Linkedin Email Print Twitter Facebook Previous articleUL working to develop safer structuresNext articleStepping up to Fabulous Beast’s level Rose Rushehttp://www.limerickpost.ieCommercial Features and Arts Editor at Limerick Post Advertisement WhatsApp NewsBreaking newsCommunity figure sent to prison for sexual assualtBy Rose Rushe – July 11, 2014 563 by Bernie EnglishSign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up [email protected] LIMERICK man has been jailed for two years for sexual assault. The man, who is in his 50s, had previously pleaded guilty before the court in Limerick to six counts of sexual assault of two teenage sisters between March 1992 and October 1996. He was remanded on continuing bail on that occasion by Judge Gerald Keyes for sentencing before the court sitting in Ennis this week.Having read the victim impact statements, Judge Keyes remarked that one of the girls felt “guilty and ashamed” while the other said that she had come forward to make a complaint so the abuser would not assault anyone else.Judge Keyes noted that one victim said the abuser’s “manipulation and lies” had led to a breakdown in her relationships with her family.Representing the accused man, Lorcan Connelly BL said that he had been a prominent figure in the community.The court heard the accused had no contact with the two girls since 2007 and that he had written a letter of apology to them and to their mother.“Sexual assault is a very serious offence,” Judge Keyes stated. He sentenced the abuser to two years in jail on each of the six counts to which he had pleaded and ordered that the prison terms run concurrently.
Sophie Manning spends 24 hours at the mercy of an SMS answering serviceWhen Danny Wallace, loser, depressive and slightly porky novelist, decided to say ‘yes’ to every offer that came his way, lives were changed. The world enjoyed seeing a Jack Black desperado figure get into more endearing scrapes than Dennis the Menace. They smiled as he rapturously won £25,000 and then amiably lost it again; they chuckled at his goofy seduction attempts, and they just about pissed themselves as the 30-year-old’s ex and her boyfriend ask politely ‘would you like to join us?’ The concept recently became so popular that film rights exchanged hands; producers cast rubber-faced humourist and veteran comedian Jim Carey, as the lead in ‘Yes Man’, due to be released in December 2008. Not that he could very well refuse.Wallace had, in fact, coined an old trick. Long before the prankster was a twinkle in his parents’ eyes, the Dice Man was roaming the streets of America, making decisions based on the roll of a die. This darker version of the game of chance, incorporating sex, rape and murder, spawned a lifestyle – not to mention a revolution in drinking games. And then came mobile phones, and text messages, and before you knew it, you were splitting up with your lifelong love on the whim of a bored mobile services employee. The business of risk-taking took a new turn when in 2004 Colly Myers launched Any Questions Answered. It’s a simple but astoundingly effective moneyspinner: after one free question, customers pay £1 to have any niggling question (small or great) settled once and for all. The companies offer guaranteed answers to any queries – ‘fun, serious or just challenging’ – which soon become surprisingly addictive. Searching for an excellent curry on a day trip to Stratford upon Avon? Scuppered in a pub quiz? Stuck at the back of a seminar with a fatal ignorance of pre-Raphaelitism? Never has the Pringles slogan ‘once you pop, you can’t stop’ been so pertinent. Or almost never. AQA released their top three questions to The Sun in December last year, after several months of PR-manufactured suspense. “What’s the best way to make a million” came in at number one, followed by “how to stop global warming”; third most popular was the old chestnut “is there a god?”Wildcards included “how do I get my manhood out of a hover without going to A&E” and “is it ok to have sex with a dog?” Sadly although the company was happy to inform us of the public’s questions, it declined to release its valuable advice to the papers’ readers.By January 2008, the company had answered over 10 million questions and reached a demand level of over 17,500 questions a day. Snazzy new functions include ‘celebrity answers’, when the likes of Robbie Keane take a few moments to sate fans’ curiosity as to whether Tottenham’s leading scorer prefers Jaffa Cakes or Hobnobs. Soon, the business model caught on around the world; AskMeNow was established in America. Soon, Texperts changed its remit from a subscription-based service called ‘Re5ult’ to a more gimmicky version, designed to catch some of AQA’s drunks, fools and students late at night. Let’s face it, if it’s academic information you’re after, AQA and Texperts aren’t going offer anything that Google can’t get you faster. What it can provide is a little bit of wit, and