Swedish schoolboy threatened by Irish gravel thieves

One Irish road paver has been arrested while another is wanted by police in southern Sweden after the pair ordered a schoolboy to fill their truck with stolen gravel.

The two men drove straight past security barriers and across a field to get to a gravel yard outside Skurup in the far south of Sweden on Wednesday. They then phoned a nearby school and asked for help to dislodge a digger that had become stuck. A teacher at the school sent a pupil over to the yard to help the pavers.

But when the pupil got to the site he quickly realised that there was no digger. Instead the two men threatened him and ordered him to start loading gravel into their UK-registered truck, local newspaper Ystads Allehanda reports.

“It was incredibly cheeky. It’s surprising how inventive thieves can be,” Ingrid Larsson from the Brösarps Grus gravel yard told the newspaper.

Once the truck was loaded, the men hopped in and drove away from the pit. But in an ironic twist of fate, the wheels of the vehicle got stuck in the waterlogged field and the men were unable to proceed.

By then the school had suspected that all was not well and notified Ingrid Larsson, who in turn called the police. By the time the police arrived, the men had disappeared.

But the pavers appear to have been lying in wait and returned to the scene after the police had the truck towed out of the field. With the police busy gathering information, the two men climbed aboard the rescued vehicle and made good their escape.

Police gave chase and stopped the truck at the village of Skivarp. One of the men was arrested, while the other managed to get away on foot.

“There’s an order out to bring him in for questioning,” police spokesman Magnus Swall told The Local.

His colleague is being held on charges of theft and fraud.


Go Green! Where to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in Spain

Fans of the Emerald Isle will be planning their green and orange costumes and getting in the Guinness ahead of St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th - a time of celebration in Ireland and for those of Irish descent around the world.

Go Green! Where to celebrate St Patrick's Day in Spain
Photo: AFP

Spain is no exception, with events celebrating Irish culture taking place across the country starting this weekend and continuing until the next.

The Irish Embassy, along with Irish community groups across Spain, participates in and organizes many events, using the opportunity to promote Ireland.

Here are some of the best:


The traditional St. Patrick’s Day parade in Cabo Roig takes place on March 17th at 17.00. The parade will be preceded by a host of activities and entertainment, kicking off at 12.00 with face painting, bouncy castles and more for all the family. A live show also takes place at 14.30 with dancers, singers and cartoon characters.

Photo: AFP


Tourism Ireland’s St. Patrick’s Day Masterclass event in Hospitalet de Llobregat will take place on March 12th  in conjunction with the sports administration of the town council, Ajuntament de L'Hospitalet and will feature an organised “flashmob” of Irish danccers. The event takes place at noon at Plaça Lluis Companys, Rambla Marina / Av. Carrilet.

Irish music group Los Stompers will be performing on March 17th at 7.30pm in Dunnes Irish Bar. 

Flaherty’s Irish Bar Barcelona, Plaza Joaquim Xirau, will also be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.


Join the St. Patrick’s Day lunch on March 20th at 2pm, Batzoki Abando, Bilbao, and check out all the activities taking place in Bilbao and across the Basque Country on the website of the Irish-Basque Friendship Association – Lagun Cara Asociación Vasco-Irlandesa.

Photo: AFP


This year will see Llanes celebrate once again with the Capilla de San Patricio in Pancar illuminated in green in honour of St. Patrick. The medieval tower in Llanes will also “go green” for the occasion. There will be a special mass in the chapel in Pancar on Thursday March 17th at 11am.  


The second ever family-friendly Ireland Day in Madrid will take place on Sunday March13th  at the Parque Deportivo Puerta de Hierro, from 1pm to 6pm. Everyone is welcome to join for an afternoon filled with the best of Irish sport, music and dance.

A historical seminar on the “Irish Diaspora in Madrid (1601-1660)” takes place on March 16th at 6pm in the Pangea Travel Store, Calle Principe Vergara, 26, Madrid.

This year’s SIBN St. Patrick’s Day Charity Ball in aid of Asociación Sindrome Williams España and Williams Syndrome Association Ireland will take place on March 18th at the Hotel Westin Palace. The last tickets are still available by e-mailing [email protected]

An historical walking tour on “la comunidad Irlandesa en el Madrid de los Austrias” takes place on March 19th at 11.30am. The meeting point is at Plaza de Isabel II, Metro Opera. It is necessary to book your place, so don’t miss out!

If you fancy learning a few steps of traditional Irish and English set dancing, feel free to sign up to this special workshop on Saturday March 12th at the Centro Cultural Antonio Machado.

Madrid's Puerta del Alcala will be lit up green to celebrate. Photo: Madrid City Hall


The Stolen Gnomes, a six piece Celtic fusión band, will be playing various gigs around the Málaga/Marbella region. For more information please see this link.


The St Patrick’s Festival in Santa Ponsa will take place on March 20th. Plans for the day include market stalls, marching bands, as well as a cavalcade of classic cars and Harley Davison motorbikes, commercial cars and vans. Colourful dancers from around the world will also join the parade.


The Terra Natura Water Park will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day from March 17th -20th, See here for more details.


On March 17th at 18.00 a ceremony takes place at the Convento de San Francisco, in the main street of Adeje. A statue of Saint Patrick will be carried to the Santa Úrsula Church to the strains of the Irish National Anthem, where there will be a mass in English and Spanish. The ceremony and mass will be followed by a fun buffet dinner, music and dance in the Costa Adeje Centre for Tourism Development. For more information email [email protected].

For the second year in a row the award-winning Plaza de España in Adeje town will ‘go green’, joining the international “Greening” of monuments in honour of St. Patrick.

In Santa Cruz de la Palma there will be a street party with a “pregón” organised by the Ayuntamiento and live music for entertainment on Saturday March 19th.


Ireland will be the “país invitado” for the 2016 Festival de Cine de Zaragoza and they have put together a special programme entitled the Jornadas de Cultura Irlandesa Feb 19th – March 18th.

Why not share your photos of St Patrick's Day celebrations in your part of Spain? Send pics to [email protected] or tag #TheLocalSpain on Instagram or Twitter.