News from around the 32 counties of Ireland
(Source: Mayo News)
Voting in the Irish Farmers Association leadership elections is underway and the national count will be held in Dublin on Monday 21st December. A weighted branch voting system will operate to reflect the strength of turnout by branch members, and Eddie Downey of Slane, Meath's candidate for deputy president, has called on Meath members to ensure that their voice is heard in these elections and asks that his candidacy for deputy president be supported, placing the county at the heart of IFA national decision-making. There are a total of 15 candidates for the top six IFA positions, directly elected by the association's 85,000 members.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)
Two men were found guilty by the Special Criminal Court last Thursday of having bomb-making equipment at a Dublin apartment last year. Cormac Fitzpatrick (23) of Cathedral Walk, Monaghan, Co Monaghan and Terry McConnell (28) of Tullymore Gardens, Andersonstown, Belfast were found guilty of unlawfully possessing explosive materials at an apartment in The Crescent, Park West Pointe, Clondalkin, Dublin on September 9th, 2008. Both men will be sentenced next month. The 13-day trial heard how enough explosive material to fully construct four pipe bombs was discovered when members of the special detective unit raided the one-bedroom flat in the early hours of September 9th, 2008.
(Source: The Irish Times)
There are unlikely to be large numbers of extra primary school places provided in Offaly in the coming years as the county has been omitted by the Department of Education from a crunch list of over 40 priority areas. The list, provided in the Dáil last week, by the Minister for Education Batt O'Keeffe, outlines 42 locations across the country where the requirement for additional primary school places is likely to be greatest up to 2012. Predictions of the future intake of primary schools were taken from Central Statistics Office population projections, birth rate data among other sources.
(Source: The Offaly Independent)
A new canine companion has opened up a whole new world to a five-year-old autistic Strokestown boy. Calum Leyden is enjoying a new lease of life thanks to Juni, an assistance dog for families with children with autism. Calum and his family are one of 100 families across the country to receive an assistance dog under this pioneering program being run by the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. The initiative was launched in 2004 and was the first of its kind to be rolled out in Europe. Under the program dogs are specially trained by the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind to work with an autistic child and his or her family.
(Source: The Roscommon Herald)
Sligo's Mayor, Clr. Jim McGarry has told how he felt "intimidated, threatened and abused" and had to abandon his role in the official switching on of the town's Christmas lights on Sunday last as the row over the reopening of O'Connell Street erupted into bitter public acrimony. Clr. McGarry has accused some of the town's businessmen, members of the Chamber of Commerce, of "grossly insulting the office of Mayor", claiming that he was "set up" and "ambushed" after being invited by the Chamber to officially switch on the festive lights.
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