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News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

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Antrim

The widow of a businessman shot dead at his home during an attempted robbery has said his killer's jail sentence was close to her "prayers being answered". Darren Kernohan, 35, of Moss Drive, Antrim, was given a life sentence for the murder of Geoff Kerr, 60, at his Templepatrick home in April 2009. Last Thursday he was told he would serve at least 22 years in jail for the killing. Mr Kerr's widow, Sally, let out a gasp in court when Kernohan was sentenced. Kernohan had admitted firing the fatal shot, but had claimed he had done so accidentally during a struggle with the victim.
(Source: BBC News)

Armagh

Politicians in Co Armagh have said the community is shocked at blast bomb attack on police last Thursday. The device was been thrown at a police foot patrol in the Meadowbrook area of Craigavon, Co Armagh. The PSNI said officers were on routine patrol at about 10.10pm on Wednesday when the bomb was thrown. While none of the officers - from the PSNI's neighborhood team - were injured, District Commander, Chief Supt Alasdair Robinson said it was "a mindless attack on police officers just trying to do their jobs". "It is by sheer good fortune that one of those officers was not killed or seriously injured," he added.
(Source: 4NI.co.uk)

Carlow

A father and son were viciously attacked by axe-wielding maniacs in a late night assault in Borris.?The local men were set upon by a gang of four men carrying a large axe, hammer and a hatchet. The incident happened shortly after midnight last Sunday morning on Main Street in Borris.?The father, in his late 40s, suffered serious head injuries after the gang of four men came at him with a large axe and a hammer, before turning on his son, who is in his 20s. ??The gang, who are believed to have been on a crime spree when the attacks occurred, fled the scene in a two-door car van – possibly a Citroen – according to a garda (police) source.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)

Cavan
Pre-Tax Profits at Lakeland Dairies more than trebled last year to €4.5 million, boosted by growing global demand for dairy products. Turnover at the Co Cavan co-operative increased by 23 per cent to €401 million, while the company made an operating profit of €5.3 million – double the €2.65 million posted in 2009. Chief executive Michael Hanley described 2010 as a “very positive” year for the company following an extremely challenging 2009 for the dairy industry.
(Source: Irish Times)

Clare

The average cost of maintaining Traveler (gypsy) accommodation group scheme units in Clare is seven times higher than the unit cost of standard local authority accommodation, it emerged last week. For the current year, Clare County Council has budgeted €910,288 providing maintenance of its standard 1,550 local authority housing units across the county, compared to over €492,019 looking after just 65 Traveler accommodation units. In 2009, the county council spent €565,000 on maintenance and management of Traveler accommodation sites and this figure increased to €628,000 in 2010. ?Additional expenditure on refurbishment resulting from vandalism in 2010 at Beechpark, Ballymaley and Ballymurtagh amounted to €90,000.
(Source: The Clare Champion)

Cork

The parents of a little miracle girl from Hollyhill, who were told thei rdaughter wouldn't survive, will hold a benefit night for her this June to fund her ongoing care.?The story of 13 month old Megan Hope Byrne, who was diagnosed with a number of severe medical conditions while her mother was pregnant but survived, was exclusively reported by the Cork Independent earlier this month. At 14 weeks into her pregnancy, her mother, Janice O’Mahoney, discovered that there were complications with her baby, especially its head. The baby arrived six weeks early by emergency caesarean section and she was immediately christened. Doctors had alerted the family that the little baby might not survive - a possibility reflected in her tiny grey face.?
Source: (Cork Independent)

Derry

Police in Derry have arrested two men in connection with a early morning arson attack in the city. The men, both in their 20’s, were arrested following the attack at Clipper Quay just before 2am Thursday morning. Meanwhile police also say three men have been arrested in connection with a burglary in the Inishowen Gardens area of Derry around 5am Thursday morning. The men, all in their 20’s, are currently helping police with their enquiries.
(Source: Derry Journal)

