Last Friday police launched a hunt for masked gunmen spotted on the streets of Lurgan during an eruption of violence. Ugly scenes flared after three dissident Republicans from the town were each jailed for 15 years for plotting to kill police officers. Gangs of masked youths hijacked vehicles in the Kilwilkie estate, while an articulated lorry was also set on fire in the nearby Tullygally estate. Police said they received numerous reports of armed gunmen in the area but there were no reports of shots being fired. An investigation has been launched into last Thursday night's disorder and the police have vowed to bring those behind the violence to justice. CI Jason Murphy said the trouble — believed to be orchestrated by dissident republicans — was an attempt to draw officers in and “cause serious disruption”.
(Source: The Belfast Telegraph)
A high-powered delegation of senior Fianna Fáil personalities arrived in south Armagh last week to take the first historic steps in formally organizing the party in the area. Justice Minister Dermot Ahern, Dr Rory O’Hanlon, former Ceann Comhairle, Seamus Kirk, Chairman of Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party and Sean Dorgan, General Secretary of Fianna Fáil arrived for the meeting which saw the party of De Valera set up a forum in south Armagh. The decision comes after a year of negotiations between party representatives and a locally based south Armagh group who have worked ceaselessly together to eventually realize the breakthrough.
(Source: The Examiner)
A frustrated father has pleaded with a local primary school to stop asking him for money. The man, whose daughter attends school in Carlow town, has spoken out about the spiraling costs of sending a child to primary school and is publicly pleading with the school to stop asking parents for money. The unemployed father, who asked not to be named for fear of embarrassing his daughter, has now come out and said enough is enough. INTO spokesperson Peter Mullan said he sympathized with the Carlow father, saying his story was being echoed by parents across the country.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)
One of Europe's biggest cultural festivals, Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is coming to Cavan. The town was confirmed as host for 2010 on Saturday last, when an official start date of August 16 was set for the event. Jack Keyes, county manager, was one of the key figures behind the application. "It's historical for the county and it's a great opportunity for us to show what Cavan has to offer the world," he said. Up to 250,000 people are expected to visit Cavan over the nine days of the event, with participants coming from as far afield as the US and Russia. With an estimated return for the economy of €30 million, the event will also be beamed out to six different TV channels.
(Source: The Anglo Celt)
Members of Clare County Council are set to end a long running dispute at Doonbeg golf club by voting to extinguish a contentious right of way at the course. This follows a report circulated to councilors and set to go before next Monday’s September meeting. The council executive is recommending that councilors adopt an order extinguishing the right of way at Doonbeg. The move will end the public’s right to walk across the 4th and 14th fairways at the Greg Norman-designed Doonbeg golf course. Instead, an alternative right of way is to be provided a short distance from the existing one. An oral hearing was heard into the extinguishment last October, and the row over the disputed right of way has involved two separate High Court actions and Doonbeg golf club constructing a wall across the right of way.
(Source: The Irish Times)
A Cloyne Diocese spokesman has refuted a claim that anti-Lisbon groups are being allowed to leave literature in the porches of Catholic Churches. A spokesman for the Cloyne Diocese has strongly refuted claims that anti-Lisbon groups are being allowed to leave pamphlets and literature within its churches. This after Cork East Labor TD Sean Sherlock called on the church to clarify its position on the distribution of what he described as "political leaflets" within its churches. "I do not think it is right that when I decide to go to mass on a Sunday I discover leaflets from the Fatima Rosary Group advocating a blatant 'No' to the Lisbon treaty," fumed Deputy Sherlock. "I believe strongly that I have a right to attend church without being bombarded with messages from either side of the debate."
(Source: The Corkman)
Two men have appeared in court in Portugal charged in connection with the death of Derry businessman Paul Houston in the Algarve earlier this month. The two Brazilians aged 19 and 26 were charged with homicide and robbery. The 26-year-old was remanded in custody while the 19-year-old was placed under partial house arrest. Mr. Houston (51) died after being attacked in Alvor while walking back to his accommodation in the early hours of September 6th. The father-of-four was on a trip to the Algarve with his wife when the tragedy occurred
(Source: The Derry Journal)
Two death threats have been issued against Donegal's first citizen, Mayor Brendan Byrne, his wife and their daughter who is just six-months old. Cllr Byrne, who was just elected Mayor of Donegal in June, his wife Carmel and their beautiful baby daughter, Silvia, have had their lives threatened because the Fianna Fáil councilor called for a memorial to be erected on Donegal Bay to commemorate all the victims of the Mullaghmore bomb.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)
An immigrant family has claimed that a campaign of racial harassment has forced them to flee their home in a Newry estate. Mario Rimbao, a native of Guinea, Western Africa, who is an EU citizen, his Lithuanian partner Loretta and their four young children have moved into much smaller rented accommodation to escape, what they say was, persistent persecution mainly by children and teenagers. They claim to have been subjected to a catalogue of abuse, including name-calling, vandalism, and attacks on their home and racist slurs. “It was terrible, we really just couldn’t take it anymore,” Loretta said. The family says that, after almost a year of terror, they had no choice but to relocate to another part of the city.
