Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

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This story just gets better and better as you read on

As recited just now on The Rick Emerson Show:

Lonely man brought donkey to hotel room, court told

A man who was found dressed in latex and handcuffs brought a donkey to his room in a Galway city centre hotel, because he was advised “to get out and meet people,” the local court heard last week.

Thomas Aloysius McCarney with an address in south Galway was charged with cruelty to animals, lewd and obscene behaviour, and with being a danger to himself when he appeared before the court on Friday. He was also charged with damage to a mini-bar in the room, but this charge was later dropped when the defendant said that it was the donkey who caused that damage.

Solicitor for the accused Ms Sharon Fitzhenry said that her client had been through a difficult time lately and that his wife had left him and that his life had become increasingly lonely.

“Mr McCarney has been attending counselling at which he was told that he would be advised to get out and meet people and do interesting things. It was this advice that saw him book into the city centre hotel with a donkey,” she said. She added that Mr McCarney also suffered from a fixation with the Shrek movies and could constantly be heard at work talking to himself saying things like “Isn’t that right, Donkey?”

Supt John McBrearty told the court that Mr McCarney who had signed in as “Mr Shrek” had told hotel staff that the donkey was a family pet and that this was believed by the hotel receptionist who the supt said was “young and hadn’t great English.”

Receptionist Irina Legova said that Mr McCarney had told her that the donkey was a breed of “super rabbit” which he was bringing to a pet fair in the city. The court was told that the donkey went berserk in the middle of the night and ran amok in the hotel corridor, forcing hotel staff to call the gardai.

McCarney was found in the room wearing a latex suit and handcuffs, the key to which the donkey is believed to have swallowed. He was removed to Mill St station after which it is said he was the subject of much mirth among the lads next door in The Galway Arms.

He was fined €2,000 for bringing the donkey to the room under the Unlawful Accommodation of Donkeys Act 1837. Other charges were dropped due to lack of evidence.

(link found via metafilter)

Dear God, does that sound like an outtake from Borat or what???

Sunday, 25 March 2007 edit: Well, for future reference, and as the publication now admits, the whole damn thing was made up:

Our donkey in hotel room case makes an ass of the world

Our fictitious court case in last week’s paper in which a man was allegedly found in a Galway hotel room dressed in latex, handcuffs, and accompanied by a donkey, made an ass out of hundreds of thousands of webusers last week forcing our website to crash.

The fake case which featured in last week’s issue of Galway First was headlined “Lonely man brought donkey to hotel room, court told” and told the story of a South Galway man who had managed to smuggle the donkey past a gullible receptionist telling her it wa s a very big rabbit.

In the space of two days, more than one million people online had read the article from the Galway First website ( or shared it online, with many news organisations around the world running it as a true story.

The case was featured on the Galway Worst satirical pages in our newspaper, but online readers have been convinced that the case really happened.

This led to the story being run as a true story on the Metro in London as well as on reputable news sites in the US and Germany. More than 50 affiliated TV stations in the US ran it as a true story in their “and finally” section at the end of their news bulletins.
Our office took more than 40 calls from newsrooms in Australia and Canada as newsteams struggled to verify the story.

It tells the story of how a man brought the donkey into the Galway hotel and dressed himself in latex and handcuffs, before the donkey ran amok in the hotel, rousing guests and leading to gardai being called.

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