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News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

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ANTRIM

Warm tributes have been paid to Constable Philippa Reynolds, the local woman who died on duty when the police vehicle she was traveling in was battered by a stolen jeep in the early hours of Saturday morning, February 9.

The 27-year-old was laid to rest last Wednesday following an emotional service at New Mossley Methodist Church.

Few can believe that the fun-loving former Antrim Grammar student is gone – or that her dream to become a police officer has come to such a nightmarish end.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]

ARMAGH

A teenager seriously injured in a two-car collision close to Culloville on Thursday evening, February 7, remains in a critical condition in hospital.

Seventeen-year-old Michael Bellew from Crossmaglen was driving a car that collided with a van on the main Castleblayney to Dundalk Road around 6:30 p.m.  He sustained serious injuries and was taken to our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

The driver of the van sustained minor injuries.  Gardaí (police) have appealed for witnesses or anyone with information on the crash to contact them.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

CARLOW

Vehicle data expert Cartell.ie reported last week that vehicles in counties Leitrim, Longford, Carlow, Mayo and Kerry are, on average, over nine-years-old and vehicle owners are holding their cars longer in those counties. The findings are contained in new research, compiled for the first time, which gives an accurate county specific breakdown of the age of the fleet in Ireland.

The total number of private vehicles in the Republic of Ireland fleet stands at 2.21 million.
[Source: Galway Independent]

CAVAN

The largest canine rescue in the history of the State has taken place at rural farm location on the Leitrim-Cavan border where more than 140 dogs were recovered.

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (I.S.P.C.A.) has said the animals were discovered living in "deplorable conditions" at the property in near Ballinaglera almost a month ago.

The recent rescue of the dogs required the co-operation of three other organizations – Leitrim Animal Welfare, Dogs Trust and County Veterinary Offices, and among the breeds found were Bichon Frise crosses, King Charles Cavaliers and Shih Tzus, ranging in age from puppies right through to mature dogs.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]

CLARE

A heartbroken Mayo woman was making a special St. Valentine’s Day appeal to the people of Clare after losing her precious engagement ring on a romantic weekend in the county last month.

Mary travelled to Ennis on Friday, January 12 for a getaway with her husband and to visit friends here. Unfortunately, she found after walking from The Temple Gate Hotel to Brogan’s Bar to the Old Ground Hotel that her engagement ring, an eternity ring and a ring she had received as a birthday present, were missing.

“I am very upset about it,” she told the Clare Champion.  “Since I lost them I have literally cried every evening when I come home from work.”

“We went to Clare for a long weekend and we stayed in the Temple Gate. We always go to Ennis, we love it there. The night was very cold so I think that the ring just slipped off my finger,” she explained.
[Source: Clare Champion]

CORK

In a tale that sounds like something from a film, a lost relative and a family reunion has resulted in a Hollywood actor coming to the Everyman Theatre this May to perform for Cork audiences.

Four years ago, Cork native Josephine O'Sullivan used the internet to contact a cousin she had never met.

"I had always known I had a cousin, Patrick J. Cronin. His father, my uncle, used to visit us every year and he would talk about his son who was involved in singing and acting. Later in life, I would always watch for his name in credits and tell my three daughters all about him.

"He was a wide range of show and films such as 'Seinfeld,' 'Dallas,' 'The Wonder Years,' 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' and 'Star Trek.' One day I just decided to Google him and I found contact details for a professor of drama in East Tennessee State University, which seemed to be Paddy so I e-mailed him and asked."
[Source: Cork Independent]

DERRY

Beef burgers will continue to be served in Derry schools despite the ongoing horse meat scandal.

A Western Education and Library Board spokeswoman said the education authority has “no plans to withdraw beef burgers from their menus.”

Two of the North’s five education and library boards have withdrawn beef burgers from school menus.

The W.E.L.B. spokeswoman said, “Based on current information and assurances provided by their suppliers the board has no plans to withdraw beef burgers from their menus. The situation is being closely monitored and if circumstances change further action may be taken.”

DONEGAL

A twister that ripped through the town of Hattiesburg in Mississippi on Sunday evening, February 10, completely destroyed the home of a Letterkenny woman who last Wednesday was trying her best to salvage what she could from her residence as rain continued to drench the storm-torn region.

Bronagh Gallagher from Sallaghrane was audibly in shock on Monday morning as she described the roof of her house being “snapped like a toothpick” by a pine tree that smashed on top of it during the Sunday storm.

