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News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

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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.

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