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News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

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Antrim

Postal staff have escaped injury after a packet containing a firework exploded in a Northern Ireland mail sorting office. The complex at Royal Mail House in Tomb Street, Belfast, was evacuated after the blast sparked a security alert at around 11am last Friday. Army bomb experts and emergency services were called to the scene to inspect the premises. The small explosion took place in a returns centre which handles mail from across Northern Ireland and Britain.

(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Armagh

The men were arrested by the PSNI Serious Crime Branch during searches in Lurgan, County Armagh, last Friday morning. The searches were linked to dissident republican activity, a PSNI spokeswoman said. In the Republic of Ireland, four men are still being questioned about a "bomb factory" in County Kildare. Five men were arrested after nine mortars and component were found at the farm in Quinsborough.

(Source: BBC News Northern Ireland)

Carlow

Local gardaí (police) were kept busy last week as there was a sharp increase in burglaries and drink-driving around the county. Enterprising thieves made off with a variety of goods from several premises across Carlow. According to a spokesperson for Carlow gardaí, there were at least ten burglaries in the county over the past seven days, a significant increase on other weeks.

(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)

Cavan

At 5.10am on Monday morning, January 10, 2011, a lone male wearing a balaclava used a crow bar to break the window of Greene’s pharmacy at Market Street, Ballyjamesduff. The man then entered the shop via the broken window and stole perfumes, other toiletries as well as digital cameras from the pharmacy. Footage from cctv in the town show the man leaving the scene in a Mitsubishi Pajero jeep.

(Source: The Angle Celt)

Clare

The number of new 2011 cars registered in Clare for the first 10 days of this year has increased by 50% on the same period last year, according to figures obtained from the Revenue Commissioners. Last year, there were a total of 96 new cars registered up to January 10, 2010, while for the same time this year that number has increased to 144. While that figure has increased, the number of used cars registered so far this year has dropped on last year’s figures.

(Source: The Clare Champion)

Cork

The Roche’s Point foghorn sounded for the last time last week after more than 100 year’s service. The Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) also discontinued eight other fog signals around the country as it aims to modernize its systems and cutback on potential expenditures.
Speaking last week, Desmond O’Brien from the CIL said that, because of cutbacks, it would be too expensive to upgrade and maintain the foghorns and that, in the age of modern technology; the long-serving foghorn can’t compete.

Source: (Cork Independent)

Derry

A mass grave dating back to the 17th century and the Siege of Derry has been unearthed under a Presbyterian Church in Londonderry.  Three sets of bones were discovered under the floor of First Derry Presbyterian Church during a restoration project. It is thought the site is the final resting place of “a huge number” of Presbyterians who died during the siege.

(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Donegal

Quick-thinking gardaí (police) have been praised for saving the life of a woman they plucked from freezing waters in Dungloe last Tuesday. Garda Inspector Sylvie Henry told The Donegal Democrat last Wednesday. "Three gardaí were escorting a prisoner from Dungloe Court back to Letterkenny when, at 12.20pm, they noticed a woman going into Dungloe Lake at the Little Bridge. Part of the lake was frozen and she was going under. Garda Paul McGee and Garda Darren Carter went into the water and dragged the woman back to safety, assisted by Garda Mulroe.

(Source: Donegal Democrat)

Down

A cocaine-snorting prison officer who gave into blackmail threats and smuggled unauthorized packages into Maghaberry in a bid to save his marriage has been jailed for nine months. Craigavon Crown Court Judge Desmond Marrinan told 46-year-old Darrall Scott, a father-of-two from Winona Lodge, Donaghcloney, Co Down, that his “breach of trust” was so serious he had to be jailed to deter others.

(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Dublin

Dublin City Council is to establish a review group to examine errors made in its handling of the cold snap. Last week's announcement follows concerns that the public suffered because of a "poor lack of communication" during the extreme weather and because of problems incurred as a result of water shortages nationwide.  Dublin's Lord Mayor, Cllr Gerry Breen (FG) said the review group would be formed in the coming weeks.

(Source: The Evening Hearld)

Fermanagh

A pensioner died after she was crushed to death by a cow on the farm where she lived. Violet Breen (67), an office worker from Fermanagh, was killed during an agricultural accident as she was tending to the animal near her home last Monday.  While exact details of her death are not known it is understood Mrs Breen was calving the cow when the incident occurred.

