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Mention of Aherns in
Newspaper Stories of 2004

Letter to the Editor
Britney Spears marries a pal in Las Vegas at 5:30 a. m., after a night of partying. The "bride" wears torn jeans and a baseball cap and is escorted down the aisle by a limo driver. The next day, annulment papers are filed and we are told it was all a big joke. And there are people out there worried that gay unions will destroy the sanctity of marriage? Give me a break!

Pat Ahern, Oakley

San Francisco Chronicle 6 January 2004
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Police log: Man arrested on court warrant
WALTHAM—A 22-year-old man was arrested Tuesday on a warrant issued by Cambridge District Court, police said. Stephen Ahern, 900 Lexington St., was arrested at his home at 9:52 p.m. Police said Ahern was wanted for possession of a Class B substance, possession of a Class D substance, operating with a suspended license and failure to stop for police officers.
Waltham News Tribune 8 January 2004
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City/county Digest
In Baltimore City
Homicide ruled in death of woman found behind school
A 25-year-old woman who was found unconscious, beaten and raped behind a city middle school in June died this week, and her death has been ruled a homicide, police said yesterday. Emma O'Hearn of the 600 block of S. Pulaski St. was partially clothed when she was found by two girls behind Calverton Middle School in West Baltimore on June 10, police said. O'Hearn was treated at Maryland Shock Trauma Center and transferred to University Specialty Hospital, where she died Tuesday, police said.
The Baltimore Sun 23 January 2004
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A first novel at age 22
Cecelia Ahern was in the news throughout the week because her first novel had just been published and because she is the daughter of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. The big question for many was whether these two facts were directly linked. There was no shortage of critics, some of them fairly bitter would-be bestselling authors, ready to say that the 22-year-old had little or no talent and that she owes it all to the fame of her father. No doubt being the daughter of the Taoiseach opened a few doors and would likely have a positive impact on sales in this country, but its unlikely that such credentials would persuade US publishers to fork out $1m for the US publishing rights. The book itself, entitled “PS, I Love You” tells the story of 30-year-old Holly, a widow who is left ten sealed envelopes by her husband, Gerry, each containing a challenge designed to help her face up to a future without him.
The Emigrant 25 January 2004
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Letters to the editor
Israel is constructing an apartheid wall
I was born and raised in Orleans and am currently traveling in the West Bank to witness the effects of the apartheid wall on the Palestinian people. The wall is an apartheid wall because it grants, or doesn't grant, basic human rights protected under international law, on the condition of which side of the wall one lives on, and what religion one practices. This wall is opposed by both Palestinians and many Israelis.

The community of Abu Dis, a Palestinian suburb of Jerusalem, is several weeks away from being completely separated from family, friends, hospitals and jobs by the completed construction of this apartheid wall. While it is touted by Israel as a security measure, what I am witnessing here through my eyes is nothing short of Israeli annexation of Palestinian fertile land and water resources. This wall will not provide any security to Israelis. In fact, it will further exacerbate the present situation and tensions. When the wall is completed, some Palestinian communities will find themselves completely enclosed by it, and separated from their daily routines of the past 30 years.

Please call your local representatives and voice your opposition; the people here are counting on you.

East Jerusalem

Cape Cod Times 20 February 2004
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Final choices for Illinois House
The Tribune concludes its endorsements today in contested primary elections for the Illinois House. . . . 71st District (Northwest Illinois): Democratic Rep. Mike Boland of East Moline works hard and pushes some aggressive ideas to save money, such as combining the offices of state treasurer and comptroller. He is endorsed over Dennis Ahern, a security officer from Moline who is brimming with enthusiasm.
Chicago Tribune 4 March 2004
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Drunk driver hits elderly man
NEWTON—An elderly Newton man was in fair condition after he was being hit by a man police say was driving drunk last week. Police said the 70-year-old man was a crossing a Washington Street intersection at 7 p.m. on Thursday when he was struck by a gray 1999 Saturn sedan driven by John Ahern of Tewksbury. Ahern, 48, of 55 Quail Run Road, was arrested at the scene after failing a field sobriety test, police said. Ahern was charged with operating under the influence of alcohol causing serious bodily injury, operating under the influence of alcohol and failure to slow for a pedestrian.

"Medics at the scene said that the victim suffered some serious injuries—two broken legs and a broken wrist," said Sgt. Kenneth Dangelo. "We know that the victim struck the left side of the vehicle, breaking its side mirror." Police said Ahern was attempting to drive onto Rte. 128 North when he struck the man. "We know that the victim was walking home when he was hit by (Ahern). The suspect said that he saw the victim tumble and hit the pavement after being struck," said Dangelo. The first officer on the scene made the notation in his police report that he noticed Ahern had an odor of alcohol on his breath, glassy eyes and was unsteady on his feet—all telltale signs the driver was drunk. The victim was rushed to Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, where he was listed in fair condition.

Waltham News Tribune 15 March 2004
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Boland wins Democratic primary in 71st district
Illinois Rep. Mike Boland, D-East Moline, won the Democratic primary in the 71st Legislative District on Tuesday, defeating a Dennis Ahern of Silvis. Boland's victory means that he will go on to the fall election to seek his sixth term in the Legislature. Steve Haring of Savanna was the only Republican to have filed papers to run in the fall election. Boland, a former community activist who also has been mentioned as a possible candidate for statewide office, won with 5,926 votes, according to complete results in Rock Island, Henry and Whiteside counties and 14 out of 15 precincts in Carroll County reporting. Ahern, who is a security guard at Alcoa, received 2,723 votes. The bulk of the district's voters are in Rock Island County.

Boland, who was monitoring returns at a bowling alley in Moline, said he had no doubt about what the result would be. "It was just how much," he said. He attributed his win to voters realizing "I care about people." Ahern had sought to make issues of the still-shuttered Thompson prison, which was slated to open in 2001 but still is closed. He also said that he would push for creative ideas to try to deal with the impending closure of the CNH Global plant. Boland, meanwhile, has defended his record on the prison, saying he pushed to get money into the state's budget to open the prison, but the governor has declined. He also spoke favorably of a commission to study shutting older prisons in favor of new ones.

