News from around the 32 counties, Dec 23 2013



Red-faced council chiefs have confirmed that they are putting their controversial clampdown on burning coal and logs on the back burner following howls of protest from residents.

The prospect of fining cash-strapped residents $1,635 for heating their homes this Christmas inevitably became a burning issue at the Civic Centre, after the issue was highlighted in the Antrim Guardian two weeks ago.

Riled reps urged ratepayers to treat fliers warning legal action “with the contempt they deserved” and toss them on the fire, too – but still, some residents living in fear of that dreaded knock on the door were reluctant to take that advice.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


Self-styled victims’ campaigner Willie Frazer has been hit with a $2,290 legal bill over his attempt to sue south Armagh republican, Thomas “Slab” Murphy.

Frazer claims he has received the bill for Murphy’s legal aid costs in the civil case he brought in an attempt to sue Murphy for damages for the alleged I.R.A. murder of his father, Bertie.

The case was struck out as Mr. Frazer failed to provide the court with information, which would advance the case.  However, the Markethill loyalist has vowed not to pay the bill, saying he would rather “rot in hell.”
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


St. Laurence O’Toole A.C. gathered recently to honor those club athletes who competed at international level in 2013.

The club regularly produces athletes who earn the honor to wear the green singlet, but 2013 was an unprecedented year for the club with seven club members representing Ireland across Europe in track-and-field.

Club Chairman Billy Delaney presented an award to each athlete along with a voucher for the Talbot Hotel Leisure Centre; Billy also acted as the M.C. for the evening and gladly outlined the achievements of each individual to the enthusiastic gathering.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]


The Sinn Fein comhairle (council) for the Ballyjamesduff area met last Monday, when the co-option of a candidate to the County Council seat recently vacated by Grainne Brady, and the intention to firm up interest in potential candidates in the area ahead of the 2014 local election were discussed.

While the selection in either case were not expected to take place until the new year, potential nominations were sought as the party seeks to clarify what names voters will see on the ballot next year.

The newly-realigned Ballyjamesduff electoral area for the forthcoming local elections will take in areas from Arvagh to Kilnaleck, Springfield and Virginia.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


Clare County Council has written to Kilrush Town Councilor Tome Prendeville on six occasions in an effort to elicit an apology for a comment passed to a member of their staff at a traffic management meeting in Kilrush in February.

However, Councilor Prendeville insists that he did apologize in February and claims his apology is written into the minutes of that meeting. While he described the apology as “contrite and sincere,” Councilor Prendeville claims he was contacted six weeks later and told that the apology wasn’t sufficient.

The comment was made during a debate on the placement of double yellow lines on both sides of the Back Road, outside St. Senan’s National School in Kilrush. Councilor Prendeville opposed this development, which has led to parents having to park illegally when dropping and collecting their children from school.
[Source: Clare Champion]


The seven-year-old Carrigaline boy, whose letter to Santa went viral after it was posted on the Cork Independent Facebook page, has been rewarded for his generosity.

Last Tuesday, Niall Christian O'Farrell and his sister, Nathalia, were delighted to pick out a truck from Bandon Co-op retail store in Bandon, which was the first to offer him a toy as a reward for his lovely offer.

The mother of the seven-year-old has been "overwhelmed" at the reaction to her son's generous request to send most of his toys to the Philippines.

Niall's mother, Novie, said: "We are so proud of him and we love him dearly."
[Source: Cork Independent]


Almost $1.6 million has been pledged to a Legacy Fund to build on Derry’s year as the City of Culture.

Both Derry City Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland will give $737,000 to the fund that is designed to ensure continued investment in the arts in the city.

Derry’ Mayor Martin Reilly said the fund would allow the city’s transition to continue.

“Derry City Council’s legacy promises are about providing cultural sustainability and encouraging communities and visitors to continue their connections with culture and the city. We are a proud and ambitious city with many talented and creative people.”
[Source: Derry Journal]