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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".

"I have no doubt that HIQA will get to the bottom of the matter - there are a lot of questions there to be answered", said Joe McGivney.

He said the Coast Guard or the Air Corps were not to blame.

"They offered the jet - they said we'll pick them up in Sligo and bring them to London - we will have them there by 1am - and somebody turned around and said no - one thing I will find out is, who that person was".
(Source: The Anglo Celt)

Clare

The Department of Education and Skills has been paying an estimated €1,800 a week to transport two West Clare teenagers with special needs by taxi to a school in Ennis because of the lack of a suitable educational facility in their locality.

Isabelle Sequin, 14, who has Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and epilepsy, up to the recent end of term had been completing a round trip of 130km three days a week, while her twin sister, Clara attended St Joseph’s Community College, Kilkee.

During the school year, Isabelle stays in an Enable Ireland house on Wednesday nights to try and reduce the impact on her condition of traveling from Carrigaholt to St Clare’s in Ennis. The same taxi collects a second pupil with ASD from Moyasta, while it is understood yet another pupil is picked up along the way to Ennis.Isabelle’s father, Pat Gavin has hit out at the cost of transporting students from West Clare to Ennis and feels this money would be far better spent in providing a fully resourced special needs unit in Kilkee, which would mean teenagers with special needs would have the option of attending a local secondary school.

A Department of Education spokesman said in the context of post-primary provision in County Clare, the National Council for Special Education has had further discussions with a post-primary school with a view to establishing a special class and the local special needs organizer in the area will continue to progress the issue. However, he said, “A special class will not be established before September 2011”.St Joseph’s Community College, Kilkee principal, Theresa O’Donnellan said the Department of Education has not been in touch with her regarding the provision of a special needs unit in Kilkee.

“The SENO has engaged with us in Kilkee regarding the possibility of setting up a special needs unit in Kilkee,” she said.
(Source: The Clare Champion)

Cork

County Cork is the fastest growing county in Ireland, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), which reported a 10.3 per cent population growth in the preliminary Census 2011 figures released last week.

With an increase of 37,339 people, compared to 2006, there was a total of 399,216 people in Cork County on the evening of the Census in April.

Meanwhile, there was an overall population increase of 7.7 per cent in Cork, with the city and county combined.

There was a combined population of 481,295 in 2006, which increased to 518,128 this year. This represents 256,970 males and 261,158 females in the entire county.

The figures revealed a 0.4 per cent drop in population in Cork city, however, from 119,418 in 2006 to 118,912. This represents a population of 58,653 males and 60,259 females in the city.

According to the CSO, County Cork experienced negative net migration and a relatively low natural increase in population, with the factors responsible for these trends including the relatively low level of new housing and an ageing population.

The Blackrock-based statistics authority compared the year’s high figures of 518,128 with those of previous years in Cork, such as 365,747 people in 1926, 330,443 people in 1961 and 420,510 people in 1996.

The most populated constituency is Cork South Central with 134,992 people, up from 129,379 in 2006.
There are 113,954 people in Cork East, 104,846 in Cork North Central, 81,521 in Cork North West and 82,815 in Cork South West.
Source: (Cork Independent)

Derry

Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin is to leave his job as Derry’s police commander in the autumn, the ‘Journal’ can reveal.

The police chief, who controls ‘G’ District which covers the Derry, Strabane and Limavady areas, is understood to be moving to pastures new - as yet undisclosed - to take up a new post.

It’s not known yet who’s in the running to succeed Ch. Supt Martin who took on the role of ‘G’ district commander in June 2009.

The SDLP’s Thomas Conway, who is chairperson of Derry’s District Policing Partnership (DPP), last week paid tribute to Ch. Supt. Martin’s “hard work and professionalism”.

“He always had a welcoming approach to DPP members,” he said. “I am glad we will still benefit from this open door policy as he will remain in post until late autumn and I’m sure that his positive and constructive working manner will continue to serve him well in his future career. I am sure the DPP will want to appropriately mark his contribution to policing in this region later in the year.”
(Source: Derry Journal)

Donegal

20-year-old Derry man died after falling from the second floor of a Donegal hotel on a night out with work colleagues, an inquest has heard.

The inquest into the death of Conor Duddy found that he had a high level of alcohol and some cannabis in his system when he fell from an open window of the Abbey Hotel in Donegal Town on June 20, 2010.

