News from around the 32 counties of Ireland


(Source: Donegal Democrat)



Nadine Coyle said she is amazed at the generosity of the people of Newry after visiting the city for the first time on Thursday last - then insisted she would love to return next year to perform in concert. The Girls Aloud star was special guest at the Newry Business Christmas Charity Lunch where over £80,000 in cash and donated toys was raised for local charities and disadvantaged children. Boyfriend Jason Bell accompanied the 24-year-old and the New York Giants star was in familiar company as USA Ambassador to Ireland and Pittsburgh Steelers owner, Dan Rooney, was also present for the event’s 10th anniversary. The Derry girl was clearly shocked at the colossal amount of money raised at the lunch and heaped praise on everyone involved. “It really is an amazing event. This is its 10th year and it’s great that so many people take time each year to attend it and raise so much money for such great causes,” she said.

(Source: The Down Democrat)


Westlife spent some time with American President Barack Obama before their performance at the Nobel Peace Prize concert last Wednesday night. Singer Shane Filan told of his delight at getting so close to President Obama, the latest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. The band had the opportunity to meet the President when they flew over to Norway in advance of their performance at the Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo. Shane, Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan and Mark Feehily were invited by organizers to take part in the ceremony -- an opportunity they wouldn't dream of turning down. However, Shane was determined he would not be giving the US President the Royal treatment by bowing before him. Speaking ahead of the historical meeting, Shane said: "I won't be bowing, I'll just be shaking his hand and saying to him, 'You're doing a great job'. "I've always said that I'd love to meet an American President and I thought some day maybe I would. "But I certainly didn't think it would be President Barack Obama, he's kind of the one everyone wants to meet.

(Source: The Evening Herald)


There will be no risk to the jobs of the 378 people employed at Quinn Glass, and full production at the Derrylin plant will be restored within the next two weeks, the Group has confirmed. The news on the brink of Christmas comes with a sigh of relief for the concerned employees who woke up on Sunday morning last to learn that a major fire, which started accidentally in a ruptured glass furnace, resulted in 400 tons of molten glass causing the blaze to spread over two floors of the building.

(Source: The Fermanagh Herald)


The West of Ireland is to feature prominently in next year’s campaign to reverse the dramatic 12% fall in overseas tourists, with tourism chiefs planning to achieve growth of 3% by focusing on the promotion of value breaks in the British and German markets. Galway and its festivals as well as Connemara are being highlighted in a television campaign to be broadcast across Great Britain next month, part of a €12.8m investment in the market which suffered a devastating 15% drop last year. Tourism Ireland is the first tourist board in Britain to launch a TV campaign focusing on good value offers.

(Source: Galway News)


The slump in the property market has seen Lee Strand wipe over €15 million off the value of its property portfolio, according to financial figures for the co-op seen by The Kerryman. Lee Strand's annual report, presented to shareholders a fortnight ago, shows the co-op had total after-tax losses of €15.044 million in 2008. The main component of this loss was the large-scale writedown of the value of the co-op's property interests, primarily in Tralee and Castleisland, by €15,333,085. These losses were compounded by the massive slump in the property market which the auditors noted the co-op was particularly exposed to.

 (Source: The Kerryman)


Two customers of Eurospar on Claregate Street in Kildare Town are going to have a Happy Christmas but they may not know it yet.

 The store has sold two Christmas Millionaire Raffle early bonus draw winning tickets worth €10,000 each. However, neither of the lucky winners has come forward to claim their prize.

 Ciaran Price of Eurospar in Kildare said that he and his staff were delighted to hear the news that two customers were winners.

(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)



A South Kilkenny toddler has defied all the medical odds and, despite being diagnosed as blind following a bleed to his brain when he was a baby, he will be able to see the Christmas lights on the tree for the first time this year. The little boy is also expecting a bike from Santa this Christmas, and his parents Pamela and Dave are thrilled with the early progress made by Baby Sam following his trip to China.

(Source: The Kilkenny People)