News from around the 32 counties of Ireland


(Source: Kilkenny People)


A loan shark appears to be controlling the finances of people in Portlaoise. In an ominous sign of the extent to which the unscrupulous operator is prepared to go to run his business, it's emerged that the shark is holding onto the Credit Union books of some of his clients. The allegation was made at a recent meeting of public representatives who met with senior gardaí in Portlaoise. Community representative, Andy Sutton said he personally witnessed a suspected loan shark with "fourteen credit union books".

(Source: Leinster Express)


Cuts to home help hours are leaving elderly people with few options but to make the heartbreaking decision to leave their homes and enter full time care. Those living in rural areas are especially vulnerable as isolation and fewer family supports mean that, for many, home help is the dividing line between independence and dependence. Leitrim already has the highest proportion of people over 65 in the country.

(Source: Leitrim Observer)


The US Army will continue to use Shannon Airport as a transit route for its soldiers on their way to the Middle East, according to a spokesperson for the airport The spokesperson confirmed that reports of a withdrawal of transit services were without foundation. It was reported last week that a German airport had made a bid for the multi-million euro business which would have seen US military traffic transferred from Shannon to Leipzig.

(Source: Limerick Leader)


A drugs house has been discovered in the heart of Longford town, along a route commonly used by national and secondary school students. The house was uncovered by Longford town residents, Michael Keown and Jessie O'Leary. The two men became concerned on Wednesday September 8 when Mr Keown noticed people disappearing around the back of the house. The following day he went to the rear entrance of the house where he discovered the garage door was ajar. When he opened it he was horrified to find large quantities of sterilised packaged injection needles

(Source: Longford Leader)


Locally-based Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern has admitted exclusively to The Dundalk Democrat that Taoiseach Brian Cowen was wrong to give his controversial with Morning Ireland last week, just hours after going to bed after a drinking session in the Ardilaun Hotel in Galway. In a frank chat with this newspaper, the local TD said it was wrong of the Taoiseach to go ahead with the interview after being up so late.

(Source: Dundalk Democrat)


Knock woman Mairead Egan came within one number of scooping the National Lottery jackpot of 4.5 million last week. Just the number 27 stood between her and the big prize. Mairead, a regular supporter of the lottery game, had palpations as she checked her numbers. “When you know you have a few of them, you get all flustered. I had to check a few times before I knew I had five of them. The only one that let me down was 27. My birthday is on September 11 (9/11) and if I had gone for that one I had won the whole shebang. There would have been some party in Knock and Claremorris!,” she said last week.

(Source: The Mayo News)