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The Papers - JRR Tolkein found some inspiration in the Burren

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Niamh Hassell
07:31 Wednesday 20 March 2013
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And €233 million in old punt bank notes have yet to be exchanged

A group of Tolkein scholars from the West of Ireland are claiming that the Lord of the Rings author based the famous ‘Misty Mountains’ from the land of Middle Earth on the Burren. Page 15 of the Irish Independent claims that researchers have found similarities between the geography of the area with the fictional mountain range. The English author is believed to have spent time in the area when he worked as an external examiner for University College Galway in the 1950s.

In related Lord of the Rings news, it appears that Gandalf wants to marry Magneto from the X-Men. Ian McKellan is set to officiate at the wedding ceremony of Patrick Stewart and Sunny Ozell. The 72 year old actor and his 35 year old bride-to-be met when Stewart appeared in ‘Macbeth;’ in New York in 2008. 

Are we literally sitting on a fortune? It would appear that some Irish people still have a bit of the “old money” down the back of their couches. According to Charlie Weston on page 21 of the Irish Independent, roughly €233m worth of old punt bank notes have never been exchanged for euros. This is despite the fact that around €10,000 worth of old notes are swapped for euros by the central bank every day in a free exchange service. According to Central Bank figures, 29 million old punt notes, of varying values, have yet to be exchanged.

So, what had you done with your life by the time you reached five years old? Well, according to page 29 of the Irish Independent, one five-year-old girl called Daisy Morris discovered a new dinosaur. A 115m year old flying dinosaur was discovered in fossilised form by Daisy, who is now nine years old, and has now been verified by experts. For her efforts, the new species of dinosaur has been named after Daisy: Vectidraco daisymorrisae.

Spoiler alert for those that haven’t yet caught up with Love/Hate, the Irish Independent on page 22 and the Irish Daily Mirror on their front page, have some shocking photographs of Robert Sheehan back filming for the RTE series. This is despite his character Darren being shot at point blank range in December’s series finale. The actor was spotted filming on the set yesterday, raising questions for the half million who watched Darren get gunned down over Christmas about the character’s future role on the show.

Robbie Keane has revealed that his new-found cousin, the singer Morrissey looks a lot like his granddad. The Irish Daily Star, on page 10, quotes the Irish captain as saying the former Smiths frontman’s likeness to Robbie’s grandfather is “a bit weird.” Keane was not aware of the family connection until recently, but the pair met in LA after it came to light and according to Robbie, the singer thought by many to be a bit of a grump is actually a lovely man.

A master crystal engraver has gone from the dole queue to having his work unveiled at the White House and presented to President Obama, this according to page five of the Irish Times. Seán Egan lost his job four years ago when Waterford Crystal shut its factory but, having started out again- on his own this time- Seán found his work in demand by the government this week. The piece of crystal, dubbed ‘the Gathering Bowl’ was created by the Waterford man, who has been crafting glass for nearly four decades, at the behest of the Taoiseach’s office and was presented to President Obama on the Taoiseach’s visit to the White House.

You might have noticed, but it’s not the warmest outside recently. The Irish Times reports on page seven that snow and ice are expected to disrupt traffic for a second day. The National Roads Authority said that local authorities have been ‘flat out’ salting roads across the country. Met Eireann is predicting icy stretches on roads country-wide, with snow predicted in parts of Ulster and North Leinster, so wrap up out there today.

Malala Yousufazai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban, returned to school yesterday in Britain. The Irish Times tells us, on page nine, that the fifteen year old, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize, described her return to school as the most important day of her life. Malala had been brought to Britain for treatment after being shot by Taliban forces for advocating girls’ education.

Have you got the taste for caviar, but not the bank balance, you can now buy the delicacy in Lidl for €1.99. The Irish Daily Mail on page three, says that the dish, which normally costs around €300 for a few spoonfuls, is proving very popular with customers in the shop.

One in ten young people have called out repairmen to change a lightbulb, according to page nine of the Daily Telegraph. More than half of under-35's need help with basic DIY and less than a third consider themselves self-sufficient, according to a new survey by home insurance company Confused.com

The Minister for Justice is considering draft legislation that would give the media access to family courts, this is according to page seven of the Irish Times. The Courts Bill 2013 would change the “in camera” rule, which prevents journalists and members of the public from being present during family law and childcare cases. The changes would allow representatives of the media access to hearings but would also include strict controls over the publication of any information that could identify participants.

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Niamh Hassell

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