Weekly news from around the 32 counties of Ireland


(Source: Donegal Democrat)



Turnover at a Newry computer Software Company has increased by 66 per cent - ringing in at an impressive £11.4m. Crediting investment in its products for the impressive results revealed last Monday, David Anderson, chairman of First Derivatives, believes the firm will continue to buck the recession and ‘trade strongly’ over the next six months. Two hundred people are employed at First Derivatives, based at Canal Quay, working to provide software and support services to the global financial services market. Operating profit stands at £3m, up by almost 22 per cent from 2008, and net assets are £12.5m. Commenting on the interim results for six months ending on August 31, Mr. Anderson said: “During the period, we have committed substantial investment into First Derivatives and its structure to increase our global coverage and develop our range of in-house Delta software products”.

(Source: The Down Democrat)



Stephen Gately's favorite charity has seen an amazing increase in donations since the star's tragic death. Big-hearted Stephen was actively involved with the Caudwell Children charity for the past several years. Following his sudden death, Stephen's heartbroken partner, Andrew Cowles, announced them as the charity of choice for donations, resulting in the charity receiving more than £2,100 (nearly €2,300) in just four hours. Last Tuesday, they received a staggering number of phone calls from fans wanting to give money, with one individual making a donation of £1,000. A spokesperson for Caudwell Children spoke of how the offers had been pouring in from grief-stricken fans wanting to help their cause.

(Source: The Evening Herald)



A 54 year old senior civil servant from near Enniskillen who was awarded an out of court settlement by an industrial tribunal in September 2007, is now taking a high court case for harassment against the Cross Border Body Waterways Ireland and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure. Brian McTeggart had been seconded from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure to a post with Waterways Ireland at its Enniskillen All-Ireland headquarters and later became its director of corporate services. The tribunal award arose from an action Mr. McTeggart took against his former employers after lifting the lid on alleged mismanagement and malpractices in relation to the way senior posts had been allocated. Waterways Ireland agreed to the settlement without an admission of liability.

(Source: The Fermanagh Herald)



Galway's public hospitals top a national poll for the number of cases of the superbug MRSA last year, according to a report. University College Hospital Galway and Merlin Park combined had 47 cases of MRSA last year. This figure came in marginally ahead of Dublin's Beaumont Hospital, with 45 cases, the Mater Hospital, with 34 cases and St James's Hospital, with 31 cases. But the report warned against comparing hospitals because of the differences in hospital activity, patient numbers and other effects. Nationally last year, 419 cases of MRSA were reported by acute public hospitals, down over 20 per cent on the previous year, when 526 cases were reported.

(Source: Galway Independent)



Deputy Jackie Healy Rae has defended the right to drive after drinking a pint and a half — or two on occasion — even if his stance means bringing down the government. Arguing that rural life would be obliterated, the Kilgarvan publican lambasted efforts last week by Transport Minister Noel Dempsey to lower the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit from 80 mg per 100ml to 50mg per 100ml, part of the forthcoming Road Traffic Bill. This lowering of the limit is set to bring Ireland to a level in line with the vast majority of other EU countries. He added that he would vote against his government on the matter, even if it caused it to collapse.

(Source: The Kerryman)



Pupils attending a Newbridge school were being bussed to and from Naas last week after flooding extensively damaged their own school buildings. Students and teachers from St Conleth’s Vocational School on Station Road are being temporarily accommodated in the former St Patrick’s VEC school at Newbridge Road, Naas, following the flooding incident. Work had been in progress to repair leaks in the flat roof of the building in recent weeks but in the wake of a torrential downpour on Tuesday morning two weeks ago, the school authorities were informed that under health and safety guidelines, the building was unfit for use. It is understood that further rain has added to the problem, with a number of rooms at the school having suffered considerable damage.

(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)



Householders growing cannabis in their homes, greenhouses, patios, back gardens, attics or elsewhere had better be prepared for a visit from the gardai. This follows the latest round of seizures in the city last week. In one house in the city, 40 cannabis plants were found by uniformed gardai and detectives. There were other substantial finds as well as they “weed” out those who are growing the illegal drugs for their own use and for their friends.