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News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

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Antrim

Pop princess Lady Gaga, famed for hits such as Poker Face, left scores of fans stony-faced at her Belfast gig recently when she brandished an Irish Tricolor on stage. Up to 10,000 music lovers packed into the Odyssey Arena for the high-tempo Halloween show, one of three she will perform in the city as part of her Monster Ball tour. Her decision to whip out the Republic of Ireland’s green, white and orange flag during the show left a bad taste among some revelers
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Armagh

An eight-year-old girl has died from swine flu. Her death has prompted health officials to urge parents whose children attend special needs schools to ensure they are vaccinated. The girl was a pupil at Ceara School in Lurgan, Co Armagh, which caters for children aged between three and 19 who have severe emotional, learning and physical difficulties or health complications.
(Source: Evening Herald)

Carlow

A scary tarantula has been discovered in a Carlow town store. The exotic hairy spider, believed to be from Peru, was unearthed last week by two local children, Molly and Jim Parmeter, who were rummaging around in Chic and Cheerful in Burrin Street. Luckily for Molly (aged 9) and seven-year-old Jim, whose mum Trish volunteers in the shop, the spider was dead! “We have no idea how it got here,” admitted Sam Poynter of Chic and Cheerful.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)

Cavan

Gangs are descending on rural areas with a view to cutting down long segments of telephone cable along the roads. Some 150 meters of Eircom cable was cut down in the Cashelbawn area of Dowra last weekend and removed from the scene. This new type of crime has been happening more frequently at various locations all over the country in recent times and a Garda spokesman from Ballyconnell Garda Station pointed out that it appears that the gangs are removing the copper wire from the cables.
(Source: The Angle Celt)

Clare

A large quantity of cocaine, which was intercepted in Gort last week after being smuggled through Shannon Airport, could have a street value of as much as €2 million, The Clare Champion has learned. This is a significant strike by the authorities against those involved in the drugs scene in the West of Ireland. The 7kg of cocaine seized in South Galway last Tuesday, originally valued in the region of €500,000, has been found to be “very pure” and could be worth closer to €2 million. The drugs were seized when a high end vehicle was stopped and searched at Ballinger’s Corner in Gort at 9.30am in a joint operation by the National Drugs Unit, Galway gardaí and Revenue’s Customs Service.
(Source: The Clare Champion)

Cork

Broadcaster and columnist Neil Prendeville has offered his “deepest apologies” for his behavior on a recent flight. The 49-year-old presenter of the weekday ‘Neil Prendeville Show’ on Cork’s 96FM said in a statement delivered on radio last week, he did not remember the incident and was “shocked” when he found out about his alleged actions on 19 October.
(Source: Cork Independent)

Derry

The leader of the SDLP on Derry City Council, Helen Quigley, has confirmed she's not going to contest the next Assembly elections and won't be seeking re-election to Derry City Council. The shock news that the former Mayor was considering her future as an SLDP public representative was broken in last week's Derry Journal. The SDLP confirmed that Councilor Quigley had resigned as party leader on the Council, but said she would remain a party member.
(Source: Derry Journal)

Donegal

The feeling of helplessness coupled with the inability to influence government policy is what prompted former Donegal North East Deputy, James McDaid, to resign his Dail seat last Tuesday morning. In an interview with the Donegal Democrat, the former government minister also rubbished any suggestion that he might contest the next general election following his shock departure from the political arena.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)

Down

Fifty jobs are to be lost in the local dairy industry with the closure of the Armagh Down creamery in Newry. The bottling plant has been in operation since 1935. Its owner, Fane Valley Co-op, blames competitive pressures for getting out of liquid milk. The Fane Valley brand has approximately a 5% share of the local milk market and the business has now been sold to the market leader, Dale Farm.
(Source: BBC News)

Dublin

A peaceful student demonstration outside the Dail turned bloody after it was hijacked by left-wing republican militants. The student march, which was organized to protest against a hike in student registration fees, turned ugly as they reached the gates of the Dail. Violence erupted at the Department of Finance after a group of people believed to be from left-wing republican group Eirigi and the Socialist Workers Party staged a sit-in.
(Source: The Evening Hearld)

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