(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Galway

Two of Hollywood’s hottest stars arrived in Tuam recently and it was not surprising that they sent female hearts fluttering. But there was a distinct purpose to the visit from Dominic Monaghan, who made his name in the hit TV series Lost and starred in the adaptation of Lord of the Rings trilogy. He was looking to meet relatives in the Tuam area. He was joined on the trip by his fellow Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood, who achieved super-stardom as Frodo Baggins in Lord of the Rings.

(Source: GalwayBay Fm)

Kildare

House prices in Kildare have fallen by over 39% since the peak of the boom times and in the past year, have dropped by almost 14%. That is the stark message for those trying to sell their houses or those struggling in negative equity in the county, according to the latest Daft.ie House Price Report. The average asking price in Kildare in the final quarter of 2010 was €230,000, a fall of €148,000 from the peak figure of €378,000 in 2007.

(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)

Kerry

More than 40 parents queued for two nights so they could enroll their daughters in a Tralee secondary school.  The queue to enroll students in Presentation Secondary School for September 2012 began last Wednesday.  The school operates a first come, first served enrolment policy.  Parents had been waiting in line in the school car park by day. Forty four people spent Wednesday night in the school gym.

(Source:Radio Kerry )

Kilkenny

The Kilkenny Drugs Unit have seized over 6000 euro in drugs and the proceed from drugs sine the New Year. On January 3 Gardai arrested a male in a car in the Robertshill area of Kilkenny. The Gardai (police) stopped the car and upon searching it they recovered 500 diazepam tablets. The suspect was arrested under the misuse of drugs act. The drugs have been sent for analysis and a file has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

(Source: Kilkenny People)

Laois

Leading Laois thespian, Robert Sheehan has been nominated for a prestigious Irish Film and Television Award. The Portlaoise actor, whose big screen credits include a role in the new Nicolas Cage blockbuster, Season of the Witch, has been nominated as Best Actor for the gritty RTE drama, Love/Hate.  The four-part series, which details the simmering tensions afflicting a small-town drug gang in Dublin, has been nominated for 10 awards.

(Source: Leinster Express)

Leitrim

Former Leitrim County Librarian, Mrs Vera McCarthy, celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday January 10th at Our Lady's Manor, Dalkey, Co. Dublin.  She was surrounded by her family and many friends, some of whom travelled from Ballinamore and Leitrim for the occasion. President Mary McAleese honoured her with a visit on the day to express her personal good wishes.

(Source: Leitrim Observer)

Limerick

A Limerick man is one of three people being questioned by police in Spain following the seizure of cannabis worth more than €3 million. Half a tonne of the drugs was seized last weekend when police searched a warehouse at an industrial estate near the popular holiday resort of Alicante. Reports in Spain suggest the drugs were found concealed in air-conditioning units, which were due to be transported to Britain by truck.

(Source: Limerick Leader)

Longford

An unknown quantity of home heating oil was stolen from a house in Longford town last week, re-igniting concerns organized gangs are travelling around estates stealing home heating oil.The thieves targeted a house in the Ardnacassa area of the town during the early hours of last Wednesday morning, gardai (police) have said. A lock guarding the contents of a nearby cylinder was cut by the perpetrators sometime between 2:30am and 8pm.

(Source: Longford Leader)

Louth

Over 100 victims of domestic violence were turned away from the refuge run by Women's Aid Dundalk in 2010. The women were refused permission to stay at the refuge due to a lack of accommodation, according to Women's Aid Dundalk Manager, Lisa Marmion. The helpline run by Women's Aid Dundalk received over 600 calls for help from women and children who had experienced violence in the home.

(Source: Dundalk Democrat)

Mayo

Knock’s most senior resident, Annie Curry, has died at the age of 102. Born in the early years of the last century, Annie lived through vast changes in Irish life and society. In the famous and beautiful words of Cardinal Newman, she had also seen “the shadows lengthen and the evening come.” She is survived by her family, Billy, Sr Margaret, Jimmy, Sean, Della Brennan, Tommy and Marian Duggan, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchild, niece, nephews, relatives, neighbours and many friends.

(Source: The Mayo News)

Meath

The partial collapse of the western wall of Slane Bridge has been described as extremely worrying, and has led to calls for the publication of the results of a survey undertaken on the bridge last summer. Meath County Council last week ordered a second urgent inspection of the structure by engineers who assessed it last summer. Local county councilor Wayne Harding has warned that any structural defects in the extremely busy bridge could have devastating consequences. The bridge has been the scene of numerous fatal accidents over the years.

