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News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

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Antrim

Former Antrim Mayor 'Glam Pam' Lewis spent more than £2,600 of taxpayers' money on clothes during her term in office, the Antrim Guardian can exclusively reveal.

The figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show that the DUP MLA spent a total of £16,581 in her year as First Citizen. ?While this was less than the £19,339 average spent by her predecessors since 2007, the nature of her spending has outraged her Council colleagues.

Details of her retail therapy courtesy of the public purse are likely to damage her public persona even further after shocking revelations about her private life earlier this month.

When the 39-year-old's affair with civil servant Michael Cameron hit the headlines few could believe that the devout Free Presbyterian would abandon her devoted husband Ian and their three teenage children.

But in the days following the lurid headlines the DUP MLA confirmed the whispers, telling the Antrim Guardian that it was 'with regret' that her marriage had come to an end.

While Mrs Lewis appealed for privacy she also said she was determined to 'continue to represent all of the people of Antrim' - the same people who have paid more than £200 a month to clothe her in the latest style.
(Source: Antrim Guardian)

Armagh

One of four men arrested in connection with the discovery of a mortar in Co Louth has been granted bail by the Special Criminal Court in Dublin.

Patrick Tierney (25), of Drumarg Park, Armagh City, Co Armagh was charged with the unlawful possession of an explosive substance, an improvised mortar launcher and a mortar at Dromiskin, Co Louth on November 30, 2010.

He was arrested after a garda investigation into the activities of dissident republicans.

The court granted Tierney bail on his own bond of €100 and two independent sureties totalling €16,500.
Tierney was also ordered to sign on daily at Navan Garda Station, to observe a curfew between 11pm and 7am and to reside at his uncle's address in Nobber, Co Meath.

His co-accused Dalton McKevitt (36) was granted bail in December last year. He was charged with possession of an improvised mortar launcher and a mortar at Commons Road, Dromiskin. He was also charged with IRA membership.

There were no bail applications on behalf of the two other men arrested in connection with the same operation.

They are: Niall Farrell (34), of Closhbrid, Dundalk, Co Louth, who was charged with the unlawful possession of a mortar launcher and with IRA membership; and Patrick Gordon (22), of Newtownhamilton Road, Armagh City is also charged with the unlawful possession of an explosive substance, an improvised mortar launcher and a mortar.

The case was adjourned for mention on July 28.
(Source: Herald.ie)

Carlow

Staff in a Carlow town crèche have been left picking up the pieces after their outside play area was set alight and destroyed.

Milestones Crèche has been open in Friar’s Green housing estate, Tullow Road since 2004.

And yet, for the last two years, staff have been dealing with an increasing number of vandalism incidents.

It culminated last Thursday night when gardaí and the fire brigade were called after the play area was trashed and then set alight.

“It happened at around 10.30pm,” said owner Nuala Holloway. “We’ve had to deal with graffiti on our walls; the staff have had to sweep up cigarette butts and condoms. It has been progressively getting worse.”

Nuala explained that staff only became aware of the destruction when they arrived into work on Friday morning at 7.30am.??“No-one called us to let us know what had happened. When they arrived they found the playhouse had been set alight causing damage to a wall, and all of the ply equipment was pulled apart and smashed. This has been the worse of the regular occurrences.

“No-one seems to have seen anything, so we don’t know who is responsible but it is hard enough to keep a business going and then this happens,” she said.

The crèche caters for children as young as six months up to four years, and Nuala says they are the ones who suffer. “We couldn’t take the children outside today and it is so unfair on them, it is hard to know who is responsible for this but somebody must have seen something.”

(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)

Cavan

A 33-year-old Ecuadorian national was given a six months suspended prison sentence by Judge Sean MacBride, at Cavan District Court, for keeping a brothel in Cavan.

The defendant, Xavier Salazar Valencia, was charged with keeping the brothel at 12, Stonebridge Court, Railway Road, Cavan, on June 10, 2011.

Sergeant James Fraher said that when Gardai searched the apartment on foot of a warrant they found the defendant entertaining a male companion. On further examination they found paraphernalia which could lend credence to the belief that the premises were being used for sexual purposes. They also found four mobile phones and £111 sterling. A gentleman admitted paying €80 for the privilege of being on the premises.

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