News from around the 32 counties of Ireland



More Belfast people are ditching the car to rely on their own two legs, new figures have revealed. The latest travel survey reveals that the number of people using a car or van to get to work has dropped from 67% in 2003-2005 to 59% in 2007-2009. That contrasts with a small increase in usage from workers in the East of Northern Ireland (up from 81% in 2003-2005 to 84%) and no real change in the West.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


Three more people have been arrested in connection with the murder more than two years ago of farmer Victor Stewart. The 45-year-old’s body was discovered at his home on the morning of October 22, 2008 at Creevekeeran Road in Middletown, Armagh. A 50-year-old woman and 22-year-old man were arrested last Thursday by detectives from the PSNI serious crime branch and remain in custody. A 21-year-old man was later arrested and is being questioned about assisting an offender and withholding information. A 23-year-old man was remanded in custody last month on Christmas Eve charged with Mr Stewart’s murder.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


Several businesses around the town were targeted in a series of Christmas burglaries. On Christmas Eve, the front door of Ho’s takeaway in Sandhills estate, Tullow Road was smashed before the till and its contents were taken. The incident occurred sometime between 12.30am and 5am. On Christmas Day, Revolution store on Tullow Street was hit between midnight and 9am the following morning. The front door of the shop was kicked in and, once again, the cash register was taken.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


While the weather drove most of us indoors, an English angler kept the faith and fished the waters of his beloved Annalee river at Deredis, Butlersbridge, as he has been doing each Christmas for the last 30 years, writes Tom Carron. Michael Affleck from Greater Manchester sat patiently in sub zero temperatures in the days before Christmas, rod in hand and line cast well out into the choppy, ice filled expanse in front of him.
(Source: The Angle Celt)


A total of 43 Clare companies collapsed in 2010 accounting for more than 13% of all insolvencies in Munster. The highest month for insolvencies was September when seven companies were declared insolvent according to a new report. In August, just one company went to the wall according to the report by Nationally, more than 1,500 companies collapsed last year with the highest number of these being based in Dublin.
(Source: The Clare Champion)


Cork people may have experienced close encounters of the third kind last week, with eight reported sightings of UFOs in skies above the city. While there are no reports of aliens in the attic, body snatchers or extra terrestrials that come in peace, witnesses reported seeing yellow and orange lights in the Cork skies from New Year’s Eve to Sunday 2 January.
Source: (Cork Independent)


A judge has led tributes to a popular Londonderry solicitor who died last week following a long illness. Before the new sitting of Derry Crown Court last week a tribute was paid to Seamus Hegarty. The Recorder of Derry, Judge Piers Grant, and Judge Philip Babington were joined in court number one by local solicitors and Mr Hegarty's three sons for the tribute.  Judge Grant said he had been at university with Mr Hegarty and that he had borne his long illness with bravery and fortitude.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


A number of well known Donegal salmon fisheries will be re-opened in 2011 as native stocks begin to make a recovery, it has been announced. The Eske in Ballyshannon will re-open as a "harvest" river, while the Owenwee in Teelin, which is also part of the Ballyshannon fishery district, along with Bracky, Glenna, Tullaghobegley, Ray and Glenagannon in Letterkenny fishery district will re-opened as "catch and release" rivers.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)


A cocaine-snorting prison officer who saved his marriage by giving in to blackmail threats and smuggled “unauthorized packages” into Maghaberry jail faces the prospect of being jailed himself this week. Craigavon Crown Court heard that 46-year-old Darrall Scott, a father-of-two from Winona Lodge in Donaghcloney, Co Down, has since been forgiven by his wife for having a six-month affair with a prisoner's wife. Prosecutor Peter Sefton said another inmate discovered the affair and effectively “blackmailed” Scott, a former member of the Royal Navy, into smuggling three packages into the prison over a five-month period up to May 2009.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


The new garda (police) speed vans have finally been deployed across the streets of Dublin. The speed vans, which are run by the private company GoSafe, were rolled out in November on a phased basis, with areas outside Dublin covered initially. As of January, the vans are now in operation across the capital. The gardai (police) have hailed the new speed cameras as a success and believe they have contributed to a fall in road deaths.
(Source: The Evening Hearld)