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News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

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Antrim

A senior consultant has been removed from their post at Belfast's Royal School of Dentistry and reported to the General Medical and Dental Councils. It follows the recall of 117 dental patients for check-ups after a review of the consultant's work. Eighteen who were considered urgent cases have already been treated. The Belfast trust said the recalls were "a precautionary measure". Health minister Michael McGimpsey is to make a statement to the Northern Ireland Assembly this week.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Armagh

A Co Armagh man flouted a ban on associating with children by setting up a Facebook account and arranging for a girl to travel from England to meet him, the High Court has heard. Prosecutors said James Carragher used a public library computer as part of his methods of contacting the 17-year-old, despite a prohibition on accessing the internet. Carragher (22), of Plantation Road, Portadown, was arrested last week after the girl's mother alerted police to the planned meeting.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Carlow

One of Carlow town’s most popular ATM machines fell victim to a skimming device recently, potentially clearing out dozens of accounts. The ATM machine at AIB, Tullow Street, Carlow was targeted by conmen, who fitted the tiny sophisticated device into the machine in an attempt to rip off unsuspecting users. But the malicious fraudster s were not banking on the eagle - eyes of one very observant customer, who spotted the device at 6.15pm on Friday evening (January 28). This customer, who had seen a feature on skimming on Crimeline last week, noticed the tiny pin-hole camera the fraudsters use and immediately contacted Carlow Garda Station.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)

Cavan

Some elective procedures had to be cancelled at Cavan General Hospital last week as a result of the high number of patients on trolleys recently; it was confirmed at the January meeting of the Regional Health Forum, Dublin/Northeast last Monday. Stephen Mulvany, regional director of operations, Integrated Services Directorate, claimed the Emergency Department in the hospital was busy during that period and a number of steps were taken to deal with the surge in the number of patients with acute medical conditions requiring hospital admission.
(Source: The Angle Celt)

Clare

Clare’s 32 county councillors pocketed €1m in expenses last year and, according to Mayor of Clare Christy Curtin, even in the current economic climate, it represents “value for money in the context of costs incurred by councillors and functions performed”. Defending the payment of €949,961.80 in expenses, Mayor Curtin admitted that while the people of Clare would be the ultimate arbitrators, he was satisfied that the allowances paid to councillors was justified in terms of their workload and general availability to the public.
(Source: The Clare Champion)

Cork

The HSE South has recorded 371 calls to its Farm and Rural Stress Helpline for 2010, it announced this week. According to the HSE, rural stress can be caused by any number of issues ranging from financial difficulties, addiction or abuse to loneliness or relationship problems. Lack of public transport and little access to services can also be a real challenge and can compound other problems that people may be experiencing in their lives.
Source: (Cork Independent)

Derry

There were dramatic scenes at Crescent Link in Derry last Thursday when armed police tried to storm a car reported stolen after an armed robbery in Buncrana. An eyewitness told the Journal police approached the car with guns drawn and smashed a window but those inside managed to drive off.  A cross-border manhunt was launched earlier when a family was robbed in their home at Kinnegoe in Buncrana.
(Source: Derry Journal)

Donegal

Hollywood-based Bundoran woman Ann McElhinney and husband Phelim McAleer have launched a scathing attack on Robert Redford in a two minute film they have released on You Tube. The married couple, who campaign against climate-change costs which force the poor to lose work, have made a short online film slamming Robert Redford who once played The Sundance Kid. They claim their film, entitled ‘Robert Redford - Hypocrite', brands the actor as "a supreme celebrity hypocrite."
(Source: Donegal Democrat)

Down

The chairman of Downpatrick and Co Down Railway has moved to reassure the public about the disappearance of railway artefacts reported last week by a different group. The story in which the Belfast and County Down Railway Trust appealed for the return of stolen artefacts, sparked a flurry of calls to the Downpatrick organization from concerned donors. Chairman Michael Collins said: “I would like to assure the public that no items that have been donated to the Downpatrick and County Down Railway have been lost. We would fully support the BCDRMT’s call for members of the public who are offered any such items to report the matter to the police, we would also be happy to distribute a list and description of the missing items amongst our own membership.”
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Dublin

Bomb-making equipment has been discovered at a Dublin house being used as a major Real IRA arms depot. Three handguns were also discovered in the haul which is believed to be linked to a major dissident extortion gang from the Donaghmede area that has gone to war with north Dublin's major drug gangs. The ruthless republicans have been intimidating the remnants of the gang formerly run by murdered gangster Eamon 'The Don' Dunne to impose a 20pc drug tax on gangs.  Notorious gangster 'Fat' Freddie Thompson has been stockpiling arms to counter any extortion tactics levelled at his gang by the dissidents.
(Source: The Evening Herald)

