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News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

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Antrim

Additional police officers may be drafted into north Belfast over the weekend following an incident last Thursday involving rival factions of the UDA. PSNI officers were called to the York Road area before 1pm last Thursday afternoon after receiving a report of a disturbance involving the man regarded as the UDA leader in the area and a friend of Andre Shoukri. Loyalist sources in the area say words were exchanged between the two men outside the home of the mother of one of them before a brief physical confrontation took place.
 
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)
 
Armagh

Seven men were arrested after 8m counterfeit cigarettes were seized near the border in Co Armagh last Tuesday. The cigarettes, which are worth an estimated €2.85m, were discovered hidden in a shipment of under-floor heating pipes. Five of the men arrested are from Co Louth, one is from Co Limerick and the other is from Co Armagh. The cigarettes are thought to have originated in China.
 
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)
 
Carlow

A 26-year-old local man who used a hotel room in Carlow town as a base for selling drugs was caught red handed by gardaí (police) last week. The local man, who is known to gardaí, was found in a room in the Talbot Hotel, Graiguecullen last Tuesday with a substantial amount of cannabis grass and cash. Carlow gardaí received a tip off from hotel staff of the illegal operation and swooped on the premises, where they found the young man dividing up the cannabis.
 
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)
 
Cavan

Scores of people in Cavan and Monaghan have received high pressure telephone calls from men speaking with Indian accents offering to repair a new type of virus on their computers. Belturbet town councillor Elizabeth McDermott is among those who have been at the receiving end of what she believes is a form of extracting credit card details from people answering the phone in their own homes. She was aware of at least six people in the Belturbet area who received such calls in the last week.
 
(Source: The Angle Celt)
 
Clare

Ennis gardaí (police) are investigating a petrol bomb attack on a local authority house in Ballinruan, four miles from Crusheen village, in the early hours of last weekend. Gardaí and the fire service were called to the scene after Bernard Hassett, who lives in the house concerned, contacted the emergency services. The occupant, who is a pensioner, has lived in the one bedroom house for four years.
 
(Source: The Clare Champion)
 
Cork

The port of Cork has posted an increase in traffic for 2010 with a particularly encouraging increase in exports. While all sectors at the Port of Cork experienced a challenging period during 2010, the end of year total trade traffic shows an increase. Total trade in 2010 through the Port of Cork amounted to 8.8 million tonnes, an increase of 8.6 per cent compared to 2009. One area of increase that has a very positive effect on the local economy is the increase in exports from the Port.
 
Source: (Cork Independent)
 
Derry

A police officer who admitted downloading 603 indecent images of children from the internet has been told he will go to jail for the offences. Brian Connor (46), from Clooney Road in Knockloughrim, Co Londonderry, wept in the dock at the Crown Court in Derry last week when Judge Piers Grant told him he would receive a custodial sentence. Connor, a police officer for 26 years, was dismissed from the PSNI last year when he pleaded guilty to 27 specimen charges of downloading the indecent images.
 
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)
 
Donegal

As few as one in ten teenagers here are wearing seat belts on school buses and unless the trend changes a tragedy involving a school bus could happen on Donegal's roads, it has been warned. Garda (police) spot checks are being carried out to highlight the problem and the Donegal Road Safety Working Group has warned the possibility of withdrawing bus passes from students who don't wear seat belts could happen.
 
(Source: Donegal Democrat)
 
Down

A County Down building firm which once employed about 200 people has been placed into administration. McGimpsey and Kane (MGK) builders were based in Kircubbin near Newtownards, but ceased trading in September 2010. It was an award winning firm whose work included the construction of high-end houses in Belfast and north Down. The men who controlled the firm, Bryan McGimpsey and Ian Robinson, have also been declared bankrupt.
 
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)
 
Dublin

Police have implemented a zero tolerance policy against 'aggressive begging' in north inner city Dublin. Officers have been instructed to clamp down on the practice, which has escalated in recent months. The zone being targeted includes Marlborough St, Talbot St, North Earl St, Lower Abbey St, Eden Quay and the Liffey Boardwalk. The operation began last Monday when 30 arrests were made and will continue for four weeks, it is understood.
 
(Source: The Evening Hearld)

Fermanagh

An ambulance which crashed near Brookeborough in County Fermanagh last Wednesday was transferring a woman with swine flu to an intensive care unit. The emergency vehicle collided with a lorry and overturned at about 1530 GMT last week. A woman doctor was seriously injured, but the patient was not hurt.
 
