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News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

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ANTRIM

Seven long years after he was battered to death, the family of a former Antrim schoolboy has finally got the justice they craved.

Fifteen-year-old Michael McIlveen died in May 2006 following a brutal and nakedly sectarian attack.

Two Ballymena men were convicted of the cold-blooded killing back in 2009, but the convictions were later quashed on appeal.

Undeterred, the Court of Appeal ordered a retrial, and Christopher Francis Kerr (26), from Carnduff Drive, and Aaron Cavana Wallace (24), from Moat Road, were back in the dock.

However, just before the retrial began, the pair pleaded guilty to murdering the Catholic schoolboy, and both started a life sentence last week.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]

ARMAGH

“A great man in heart and mind, a true republican” was how Cullyhanna man, Jim McAllister, was described at his requiem mass in the village on Thursday.

Mr. McAllister passed away on Tuesday, April 9, at the age of 68, after a short illness.

Delivering the oration at the funeral of his close friend, Pat McNamee said it was the true values and principles of republicanism that defined Jim McAllister and that his greatest wish was to be remembered as “an unapologetic, unreconstructed republican”.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

CARLOW

A County Carlow publican who was confronted by violent raiders says he had no regrets about shooting at them.

“If I didn’t shoot, I wouldn’t be here talking to you,” insisted well-known publican Gerry Mellett, who, along with his wife Margaret, runs The Ardattin Inn. “That night I had to defend myself and my property.”

On Wednesday night, April 3, Gerry fired his shotgun after he came face-to-face with four violent balaclava-clad raiders, who were armed with a pickaxe and sledgehammer. The 58-year-old publican, who has run the pub for 13 years, said he felt compelled to act to protect his family and his property.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]

CAVAN

A Cavan bar hosted a send-off event to mark the burial of former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

While many in England were mourning the death of the so-called “Iron Lady,” some who were not so sad to see her passing held a celebration of sorts in the Breffni Inn. The Cavan Town bar kicked-off their party at around 2:30 p.m., and while there was only a score or so of revelers when the Celt called into the bar, the landlady was expecting a large crowd later that night.

Proprietor of the Breffni Inn, Siobhan Neary, told The Anglo Celt they were having a farewell party “to say good luck to her – and that is the polite version!”
[Source: The Anglo Celt]

CLARE

The availability of U.S. Customs and Border Protection pre-clearance at Shannon was a bigger factor than the airport’s separation from Dublin Airport Authority in U.S. Airways’ decision to resume its Philadelphia service after four years.

U.S. Airways Senior Vice-President Suzanne Boda said while the Shannon-Philadelphia route is only back for the summer season initially, if it goes well there is a good chance it will become year-round. She was in Clare last week to address Shannon Chamber members at Dromoland on Tuesday.

Speaking to The Clare Champion the morning after the Boston bombing, she said she was hopeful that the incident wouldn’t stop people traveling due to concerns over terrorism. “Obviously we hope not. It’s certainly a tragedy what occurred during the Boston Marathon yesterday and our thoughts and prayers go out to all the people who are affected by it. Hopefully, this doesn’t impact on travel. Unfortunately, we’ve been dealing with issues like this for a number of years and it just brings us back to the fact that we all have to be very observant of security rules and ensure that we’re following all the protocols that are in place.”
[Source: Clare Champion]

CORK

"I can finally be like everybody else."

That is how members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (L.G.B.T.) community in Cork have reacted to the vote taken two weekends ago that paves the way for marriage equality.

The Constitutional Convention debated the merits of marriage equality over two days in Malahide and members of the convention passed the measure on a vote of 79 percent to 19 percent.

"I think it shows how far we have progressed as a country," said Clive Davis, manager of the Other Place, a resource center and cafe for members of the L.G.B.T. community in Cork City.
[Source: Cork Independent]

DERRY

The Dalai Lama arrived in Derry last Wednesday afternoon for a special two-day visit.

His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, was welcomed by Richard Moore, director of Children in Crossfire, at City of Derry Airport as he touched down for the event.

