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News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

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ANTRIM

A host of film, television and entertainment industry professionals recently lent their support to the fourth-annual L.A. Cinemagic International Film and Television Festival for Young People, including a budding film-maker from Templepatrick.

Rachel McClure (19) was one of nine lucky participants who travelled to Los Angeles to participate in film screenings and workshops with H.B.O., 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros and many more.

A highlight of the festival for Rachel was meeting Academy Award winning film music composer Hans Zimmer and presenting him with a Cinemagic award for his outstanding contribution to the film industry.

Another highlight was the Los Angeles premiere screening of “The Mantle,” a short film made by the teenagers during Cinemagic's International Film Camp in Belfast last summer.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]   

ARMAGH

Negative publicity surrounding Crossmaglen and the wider south Armagh area, which appeared in some sections of the press recently, has had a serious detrimental effect on the town’s image, a public meeting in the town’s Community Centre heard on Friday, March 22.

The meeting was facilitated by Newry and Mourne District Council in response to concerns from local businesses and the public in an attempt to counteract scurrilous accusations made in print and broadcast media in recent weeks regarding a number of groups and individuals from the area.  Specific comments made by a Sunday World journalist linking the area to the murder of Detective Garda (Police Officer) Adrian Donohoe, near Dundalk, in January were particularly deliberate in casting the area in a poor light.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

CARLOW

Gardaí (police) in Carlow have arrested a man in his early 20s, following a post-office robbery in Carlow last Wednesday.

The Leighlinbridge post office was robbed just after 12 p.m., when a man on his own entered the building on High Street and threatened a customer with a knife.

No was injured, but the man managed to escape on foot with an amount of cash.

During a follow-up operation a man aged in his 20s was arrested.
[Source: Irish Examiner]

CAVAN

A Belturbet man has been sentenced to serve life in prison for the murder of a Limerick father-of-two in an attack during which he slit his victim’s throat and stabbed him over 40 times.

Gerard Manning (33) of Upper Gerald Griffin Street, in Limerick, originally from Erne Hill, Belturbet, had pleaded not guilty to murdering Martin Purcell (54) on dates between September 28 and 30, 2011.

Manning, who has 115 previous convictions including for firearms offences, possession of knives, domestic violence, endangerment and burglary, was on bail when he carried out the murder.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]

CLARE

Residents in Clarecastle are “living in fear” as feuding factions continue to battle it out in the village.

Last Tuesday night, at approximately 10 p.m., masked men attacked property in Clarecastle, armed with slash hooks and other weapons as terrified neighbors looked on in fear.

The incident lasted “minutes” and the house that was attacked was occupied at the time.

One resident was kept up most of the night with fear due to the feuding. The local said the incident frightened their children and has called for something to be done to remove those involved from the village.
[Source: Clare Champion]

CORK

A number of prominent Irish filmmakers may boycott the Cork Film Festival as a result of the surprise decision by the board to make redundant C.E.O. Mick Hannigan and festival programmer Úna Feely.

Acclaimed filmmakers Lenny Abrahamson, who has made “What Richard Did,” “Garage” and “Adam and Paul,” and Paul Duane, who co-created I.T.V. series “Secret Diary of a Call Girl” and a number of documentaries, have written to the board to express their disgust and that they won’t allow their films to be shown at the festival in future.

Mick Hannigan revealed last Tuesday night that he had been made redundant from the festival he has been in charge of for nearly 30 years.
[Source: Cork Independent]

DERRY

Forensic tests are underway to establish if an overnight fire at a Derry City center bar was arson.

The N.I. Fire and Rescue Service said last Tuesday morning that the blaze at Masons Bar in Castle Street may have been started deliberately.

The proprietors are awaiting the results of police forensic tests to establish the exact cause of the fire that broke out in the early hours.

Despite the damage, which was described as “significant,” the bar owners hoped it was a case of “business as usual” over the weekend.
[Source: Derry Journal]

DONEGAL

Padraig Doogan from Gortahork won $48,000 on Winning Streak on Saturday night, March 23.