The Mississippi University lecturer had not been in her home when the tornado struck on Sunday but received a call to tell her that her home had been destroyed in the tornado.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]

DOWN

A Newry man has been given a suspended jail sentence for the manslaughter of a six-year-old Rathfriland boy.

Stuart Wilson was stuck by a speedboat off Cranfield Beach in south County Down over two-and-a-half years ago.

Scaffolding contractor Damien McCann, from Sandyhill in Newry, was steering his speedboat just off the beach when he struck the child.

Stuart suffered severe head injuries in the collision and died later in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.
[Source: BBC News]

DUBLIN

A criminal arrested by Gardaí (police) investigating the murder of Real I.R.A. boss Alan Ryan was previously pepper-sprayed by officers in a bizarre driving incident.

During the incident in the Coolock area in October 2011, the 26-year-old man was travelling in a car with crime boss “Mr. Big,” who is suspected of organizing Ryan's murder in Clongriffin, north Dublin.

The pair was pulled over by officers before the man in Garda custody today started to act in a threatening and aggressive way and had to be pepper sprayed.
[Source: Evening Herald]

FERMANAGH

Invest N.I., the investment arm within the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, has rebutted a claim by a Fermanagh Sinn Fein councilor that it did not bring enough investors into the county.

It said assistance from Invest N.I. to Fermanagh of almost $15 million in the last 5 years had contributed towards a total planned investment of over $141 million, promoting 548 new jobs and safeguarding 270.

From 2002/3 to 2011/12, Fermanagh received $37 million of a total $1.8 billion investment.

Sheamus Greene told the Herald he was not surprised at the figures he received from D.E.T.I. in relation to Invest N.I.’s success in creating jobs and encouraging foreign and inward investment to Fermanagh, compared with the other five counties.

He commented: “Over a ten year period, from 2002-3 to 2011-12, Antrim received [$997 million], Tyrone [$148 million], Derry [$236 million], Armagh [$193 million], Down [$183 million] and Fermanagh received [$37 million].”
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]

GALWAY

More than 14 new jobs are on the way for Galway City.

Mixgreens, a healthy fast food restaurant franchise, is to open their third restaurant at Liosbaun Industrial estate on Monday, February 18.

The new premises will create 14 jobs.

The company already has two restaurants at Newscastle road and the Grainstore in the city center, employing 20 people.

The eco-gourmet restaurants were launched by chef, business man and Galway native Kieran Nolan in 2012.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]

KERRY

Danny Healy-Rae last Wednesday confirmed he will vote against such a motion at Monday’s meeting of Kerry County Council because he has “serious concerns’’ about same-sex couples adopting children.

“I’m not against gay people or anything like that. That’s their business, but I would be very worried in regard to adoption. If adoption was out of it, it would be a different story altogether,’’ he said.

The independent councilor said he had not been lobbied by any side on the gay marriage issue and could not understand the urgency of putting a motion before the council.
[Source: Irish Examiner]

KILDARE

Quick action by a terrified boy resulted in the capture of an intruder after the boy found the man in his bedroom.

The five-year-old boy raised the alarm by running down the stairs on his home in Drogheda Street screaming about a stranger in his bedroom.

The incident happened on Tuesday, February 5, at about 7 p.m.

One of the boy’s family members then chased the intruder from the scene, and a struggle ensued but the intruder got away. But, not for long as a man was later arrested in the vicinity of the property.
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]

KILKENNY

At a special function in Nolan Park, Kilkenny, Glanbia announced a new three-year sponsorship deal for Kilkenny hurlers for 2013-2015.

As in the past, the sponsorship will include Kilkenny’s Senior, Intermediate, Under-21 and Minor county hurling teams and continues to be performance-bonus related.
[Source: Kilkenny People]

LAOIS

Portlaoise’s Alison Miller was the hero for the Ireland Women’s Rugby team as they recorded an historic 25-0 win over reigning Grand Slam Champions England in Ashbourne on Saturday, February 9.

The flying winger got in for a hat-trick of tries as Ireland put 17 previous defeats at the hands of England behind them to record an emphatic win that puts them in a very strong position in this year’s Six Nations Championship.

After their opening win over Wales, Ireland faced a much tougher task against one of the strongest women’s teams in the world but on the day Ireland, and Miller in particular, was unstoppable.
[Source: Leinster Express]

LEITRIM

Gardaí (police) in Carrick-on-Shannon have issued a reminder to the public to take steps where possible to be vigilant with regard to ensuring their home heating oil is secure.