Coroner John Cannon said the reason Conor fell out the window will probably never be known. Mr Duddy died in Letterkenny General Hospital the day after the fall. The accident happened on a night out for staff from the Iceland store in Derry. About 20 staff from the store set off from Derry on a bus as part of a so-called mystery tour.

Mr Duddy’s father Noel told Letterkenny Coroner’s Court that his son - the youngest of three children - was in good form when he gave him a lift to the bus from their Lecky Road home. He said his son had drank two cans of beer in the house and had a bag with him which he later found out contained six bottles of beer. Mr Duddy said his son had suffered occasionally from depression and he had been aware that he had used cannabis. He said his son loved his job and was just a normal person “who had friends and went out just like everyone else”.

Passer-by Grace Harrington said Mr Duddy appeared to be very drunk when he get off a bus close to the hotel supported by two women.

Off-duty nurse Dawn Hannah had just left a nearby bar with a group of friends and family when she saw something fall from the hotel. She said at first she did not think it was a person. She said the man hit a sign on the way down and his head, neck and shoulder hit the ground first. She and a colleague who she was with, ran to carry out first aid on the man who was bleeding from the nose and mouth. An ambulance crew arrived quickly on the scene and he was taken to Letterkenny General Hospital.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)

Down

Two young girls have been rescued after getting into difficulties at Groomsport beach in Co Down last Friday night.

The Bangor lifeboat was called in shortly after 10pm when a passer-by noticed one of them in the water and the other stranded on rocks after playing on the shoreline.

The children, believed to be aged around 10 or 11, were not injured but have been left shocked.

"We got a 999 call from a member of the public reporting that two young girls were in difficulties, one was in the water the other on the rocks", Bangor Coastguard Watch Manager Rob Stevenson told UTV.
"We tasked Bangor lifeboat and out local Bangor coastguard team who went to offer assistance.

"The lifeboat managed to get the females back to shore to be assessed by an ambulance crew waiting at the scene.

"They were not hurt but were sock up and very cold".

The rescue has sparked warnings for people to be vigilant about their safety on beaches over the holiday period.

"If you are going to the beach enjoy it but be safe, if you are using a lilo make sure someone is holding it with a rope because they can soon drift off", Mr Stevenson added.

"If anyone needs assistance they can call us to ask for weather details of information on the tides."
(Source: UTV News)

Dublin

A homeless man who saved his pet rabbit from drowning in the Liffey is to be officially honoured by an animal charity.

Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) says it has been 'inundated' with calls of support for John Byrne since the Herald's story last Monday.

John dived off O'Connell bridge to rescue his pet rabbit Barney, after a passer-by had flung him off the bridge into the River Liffey.

He told the Herald that he "cannot believe" he is going to be presented with the award on Tuesday.
"Ever since the Herald wrote about what happened, myself and Barney have been getting so much support.

"But to be given an award is unbelievable. It's nice to know that despite living on the street, people still care and want to do a nice thing for me,"
(Source: The Evening Hearld)

Fermanagh

A canoeist who will become the first local woman to kayak singlehandedly around the entire island will wrap up her bid in Whitehead this week.

It is expected to take Elaine Alexander another four days for her to reach the finish line at the Co Antrim Yacht Club on Wednesday, where she will receive a heroine’s welcome after her epic voyage.

Elaine left the club on May 3 to undertake the strenuous solo 1,000-mile circumnavigation of Ireland in a bid to raise money for charity.

The changing tides, headlands and cliffs and unpredictable weather have all been barriers to the attempt.

The courageous kayaker’s skills were tested to the limit on several occasions and over the past 71 days the journey has been a struggle.

A severe bout of sea sickness, brought on by large swell during a 12-mile crossing near Brandon Bay on the Dingle Peninsula, was also a difficult time.

She said: “I was fully committed with a cliff face on one side and a long paddle to America on the other, so I had to continue despite being severely ill – I had no choice.

Despite this Elaine is on track to paddle to the podium this coming Wednesday.

‘Shooter’ as she is affectionately known among her friends, is a well-known personality within Irish canoeing circles and has undertaken canoeing events on a global scale.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Galway

A leading housing charity has said it is stunned by new figures which show that there are almost 19,000 houses lying empty across the county with an estimated current market value of well over €3.3 billion.

Housing charity Threshold say they are shocked that there are 15,113 empty houses in County Galway and 3,839 in the city at a time when there is such pressing needed for decent quality accommodation.