Donegal

Buncrana man Martin Gill says he’s had enough -  he is going on hunger strike outside Letterkenny General Hospital unless someone will tell him what is wrong with him. In just over three years the right hand side of his body has ‘gone’, his weight has plummeted to a little over 10 stone and he says he is suicidal. “This is the last throw of the dice’, he said, claiming his condition is visibly worsening but he’s being passed around the medical profession, as he describes it, ‘like snuff at a wake.’ He commented: “I was an alcoholic but I have been sober for five years - but this is doing my head in. My body has totally twisted to the right. My head and arms are now twisted, my leg has shortened, there is twisting of the pelvis.” Claiming that he was living through a ‘bureaucratic nightmare’ Mr. Gill said it would take weeks to tell his story. “I have had 30 letters of referral to various doctors and hospitals. Once I waited 8 months to go to this specialist and then when I got there I was told I was with the wrong doctor.
(Source: Derry Journal)

Down

The husband of a County Down woman who died from bowel cancer a fortnight ago says the health authorities must roll out the screening program across NI "as quickly as possible". Rosie Kirker Miller, who was from Bangor, was 46 when she died. Her husband Martin said early detection could have saved her life. He said he wished the health authorities "would just hurry up" with the screening program. "I lost my wife two weeks ago and she had spent weeks and months in agony," he said. "It's not something you want to see - believe me. "The last fortnight has been a mixture of grief and disbelief. "We all miss her so much."
(Source: BBC News)

Dublin

The family of an Irishman missing in Holland believe his body may have been mangled by a tourist boat in a canal. A sister of missing man, Paul Nolan Miralles (36), originally from Clonsilla, Co Dublin, last week said his family had formally identified a shredded jacket, T-shirt and bag retrieved by Amsterdam police from the city's canal. Anne Ravanona said police also recovered a body part -- believed to be part of a person's shoulder -- from the canal which was being DNA analyzed. "It will take a couple of days to be 100pc certain," Ms Ravanona, a Paris-based management training expert, said.
(Source: The Irish Independent)

Fermanagh

Another 11 law firms in Co Fermanagh are to stop work on serious criminal cases as part of an escalating dispute over legal aid fees. The development emerged as solicitors for four men returned for trial on charges connected with a major cannabis factory in Belfast came "off record". One of the legal representatives said the stand-off was now being rolled out. The heightening row is over new legal aid rules introduced by Justice Minister David Ford. Fees to solicitors have been reduced by 25% under changes in legal aid for Crown Court proceedings, while barristers rates will also drop by 20%.
(Source: BBC News)

Galway

The parents of a four months old baby girl from Rahoon who has a life-threatening illness are desperately hoping she can get the liver transplant she needs to survive. Little Ieva Zukaskaute has already had two unsuccessful operations for Biliary atresia, an illness which is a blockage in the tubes (ducts) that carry liquid called bile from the liver to the gallbladder. The condition is congenital, which means it is present from birth and was only noticed on baby Ieva when, at six weeks, she was still very jaundiced. Baby Ieva’s illness is at an advanced stage and if not treated by specialists at Kings College Hospital in London, she could die within six months.
(Source: GalwayBay Fm)

Kerry

A man has appeared in court in relation to the alleged publication of racist material on the social networking site, Facebook. Patrick Kissane (27), of Killarney, Co Kerry, is accused of actions likely to stir up hatred on December 1, 2009. Judge James O'Connor adjourned the matter at Killarney District Court until July. Inspector Martin McCarthy requested the case be adjourned to get the views of the Director for Public Prosecutions because of the unusual nature of the case. It relates to the setting up of an anti-Traveler (gypsy) Facebook page called 'Promote the use of knacker babies as bait'. The site is understood to have attracted 664 fans before it was removed by Facebook last July following a number of complaints.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Kildare

The suicide of teen Devlin Kavanagh in State care shows how the voice of the child was "stifled" by bureaucracy, children's rights campaigners have said. Devlin Kavanagh (14), from Castledermot, Co Kildare, hanged himself just a few miles from his home on December 5, 2006. The teen died after he was told he would have to return to the Ballydowd secure care home in west Dublin. He previously told his mother that he would kill himself if this happened. Devlin's mother Orla Kavanagh Doyle and her husband Mark believe that if their son had received the correct support, he may have been saved.
(Source: The Herald.ie)

Kilkenny

Gardai (police) have ruled out the possibility of foul play after the body of a man was found in his home in the city centre Thursday morning. The man, who was in his early sixties is believed to be originally from England and was living in the city for a number of months. His body was believed to have been at his home for a number of days before being discovered. Gardai have confirmed that they are not treating the death as suspicious.
(Source: Kilkenny People)

