News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties
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The Bridge Training Unit in Antrim has won an 11th hour reprieve after the Northern Trust finally buckled under pressure and paid their dues in full.
Shell-shocked parents were warned that the unit, which offers a home from home for more than 20 local people with severe learning difficulties, would close May 24 if the Trust failed to settle their account.
Trust Chief Executive Sean Donaghy witnessed the strength of feeling himself last Wednesday night when he took part in private talks with the Council at the Civic Centre.
He and a senior member of his team were confronted by a large group of protesting parents – and passions were running high.
Some were clearly angry, while others wept openly, but they all shared a sense of injustice that the award-winning unit was being sacrificed, leaving them all in limbo.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]
There is uncertainty over the apple harvest in County Armagh due to unseasonable weather over the past few months, a leading producer has said.
Armagh Bramley apples secured Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status in March and the crop is worth millions to the local economy.
Apple grower Pat McKeever said poor weather in April and early May had "hammered" the orchards.
However, he said there was hope of a second bloom in the recent heat wave.
[Source: BBC News]
A family has last week spoken out about the distress they felt when they visited their “ransacked” family grave at Haroldstown Cemetery to find it destroyed by cow manure and ravaged by weeds.
The Curran family was shocked to discover the condition of the cemetery, with cow manure all over the family grave and a memorial plaque they had erected a month earlier broken into pieces.
Buried in the Curran family plot is Michael Curran from Ballykillduff, who died in 1960, his wife Mary and three of their children.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]
Father Brendan Smyth's abbot has finally apologized to victims for his inaction over not stopping the country's most notorious pedophile, but survivor groups say his words do more harm than good.
Fr. Kevin Smith, who was the predator's boss as abbot in Kilnacrott Abbey, Ballyjamesduff last Tuesday said: "Having had some time in prayer and reflection in Medugorje on the past when I was Abbot and Superior of Holy Trinity Abbey, Kilnacrott, Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, I wish to acknowledge and apologise to all those who were abused in any way, their family, friends and fellow priests for mistakes which happened within the Church and various Institutions from August 1969 - March 1995, when I retired.
"I thank the present Prior and Superior for the counseling help being made available through 'Towards Healing' [the telephone counseling service].
“However, I believe that the real permanent healing comes from inviting Jesus Christ, The greatest Healer of all, into our lives and handing over to him all our hurts. There has been a call for a criminal investigation and or international enquiry - I promise that I would be open to and give all information to either or both of those bodies. The Truth will set us all free.”
[Source: Anglo Celt]
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