News from around the 32 counties of Ireland


(Source:Donegal Democrat)


Ryan Harrison has just missed out on qualification for the men's 200 meters freestyle final at the European Swimming Championship in Budapest.

Harrison was 11th fastest in the heats with a time of 1.49.80, easily securing his semi-final berth.

But despite improving his time in the semi-final to 1.49.04, he could only finish sixth in his heat with Robbie Renwick of Great Britain taking the victory.

Germany's Paul Biedermann won the second heat in 1.46.88, making him the fastest qualifier.
Harrison was tenth fastest overall in the semi-final round.

Earlier, Clare Dawson had an indifferent 100m Freestyle; her time of 57.72 seconds was someway short of her personal best and she placed a disappointing 44th overall.

However the County Down swimmer was using the 100m as a tune up for her main event, the 200m Freestyle, the heats of which are on Friday.



Dublin City Council has found itself in hot water after offering staff a corporate discount at a private gym while three city pools face the chop.

The email, which was sent to the council's general staff list, pointed out that staff could join Total Fitness gym at a discount -- and better rates would be given if more staff signed up.

Campaigners who have been fighting all year to save three of Dublin's swimming pools -- in Coolock, Crumlin, and Sean McDermott Street -- have branded the email "appalling".

A spokesperson for the Save Our Swimming Pool campaign, Gerry McGuigan, said: "I'm disgusted with it. They should be promoting their own local facilities and helping them to be maintained.

(Source:Evening Herald)


The oldest retired member of the Oireachtas, 95-year-old Seamus Dolan , died on Tuesday, and was older than the modern Irish Free State itself.

Mr Dolan was a lifelong supporter of Fianna Fail who served them in every forum to which he could get elected, serving the party both in the Senate and Dail.

He was a TD for Cavan from 1961 to 1965 ; a Senator from 1965 to 1969, and again until 1973.

In 1977, he was elected cathoirleach of the Senate, and he served as chairman of the upper house until 1981.

He was born in 1914 in Blacklion, Co Fermanagh, and was a national school teacher and a farmer before going into politics. He was a passionate advocate of the Irish language all of his life.

(Source:Cork Student


Frontline healthcare workers at Galway University Hospitals (GUH) could begin strike action in just two weeks as parties resume talks at Merlin Park they still at loggerheads over planned health service cuts.

Trade Union SIPTU has indicated that communication from the Health Service Executive (HSE) in advance of talks suggested that management was unlikely to retreat from its plan to terminate the contracts of 1,000 frontline staff in the HSE West region.

Failure of the Labour Relations Commission talks would result in a ballot of trade union members in seven days and strike action could take place in the two Galway hospitals within as little as a fortnight, according to a SIPTU spokesperson.

Union representatives described the seven-hour negotiations that took place last week as “very frustrating” and said that a consensus was unlikely to be reached upon the resumption of talks suggesting only political intervention from the highest level could prevent industrial action.

(Source:Galway News)


A controversial project to reintroduce eagles to Killarney National Park is continuing, despite the illegal poisoning of some of the birds.

Nine white-tailed sea eaglets were released in the park and a further 13 will be let go next week from hillside cages overlooking the world-famous Lakes of Killarney.

So far, 64 white-tailed eagles have been released in Killarney, 14 of which have died including seven from poisoning.
This year, 11 protected birds of prey, including three kites, three white-tailed eagles, a golden eagle, three buzzards and a peregrine falcon, have been confirmed poisoned in the Republic.

The three white-tailed eagles were poisoned in a four-week period in the Beaufort area, near Killarney.

(Source:Irish Times)


NEWBRIDGE native and former professional athlete Karen Shinkins had a narrow escape in the past week when a small plane being piloted by her husband crashed into the side of a mountain.

Karen, who lives with husband Paul Doyle in Atlanta, later admitted that she was “hysterical” as the plane went into a nosedive and Paul was forced to make an emergency landing in Virginia.

In the event, the Cessna 172 plane came to rest at the foot of the steep hillside, having just missed striking a fence.
Karen, daughter of TJ and Christine Shinkins from Blackberry Lane, Newbridge, represented Ireland at the Sydney Olympics and subsequently turned professional but has since retired from professional athletics.

Boston-born Paul is a top-ranking athletics agent who represents many prominent world-class athletes including Ireland’s Derval O’Rourke. He was on his way to a business meeting, accompanied by Karen, when the plane ran into difficulties, encountering an unexpected rainstorm.