(Source: The Meath Chronicle)

Monaghan

A church of Ireland congregation in Co Monaghan has been forced to move its services into a community hall after 900 liters of heating oil was stolen over Christmas from its place of worship. Gardaí (police) believe the church may have been targeted by a gang which is stealing fuel from premises that are unoccupied during the night. The ordeal for the congregation at Killeevan, not far from Clones, began on Christmas Eve when it was noticed that thieves had siphoned off the oil from a storage tank in a shed adjacent to the church. The fuel had been paid for by donations at the church’s Sunday service.

(Source: The Irish Times)

Offaly

Almost 100 Offaly health services beds have been closed. 86 beds closed have been closed at the Midlands Regional Hospital at Tullamore while 12 beds have been closed at Ofalia House in Edenderry. The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), following a nationwide survey, have identified 1,672 beds closed, despite the fact that emergency departments are severely overcrowded at this time.

(Source: Offaly Express)

Roscommon

Roscommon has fared poorly in the recent Irish Businesses Against Litter (IBAL) findings which have placed the county town 44th out of 53 towns surveyed and it has been deemed “moderately littered”. Announced last Monday, Roscommon’s performance shows a massive drop of almost 30 places on last year’s results and as a result, the town loses its ‘litter-free’ status.

(Source: The Roscommon Herald)

Sligo

Sixty six beds have been closed in Sligo General Hospital despite the fact that as recently as Thursday, January 6, 19 patients were left waiting on trolleys for a bed at the regional hospital. The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organization (INMO) is calling on the Government to open closed beds immediately in order to deal with the current overcrowding crisis affecting hospitals around the country.

(Source: The Leitrim Observer)

Tipperary

Irish show jumper Denis Lynch is launching a campaign to raise money and find new homes for Ireland's neglected and abandoned horses. Denis wants to raise "a substantial amount of money" to help the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) deal with the country's horse crisis. "The subject has been preying on my mind for months. I had to do something. Horses should not be treated like this," said Denis, who hails from Co Tipperary, but is based in Germany.

(Source: Horse and Hound.co.uk)

Tyrone

A man jailed for staging a motoring accident to make a bogus insurance claim has lost his legal challenge against being denied a payout for another crash. Insurance company lawyers accused Seamus Gillen (46) of setting up the collision near his home in Pomeroy, Co Tyrone. Gillen went to the High Court in a bid to overturn a ruling that he was not entitled to damages for the accident at a car park off Main Street in the village in January 2009.

(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Waterford

Ferrybank’s tight-knit community are rallying behind a local family who are shocked and distraught by the violent death, in Malaysia, of local man Maurice Sullivan. The 50-year old who was a talented artist, jewellery maker and wood turner was killed instantly, last Sunday week, after he was mauled by savage dogs on the idyllic Penang Island.

(Source: Waterford News $ Star)

Westmeath

Athlone was awarded seven Grade A marks in the final IBAL anti-litter league report of 2010, which was deemed a “very positive” result for the town by the judges. However its overall ranking in the league table was significantly reduced by two grade D marks and overall, Athlone was rated 'moderately littered’ and ranked 42nd out of 52 towns and cities nationwide. But the latest results were a marked improvement from more than a year ago, when Athlone was deemed a 'litter blackspot’ in June 2009.

(Source: Westmeath Independent)

Wexford

Irish medical devices firm ClearStream Technologies is to create 70 jobs in Wexford under a major expansion plan, while French financial software firm Murex has announced 30 new software jobs. Both companies already have a presence in Ireland. ClearStream Technologies, which employs 230 workers, designs and manufactures medical devices such as catheters and stents. The new jobs will be in product engineering, research and development, manufacturing, sales and marketing.

(Source: The Irish Times)

Wicklow

A BMW formerly belonging to disgraced banker Seán Fitzpatrick is to be the subject of an auction to raise funds for charity. The three series 92 - D registration BMW was collected by its new owners National Recycling, from outside Mr Fitzpatrick’s home in Greystones, Co Wicklow last Friday morning. The car liberally coated with grime and leaves looked as if it had not been driven for some time. It was winched aboard a tow truck as it would not start.

(Source: The Irish Times)

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