Latest census figures have shown a drop in 3.6 per cent in the number of vacant dwellings in the city area but a hike of 11.3 per cent in the number of empty houses in the rest of the county.

This means that one house in every nine in Co. Galway is lying empty, at a time when there is no money for the County Council or City Council to build new local authority homes.

House prices have continued to free-fall, with figures released by Ireland’s largest property website, daft.ie, showing a fall of 5.6 per cent in the second quarter of this year.

The average price of a new house in Galway city in the final quarter of last year was €215,000, while in the rest of the county asking prices averaged at €165,000, a reduction of €143,000 on the figure at the peak of the boom.

Taking these figures as rough guidelines, this means that there is now just under €3,320,000,000 worth of vacant houses and apartments in the entire county.
(Source: GalwayBay Fm)

Kerry

A mother of four who sent a stream of text messages to a man she had falsely accused of raping her was warned last week to keep away from him or she would end up back in jail.

Anne O'Sullivan (44), of Fern Walk, Pairc na Gloine, Kenmare, Co Kerry, spent the last week at Limerick Prison, where a district court judge had sent her to reflect on her actions.

Judge James O'Connor had remanded O'Sullivan in custody following her appearance on charges of harassing Raymond Downey (36), a married father of a young family.

Last week her solicitor Vincent Coakley told a special sitting of Killarney District Court: "Her week away has had an effect on her.
"It was a very hard lesson and she found it extremely tough. She accepts she has a serious alcohol problem and is willing to take steps to address that. She also accepts she may need psychiatric help."

O'Sullivan is accused of harassing Mr Downey on dates between July 1 and November 11, 2010 by repeatedly phoning and texting him. That was in breach of a circuit court order that directed her not to have any contact with the plumbing contractor.

The circuit court order had been granted by Judge Carroll Moran after O'Sullivan had falsely accused Mr Downey of raping her in July 2005.
(Source: Irish Independent)

Kildare

The latest unemployment statistics show yet another shocking rise in joblessness throughout Co Kildare.

Mirroring the nationwide picture, the number of those signing on at the county’s three centres, in Newbridge, Athy and Maynooth, rose from 18,151 last month to 19,011 at the end of June. The increase, announced by the Central Statistics Office in the last few days, would appear to dash hopes of any real and tangible economic recovery.

Nationally, the unemployment total has now reached 428,152 - a figure which is running dangerously close to half a million. It amounts to 14.2% of the potential working population being unemployed.

The national figures also indicate that the number of young people aged under 25 who are signing on has increased by almost 10,000, while more than 40% of the total number of jobless people have now been unemployed for a year or more, categorising them as long-term unemployed.

The youth unemployment figure is especially disturbing, given that the reality is possibly worse than the official picture. This is because many young people under the age of 25, who still live at home with their parents, don’t qualify for any benefits on foot of family means testing.

The latest figures show that 9,387 were queuing up to sign on in Newbridge during the month of June, while 2,765 were registered as unemployed at the Athy office and 5,999 in Maynooth.
(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)

Kilkenny

A local family managed to escape from their home after thugs set fire to cars in their driveway.
Gardaí are investigating a suspected arson attack at an address at Maiden Hill on the city’s Kells Road where two cars were destroyed and where heat damage was caused to a house in the quiet housing estate in the early hours of last Thursday morning.

Trees were scorched and the walls of the house were damaged after the valuable cars were set on fire. “This is a quiet estate and people are just shocked over what has happened,” one local resident said.
The family, who were in the house at the time managed to get to safety and escaped uninjured. Gardaí are treating the incident very seriously and a spokesman said that the motive for the attack was unclear. Kilkenny Fire Service attended the blaze which broke out in the early hours of last Thursday morning after receiving a number of calls from people living locally reporting the incident.

Tens of thousands of euro of damage was caused when the two 2007 vehicles were set on fire outside the front of the house. There were a number of people, including young children in the house when the cars were set on fire between 12.30 and 1.30am. It is not clear whether the attack was a targeted arson attack or an extreme case of vandalism that accelerated out of control. Minor damage was caused to the house and nearby trees were also burned. Investigating gardaí said that the incident ‘could have had much more serious consequences’ and are appealing to the public for information.
(Source: Kilkenny People)

Laois

A 39-year old woman from Colt has died in a freak beach accident at Tramore. Marian Kelly drowned at Tramore beach on Wednesday, June 6. The mother of three is understood to have been paddling on the beach when waves dragged her into the sea.

