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News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

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Antrim

Churches are not always the preserve of chart-topping singers, but that will be the case this week when Yazz features at a Christian event in County Antrim.

The artist, who enjoyed a UK number one for five weeks in 1988 with The Only Way Is Up, will sing live and share her faith at Ballyhenry Presbyterian Church in Newtownabbey.The free event at Ballyhenry Presbyterian Church on Wednesday.
(Source: BBC News)

Armagh

The family of a soldier killed in Northern Ireland almost 40 years ago have been given an award to recognize their loss. Ian Caie was serving in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guard when he died, aged 19, in a bomb blast near Crossmaglen in County Armagh in 1972.
(Source: BBC News)

Carlow

When local man Keith Whelan committed himself to being the first Irish man to row across the Indian Ocean, many people probably didn’t think he would do it. Keith, originally from Athy, left for the western coast of Australia Monday.?Better known to most as The Naked Adventurer, Keith, 30, having never set foot in a row boat up until two years ago, will row 6,000km from Geraldton in Australia to the island of Mauritius in nothing but his birthday suit.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)

Cavan

Robbers held terrified Post Office staff at knife point in Mullagh as they carried out a brazen daylight robbery last Tuesday.

Despite the raid lasting just two minutes and 15 seconds, the gang terrorized the Post Office owner John Monaghan and his wife Kay in the course of the smash and grab style robbery shortly after midday.

They ordered Mr Monaghan to lie on the floor together with a frightened customer and they put a knife to his neck at one point, shouting "Get to the ground, we want the f...... money." Two people were subsequently arrested in Bailieboro.
(Source: The Anglo Celt)

Clare

A man in his 30s was brought before a sitting of Ennis District Court last Thursday morning, charged with the murder of Deirdre McCarthy in North Clare two weeks ago. Colm Deely was charged at Ennis Garda Station last Wednesday night with the murder of the 43-year-old who was reported missing on Monday, March 28.?Mr Deely was arrested on Tuesday afternoon by gardaí (police) investigating the death of the Ballyvaughan woman, whose body was found on Fanore strand by a man out walking his dog shortly before 8am last Thursday morning. Intensive land and sea searches had been carried out in the days following Ms McCarthy’s disappearance.
(Source: The Clare Champion)

Cork

Saint Vincent De Paul (SVP) Regional President, Brendan Dempsey, has told the Cork Independent that charities are being paid by private companies to use their name when collecting second hand clothes. The revelation comes after St Vincent’s GAA Club in Knocknaheeny suffered €14,000 in damage during an attempted break-in to steal secondhand clothes. refusing to name the charities, Mr Dempsey said that to the best of his knowledge SVP is the only charity that recycles clothes. Speaking to the Cork Independent, Mr Dempsey said: “These charities are renting their name out to private firms. For example, the local boy scouts name will be put on these bins and they are given €10 a week per bin to use their name.
(Source: Cork Independent)

Derry

A 26-year-old man who held his two month old baby upside down and “ shook him vigorously” has been ordered to complete 60 hours community service and spend a year on probation. The man who cannot be named for legal reasons pleaded guilty to one charge of child cruelty between October 24 and November 26, 2009. Derry Crown Court heard that no injury was caused to the child, however during the incident, which lasted five minutes, the child squealed in distress.
(Source: Derry Journal)

Donegal

A top security expert in Donegal has revealed that there are bogus companies selling alarms in the county without license and simply preying on people’s fears of being burgled. Jimmy Melly, from the North West Alarm Systems in Donegal Town warned: “Unfortunately there is a large number of illegal operators in the county at the moment who are operating without license. “This industry is very, very strict. We are inspected at least once a year. We were the first company to be licensed when the legislation was introduced. People should know that it is illegal for anyone to install an alarm without a license.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)

Down

Human remains found among wreckage from a crashed passenger jet have offered fresh hope to the family of a County Down doctor and Riverdance star. Eithne Walls, 28, from Ballygowan, County Down died when an Air France jet from Rio de Janeiro to Paris crashed into the Atlantic on 1 June 2009. Her body has never been recovered. All 228 people on board were killed. She had been on holiday with two doctor friends from the Republic of Ireland. She died alongside her two friends. But French air accident investigators have now discovered a large piece of fuselage and engine from the Airbus A330 plane, French Transport Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet has confirmed.
(Source: BBC News)

Dublin

A Dubliner who risked his life to save a wounded child in Afghanistan has been honored with a bravery award.  Aran Rushe (26), a medic in the Royal Irish Regiment, saved the life of an eight-year-old Afghan girl wounded in crossfire during a gun battle. The native of Ballyfermot regularly risks his life to rescue wounded civilians and soldiers during battles in Afghanistan. Ironically, his mother moved him out of Dublin when he was boy because of the upsurge in gangland violence and drug abuse in the city.
(Source: The Evening Hearld)

Fermanagh

A former IRA man who attempted to murder a soldier in a 1981 ambush has been jailed for 20 years. Gerry McGeough, 52, was convicted earlier this year of trying to kill former postman Samuel Brush as he carried out his mail run. McGeough, who went on the run from Northern Ireland after the shooting, was arrested in March 2007 as he left a polling station in Co Fermanagh where he was standing as a republican candidate.