His Holiness was visiting the city for local charity Children in Crossfire’s “Culture of Compassion” event, which took place last Thursday when he spoke to 2,500 people at The Venue in Ebrington and walked the city’s Peace Bridge with 300 school children from the area.
[Source: Derry Journal]

DONEGAL

Lochlainn Kelly from Scoil Iosagain, Buncrana, has won the third, fourth, fifth and sixth class category of Google’s fifth annual Doodle 4 Google competition. Lochlainn competed against the competition’s other finalists and won the most public votes of any entry in his age category.

Google doodler Kevin Laughlin, who is part of the official doodle team based in Google Headquarters in Mountain View California, presented Lochlainn with his award at a special ceremony in Dublin.

The overall winner, who was selected by Kevin, was Annie Coyle, a 15-year old Letterkenny student who is a pupil at St. Bernadette’s Special School in Letterkenny. Annie’s doodle will be seen by millions of people when it appears on the Google Ireland homepage. Annie’s school will be awarded a $13,000 technology grant while Lochlainn and his fellow group winners and their teachers will receive a personal laptop computer each.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]

DOWN

Health Minister Edwin Poots has announced the creation of a new multi-million health center for Newry. The minister unveiled the plans for the new state-of-the-art facilities in an official press conference on Thursday, April 11.  Two $60 million health centers are set to be built in both Newry and Lisburn, which will house G.P.s and a number of community services currently provided by Trusts, including diagnostic services, imaging and children’s services.

The centers will be staffed and equipped by the N.H.S. while the buildings will be financed by the private sector, via an arrangement known as Third Party Development (3.P.D.), which involves a partnership with a private sector company.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

DUBLIN

Two Dublin girls have come up with a solution on how to get that dress zipped up when there's no one around to help.

Jessie Hennessy (16) and Niamh Foran (16), both from Palmerstown, have devised the Zip Eeze, an attachment that allows for easy opening and closing without help.

They were among 300 student entrepreneurs who descended on Croke Park last Thursday to compete in the 11th annual Student Enterprise Awards national finals.
[Source: Evening Herald]

FERMANAGH

A recent study that states that fracking is not a significant cause of earthquakes has been questioned by the two local groups who oppose its implementation in Fermanagh.

The report from Durham University found that tremors were barely noticeable from fracking after looking at operations in America.

Dr Caroll O’Dolan, of Fermanagh Fracking Awareness Network (F.F.A.N.) expressed his concerns at the findings.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]

GALWAY

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Association of Ireland is to host its seventh annual interfaith peace conference in the city later this month.

The focus of the event is the role of spiritual leaders in contemporary society.

It's to be addressed by Galway West Fianna Fail T.D. Eamon O'Cuiv along with religious leaders from major faiths including Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]

KERRY

The Richard family, who have been left distraught following the Boston Marathon bombings, have Irish roots and are regular visitors to County Kerry.

Martin Richard died in the second blast at the finish line, while his mother, Denise, is seriously ill in hospital and his sister, Jane (5), lost a leg.

Denise's family, the O’Briens, is originally from Co. Kerry, while Jane was growing up to be a talented Irish dancer.
[Source: Irish Independent]

KILDARE

A 30-year-old motorcyclist has died following a road crash in County Kildare.

The man was fatally injured in a collision with a car at Dagwelds Cross, Blackwood in Naas at around 7.30 p.m. Tuesday evening.

He was taken to Naas General Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

The driver of the car received minor injuries in the collision.
[Source: RTE News]

KILKENNY

Following weeks of speculation as to whether or not Kilkenny would have a contestant for this year’s Rose of Tralee Festival, it has now been confirmed that one lucky lady will indeed be taking part.

With the resignation last month of former organizers Kate Markey and Paul Dargan, there was uncertainty over whether or not a selection process would happen. But a new committee has since been formed, comprising production manager Steven Connolly and several former Kilkenny Roses, including Orla O’Shea, who won the competition in 2004.
[Source: Kilkenny People]

LAOIS

The Abbeyleix Hospital Action group is giving the minister for health one more week to make a decision on the future of Abbeyleix Hospital.

