News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties



The dream of extending the hand of friendship across a bitterly divided Antrim Council chamber had been shattered last week, with unionists poised to deliver another power share “nightmare” to the other side of the house.

A broad coalition, involving the Alliance, SDLP, Sinn Fein and two members of the Ulster Unionist Party had hastily cobbled together a cross-community compromise which would have seen Ulster Unionist moderate Paul Michael stay in the top job joined by former nationalist MLA Thomas Burns.

Momentum seemed to grow behind this split ticket – until Ulster Unionist hardliners cried foul and called on Mike Nesbitt to send a wrecking ball into the delicate deal. After hearing both sides of the argument, the leadership has ordered the Council team to stick together – and vote against power-sharing.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


Long standing SDLP Councilor, John McArdle was elected to the prestigious role of Lord Mayor at last Monday’s meeting of the Council in Newry Town Hall.

Councilor McArdle is one of the longest serving members of the SDLP in Newry, having been first elected to Newry and Mourne in 2001 and subsequently reelected on the two following occasions to the Council.

A familiar and popular figure around Newry, John has been heavily-involved in community life throughout the years.

As a Staff Nurse in Daisy Hill Hospital for the last thirty years, the multi-talented Councilor has always been particularly focused on the welfare of the hospital, championing all the developments that took place over the years and campaigning against cuts and loss of services.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


One of Carlow town’s most recognizable landmarks has become known as a drinking den, leaving shoppers feeling intimidated and threatened.

The Liberty Tree on Potato Market has been attracting day-drinkers, leading to scores of complaints from the public.

There have now been calls to remove shrubbery around the iconic fountain in a bid to target those who use it as a drinking den.

Bye-laws currently in place in Carlow town allow gardaí (police) to impose immediate on-the-spot fines to those caught drinking alcohol in public.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]


Dowra, Killeshandra, Bawnboy, Ballinagh and Redhills garda {police) stations are all set to close in the coming months; while Ballyconnell Garda Station is set to be downgraded, losing its district headquarter status, The Anglo-Celt can exclusively reveal.

The proposed changes are part of a district-wide review, which is set to recommend the imminent closure of the five rural garda stations in the county, while the fates of two other stations are in doubt - Stradone and Shercock.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


Clare Travelers have been accused of adopting a “code of silence” about people involved in criminal damage to Traveler accommodation in the county that so far has cost an estimated $590,000, it emerged last week.

Extensive investigations by Clare gardaí (police) into suspected arson attacks and vandalism of Traveler accommodation are being hindered by a lack of information from residents in halting sites.

Gardaí have confirmed that only one person has been prosecuted for causing criminal damage to Traveler accommodation units in Ennis and Shannon following 10 incidents over the last three years.

A garda spokesman told The Clare Champion they found it extremely difficult to get any information in relation to these incidents, despite extensive door-to-door interviews of residents, forensic tests and public appeals for information.
[Source: Clare Champion]


There were angry scenes from anti-Household Charge campaigners at last Monday’s Cork City Council meeting after a motion calling on the City Manager not to pursue people through the courts was defeated.

The motion, put forward by Socialist Party Councilor Mick Barry and Worker's Party Councilor Ted Tynan, was debated at the end of the fortnightly meeting, Lord Mayor Terry Shannon's last in his term of office.

However, once the debate began, members of the campaign in the public gallery stood up en masse – forcing the Lord Mayor to address the members of the public on Chamber etiquette. One person shouted "Zieg Heil", during the Lord Mayor's comments.
[Source: Cork Independent]


A judge has asked the press not to print the addresses of two men charged with importing mephedrone because he doesn’t think “those paramilitary thugs out there should get any more help than they already have.”

District Judge Barney McElholm made the request during a court appearance of Waterside men David Stuart Robinson and Craig Inglis.

Robinson (27) of Pennethorne Court and Inglis (23) of Kinsale Park are jointly charged with importing the class B drug.