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News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

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Antrim

A death defying biker who weaved 'like an utter maniac' through traffic to complete the journey between Antrim and Ballymena in just four minutes has threatened to beat his time - because on his first run the road was wet.?Incredibly the mystery racer filmed his journey at breakneck speeds along the A26, smugly uploading it on to YouTube for the world to see.?The busy stretch between Dunsilly roundabout and its counterpart heralding the arrival at the City of the Seven Towers is eight miles long and usually takes a careful motorist around 10 minutes to travel.?But sitting astride his motorbike, which he brags he has customized to hit a top speed of 160mph, 'BigJohn813' blazed along it in just four minutes - clocking up an average speed of 120mph in the process.
(Source: Antrim Guardian)

Armagh

A man suffered serious facial injuries after he was ‘glassed’ in an unprovoked attack in Newry city centre last weekend. The incident occurred sometime between 10.30pm and 11.00pm last Sunday night at a licensed premises on Merchants Quay. Police said a man attacked the victim with a glass bottle, causing deep lacerations to the left side of his head. The assailant is described as being aged in his 40's and of a stocky build with ginger hair and freckles or spots on his face. He was wearing a Glasgow Celtic jersey and a pair of light blue jeans.
(Source: Crossexmainer.co.uk)

Carlow

Touching tributes to a life lost too so on have been posted by friends on a social networking site after a young Carlow man tragically took his own life last week.??Twenty-one-year-old Mark Sheehy was found in the grounds of Presentation College, Carlow last Wednesday, leaving his loving mother Angela, along with family and friends, devastated at his untimely death.??Mark was an only child, originally from the Leighlinbridge area but lived in John Sweeney Park in Carlow town for many years.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)

Cavan

If ever there was living proof of how organ donation can transform a life, the smiling face of little Lorna Tierney said it all as the sun poured down in Greaghagivney, Stradone last month. Lorna was also looking forward to meeting Westlife with her sister Nicola at their concert in Dublin. The Tierney family, Larry and Kathleen and their daughter, Nicola, spoke in glowing terms about how their youngest member was given back an active life, courtesy of a kidney transplant.

Lorna's mother Kathleen explained that when Lorna was eight, she was drinking fluids excessively. "She was always thirsty and always wanted more water," she said. Larry said it was like a miracle that a kidney became available, just when Kathleen was on the verge of donating one of hers.
(Source: Anglo Celt)

Clare

Same-sex couples in Clare cannot participate in an ­official civil partnership ceremony in a registry office in the county. The Mid-West Health Service Executive (HSE) has received six enquires from Clare people who wish to engage in a civil partnership, three men and three women. Three of these, two women and one man, have served notice of their intentions to the HSE since January.?However, Superintendent Registrar Geraldine McCarthy confirmed they cannot have this ceremony in a Clare registry office because the necessary space isn’t available, despite a number of unsuccessful attempts to secure another building.?Instead, same-sex couples have to make an application to have their ceremony conducted in a particular venue, which has to be subsequently assessed by HSE staff and must adhere to a standard set of criteria.
(Source: The Clare Champion)

Cork

Cork's finest singing trio, Crystal Swing (made famous when Ellen Degeneres had them on her show), hit the top of the You Tube charts again last week with a skit of the rock classic ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’. The East Cork family continue their inexorable rise with the new viral produced by RTÉ’s Republic of Telly, which will also raise money for the Temple Street Children’s Hospital in Dublin. Last week, the Burkes’ biker zombie-fest is already tipped to be a top tune, with its You Tube video hits gathering momentum, with almost 39,000 hits last Wednesday afternoon. According to an RTÉ spokesperson, the hilarious new video was produced by the Republic of Telly, and “features the normally squeaky clean family taking on a biker gang after they kidnap Dervla and Mary.”
Source: (Cork Independent)

Derry

Two notorious paedophile brothers who abused children over a 30 year period are to be housed in newly refurbished accommodation just yards from a Derry school, the ‘Journal’ has learned. James and Owen Roe McDermott, from Donagh in County Fermanagh, were two of four brothers involved in what one judge described as a “tidal wave of abuse”. Last year, the two were deemed mentally unfit to stand trial and returned to their home village. However, after village residents protested at their return, they voluntarily agreed to be admitted to Lakeview Hospital in Derry for treatment.
(Source: Derry Journal)