The reminder follows the theft of oil from a premise on the Leitrim Road recently, and Gardaí confirmed there are a number of such incidents every week in the Carrick-on-Shannon district saying, “It is quite a common occurrence.”

It is understood the majority of these incidents occur during the day time, mainly when homes are vacant and members of the public are urged to contact their local Garda Station if they see anything suspicious at a neighbor’s house.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]

LIMERICK

A taxi driver has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a student in his taxi as he was bringing her home from a night out in the city center.

Abdul Mannan (39) of Rhebogue Meadows, Dublin Road had pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting the then 19-year-old in the Castletroy area of the city on February 7, 2011.

It had been the prosecution case that the married father-of-two, who is originally from Bangladesh, assaulted the Mary Immaculate College student after she fell asleep in his taxi.

She had been socializing in the city center earlier in the night as part of the college’s Rag-week celebrations.
[Source: Limerick Leader]

LONGFORD

The removal of Longford rugby star Derek Bannon took place last Thursday evening as tributes continued to flood in for the popular 28-year-old sportsman.

Dozens of mourners from Longford Rugby Club were expected to attend to travel to St. Peter’s Church, Rhode, County Offaly later that day after the talented center was killed in a car crash in Sligo on Monday evening, February 11.

The two-car collision, which Gardaí (police) are continuing to investigate, occurred along a stretch of the N4, near Drumfin, shortly before 9 p.m.

A second man, from the Killoe area of Co. Longford, was taken to hospital for minor injuries.
[Source: Longford Leader]

LOUTH

It is a great day for Dundalk as online marketplace eBay announces it is to create 450 jobs at a new operations center in Dundalk.

Fine Gael T.D. for Louth, Peter Fitzpatrick, has welcomed the announcement, which was made last Thursday by An Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mr. Richard Bruton.

“This is a great day for Dundalk. Not only will the creation of 450 jobs at eBay give the town and county a great boost, it once again demonstrates how highly foreign investors view the skilled workforce Louth has to offer.”
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]

MAYO

A Canadian sculptor is currently working on a proposal to erect a 100-foot bronze statue of St. Patrick on the summit of Croagh Patrick. Sponsorship for the project has been secured, and the idea is that the people of the U.S.A. will bequeath it to the people of Ireland. However, Mayo County Council and local groups who have vested interests in Croagh Patrick were unaware of the plans when contacted by The Mayo News, and the idea looks certain to attract criticism and controversy, given the nature of the proposal and the precedent set in the past by other plans that involved development on the holy mountain.
[Source: The Mayo News]

MEATH

Trim town councilor Willie Fay has announced his resignation from the council. The Fine Gael member cited work commitments that were preventing him attending meetings as the main reason for his decision.

A cattle lorry driver, he had been absent from many recent meetings due to his traveling around the country and internationally. He had been elected on the final count without reaching the quota in the 2009 local elections, filling the last vacant seat.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]

MONAGHAN

A man accused of dangerous driving causing the death of a Monaghan cyclist told his wife he had knocked someone down when he got home, his trial has heard.

Shane O’Farrell (23) died after he was struck by a car between Carrickmacross and Castleblayney in 2011.

Zigimantas Gridzuiska (39), of Ardross Avenue, Carrickmacross, County Monaghan, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing death. He has pleaded guilty to three related charges.
[Source: Irish Times]

OFFALY

If you were looking for romance, then why didn’t you visit Edenderry on Valentine’s Day – the town has just been named as one of the top 10 most romantic towns in Ireland.

Based on sales at Tesco, Edenderry sees some of the highest sales in Valentine’s cards, flowers and novelty gifts nationwide.

Celebrating Edenderry’s romantic status were Maurice and Eileen Murrin, winners of the Tesco Endless Love Competition, who collected a Valentine’s Hamper in store after being chosen as the longest married couple locally. The couple, who have been married for 58 years said, “We were both shocked and absolutely delighted to win the Endless Love competition in our local Tesco in Edenderry. This Valentine’s will be very special and we can’t wait to enjoy our day with this fantastic gift.”
[Source: Offaly Express]

ROSCOMMON

There was anger in a County Roscommon parish last Wednesday after the ransacking of the home of a pensioner who died in crash just hours earlier.

Mary Carroll from Glanduff, Kiltoom was seriously injured when the car she was driving struck a wall, just before 5 p.m.

She died later at Portiuncula Hospital at around 9 p.m.

Mrs. Carroll was a widow and had no children.