Fermanagh

Moving tributes have flooded in to the 31 year old woman who fell to her death from a flyover over the A2 (adjacent to the Holywood Exchange) last week. The tragic circumstances surrounding the death of the “bubbly” Paralympian rower Karen Cromie, have stunned both the local community and the wider disability sporting community. Miss Cromie, originally from Co Fermanagh, returned to the same spot last Friday (January 28), where only two weeks before, she had attempted to end her life.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Galway

Millions of television viewers across the globe will get to see the delights of the city, Salthill, and Connemara when Galway hosts the first ever gruelling ‘Ironman’ triathlon to take place in this country in September. The ‘Ironman 70.3 Series’ is recognized as the leading triathlon series in the world and the event on Sunday, September 4, will provide television exposure in areas and among sports fans who would rarely get to see the West of Ireland.
(Source: GalwayBay Fm)

Kerry

A factory which has been in Co Kerry for 36 years is to close with the loss of all 28 jobs, it was announced last week. Heimbach has announced it will close its plant in Tralee. Operations there will be transferred to the German company's other factories in Europe. Heimbach makes web screens which are used in the manufacture of paper.  The company has not made an official public statement, but SIPTU, which represents staff, has confirmed that the plant will close at the end of April.
(Source: Irish Examiner)

Kildare

Students and staff at a Kildare school were evacuated recently (Wednesday 26 January) when a potentially explosive substance was found in the building. Gardaí were called to Coláiste Lorcain in Castledermot that morning when picric acid, commonly used in science labs in schools and colleges, was found to have crystallised. An army bomb disposal team was called in shortly after midday and personnel removed the substance and made it safe at the other location.The substance is normally safe to handle, although it was used as a lethal explosive in the Boer War and World War One.
(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)
Kilkenny
A Kilkenny publican has been completely exonerated after a prosecution for selling diluted vodka on his premises was dramatically overturned without a fight at Kilkenny Circuit Court last week and his innocence confirmed. It follows the revelations that two of three samples taken from a bottle of vodka in his pub were perfectly legal following independent tests. Under fire watchdog, the National Consumer Agency (NCA) which took the botched case and is now left reeling and embarrased from the result of the appeal.
(Source: Kilkenny People)

Laois

Gardai (police) are appealing for information on a criminal gang who last week committed a string of armed robberies across Portarlington, and in one terrifying incident disturbed a woman as she slept in her bed. The crime wave began last Wednesday (January 19), when a man wearing a balaclava entered a filling station in the town armed with a sawn-off shotgun and proceeded to rob a quantity of cash from the premises.
(Source: Leinster Express)

Leitrim

The Road Safety Authority had six reports of rogue driving instructors in Leitrim in the past nine months. 15 instructors from Sligo, Donegal and Leitrim were reported to the RSA since the introduction of mandatory accreditation in April last year. At least six driving instructors in Leitrim are offering lessons to members of the public without mandatory accreditation. According to the RSA website there are 31 licensed driving instructor companies covering Co Leitrim.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)

Limerick

It has been confirmed that the first new housing development under the Limerick Regeneration programme will begin in Moyross in April. In what Brendan Kenny, CEO of Regeneration described as a "milestone moment" for the project, a request for tenders for the building programme will go out this week. Regeneration have advertised publicly for tenders for this new housing development at Cliona Park, Moyross, which will be the first building project to commence under the remit of the Agencies since they were established in late 2007.
(Source: Limerick Leader)

Longford

Over two thousand people gathered in Athlone last weekend to participate in a discussion organised by the Turf Cutters and Contractors Association (TCCA) regarding the reversal of new legislation which permits turf cutting in newly designated Special Areas of Conservation (SACs). Roscommon County Mayor and PRO of the TCCA Luke "Ming" Flanagan said that because of the new legislation which came into effect on January 1, 2010 "the good people of this country were criminalised for cutting turf on a certain 32 bog complexes or 165 bog townlands".
(Source: Longford Leader)

Louth

A documentary about bare-knuckle boxing in Dundalk, which featured in this year's Sundance Film Festival could be re-made into a TV drama series by HBO. According to Variety, HBO is nearing a deal for remake rights for the documentary 'Knuckle', which chronicles a 12-year journey into the world of travellers and bare-knuckle fighting. Ian Palmer's film was shortlisted to compete in the World Cinema Documentary Competition where it received its premiere alongside most of the other 12 features in the group.
(Source: Dundalk Democrat)
Mayo
A ‘substantial’ amount of cash was taken from the safe of a popular Ballinrobe pub last weekend in what was described as ‘a very organized and professional crime’. On Saturday morning (January 29) thieves broke into Art O’Neill’s pub on Abbey Street in Ballinrobe at around 6am and removed a safe which had been secured to a wall in the pub. The culprits were disturbed by the owner on their exit from the building and on their escape drove the wrong way down a one-way street.
(Source: The Mayo News)

Meath

Gardai (police) in south Meath are warning householders of the increase in thefts of gold jewellery from houses, and believe that thieves may be selling stolen goods on to 'cash for gold’ stores. They have also asked the cash for gold outlets to make sure they are aware of the origin of pieces that is being sold to them. Garda authorities in Navan say they have already visited all the cash for gold outlets in the town and asked them to be conscious of the problem.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)