Laois

The first major retail opening of the new extension to Laois Shopping Centre is finally ready to open albeit two years later than originally planned. The first phase of the redevelopment opened last year with the underground car park but now Tesco Extra Store will open it’s doors next Tuesday, April 26. The new store will be on of the largest stores in the country and will be triple the size of their existing shop The expansion has also created 93 new jobs in the town, bringing the number of people in employed in Tesco Portlaoise to over 250. The store will trade 24hours a day, 7 days a week.
(Source: Leinster Express)

Leitrim

Tuesday, April 19, marked a very special occasion for one couple with the celebration of Co Leitrim’s first Civil Partnership. Kieran Doyle, a native of Drumshanbo married long term partner John Gray in a private ceremony in Carrick-on-Shannon. The celebrations formalized a relationship which has lasted over 25 years and although they opted to have just two friends to witness the ceremony, both are planning a special reception to be held in their home later this year for family and friends. The happy couple met in 1986 in Dublin when Kieran worked for ESB and John for Eircom. Speaking with the Leitrim Observer prior to the ceremony they said that it was a relief to be finally able to legally formalize recognition for their relationship.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)

Limerick

A sixteen-year-old boy was sentenced to six month detention last week after he admitted stealing 25 cars during a six month crime spree which began last September. The youth, who can’t be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to stealing the cars on various dates between September 2010 and March of this year. The vehicles were stolen from a variety of locations in Limerick, Tipperary, Clare, and Kerry. At Limerick Children’s Court, Insp Brendan McDonagh said the vehicles had been stolen from outside private homes and from car parks at a number of shopping centers in the city and from the car park at Colbert Railway station, Parnell Street.
(Source: Limerick Leader)

Longford

A Fine Gael councillor in Longford said that party members on the county council will have to oppose the nomination of Senator David Norris to run in the upcoming presidential election. Senator Norris is seeking the backing of four local authorities to secure a nomination for the presidential election, which will take place in October this year. In order to get the support of a council, a councilor has to put forward a motion proposing his candidature. If such a motion comes before Longford County Council, Cllr Paddy Belton (FG) informed Senator Norris at last week’s meeting of Longford County Council that the party line would have to be observed. Having received correspondence that morning from a presidential candidate seeking nomination for their own selection convention, Cllr Belton said, “You know how political parties work, I have to oppose you if it’s put here to the floor and oppose the nomination from the council. That’s the way political parties work.”
(Source: Longford Leader)

Louth

The Marshes are appealing for help to find a missing Shopping Centre landmark. The trademark Marshes blimp, which normally floats above the centre, came loose from its moorings and was blown away from its usual position last week. The blimp was last sighted at the centre on the morning of Monday April 11. Marshes management are asking the public to be vigilant and report any sightings of the structure around the Dundalk area, or further afield. The blimp is 15 x 6 ft approximately, white in color with red Marshes branding on both sides.
(Source: Dundalk Democrat)

Mayo

A garda (police), who was stationed in a County Mayo town until his suspension two years ago, is set to be charged with corruption offences relating to illegal trafficking and organized prostitution.
The charges follow an in-depth investigation by the Garda (police) National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) into organized prostitution in the west of Ireland.  The Garda, who is a native of Sligo, is suspected of falsifying documentation that allowed an African woman, who worked as a prostitute, remain in the State illegally. It is believed that he may not have been aware of the full extent of her activities.
The garda is also suspected of organizing the woman’s rented accommodation.
Reportedly, the garda agreed, after he became friendly with the woman, to assist a member of a gang that smuggled women from Africa to Ireland for prostitution.
(Source: The Mayo News)

Meath

Police have seized cocaine and heroin with an estimated street value of more than one million euros in Co. Meath. The drugs were found during a search at a house in Enfield on Thursday. It was the second substantial drugs seizure in the Republic in 24 hours. Drugs with an estimated street value of £3m were seized in Coolock, Dublin, on Wednesday. A man in his 20s was arrested.
(Source: BBC News)

Monaghan

Gardaí (police) searched a house in Co Monaghan as part of the ongoing PSNI investigation into the murder of Constable Ronan Kerr in Omagh, Co Tyrone last week.  During the house search in Scotstown last week, a number of items were seized and removed for forensic examination.
It is understood the articles seized did not include weapons or ammunition.
No-one was arrested.
(Source: RTE News)