(Source: The Down Democrat)
President Mary McAleese has prompted rumors that Aras An Uachtarain could be in line for an Ikea makeover after she was spotted shopping at the new Dublin megastore. Once again showing she has the everyman touch, the President mingled with crowds of shoppers on a busy Saturday afternoon at the massive outlet recently. The President and her husband Martin took time out from their busy schedule to browse the store's aisles, and went virtually unnoticed by the throngs of shoppers from all over the country. The couple, discreetly accompanied by a single minder, was later seen making their way to the checkouts with a bag of small purchases.
(Source: The Evening Herald)
The news 20 new jobs have been created by a Tempo electrical contractor has been dampened by 29 job losses at an Ederney quarry last week. G R White & Son Ltd has secured an export contract worth £1.3million to provide the complete electrical services for the headquarters building of the Edinburgh tram system project. Earlier last week however, it emerged that 29 workers would lose their jobs at Carn Quarry, just outside Ederney, when it closes later in the year.
(Source: The Fermanagh Herald)
Months of confusion over communications giant Nortel ended last Thursday after Avaya agreed to the purchase of Nortel's Enterprise Solutions division for US$900m. As part of the takeover, Avaya have set aside €15million as part of a 'Employee Retention Program' pool. Nortel currently employs 300 workers in Galway and close to 500 near Belfast. Commenting on the announcement, Nortel Ireland's Managing Director and CIO (Chief Information Officer) for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Asia), Dave Quane confirmed that a significant percentage of the Galway employees are employed in the Enterprise Solution Division. "The news that has emerged regarding the Avaya deal has only broken in the past day, so it will be a few weeks until the true details emerge. A large percentage of employees in the Galway plant work under the Enterprise Solution banner” he said.
(Source: Galway Independent)
John O'Donoghue's political future appears secure after a senior opposition source confirmed that a motion of no confidence in the Ceann Comhairle is unlikely. The Cahersiveen-based deputy is under renewed pressure this week after a letter he sent to the Dáil's 165 TDs, partially explaining expenses he incurred since becoming Minister for Arts Sport and Tourism, was met with derision from opposition benches. Despite calls for a full apology for his role in the expenses scandal from figures in Fine Gael, Labor and Fianna Fáil there have been no calls, as yet, for John O'Donoghue's resignation as Ceann Comhairle. A senior Fine Gael said that, despite the public outcry, there is little or no appetite on opposition benches for a motion of no confidence in the Ceann Comhairle.
(Source: The Kerryman)
Over 150,000 visitors are expected to flock to Athy as the town hosts the National Ploughing Championships this week. Several million euro will be spent in the town and its environs as visitors and locals make their way to and from the 600-acre site at Cardenton on the Stradbally Road this Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. B&Bs, guest houses and hotels for miles around are full to capacity and local businesses such as shops, pubs and restaurants are expected to be exceptionally busy throughout the week. ShopAthy PRO Robert Redmond says that Athy has really stepped up to the mark and is looking great in preparation for the numbers of visitors who will come into the town over the next week or so.
(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)
The revelation by the Department of Education that 92,000 primary school children are in classes with over 30 pupils highlights the reality of the education system. That's according to Councilor Seán O’ h’Argáin, who said schools in Kilkenny city and county were overcrowded, under-funded and stretched to capacity. It is simply unacceptable that so many children should be taught in such overcrowded classes," he said. In this county, for instance, there are more than 2,100 children in classes of between 30 and 35, and 300 in classes of between 35 and 40.
(Source: The Kilkenny People)
In the first eight months of the year Mountmellick crime figures seem to be spiraling out of control. 100% increases in the crimes of possession of weapons, sexual offences robberies and a 150% increase in serious assaults compared to the same period last year were recorded. Those were the provisional figures given by Supt Philip Lyons at the recent joint policing committee meeting in the town. However, those figures mask some of the good work being done as there was also a decrease of 100% for possessing firearms, arson offences and theft from persons. Burglaries, thefts from shops, thefts from vehicles and criminal damage all fell by 25% while assaults on minors were also down by 16%.