In the late stages of the race, Boland was targeted by some Illinois businesses, who banded together to claim he supported higher taxes on business. Boland dismissed the claim he was anti-business and said the attack was a distortion that voters would see through. Boland also has pushed for funding for a Quad-City campus affiliated with Western Illinois University. The district includes upper Rock Island County, as well as parts of the three other counties, and according to unofficial results Boland was victorious in all the counties. In Rock Island County, Boland won by more than 1,600 votes out of about 6,000 votes cast. And in the other counties, he won by a 4-1 margin.

Quad-City Times 17 March 2004
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2004 Grand Marshall Patrick Ahern
It is said that if you scratched Patrick Daniel Ahern's skin, shamrocks would fly out. It is also said that the phrase "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" from the old song was written with his sparkling eyes and winning smile in mind.

A true son of Ireland, Ahern is the child of a family with roots in County Kerry and Limerick and Clare. One of seven children, he went on to become a Syracuse police officer. A true Irish family, his produced "cops and priests who would jail 'em and then bail 'em," he says.  Ahern retired from the police force in 1986 and has since held a number of counseling and sales positions. He has worked for Tully Hill and the Jamesville Penitentiary as well as in real estate and car sales.  Currently the President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, he has been involved with the organization since the 1960s. "I was practically raised at the Hibernian Hall," he says. Ahern is also the Vice President and a founding member of the Irish American Cultural Institute. He serves as President of the Syracuse Open House, a drop in center for alcoholics and their families. He was the catalyst for the July 19, 1992 march in Syracuse to recall the great Irish famine of the 1840s. It was the first such occasion on this side of the Atlantic.

Ahern is married to Carol Rubacha Ahern and is the father of four children: Patrick, Heather, Bridget, and Kerry and grandfather of Megan and Ryan.  His brother, the Reverend John Ahern of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Liverpool, says, "Our parents would have been so proud to see this day. Patrick is a true community man with a deep commitment to the Irish in this city and a strong desire to help the down and out." A former grand marshal himself, Father Ahern says that his brother "knows what is important in life."  Patrick Ahern says, "Next to my family, the greatest gift I have received has been my sobriety through the grace of God."  I could have accomplished nothing else without that gift."

NewsChannel 9 TV 17 March 2004
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Andover's Memorial Hall Library will present speakers to help those keen on digging out details on their family histories. Acton's Dennis Ahern will stop by Tuesday at 7 p.m. to talk about researching ancestors in Ireland by looking at Irish newspapers for details on criminal actions, litigation, and quirky details about family members abroad.
The Boston Globe 28 March 2004
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New Vista sheriff's captain to take reins Friday
VISTA—Rob Ahern likes to press the flesh, walk the streets and meet with residents to address their concerns. It may seem that Ahern is running for an elected office, but he is no politician. Ahern is a sheriff's captain who thrives on opportunities to get face time with the public to promote what he says is his passion for community-oriented policing. The 24-year veteran of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department will have many chances to pursue his passion when he officially begins his tenure Friday as the Vista Sheriff's Station's new captain. As the station's supervisor, Ahern will be responsible for policing Vista, Fallbrook and Bonsall.

"I'm very excited about going back," said Ahern, who served as a Vista sergeant in the mid-1990s. "I'm going to be the guy with the tools to help the community out." Ahern, who spent much of his career working and promoting the ideas of community policing, was handpicked, city leaders said, because of his experience as a cop who works well with residents and businesses.

"He is very enthusiastic about the COPPS (Community Oriented Police and Problem Solving) program," said Rick Dudley, assistant city manager. "We feel the interaction between the community and deputies is very important." At 45, Ahern will replace former Vista station Capt. Earl Wentworth, who has been reassigned to oversee the department's Emergency Services Division.

"He (Ahern) brings a lot of experience to the table," Vista sheriff's patrol Sgt. Todd Richardson said. "He is familiar with the city of Vista and the Vista city government, and I expect he will be able to hit the ground running." Ahern, a former Camp Pendleton Marine, began his career at the Vista jail. He also worked in San Marcos, Encinitas and with the SWAT team, among other assignments, before returning to Vista jail last year as its captain. He not only worked in Vista, but he also lived there while in the Marine Corps and as a young deputy. "I know everybody and I feel comfortable here," Ahern said. Ahern, then a sergeant, began building relationships with Vista residents in 1994, the year he helped launch the city's community policing program by establishing a satellite office in the Townsite area. Soon, another office in the Shadowridge area was built under his watch. A third community policing office on Moon Drive was built after he left Vista in 1997. Because of budget constraints, however, the city may close the Shadowridge and Moon stations this summer, officials said.

Community-oriented policing is a proactive approach to solving crime through the interaction between cops and residents. Both sides meet to discuss concerns and brainstorm solutions. As one of two COPPS supervisors of eight deputies, Ahern made it his priority to meet with residents, merchants, parents and members of neighborhood and homeowners associations to address their concerns. "It's important to establish relationships," he said. When prostitution became a problem in the South Santa Fe Avenue area, Ahern looked for unconventional solutions in addition to law enforcement. He worked with city officials to install more streetlights, take away bus benches and paint curbs red to deter prostitutes from soliciting in the area. Ahern also worked with a local hotel to prevent prostitutes from conducting their business there. Deputies, residents and state officials also worked together to root out prostitution and drugs that plagued a bar in the Townsite area.

Now, as Ahern returns to Vista, he plans to use his experience to help police this city of 93,000. Ahern's experience includes a long list of contacts, innovative approaches to problem solving and knowledge of the community. The captain said gangs, auto theft and traffic, especially at Vista High School, are concerns, but added that other issues will be identified once he has started. He has gotten a head start by meeting with parents of Latino students at Vista High School on March 23, where both sides discussed gangs and the functions of the Sheriff's Department. "I think people are hungry for information," Ahern said.

As for his deputies, Ahern said he will approach them with an open-door policy. He also wants to ride along with them in patrol cars occasionally. "He is a goal-oriented person who is not afraid to tackle any task," sheriff's Sgt. Eric Stubbs said.