Offaly

One journalist is so keen on covering the visit of US President Obama to Moneygall that she's moved to the Co Offaly village.??Speaking on 'Midlands Today', Eimear Ni Bhraonain from the Irish Independent, says she's moved to an apartment on the village's Main Street.?The President is due in Offaly next month, with heavy speculation centering on May 23rd as the date for his arrival. Eimear says she hopes to get a good view of the most powerful man in the world, now that she's a local.
(Source: Midlands Radio)

Roscommon

More than 400 submissions on an €80 million wind farm proposed for south Roscommon have been received by Roscommon County Council. Green energy company Galetech has applied for planning permission to build an electricity generating wind farm, Seven Hills, close to Dysart, in the townlands of Turrock, Cronin, Mullaghhardagh, Gortaphuill, Tullyneeny and Glenrevagh. However, the Wind Turbine Action Group, South Roscommon, has vowed to oppose the application at council and An Bord Pleanála level, “and beyond if necessary”. They claim 72 per cent of the 408 submissions to the council on the planning application are opposed to the wind farm, with 28 per cent in favor.
(Source: Irish Times)

Sligo

Two children were treated in hospital after a road accident in Co Mayo Saturday afternoon.
The two girls, aged six and ten, were struck by a car on the Mayo to Sligo road in Mulranny Village.
They were taken to Castlebar General Hospital where the six-year-old girl is said to be in a serious condition. The other girl is not thought to be seriously injured.
(Source: RTE News)

Tipperary

A Tipperary man who lost his job in the recession has managed to turn his negative experience into a positive life-changing force for good by finding a new sense of purpose: fundraising for children with cancer. Many people across the County can relate to Nenagh man Kieran Coleman’s story. Having lost his job when the boom turned to boost, he had to find a new way of staying positive. Kieran came up with the idea of biking around Europe to raise funds for children battling cancer. Since then, Kieran, from the Abbey Lane, Nenagh, has embarked on three marathon motorcycling expeditions. So far, Kieran has raised about E8,000 for the cause, and is looking forward to this year’s challenge. “The fundraising has been very difficult this year,” Kieran told the Tipperary Star. This year, Kieran is working with CLIC Sargent, a UK based group which organises charity events for young people with cancer.
(Source: Tipperary Star)

Tyrone

A Co Tyrone man appeared in court in Northern Ireland charged with a number of serious terrorism offences. Gavin Coyle, 33, from Omagh, Co Tyrone, was charged with possessing firearms and explosives. The arms seizure was made by detectives investigating the murder of Constable Ronan Kerr by dissident republicans three weeks ago. The Special Sitting of Dungannon Magistrates Court lasted just seven minutes but took place amid a strong security presence.
(Source: RTE News)

Waterford

A total of €15.7 million will be spent on the road works program by Waterford County Council in 2011, a figure slightly up on 2010 but down €6.4 million on the 2008 budget, members of the local authority were informed last week. Director of Services, Michael Quinn said the road improvements program would have to be put on hold until such time as the damage caused by last winter had been repaired. Small sections of road were being repaired to bring them back to their previous standards and he warned that damage could escalate when the rain comes again. The bulk of repairs to those roads damaged during the severe weather had been completed, he added.
(Source: Waterford News $ Star)

Wexford

A main contractor has been appointed for a €1.5m An Post project to construct a delivery services unit at Goreybridge, Courtown, Co Wexford.
PJ Hegarty & Sons will build the unit that will include two-storey ancillary offices, a loading area to the side in an enclosed service yard, signage on the south elevation (front), low wall with railings to the southern boundary and a new access road all with associated site development works on a site of 0.44 hectares approximately.
(Source: Build.ie)

Wicklow

Three young fox cubs who were almost crushed by a JCB have been recuperating at a rescue centre. The three-week-old cubs narrowly escaped death when a JCB digger unearthed their den near Athlone, Co Westmeath, last Wednesday. The quick-thinking JCB driver left the cubs near the den for 24 hours in the hope their mother might return. When the vixen failed to appear, he handed them over to the Athlone Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) on Thursday. ASPCA chairman Paul McCormack said the orphaned cubs were doing well. He has been feeding the animals dog food and milk. Mr McCormack added that he hoped to be able to reintroduce the animals to the wild once they are big enough to fend for themselves.
(Source: Independent.ie)

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