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News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

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Antrim

A Belfast nightclub has been seized along with 10 other properties under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) made a property freezing order in the High Court last Tuesday in relation to the 11 properties. Club Mono in Ann Street, Belfast, owned by father and son Gerald Anthony McCann and Gerald Robert McCann, both from Holywood, was one of the 11 frozen properties. Gerald Robert McCann (40), of Seapark Lane in Holywood, was extradited to Spain to face drugs charges on December 30 last year.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Armagh

Two business director brothers, whose company went into liquidation with liabilities amounting to millions of pounds, have agreed to a 12 year disqualification. Paul Hurson (46) of Strathmullan, Dungannon and Peadar Hurson (49) of Bridge Road, Burren, Warrenpoint operated as directors of the manufacturing Reflex Mouldings Limited. The company specialised in the manufacture of plastic injection moulded car number plates, mud flaps, car mats and interlocking floor tiles.
(Source: UTV News)

Carlow

The horses, which were discovered last Tuesday, were kept in the same field where at least three other animals have died in the last few weeks. One of the animals, estimated to be about seven months’ old, was discovered half buried and decaying under bushes, while the other horse was found lying dead in open ground. The field in question is directly opposite Rivercourt Estate, past the Éire Óg clubhouse. It is understood that the scrub land, which is about three and a half acres, is infected with strangles, a highly-contagious respiratory infection that can kill a horse.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)

Cavan

Finola Fitzsimons from Bunnoe will be climbing Kilimanjaro in June. Finola, a nurse at St James's Hospital in Dublin has gone to Chernobyl with Chernobyl Children's Project International where she has used her nursing skills to help out, for the last number of years. Before the trip every year she has been involved in fundraising for the project. "So this year I decided to do something different and I'm going on the Concern Worldwide trek in Tanzania," said Finola.
(Source: The Angle Celt)

Clare

A consortium, including one of Europe’s top energy companies and a leading Irish ocean energy technology firm, is pursuing the development of a multi-million euro wavefarm off the Clare coast, it has been confirmed. Tonn Energy/Vattenfall are partners in the WestWave proposal, which has identified the coast off Spanish Point and the north-west coast off Mayo as two of the top zones for the development of wave energy in Ireland.
(Source: The Clare Champion)

Cork

The proliferation of skimming devices being found in Cork shows no signs of abating with more discoveries being made almost daily. Since the Cork Independent reported that a number of students had fallen victim to one of these scams two weeks ago, the number of skimming devices discovered has dramatically increased. Along with a device being found at the AIB Bank on the Douglas Road, further skimming apparatuses were discovered in South Mall, Glanmire, Mallow and most recently Bandon.
Source: (Cork Independent)

Derry

The conviction for grievous bodily harm by shaking is believed to be one of the first of its kind in a court in Northern Ireland.  Robert John Anderson (26), whose specific address cannot be made public on the order of trial Judge Philip Babington, and whose baby son cannot be named, also by order of the court, was found guilty of the offence by a majority verdict following a five-and-a-half week trial held in the absence of the media at the Crown Court in Derry. He was also found unanimously guilty of cruelty to his baby son by neglect. The media was allowed to be present in court for both verdicts.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Donegal

A former bakery owner has rescued the family business from almost certain closure by buying it back.  Declan Gallagher, who has signed the deal to save the fresh bread section of Gallagher's Bakery in Ardara, Co Donegal, revealed plans last week to employ 100 people within the next three years. The Gallagher family sold the bakery to IAWS for an undisclosed amount at the peak of the boom three years ago. While the repurchase price has not been revealed, it is understood to be considerably less.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Down

A judge caught drink-driving will not lose his job, it has been announced. Northern Ireland's Lord Chief Justice has decided that Charles Redpath, a Master of the High Court, should not be removed from judicial office. Last month Master Redpath pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates' Court to driving with excess alcohol and was fined £120 and disqualified from getting behind the wheel for 12 months. He had failed a police breath test in Bangor, Co Down, in October last year.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Dublin

A large cannabis grow house and two guns have been found at a derelict house in north Dublin. Gardai (police) from the Finglas drug unit made the discovery in the Glenties Park area of Finglas last week. More than 100 cannabis plants with a street value of about €40,000, a handgun and a shotgun were discovered. The house was converted for the purpose of growing cannabis plants.
(Source: The Evening Hearld)

Fermanagh

The woman accused of murdering her policeman husband and her lover's wife will not give evidence at her trial. Her lawyer, Paul Ramsey QC, told judge Mr Justice Anthony Hart at Coleraine Crown Court last week that Hazel Stewart (47) would not take the stand. She is accused of plotting with her ex-lover Colin Howell to kill his wife Lesley and her husband Trevor Buchanan in May 1991 and to cover it up as a suicide pact. She denies the charges. The judge told the court: "The jury may draw such inference as would appear proper from her failure to (give evidence)." Mr Ramsey said the defense would be calling no evidence.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Galway

People in Galway are drinking alcohol and taking drugs in larger quantities and more often since the economic recession hit, according to the Western Region Drugs Task Force (WRDTF). The most up-to-date figures for substance misuse in the West of Ireland reveal that in 2009, 618 individuals in Galway were treated for ‘problem’ drug or alcohol use – the 2010 figures have yet to be compiled but the anecdotal evidence suggests the problem has risen further last year and will so again this year, according to WRDTF.