“We have decided to give them one more week,” P.R.O. for the group, Gary O’Keefe, said.

“We’re leaving it until Friday, if we have no answer either way by then we will go at them all guns blazing,” Mr. O’ Keefe said.
[Source: Leinster Express]

LEITRIM

A 21-year-old man has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Carrick-on-Shannon native Andrew Dolan in Mullingar in 2011.

Twenty-year-old Andrew Dolan, a biomedical science student from Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim, died on New Year’s Day 2012 at Beaumount Hospital, Dublin following an assault at Pearse Street, Mullingar on December 23, 2011.

Three people were charged in relation to Andrew Dolan’s death.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]

LIMERICK

The 20-year-old city youth who threw a banana at Manchester City star Gael Clichy in Thomond Park says he received hate mail last week, which he has handed over to the Gardaí (police).

“We have a lot of supporters and fans of [Manchester]. United, here in Limerick and [you’re] not one of them,” the single page letter sent to the home of Kelvin Reynolds stated.

It adds: “[You’re] a thug. If you live another 20 years, you’ll still be a thug.”

Concerned over the safety of his one-year-old son and girlfriend, Mr. Reynolds, who lives in Caherdavin, has handed over the letter to the Gardaí (police) to investigate what he sees as a hate mail threat.
[Source: Limerick Leader]

LONGFORD

Sunday World reporter Geraldine Comiskey spent an afternoon recently on the farm of Eamon Egan in Kenagh.

While there, the reporter was treated to some old style farming as Mr. Egan presented his famous pair of draught horses, Gerry and Kruger. Needless to say there was also a plough in the vicinity.

Eamon (80) remembers the days when the plough was the only machine available to toil the land in Ireland and was a keen participant in the Longford Ploughing Championships in Edgeworthstown.

After Comiskey managed to get the plough stuck in Eamon’s land, he said of the draugh horses, “Sixty years ago this breed of horse would have been used to pull the Guinness carts.” “They are the perfect plough horses; most of the other traditional workhorses are just bred for shows now and they wouldn’t know what to do if you hitched a plough to them.”
[Source: Longford Leader]

LOUTH

Last January, crisp giant Tayto started selling their own brand of milk chocolate at their Tayto Park in Ashbourne, County Meath, but fans wanted them to go that extra step further.

After receiving thousands of e-mails, tweets and Facebook posts begging them to create the perfect chocolate crisp bar, Tayto have done just that and released a chocolate bar infused with their famous cheese and onion crisps.

They are now on sale in a lot of shots in Louth and across the country.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]

MAYO

A man is being detained at Claremorris Garda (Police) Station in connection with the attempted raid of a post office in Hollymount last Tuesday afternoon. He was arrested near Ballinrobe.

A masked man is reported to have entered the post office at around 2:30 p.m. armed with a weapon. No money was taken.

A spokesperson at the Claremorris station said An Gardaí Síochána is looking into extending the period of the man’s detainment. Gardaí have said they have no lead in relation to another man who was involved in the raid.
[Source: The Mayo News]

MEATH

Gardaí (police) believe that there may have been three men involved in an attempted raid on Tara Post Office on Tuesday afternoon.

Around 3 p.m., a lone raider entered the post office at Ross Cross, brandishing a firearm, and broke the protective glass, but failed to get through it. He also attempted to get through a doorway to the post office worker, but failed and left empty-handed.

A red car was waiting for him outside, which was later found abandoned at Baronstown, Tara.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]

MONAGHAN

The A.B.P. Food Group has agreed a deal to sell the Silvercrest facility at Ballybay, County Monaghan, as part of its plan to exit the frozen burger sector in Ireland.

The company is being sold to the Kepak Group, subject to Competition Authority approval.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

A.B.P. said the sale involves the transfer of the 122 staff currently employed at Silvercrest.
[Source: RTE News]

OFFALY

Two science-loving students from Edenderry, County Offaly were awarded first place in the Intermediate Category at last Wednesday’s 11th Annual Student Enterprise Awards National Finals.