Mr Justice Stephens, sitting at Belfast Crown Court, imposed the 20-year jail term, saying there is a clear need to deter other terrorists.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Galway

A Galway builder formed a new construction company in England – which specializes in rail contracts – less than three months after his luxury homes development business here collapsed with debts of €12 million. And the Connacht Tribune has learned that Tom McEvaddy Jr, whose Nexus Homes company went into liquidation in September 2009, is facing a High Court action next month to have him restricted from acting as a director of any Irish company for a period of five years. He now lives in a €1m detached house around 2.5km from the iconic Wembley Stadium in London.
(Source: GalwayBay Fm)

Kerry

Two guns have been discovered in the grounds of a primary school in Tralee. The weapons, an orthodox shotgun and a sawn-off shotgun, were discovered yards from the school playground where schoolchildren from the age of four had earlier been playing. The guns were recovered by gardai (police) during a planned search of the grounds of Scoil Mhic Easmainn in the Rahoonane estate, in Tralee at 5pm last Wednesday. It is understood that the weapons were being stashed at the school by a local criminal.
(Source: Evening Heard)

Kildare

Five people have lost their lives on Kildare roads so far this year. This compares with just one for the same period last year.  Kildare Co Council’s road safety officer Declan Keogh disappointed and disheartened at the figures. “These figures are alarming. Although there were six fatalities in the same period in 2009, there was just one last year, and this was a great improvement.”
(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)

Kilkenny

A target card bearing two bullseye hits and a .32 small Smith & Wesson handgun once owned by the Countess Markievicz will go under the hammer later this month as part of a cache of rare historical items associated with the 1916 Easter Rising. The quirky items are among hundreds expected to spark the interest of historians, collectors and museums when they go up for auction at the Independence sale on April 19 at Adam's Auction House, St Stephen's Green, Dublin. "The gun was given as a gift to Jim Babington just months after 1916 and (the countess's) involvement," explained George F Mealy, from Kilkenny-based Mealy's auctioneers, which is also involved in the sale.
(Source: Irish Independent)

Laois

Some offences were up while some down but overall, local crime levels were lower when compared to the same quarter last year, Superintendent Philip Lyons told a Mountmellick Joint Policing Committee meeting. Burglaries showed a 29 per cent rise while thefts were up 22 per cent. However, criminal damage dropped by almost 60 per cent while drug and alcohol offences were down 60 per cent. Public order offences went up by 30 per cent.
(Source: Leinster Express)

Leitrim

Leitrim County Council is taking steps to ensure the unchecked building boom of the past decade will never occur again with proposed rezoning of large tracts of land currently earmarked for residential development as part of the County Development Plan, writes Leonie McKiernan. A spokesperson for Leitrim County Council has confirmed the local authority is preparing a draft variation to the County Development Plan. The Council are legally required to change the County Development plan to bring lands zoned for housing developments into line with population targets set out in the Regional Planning Guidelines. The Draft variation will be presented to the Council members at the Council’s April meeting next meeting.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)

Limerick

The Dalai Lama will arrive by helicopter for his visit to the University of Limerick this week, landing on the middle of the running track beside the UL Arena, where he is due to deliver an address entitled ‘The Power of Forgiveness’ to close to 3,500 people at the sold-out event. A massive security operation will surround the visit by the exiled Tibetan leader, who announced recently that he is to step down as a political leader. The UL Arena building is to be “locked down” overnight by gardai (police). The Buddhist leader will be accompanied by a “significant personal security team” when he arrives, with his entourage traveling in two separate helicopters.
(Source: Limerick Leader)

Longford

A suspected paedophile who appeared on a Britain’s most wanted list was arrested in Longford last week. Crimestoppers UK, the crime-fighting charity, said that Dublin-born Patrick Pious Hancox, 68, was on the list of wanted individuals under Operation Captura. The Sun newspaper and Sky News had previously carried in detailing the list of wanted suspects. It had been believed he was hiding out in Spain but in fact was arrested in Co Longford last Tuesday morning.
(Source: Longford Leader)

Louth

A Dundalk man has said that his partner - who has mobility issues - is unable to access his home because “cheap motorists” are using the area as a car park. According to Brendan Moore from Pearse Park, the elderly and disabled are unable to get around the residential area with ease as increasing numbers of motorists are parking their cars on footpaths in the estate. “There are a number of low level ramps in the area which makes it easy for cars to park there. It has gotten worse due to the price of parking,” he said.
(Source: Dundalk Democrat)

Mayo

Following the excitement of the Royal visit of Prince Albert II of Monaco last week, Mayo may soon be getting ready for a Presidential visit with speculation that US President Barack Obama may visit the county on his visit to Ireland in May.
Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney said he believes that President Obama’s visit to Ireland will include a trip to the west and this would include Mayo for ‘obvious reasons’ in reference to the Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s home constituency.
(Source: The Mayo News)

Meath

A Laytown man who has been on the waiting list for a lung transplant for the past 10 years last week appealed to people to carry a donor card.

