News from around the 32 counties of Ireland



Kells will receive a massive tourism boost in June when the world-renowned Hay Festival comes to town, bringing writers and book fans from all over the world.

Up to 10,000 visitors are expected to flock to the festival, and among the writers already confirmed are Booker Prize-winners John Banville and D.B.C. Pierre.

As reported in the Meath Chronicle last year, the home of the Book of Kells will host the three-day festival from June 28 to 30.

The festival will bring together the best of Irish, English-speaking and international authors and thinkers to celebrate the sharing of stories and ideas.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]


Two men being sued over the Omagh bombing have no case to answer, the High Court has been told.

Lawyers for Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly claimed the lawsuit against them should be thrown out due to lack of evidence.

Both men are defending an action over allegations they played central roles in the Real I.R.A. attack in August 1998.

Relatives of some of the 29 people killed in the atrocity brought proceedings against them in an attempt to have them held liable.

Murphy, a Dundalk-based contractor and publican, and former employee Seamus Daly, from Culaville, County Monaghan, were ordered to face a civil retrial after their appeals against being found responsible for the bombing were upheld.
[Source: BBC News]


Four Offaly students have been named as finalists in the fifth annual Doodle 4 Google competition.

They are now amongst 75 Irish students in with a chance of having their doodle displayed on the Google Ireland homepage for millions of people to see. Everyone in Offaly is now being urged to visit and vote for Conor, Darrell, Annie and Caoimhe.

The following students are among 75 regional finalists in with a chance of winning the competition: Conor Ryan (Group 3) from Scoil Bhride, Kilcormac; Darrell Lally (Group 4) from St. Brendan’s Community School, Birr; Annie Nichols (Group 4) from St. Brendan’s Community School, Birr; Caoimhe Mahon (Group 5) from Banagher College Collaiste Na Sionna, Banagher.
[Source: Offaly Express]


This was posted on the Off the Ball Facebook page recently, but just in case you missed it, it’s worth another look.

Chris O'Dowd commented on the St. Brigid’s man of the moment and all-around goalkeeping sensation, Shane Curran.

"He could save a penalty and he could score a 45, but at the same time he'd be just as happy to ride a bull into a church."
[Source: Newstalk]


It’s bad enough for hard-pressed shoppers in the center of Sligo to have to pay for parking.

But if An Taisce has its way, shoppers using out of town car parks will also have to cough up.

The proposal is part of an effort to protect town centers.

But Sligo's mayor, Clr. David Cawley, is not impressed.

His solution: rather than penalizing people for shopping in out-of-town outlets, make town centers attractive enough to draw people in.
[Source: Irish Independent]


Gardaí (police) are appealing for witnesses following a two-car collision in Thurles, County Tipperary on Friday, February 15.

At about 10:40 p.m. a 22-year-old man was seriously injured when the car he was driving collided with a second car on the N75 at Rathmanna, Thurles. He was taken by ambulance to South Tipperary General Hospital with serious injuries, and later transferred to Cork University Hospital where he was pronounced dead late on Saturday night, Feb. 16. The driver of the second car (22) was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and later discharged.
[Source: Tipperary Star]


Burgers have been recalled from local schools and hospitals in the Mid-Ulster and south Tyrone area amid the ongoing horse meat scandal.

Burgers were recalled two weeks ago from schools in the Southern Education and Library Board, which takes in Dungannon and Cookstown, and the North Eastern Education and Library Board, which takes in Magherafelt.

The Tyrone Courier has seen a letter sent by the Southern Education and Library Board to school catering staff members, instructing them to "quarantine" their stock of the burgers for collection by the supplier.

The letter, which was sent on Thursday, February 14, states that Henderson Food Service, the supplier of the Board's frozen food contract, "is withdrawing supply of burger items as a precautionary measure and is instigating a full product recall pending further assurances from the producer that there is no contamination of the products supplied."
[Source: Tyrone Courier]


A shopping complex developed a number of years ago at Rathculliheen, in Ferrybank, just three miles from Waterford City center has been placed on the property market at a fraction of its building cost.

Ross Abbey, which was built as a “substantial” neighborhood center, never actually opened its doors, and not one of the 13 units – varying in size from 900 sq. ft. to 10,500 sq. ft. – was ever occupied.
The entire complex located on a 2.35 acre site with parking for 80 vehicles has been put up for sale on the instructions of Tom Kavanagh, receiver and manager for KavanaghFennell.