News from around the 32 counties of Ireland, Dec 16 2013



Shocked council staff-members could find themselves in the firing line if they refuse to accept a former male colleague's right to start a new life as a woman, the Antrim Guardian can exclusively reveal.

Back in September the staff member returned from extended leave and dropped the bombshell that he had held a “wake” to mark the passing of his old self, and now “she” was planning to start afresh with a new name – and a new look.

The guidelines suggest that transgender patients should live a year as a member of their new sex before going under the knife, and the council worker obliged, arriving to work dressed as a woman with a wig, high heels, full make-up and false breasts.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


The switching-on of Christmas lights in Camlough last week represented a new pinnacle for the village, marking an investment of $50,000 towards the festive illuminations.

Prompted by a request from local Councilor Turlough Murphy, Newry and Mourne District Council provided the funds to decorate the village for Christmas.

Commenting, Councilor Murphy said: “I put the suggestion to our council officers some time back about the possibility of placing lights in the trees around the village, which will not only brighten Camlough for Christmas, but will look tremendously well throughout the year.”
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


A Carlow woman whose husband is currently in Greek prison for a string of armed robberies, some of which he can present independently verified evidence that he was not in the country for, faces another agonizing five months before his appeal will be heard.

Of the four and a half years that Julie Marku has been married to her husband Mark Marku, an Albanian national whom she met in Crete, less than one third of their married life has been spent together.
[Source: Irish Independent]


Two Cavan sports facilities will enjoy funding of almost $83,000 it was announced last Thursday.

A total of $80,000 has been allocated towards fencing and lighting at Cavan Town Community Bowling Green, and for changing rooms at Cavan Regional Leisure Complex.

Funding to a maximum of $80,000 was available for each project from the Department of Sport and I.P.B. with Local Authorities to contribute a further of at least $40,000.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


Kilrush town councilor Tom Prendeville has revealed that Fianna Fáil has no registered members in the west Clare capital.

“Within Kilrush there is no registered member within five or six mile. We haven’t got the members. People are not coming forward. So don’t be lulled into a false sense of security and say everything is okay. We effectively tonight sent out a message that we are a rural organization. It’s inconceivable that where we have the municipal capital of the new electoral area, we won’t have a Fianna Fáil candidate.”
[Source: Clare Champion]


Toymaster has named Irish board game 30 Seconds, developed by Corkman Greg Dooley, in its top toys list for Christmas 2013.

The game is a fast-talking description game that involves thinking on your feet; the game contains game cards containing names 2,400 names from Irish culture such as Tayto and the T.V. series “Love/Hate,” as well as global celebrities, public figures and landmarks, such as Prince William and Dragon’s Den.

The idea came to Greg Dooley five years ago when he spoke to his friend, Liam Ryan, whom he had worked with as a teacher in Zimbabwe in the late 1980s, about a version of the game, 30 Seconds, in South Africa. Liam and Greg then met with the inventor of the game, Calie Esterhuyse, from Cape Town, before deciding it would be great for Irish board-gamers.
[Source: Cork Independent]


One of the music world’s most iconic bands are coming to Derry.

The Beach Boys will play the city on June 26, 2014 as part of their Good Vibrations Tour. Their Derry show is part of the city’s Foyle International Maritime Festival, which includes the city’s welcome home celebrations for the Clipper fleet.

Derry’s mayor, Martin Reilly, said it was “fantastic” the band – who has sold more than 100 million records since forming in 1961 – were playing in the city.
[Source: Derry Journal]


Letterkenny man Gerard Grant has been elected the new president of Letterkenny Chamber.

Mr. Grant, who has been vice-president of the chamber for the last two years, was elected to the position on Tuesday night, December 10.

He was elected by the chamber’s council immediately following the organization’s A.G.M. and takes over from John Watson, who completed two terms as president.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]