Councilor and distant relative Paddy Kilduff told Midlands Radio that locals are disgusted.

"Her house was, I have to say, defiled last night, where people, someone, broke into it while her body wasn't cold," he said.
[Source: Roscommon Herald]

SLIGO

South Sligo Macra member, Ann Marie O'Neill, has been crowned “Queen of the North West.”

The annual Kings and Queens night has become a favorite night out in the Macra calendar.

The event in The Sligo Park Hotel attracted a king and queen from counties Sligo, Mayo, Roscommon, Leitrim, Galway, Donegal, Longford and Monaghan.

Ann Marie, from Bellaghy, and Eamon Sweeney from Leitrim were the choice of the judges, Marian Harkin M.E.P., last year's Queen Mary Guihan from Leitrim and King Brian Casey from Longford.
[Source: Sligo Champion]

TIPPERARY

Templemore Library was the crowded setting as local artist Garry Sheppard launched his first ceramic exhibition on Thursday February 7. As the “Cois Farraige” title suggests, the theme of the display focused on ceramic vessels capturing the natural beauty of the seashore.

After a career in the upholstery business it was at the local Templemore College of Further Education (formerly St. Sheelan’s College) that Garry grasped the opportunity to return to education.

Initially studying Interior Design under Nicola Welford, who gave Garry enormous help and her encouragement developed an interest in design and this led to the Art College in Limerick. The exhibition will run in the library in Templemore for the month of February and all are welcome to drop in and view the unique ceramic display.
[Source: Tipperary Star]

TYRONE

An elderly Coagh woman is recuperating after a nasty fall that resulted in her spending nine hours lying in the sleet and snow with only her beloved pet dog to keep her warm.

Annabel Gibson, who runs a popular sweet shop in the village, was only saved from her ordeal after a vigilant neighbor came to her rescue.

Speaking to the Tyrone Courier, Gary Harkness described Ms. Gibson as "the life of the village" and said the unfortunate incident highlighted the importance of checking in on elderly neighbors.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]

WATERFORD

A raid on a converted two-story factory unit on the Waterford Airport Business Park uncovered one of the biggest cannabis cultivation seizures in the country and resulted in the arrest of two Polish nationals — one of whom had only been in Ireland a matter of hours before his arrest.

The story of how over 1,700 cannabis plants ready for harvesting, and which would have produced cannabis worth in the region of $1.7 million were seized as part of a Garda (police) operation on October 24, 2012, unfolded at Waterford Criminal Circuit Court two weeks ago.

Wieslaw Zawawzki (50), a former truck driver and who was described as the horticulturalist for the operation, pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis plants with a street value of $1.7 million at Waterford Airport Business Park on October 24, 2012 and with possessing cannabis resin with a market value of $17,340 or more for sale and supply to another.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]

WESTMEATH

Students are innovative and think outside the box; they are naturally good at inventions and spotting solutions to problems – but adults tend to think mainstream and stick to what they know.

That is the assessment of Westmeath County Enterprise Board as its people prepare for the county final of the Student Enterprise Awards, at Golden Island Shopping Centre in Athlone on Friday, February 22.

Among the ideas this year are a flashing dog collar, medical application for smart phones, a calf coat, an animal feed holder, a book for children with special needs and a handbook for those living independently for the first time, as well as a natural solution that stops dogs chewing things you don't want them to chew.
[Source: Westmeath Examiner]

WEXFORD

A 21-year-old Wexford man is fighting for his life having been stabbed in the neck with a carving knife during a row in Perth, Australia.

Kenny Meyler, from the well-known Meyler family in Wexford Town, is in a critical condition at the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth, after being stabbed during a fight in the Scarborough area of the city, which took place at around 2 p.m. on Sunday, February 10.

The son of Melanie Meyler and Dermot Moloney and grandson of Seán and Una Meyler, he was working in Perth where he was living with friends.
[Source: Wexford Echo]

WICKLOW

Residents on a Wicklow housing estate are being pursued for the payment of outstanding development fees that were left unpaid by the developer of the estate.

Wicklow County Council has written to 21 homeowners in Avoca demanding payment of $3,335 each.

The registered letters said the homes were not in compliance with their planning conditions as development fees stipulated as part of the planning were not paid.

Brook Meadow, which contains 54 houses, is located on the outskirts of Avoca, Co. Wicklow.

Residents are arguing that development fees are charges to the developer who got the planning permission so they are not liable
[Source: RTE News]

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