News from around the 32 counties of Ireland


(Source: The Kilkenny People)



A training program aimed at helping the unemployed is to be set up in Portarlington by Laois VEC which has had to cut training in Abbeyleix. VEC CEO, Anne O'Keefe confirmed that 20 Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) training places would be provided in the Portarlington Adult Education Centre (PAEC) this year. VTOS scheme provides of a range of education and training courses aimed at people out of work. "As Portarlington is the second largest town in the county and has in excess of 2,500 people on the live register, a decision was taken to provide a VTOS program in PAEC. But the move will see places cut in Abbeyleix. The Laois VEC meeting was told that because the allocation for the county is capped at 100 places, there will be 20 less place in the Abbeyleix Further Education Centre, this year," said the CEO.

(Source: The Laois Nationalist)


The community of Drumkeerin was shocked last week to learn of the death of James Forde, Liskellew Upper, Drumkeerin. Mr. Forde's unexpected death occurred on September 17 after he had attended to his sheep and cattle. Due to the difficult terrain, the Sligo/Leitrim Mountain Rescue Team were deployed in order to remove the remains of Mr Forde.

(Source: The Leitrim Observer)



Four out of every five inmates at Limerick Prison have abused drugs, and prison officers believe that "little or nothing can be done" to stem the supply, a new report has claimed.

And prisoners and their families feel "demeaned" by the care on offer from the Health Service Executive, the study claims. Now a list of recommendations is to be presented to the Government in a bid to stem the scourge of drugs in the 300-inmate Prison – and provide a much improved support structure for inmates.

(Source: The Limerick Leader)



One of Longford's most well known and popular men passed away last week following a short illness. Gerard McGrath of Lamagh, Newtownforbes died peacefully in his home surrounded by his loving family on Thursday last. He was the beloved husband of Bridget (nee Kane) and dearly loved father of Robert. He is best known as the friendly man who co-owned and worked in McGrath's Texaco beside the Red Cow Roundabout along with his brother Tom. They opened their very successful business venture in 1994 and according to his family he loved working there and enjoyed meeting people day to day. His family said: "Gerard enjoyed the simple things in life; walking in Strandhill, card games, a round of golf, an occasional pint or two over a chat.

(Source: The Longford Leader)



A call has been made for a new state-of-the-art tourist office for Drogheda to help promote the Boyne Valley region. And that follows on renewed debate over the closure of the offices at weekends, even prompting a comment from the national tidy towns judges in their outline document about the town recently. Due to reduced staff numbers within the group that run the service, Boyne Tourism, who took over the running of the office in 1997, it became impossible to open seven days a week. Also, the increased traffic on the website, has also witnessed more people checking out the town prior to leaving home. There were 7,681 separate visits in the month of August and 253,195 hits.

 (Source: The Drogheda Independent)


There was one Mayo man who celebrated the 250 years of Guinness last week more than most. Islandeady’s Richard Moylette was lucky enough to win an all expenses trip from Australia to Ireland to take part in the Arthur Guinness celebrations, courtesy of Diageo.

The 26-year old teacher is based in Sydney since December 2007 and hasn’t been home since October 2007. The Irish Echo in Australia ran the prize which included accommodation for two people, VIP tickets to the Arthur’s Day celebrations and free Guinness during their few days in Dublin.

(Source: Mayo News)



The Bishop of Meath, Most Rev Dr Michael Smith, has announced the appointment of six new parish priests in the diocese, as well as the retirement of three long-serving clergy. Fr Andrew Farrell is retiring as Parish Priest of Trim, and is being succeeded by Fr Sean Henry, PP, Kingscourt. Fr Patrick Mackin is retiring as Parish Priest of Bohermeen, and will be succeeded by Fr Andy Doyle, PP Kilskyre, who also becomes Vicar Forane, Navan.

Fr Gerard MacCormack, Administrator, Navan is to be appointed PP Kingscourt, and will be succeeded by Fr Declan Hurley, CC, Navan. Fr John Brogan, PP Donore is appointed PP, Kilskyre; Fr Michael Meade, CC Mount Bolus is appointed PP, Donore; Fr David Brennan, CC, Bohermeen is appointed CC Moynalvey; Fr Barry Condron, CC Castletown-Finea is appointed CC Dunshaughlin.

(Source: The Drogheda Independent)


A total wipeout of fish stocks in a local river has been likened to “mass murder” with fish stocks now facing a bleak future taking years to recover. 
A stretch of the Ballintra River, known locally as the Castle River, was stricken with an unknown pollutant that has left one of Monaghan’s most popular fishing spots wiped out.
A spokesperson for the Northern Regional Fisheries Board stated: “A fish kill on the Ballintra River on Monday morning at 9am. Staff responded immediately. The length of river affected is approximately 10 kilometres from Drumgarran to Lough Major. Fisheries Staff have walked the river and have counted over 500 trout to date, together with other species including crayfish have been killed. A potential source has been identified, samples have been taken. The investigation is ongoing.””