News from around the 32 counties of Ireland



A Dundalk man has been jailed for three years and nine months at the Special Criminal Court for IRA membership. Barry O’Brien, aged 38, from Mountain Court, Dundalk, was convicted in December last year of membership of an illegal organization styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on April 6, 2004.
(Source: Dundalk Democrat)


Nearly €6,000 in fines, legal and clean-up costs were issued at last week’s sitting of Ballinrobe District Court after a number of people appeared before the court charged with illegal dumping.
The dumping occurred in Ballinrobe and Tourmakeady with three members of the one family convicted of illegal dumping. The court heard that it cost over €20,000 to clean up one of the illegal dumps with all of the defendants prosecuted after enforcement officers found documentary evidence belonging to the defendants.
(Source: The Mayo News)


Navan Town Council is to invite representatives of the Navan Retailers’ Association, Chamber of Commerce and local traders to come together to discuss a retail strategy for the town. Navan Town Council set aside a fund of €70,000 in its budget this year to be spent on business innovation in the town to compensate for the mandatory rates increase following the town’s boundary extension.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)


Zurich Bank is entitled to recover €32 million against a shopkeeper over unpaid loans made in 2007 to develop a shopping centre in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, the Commercial Court has ruled.The centre is now valued at between €1 and €2 million and all concerned should have known from late 2006 this was “not a project free of risk”, Mr Justice George Birmingham said.
(Source: Irish Times)


The number of people on the dole fell slightly last month, official figures have revealed. A total of 436,956 people signed on for benefits in February, leaving the unemployment rate unchanged at 13.5%. The Central Statistics Office reported that there had been a fall of 1,622 in the Live Register last month and 7,343 in the year to the end of February. Some 82% of those now signing on are Irish and, of the rest, 18,065 are from the UK.
(Source: Offaly Express)


Roscommon County Hospital has been allocated a budget of just over €19 million this year, representing a reduction of seven percent or €1.5 million on last year’s budget. The HSE West confirmed the reduced budget allocations for all hospitals in the region this year when it presented details of its service plan for 2011 at the Regional Health Forum meeting last week.
(Source: The Roscommon Herald)


The Tubbercurry river is one of the 20 most polluted rivers in the country and the town’s overstretched sewage treatment plant is to blame. And while plans for an upgrade of the plant are in place Sligo County Council say they are awaiting approval and funding from the Department of the Environment. The Tubbercurry river is listed among 20 “seriously polluted” rivers in the country in a new national report on water quality from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

(Source: The Sligo Weekender)

The prospect of a second major mining project bonanza just outside Thurles is currently being explored with high hopes of a Lisheen type lead and zinc discovery close to Littleton. Connemara Mining, the Irish AIM listed zinc explorer, has announced that drilling has begun on their three licence Thurles block near the Lisheen zinc mine. The initial programme will consist of three 300 metre holes.
(Source: Tipperary Star)


A mother and her three-year-old son have escaped injury in a shooting in County Tyrone. Two shots were fired at the back of a house in the Ballycolman area of Strabane at about 1915 GMT on Saturday February 27. The 22-year-old woman and her child were in the kitchen at the time and the shots hit the door. Two men were seen running away from the house. A man, who is 35 years old and a 25-year-old woman were also in the house. They were not hurt.
(Source: BBC News Northern Ireland)


A Waterford man who was held up twice at gun-point as he affected his escape from Libya has spoken of his overwhelming guilt at leaving work colleagues behind as rebels increased their hold on Muammar al-Gaddafi’s ailing regime. Speaking to the Waterford News & Star last Friday last only hours after arriving home in the aftermath of a terrifying ordeal, he told how a gun had been put to his head while the car he was travelling in had been stopped and searched on the road to the airport in Tripoli.
(Source: Waterford News & Star)


Westmeath and Roscommon County Councils and Athlone Town Council will now have to make monthly and quarterly reports to the IMF, European Commission and the ECB, as part of the last Government's bank bailout deal, it has emerged. The councils will have to submit two types of reports, firstly to the Department of Finance, which will then be sent on to EU/IMF headquarters.
(Source: Westmeath Independent)