Shauna Bannon Ward (14) and Samantha Brennan (14) from Oaklands Community College, Edenderry, Co. Offaly were judged overall winners in the Intermediate Category for “The Boom Book,” a book of science experiments aimed at 5-10 year olds. Using common household products and simple instructions, “The Boom Book” team want to encourage the practical, experimental side of science and hope to bring the fun back into the subject for young school-goers. The students also run science demonstrations in primary schools as a way of marketing “The Boom Book.”
[Source: Offaly Express]

ROSCOMMON

Nine members from Carrick on Shannon based Trident Swim Club took part in the Community Games County Final on Sunday, April 7, in Roscommon Town.

Representing Douglas Hyde in the U-12 Girls’ Backstroke category was Izzy Butler, who put in a fantastic effort in her first ever swimming competition. Also taking part in the U-12 Girls’ Backstroke were Trident members Carina Hughes, representing Croghan, and Aoife McCormack, representing Elphin. Both girls swam a strong race with Aoife coming home in fourth place overall.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]

TIPPERARY

Soccer legend Roy Keane is asking the people of Tipperary to join his favorite team during May: not Sunderland or Manchester United, but the team who will make this the 11th Annual Shades fundraiser for Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind a big success.

Roy’s favorite charity desperately needs funds to meet increased demand for their guide dogs for vision-impaired persons and their assistance dogs for families of children with autism. The organization has waiting lists of up to three years and is seeking to raise over $5 million this year to provide services that really do change lives.
[Source: Tipperary Star]

TYRONE

Claims that cobbles at the Hill of the O'Neill visitor attraction in Dungannon were removed because they were "too uncomfortable" for walkers' feet have been angrily denied.

The picturesque cobbles at the $7.6 million facility in the heart of the town are to be ripped up as part of work, which will cost almost $1.1 million, still needing completion.

A source at the council told the Courier that the cobbles were to be dug up as they were "too round at the top" and were therefore hurting people's feet as they climbed the hill.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]

WATERFORD

The Mayor’s Ball was a particularly poignant event for City Mayor, Clr. Jim D’Arcy this year, with one of the three beneficiaries sharing in the $47,000 raised on the night holding a very special place in his and his family’s heart.

In October of last year, Clr. Darcy’s wife Helen suffered a stroke shortly after the birth of their daughter, Rachel. She is currently on the road to recovery and it was for this reason in particular that The Stroke Foundation was chosen as one of the three beneficiaries of the ball, with Waterford Alzheimer Society and The Family and Friends of the Sacred Heart Centre also chosen.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]

WESTMEATH

A huge crowd of Manchester United supporters turned out at the Annebrook House Hotel, Mullingar on Saturday night, April 13,as two members of the club's legendary treble-winning generation stopped by for a meet-and-greet.

Former Republic of Ireland full back Denis Irwin and center-half David May signed autographs, chatted with fans and reminisced about their time at the club in a no-holds-barred interview with Mullingar Midlands 103 personality, Willie Geraghty.

The night, organized by Mullingar Town clubman and sports events promoter Gareth Hayes, drew United fans of all ages, including many young Reds – some of whom weren't even born before United's dramatic European Cup win over Bayern Munich in 1999.
[Source: Westmeath Examiner]

WEXFORD

Gardaí (police) are appealing for witnesses after a woman was killed in a car crash in County Wexford.

The 48-year-old was airlifted to Tallaght Hospital after her car collided with a jeep on the R772 between Gorey and Clough.

It happened at around 10:30 a.m. Thursday morning, April 11, but the woman lost her fight for life later that night.
[Source: Irish Examiner]

WICKLOW

Dublin Bay could soon be home to 145 wind turbines as part of a $2.6 billion plan.

The proposal would see 100m turbines being built 10km from the coastline.

If given the go-ahead, renewable power firm Saorgus Energy would begin construction on the Kish and Bray Banks within five years.

The wind farm would generate enough electricity to meet the demands of 450,000 homes, as well as creating 850 jobs.
[Source: Evening Herald]

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