News from around the 32 counties of Ireland



After decades of neglect, Antrim town centre may finally be standing on the brink of its biggest ever regeneration.

Bold promises have been made before, but after the Castle Centre and Ulster Bar Corner failed to breathe life into the 'ghost town', jaded shoppers could be forgiven a depressing sense of déjà-vu.

But, according to Social Development Minister Alex Attwood, things are about to change - and a town run down by years of low investment could soon be spoiled for choice.

(Source: The Antrim Guardian)


A leading dissident republican was found guilty today of attempting to smuggle weapons and explosives into Northern Ireland from an arms dealer who was an MI5 agent.

Paul McCaugherty (43) from Lurgan, County Armagh, was convicted of a string of offences at Belfast Crown Court related to the elaborate two-year undercover sting operation carried out by the security services.

Ruling in the non-jury trial, judge Mr Justice Hart said the case against the Real IRA member was “extremely compelling”.

(Source: The Irish Times)


They may be on the first rung of the education ladder, but nonetheless the children from Tots to Teens Crèche in Tullow donned their caps and gowns and graduated to the next step of their education journey.

The ceremony had all the pomp and ceremony associated with the great halls of learning, although it was miles apart and years away.

Many of the children have been attending Tots to Teens on the Shillelagh Road since it opened its doors in 2007.

“Throughout the years, the children have reached many developmental milestones. Kathleen O’Neill and Natasha Dowling have guided the children this year in preparing them for another big milestone in their lives by heading off to primary school,” said crèche manager Aisling O’Neill.

(Source: Carlow Nationalist)


EirGrid has sensationally withdrawn its application for the Meath/Tyrone 400KV interconnector development. It follows the revelation during cross examinations in the An Bord Pleanála hearings into the project that the original planning notice, published as part of the public consultation process, had the incorrect height of the pylons to run through Cavan and Monaghan.

As a result, the commercial semi-state company has said that it has no option but to withdraw its application for planning permission. However, EirGrid says it remains committed to the development of this project, which it claims is vital for the region.

It is estimated that EirGrid have already spent up to €20 million on the planning proposal and the latest development could set the project back years.

(Source: The Anglo Celt)


An alarming six dog attacks in the past two weeks are currently under investigation by Clare’s dog warden, Frankie Coote.

Mr Coote said he would normally investigate that amount of attacks in six months, but in the past two weeks, six serious attacks have been brought to his attention. He is investigating with a view to prosecution.

“Last Sunday, a woman was walking her own small dog on a lead in Ennistymon. A stray white sheep dog with brown on his ears attacked her dog. In an effort to protect her dog, she fell over and broke her hand. The dog didn’t actually attack her, but she took a bad fall trying to mind her own dog. She was hospitalised and will have to have surgery on her hand. Her dog was injured badly too. We think he will survive but he was hurt quite badly. The stray dog is still on the loose and I’m looking for him,” Mr Coote explained.

(Source: The Clare Champion)


The  HSE has been accused of "playing Russian Roulette with people’s lives" after proposing to cut night cover at almost half of its 15 ambulance bases in Cork and Kerry.

Under the proposals, only two of the three ambulance stations serving Youghal, Midleton and Fermoy would remain open any weekday night. Each one would close on a rotating basis.

Similar rotating closures would apply in West Cork, with only two of the four stations at Clonakilty, Skibbereen, Bantry and Castletownbere operating at night

(Source: Irish Examiner)


A small family-owned company in Derry has won a $500,000 contract to supply voting booths to Westchester County, New York, in the USA.

The deal with Westchester County Board of Elections means that the Pakflatt Group has won almost $1m worth of new business in the USA within the past nine months.

The booth has been praised for its design which will allow disabled people to use the same voting booths as the rest of the community for the first time in the US.

The latest contract for the supply and delivery of Pakflatt’s unique Benjamin Franklin Voting Booths follows on from a disappointment earlier this year, when they only just missed out on the USA’s largest ever nationwide tender for voting booths after making it to the final three.