(Source: The Laois Nationalist)
Leitrim has been chosen as the select and intimate location for next year's Wedding of the Year between Ireland's rugby hero Brian O'Driscoll and his glamorous fiancée Amy Huberman. The dashing couple who have been dating since early 2007 and who got engaged in March, a few days after O'Driscoll captained Ireland to an historic Grand Slam victory this year, revealed Leitrim as the location for their "low key" wedding celebrations. It is understood that the couple did have a look at the popular Clonturk Church, Dromod for their ceremony, which had up to 17 ceremonies linked with Lough Rynn Castle this year but deemed the picturesque church too small for their wedding mass.
(Source: The Leitrim Observer)
A teenager with one address in Abbeyfeale who is accused of carrying out three arson attacks in a village on the outskirts of the city was refused bail when he appeared before a special sitting of Limerick court last weekend. Gary McDonagh, 19, who has addresses at Fanningstown, Fedamore and Caherconnell, Abbeyfeale is accused of setting fire to three cars on three separate dates in August allegedly causing over €100,000 worth of damage. Mr. McDonagh was arrested by gardai (police) attached to Roxboro garda station who are investigating the spate of arson attacks. He was brought before Limerick Court after Det Sean Lynch formally charged him with three counts of arson.
(Source: The Limerick Leader)
Judge John Neilan merely laughed and continued to hear a court case after he was accidentally shot in his courtroom in Longford last Tuesday. Judge Neilan was accidentally shot by a solicitor who was demonstrating an air pistol in Family Court on Tuesday. The solicitor accidentally discharged the weapon firing a pellet, which struck the judge. After the initial shock, Judge Neilan burst out laughing as did most of the people in the room. The judge continued to hear the case and has attended the remainder of his court sittings throughout the week. Judge Neilan returns back to the scene of the incident in Longford on Friday, to hear court
(Source: The Longford Leader)
Talks are ongoing in relation to a new multi-million euro stadium for Drogheda United within close proximity to the town. Discussions have been ongoing for the past six months between the local authority in Louth, Drogheda United and the FAI. It is believed that the next few weeks could be vital in the future of the proposed move away from United Park. The club, which controversially, lost out on a move to a Co Meath site in recent years, is hoping that a deal can be done that will see the club secure a site in the vicinity of the town. The moves are seen as hugely positive for soccer in the town and its continued development. 'There's been ongoing discussions about securing a new stadium within the Louth border for some months. (Source: The Drogheda Independent)
Ballina’s €1.2 million pedestrian bridge, based on the concept of a fishing rod, could be named after former President Mary Robinson – if one councilor’s suggestion gets the go ahead. At the September meeting of Ballina Town Council, Town and County Councilor, Michelle Mulherin, will lay down a notice of motion suggesting the footbridge be named after the Ballina native, Mary Robinson (nee Bourke) in ‘recognition of her outstanding civic political and humanitarian achievements both nationally and on the world stage’.
(Source: Mayo News)
Local employment was dealt another blow last Friday as the directors of Laser Engineering announced the factory was closing after almost 30 years in business. Over 30 jobs will be lost as a result of the closure of the factory, which is currently based in Duleek. The business, which is run by Johnny Sullivan and his two sons, Cormac and Peter, was involved in general steel fabrications and contract maintenance for factories. It was established and run in Stamullen for 23 years before moving to Duleek four years ago. 'This is an extremely sad day for us, one we didn't want to have to come to but we had no choice in the end' Cormac told the Drogheda Independent. 'Things have been on the way down for the last year or so but we have obviously adjusted and cut to suit’.
(Source: The Drogheda Independent)
The untimely death of local country music star Cyril McKevitt last week left the Monaghan community and many close to the singer “devastated”. A native of Broomfield, Mr. McKevitt sadly passed away after a heart attack on Tuesday evening last. The trombone player and vocalist with famed Castleblayney showband ‘Big Tom and the Mainliners’ he enjoyed a career that had stretched back over 40 years. The popular musician, who had been living in Dundalk, is survived by his wife Helen and three daughters. He will be fondly remembered by many from his showband days when he first joined ‘Big’ Tom McBride and his band back in 1965 as a trombone and country singer. Speaking about the sad loss were his manager Kevin McCooey and bandleader Henry McMahon: “To say we are deeply saddened is not the word, we are devastated. We were lifelong friends and we called ourselves the Magnificent Seven”.
(Source: The Monaghan Post)
Offaly County Enterprise Board has helped create 33,800 jobs at an average cost of €5,485 per job since its inception in 1993. Its CEO, Mr. Seán Ryan, revealed this when he addressed Tullamore Town Council last week. Last year, 385 schools were involved in its enterprise program, a total of 33,500 students.
