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News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

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A tugboat service is vital to tourism in Killybegs and south Donegal, a tourism official said last Tuesday.

Henry Coleman of Killybegs Tourism Information Centre was responding to news that the busy shipping port no longer has a tugboat service to safely pilot boats to the pier.

Sinbad Marine Services, Ltd. is a private company that had been operating two tugboats for many years without any government subvention. The company announced last Tuesday that it had hired out both vessels, which are also up for sale.

“Obviously, it’s a bit of a blow,” Mr. Coleman told the Democrat on hearing the news.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]

DOWN

It has emerged that an ambulance took almost 30 minutes to arrive at the scene of a fatal road accident which claimed the life of a cyclist in Newry on Wednesday morning, March 6.

Despite the accident occurring less than two miles from Daisy Hill Hospital, the ambulance service confirmed that it took 21 minutes before a paramedic in a Rapid Response Vehicle attended, and a further eight minutes before an ambulance arrived.

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (N.I.A.S.) said it regretted the delayed response time, citing that all available resources were already otherwise engaged.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

DUBLIN

An extraordinary level of financial mismanagement and gross misspending at a public body has been revealed in a damning new report.

Staff-members at The Temple Bar Cultural Trust (T.B.C.T.) were handed salary top-ups, wage advances and bonuses without the knowledge of its board.

An audit, commissioned by Dublin City Council, even found that one employee used the body's credit card to pay their second home property tax.
[Source: Evening Herald]

FERMANAGH

A joint operation between Fermanagh P.S.N.I. and the N.I.E.A. (Northern Ireland Environment Agency) which started last Wednesday has found a quantity of controlled waste on land a few miles outside Enniskillen.

Shortly after 9 a.m., police and a number of officials from the N.I.E.A. arrived at the lands and police served the landowner with the appropriate search warrants. Moments later, the N.I.E.A. arrived with a large mechanical digger and began digging at a number of locations on the lands.

Inspector Roy Robinson, who led the early morning operation for the P.S.N.I., said they were assisting the N.I.E.A. and that the intention was to search three locations on the lands they had identified.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]

GALWAY

New maps identifying areas in the city and county at risk of flooding are expected to be available by early next year.

The Office of Public Works is currently advancing a national flood risk assessment program called C.F.R.A.M., which is examining 300 locations.

The flood risk maps will be made available by next year, and the O.P.W. will then hold public consultation events to garner local advice and information.

A presentation on the project was delivered to Galway City councilors at their meeting last week.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]

KERRY

A Kerry teenager pleaded guilty last Monday to dangerous driving causing the death of a 64-year-old mother-of-10 who had been on her way home from bingo in midsummer of 2011 in Castlemaine, County Kerry.

Gavin Foley (19) of Mounthenry, Firies, Killarney, was arraigned at the Circuit Criminal Court in Tralee shortly before lunchtime. He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of Patricia Clifford on June 21, 2011 at Brackhill, Castlemaine, Co. Kerry.

Mrs. Clifford’s husband, Martin, was in court to attest to the fact that the family did not want the young man jailed, legal representatives of Mr. Foley told the court last Monday.
[Source: Irish Times]

KILDARE

Protesters will be back on Kildare’s streets within the coming weeks as the dreaded property tax bills from revenue drop through the letterboxes of local householders.

A protest and information campaign is planned for Newbridge on Saturday, March 23, with further protests in the following weeks. A spokesperson for the south Kildare anti-household charges action group told the Kildare Nationalist last week that there was “real anger and a lot of fear” as people awaited the arrival of the bills.

Moreover, recent research shows that Kildare residents could wind up paying more than most in property tax. The survey, based on the government’s own property price register, showed that average house prices in the county are $53,000 above the national average home price of $196,000. The highest prices would appear to be in areas like Maynooth, in the north of the county, where proximity to Dublin is a major factor.
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]

KILKENNY

Tributes have been paid to the man whose body was found in the city on Thursday night, March 7. While Gardaí (police) are still trying to put together the last movements of Tony Barrett, whose death is being treated as suspicious, a former neighbor has paid tribute to the 42-year-old.

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