(Source: BBC News Northern Ireland)
 
Galway

The construction phase of the redevelopment of Galway Harbour will create more than 500 jobs in Galway city, according to a city councillor and former board member of Galway Harbour Company. The €50 million plans for the first stage of the ambitious redevelopment of the city’s docklands went on public display last week to allow the public to make submissions on the proposals, which will facilitate the berthing of cruise liners in Galway.
 
(Source: GalwayBay Fm)
 
Kildare

Great news for Kildare came over the weekend with the announcement by technology giant Intel that its Leixlip facility is to be expanded to the tune of €375m (or $500m). The bonanza for Kildare will create an estimated 850 construction jobs and even before the new facility is finished 200 technology positions are promised at the plant.
 
(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)
 
Kerry

A woman accusing her uncle of repeatedly raping her during a summer holiday 20 years ago has denied she had a drinking problem at the time and said the accused gave her alcohol. The Kerry man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 15 counts of rape and eight counts of sexual assault of the then 15-year-old girl on dates between May and September, 1991.
 
 (Source:Breakingnews.ie )
 
Kilkenny

December, 2010 will long be remembered as the coldest month experienced in Co Kilkenny. Sustained low temperatures and unseasonably early snowfall made life very difficult for householders but also for commuters and those trying to go about their daily business in the county.  Family time for the council drivers over Christmas was given over to road gritting and public safety and to the drivers and fitters in the Kilkenny Machinery Yard, we say well done to all.
 
(Source: Kilkenny People)
 
Laois

A tidy town’s expert was surprised by Portlaoise's rating as the dirtiest town in Ireland, but he urged local people to act on the rating. Frank Donaldson believes the community, helped by Laois County Council, should use the result to climb back up the Irish Business Against Litter League survey. The consultant, who has carried out a Tidy Towns strategy for the town and Laois, said he has known Portlaoise for many years since his wife hails from Ballyfin.
 
(Source: Leinster Express)
 
Leitrim

The number of planning applications received by Leitrim County Council last year fell dramatically compared to 2009. Just 348 applications were lodged with the planning authority last year compared with 504 in 2009. The drop in the number of applications will come as no surprise with the down turn in the economy, the surplus of houses in the county and also the very controversial T90 tests which were introduced last year.
 
(Source: Leitrim Observer)
 
Limerick

A Kileely man has appeared before Limerick District Court charged in connection with the theft of a car carrying three children in the city last Thursday. The 04-registered vehicle was taken from outside Centra on Old Cratloe Road at 9.25am. The car was pursued by armed gardai (police) and two shots were fired by a member of the Regional Support Unit. Nobody was injured in the incident.
(Source: Limerick Leader)
 
Longford

Lorna Quinn, a native of Newtownforbes and a well established actress on local and national stage, has landed a role on Irish national television. Lorna will play the part of Lucy Mallon in Fair City. Lucy, a new character to the popular television show, meets with long-time character Dolores Molloy in a storyline about being a donor. The show, which will be aired during the last week in January, will focus upon Dolores dealing with the fact that her daughter Jessica who passed away, donated her corneas. Dolores wonders if Lucy has Jessica's corneas.
 
(Source: Longford Leader)
 
Louth

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has written to a woman warning her that her physiotherapy appointment in the Louth County Hospital will be cancelled if she does not reply within three days. This is despite the fact that the woman died five years ago without ever receiving the physiotherapy treatment that her consultant said she needed. The HSE said the deceased woman was being treated under a new initiative that was developed to reduce waiting times. However, the woman was originally referred for treatment in August 2005.
 
(Source: Dundalk Democrat)
 
Mayo

A Balla man who stabbed his sister’s partner to death in a laneway in Kiltimagh was jailed for six years last Monday. Fintan McKenna (24), Woodlands, Balla, Castlebar, denied the murder of Francis Heneghan in a laneway at the side of the Tavern pub in Kiltimagh on August 12, 2009. Mr McKenna was found guilty of manslaughter by a majority verdict following a lenghty ten day trial at the Central Criminal Court.
 
