News from around the 32 counties of Ireland



Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell has been made an MBE in the New Year honors, and he hailed the accolade as "truly special". It is just the latest in a string of proud achievements for the 31-year-old, from Portrush in County Antrim, who has had a sensational golfing year. In June he became the first European winner of the US Open since 1970, and the first Northern Irishman to win a major since Fred Daly in 1947. In October he sank a spectacular putt to clinch the Ryder Cup for Europe in a heart-stopping final match at Celtic Manor in Wales.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


Northern Ireland business figures from civil servants to captains of industry have been recognized in the 2010 New Years Honors list. Bruce Robinson, a former head of the Industrial Development Board - the predecessor of business development agency Invest NI - is to be knighted by the Queen. The Co Armagh man is currently head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


A mindless thug broke into St Patrick’s Church, Rathvilly on Christmas Day, while the remains of the late parish priest lay in a coffin in front of the altar. Fr Edward Flood passed away on Wednesday, 22 December, and his remains were being waked in the church over Christmas when the sickening incident occurred.  The window of the church toilet was forced open and the culprit made his way inside, while Fr Flood peacefully reposed in front of the altar.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


Heather McArdle from Dairybrae, Cootehill has had an amazing year since being crowned as the Face of Ireland at a gala weekend in Ballybofey, where Martin King was the compare. Heather has travelled the world during her reign and has regularly modeled clothes on Ireland AM on TV3. Blessed with a radiant smile, the Cootehill lady told The Anglo-Celt that she was brought up on a dairy farm and among her great passions are showjumping and horses.
(Source: The Angle Celt)


Numbers visiting the Cliffs of Moher have dipped dramatically in the last three years but it will be close to break-even in 2011, Clare County Council’s annual budget meeting heard. Declining numbers of visitors, coupled with the high cost of loan repayments, have posed a problem but director of services, Ger Dollard, said losses aren’t set to be too severe next year. “There are loan charges of €1.1 million next year but we are coming very close to covering both the charges and the operating costs,” he explained.
(Source: The Clare Champion)


A British male in his twenties was arrested at Cork Airport during Christmas week after Customs seized cannabis with an estimated street value of €60,000. The officers from the Revenue’s Customs Service in Cork Airport found approximately 10 kg of cannabis resin with the estimated street value. The drugs were found during routine profiling and the British male in his twenties, who was travelling from Malaga, was arrested and is being held at Togher Garda Station.
(Source: Cork Independent)


Despite the sub-zero temperatures and arctic conditions tourists are still visiting the city making the most of their holiday. With temperatures over the holiday season barely getting above freezing point, it would have been tempting to stay at home in front of the fire but a number of visitors braved the elements to take walking tours around the city centre.
(Source: Derry Journal)


An alleged fraudulent investment scheme which is being investigated by gardai and the Revenue could involve between €10million and €20million. The Donegal business man at the centre of the scheme is believed to have fled the country. Gardai investigating the investment scheme are working with colleagues in police forces across Europe. Up to three investigations into the legitimacy of the scheme are underway following raids on business premises in the county in November in which documents and computer files were removed.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)


The chief executive of George Best Belfast City airport has received a New Year Honour.  Brian Ambrose, 51, from Newtownards, Co Down, has overseen rapid expansion at the east Belfast airfield but has also angered some residents opposed to a runway extension which they fear would create extra disturbance. He was recognized with an OBE for services to the aviation industry.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


Massive potholes on the main road through the Phoenix Park are damaging its image to visiting diplomats and tourists, a councillor has warned. The potholes -- some of which are four to five feet wide -- on Chesterfield Avenue, are creating ongoing problems for distinguished guests to the Aras an Uachtaran and Farmleigh House -- as well as for city commuters. Cllr Seamus McGrattan said the poor condition of the road is spoiling the image of Europe's largest park, and is making the scenic journey difficult for visitors.
(Source: The Evening Hearld)