News from around the 32 counties of Ireland



The "phenomenal" achievements of jockey Tony McCoy were recognized at a special reception at Stormont two weeks ago. The Moneyglass man was the guest of honor at Parliament Buildings at a function held in his honor after the 35-year-old chalked up his 3,000th National Hunt win earlier this year. Joined by members of his immediate family and friends in the Long Gallery, the 14-times champion jockey, widely regarded as the greatest ever, received commendations from members of the racing fraternity and reception host, Sports Minister Nelson McCausland.

(Source: The Belfast Telegraph)        



The dumping of a large quantity of asbestos waste in south Armagh has been slammed by the Sinn Fein councilor for the area, Packie McDonald. The extremely harmful material was found to have been discarded just off the motorway, near the village of Killean, on Thursday last. Mr. McDonald says the actions of those responsible for dumping this potentially lethal material show complete disregard for the safety of the people of the area. “The potential dangers of asbestos are widely known and the inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses, including malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestos,” Mr. McDonald explained.

 (Source: The Examiner)



Carlow’s Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) has been forced to increase its staffing levels to help deal with the ever growing demands on its service. The additional money advisors will help deal with the problems that are now being faced by the 6,806 people who are on the live register in County Carlow. Figures published last week showed that a further 294 people in Carlow have been forced to join the county’s growing dole queues in the past month.

 (Source: The Carlow Nationalist)



Houses on the market in Co. Cavan are starting to sell as vendors and auctioneers have slashed prices by up to 40% in some cases. The news comes in the week that a new report has shown rents in the county have fallen almost 12% in the last year. A three-bed semi-detached house in Cavan town can now be purchased for about €140,000, while a four-bed townhouse in nearby Butlersbridge can be snapped up for €135,000.

 (Source: The Anglo Celt)



Workers at troubled Shannon company Element Six held a protest march at lunchtime last Thursday to highlight further their frustration at the “inadequate” redundancy package being offered to staff who will be laid off as part of a survival plan that has still to be agreed. Both union and non-union employees of the industrial diamond manufacturer, which is already facing a threat of strike action, marched from the plant through the Shannon Free Zone.

(Source: The Irish Times)



The need to be cleverer with our cash has spurred a Charleville man to set up a new service aimed at saving householders both time and money. The new online service,, is the brainchild of Tony Aherne and is designed for those seeking competitive quotes from tradesmen for specific domestic jobs or those undertaking a complete new build. Based at Cooleens, Charleville, Mr. Aherne claims CleverMike will help people save time and money by providing a service where people can log on to the website, describe a job they want done and receive free quotes from CleverMike's registered pool of trades people.

(Source: The Corkman)



Thousands of householders in Derry have been advised to keep their windows and doors closed because of potentially hazardous smoke from a huge tire fire. More than 10,000 tires at a tire depot in the Pennyburn Industrial Estate were on fire after the blaze was discovered shortly after midnight last Wednesday. Fire crews from Derry, Coleraine, and Omagh were involved in tackling the blaze with 41 firefighters at the scene at one stage.

 (Source: The Derry Journal)



The weekend before last the famous Máire Rua Gallagher was selected as Gaoth Dobhair Person of the Year. Marie is considered a woman who knew hardship and tough times and a woman who has emerged as one of the most instantly recognizable faces in this county.

(Source: Donegal Democrat)



An amateur snapper from Co Down fought off thousands of competitors to win a tourist photography competition last week. Ryan Wilson impressed the judges with his entry entitled Into the West to take home first prize in the Wonders of Ireland contest. The winning picture features Tyrella beach near Downpatrick against the stunning backdrop of the Mourne Mountains, with a horse and rider in silhouette. The photo also shows a dramatic sky with heavy clouds and sun bursting through, which was described as “typically Irish”.

(Source: The Down Democrat)



Composer Phil Coulter last Wednesday night paid tribute to knife victim Sebastian Creane who, he said, was almost part of his family. Twenty-two-year-old student Sebastian was murdered in his Co Wicklow home by friend Shane Clancy, who then killed himself. Mr. Clancy’s ex-girlfriend Jennifer Hannigan and Mr. Creane’s brother Dylan were also injured in the frenzied attack in Bray in the early hours of Sunday morning last. Mr. Coulter said the victim was one of the oldest and closest friend’s of his eldest son Daragh and was practically part of their family. He described Mr. Creane as one of the most gentle, respectful, and charming lads that he ever encountered.