News from around the 32 counties of Ireland



An outspoken County Antrim councilor courted more controversy last week by vowing to fight new proposals that give members of the Traveling Community the right to live in the countryside denied to their “settled” neighbors.

Ulster Unionist Adrian Watson, who is no stranger to making occasional caustic remarks about minority groups, has branded the changes to planning law “discrimination,” adding that they would be a “slap in the face” to young families unable to get permission to set up home in a rural setting – even if they were born and raised there.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


The relentless dumping of toxic waste in the south Armagh area is a continuing source of disappointment, Sinn Fein Councilor Terry Hearty has said.

Commenting after the latest incident in which two cubes of toxic sludge were dumped on the Loughhaveeley Road in Glassdrummond, he said: “This is a very remote, rural road.  The cubes were dumped carelessly out of a van, spilling over the road and into a drain.”

Pointing out that from July last year, at least 770 tons of waste have been removed at a cost of approximately $339,000 to the taxpayer, he added, “While 770 tons of sludge may have been cleared, we have no idea how much of this poison has seeped into the ground or made its way to waterways. These people seem intent on poisoning our beautiful countryside and doing as much environmental harm as they can.”
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


The life of murdered Naas woman Deirdre Keenan was much more than the last few minutes before her death, mourners at her funeral mass heard. Death was confusing but a sudden and violent death was particularly confusing, Fr. Declan Thompson told the packed congregation on Saturday, March 2, at the Church of Our Lady and St. David, Naas.

Ms. Keenan (51) was shot dead at a B&B in Carlow Town on Monday, February 25, by John Deegan (53), who then killed himself with a legally-held shotgun. Their bodies were discovered by a member of the family which runs the B&B that afternoon.

Ms. Keenan and Mr. Deegan had been in a relationship after separating from their spouses.

The couple had been staying in Carlow a few days before the incident happened.
[Source: Irish Times]


How would you feel about spending three nights in Mountjoy Prison, three in Wheatfield Prison, and another in Loughan House? Milltown musician Paul McCann and his fellow band-mates can't wait to briefly give up their liberty in order to recreate Johnny Cash's legendary prison concerts.

"It came to me one day," Paul tells the Celt, "what about doing a gig in a prison?"

Conscious that the Johnny Cash tracks went down a treat when his band played them at weddings, Paul added his wife and a few musician pals to the line-up to recreate an authentic Johnny Cash and Carter Family tribute act. Although they had a band, they had nowhere to play.

In 1968 “The Man in Black” played up to his roguish reputation with a concert in San Quentin State Prison and, over the years, continued to play other jails including Folsom Prison, which had already been the subject of one of his biggest hit singles.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


Well-known Clare building firm M. Fitzgibbon (Builders), Ltd. have insisted they are “trading as usual” and not in receivership, despite moving off-site from a $5.5 million development in Tralee. Also work has stopped on a supermarket project in Miltown Malbay.

In a statement to the Clare Champion on Wednesday, the company insisted, “M. Fitzgibbon (Builders), Ltd. [is] trading as usual. Our company at this time is not, as is alleged and [rumored], in receivership.”

The Ennis-based company was awarded the contract for the Integrated Services Centre in the Mitchels area of Tralee, part of the town’s regeneration project.

Work began in October and was expected to take a year to complete. However, on Tuesday, work stopped at the site with a spokesperson for Kerry local authorities describing the disruption as “unfortunate.”
[Source: Clare Champion]


Staff-members and students are mourning a respected colleague at U.C.C. after a fatal accident killed maintenance worker Frank McGrath on Tuesday evening.

Frank McGrath, a married father-of-one, who had worked at U.C.C. since 1986, was killed at 4:20 p.m. on Tuesday.

Mr. McGrath, who was in his 50s, was hit by a portable motorized platform driven by his colleague as they worked together fixing a lighting problem. A Garda (police) spokesperson said the man driving the scissor-lift was extremely distressed.

The accident occurred outside the Lewis Glucksman Gallery on the U.C.C. campus. An ambulance was called and Mr. McGrath was pronounced dead at the scene.
[Source: Cork Independent]


Dissident republicans in Derry have threatened to kill Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.