(Source: The Mayo News)
 
Meath

Gardai (police) and Bus Éireann have launched an investigation into the theft of a school bus from a yard in Kells on Saturday, January 15. The vehicle was discovered burned-out the next day down a remote laneway at Girley Bog. The 1991-registered school bus was stolen from Bus Éireann’s yard in Kells on Saturday 15th January, where it had been parked up for the weekend. It is not yet clear how the culprits managed to steal the vehicle, but it is mostly likely that the vehicle was 'hotwired’.
 
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)
 
Monaghan

One man is being questioned following the discovery of a major diesel laundering operation in Co Monaghan last week. Revenue officials backed up by gardaí (police) raided a premise just outside Carrickmacross and discovered the facility in a premises. It is believed it could launder around 3m litres of diesel per year, with a potential annual loss to the Exchequer of approximately €1.8m.
(Source: RTE News)
 
Offaly

Tullamore student Katie Cogley from Sacred Heart Secondary School, who took part in the 47th annual BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, was highly commended in the Junior Individual Biological and Ecological category for her project 'Comparison of the accuracy of minimum invasive surgery and standard hip replacement surgery'.
 
(Source: Offaly Express)
 
Roscommon

Police in Roscommon expressed concern at a “worrying increase” in road fatalities in the county with the 2010 figure showing an increase of more than 50% on the previous year. Last year in County Roscommon nine people lost their lives on the roads, an increase of five on the numbers for 2009. Superintendent Paul Glynn of Roscommon Gardai said that the figure marked a “worrying increase” and “is not a statistic that we are proud of”.
 
(Source: The Roscommon Champion)
 
Sligo

Urgent moves are under-way to try to save the Sligo / Dublin air service which is in jeopardy after the shock announcement of the ending of funding from Mid July. Transport Minister Noel Dempsey announced last Thursday that the crucial PSO subsidy is to be withdrawn from Sligo and three other regional airports. This would almost definitely lead to the end of the service which is operated twice daily by Aer Arann, leaving Sligo without an air link with Dublin for the first time since 1987.
 
(Source: The Sligo Champion)
 
Tipperary

The Archbishop of Toronto, His Grace, Rev Thomas Collins, the appointed Apostolic Visitator for the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly by Pope Benedict XVI, this week stated that he has been "edified and encouraged" in his own vocation by the example of priestly dedication and pastoral wisdom experienced having met with many members of the clergy over the last few days.
 
(Source: Tipperary Star)
 
Tyrone

A car thief who killed a Co Tyrone student in England while “bulldozing” his way through traffic as he escaped from police has been jailed for nine-and-a-half years. David Gaskell (21) mowed down 20-year-old Coalisland man Andrew O’Neill, who was studying at Liverpool John Moores University, late last year. Gaskell’s driving was described as being like something from a “video game” as he swerved to avoid oncoming cars and pedestrians, Liverpool Crown Court heard last week.
 
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)
 
Waterford

The planned extension of the runway at Waterford Regional Airport to facilitate larger aircraft and open up new international routes will not receive any support from the Government. The ambitious development, which was first mooted 10 years ago, had been given the green light for funding but frozen by the Minister for Transport in 2008.
 
(Source: Waterford News $ Star)
 
Westmeath

Crime rates in the Athlone district have fallen for the fifth successive year, it was revealed last week. Athlone Garda Superintendent Aidan Glacken told the Westmeath Independent that overall crime rates in Athlone had decreased by over 20% in 2010. He said burglaries had fallen by 10% in 2010, compared to 2009. Over the last five years, the rates of burglary had fallen by over 40%. Across the board, there was a significant fall in all areas of crime in the Athlone region. Assaults were down 10% on the 2009 levels, while public order offences fell by 4%.
 
(Source: Westmeath Independent)
 
Wexford

A Wexford man has secured a new home for €983.79. That figure was the highest unique offer made on a house in Elderwood in Castlebridge, just outside Wexford town, as part of a fundraising drive by Rosslare Community Development Association. Mark Fitzpatrick, from Rosslare Strand, who is married and has five children, was unveiled as the highest bidder for the new three-bed house recently.
 
(Source: The Irish Times)
 
Wicklow

A woman who attempted to smuggle heroin into Mountjoy Prison concealed in a child's pocket has been given an 18 month suspended sentence. Collette Hyland (23) had agreed to bring the child to visit its father in prison as a favour but was then pressurised to bring in drugs or else the inmate would be beaten up. Hyland, of Monastery Grove, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, admitted conveying heroin into the prison on August 30, 2008 at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
 
(Source: The Evening Herald)

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