News from around the 32 counties of Ireland



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]


“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]


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]


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]


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]


"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]


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.