(Source: GalwayBay Fm)

Kerry

Co. Kerry adventurer Nathan Kingerlee is hiking  across Ireland with a goat and dog this March. Kingerlee’s journey, in search of the famous Irish welcome, began last January when, together with his companions, he hiked the 168km Blackwater Way from Kerry to Tipperary. Now Kingerlee, along with Lucy the Goat and Cara the Dog, is facing into a 304km trek across country from Tipperary to Dublin.  Their journey will follow way-marked trails, including the Mid Leinster Way and Wicklow Way and is expected to take just over two weeks.
(Source: IrishCentral.com)

Kildare

The accommodation crisis continues at the A & E department at Naas General Hospital with 32 people on trolleys last Monday morning. This is an increase of 15 over a recent weekend. On Friday, February 18, 18 people were reported to be on trolleys in the department. Weekends seem to be particularly busy for A & E. Last Monday an unprecedented high number of 37 people were being treated on trolleys but the problem abated during the week.
(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)

Kilkenny

A jury of eight woman and four men took less than an hour to acquit a young farmer of assault causing harm to a local businessman at Kilkenny Circuit Court. Claims were made during the dramatic four-day trial of threats to kill and threats to commit arson as well as a violent assault using a sledge hammer. However on Friday evening February 19, James McDonald, Ballinatea, Mullinavat was found not guilty of assault causing harm to Michael Murphy, Hollymount, Mountain Road, Slieverue at Ballintea on January 6, 2009.
(Source: Kilkenny People)

Laois

County Manager, Peter Carey, said he is satisfied that Laois County Council is performing well against the objectives of their five year plan but there have been job losses due to the recruitment ban. "We have lost over 70 staff members due to the recruitment moratorium, and it would be wrong not to mention the difficulty we will have maintaining the same level of service," he told councilors last week.
(Source: Leinster Express)

Leitrim

For the second year in a row The Landmark Hotel has won the Wedding Planner of The Year Award, prompting talk of Carrick-on-Shannon becoming a top class “Wedding Destination.” The Landmark Hotel is the only hotel to be awarded this prestigious award two years in a row and they quite rightly received the trophy on Valentine’s Day last week. Patricia Corrigan, Wedding Planner at the hotel was awarded the WeddingsOnline awards in the Crown Plaza Hotel, Dublin
(Source: Leitrim Observer)

Limerick

The company behind Limerick County Golf and Country Club has been wound-up and a liquidator appointed, with the company more than €2.5 million in debt. A creditors meeting, attended by the Limerick Leader, was held at the Maldron Hotel where the directors of Limerick County Golf and Country Club Limited, announced that Gearoid Costelloe, partner with Grant Thornton accountants in Limerick city, had been appointed as liquidator following a resolution that was passed by shareholders.
(Source: Limerick Leader)

Longford

Of the 36 staff that have reportedly retired at St Joseph’s nursing home facility in Longford town during the past 18 months, none have been replaced. A local councillor has said that people are “ready to take to the streets” to maintain the facility in its entirety. Cllr Peggy Nolan, who made the statement at a Longford County Council meeting, said the fears about the future of St Joseph’s continued to linger, despite assurances given by the HSE.
(Source: Longford Leader)

Louth

Two Dundalk firemen have returned from a successful roadtrip across Africa after delivering a fire engine to native firefighters as part of an innovative charity mission. Michael Dawe from Hackballscross and Brendan McCoy drove 1,400km for three days through West Africa with two other fireman to deliver the Irish fire engine and firefighting equipment. Michael and Brendan were accompanied by Darren Geary, Monaghan Fire Station and James Kinahan, an engineer based in Dublin.
(Source: Dundalk Democrat)

Mayo

A thirty-three year old father of two who assaulted a garda (police) in front of his five and three year old children was imprisoned for three months by Judge Mary Devins at last weeks sitting of Westport District Court. Michael Heraty of Carrowhall, Westport was involved in an altercation with two gardai (police) after they were called to a dispute between the couple who were arguing in a car with their children at 3.55pm on July 7 last at Mill Street, Westport.
(Source: The Mayo News)