North County Times 31 March 2004
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Fix the condition
   Isn't it strange that of all the mammals placed on this earth by The Creator that mankind is the only one infected by homosexuality and lesbianism. Mankind is the only mammal possessing a mind that can create tools, record the past and partially foresee the future. Since no male animal or female animal will "pair-up" with one of the same sex, the problem of mankind must be all in the mind.
    Somehow we must learn how this unfortunate condition which is totally against 'nature' occurs, and treat it when it first appears in youth.
    — John A. Vanderpoel
The Acton Beacon 25 March 2004

   Isn't it strange that of all the mammals on this earth, mankind is the only one infected by religion and superstition? Mankind is the only mammal possessing a mind that can create tools, record the past and imagine the future. Yet we seem unable to learn from the past to avoid repeating misdeeds and mistakes in the future. As a species we have a long history of using religion as a tool to diminish others who are different. It was once preached that people of a darker skin were put on earth to serve those whose skin was white. A river of blood was shed in this country putting that nonsense to rest.
    Now religion is being used to disparage another class of people who are different. I'm all in favor of religions that preach Love thy Neighbor, but when they start saying this applies only to certain types of neighbors, then I dismiss their teachings as ill-conceived as well as harmful. Religions that lift people up are good. Religions that put people down are bad. Somehow we must learn how this unfortunate condition, which is totally against nature, occurs and treat it when it first appears in youth.
   — Dennis J. Ahern
The Acton Beacon 1 April 2004
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New road a fitting tribute to Kerry politician
The naming of the new Ballybunion link road after veteran local politician Kit Ahern has been hailed this week as a "fitting tribute" to a lady who has given much of her time and life to the people of North Kerry. Speaking at the official opening and dedication of the Kit Ahern Road in Ballybunion, Cllr Ned O'Sullivan said the council was delighted to honour her in a permanent way.

"Kit has a long association with politics, especially at a time when women in politics were scarce, having served both on Kerry County Council an in Dail Eireann as a TD and Senator," he said. "Kit has been involved throughout her life in the promotion of the Irish language through Glor na Gael and in the development of Kerry's cultural reputation with Writers' Week. For years has has been an active member in Conradh na Gaeilge and the ICA," the Listowel Councillor revealed. The 700 metre L6202 leads from the East End, Ballybunion and links to the Sandhill road and was officially opened by Kit Ahern on Friday evening.

The Kingdom 1 April 2004
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An unexplained death in Keene in 1869
by Leigh Emerson
Laughter and clinking of glasses fills the air on the evening of March 20, 1869 in the small community of Keene. As part of a contract that the friends had made, they would help you saw your wood pile in return for a few rounds of drinks. This night, it was Thomas Boyd who asked for their help. The men worked hard all day, chopping and stacking. They discussed their families, the business in town, and their own jobs. It was getting quite dark by the time they finished their work. They were then seined with the promised liquor. They talked and sang until 2 a.m. until they all went their separate ways. Michael [sic] Ahern was one of these hard-working men, but he had one, rather large difference: he never returned home.

The next morning, a watchman from the railroad found a sawhorse, saw and hat under the railroad bridge near the Colony Mill, both items belonging to Ahern. The question was, and still remains, if Michael merely fell through, or if someone attacked him and hid his body. If it was the latter, then who would do such a thing? How could such a nice man have such a great enemy? Michael Ahern would have been described as a hardworking immigrant. He came from Ireland and built a house on Island street in 1861. He held a steady job with the Cheshire Railroad and had a loving family. The surprise that followed his disappearance was caused by his upstanding citizenship and his comedic demeanor.

If you had picked up a copy of the Sentinel, you'd have to really be looking hard to find the notice that read: “Martin Ahern, an Irishman, about 40 years old, well-built, straight, full, red face, and weighing about 175 lbs.” as the day dawned on March 25. Who would suspect a murder in Keene? When the rest of the country is occupied by news updates surrounding rights of blacks, Michael Ahern went unnoticed. The end of the Civil War had everybody wondering what was going to happen to their towns and families. The small amount of information in the announcement in the news and the lack of a follow-up article suggests that either it wasn't a major priority in the town or there just wasn't any information. The article in the paper suggested that he fell through the bridge, because of the position of the saw and sawhorse, but many questioned that he could have been in a struggle with his attacker as well. Although there wasn't much of any attention in the paper, the police questioned as many people as they could think of, and still no leads came up. They even placed spikes in the canal so that if the body was in there, it wouldn't float away with their evidence.

Finally, six weeks after Michael Ahern disappeared, he appeared again on April 28. Much to his family's dismay, he was pulled out of the canal, his body lodged against the spikes that the police had previously set there for that purpose. The coroner Samuel Woodward found that a blunt object fractured Michael's skull and came to the conclusion that Michael had died a violent death brought on by a stranger. Perhaps the evidence showed an element of surprise, the injury being near the back of his skull, concluding that he was attacked from behind.

Perhaps this announcement lead to more fear and excitement in the town than it did ease their worries. They wondered if they could be next, and what, if anything, could they do to avoid it. There is nothing mentioned, though, that could infer that the crime was done by someone Michael knew. Disruption from that kind of announcement might have sent the townspeople onto an even bigger frenzy if the knew the murder was done by someone among them; a murderer in their midst.

Many leads can be made from the assumption that it was someone he knew. Someone he worked with? A family member? A jealous wife? Those questions only lead to more: Was his life only a surface for something else? Was he involved in crime? And an endless list could be created by changing the report of the coroner to another plausible reason. Some people even discussed the possibility that the body had not, in fact, floated to the spikes located in the canal, but instead placed there by the murderer shortly before it was found. Rumors like these float through small towns everywhere, are often unfounded, but create a common unity through the discussion and fear they create. Perhaps that's why the coroner said he was killed by a stranger. Then the fear would be lesser because the town could view it as a passer-by and not a long-lasting threat. But if it was someone Michael was in cahoots with, then it might be someone they knew as well. The stranger theory ties up the loose ends, but a known killer only creates more problems for the police force. There are so many motivations behind this story that you cannot discover from a simple announcement that a man is missing.

Imagine, if only a few people were diligent enough to read through old stories, and unsolved mysteries, how many could be solved, or at least brought into a new light. Nobody may ever know what happened to Michael Ahern, as it is too late to bring in any forensic evidence, which they most likely don't have. His soul will have to remain forever lost, with only him and his murderer knowing what happened, and his last memory being of his friends and the joy they shared in his last moments of life.

Leigh Emerson is a junior in the honors-level American Studies class at Keene High School, for which he wrote this report.

[There is an error as to the name of the man in question. The author of the above refers to him as Michael, except in one instance as Martin. He is listed as Martin in the Keene, NH Street Directories. See The Mysterious Death of Martin Ahern for more.]

