Hickey’s Tales from Beyond the Pale

November 7, 2007 at 11:13 am 3 comments

Donal Hickey’s new book, Beyond the Pale, is a fascinating trawl through the bizarre tales that appear in the Irish regional media, from the mother who collected her son from school by boat because of the traffic jams in Athy, to the Limerick woman who had a fetish for stroking Willie O’Dea’s moustache and the drunk man who fell asleep on a railway track and didn’t notice a freight train driving over him. Here are my favourite three stories from the about two hundred that Hickey has meticulously compiled: >>>

Tuam Testimony

The Connacht Tribune reported on a drunk driving case in Tuam in February 2007. The defendant, Sean Tanniane, denied the charge with these entertaining defences that a Taoiseach would be proud of:

  • The judge, Mary Fahy, asked him why his speech was slurred when he was arrested. He replied that he had forgotten to wear his dentures.
  • The judge then asked why he had smelled of drink when arrested. He replied that he had been sucking a cherry-flavoured Fisherman’s Friend sweet.
  • The judge then asked why he had refused to take a breathalyser test when arrested. He replied that he had a bad chest.

Judge Fahy concluded that she had a major difficulty with a defendant who swore to tell the truth, but then gave her ‘nonsense about a sweet’. She fined him 1,000 and banned him from driving for two years.

Bailieboro Birth

The Anglo-Celt reported on the birth of a baby, Nicole Carolan, in Bailieboro, County Cavan. But there was something unique about this birth:

  • Nicole Carolan was born on 12 February, 2007.
  • Her mother, Marian Carolan, was born on 12 February 1974.
  • Her grandmother, Bernadette Gorman, was born on 12 February 1949.

That marked three generations of girls, all born on the same date, in the same family.

Kiskeam Killer

The Corkman reported on an armed robbery on a post office in Kiskeam, which didn’t turn out as well as the robber hoped:

  • The teenage robber, wearing a balaclava, rushed into the post office brandishing what turned out to be an imitation gun, and shouted ‘this is a fucking robbery’.
  • A woman customer who thought he was joking told him to ‘go away, you bloody eejit’, while the postmaster pressed the security alarm to alert Gardai.
  • The robber put down his gun as he emptied the contents of a drawer into his bag. The 72-year-old postmaster grabbed the gun, and pointed it at the robber, who fled.

The teenager was soon arrested, with the aid of five units of Gardai from Kanturk station, and a helicopter.

Book Details

Beyond the Pale, by Donal Hickey
Mentor Books, €14.99


Entry filed under: Fun, Ireland.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. acarablog  |  November 7, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    Those cherry-flavoured Fisherman’s Friend can be lethal 😀

    I think you’ve just solved what to get my Dad for Christmas…always the toughest one to figure out. Thanks!

  • 2. Justin  |  November 7, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    I will read it for sure and I might give it for Chrismas as well.

  • 3. Patrick H  |  November 21, 2007 at 11:15 pm

    The regional paper court reports are the best – I’ll never forget the one about the Waterford woman who ended up in court for stealing a vibrator from a local sex shop.
    The poor dear had her name and address splashed across page 4 of the Waterford News and Star for all to see.


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A blog by Michael Nugent

Welcome to my blog about living in the maddest country on earth. Please feel free to leave a comment.

I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohemians football club in the 1970s.


November 2007
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Bionic Bohs

As mentioned above, if you like Irish football and/or cultural nostalgia, I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohs in the 1970s.

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