News from around the 32 counties of Ireland


A Co Down food firm is celebrating after winning an export deal for its stir-fries. Willowbrook Foods, which makes fresh pre-packed vegetables, salads and potatoes, has been awarded the business to supply a range of eight new stir-fry products to Budgens, part of the Musgrave Group, Willowbrook has been operating for over 40 years, and was established by John McCann on the family farm overlooking Strangford Lough. The firm employs more than 200 people at processing plants in Killinchy and Newtownards in Co Down.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


A Dublin man who ransacked an elderly nun's room while she was in her bed has been given a six-year jail sentence. The last 18 months were suspended. Detective Garda Garret Lynch revealed that Stephen Wilson (34) and a second intruder ransacked Sr Mary O'Farrell's bedroom before taking items and her handbag. The nun, in her mid-70s, tried to press a buzzer underneath her pillow for help but one of the intruders pulled it from her grasp.
(Source: The Evening Hearld)

Firefighters in Enniskillen have failed to agree whether a montage commemorating the 1987 bomb should be on display in the town's fire station. The display was taken down in 2007 following an anonymous complaint. Last year, the NI Ombudsman Tom Frawley said taking it down was "ill-considered" and it should be restored. The board of the NI Fire Service said a recent consultation failed to reach a consensus on putting it back or on an alternative solution.
(Source: BBC News Northern Ireland)

A film shot in Galway in late 2009, which opened this year’s prestigious Sundance Film Festival, is set to get a major distribution deal in America after it wowed critics and executives at America’s largest festival for independent films. The Guard, a black comedy thriller starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle, was written and directed by John Michael McDonagh – brother of playwright and film director Martin – is set in Connemara and was shot over a six-week period in Barna, Spiddal, Leitir Móir, and Leitir Mealláin, with some scenes shot in Wicklow.
(Source: GalwayBay Fm)

The exclusive five-star hotel operated by RTÉ’s "hotel experts", John and Francis Brennan, returned to profit last year after two years of successive losses totaling over €400,000. The third series of At Your Service is running, with more than 568,000 viewers tuning in recently to watch the Brennans offer tips and advice to struggling hotels and guesthouses. However, John Brennan revealed last week that they were forced to take their own measures at The Park Hotel in Kenmare in Co Kerry after it sustained after-tax losses of €418,000 in 2008.
(Source: Irish Examiner)

Kildangan National School has been short-listed for Our World Irish Aid Awards along with 10 other primary schools around Ireland. The Our World Irish Aid Awards encourages students to explore the differences between life in Ireland and and abroad. Fifth classs students of Kildangan NS along with teacher, Maria Casey. spent the months of November and December last year working on their project which was entitled Children are the Future, Children are the present, We can Change the World.
(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)

There has been a significant increase in the number of thefts of home heating oil, petrol and diesel in recent weeks according to gardai (police). Gardai (police) are warning people to secure their oil tanks and to report any suspicious activity to gardai immediately. "We are asking people to be vigilant. In the case of people stealing home heating oil the culprits have to gain access to the rear of the house so we are asking anyone who sees anything suspicious to contact the gardai," a garda spokesman said.
(Source: Kilkenny People)

Up to 70 jobs will be created when two new supermarkets open this summer in Mountmellick, according to owner Emmett McConville. The SuperValu shopping centre is under construction on the old textile factory site at the Connelly Street and Davitt Road junction and is due to open this summer. SuperValu have invested E5.5million in the shop, which at 20,000sq ft will be marginally smaller than the Portarlington SuperValu.
(Source: Leinster Express)

Carrick on Shannon gardai (police) are looking for information on a white refrigerator truck seen in or around the Butler's Marina area in the early hours of Tuesday, January 18, following the discovery that over 50 boats docked in the facility had been broken into. According to the Garda Press Office the burglary occurred between 1.30am and 5am. There were approximately 70 boats in the Marina at the time and at least 50 of these were targeted by the gang of thieves who stole flat screen televisions, GPS navigation devices, alcohol, medication, ornaments and appliances.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)