The Keene Sentinel 4 April 2004
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The resolution questioning certain aspects of the Patriot Act was passed at Monday's Town Meeting, but not without bringing into question the patriotism of the article's proponents. Such dissent, it was alleged, gives aid and comfort to our enemies in a time of war. The majority of us in the hall that night are old enough to remember another time in our nation's history when questioning authority was viewed as bordering on treason. I suggest that, had we a Patriot Act then, Watergate would be a hotel in Washington and Gerald Ford would be a former Congressman.
   — Dennis J. Ahern
Acton Beacon 15 April 2004
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DOJ honors medal of valor recipients
Deputy Attorney General James Comey and Associate Attorney General Robert McCallum honored the recipients of the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor during a public ceremony at the Department of Justice. The six recipients of the award represent fire, police and emergency medical services from across the nation. The medal is the highest national award for valor by a public safety officer, honoring outstanding heroic deeds performed above and beyond the call of duty. The medal, authorized by the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Act of 2001, is awarded by the president to public safety officers cited by the attorney general. Public safety officers are nominated by the chiefs or directors of their employing agencies and recommended by the Medal of Valor Review Board.

The recipients were:
James Ahern and John Ahern, paramedics, Boston Emergency Medical Services, Boston, Mass. Paramedic Unit 3 medics, James "Jim" Ahern and his nephew John "Jack" Ahern, responded to an emergency report of a man underneath a subway train at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. James and John Ahern arrived and found a male, still alive, with his torso and lower extremities entrapped in the undercarriage of the train that struck him. Authorities ordered all persons out of the pit because of the unstable position of the train, fearing that it would shift as it was lifted off the track bed, potentially crushing anyone who remained in the pit. The additional complication of intubating the victim to control his respiration was handled manually by Jim Ahern who positioned himself in front of the victim, ventilating him and shielding him from the train. Once the train was lifted off the track bed, Jack Ahern crawled back under the train and assisted Jim Ahern in extricating the victim.
 . . . 
President Bush, center, poses with the recipients of the Public Safety Officer Medals of Valor during a ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House. With Bush are from left from right, paramedics John Ahern and Jack Ahern, police officer Michael Muniz, police officer Marcus Young, police officer Barry Ralston and fire fighter Kevin Fitzhenry.

International Association of Fire Chiefs 15 April 2004
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Lakers polling favorably
With the Jazz out of the playoffs, the answer to the question "Whom are you rooting for?" is . . . Karl Malone. The Mailman's quest for a ring with the Los Angeles Lakers won a plurality of votes among the scores of respondents to our poll. Wendell Ahern seemed to sum up the feeling of most respondents by writing: "I'm rooting for the Lakers because I want to see Malone get a ring, and because I have family in L.A." And Russell Fernelius added: "I am rooting for the Lakers because I don't think anyone deserves a championship more than Malone."
Deseret Morning News 24 April 2004
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Gerald A'Hearn
Thursday, Feb 15, 1945 Dear Mrs. A'Hearn, I received your letter a couple of days ago and am only too glad to answer it and try to be of help to you. Am sorry that you had to get such a report about Gerald and wish to extend to you my deepest sympathy, as well as from the rest of his friends in the Company. Yes, Gerald and I were good buddies. He was a swell fellow and well liked by everyone, and you can really be proud of him. I don't know whether this will pass the censor or not, but I sure hope it does because I can understand how much better you will feel if you know the real facts about how it happened. Yes, Mrs. A'Hearn, Gerald was in a tank when it happened. I was also in one near him and saw it. His tank was hit by a German anti-tank gun and the tank immediately burst into flames and burnt up. Gerald never knew what hit him though and so didn't suffer in any way. That's about all there is to it and I sure do hate to have to tell you something like that but I know it's the true facts that you want. I'm sure it will be some relief to you knowing that he didn't do any suffering at all but died immediately. Yes, Mrs. A'Hearn, I know your son John. I met him thru Gerald while we were at Camp Polk, La. I would sure like to run into him over here. Only hope that I have been of some help to you. If there is anything else you would like to know or that I could do for you please write and let me know because I would be more than glad to do it. May God bless you always. S/Edward Burscheid
In Zachary Taylor National Cemetery
This headstone in Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Louisville, KY marks the grave of Allamakee County native Gerald A'Hearn and two fellow soldiers who were also killed in action in 1944 during a WWII battle in Holland when the tank they were navigating was hit by enemy fire.

Gerald James A'Hearn, the seventh child of Agnes Honora (Devitt) A'Hearn and Joseph Michael A'Hearn, was born December 20, 1914 in Hanover Township of Allamakee County, Iowa. When he was not quite twelve years old, his father was killed in a car accident. He then had to quit school and hire out as a farm laborer. He later worked with the CCC and at a fish hatchery. January 31, 1942, less than two months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Gerald and his brother John enlisted in the United States Army at Fort Meade, Maryland. Their brother Clem also served during WWII. Clem was in a Navy Construction Battalion (Seabees) and served in the Pacific. Gerald completed Basic Training and machine gun training courses at Camp Polk, Louisiana. During his training he was assigned to the 32nd Armored Regiment. September 20, 1943 he was assigned to Company C of the 17th Tank Battalion as a tank machine gunner. The 17th Tank Battalion was a unit assigned to the 7th Armored Division. August 11, 1944, the 17th Tank Battalion went ashore at Normandy in France. As Gerald went ashore with the 17th, his brother John, who was in a Tank Destroyer unit, was landing about four miles away. The brothers did get to see each other once after they both arrived in France. John would receive two Purple Heart Medals for wounds received in combat over the next few months, and would go on to reenlist after the war. The 17th Tank Battalion conducted combat operations under General Patton in France until September when they crossed the Moselle River near Metz, France. They then continued combat operations as they moved through Belgium and into Holland. Stiff resistance by German forces along the Meuse River in the area of Overloon, Holland had stopped the advance of Allied forces. And it was in that area, near the town of St. Anthonis, Holland, in the land of windmills and tulips, that Corporal Gerald James A'Hearn was killed in action. The date was October 5, 1944. Gerald A'Hearn was returned to America in 1950. December 5, 1950, he was interred in a group plot, with those who died with him, in Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky. His niece, Jean A'Hearn Prestemon, has this final memory of her Uncle Gerald: "It was late 1943. I was nearly six years old, but I remember it because it was an emotional experience for our whole family. Gerald was getting ready to go overseas. We lived in the little house on School Street, later called First Avenue SW in Waukon. I know it was morning because we children were still in our pajamas. It was early winter, I think, and we were all in the kitchen near the stove. Mike was a baby, probably about nine months old. I can still see Mike sitting on the oven door while Gerald talked to him. Joe and I were on the right and left of Gerald with his arms around us. He talked to our parents, saying goodbye, I guess. Mother told us when we were older that he said that he didn't expect to ever see the new baby, my sister Mary, who was born a few months later. Grandma Agnes A'Hearn was notified later, in 1944, that Gerald was missing in action. Grandma prayed that he had been taken prisoner, as some soldiers had been during the war." That was not to be.

