News from around the 32 counties of Ireland


(Source: The Monaghan Post)



Offaly County Council is to write to Social and Family Affairs Minister Mary Hanafin to ask her to pay the Christmas bonus to social welfare recipients. Councilor Tommy McKeigue spoke of its importance for many people and said that shopkeepers had told him they were back in a situation they had never thought would return, of people seeking credit. There would be "huge debts" after Christmas, he stated. Councilor Percy Clendennen said that elderly people looked forward to the bonus. Cathaoirleach Noel Bourke said that the Minister had said she would review the matter.

(Source: The Offaly Express)



A taxi driver in Roscommon town was seriously assaulted last weekend by a number of men he had carried to Athlone, bringing to two the number of serious assaults on taxi drivers in recent weeks. Driver Muhammad Arfan was violently attacked in the early hours of Saturday morning last after bringing a group of four men and two women, aged in their 20’s and early 30’s, from Roscommon to Athlone. Commenting on the serious attack, Kevin Bishop, the Roscommon Representative for the Irish Taxi Drivers Federation, expressed concern over the recent incidents. “Mr. Arfan is still physically quite sore and hurt and has his head bandaged and it will take a long time for him to recover from this mentally; this type of incident carries mental scars,” Mr. Bishop said.

 (Source: The Roscommon Herald)



Sligo is allegedly in danger of losing the multi-million euro Rally Ireland event, with plans afoot to move the international moneyspinner to the east coast. Senator Marc MacSharry, one of the key promoters of an event that has injected millions of euro to the local economy in recent years, has vowed that Dublin's attempts to 'steal' the event will be strongly resisted. Calling on Motorsport Ireland to keep Rally Ireland in the North West, he revealed that plans have already been advanced to move the country's World Rally Championship round to the east coast, with a North County Dublin start, a Dundalk based Service Park and a finish in Belfast. He called on Motorsport Ireland, the event organizers, to only submit the successful and popular Sligo based cross border format and to drop their new plans for a move to the north east.

(Source: The Sligo Champion)


The Manager of North Tipperary County Council Mr. Terry O'Niaidh has thrown down the gauntlet to a group of residents in Mitchel Street, Thurles and told them to take him to court if they think the council has done anything wrong in the process of providing a homeless shelter on their street. The protracted and long running dispute once again dominated the September monthly meeting of the local authority in Nenagh on Monday last with the County Manager outlining how 90,000 Euro has been spent in seeking legal opinion on the Ballina and Mitchel Street issues as a result of the disputes - money which could be well spent in other areas, he said.

(Source: The Tipperary Star)



Allegations of religious discrimination made by employees of Dungannon Council have been dismissed by the Fair Employment Tribunal. The long-running case relates to a bonus scheme introduced by the council in 1989, but which was dominated by Protestant employees. Complaints were subsequently made to the Fair Employment Tribunal, however the case was dismissed last month.

 (Source: The Tyrone Times)



Local TD Deputy Brendan Kenneally has claimed Waterford people and businesses will benefit as a result of the introduction of NAMA. Describing the legislation as “one of the most important pieces of economic legislation in the history of the State”, Deputy Kenneally said NAMA was vital in order to restore health to the banking system. “The Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan TD has made a series of critical decisions over the last year in order to tackle the biggest challenge this country has faced since the foundation of the State, and it has culminated in the introduction of the NAMA legislation in the Dáil.”

 (Source: Waterford News & Star)


Mullingar Town councilor leader Ruth Illingworth made history two weeks ago by giving the first official council recognition to Mullingar's Muslim community. Ruth presented a gift basket of sweets and fruit to local businessman Rashid Butt to celebrate Eid, the festival which marks the end of the fast and abstinence of Ramadan. "I am delighted to be able to do this and recognize Muslims who now make up a substantial part of the community in Mullingar and Athlone and have provided such invaluable service to us all particularly in our hospitals," she said. "I'm sure it's not the first such presentation in Ireland to the Muslim community but it would be the first in Mullingar and Westmeath and its about time we recognized this community."