She was taken from the water and removed by the coastguard helicopter to Waterford Regional Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Originally from Colt, Ms Kelly had been living in Portlaoise. She was with her eight year old daughter and a friend when the incident happened.
(Source: Leinster Express)

Leitrim

Tamboran Resources expect to drill hundreds of gas wells over the next 15 years on the Lough Allen Basin, with the majority located in Co Leitrim.

Richard Moorman CEO of Tamboran Resources, one of the companies in possession of an onshore petroleum licence to explore the Lough Allen Basin for commercial gas has told the Leitrim Observer, “The best gas is in Leitrim.”

Tamboran Resources expect to drill hundreds of gas wells over the next 15 years on the Lough Allen Basin, with the majority located in Co Leitrim.

Richard Moorman CEO of Tamboran Resources, one of the companies in possession of an onshore petroleum licence to explore the Lough Allen Basin for commercial gas has told the Leitrim Observer, “The best gas is in Leitrim.”

Despite having a licence to explore a large portion of the basin which covers five counties, Tamboran said they will be seeking to drill for gas only in Leitrim, Fermanagh and Cavan. He said, “we expect to drill hundreds of wells over 15 years.”

He noted the most concentrated gas is in Leitrim and their main focus will be south of Thur mountain, not far from Glenfarne. “We like what we see there,” he commented.

Legally the gas companies do not need to consult or work with local planners at any stage of their progress, but Tamboran Resources want to work closely with Leitrim County Council. Mr Moorman and Tony Brazley an Irish Representative of the Company met with Leitrim County Council planners, officials and County Manager last week and committed to keeping the council informed every step of the way.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)

Limerick

A Moyross man appeared in court in connection with the seizure of over €27,000 worth of heroin in the city last week.

Matthew Ward, 18, of Creaval Park, Moyross is charged with possession of the drugs for sale or supply in the estate on July 6 last.

Limerick District Court was told the accused man made no reply when he formally charged in connection with the seizure which was made during a garda search operation.

The defendant was granted free legal aid by Judge Eamon O’Brien and he was was released on bail pending his next court appearance.

In the meantime, Ward must surrender his passport, abide by a curfew and sign-on daily at Mayorstone Garda Station..
(Source: Limerick Leader)

Longford

Over two hundred people gathered on the bridge at Tarmonbarry last Friday, to register their protest at the closure of the A&E services in Roscommon Hospital. In what was a real show of strength, hundreds of protestors gathered at every bridge into Roscommon for two hours, from 5pm to 7pm, including the bridges at Rooskey and Lanesboro.

In Tarmonbarry, there was a strong media presence with local media outlets joined by RTE and TG4. There was a Garda presence also, although the protests passed off peacefully with no disruption to motorists.

Passing motorists blew their horns in support of the protestors as they passed. Organisers said they were happy with the turnout for each of the protest which they said, indicated the depth of feeling about the reduction in services at Roscommon.
(Source: Longford Leader)

Louth

The Communications Workers Union (CWU), which represents about 130 Vodafone call centre workers whose jobs are set to be moved to India and Egypt, stepped up their protests against the job cuts by protesting at the recent Dublin-Kildare match in Croke Park.

Vodafone are the sponsors of the Dublin team and have been criticized by CWU members in recent weeks for supporting Dublin players but not Irish workers.

Union members, including many of the 102 staff at the company’s call centre in Dundalk whose jobs are under threat, distributed leaflets at the game criticizing Vodafone for axing jobs while profitable. A banner was also unfurled at CWU’s headquarters near to Croke Park, saying “it supports Dublin players, so why not Irish workers?”

Arthur Cox, Vodafone’s solicitors, has already warned the CWU about alleged trademark infringement after the union used the company’s logo online as part of its campaign.

About 45 of the 130 affected workers are Vodafone employees and will be offered redundancy or redeployment. The CWU is protesting the fact that the remaining staff – the bulk of which are from Dundalk – who work for third-party service provider Rigney Dolphin, are not being accommodated by Vodafone.

“Vodafone is seeking to deny its obligations to workers at Rigney Dolphin who have been a loyal and integral part of the Vodafone customer care service,” said Terry Delany, CWU’s deputy secretary general.
(Source: Dundalk Democrat)

Mayo

Swedish furniture giant, Ikea, last week secured High Court permission to serve injunction proceedings on a Westport delivery company that has used its logo in advertisements. 

