News from around the 32 counties of Ireland



The reckless abuse of aerosols robbed the army of an eager new recruit, a tight knit group of pals of a trusted friend and a heartbroken mother of a loving son, an Inquest in Antrim heard two weeks ago.

Macaulay Higginson was just 16 when a life filled with so much promise was senselessly squandered after a night of boisterous teenage fun culminated in tragedy.

October 12, 2012 started like any other day for Macauley, with the former Parkhall College student meeting up with mates at Rutledge Recruitment and Training on Dublin Road, Antrim. He was studying warehousing, but his heart lay elsewhere.

Macaulay wanted to join the Royal Irish Regiment and was biding his time before he was old enough to enlist, though he would have settled for a spot on the books of his beloved Manchester United.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


An armed hijacking which occurred in Crossmaglen town center earlier this month is being linked to an alleged “turf war” between illegal fuel smugglers along the border, the Examiner has learned.

Around noon on Friday, May 3, two men – one brandishing a gun – forced the driver of a jeep from his vehicle, before fleeing in the stolen car through the town, thronged with people attending the monthly fair.

The hijackers were traveling in a silver car that had been rammed by another vehicle from behind on Newry Street.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


An Irishman who has worked at Buckingham Palace for 60 years was presented with a gold medal by Queen Elizabeth last Tuesday.

Pat Carroll, who is from Carlow, started working as a palace messenger on the day of the queen’s coronation in 1953. He worked in the lord chamberlain’s office before becoming a state porter, welcoming guests to events at the palace. The 84-year-old still works part-time as a state porter.

The Royal Victorian medal is a reward for personal service to the royal family.
[Source: Irish Times]


The two men questioned at Carrickmacross Garda (Police) station in connection with the murder of former Detective Garda John Kerins at his Bailieborough home last year were released without charge last Tuesday night.

Kerins (49) was found shot dead at his home in Cornaveagh on the outskirts of Bailieborough on the November 9, 2012.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


The Clare reel is proving beneficial in the treatment of Parkinson’s patients, according to an Italian neurologist. His findings will be presented at an international health conference during this year’s Feakle Festival.

Dr. Daniele Volpe, director of neurological rehabilitation at St. Raffaele Arcangelo Hospital in Venice, is a regular attendee of the international music festival in Feakle and arising from an experience there in 2010, he launched a study into the potential benefits of set dancing for Parkinson’s sufferers.

Speaking to the Clare Champion, Dr. Volpe explained how the research came about and how the reel step, with origins in Clare, is proving more beneficial to patients than any other set dance.

“It all started in June 2010. I usually attend Irish music festivals in Ireland and one of my preferred festivals is the Feakle Irish Music Festival, where I love to play guitar in music sessions. One night I was playing in Pepper’s Bar and a man with Parkinson’s started to dance so fluent and good.
[Source: Clare Champion]


Controversy continues to rage internationally about the tax affairs of Apple, which employs over 4,000 people at Hollyhill and Lavitts Quay in Cork as part of their European headquarters, in a case which could see Ireland officially labeled a tax haven.

Evidence and questions in the United States Senate sub-committee on investigations uncovered a statement from Apple C.E.O., Tim Cook, that the company had struck a secret deal with the Irish government in 1980 to pay tax of just two percent, rather than the corporation tax rate of 12.5 percent. Apple executives stress that the tax policy of the company and subsidiaries is a continuation of that natural agreement.

Both the Department of Enterprise and the Department of Finance denied that any deal had been struck with Apple.
[Source: Cork Independent]


A 31-year-old who broke a man’s jaw in two places has been jailed for six years.

The victim was hit with a pool cue wielded by Sean Paul Farrelly in an “unprovoked attack” in a Waterside bar.

Farrelly, of Strabane Old Road, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent on January 30, 2011.

Derry Crown Court heard the 31-year-old was drinking with the injured party and the man’s girlfriend.
[Source: Derry Journal]


Donegal has achieved the highest number of Blue Flag beach awards of any county in the country.

At an awards ceremony in Dublin last Thursday, thirteen of Donegal’s beaches were awarded the prestigious Blue Flag award by Phil Hogan T.D., minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government.