He and his wife Kerry are married nine years. They have a daughter, Leah (7), and a son, Shane (4), and they were expecting another baby last week.

Padraig purchased the scratch card for Kelly as a Mother’s Day gift but they decided to put his name on it as she would be unable to appear on the show if selected.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]

DOWN

A Newry man who reactivated guns for dissident republicans has been jailed for six-and-a-half years.

Bryan Christopher McManus, from Aileen Terrace in the city, was ordered to spend half his sentence in jail and the other half on license parole.

Passing sentence, Belfast Crown Court Judge David McFarland told him he had “made a very bad decision to associate with undesirable elements” and added that, while he accepted that McManus’s life had gone into a “downward spiral,” it was of his own making.

The 56-year-old engineer had pleaded guilty to possessing eight firearms, a rifle, component parts of weapons, seven magazines and various ammunition, including armor-piercing and “dum dum” bullets, all with intent to endanger life.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

DUBLIN

R.T.É. stars who have been hit with staggering 30 percent pay cuts should have their wages slashed even further, a TV3 boss has insisted.

The national broadcaster's biggest names have suffered huge pay cuts – but still enjoy mega pay-packets.

Broadcaster Marian Finucane is among the biggest losers, suffering a 48 percent cut on her 2008 earnings.

Her salary dropped from $731,000 in 2008 to $378,000 this year.
[Source: Evening Herald]

FERMANAGH

The people of Fermanagh had been celeb spotting last week, their target of choice: Hollywood actor Colin Farrell.

Colin is in Enniskillen at present filming his upcoming film, “Miss Julie,” at Castle Coole.

With reports of Colin relaxing at the Killyhevlin, discussing National Trust properties at the Lough Erne Resort and walking around the town center, he appears to be enjoying his brief time in Fermanagh.

But do not worry if you have not crossed paths yet, as there is still time to catch a glimpse of the film star who begins filming his next film project “Solace” in Detroit in May.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]

GALWAY

The government is inviting tenders to operate an air service to the Aran Islands under a Public Service Obligation contract.

Islanders have been campaigning for months to keep the air service, which operates between Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr.

The current contract finishes at the end of August, but the government is hoping that this can be continued until September 2014, at least.

The government spends 2.3 million euro a year on the subsidy and those interested in operating the service have until May 27 to register a bid.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]

KERRY

A man accused of stabbing his father with a kitchen knife had the case against him dropped because "no complaint was forthcoming."

Anthony Roche (22) of Glavens House, Montanagaye, Abbeydorney, County Kerry, was charged with assaulting his father, Richard, causing him harm.

Mr. Roche was taken to Kerry General Hospital – where he remains – suffering from stab wounds to the chest and shoulders.
[Source: Irish Independent]

KILDARE

“It was like coming out of a coma I really felt as if I had got my life back again.”

Organ transplants may be becoming more common in medical terms but for those who receive an organ, the entire procedure is as much a miracle as ever and one man who knows all about it is Clr. Brendan Weld.

The longstanding local public representative had a kidney transplant last October after five years of struggling, firstly on an extremely restrictive diet, and subsequently on dialysis. As the 2013 Organ Donor Awareness Week is marked from March 30 to April 6, he is keen to encourage people to be aware of the benefits which organ donation brings, and to carry donor cards.
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]

KILKENNY

A rift has emerged between Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan and Kilkenny County Council over the lack of funding for the notorious Saint Catherine’s halting site, with the two parties offering contradictory versions of events.

Earlier this month, the council’s Director of Services John McCormack said it appeared the cash was “not available” to improve the site, where conditions are very poor. The local authorities have been advancing a proposal to develop a Group Housing Scheme.
[Source: Kilkenny People]

LAOIS

A young Portlaoise man is in a serious condition in an Australian hospital, having been lucky to survive a fatal road crash in Queensland earlier this month.

Dean Hanley from Woodgrove on the Ballyfin Road, Portlaoise, traveled to Australia just seven weeks ago on a yearlong visa. He was returning home from work on a farm with other backpackers when their bus collided head on with a four-wheel drive vehicle on the Bruce Highway at Barratta, south of Townsville on March 6.

