News from around the 32 counties of Ireland



After years of offering a round-the-clock service to the people of Antrim, the shutters will finally come down next week as the town's busy police station moves to a 'part-time' footing. From September 1, the Enquiry Office at Antrim will be closed to members of the public for routine business between the hours of 11pm and 8am.
(Source: Antrim Guardian)


A Mid-Ulster estate agency is in liquidation owing the Northern Bank almost £900,000 and the Inland Revenue almost £25,000. Joyce Estate Agents Limited had a number of premises in County Armagh at the height of the property boom. The directors wound the company up earlier this month because it could not meet its liabilties.The goodwill of business is understood to have been taken over by a former employee who is now running the agency under a new name from its Portadown office.


A local priest last week revealed his lack of confidence in the “secretive, non-consultative and greatly imbalanced” process of selecting the new Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin. Five months after the shock resignation of Bishop Jim Moriarty, Fr Paddy Byrne, CC, Bagenalstown lashed the “no change” mentality within the Church. “I find myself somewhat cynical and deeply frustrated by the ‘no change’ mentality that continues to govern in Rome,” Fr Paddy writes in his column in The Nationalist.
 (Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


A Ballyconnell man is going to attempt a solo swim across the English Channel this Monday and will be the first man from County Cavan to get involved in such an awesome adventure. Breccene Ennis, who currently lives in the Ballinteer area of County Dublin, told The Anglo-Celt this week that his only objective in attempting this challenge is to raise money for Temple Street Children's Hospital and he hopes to raise at least €5,000.
(Source: The Angle Celt)


A Clare company played a major role in making contact with the 33 Chilean miners who were found alive last week, after they were stranded below ground for 17 days.The drill that was used to reach the miners, who were 700m (2,300 feet) below ground, was designed and manufactured by Shannon company Mincom. Founder of the company Paddy Purcell said the equipment used had been designed and built in Clare.

(Source: The Clare Champion)


A Cork native has set up a smokers' rights group, with the aim of improving facilities for smokers in public places. The group, Forest Eireann, is a branch of the British Forest group and has already received over 1,150 online responses. According to the group, one of its aims is to debunk some of the myths about smoking, especially so-called ‘passive smoking.'
Source: (Cork Independent)


Derry and Donegal brides who had their big day snapped by bankrupt photographer Edel Payne have finally been given copyright of their wedding pictures - however they'll have to stump up more cash to get their albums made up by a third party. Despite assurances given by Miss Payne to the ‘Derry Journal’ last year that she would “honor every contract,” none of the brides we spoke to have ever been given their albums.
(Source: Derry Journal)


The growing trade in illegal sex workers in Donegal has resulted in a national charity confirming they have assisted a number of women involved in prostitution in Letterkenny and Inishowen. It's understood the sex trade - involving ron-nationals and some Irish citizens, is, according to a Dublin charity, being run by criminal gangs who move in and out of Donegal.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)


The Australian government has issued a new safety warning to its citizens travelling to Northern Ireland following a spate of bomb attacks this month. Tourists were warned to exercise caution while travelling north of the border and were also urged to avoid sectarian parades as they can “turn violent with little warning”.
 (Source: Belfast Telegraph)


Oscar-winning singer Glen Hansard is paying for grief counselling sessions for hundreds of fans who watched a man jump to his death at a recent concert. The Dublin singer, who just announced his return to The Frames, made the big-hearted gesture following the concert by The Swell Season. The group hit the headlines last week when a man jumped to his death during one of their concerts in California -- and band members are now covering the costs of any counselling sessions fans may need as they try to cope with the tragedy.
(Source: The Evening Hearld)


The average UK household had £143 a week disposable income in January 2009, two per cent lower than a year earlier, according to the latest income tracker report from ASDA. As a result the average family is now £3 a week worse off. Across the regions, the South West and Northern Ireland have taken the biggest proportional hit to discretionary income compared with a year earlier (January 08 vs January 09).
(Source: Fermanagh Today)