News from around the 32 counties of Ireland



Pressure is mounting on Justice Minister David Ford to stand down as an Elder of Second Donegore Presbyterian Church over his party's controversial support of gay marriage, the Antrim Guardian can reveal.

The Presbyterian Church is vehemently opposed to the union of same sex couples, claiming that acceptance of the principle would “effectively demolish generations and centuries of societal norms” established on Christian values.

It was a position the Alliance leader publicly shared until a sensational U-turn last September which saw him say “I do” to gay marriage, with the proviso that there were “robust protections” to ensure that churches not wedded to the idea could show homosexual couples the door.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


A recent incident involving vehicle theft in south Armagh, in which community members detained the alleged thief until police arrived, highlights the willingness of locals to cooperate with police, the area’s M.P. Conor Murphy has said.

The drama unfolded shortly before 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, when an opportunistic thief stole a jeep from a farmyard on the Skerriff Road, close to Cullyhanna.  The owner, who was nearby, gave chase but was unable to catch up.  The thief drove off in the direction of Crossmaglen but abandoned the jeep on the Annaghmare Road, around two miles from the town, and made to escape across fields.

Members of the Crossmaglen Community Safety Group, who had been alerted to the theft, became suspicious of the abandoned vehicle and followed the man’s path across the fields.

They subsequently apprehended the accused and placed him under citizens’ arrest, holding him until police arrived on the scene.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


Carlow Town G.A.A. clubs have been criticized for failing to take advantage of the money-making potential offered by the annual Carlow G.A.A. draw, which is currently up and running.

The first of five monthly draws takes place on May 10 with a top prize of a car or $15,700 each month.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]


A High Court judge last Wednesday ordered a Cavan auctioneer to be committed to prison for his failure to comply with a court order obtained by a receiver over a property owned by him.

The order was made against Gerry Burns of Drumcase, Killeshandra, County Cavan, whose auctioneering business, Gerry Burns Auctioneers, is located on 45 College Street, Cavan Town.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


The number of dead animals collected in Clare as the result of the worst fodder crisis in living memory has increased by an estimated 60 percent this year, according to a local farm leader.

Clare I.F.A. Chairman Andrew Dundas revealed the number of animals, collected by knackeries operating in the Mid-West, has jumped significantly for the first few months of 2013 by as much as 60 percent compared to the same period last year.
[Source: Clare Champion]


A battered Massey Ferguson tractor and a metal tub were the tools used in the James Bond-like expedition that smuggled Cork photojournalist Mark Condren over the Syrian border where Western media is banned.

"We had done all the research," Mark said, "Me and journalist Jason O'Brien had lined up a fixer to meet us in Turkey."

A fixer is a person who organizes interviews, security clearance and also works as a translator.

"Before I left, I felt terrible, now in hindsight, I can enjoy it and think back on it, but in the airport with my wife and three children, I was just thinking, what am I doing?"
[Source: Cork Independent]


A Fresian cow, shot in the head, lying alongside a Fresian bull calf dumped by the side of a forest track off a main road outside Limavady – this was the horrifying discovery made by a walker at the scenic Loughermore Forest last Wednesday.

The gruesome find has shocked residents of the quiet scenic area off the New Line Road.

Local farmers who spoke with the Journal shortly after the animals were discovered said they’d never seen the like of it before
[Source: Derry Journal]


The woman whose remains were found washed ashore at Bundoran last Tuesday has been named.

Gardaí (police) in Ballyshannon confirmed that the remains found shortly after noon in the sea behind the Waterworld Complex were those of Ita Maguire.

The 87-year-old, who is thought to be a native of south Donegal, was residing at a local care home.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]


“Love at first note” – that was how “The Voice” judge,, described how he felt upon hearing the jaw-dropping performance of Newry-born classical singer, Carla Maney and her singing partner, Barbara Kelly, during the T.V. auditions on Saturday night, April 20. On hearing the very first note of the duo’s spine-tingling rendition of opera classic, “The Flower Duet,” the judge pressed his button to face the stage.