Meath

A new children's entertainment centre and toy shop will create 58 new jobs in Ashbourne. The Fun Galaxy Centre, which recently opened at the Ashbourne Retail Park, has created 28 new jobs and a further 30 will be employed in jobs to come next April with a new specialised toy shop, which will open in the same complex. The Fun Galaxy Centre features one of the largest play structures in Europe at 19,000 square feet, a teddy-bear factory, spray-on tattoos, a high ropes course and climbing wall.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)

Monaghan

The Irish father of two who died in the New Zealand earthquake had made "express wishes" to be buried on home soil if anything happened to him. The family of Owen McKenna (40) described how they had been "hoping against hope" that the psychiatric nurse had escaped unharmed from the fatal tremors in Christ-church last Tuesday. Mr McKenna -- originally from Brackagh, Emyvale, Co Monaghan -- spoke to his wife, Sarah, on the phone shortly before he was killed.
(Source: Irish Independent)

Offaly

IT was a case of standing room only at the Bridge House Hotel last week for the latest Stand Together meeting. Those supporting the rights of turf cutters travelled from as far afield as Kerry and Mayo to show their support. The keynote speaker on the evening was Michael Fitzmaurice, a lifelong advocate of turf cutters rights. He informed the audience of hundreds that the amount of bog taken over in Galway is the size of County Offaly.
(Source: Offaly Express)

Roscommon

An opening date for the new cinema planned for Roscommon will be known in the coming weeks. A spokesperson for the Flix Leisure, the company behind the development, said that it was weeks away from making the announcement. “I know there have been delays, but we are now not far from making an announcement on our opening date and also when we will be accepting CVs. As you can imagine there is a lot of work to do, but we are getting there and are very excited that the end is in sight and we will be open for business very soon,” he explained.
(Source: The Roscommon Herald)

Sligo

Sligo town moved a step closer to having its own Tidy Towns group, following a meeting held last week. Discussions of forming a new multi-agency committee will continue this Thursday. Sligo Borough and County Councils along with Sligo Chamber facilitated the meeting of interest groups and individuals last week. The ‘Together for Sligo’ forum was set up to discuss a strategy for the future direction of Sligo Tidy Towns.
(Source: The Sligo Champion)

Tipperary

A 25-year-old man has been found guilty of falsely imprisoning a family and robbing them of €14,000 in cash. Declan White, of Ballywire, Kilross, Co Tipperary, had denied the charges at Limerick Circuit Court. He was accused of being part of an armed gang that broke into the house of businessman Seamus Morrisey, from Galbally, Co Limerick, in September 2007. Declan White will be sentenced in May.
(Source: Newsyalk.ie)

Tyrone

A Co Tyrone woman who escaped unhurt from the New Zealand earthquake has described how her “hero” husband saved her life. Tony Irwin frantically pushed his wife Rosemary into a shop doorway to escape the debris which came crashing down around them in the aftermath of last Tuesday’s quake. The Dungannon couple were about to visit Christchurch Cathedral when the 6.3-magnitude tremor rocked the city at rush hour. “My husband is a hero because it was his quick thinking that saved us both,” said Mrs Irwin.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)
Waterford
Waterford Wedgwood is on target to post a cash operating profit of €14.8m, a turn around in the fortunes of new owners KPS. Waterford Crystal was the star performer in the group, posting growth of 1.5%, with sales of more than €100m. Sales are expected to rise again by 2.3% this year. This comes one year after Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton suffered a net loss of $52m.
(Source: Waterford News & Star)

Westmeath

There was good news on the jobs front last week when 50 new jobs were announced for Athlone, with recruitment due to start within the next month. There is no timeframe, as yet, for the opening of the facility. American Medical Systems Holdings (AMS) announced last Wednesday that it is establish a manufacturing operation in Athlone, creating 50 jobs, with plans for future expansion.
(Source: Westmeath Independent)

Wexford

A Second World War shell has been removed from a shed at the back of a house in Wexford and made safe. Gardaí (police) in Wexford called in the Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team after the shell was discovered in the Faythe area of Wexford town at 12.30pm last Friday. An exclusion area was put in place around the shed and residents in the immediate vicinity were evacuated as a precaution. Traffic restrictions were in place in the area for a short time.
(Source: The Irish Times)

Wicklow

The National Roads Authority (NRA) has withdrawn objections to plans for one of the world’s largest data centres at Newtownmountkennedy in Co Wicklow. The authority’s decision to drop objections to the proposed €1 billion development came after a strong local campaign that included assurances from Wicklow County Council on improvements to a junction on the N11.
(Source: The Wicklow People)

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