Monaghan

A Co Monaghan man accused of possessing explosives was served with a Book of Evidence at the Special Criminal Court last Wednesday . Martin Connolly, of Mullantimore, Tydavnet, Co Monaghan, was charged with knowingly possessing a Novital Magnum Electric Cereal Mill and ammonium nitrate at his address between 8-11 September 2010, contrary to Section 4 of the Explosive Substances Act. State solicitor Michael O'Donovan told the court that both sides had agreed to a four-week period for the perusal of the Book of Evidence.
(Source: RTE News)

Offaly

Offaly hoteliers welcomed the launch of a major turnaround plan for tourism by a national coalition of business interests led by the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC) and the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) and including, IBEC, Chambers Ireland and the IFA. The report, Tourism Opportunity - driving economic renewal, identifies the urgent action required to reverse the collapse in overseas demand over the past two years and sets out how tourism can play a significant role in Ireland's economic recovery as one of Ireland's top indigenous industries.
(Source: Offaly Express)

Roscommon

As the country gears up for a general election in the coming weeks the outgoing government confirmed last week that more than €11,000 was spent on storing more than 130 redundant electronic voting machines in Roscommon in 2009. In reply to a question raised in the Dail (parliament) last week, Minister Eamon O’Cuiv confirmed that the 137 Roscommon machines were among almost 2,000 evoting machines being stored at various facilities around the country at annual costs of over €182,000 per annum.
(Source: The Roscommon Herald)

Sligo

A Sligo actress is one of the stars of a film which has been nominated for an Oscar. Olga Wehrly, a native of Ransboro, has said that she is thrilled to be involved in the Irish film The Crush, which has been nominated in the Short Film category for the Academy Awards. The award winners will be announced in Los Angelos on Sunday, February 27. The Crush tells the story of an 8-year-old schoolboy with a ‘deadly' infatuation with his teacher and challenges her fiancé to a duel.
(Source: The Sligo Weekender)

Tipperary

An Army Bomb Disposal Team has made safe a quantity of detonators at the site of an earlier accident at the Lisheen mine in Tipperary last week.The team was requested to attend the scene by the Gardaí (police), following an explosion at the mine last Wednesday in which one man was killed. A quantity of detonators was removed from the scene and destroyed in three controlled explosions.
(Source: RTE News)

Tyrone

A 21-year-old Omagh man has said he is "too afraid to leave his home" after he was attacked in Castlederg. Dean McCullagh and a friend were assaulted on Main Street in the County Tyrone village last Sunday. He said he believes he was targeted because he is a Catholic. "I'm a Catholic, my friend is Protestant and I have a Celtic cross tattoo," he said."I can't think of any other reason." Mr McCullagh also sustained a broken nose and wrist, as well as back injuries.
(Source: BBC News Northern Ireland)

Waterford

In yet another blow on the jobs front in Waterford, it emerged last Monday that 15 workers are to be made redundant at DFDS Logistics which provides container services between Belview Port and Rotterdam. The company, which is located at the Marine Point Business Centre — side by side with the Port of Waterford Company — is to make its entire local workforce redundant later this year as it consolidates its business to its Dublin base.
(Source: Waterford News $ Star)

Westmeath

A local man in his 40s was tied up in his own home in Ballycumber by two men who then stole a quantity of cash and two firearms. Tullamore Gardaí (police) are investigating the incident which occurred in the small village at 1am last Thursday morning and are appealing for witnesses. The two men forcibly entered the man’s house, of which he was the sole occupant. They tied him up and searched the house. The ordeal lasted about one hour. The man didn’t require hospital treatment but was obviously shocked and traumatized. He was able to report the incident to gardaí a short time after they left.
(Source: Westmeath Independent)

Wexford

One of Co Wexford’s main car dealerships has been forced to close. James Sidney Car Sales in New Ross applied for the appointment of a provisional liquidator last Friday after losing its 18-month struggle to stay open. The company issued a statement last Monday, which said it has “experienced extremely challenging trading conditions because of the economic downturn, which resulted in a severe decline in the motor trade”. The family-run business, which James Sidney took over from his father Michael, said it had made every effort to restructure the company financially to secure its viability.
(Source: The Irish Times)

Wicklow

An AK47 assault rifle has been found by gardaí (police) beside one of the State’s best known private schools. Gardaí believe the high-powered weapon is owned by an organized crime gang that was targeted in a series of dawn searches last Wednesday. The gun was found in sparse undergrowth beside the perimeter wall of St Gerard’s School, Bray, Co Wicklow. Gardaí arrested eight people in Bray last Wednesday morning for questioning about an attack outside a pub in Finglas, north Dublin, in December in which a local man was lucky to survive after being wounded four times.
(Source: The Wicklow People)

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