Waukon Standard 26 May 2004
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Memorial Day 2004: Salutes to Veterans Kick Off Sunday
With World War II veterans converging on their new memorial today in Washington—and with U.S. troops continue their modern-day fight on the fields of Iraq—veterans' organizations throughout South County and southeastern Connecticut are poised to mark Memorial Day with a series of parades and ceremonies beginning Sunday and continuing through the Monday holiday.
 . . . 
Westerly High School student Charles Ahern, will recite the orders of General John A. Logan, Commander in Chief of the Army during the Civil War, who obtained a proclamation May 5, 1868 from the Congress to perpetuate remembrance of the nation's fallen heroes; the Stonington High School Choral Group will sing a patriotic son; a Stonington High School student will present Lincoln's Gettysburg Address; and Roger Kuemper will read "Memorial Day" a work by Edwin Holden.
The Westerly Sun 29 May 2004
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Tradition modified to meet Reagan requests
Events will feature meticulously planned pageantry
Washington—Nothing has been left to chance in the 300-page funeral plan for Ronald Reagan. . . . 

Some of Reagan's former presidential advance staffers, who planned all of his trips while he was in office, are also volunteering for the funeral. Among them is Rick Ahearn, the man who can be seen behind Reagan in the photographs capturing the assassination attempt in 1981. Monday afternoon, Ahearn was in the rotunda planning the logistics for how Reagan's casket would be received. . . . 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 7 June 2004
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Rangers vs. Padres
The Rangers were lead by Ben Ahern, Mark Benati, Joseph Hickey and Skyler Wolf. Ben Ahern had a great day hitting with a single in the first inning and an RBI double in the 2nd. He also scored a run. In the field Ben had a strong game at 2nd base. Mark Benati played a solid game in the filed at catcher, shortstop and in the outfield in addition he scored a run in the second inning. Joseph Hickey had a strong day at the plate with two RBI singles as well as a good defensive day at 1st base. Skyler Wolf played his usual game of hustle in center field in addition he had a bases loaded single in the 1st and another single in the third inning. The Padres were led by Maxwell Harrigan, who ripped the ball to left field and made some outstanding fielding plays on the pitchers mound. Sean McDonagh made a fantastic catch of a line drive and had the presence of mind to try and turn it into a double play. Kyle Tobin had base hits from the left and right side of the plate, and a great diving force out at shortstop. Olivia Keefe hit a grand slam, clearing the bases, showing her power and great speed.
The Beacon 10 June 2004
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The full honours list
Sister Michaeleen Mary AHERN, South Brisbane For service to the community through project planning, development and administration of the Mater Misericordiae hospitals in Brisbane.
Sydney Morning Herald 14 June 2004
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Mideast sojourn inspires activist
ORLEANS—Tooling around town on his bright yellow bike with the ubiquitous milk crate affixed to the back, Neal Ahern is in many ways the quintessential Cape Codder. He is a bearded, bright-eyed world traveler who, in the tradition of Cape sailors and fishermen before him, relishes returning to the Cape after being away. He loves a good yarn and a lively political discussion. He has opinions on everything from the best way to cook a piece of cod to improving U.S. relations with the world at large.

Ahern, 25, is an unabashed enthusiast for life on Cape Cod. But in recent months his perception of what it means to be a Cape Codder and what it means to be an American have changed. Three months of living in Palestine, being shot at with rubber bullets and arrested by the Israeli army while participating in international peace demonstrations there have sharpened his appreciation for a lot of things. "The thing that really hit me on coming back here is, no matter how big our country, no matter how diverse we are, the fact is we have more in common with one another than we realize," Ahern says. "And that's what makes us such a remarkable nation. There is so much we can do working together."

A graduate of Nauset Regional High School in North Eastham and Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., Ahern developed an interest in social activism as a teen. Then it took the form of working with others to open a juice bar for Lower Cape teens; more recently it has taken the form of joining in with international observers of the barrier wall Israel is building between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. He was inspired to go in large part in honor of his friend Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old Washington resident killed in March 2003 after being run down by an Israeli army bulldozer at a demonstration against the wall.

"Rachel was a friend," he says, perched on the edge of a chair outside the Chocolate Sparrow in Orleans. One hand curls around a cup of coffee, the other curls and uncurls in unspoken emotion. "She was a wonderful person, not someone who was out to make trouble. She cared passionately about others," he says quietly. "I felt it was important to go there (the West Bank) and stand in Rachel's place." Corrie, like Ahern , went to Israel and Palestine under the auspices of the International Solidarity Movement, an organization of people from many Western nations, including Israel, opposed to the creation of the wall and Israeli occupation of the West Bank. In May 2003, the organization was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by a member of the Canadian Parliament.

The Israeli government contends the wall is necessary to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks. Palestinians contend it separates families and villages and prevents farmers from reaching their farmland. Israel says the barrier is strictly a security measure, that it could be moved or torn down at a later date. Palestinians describe it as a thinly disguised effort to confiscate land and complicate efforts to establish a Palestinian state. The Bush administration has said it does not object to the barrier in principle, but believes it should be on, or very close to, the borders Israel had before the 1967 war in which Israel seized the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. When complete, the wall will run for 436 miles from the northern West Bank, wrap around some Israeli settlements on the West Bank, and end on the southern rim of the West Bank. In some places the barrier is a 20-foot high concrete wall. In other places upon completion it will be an electronic fence with coils of razor wire, adjoining 80-foot-deep trenches and guard towers.

