PRIESTS have given their backing to four turf-cutters who will face prosecution for illegal cutting on protected bogs.
The priests have have called on parishioners to stand up for their "constitutional rights" and support the men.
The four will appear before Loughrea District Court on Wednesday and face charges of using machinery on peat bogs in defiance of EU designations.
If found guilty, they could face a fine of up to €1,500 or a six-month jail sentence.
Parishes in the Clonfert diocese have included a call in parish newsletters to all property owners to attend a rally outside the court on the day.
Dancing miners given the boot
UP to 15 miners were fired from their high-paying jobs in an Australian gold mine after a "Harlem Shake" performance underground was deemed a safety hazard.
A YouTube video shows eight miners wearing safety gear while performing the convulsive dance in the Agnew Gold Mine last week.
Barminco, which has operations in Africa as well as its native Australia, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Alcatraz swim triathlete dies
A 46-year-old Texas man died in the frigid waters of the San Francisco Bay, moments after the start of the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon.
Race organisers believe the man, from Austin, died of a massive heart attack in the race, which was held months earlier than in previous years and in far colder waters. The man was pulled from the water and CPR was performed, but he could not be revived.
They said the death was the first in the 33-year history of the event.
Tigers seized at drugs lab
Authorities in western Mexico say they seized two tigers and several deer at a ranch where police also found what appears to be a drug lab.
Jalisco state police say officers found precursor chemicals in barrels, and buckets and boilers that were probably used to manufacture methamphetamine.
Locals had reported a strong smell of chemicals.