of Trees Ball set to be Mullingar’s social event of the year BY CLAIRE CORRIGAN It has been a busy year for the North Hospice Fundraising Committee but they are by no means finished yet, as last Saturday, Laugh for Hope & Hospice Team from Wexford generously offered to do a night of comedy and music at the Greville Arms Hotel in aid of the North Westmeath Hospice raising an incredible €4,700 in the process. Chairperson of the committee, Veronica Larkin, said that attendees thoroughly enjoyed the night. “Over 200 people came from Wexford for the Laugh for Hope and Hospice and it was also well supported by local people. It was a very unusual set of sketches, review-style, on different issues in Irish life BY ÁINE LEECH The people of Raharney were on the edge of their seats on Sunday night as they watched the Core family from Clonbore take on RTÉ’s ‘Ireland’s Fittest Family’. It was a gruelling endurance test from start to finish, testing the fitness levels of Hannah, Dean, Darragh, and dad Alan. The sport-mad family applied when the show first came out in 2014, but after forgetting about the application, it was mum Jacinta that got them onto this year’s show; ‘Mam decided to send in another application without telling us and see what happens and not long afterward we got word back to go to a fitness test in AIT.’ The family obviously impressed because soon after they were in the running to become Ireland’s fittest family, competing against other exercise enthusiasts and even competitors who had previous experience on the show. Speaking to Topic, Hannah Core described the lead up to the show: ‘We didn’t really train that much together because it was such a busy year, and we all had our own trainings and games. We never really have much time to do things together as a family so it was nice to actually get to spend time together.’ Despite the lack of training, the family’s sporting background proved hugely beneficial. After a nerve-wracking rocky start the Cores put everything they had into getting past the eliminator and they managed to get through to the next round. “The reactions have been great, so many people have been wishing us well and asking about it. People kept asking me when it was going to be on TV because they were so excited to watch. It’s been very funny” said Hannah. With only four competitors per team, not every member of the Core family qualified for the show. However, Hannah assures that it was an entire family effort; ‘It’s definitely brought us and it was very amusing. There was also wonderful music by the group. There were great musicians and singers and in total they raised €4,600 on the night for North Westmeath Hospice. It was very very well supported.” Ms. Larkin said the group were highly complimentary of the town, “They couldn’t speak highly enough of Mullingar and the welcome they got and the way they were treated in the restaurants, pubs and shops and on the street as well as in the B&Bs and hotels. They were very impressed by Mullingar as a town - the hospitality and the facilities we have. They all spoke about the welcome they received at length and said they would like to return. The show was put on by about 30 of them, front of house and back of house, and the people that came with them were their supporters.” Ms. Larkin also thanked The Greville Arms hotel who generously donated prizes for the raffle and that the committee was absolutely delighted to thrilled to be involved in such a great event. Festival of Trees Ball If you are looking for an excuse to get extra glammed up while helping a good cause, the Festival of Trees Ball is on Saturday week, 18 November, starting with a drinks reception, when guests will be serenaded by the incredible Sweet Tunes choir. “There are eight trees from local community businesses being put on display next Saturday in The Park Hotel. There is a very interesting tree from the Men’s Shed, which has been organised by Ruth Maxwell in the County Council, and there has been a competition for decorations among the primary school children. The tree will be launched in the Atrium of the County Council this Wednesday evening and will be put in the Park Hotel at the weekend. It’s in the shape of a Christmas tree but made from recyclable products.” “All the sponsored trees will be auctioned on the night of the ball and there’s loads of other fabulous items up for auction, such as three paintings from the Chimera Gallery, and many other businesses in town have also given very generous prizes. So there will be plenty of prizes as well as surprises on the night.” If that wasn’t enough, RTÉ star Miriam O’Callaghan will be on hand to compere on the night. Do the Cores have what it takes to be Ireland’s fittest family? closer together as a family. It’s been such a team effort because Mam and Erin (sister) have been supporting us from home and the phone would always be ringing before during and after an event with Mam and Erin wondering how we’re getting on. At times they were more nervous than we were!” As well as the difficult challenges, the families all had to endure long days of filming, starting at 7am and continuing until seven that night. ‘They cut a lot of it so you don’t get to see how long some of the challenges were. The TV doesn’t give a great portrayal of how tough some of the challenges were” When asked if she could give us some hints on whether the family took home the title of Ireland’s Fittest Family, Hannah told this reporter that her lips are firmly sealed; “It’s been really tough though because so many people have been asking how we got on but it’ll be so much more exciting to watch it and find out for yourselves.” You can catch the Cores on ‘Ireland’s Fittest Family’ on the RTÉ player. Fit to the Core: Dean, Hannah, Alan, and Darragh Core take on RTE’s Ireland’s Fittest Family. “We are hoping to have a night of fun, glitz and glamour. We hope to kick off the festive season in style and there will also be prizes for the best dressed on the night, for both men and women. We are really looking forward to a great turnout. Tickets are selling fast and there are over 400 to date so call to the Hospice Office on Mary Street from 10am to 2pm, or Mullingar Park Hotel.” Call the North Westmeath Hospice’s Office Administrator at 0857863891 or Mullingar Park Hotel at 044 933 7500. The Wexford comedians were fantastic on the night. Christmas Lights coming soon to Mullingar BY CLAIRE CORRIGAN Town Team Chair Angela Maher informed attendees of their latest meeting that the switching on of the Mullingar Christmas Lights would take place at 5pm on Friday, 24 November at the Market Square. “We are delighted that the All- Ireland winning Westmeath Camogie ladies are going to be en masse, switching on the lights and sincere thanks to Emily Wallace who organised that.” Ms. Maher said she was delighted to announce that this year, Austin Friar Street would be joining in with the celebrations, “They are going to have Christmas trees that will all be lit up which is super and Jim Bourke has been instrumental in organising that.” Ms. Maher encouraged businesses around the town to switch on their own lights on 24 November and get into the Christmas spirit as much as possible, “We want to say that Christmas is starting in Mullingar on Friday, 24 November.” Another attendee suggested that vacant buildings also receive a spruce up over the festive season. Ms. Maher said that the switch on would have more impact from a height and suggested the use of lorry or mobile stage to bring more atmosphere to the proceedings “You can’t see the girls switching on the lights or the pantomime characters and I am told that pantomime characters from Peter Pan are actually going to be attending, and Santa Claus as well of course. We will have Christmas music as well and may have a choir singing some Christmas songs. It’s all about having some entertainment, Christmas songs and the festive buzz started.” Jean Brennan of Mullingar Chamber of Commerce said that they are currently in talks with the Council regarding the lighting up of the Market House for the event. “We are working on that and if we can assist in any other way, we will.”
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