(Source: The Offaly Express)
A delegation from the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) managed to secure a meeting with the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) and Tánaiste last week, despite an attempt by farmers to storm the Hodson Bay Hotel where the Fianna Fail party was gathering for its annual “think-in”. Up to 300 farmers from across the country descended on the Hudson Bay Hotel in South Roscommon last Thursday morning to protest over deepening cuts in the agriculture sector. From 9 a.m. the farmers gathered outside the hotel, primed to pounce on the Taoiseach and Finance Minister and drive home the message that the government was abandoning rural Ireland.
(Source: The Roscommon Herald)
Fears have been voiced for the future of family resource centers, of which there are four in County Sligo and which provide vital services that are needed now more than ever. The latest concern arises as a result of a proposal in the McCarthy Report to close down the family resource centers but at the September meeting of Sligo County Council, councilors were adamant in their belief that the centre should be expanded rather than closed. "At a time when we are bailing out the banks and property speculators, surely it is not too much to expect the government to protect and indeed expand family resource centers," Clr. Jimmy McGarry said.
(Source: The Sligo Champion)
A Tipperary man and former journalist with the Tipperary Star newspaper has been appointed by the US secretary of state Hillary Clinton as her special economic envoy to Northern Ireland. Declan Kelly (41), from Portroe in Co Tipperary, who was an adviser to Ms Clinton during her campaign for the US presidency, made his first visit to the North on Monday last in his capacity as the special envoy. Mr. Kelly is a former journalist with the Tipperary Star, Nenagh Guardian and Irish Examiner, where he won the AT Cross Business Journalist of the Year award in 1994. He is also a brother of Alan Kelly, who won a seat for Labor in Munster in the recent European Parliament elections.
(Source: The Tipperary Star)
Drivers have been caught speeding at more than 100mph along two of South Tyrone's most dangerous roads. Motorists are regularly breaking the speed limit by up to 40mph along the A4 and A5 roads, which have been the scene of numerous fatal accidents in recent years, the PSNI said. The statistics were released after another summer of carnage on roads in the district - which already has the highest rate of people killed and seriously injured in Northern Ireland.
(Source: The Tyrone Times)
A former employee of Bausch & Lomb has been awarded €6,500 by an Employment Appeals Tribunal, after he was dismissed in relation to an incident in which a message was posted on an internal company web-site stating 500 jobs would be lost at the plant. Elton Walker, 3 Newport’s Tec, Waterford, brought a claim for unfair dismissal against Bausch & Lomb Ireland. The dismissal stemmed from an investigation, which commenced when a message appeared on an intranet page on the company’s information page, on December 5, 2007. It stated, "500 jobs to be gone at Waterford plant before end of first quarter 2008."
(Source: Waterford News & Star)
John Joe Nevin has once again proved why he is Irish boxing's rising star by claiming the bronze at the World Boxing Championships. Taking a bronze medal in the world ring is no mean feat but with a broken right thumb, it is nothing short of astounding. John Joe took the medal despite being unable to throw a decent right hook after sustaining the injury in the second round against a Serbian champ. Even with his famous right hand all but out of operation John Joe went on to win two more fights before he was confirmed as bronze medalist when the Russian champion knocked him out.
(Source: The Westmeath Examiner)
Herbal Cannabis with a street value of over €50,000 was seized at Rosslare Europort last Thursday. Officers from Revenue's Customs service seized 4.3 kilograms of herbal cannabis with an estimated street value of €51,600. A Hungarian man, with an address in Ireland, aged 32 years of age, was arrested and handed over to Gardai in Wexford. The drugs were found when officers searched a car disembarking the ferry from France. Drug detection dog 'Dillon' gave an indication to officers who discovered the drugs hidden in the petrol tank of the car. It was the second drug seizure by Customs officers in Rosslare within a week.
(Source: The Wexford People)
County Wicklow resident, Eugene Murray, found himself in the national spotlight last weekend when he accepted a People of the Year award on behalf of the Irish Hospice Foundation. Eugene, who has lived in Greystones for the last 20 years, is the Chief Executive of the Hospice Foundation which was honored at the star-studded ceremony in Citywest Hotel last weekend. Organized by Rehab, and sponsored by Quinn Healthcare, the People of the Year Awards honor outstanding contributions made by individuals and organizations to life in Ireland. Presented by Grainne Seoige, Eugene received the award on behalf of the Irish Hospice Foundation from TV favorite Mary Kennedy.
(Source: The Wicklow People)