Paul Wynn of Inse Bay says that a transplant would dramatically improve the quality of his life and would significantly add to his life expectancy.

The 26 year-old cystic fibrosis patient is fully behind the Organ Donor Awareness Week campaign and says that carrying an organ donor card has the potential to save lives.

Paul is in the transplant waiting pool for a lung transplant at Dublin's Mater Hospital and has been awaiting a transplant for around 10 years.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)

Monaghan

A number of county councils confirmed that top staff were entitled to an average annual leave well in excess of those enjoyed by managing directors in the private sector. It was revealed some county managers were entitled to take up to two months of holidays a year, with Longford county manager Tim Caffrey entitled to 42 days.
(Source: Irish Times)

Offaly

It was a regular Monday in Moneygall, when it suddenly became extraordinary. While residents were busy getting the village ready for President Barack Obama’s impending visit next month, a bus containing 30 US officials and security staff pulled in. The group who conversed little with the locals visited both public houses in the village, took aerial photographs and identified a location for the President’s helicopter. And then they were gone.
(Source: Offaly Express)

Roscommon
The new Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, is likely to face one of his toughest political battles as his department moves to shut down tiny rural schools. Local communities will fight a rearguard action to retain small village schools, which are under threat of closure from recommendations in Colm McCarthy's An Bord Snip report. Mantua National School near Elphin in Co Roscommon is believed to be one of the smallest in the country, with just six pupils.
(Source: Irish Independent)

Sligo

A Co Sligo farmer is facing a prison sentence after pleading guilty to cruelty to donkeys and a horse. Sligo District Court heard that the animals were so hungry they ate the fence posts in the field.
(Source: The Sligo Champion)

Tipperary

A former Roscrea vet was fined E30,000, and ordered to pay E1,500 in costs, at a special sitting of Nenagh Court for having illegal animal remedies, having animal remedies without a proper prescription and with altering or removing the labels or packaging of animal remedies. Laurence Greene, 72, of Ivy Nook, Roscrea, pleaded guilty to six charges taken by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. A further 19 charges were withdrawn by the State.
(Source: Tipperary Star)

Tyrone

Police hunting the killers of PC Ronan Kerr have arrested a suspect after discovering a 'significant' haul of arms, including rocket launcher components and detonators. Officers detained a 26-year-old man in Renton, west Scotland, after the cache, also including four Kalashnikov rifles and possible Semtex explosive, was found in Northern Ireland last week. The details emerged after Northern Irish nationalist leaders joined police and relatives in a show of unity at PC Kerr’s funeral in the village of Beragh, Co Tyrone.
(Source: Metro.co.uk)

Waterford

An unreserved apology has been publicly given to a Waterford family left traumatized by a TG4 program screened on January 13 last, which showed their late mother being embalmed at a Dungarvan Undertakers. The family was traumatized after switching over to the TV station to witness their deceased mother’s entire embalming process being secretly filmed. They took legal action and received an out-of-court settlement from producers.
(Source: Waterford News $ Star)

Westmeath

It emerged last week that Athlone Town Council is pursuing €1.4m in unpaid development levies through the courts, while councilors also heard that the council has issued legal proceedings in relation to rates arrears for the first time. Town Clerk John Walsh pointed out to councilors that while the figure for development levies due shown in the report was €6.8m, this was not the full picture.
(Source: Westmeath Independent)

Wexford

Coastwatch has claimed that a ministerial order for the protection of sand dunes in Co Wexford is being breached, The Irish Times reports. The order was made in January by former environment minister John Gormley to protect the Tinnaberna dunes from damage due to the storage of cattle over a number of years. But the environmental group says that "dung, contaminated sediment and massive weed cultures remain" on site, and highlighted concern over its close proximity to a stream which flows into the sea near bathing water.
(Source: The Irish Times)

Wicklow

A key witness in the murder trial of a Co Wicklow man has told a court how she saw a man wearing a balaclava and armed with a knife, struggling with her boss after attempting to rob his shop. Breaking down several times during her evidence at the Central Criminal Court last week, Kay O’Connor recalled how she was working on her own in Brauder’s shop in Arklow on the evening of November 25th, 2009, when Anthony Farrell came in wielding a knife. She screamed for her boss, John Deasy, who was in the apartment overhead, and he arrived on the scene also armed with a knife. There was a struggle between the two, during which Mr Deasy was fatally stabbed.

(Source: Irish TImes)

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