News from around the 32 counties of Ireland



Unionist unity candidate Rodney Connor has failed in his legal challenge to his General Election defeat by Sinn Féin .A court ruled that Michelle Gildernew was duly elected as MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, despite an arguable breach of rules governing the ballot. Mr Connor brought a petition after losing out to Ms Gildernew by four votes after three recounts.


Success is becoming second nature to Portumna’s latest singing sensation, Conor O’Meara, who has already won talent competitions, landed lead roles in musicals, and grabbed the chance to record his own CD – and he’s still only 16. Being the mayor’s son can certainly bring its advantages­ – his dad is Portumna’s ‘first citizen’ Donie O’Meara – but the fifth year student at Portumna Community School can safely be judged on his own merits.
(Source: Connacht Tribune)


While the national body of the Irish Countrywoman’s Association (ICA) celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, Kildare ICA will receive a special award for their work with women in rural communities at the REHAB Kildare People of the Year Awards 2010.Ellen ‘Nellie’ Dillon, who has long been associated with the Kildare awards, is also a lifelong member of the ICA and was delighted when she was notified of the presentation.
(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)


There were over 50,000 horsechestnuts used for the Irish Conker Championships in Freshford last weekend. Over 4,000 people attended the event last weekend for the 11th staging of the competition which just keeps growing in popularity. The festival was brimming with loads of interesting, challenging and spooky things for children and adults. A Ghost Trail was held on Saturday night with spine tingling tales and spooky sights involved.
(Source: Kilkenny People)


A Portarlington based poet is on the shortlist for a prestigious international award. Jean O'Brien is one of six poets shortlisted for the Arvon International Poetry competition. Now in its 30th year, the Arvon International Poetry Competition is said to be one of the UK's most prestigious open poetry prizes. The first prize of £7,500 is one of the largest available for a single poem. The competition receives entries from around the world.
(Source: Leinster Express)


Gardai were left red faced last week after a planned drugs raid on a home in the Drumeela area near Newtowngore resulted in the wrong house being targeted. An elderly man was given the surprise of his life when gardai burst into his home through the front door at around 8.30am last Friday week. According to local reports the man lived alone and was completely unconnected with the investigation being carried out by gardai.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)


The Hail Mary is the all time favorite prayer for Limerick families, a new prayer book "Prayers of Our People", which was compiled by over 800 children drawn from over 70 parishes across the Diocese of Limerick and some neighboring dioceses. In what is the most widespread 'survey' to date carried out among Irish families of their favorite prayers, the book reveals the prayer preferences of three generations.
(Source: Limerick Leader)


TV3's Ireland AM has teamed up with Carraig Donn to search for the new 'face' of the popular fashion brand, and among the finalists is local woman Helen Lynch. The competition ran all last week on the morning program and last Wednesday Granard native Helen Lynch represented Co Longford in the search for the ultimate woman. "It has been great fun. I have five sisters and they encouraged me to take part in the competition, so I sent in the pictures,” said Helen.
(Source: Longford Leader)


Local radio volunteers have won a ‘Social Benefit Achievement Award for their weekly program ‘Ability Focus’ on Dundalk FM.Linda Hamill and Christina O’Boyle received the award for their work in highlighting the positive contributions that are being made by people with disabilities. Christina and Linda - who share the research and interviewing each week - have brought the different disability awareness groups in Dundalk together.
(Source: Dundalk Democrat)


An eighteen-year-old Ballina man who drove his car at another youth resulting in him being flung onto the roof of the car was given a five year suspended sentence at last week’s sitting of Castlebar Circuit Court. The incident occurred at 4am on August 15, 2009 at Pearse Street, Ballina when David Higgins of Shanaghy Heights, Ballina hit Padraig Dunne with his car. The court heard that Mr Higgins had driven at Mr Dunne with the attention of making him jump off the road but he hit him.
(Source: The Mayo News)