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News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

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Antrim

Shocking new figures have revealed that Antrim Council is consuming as much electricity as an average family does in a year - every day of the week!

The full extent of the Borough's power nightmare emerged following a Freedom of Information request by the Antrim Guardian. After being grilled on the soaring costs, the Council revealed that it paid £235,615.57 for electricity during the last financial year - which boils down to almost £650 a day.

The biggest drain on ratepayers' wallets is the Antrim Forum, which guzzles power at the rate of £1,235 per week - and that does not include an additional £2,446 run up at Antrim Stadium. ?The Civic Centre is not far behind, with a whopping bill of £50,892.89 last year alone - economy drive notwithstanding.

Other notable entries include the Council's depot at Orchard Way - which was once dubbed 'the most expensive garage in Ulster' - which costs a tidy £17,324.45 to illuminate over a 12-month spell.

The household recycling centers in Antrim, Crumlin and Craigmore consumed £5,962.31.?Allen Park Golf centre chips in with an over par £18,454.69, while the cost of bringing power to the people at the seven community centres has surged to £43,399.90 - with Neillsbrook in Randalstown of particular note with a budget-sapping bill for £17,485.38.
(Source: Antrim Guardian)

Armagh

A BMW has been hijacked and burnt out in the Lake Street area of Lurgan, shortly after 11pm on Friday.

The silver car is the second vehicle to have been torched in the area on the same day.At around 6.50pm on Friday a white Ford Transit van was taken from Drumbeg and set on fire at the roundabout between Craigavon and Lurgan.

The hijackings follow recent disturbances in the Craigavon and Lurgan regions in the last week, in which a number of vans were stolen and burnt out.
(Source: UTV News)

Carlow

County Carlow now has a population of 54,532, an increase of 8.3%, according to the first results of the 2011 census, proving that like most of the country the baby boom is well and truly in full swing!

The first results of the census taken just 12 weeks ago indicate that the county is now home to 54,532 people, a total of 27,396 males and 27,136 females.

This signifies an increase of 8.3% on the 2006 census and is expected to have far reaching consequences on many aspects of how the county is governed, including the impending constituency review.

However, the true population figures for the services required in the county may be even higher.
The census revealed that Laois has experienced a 20% increase in population since 2006 and it is estimated that over 3,000 Laois citizens are actually within the Carlow environs in terms of local services.

“Areas of Graiguecullen are within the Carlow environs so an additional 3,000 people from Laois come under the remit of Carlow Local Authorities for services such as water,” explained director of services Seamus O’Connor.

While the population of Carlow increased by 8.3% (slightly higher than the 8.1% increase for Ireland as a whole), it is the fourth smallest county in Ireland by population size.

In a reversal of the situation in 2006, nationally there are now more females than males in Ireland, with 981 males for every 1,000 females. However, in Carlow we like to do things differently: here, males still outnumber females, with 1,010 males per 1,000 females.The number of vacant dwellings in the county totaled 3,272 with a vacancy rate of 14.0%.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)

Cavan

The Minister for Health has apologized to the family of a Ballinmore girl Meadbh McGivern, over confusion that prevented her from flying to a leading London hospital for a liver transplant at the weekend. Minister James Reilly has asked the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to investigate how emergency transport was not made available to fly the 14-year-old to the King's College Hospital, and to make recommendations to ensure it never happens again.

Meadhbh's father Joe McGivern told The Anglo-Celt last Tuesday that he had a brief discussion with Minister Reilly on the phone and some of the minister's staff were in contact with him subequently about the how the inquiry will proceed. The family have been invited to give their input into that inquiry.

"The minister said he would make sure this would not happen again and measures would be put in place to ensure that," said Mr Givern.

He revealed that Meadhbh was still distraught and can't believe she was so close to receiving the essential operation, only to have her hopes cruelly dashed.

"You have to forget these things and move forward, but they are hard to forget", said Joe.

He revealed that the Transplant Team from Kings College Hospital in London rang last Monday and they were talking to his wife Assumpta. "They said the young healthy liver was just the perfect match - but now at least it has been successfully transplanted into another person and they are currently doing well - at least their misfortune has been corrected by ours".

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