According to reports by , the Israeli Supreme Court ruled Wednesday the building of the wall can go on and the Army can expropriate plots of land in the West Bank for security along the wall. The current plan calls for seizing tens of thousands of acres from Palestinians. Israel's highest court also ruled that the Israeli army, which is building wall, must redraw the proposed route to take into account the needs of Palestinian farmers who grow olives, grapes and figs on plots of land, often located outside their home villages. "I think it is difficult for us to imagine what it is like to live with something like this," Ahern says. "It literally divides families. The path of the wall runs through houses and villages. In places where it is already built, the impact is tremendous because the only way through is a gate," Ahern says. "Those gates can be closed without warning. The guards at the gate have a big degree of latitude in deciding who can get through or who is turned away," he says. "In one village, the building of the wall means that what was once a 10-minute drive to a hospital is now an hour and a half drive. "When I talk to people about this, I say: Imagine downtown Orleans being enclosed by a 20-foot wall. The business owners live outside that wall and can only get in if the guards at the wall say it is OK. "Imagine living inside the wall and needing to get outside to reach your fishing boat. Your ability to make a livelihood to support your family will depend upon whether or not the guards at the wall decide to let you through on a particular day."

Ahern flew to the Mideast with his head full of American history. The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the mending of a nation divided by civil war inform his understanding of democracy and human rights. Nonetheless, he understood that listening to Israelis and Palestinians was the most important thing he could do. His first impression was "'Wow, there are a lot of soldiers here.'" "It's a very militarized culture," Ahern says "It was a new experience for me to see armed soldiers everywhere, being frisked as I walked into a coffee shop and repeatedly being stopped and checked for no reason apparent to me. They have a right to do that."

He spent a few days in Israel before heading into the occupied territory of Palestine. There he met with other internationals with whom he shared an apartment. "Every day we went out, met and talked with people, and if there was a demonstration we went there as witnesses, sometimes putting ourselves in front of the crowd under the presumption that the Israeli army would not mow down or fire upon internationals," he said.

At one demonstration in March, Ahern discovered that was not the case. Along with other international visitors and Palestinians, Ahern went to a village called Kharbatta, after driving some 45 minutes over "some of the bumpiest roads I have ever been on." "It reminded me of the outer beach in Orleans." By then a veteran of several demonstrations, Ahern was accustomed to seeing children throw stones at soldiers, and soldiers in return break up marches with batons, concussion grenades and gas canisters. But this time the soldiers began firing rubber bullets at the crowd that gathered on recently bulldozed farmland to protest the building of the wall. For the first time Ahern became afraid. "I tried to lie on the ground and crawl away from the scene when a rubber bullet went flying into the back of my upper leg," he says. "I gave the bullet to the man I was lying near as a souvenir, and then we shared a little laugh." By the end of the day 37 people had been injured by the rubber bullets.

It was at another demonstration that Ahern was arrested—after an unsuccessful attempt to outrun Israel border police. "My other arrest experience was as a kid in Eastham when the cops broke up a beer party and I tried to steal the keg left sitting on the back of a cruiser," he says. "Those cops knew me. They ran after me yelling my name. It was a very stupid gesture on my part, but I never felt afraid of them. "At this demonstration, I felt this guy single me out and come after me," he says. "He didn't speak English. I didn't speak Hebrew. ... I ended up with my hands bound together with plastic, and tossed into the back of a jeep. The only place for me to sit was on a pile of percussion grenades. I had to stand up every time the soldiers came back to the jeep to grab some more grenades—to throw at people who were my friends," he says. Ahern ended up at a police station along with about a dozen other demonstrators. All were eventually released after being admonished not to participate in demonstrations again.

Ahern returned to the Cape last month. Though he would like to return to Palestine and stays in contact with friends there, "There is work to be done here as a peace activist and that includes telling people about my experiences on the West Bank."

Cape Cod Times 5 July 2004
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Stephen Aherne was aged 16 when, along with another man, he assaulted Brian Mulvaney (19) in Templeogue, Dublin. Mr Mulvaney, who didn't know his attackers, died from his injuries. Aherne was convicted of manslaughter and his co-accused, Brian Willoughby, was found guilty of murder. On Monday the Court of Criminal Appeal decided that the ten-year sentence imposed on Aherne was appropriate.
The Emigrant 12 July 2004
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Silvis man is mentioned in Obama's DNC speech
SILVIS, Ill.—John and Susan Ahern of Silvis got a surprising phone call Tuesday afternoon from representatives of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. Obama, who is running for U.S. Senate in Illinois, wanted the Aherns to know that he would be mentioning their son, Seamus, in his speech that night at the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

Seamus Ahern, 23, is a member of a Marine Corps Reserve unit headquartered at Arsenal Island. Earlier this summer, prior to his unit's activation about two weeks ago, Ahern met Obama at a fund-raiser at the East Moline VFW Hall. "He is a big supporter of Obama's as is our whole family," Susan Ahern said Tuesday night. "When they met, Seamus told him his thoughts . . . and in his speech Obama said he met Seamus and called him a young, energetic Marine who wants to do what is right for his country." Ahern is stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and soon will head to Iraq, where members of his unit will perform maintenance on weapons and military vehicles, including engine replacement. The Aherns said they are extremely proud of their son, who graduated in May with a degree in criminal justice from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa.

Quad-City Times 27 July 2004

Excerpts from Obama's Speech
A while back, I met a young man named Shamus [sic] at the VFW Hall in East Moline, Illinois. He was a good-looking kid, six-two or six-three, clear-eyed, with an easy smile. He told me he'd joined the Marines and was heading to Iraq the following week. As I listened to him explain why he'd enlisted, his absolute faith in our country and its leaders, his devotion to duty and service, I thought this young man was all any of us might hope for in a child. But then I asked myself: Are we serving Shamus as well as he was serving us? I thought of more than 900 service men and women, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors, who will not be returning to their hometowns. I thought of families I had met who were struggling to get by without a loved one's full income, or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or with nerves shattered, but who still lacked long-term health benefits because they were reservists. When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they're going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.
— See USA Today for full text.
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Bermuda link to serial killer case
A lawyer who spent virtually all his childhood in Bermuda is a prosecutor in Canada's biggest serial murder case. John Ahern is one of a team of five Crown Counsels in British Columbia bringing multiple murder charges against Robert William Pickton, 54, of Port Coquitlam, a suburb of Vancouver. The Pickton case has attracted intense media attention within and outside Canada and one of Mr. Ahern's responsibilities is to enforce a court-ordered publication ban on the case. He successfully fended off media challenges to the ban in 2002, including actions by American network ABC and several Seattle media organisations.