a little bit of urgency – the cherry-on-top to your 160-character solution service. I tested this service to the limits of its utility, to see if it could help me with some difficult decisions. Over the course of one Tuesday, I asked a faceless stranger the answer to my most important questions, and promised myself to act on their advice.Do you need sucked out of a spiralling attitude of negativity? Try.Start 9am:Wake up. Open cupboards in vain hope of contents. Remember challenge and decide to give it a go.To: AQAWhat’s for breakfast?To: S ManningYou should have two Weetabix, for breakfast followed by a big fry up. Try and get someone else to cook it for you, as this improves the taste.10.13amGood start. Unfortunately offers no help as flat deserted and dutiful friends are at lectures. I’m also concerned about calorie counts. Is that Corporate responsibility? Aren’t they looking out for my figure? A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips. Suddenly remember I too have a academic commitments. Shit. Have done no reading, as ever. Thankfully, with my new personal guru, solutions are just a text away. To: AQAHow typical were the experiences of the Pastons during the Wars of the Roses?To: S ManningApologies, we were unable to find confirmation of their experiences being typical during the War of the Roses. No charge for this reply.12.42pmThanks a bunch AQA. Survive lecture, just. Returning downcast from Christ Church a tramp grabs my arm on Cornmarket. I panic, reach for the phone and hold him off for a second while I text furiously.To: AQAHave you got any spare change?To: S ManningSorry, the AQA service doesn’t have any lose change or it would gladly give you some. Try asking in the kebab shop down the road, or your parents.1.23pmParents are 400 miles away and AQA are, apparently, stingy bastards, so I don’t feel too guilty not shelling out. Hurry on to college to meet a friend for lunch. Fall into dispute about Jordan’s latest rejig and remember to settle the matter using my new best friend.To: AQADo Jordan’s new tits look better or worse?To: S ManningKatie Price aka Jordan was 36C-23-34 is now 34D-24-34. She remembers, “I was totally flat-chested at school.” Most would say she looks better now.2.16pmSlightly skeptical of their figures but happy to have the matter settled, I rejoin the masses on Cornmarket to complete my daily dose of harassment. Religious nutter gets me this time but I take this chance to challenge AQA on a bigger question.To: AQAShould I accept Jesus into my life?To: S ManningWe cannot decide for you. Religion continues to play a very important role in many people’s lives. Christianity is the largest religious denomination, accounting for 33% of the world’s population.4.31pmGet home. Half-empty gin bottle is now fully empty. Am raging. To: AQAThe bastards have stolen my gin. What is an appropriate punishment?To: S ManningAQA doesn’t think that you should try to punish the people who have stolen your gin. The hangover they’ll have tomorrow will be sufficient punishment.6.45pmFriend Dave is impressed: ‘Ethically, that makes a lot of sense. That kind of advice prevents the disintegration of society.’ I say: ‘it was you, wasn’t it’. Get ready for night out as faghag to filthy gin-swigger. Try my luck with AQA…To: AQAWill I get lucky tonight?To: S ManningYou will get lucky tonight if you are confident, dress to impress, are generous, and lower your standards. Exude confidence and you will be irresistible.10.55pmDecide to go for it. Confident swagger in place, I roll up skirt and slide fit Bar Boy a two pound coin with the words “Surprise me, sweetcheeks.” Tequila and a grope later decide AQA is a bad friend. 5 shots late I forget this. Turn to AQA again.To: AQAOkly i like him, fulngog good idea?To: S ManningYou have mistakenly texted the AQA service rather than a friend. Some Valentine’s trivia: 5.2million red roses will be sent for Valentine’s in the UK x2.37amWake up. Vomit. Remember challenge. Begin to worry that I’ve given away too many personal details. Wonder who AQA is. Get paranoid.To: AQAWho are you and what do you want with me?To: S ManningAQA provides answers to any question using intelligent algorithms, databases and human researcher. We want you to have a nice cup of tea and a biscuit.8.43amFor once I take their advice, feeling uncomfortable that an SMS answering service knows me better than I know myself. Wake up the next morning with time to ask a final question. Not afraid to use it. Consider some possibilities and end up going with the big one.To: AQAShould I keep relying on AQA to determine my life’s course?To: S ManningYou shouldn’t rely on anyone or anything to determine your life’s course.– Work out what you really want from life and AQA will help you along the way.Kind of them to offer. But realise this way of life is costing me a fortune at £1 a text. Make resolution to get real live friends.Additional research by Billy Kenber