Inter Ikea Systems BV is seeking the injunction against Fintan Conlon and Owner Driver Co Ltd with an address at Rosmoney, Westport.

Mr Justice Roderick Murphy gave permission to Ikea to serve proceedings at short notice on Mr Conlon and the company, and made the matter returnable to last week. The application was made on a one-side only basis.

Counsel for Ikea, Ms Niamh Hyland told the court that her client’s trademark was being used in advertisements in two Mayo newspapers as well as on the company’s website and on a van. She revealed that Ikea was sent a photo of the van, showing the advertisement, from an anonymous source.
The court also heard that Ikea had previously engaged in correspondence over the alleged infringement of the trademark and this matter appeared to have been satisfactorily resolved.
(Source: The Mayo News)

Meath

Long-standing bad blood between two Traveller families, the McDonaghs and Nevins, reared its head again last week when, last Wednesday night, a grenade exploded at a house in Reask Green, apparently in revenge for an earlier beating of a man who had to be hospitalised.

At around 2pm last Wednesday, a member of one family in his 20s was involved in a confrontation on the Commons Road. The man and a family member got out of the van he was driving and got into a fight with two members of the rival family.

The driver of the van was beaten so badly, he had to be hospitalised with what is believed to be a broken arm, head wounds and other arm and leg injuries.

A group of around 20 people congregated at the scene of the melee and several weapons were produced. The three other men were also hospitalised in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, with various injuries and range in age from 17 to early 40s. Two members of each family were hospitalised and the van also sustained damage, including a hammered-in windscreen.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)

Monaghan

Future civil cases against Omagh bomb suspects should be financially backed by the Government, victims' families have demanded.

Bereaved relatives embroiled in a 12-year battle for justice made the calls after the Appeal Court last week directed a civil retrial against one of four suspects for the 1998 Real IRA atrocity, Colm Murphy from Dundalk, Co Louth.

The court also ruled it will hear arguments on a possible retrial of a second suspect, Seamus Daly, from Cullaville, Co Monaghan, in September.

Victims' families have now called for financial support from the Government to pay for possibly two civil cases.

In 2008, campaigners raised £1.2m to fund the landmark civil action against the people suspected of causing the Real IRA bombing - Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt and three other men - Liam Campbell, Murphy and Daly.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Offaly

Traffic was halted, road works stopped and people stood still and were silent, as the military funeral of Gunner Nigel Costello made its way through the streets of Tullamore last Wednesday.

The 26 year old died following an accident as he was driving home from work in Mullingar on Saturday June 25.

His comrades formed a guard of honor as the band of the 4th Western Brigade led the funeral procession through the town to the graveyard.

The remains were carried on a gun carriage along the streets, with a very large procession of mourners behind.

The Church of the Assumption in Tullamore had people standing in the aisles as well as outside as they gathered to pay their respects to Gunner Costello’s family and Fiance.

Among those in attendance were Acting Brigade Commander Col Gerald Ahern and Officer Commanding 4th Field Artillery Regiment Lt Col Ray Yorke.
(Source: Offaly Express)

Roscommon

Unions at Roscommon County Hospital have agreed to operate a new urgent care centre to replace the emergency department.

The announcement was made after they met with Health Service Executive management last week.
The planned urgent care unit and medical assessment unit will replace the facility from 8am-8pm.

For the first month, the urgent care centre will operate for 24-hours a day, staffed by junior hospital doctors and supervised by an emergency consultant from Galway.

This move will depend on getting GPs organized to see if they can provide this service.

After meeting with HSE management the IMPACT trade union has said that specific commitments had been given on the investment needed for daytime surgery at the hospital.

The medical assessment unit proposed for Monday is not going ahead in the original format that was scheduled.

Earlier, The INMO industrial relations officer Noreen Muldoon had said that there were fundamental issues with regard to safety.

Separately, a representative group for paramedics in the west said the proposals by the HSE for the transport of patients from Co Roscommon to acute general hospitals in Galway, Sligo and Mayo were unacceptable.
(Source: RTE News)

Sligo

Bench warrants were issued at Sligo District Court Thursday last for the arrest of two female drivers who failed to appear to answer several cases brought by the town's traffic wardens.

Judge Kevin Kilrane ordered that Lindsey McLoughlin, 82 St. Bridget's Place and Loretta Mitchell, Carrick, Ballinlough, County Roscommon be arrested after they failed to turn up and were not represented.