Donegal

As the emergency services remain on high alert following the spate of gorse fires which have caused widespread damage throughout the county, a Dungloe woman has called for medals to be issued to honor those involved in helping to combat the outbreaks. Mary Ellen Berardi of Chapel Road said she had not been directly affected by the inferno but watched as others fought to protect homes and properties. “I was very lucky but so many others weren’t. But it made me so proud to be Irish to see how many people responded in such a courageous fashion to help put out the fires and rescue property. The spirit of these people was so wonderful.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)

Down

Concerns over the dependability of the reduced Strangford Ferry Service have been raised by Portaferry councilor, Joe Boyle. Mr. Boyle said some crossings were being suspended, in addition to the recent reduction of the service to one ferry. The Department for Regional Development announced last month the potential for delays over the busy Easter period due to ongoing refit work on the additional ferry, the ‘MV Strangford. “I am deeply concerned with the overall management of this facility by those responsible from within the Department of Regional Development,” said Mr. Boyle.
(Source: The Down Recorder)

Dublin

A man was in intensive care on Saturday following an incident outside the home of Boyzone boyband star Mikey Graham. Earlier, the singer’s family were subjected to verbal abuse. Some time later a man was found with serious injuries outside the address. Mr Graham and his wife and young daughter were in the house at the time of the incident. At least one person had been ringing the intercom at Mr Graham’s home and shouting abuse through the gates. The incident occurred at the address in Man O’ War, North Dublin, in the early hours of Saturday. Gardai (police) were trying to piece together the full circumstances of what unfolded. Officers believe that the injured man was involved in an altercation during which he fell to the ground and sustained a head injury.
(Source: The Evening Hearld)

Fermanagh

One of two brothers who abused generations of children in the village of Donagh in County Fermanagh appeared in court to face more charges. John Michael McDermott, 61, from Moorlough Road in the village, pleaded not guilty to four counts of indecently assaulting a schoolboy between 2002 and 2004. Last year he pleaded guilty to 35 charges of sexually abusing children. Along with three brothers he abused six children in Donagh from 1969 to 2001. He was sentenced to a total of nine years in prison.
(Source: BBC News)

Galway

Chilean squad for London 2012 may use Galway for acclimatization. Galway is positioning itself to ‘cash-in’ on the 2012 Olympic Games in London by luring participating country’s to set-up their pre-Games base here, as well as attracting to the city the ‘overspill’ of tourists visiting the English capital before and after the event.

The Galway City Tribune has learned that the Chilean Olympic team are currently considering using Galway as a pre-Olympics’ base for training and acclimatization before the Games begin in August next year. ‘Feelers’ about setting up camp in Galway City, which is a short hop to London and has a similar climate, have also been sent out to other countries including Brazil and Kenya.
(Source: Galway City Tribune)

Kerry

Three people were killed in two separate road incidents in Co Wexford and Co Kerry last Wednesday, both occurring at about 3.30am. The deaths came as a setback after figures confirmed April had recorded the lowest road death figures in one month since records began in 1959. Nine people died on Irish roads last month. In Co Kerry, a man in his 40s was killed when the car he was driving left the road near Ballyduff in the north of the county. Named locally as John Costello, Knopogue, Ballyduff, he was a single man and a farmer. He was the only person in the car which reportedly overturned as it left the road and ended up on its roof in a field at Slieveawaddra.
(Source: Irish Times)

Kildare

Pipebombs were found in a rural part of Co Kildare last weekend following an anonymous phone call to the gardaí (police).

Gardaí discovered three viable pipebombs at Ballinakill, Carbury, on 1 May at around 7.30pm during a planned search of the area.

The Defense Forces were drafted in after a call from gardaí and they made the improvised explosive devices safe.

The devices, which were determined to be crude but viable were made safe at the scene and removed for further examination.
(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)

Kilkenny

Residents of Kilkenny city and county are encouraged to submit sightings of mammals to a new nationwide survey launched this month by the National Biodiversity Data Centre. The Atlas of Irish Mammals survey aims to map the distribution of all mammals found in Ireland and its territorial waters between now and 2015. For the first time ever, Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, Bat Conservation Ireland, Irish Wildlife Federation, Biology.ie and some of Ireland’s leading mammal scientists have come together to collaborate on documenting the distribution of all 64 species of mammals that are known to occur in the Irish territory. This includes 27 species of land mammal, 10 bat species, three marine mammals and probably 24 cetacean (whales and dolphins).
(Source: Kilkenny People)

Laois

The Gordon Bennett Irish Classic Car Run will take place from Friday June 3rd to June 6th 2011. The event is open to all vintage veteran and classic cars, motorcycles and commercials registered prior to 1980. Participants will drive the historic Gordon Bennett Route over the weekend. A Civic Reception will take place to launch the weekend on Friday June 3rd at Aras an Chontae, Portlaoise, Co. Laois.
(Source: Laoise Toursim)