Mr. Ahern came to Bermuda from Canada in 1955 at the age of two and left 15 years later in 1970 to attend the University of Toronto after finishing at Saltus Grammar School. His parents were Norman and Joan Ahern, who are both deceased, and he has a younger brother Rick, who lives in Toronto. Norman Ahern died in Bermuda in 1999, while his mother, who had returned to Canada in 1990, died there in 1999.

The Pickton case involves the murders of at least 22 women whom Mr. Ahern describes as sex trade workers from the roughest and poorest part of the city. "They're extremely vulnerable women who live very violent lives," Mr. Ahern told the Bermuda Sun. The deaths were discovered when police searched and dug up Mr. Pickton's pig farm in February, 2002. That led to two murder counts at first and, as the search of the farm continued over about 18 months using bulldozers, there were even more. "By the time we got to the preliminary inquiry that had generated evidence supporting 15 counts of murder," said Mr. Ahern.

The prosecution team also grew over the course of the investigation from three to five Crown Counsels. Aside from the lead Counsel, there is one handling the DNA evidence, Mr. Ahern and two others. His responsibility is file administration. And that is a mammoth task. Mr. Ahern said: "We're probably running at about a half a million pages right now. So, my job is to keep a track of that." And part of that function is to maintain contact with a police disclosure team of about 20 officers. Disclosure in Canada, Mr. Ahern said, is a constitutional requirement on the prosecution to reveal its evidence to the defence on request ahead of trial. In that regard, he said, "I deal with the masses, the volumes of correspondence from the defence demanding disclosure and reply to that."

The charges against Mr. Pickton went through four or five versions and the search of the farm continued through the six-month preliminary inquiry (PI)in Port Coquitlam in 2003, producing evidence of seven more murders. Although the information against Mr. Pickton contained 15 charges, Mr. Ahern said the Crown led evidence of the additional seven. "Since the preliminary inquiry ended," he related, "the results of the search and the analysis of the exhibits have suggested the possibility of further charges and we're considering whether we will indict on those."

Spring trial
The next court date is on December 20 to set a trial date for the spring of 2005 at the earliest. Mr. Ahern estimates that the trial will take three years. "As far as the prosecution team has heard, there's no real consideration being given to a guilty plea. We're expecting a trial." That will be held at the New Westminster Supreme Court and the prosecution is still considering how many counts to put in the indictment. Mr. Ahern spent seven years in the Peel Regional Police in Ontario and eight in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Alberta between 1973 and 1988 before becoming a lawyer. He has become what he terms "a sort of resource person on disclosure in major cases." He teaches disclosure law at police centres in BC and Alberta, and major case management to police officers at the RCMP's college in Ottawa. Beyond that, he chairs the regional Information Technology committee and develops standards and courses to teach prosecutors how to deal with disclosure.

Retirement is now only four years away for him, about the time he calculates the Pickton trial will end. In the meantime, he is finishing a Master's degree in Humanities and says that he might go into civil law for a change. "I've been in this work since I was 18," he said of his service in various forms of law enforcement, including customs at Toronto airport. "Essentially, I like chasing the bad guys."

Bermuda Sun 6 August 2004
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Seven members of the Police Department were promoted last month by Police Chief Raymond G. McCusker in a July 2 ceremony held at the Olde North Road Police Station. Promoted to deputy chief in charge of operations was Lieutenant Francis X. Roark, and Lieutenant James F. Murphy was named deputy chief in charge of administration. In addition, Sergeants Daniel J. Ahern, Edward F. Smith, and John J. Roark were all promoted to lieutenant. Officers Edward F. Quinn and Todd D. Ahern were promoted to sergeant.
The Boston Globe 12 August 2004
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Crown coroner with thanks
Dear Editor,

Probably the most thankless and lonely job in the county other than Search and Rescue is that of the county coroner. Recently the deaths in San Miguel County and nearby have reminded me of what a valuable asset Bob Dempsey is to our community. Art Goodtimes has said time and again that we are paying our coroner too much.

I wholeheartedly and respectfully disagree with my opponent when it comes to this particular topic. After losing several family members at a young age, I am all too familiar with the daunting task of planning and arranging a loved one's funeral. Having the job of informing somebody that your mother, brother, aunt, uncle or lover is dead and gone forever is not a job I think I could handle nor would I wish to. If I was in Goodtimes' position, I would take a long hard look at my own expenditures to see if there were any cost cutting measures I could take before I chastised others for their salary.

Next time you see our county coroner Bob Dempsey remind him how much he is needed and thank him for all the emotionally draining man-hours he has put in recently.

Brian Ahern

Telluride Daily Planet 20 August 2004
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Revolutionary War Items Uncovered in Museum
A cache of items believed to be from the Revolutionary War was recently found under a floor in West Haven's oldest building: the Ward-Heitmann House. Karen N. Lee, the curator for the Ward-Heitmann House Museum, said she recently uncovered 30 musket flints, a pistol flint, a boot buckle, a shoe, hand-braided rope and fabric underneath the floor of the second story of the house, which was occupied by various families from the early 1700's until the mid-1990's. "We don't know why they were hidden under the floor," she said. "We're going to do some research into the histories of the families, what they were doing during the Revolution and where their loyalties lay."

Michael T. Ahern, a historical consultant for the museum, said the flints were a rare find. He said their large size indicates they were for military use. "Because of New Haven's importance in the Revolutionary War, there's a very real possibility that they could have been stolen," he said. "This could have been a safety house: a place for people to pick up supplies. There are a hundred theories that could be put to this." Ms. Lee said that old clay pipe stems, bottles and ceramic shards had been found previously in digs around the house. She said the items were on display at the museum located at 277 Elm Street.

New York Times 19 September 2004
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West Brookfield couple building a horse farm
WEST BROOKFIELD—Motorists driving along heavily wooded Wigwam Road are in for a surprise. A large barn is under construction in a clearing close to the North Brookfield town line. The post frame barn, 108 feet long and 30 feet high, is the centerpiece of a horse farm, Rock Valley Farm and Tack, that owners Richard and Mary Ahearn of North Brookfield have dreamed about for some time. When completed—the work is expected to be done by the end of this month or early October—the barn will have 24 stalls for boarding horses and a 72-by-130-foot indoor ring.