Mitchell was fined €200 with €200 costs for no tax displayed at Stephen Street on October 7 th 2010 and McLoughlin was fined €40 with €120 costs for illegal parking at Lower New Street on September 29th 2010 before Judge Kilrane opted to issue the warrants after the defendants kept appearing on the parking fine list.

In total, Mitchell was before the court on 13 separate summonses while McLoughlin was summoned for eight alleged offences.
(Source: The Sligo Champion)

Tipperary

The 147-acre Gortmore tailings ponds at the Silvermines have been rehabilitated to a safe standard and there is no danger at the moment of any toxic dust blows, Newport electoral area councilors were told at their July meeting.

Engineer Karl Cashen warned, however, that any future rehabilitation at the wider Silvermines mining sites will have to be suspended because the level of funding is not immediately available. These sites are at Shallee, Ballygown, Ballynoe, Gurtnadyne, Knockanroe and Garryard.

The council was granted E10.1 by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources in 2005 to rehabilitate the six mines in the area, and E8.4m of that has been spent so far, with a total of E4.1m being spent at Gortmore.

Mr Cashen said that the initial grant was based on site investigations at the time, and subsequent detailed investigations had revealed that the money would not be sufficient.

He said that the Department was aware of this and was supportive.

“We are in a different time financially and the Department has said the same level of funding is not now available,“ he said.
(Source: Tipperary Star)

Tyrone

A Co Tyrone teen is being treated in hospital in Dublin after he was stabbed in the neck at the Oxegen music festival in Co Kildare on Saturday.

His injuries, which occurred after a row erupted in the B23 section of the blue campsite at the Punchestown Racecourse event shortly after 4am, are not believed to be life-threatening.
Three other teens from Northern Ireland and one from the Republic were treated on site for slash wounds to their arms and faces.

No-one has been arrested over the attack, but a knife has been recovered.

A Garda spokesman said all involved were aged 18 or 19 years. The families of the injured men have been notified.

The man who was stabbed in the neck had to be taken to Tallaght General Hospital, in south Dublin.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Waterford

The week got off to a great start for two lucky Brazilian friends who live in the locality as they celebrated scooping €500,000 between them in last Friday’s Euromillions Plus draw.

The regular lotto players picked up their prize at Lotto Headquarters last Monday after they bought an €18 ticket in Spar in Ferrybank on Thursday last. The lucky friends, who wish to remain anonymous, have been playing the same numbers in the Euromillions draw for the last three years.

One said, “I checked the ticket on the Lottery’s website on Saturday morning. When I realized I had won, I couldn’t believe it. I called my friend to tell him the good news but he wouldn’t believe me.” “We are absolutely delighted. We plan to continue playing together and maybe we might even be back on Wednesday to collect the €170 million,” added the other winner. The lucky winners have no immediate plans for their recent windfall but they may splash out on a trip home to their native Brazil later in the year.
(Source: Waterford News $ Star)

Westmeath

Town Clerk John Walsh, who was last week described as 'the man who is Athlone Town Council' announced last Monday that he had tendered his resignation to the county manager and would be retiring after 28 years in the job.

There were emotional scenes at Monday's July meeting of Athlone Town Council when Mr Walsh broke the news to the councillors.

While they had all been expecting his retirement in the near future they were shocked to hear that he was leaving and had presided over his last council meeting.

As the meeting drew to a close on Monday, he said: "Members I would like to inform you that I have attended my last council meeting. I have tendered my resignation to the county manager and I will not be here when you return in September."
(Source: Westmeath Independent)

Wicklow

A woman out walking her dog was knocked to the ground and received injuries to her arm and face after a hit and run involving a group of young cyclists.

The woman in her sixties was strolling along the River Walk opposite the Leitrim Lounge, a popular route for walkers, when she was struck by two cyclists belonging to larger group consisting of local youths. The first cyclists hit her and as she turned around a second bicycle ran into her, knocking her to the ground. Neither of the two cyclists involved in the hit and run stopped to see how she was, nor did any other members of the group they were cycling with.

The incident occurred at around 4 p.m. last Tuesday afternoon and the victim was left sprawled on the ground suffering from a great deal of pain in one of her arm. She had to be brought to St. Vincent's Hospital where she received a number of stitches to her face and was also treated for a suspected fractured or broken elbow. She was released from St. Vincent's in the early hours of last Wednesday morning.
(Source: The Wicklow People)

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