News from around the 32 counties of Ireland


(Source: The Irish Times)



There are unlikely to be large numbers of extra primary school places provided in Offaly in the coming years as the county has been omitted by the Department of Education from a crunch list of over 40 priority areas. The list, provided in the Dáil last week, by the Minister for Education Batt O'Keeffe, outlines 42 locations across the country where the requirement for additional primary school places is likely to be greatest up to 2012. Predictions of the future intake of primary schools were taken from Central Statistics Office population projections, birth rate data among other sources.

(Source: The Offaly Independent)



A new canine companion has opened up a whole new world to a five-year-old autistic Strokestown boy. Calum Leyden is enjoying a new lease of life thanks to Juni, an assistance dog for families with children with autism. Calum and his family are one of 100 families across the country to receive an assistance dog under this pioneering program being run by the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. The initiative was launched in 2004 and was the first of its kind to be rolled out in Europe.  Under the program dogs are specially trained by the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind to work with an autistic child and his or her family.

(Source: The Roscommon Herald)



Sligo's Mayor, Clr. Jim McGarry has told how he felt "intimidated, threatened and abused" and had to abandon his role in the official switching on of the town's Christmas lights on Sunday last as the row over the reopening of O'Connell Street erupted into bitter public acrimony. Clr. McGarry has accused some of the town's businessmen, members of the Chamber of Commerce, of "grossly insulting the office of Mayor", claiming that he was "set up" and "ambushed" after being invited by the Chamber to officially switch on the festive lights.

(Source: The Sligo Champion)


North Tipperary Dáil deputy, Michael Lowry has confirmed the delivery of a package of works totaling €2.7 million for Nenagh hospital as part of his ongoing deal with the Fianna Fáil led Government. Deputy Lowry said that all negotiations and contract signings were completed over the weekend in a deal which will lead to the delivery of two projects that are vital for the survival of the hospital in the future. While there has been much criticism of announcements regarding Nenagh hospital in recent months, Deputy Lowry moved to silence the knockers by confirming a completion date for the projects.


 (Source: The Tipperary Star)



One of Dungannon's most successful firms has announced plans to create new jobs in a multi-million pound investment in a processing plant. Linden Foods is pumping £5.6million into the facility which will be located next to its existing plant at Granville Industrial Estate.

A spokesperson for the firm said that the investment was confirmation of the firm's 'commitment to continued investment in people, equipment, technology and development of the business and to ensure the continued employment of all staff and the future development of our commercial operations.'

 (Source: The Tyrone Times)



Waterford Crystal took another step towards total extinction when the entire contents of the factories, stores and sites in the city and Dungarvan went under the internet hammer.  The sale was conducted on the instructions of the receiver and manager, Mr. David Carson of Deloitte & Touche.  One of the many items which went on sale was a full-size replica of the Millennium globe which is lowered on to Times Square in New York every New Year’s Eve.

 (Source: Waterford Today)


Areas of Mullingar town which will benefit from a regeneration project are some of the most deprived in Ireland, according to indices used to "score" underprivileged areas by the government. Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. Éamon Ó Cuív who was in town's the Parish Centre last week for an information evening on the project said that Mullingar had been ear-marked for the RAPID (Revitalizing Areas by Planning Investment and Development) because of "it's housing estates".

 (Source: The Westmeath Examiner)



Wexford lost one of its 'best and brightest' ambassadors last week with the death of 38-year-old Emer Lovett. Vivacious Emer lost her courageous struggle against breast cancer in Waterford General Hospital on Monday night last. Up to a few months ago the stylish young Piercestown woman had steered the local business community as CEO of Wexford Chamber until her illness forced her resignation. Endlessly optimistic, however, Emer maintained her trademark cheery disposition and remained a familiar face at all social and cultural events in Wexford, despite grueling cancer treatments. Her unexpected death has greatly saddened those who knew her. Chamber president Dr. Sean Mythen described her as a woman with 'charisma and intelligence'.