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News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

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Antrim
Politicians have condemned a loyalist group which claimed responsibility for a pipe-bomb attack last week. The device, which did not explode, was found in the garden of a house on the Ballymena Road, Carnlough, last Wednesday. Bomb disposal officers were called to the house and removed the object, which police have described as viable. Following the incident, a paramilitary group calling themselves the Loyalist Action Force contacted a Belfast newsroom claiming they were behind the attack. In a separate incident, seven homes were evacuated when a suspicious object was found at The Roddens, Larne. It was later declared a hoax.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Armagh
The Armagh county board formally launched a novel fund-raising scheme to help offset part of the cost of refurbishing the Athletic Grounds last week. A magnificent new 5,600-capacity grandstand is the outstanding feature of the renovations and now the board aims to sell every seat for £100. The buyer will have a seat permanently named after him or her on payment of this sum thus giving them a closer association with the venue. Tickets will then, of course, be sold on a match-by-match basis for all seats, but if the board is successful in its initial marketing operation, then some £560,000 will be raised.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Carlow
Police were forced into using batons and pepper spray when a drink-driving arrest got out of control in Tommy Murphy Park in Graiguecullen last Monday. A spokesperson for the gardaí (police) admitted that members felt threatened during the incident, which unfolded at around 5pm when gardaí on patrol spotted a vehicle being driven erratically by a woman. When they went to stop the vehicle, suspecting the woman of drink riving, it’s claimed that she aimed the car at gardaí and drove straight at them. The driver then attempted to leave the scene.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)

Cavan
Shercock’s Battle Of The Bands is a competition to find an original Irish band to play Glastonbury 2011. Last year’s winners, Shouting At Planes from Bailieborough, were back to launch the competition for 2011. Bands from all over the country will battle it out in five heats to take place every Saturday in the Sail Inn, Shercock between Saturday, January 22, and February 28, with the grand final talking place on March 5. Shouting At Planes played at Glastonbury last year following their win, and went on to release their debut single.
(Source: The Angle Celt)


Clare
Clare could establish itself as a major food tourism destination within six months, bringing much-needed employment and revenue to the area, if the relevant agencies work together, according to the head of the local branch of the Irish Hotel Federation. Lahinch hotelier Michael Vaughan said he believed North Clare was in a particularly strong position to develop its culinary reputation after featuring strongly in The Bridgestone Guide’s Top 100 Places to Stay and it’s Top 100 Restaurants in Ireland. Six Clare establishments featured in the Top 100 Places to Stay, five of which were in North Clare, while three out of the four Clare restaurants in the Top 100 Restaurants are in the north of the county.
(Source: The Clare Champion)

Cork
A Cork charity is facing a Garda (police) investigation after complaints from members of the public about its activities. Glanmire Gardaí have confirmed to the Cork Independent that a complaint has been received from a members of the public into recent activities by Glansillagh Animal Rescue (GAR), the charity based in Sallybrook, Glanmire. The complainant, who also raised their concerns with the Cork Independent, referred to appeals from GAR earlier this month for donations to help it feed horses that had been found in bad conditions, with some deceased, in a field in Cork.
Source: (Cork Independent)

Derry
A Strabane community worker who removed a pipe bomb from the windscreen of a car last week said he did so to avoid the disruption a security alert would have brought. Paul Gallagher was speaking after a man and his two young sons discovered the device in the Springhill park area of the town last Monday morning. Mr Gallagher said he carried the device to waste ground to avoid the street being closed off by the PSNI and British army. "I was contacted after it was found and looked at it and saw that the fuse had been lit but gone out so I carried it to waste ground to prevent, as we have seen in the past, the area being closed off, possibly for days," he said.
(Source: Derry Journal)

Donegal
The remains of hundreds of people who lived in medieval times are providing scientists with vital information on the origins of such diseases as Cystic Fibrosis and Tuberculosis. Researchers at Queens University, Belfast and the Institute of Technology, Sligo, have been collaborating with the University of Wisconsin, USA, in analysing DNA and 'sexing' human remains discovered in a mass burial ground at Ballyhannan near Ballyshannon, Donegal. Work on determining the incidence of cystic fibrosis among the ancient population from DNA analysis of teeth removed from adult remains is at an advanced stage.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

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