Mary Ahearn said construction of the barn, which began about a month ago after workers cleared trees, came after a long search for property on which the couple could locate their business. The 14-acre site includes many trails and room for expansion, she said. "We had been looking for a piece of land for a long time. It was tough to find (one),'' she said. "After 30 years of dealing with horses, we figured we would take a big step'' and open a horse farm, she said. The site is ideal for a horse farm because of its location in a rural part of town on a quiet road that the town has designated as scenic, she said. In addition to the barn, they plan to construct an outdoor ring next year and also add a horse washing area. During the day, horses boarded at the farm will be able to use one of seven paddocks, 40 by 96 feet, she said. The farm will also have a horse driving area where drivers can practice maneuvering their horses and carts. The barn, which will be heated, will also have 24-hour security to assure that the animals are not harmed, she said.

Mary Hearn said horse riding has become a popular recreational activity. "A lot of people are really getting into it,'' she said. A horse boarding facility caters to people who can afford to have a horse but lack room for a barn and pasture land, she added. "It's idea for people who would rather just come and ride horses and not have to feed or clean them,'' she said. When fully operational, the horse farm will also offer English and Western riding lessons, trail rides on weekends, winter birthday parties for children, school outings, tack sales and sleigh rides in the winter. An open house is planned for late this month or early in October.

Worcester Telegram & Gazette 22 September 2004
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O'Malley working to resolve protests over parish closings
SUDBURY — Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley has quietly begun addressing a burgeoning revolt among Catholic parishioners trying to block closing of their local churches, holding private meetings with priests from the protesting parishes and sending a priest and a nun for a second time as emissaries to a Weymouth parish where a sit-in is in its fourth week, church officials said. . . . In Weymouth, a priest and nun dispatched by the archdiocese were scheduled to meet last night with four members of the pastoral council from St. Albert the Great, this time in an announced visit.

On Monday, the Rev. Jack Ahearn, a former associate pastor at St. Albert, and Sister Catherine O'Connor, a psychologist at Caritas St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, came unannounced to the church to initiate talks at the behest of the archbishop. But they were met with angry, frustrated parishioners who said they resented not being informed ahead of time and who asked the two to return and meet with their Pastoral Council. The church was officially closed Sept. 1, but since Aug. 29 parishioners have conducted a round-the-clock prayer vigil, refusing to give up their church.

The Boston Globe 25 September 2004
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Welcome home to Lizzy Ahearn and Brian Lacey, Moonvoy Valley, who have just returned home from their honeymoon. The couple were in Las Vegas and Hawaii and had a superb holiday. Lizzy works in the Permanent TSB Bank and Brian works in Waterford Crystal. They now reside in their new home in Tramore.
Waterford News & Star 9 October 2004
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Landlord donates £8k to life-savers
A KIND-HEARTED landlord has donated £8,000 to the air ambulance crew which saved the life of one of his favourite customers. Pat Ahern, owner of the Downham Tavern, in Downham Way, was devastated when regular Kenny Ganney was left fighting for life after a brutal road rage attack. But Mr Ganney pulled through thanks to emergency treatment at the scene from the London air ambulance crew, also known as the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service. Since then Mr Ahern, 76, has been determined to give something back and a special fundraising night at the pub raised £2,000. But now the landlord has displayed his own generosity by increasing the total raised to £10,000, with money from his own pocket.

He said: "Kenny used to come in here every lunchtime and we all grew to love him. "When we heard about the attack we were all shocked and couldn't believe something like this would happen to a such a nice man. Kenny is no trouble, he is one of God's gentleman. I'm just so grateful to the paramedics for saving his life and I wanted to do something to show my appreciation."

Former Lewisham Council worker Mr Ganney, 52, received stab wounds to the heart and lungs, after the attack in Chinbrook Road, Grove Park, in June. Paramedics at the scene performed a thoracotomy, a procedure that involves opening up the victims chest. Martin Carey, a member of the rapid response crew, hopes this donation will help to increase the profile of the work done by air ambulances. He said: "It's great that Pat has done this. Not only will the money come in handy but it also raises awareness. Most people don't seem to know we exist until they really need us."

News Shopper 12 October 2004
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The Mayor of Waterford, Seamus Ryan visited the local primary schools just before the midterm holidays to present the school attendance certificate. Nine girls from the Good Counsel School received certificates and they were Deirdre Heffernan, Sinead Manning, Iona Heffernan, Claire Larkin, Dami Olla, Trisha Smith, Holly Grant, Ashley O'Flaherty and Lynn Martin. Lisa O'Neill received her certificate in the Abbey Community College.

The St Mary's Boys School had the same number of pupils to receive certificates, Neil Wemyss, Damian Ahearn, Daithi Lane, Mark Russell, M.J. Sutton, John Ahearn. Alex O'Flaherty, Michael Burke and Martin Burke Nick Freeman and Scott Grant received their certificated at the Abbey Community College.

Waterford News & Star 5 November 2004
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Tír Na Nóg Playgroup will celebrate its 35th Birthday on 10th November, 2004. On Sunday last to mark this occasion a Mass was offered for the Children of the Playgroup, both past and present, in Ferrybank Church. Fr. Crotty PP celebrated the Mass. The prayers of the Faithful were read by past members Cormac Heffernan, Sarah Meaney, Shane Cox, Caitlyn Roche, with the offertory brought by present members Roisin Ahearne and James Fitzpatrick, and Playgroup Leaders Mary Purcell, Eleanor Roche and Mary O'Neill. Eily Fitzpatrick, one of the original Leaders back in 1969 read the Children's prayer
Waterford News & Star 5 November 2004
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U.S. Sen.-elect Barack Obama on Sunday will take his first dip into the political cauldron of Washington, a place of oversize egos and intense partisan drama. It may be his most relaxing week of the year. . . . As he traveled last week from Peoria to Rockford and Moline to Carbondale, Obama mainly seemed intent on making his first impression as senator-elect one of a politician determined not to be captivated by his own rising star. . . . At every stop, crowds seemed delighted just to meet him and get the chance to ask him questions.

Standing in Moline Township Hall, he posed for a picture with Susan Ahern. Her son, Marine Cpl. Seamus Ahern, was mentioned by Obama when he gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in July. "It's beyond words to think he would come to our little town," she said.

Chicago Tribune 14 November 2004
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