News from around the 32 counties of Ireland



Antrim has been named the first Fairtrade Borough in Northern Ireland for reaching a high standard of support for farmers in developing countries. Dozens of retailers and caterers threw themselves into the bid, going over and above the basic requirements to help farmers and workers across the globe get a fair return. Paul Holly, assistant director of operational services with Antrim Borough Council, said: “We are delighted to have received this award, especially as we are the first in Northern Ireland to have done so.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


Almost 40 jobs are being created thanks to a new multi-million pound technology centre in Co Armagh. MITIE, a leading FTSE 250 outsourcing company with 56,000 employees, is building the centre in Lurgan to support its security systems across the UK and beyond. When completed in March 2011, the facility will be the most advanced non-military installation in the UK providing remote monitoring of CCTV and alarm systems, vehicle tracking, lone worker support, helpdesks and screening and vetting services.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


Carlow volunteers went above and beyond the call of duty last week for the fourth annual national day of volunteering. Men, women and children across the county put on their ‘Good Samaritan’ hats and took part in the huge variety of helpful activities. The window of Shaw’s Department Store on Tullow Street came alive for a few hours as people took part in ‘the big knit’. Over 100 little hats were knitted for Innocent Smoothie bottles, with 25c going to Age Action Ireland from each hat.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


A 21-year-old beauty from west Cavan has made it to the last five out of 25,000 applicants to be the Face of Ireland 2010. Flying the Cavan flag in the Face of Ireland modeling competition is Fiona Mawn from Correvan, Blacklion. She's hoping to succeed the reigning Face of Ireland - another Cavan girl, Heather McArdle from Cootehill.
(Source: The Angle Celt)


Kilkee lost its coveted Blue Flag status for a week in August. The removal of the Blue Flag, which is an international environmental award made to beaches and marinas that demonstrate good environmental standards and good sanitary and safety facilities, followed a test which was carried out on August 9 by An Taisce. Blue Flag status was subsequently restored a week later.
(Source: The Clare Champion)


Cork is set to get it’s share of 75 new jobs over the coming 18 months after a major recruitment company announced it is to extend its operations here. Irish-owned professional recruitment consultancy, Premier Group, announced last week that it is rebranding three of its leading recruitment businesses; Premier, Verkom and Brunel to Morgan McKinley.
Source: (Cork Independent)


Police in the Strabane area made four arrests for suspected drink-driving offences last weekend. Chief Inspector Andy Lemon, the area commander, said that these were drivers who took a chance that they would not be caught. "My message to them is that it is a chance that is not worth taking. It is just not worth putting your livelihood and that of you family at risk.”
(Source: Derry Journal)


House prices in Donegal are continuing to fall, according to two surveys out last week. The average asking-price in Donegal in the third quarter of 2010 was €183,000, a fall of €86,000 from the peak, according to asking price of a three-bedroom semi-detatched house in Donegal is €171,000 in the third quarter of this year, down 1.5% compared to the second quarter of this year, according to The fall for a four bed semi was marginally more at 1.82% with the average price now standing at €204,000
(Source: Donegal Democrat)


A family near Newry Co Down had a lucky escape when their house was struck by lightning, blowing a hole in the roof and sparking a power shortage. The drama unfolded in Ballyholland when the bolt struck the house last week blowing the electric sockets out of the walls. Storms and heavy rain battered the area from around 3.30pm.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


One of Ireland's best known and most respected medical figures, retired heart surgeon Maurice Neligan, has died at the age of 73. Mr Neligan worked for many years at Dublin's Mater and Crumlin Hospitals and performed Ireland's first heart transplant in 1985. He was also involved in the establishment of the Blackrock Clinic in the mid-1980s. Maurice Neligan was always an active campaigner for improved health services and a frequent critic of much health policy and many policy-makers.
(Source: The Evening Hearld)


The family of troubled Fermanagh businessman Seán Quinn has said that they intend to repay all of the debt that they owe. The family owes €2.8 billion to Anglo Irish Bank and reports suggested that the nationalized bank has written down this sum to zero. A statement issued on behalf of the Quinn family last week said they had “not sought, or been offered, as part of any consensual restructuring of the family’s indebtedness, any write-off whatsoever of any of the debt due.
(Source: Irish Times)