Leitrim

Worried Kinlough mother Angela Connolly confronted Education Minister Ruairi Quinn on the future of her child’s schooling at the INTO conference in Sligo last week. The Government’s decision to cap all new applications for Special Needs Assistants and indications that there may be more cuts in the current SNA numbers will greatly affect those with learning disabilities who rely on them to gain an education. The number of resource teachers has been capped at 9,950 for 2011 – however, early indications show that the demand for special needs support is already nearing that target after just a few months into the year. Angela Connolly and her ten year old son Jack, joined other parents who traveled with their children to the Into conference where Minister Quinn was giving a speech. They confronted the Minister with a first hand account of the difficulties and uncertainties their children face. Jack Connolly was born with Down Syndrome, but despite his learning and physical difficulties, “he has come on leaps and bounds” over the last two years at Four Masters NS Kinlough. Jack is in third class, he has a full-time special needs assistant and also receives five hours a week in resource teaching support.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)

Limerick

Two brothers of the deceased Limerick criminal Philip Collopy have each been sentenced to five years in prison after threatening to kill a former associate of their gang. Damian and Kieran Collopy, of St Ita’s Street, St Mary’s Park, pleaded guilty to threatening to kill or cause serious harm to Willie Moran at his home in St Senan’s Street, St Mary’s Park, on April 14, 2010. Limerick Circuit Court heard that the Collopy brothers alleged that Mr Moran owed up to €5,000 to their late brother Philip Collopy, who accidentally shot himself in the head in March 2009.
(Source: Limerick Leader)

Longford

Gardai (police) intercepted a sophisticated drug making operation last week following the discovery of another cannabis ‘grow house’, this time in Edgeworthstown. Several plants with an estimated street value of €3,000 were recovered along with around €300 worth of heroin during a planned search at a house just outside the mid Longford town last week. A man in his late 20s was questioned over the incident before being released without charge, gardai said. Detectives are nonetheless understood to be especially pleased at how the operation was handled, its success and the fact the chief suspect in the raid had been a target of undercover gardai for several months. A joint effort by Granard and Edgeworthstown based gardai and backed up by a local dog unit, the search marked the culmination of weeks of painstaking surveillance work and intellegence gathering.
(Source: Longford Leader)

Louth

A man was killed in an accident at the Avenue Road in Dundalk, last Monday  morning. It is believed the tragedy occurred when the car he was working collapsed on top of him.The man, who is not believed to be from the area, was not named but Gardaí (police) confirmed that he was 31 years old. A large number of ambulances and paramedics as well as Gardaí and fire crew attended the scene of the accident, close to the Avenue Stores, but the man was pronounced dead when he arrived at hospital a short time later.
(Source: Dundalk Democrat)

Mayo

The family of two young girls who were both knocked down by a car while walking through Mulranny village have thanked the people of the village for their help and support over the past week.
The two girls were on holiday in Mulranny when they were knocked down by the car and taken to hospital. They were both released from hospital and are recovering while continuing their holiday in the west Mayo beauty spot. The family of the two girls who are from Dublin are regular visitors to Mulranny and attended the local Church last Sunday. During the Mass the presiding priest, speaking on behalf of the parents, thanked the local community for their help and support following the accident.
(Source: The Mayo News)

Meath

Gardai (Irish police) have borrowed riot-control weapons, such as water cannons, from Northern Ireland's police, in preparation for Queen Elizabeth's visit this month. This news comes as it has been confirmed that the bomb attack in County Meath was carried out by violent opponents to the State visit. On April 21 a pipe bomb was thrown at a Duke of Wellington monument, in Trim, County Meath.The Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, said "It is quite possible, but not certain, that it may have been some sort of atavistic response to the announcement that Queen Elizabeth is to visit the country later this month." No one was injured in the attack.
(Source: Irish Central)

Monaghan

Thousands of people across Northern Ireland have held parties to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey.The Queen made Prince William the Baron Carrickfergus ahead of the ceremony. The barony of County Antrim's oldest town has been extinct since 1883. Following their exchange of vows, the couple's main titles became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Prince William, who is colonel of the Irish Guards, wore the regiment's red tunic during the ceremony.(Source: BBC News)

