The Week: News Highlights 5th July 2017

We look at the latest news highlights from Ireland

Week News Highlights 5th July 2017
The recreated look of a 16th Century Dubliner

Liverpool boffins recreate 16th century Dub

A team at Liverpool John Moores University has recreated the look of a typical 16th century Dubliner based on skeletal samples found during the Luas Cross City project.

Professor Caroline Wilkinson and others from the university’s Face Lab built up the picture of the man almost three years after the skeletons were discovered.

The result is a character who, according to analysis, would have been aged between 25 and 35 and around 5ft 6ins in height.

It was suggested that he would have lived a life of poor childhood nutrition and one of heavy labour.

His lifespan, however, was by far the longest of the five remains found – the other four all died between the ages of 13 and 17.

The skeletons that were recovered were found to date from between 1485 and 1603, placing them firmly from the Tudor period and the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

They were not placed in a formal graveyard, but were found in the area of the Hoggen Green – one of Dublin’s three main commonages of the time.

The discoveries were made during monitoring works for the Luas Cross City project and the post-excavation analysis was undertaken by Rubicon Heritage Services on behalf of Transport Infrastructure Ireland, the state body behind the Luas scheme.

Monitoring and post-excavation analysis on the various archaeological discoveries made during the project are ongoing.

£1million win for parents whose tragedy led them to help others

The parents behind the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust are the latest beneficiaries of the EuroMillions Millionaire Maker.

Colin and Eithne Bell, from Newry, scooped the £1 million jackpot prize after matching the competition’s raffle number.

The pair set up the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust – a charity which helps Irish families bring their loved ones back to Ireland – after they lost their 26-year-old son in a hit-and-run incident in New York.

Colin explained how he and his wife were “calm” when they found out they had won the lucrative prize.

“Eithne was sitting watching the news and I said ‘take a look at this, I think we have won a million pounds’,” he said.

No leaping and roaring

“We were so calm. There was no leaping and roaring or shouting and jumping.”

He said he would be buying two ten-year Premium Level tickets for Croke Park while his wife has her eye on a sun room.

He added that a new car would likely be on its way while their garden would be landscaped.

The win would not affect the work of the Trust, which last year helped almost 100 families, Colin said. “This is independent of the trust,” he explained.

“We are very proud that we are family run. Nobody gets a penny. This is Kevin’s legacy.”

Cork’s attraction for cruise line tourists is waning a little

Cork is no longer the top destination for people visiting Ireland by cruise ship after it suffered a 12.4 per cent drop in the number of passengers last year.

New figures show that 89,686 people were on board ships stopping in either Cobh Ringaskiddy in 2016, compared to 102,217 in 2015 – the first time the region had reached six figures.

The total number of vessels stopping in Cork remained the same at 57 but the decrease in number of passengers was mirrored in many parts of the country.

CSO statistics show that there was an 8.1 per cent fall in the number of cruise ship passengers stopping in Irish ports, which represents a decrease of almost 20,000 people.


Fáilte Ireland said the trend was surprising, given the overall boost in visitor numbers to the country.

Last year saw the number of overseas visitors jump by 8.8 per cent to more than 8.7 million.

Dublin slotted back into first place as it took in almost 110,000 passengers on 109 vessels. This represented an increase of 8.4 per cent, having amassed 101,400 visitors on 93 ships in 2015. Cork – and Dublin – takes in 90 per cent of all cruise ship passengers visiting Ireland.

It is estimated that these liners contribute approximately €4 million (£3.5 million) to the Cork economy each year.

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