Dean broke two bones in his neck and several in his back and required surgery immediately. He is now in a “halo” brace to keep the bones stable. He will require further surgery and the family do not know when Dean will be fit enough to travel home. He was lucky to survive the collision which killed two government officials traveling in the four-wheel drive vehicle.
[Source: Leinster Express]

LEITRIM

One of the biggest soccer clubs in the world has agreed to help local soccer club Abbey Rovers from Ballinamore in their fundraising efforts this year.

The Premier League giants have given Abbey Rovers a Manchester United jersey signed by club and England striker Danny Welbeck.

Abbey Rovers Under-10s coach Kevin Andrews contacted United and inquired if they could assist in any way, and the Premier League leaders were more than happy to help. It’s a fantastic gesture and we hope to raise money to go towards providing an Astroturf facility in the near future – it’s something the club badly needs.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]

LIMERICK

More than 100 staff-members at Dunnes Stores in the Jetland Shopping Centre have been told they cannot park in the firm’s car park.

From last Monday, Dunnes Stores staff were told that the company is withdrawing parking facilities for its staff-members to facilitate an increase in trade over Easter.

Approximately 120 supermarket staff-members in the Jetland Dunnes Stores are affected by the move, which has led to concerns over the health and safety of vulnerable members.
[Source: Limerick Leader]

LONGFORD

Lisa Fox from Edgeworthstown has been added to the cast of the popular R.T.É. children’s television program The Beo Show for its second series.

“The show is based around a fictional venue called The Beo Theatre,” Lisa says. “I play the role of Gerty Gúna, the theatre’s costume lady, who works with the manager, Donie.”

Their hilarious interactions are based around Donie’s bungling and muddling ways, with Gerty having to set him straight or point him the right direction.
[Source: Longford Leader]

LOUTH

Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula in County Louth are coming under the radar of meteorologists as a result of the appearance of a remarkable amount of rainbows.

The area was recently visited by members of the Meteorology Society of Ireland following reports of a higher than average presence of rainbows in the picturesque north Louth area.

The already beautiful area was so enhanced by the rainbows that it brought attention to the high numbers being noticed by locals and visitors. The colored arcs presented amazing images over Carlingford Lough and Slieve Foy Mountain. Locals reckon that during 2012, there were approximately 280 rainbows, with some days recording the appearance of two on the same day and double-arced rainbows, with a high volume occurring in March and September, in particular.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]

MAYO

Plans to build the world’s largest statue of Saint Patrick on top of the Reek have tumbled and been put on ice by Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz after a Mayo News poll convinced him of its controversy.

Almost 70 percent of respondents to the online poll said they were not in favor of the 100 ft. bronze statue being placed on the 2,510-foot-high pyramidal peak, where the patron saint is said to have spent 40 days and nights fasting back in 441 A.D.

Speaking to The Mayo News last Monday, Timothy Schmalz said: “I have decided not to continue to build the world’s largest Saint Patrick on the Reek, as I have received so much hateful opposition to a project in which I intended to celebrate Irish culture and spirituality. I apologize to those people who may have thought I was being disrespectful to the sacred history of the place and am now looking to place the proposed statue somewhere else in Ireland.”
[Source: The Mayo News]

MEATH

The missing Ashbourne teenager, Kim Nangle, has been located safe and well.

Gardaí (police) in Ashbourne had sought the public’s assistance in tracing the whereabouts of the 17-year-old, who had been missing since Sunday, March 24.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]

MONAGHAN

A security alert near Rosslea, County Fermanagh, is continuing.

It began last Tuesday night after a caller to a Belfast newsroom said a beer keg had been left on the Clogh Road, close to the County Monaghan border.

Police moved in to make the area safe to allow army bomb experts to examine it.

A number of homes close to Clogh Church of Ireland have been evacuated.
[Source: BBC News]

OFFALY

A native of Kilcormac, John Jacob has been announced as the new Deputy General Secretary of the Association of Garda (Police) Sergeants and Inspectors.