Offaly

Tullamore’s Phoenix Festival, which was due to take place this past weekend, was cancelled amid allegations of bureacracy by the Town Council. In a statement issued Festival spokesman Loughnan Hooper said, “It is with sincere regret that the Phoenix Arts Festival committee are left with no alternative but to cancel the festival due to take place in the Town Park on Saturday May 7 and Sunday May 8.” He added that the festival committee had been trying to meet with town council officials since January 6 regarding the festival and have been met by “constant bureaucracy.”
(Source: Offaly Express)

Roscommon

Irial Finan, a Roscommon man was named after one of Ireland’s high kings, a fitting name for the Irishman who sits comfortably at the helm of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Atlanta.??Finan (53) is the executive vice-president of the $35-plus-billion Coco-Cola bottling empire, a long way from his humble beginnings in Castlerea County Roscommon.??“I love my job and this is a great company,” he said on his career in a recent conversation with the Irish Times.??With over 80,000 employees around the globe, the top executive clocks up a lot of air miles with the company, having touched down in 11 countries this year alone so far. But the travel, he says, is not a glamorous element of his job.??“The day you start feeling, wow I’m great, I’m traveling all over the place, you’ve lost it,” says Finan.
(Source: Irish Central)

Sligo

An 18-Year-old youth who took out a tractor one night last November during the snow to help a friend whose vehicle had gone off the road found himself before Tubbercurry Court on a number of summonses. However, Judge Kevin Kilrane, after hearing the young man had been doing "an act of mercy" on the occasion imposed a fine of €100 for having an unlit front lamp.
(Source: The Sligo Champion)

Tipperary

The trial of two bar staff accused of the manslaughter of a British man in a Co Tipperary hotel has heard that both accused had no training on the potential dangers of fatal doses of alcohol and were told to meet the needs of hotel guests, including serving them drinks. Bar manager at Hayes Hotel in Thurles, Gary Wright (34), and barman Aidan Dalton (28), both from Borrisoleigh, Co Tipperary, deny the manslaughter of Graeme Parish through gross negligence. It is alleged the bar staff served Mr Parish (26) eight shots of spirits in a pint glass at the hotel bar, which he downed in one go, a few hours before he was found dead from alcohol poisoning.
(Source: Irish Times)

Tyrone
Two people have been in killed in a road traffic accident in County Tyrone last Friday. Robert Samuel Rutledge, 64, and Doris Rutledge, 63, died in the accident on the Barony Road, Mountfield, near Killyclogher Road, Omagh. A police spokesperson said the collision, which involved a Nissan Almera car and a lorry, was reported shortly after 1305 BST. The victims were both traveling in the Almera.
(Source: BBC News)

Waterford

Half a million euro was won by a lucky Waterford syndicate on the Euromillions Lotto Plus Draw last weekend. The winning ticket was bought in The Corner Shop on the Upper Yellow Road, by a man who regularly does the lotto in the store for the staff members where he works.  The delighted man called into the shop last week to tell staff of his good fortune after he purchased the quick pick earlier in the week.

Paula O’Farrell, who has run the shop for over 20 years with her husband Sean, said she was “over the moon” to hear the good news.
(Source: Waterford News & Star)

Westmeath

With an eight-lane grass track just 100 yards from his home in Westmeath in Ireland, Martin Fagan said "it was inevitable" that he would become a competitive runner. "It was almost like a magnet," the 27-year-old said. "It pretty much drew me in." In last Sunday's 32d annual Blue Cross Broad Street Run in Philadelphia, Fagan, standing out with his tattoo-covered arms and spiked hair, led most of the way before giving way in the final mile and finishing second to Ethiopia's Ketema Nigusse in the men's division. "I have a very poor finishing speed," Fagan said. "It's something I'm working on. [Nigusse] made a smart move at the right time."
(Source: Philly.com)

Wexford

A man arrested after a father-of-two's body was found on the stairwell inside a flat complex in Co Wexford has been released without charge. The bruised body of Paddy Connors (37) was found at the apartments at Carrigtur, Springvalley, on the outskirts of Enniscorthy town on last week. A file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions and gardai (police) are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.
(Source: Irish Independent)

Wicklow

A court has heard a convicted sex offender who hoarded more than 35,000 child-pornography images and movie files may have been motivated by an anger towards society. Forty-eight-year-old Adrian Savage of Millward Terrace, Meath Road, Bray, Co Wicklow, who has a masters degree in philosophy, was attending a clinical psychologist when he continued to access the material. He was also caught by a garda, who had investigated him the previous year, downloading child pornography in an internet cafe.

His offending behavior has been clinically assessed as “absolutely bizarre” and beyond sexual attraction.
(Source: Breaking News)

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