News from around the 32 counties of Ireland


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)


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,, 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)


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)


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)


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.