John joined A.G.S.I. on promotion to sergeant in 1994. He has previously presented motions at the Annual Delegate Conference as part of the Headquarters, before joining the Headquarters Branch in 1999.

He served on the Headquarters Branch of A.G.S.I. since then, and has continued to be an active contributor at Conference. John has held the position of branch chairman and is currently the branch secretary. John also served on two national executives from 2007 to 2010, and from 2010 to date.
[Source: Offaly Express]

ROSCOMMON

Roscommon Gardaí (police) has issued a warning to publicans and parents of teenagers that they are stepping up their campaign to tackle underage drinking in pubs in the town. Gardaí has visited a number of pubs over the past three weekends at various times to check on patrons and to ensure that they are over 18.

This will continue as part of the national campaign called “You May Be Asked,” where age cards will be requested and checked by Gardaí.
[Source: Roscommon Herald]

SLIGO

It once was home to the Marist Sisters secondary and boarding school.

Now a Tubbercurry landmark will house a major new social housing project.

Sophia Housing, together with Sligo County Council, has developed a scheme of 32 apartments at the Emmet Road site.
[Source: Irish Independent]

TIPPERARY

North Tipperary Sinn Fein Councilor Seamus Morris has defended controversial remarks he made on his Facebook page this month about Fine Gael’s candidate in the Meath East by-election and has rejected a call from North Tipperary Young Fine Gael that he apologize for the remarks.

According to Young F.G., the offending comments about the family of the late Sean McEntee were posted on March 14 when Clr. Morris wrote: “Isnt it amazing that the McEntee family can put their grief to one side to keep their snouts in the trough.”

Young F.G. Secretary Padraig O’Sullivan said in a statement that the remarks were “particularly disconcerting due to the nature of Minister McEntee’s death. It is also very discouraging to a young female candidate such as his daughter Helen McEntee, who is more than adequately educated and qualified to representing the people of Meath East.”
[Source: Tipperary Star]

TYRONE

Dungannon's new business park at Granville has got its first business.

A Dungannon-based company, which does not want to be named yet, plans to take up 15 acres of the 20-acre business park site, which is situated on the outskirts of the town.

And the Courier has learned that no less than six other businesses have also registered an interest in acquiring land within the business park.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]

WATERFORD

Bus Éireann has said the provision of accessible bus stops on its network is "the responsibility of local authorities."

It comes after a wheelchair user from Dungarvan, County Waterford, was refused entry on to her local Bus Éireann bus to Cork because she is disabled and there is no accessible bus stop in the town.

The woman, who does not want to be named, said she was forced to travel 40 minutes to Waterford for the next nearest wheelchair accessible bus stop.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]

WESTMEATH

It may have been almost 40 years ago, but the memory is still fresh in the mind of one of Ireland’s greatest cycling legends, Sean Kelly.

Way back then, the fresh-faced Carrick-on-Suir native completed one of three stage wins in the 1975 Nissan Classic when he powered his bike home on the approach to Mullingar.

The town might have been a bit of a blur but the reality of the victory remains clear in his mind.

“I can’t really remember the town but there was to be a climb to the finish and I didn’t notice it,” said Sean as he spoke with local journalists in The Greville Arms Hotel on Saturday, March 23.
[Source: Westmeath Examiner]

WEXFORD

A well-known local businesswoman is in a stable condition at Wexford General Hospital having been injured in a major accident on the N25.

The woman, (who is in her 70s), was driving at Assaly, Killinick near the Danby Lodge when the accident occurred shortly before 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

The Echo understands the other vehicle involved in the accident was a Wexford County Council lorry.
[Source: Wexford Echo]

WICKLOW

Gardaí (people) in Wicklow searching for a missing man off Arklow pier have discovered a body washed up on a beach some two miles away from Arklow Town.

It comes after the car which plunged into the water was recovered by a crane.

A rescue operation was launched after the car plunged into the water off the pier at around 6 a.m. last Tuesday.

A man in his 30s and believed to be originally from Hungary was inside the vehicle at the time, and a woman in her 20s and originally from Poland managed to escape from the car and raise the alarm.
[Source: Irish Examiner]
 

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