News from around the 32 counties of Ireland



The Swinford and Midfield communities were plunged into sadness and grief two weekends ago with the death of young woman Tara Ryan in a road traffic accident on Friday afternoon, January 25. This was the third major tragedy to hit the Swinford region in the past four years. The death of Garda (Police Officer) Robert McCallion (29) in the course of duty in Letterkenny in May 2009 stunned the Swinford and wider community. Last year, Gary Price, a prominent and accomplished sportsman, died in a drowning accident in Laos at the age of 23.

Tara (21) resided with her family at Johnsfort, Swinford. The accident took place on the main N5 at Lislackagh between Swinford and Bohola. A lorry and a mini-bus were also involved in the collision, which took place at approximately 1 p.m.
[Source: The Mayo News]


The notoriously reclusive Van Morrison has announced an intimate concert in Knightsbrook Hotel, Trim, which will take place in April. It is one of his few Irish appearances to be confirmed outside of Northern Ireland and Britain this year, and takes the form of a concert with five-course meal and a champagne reception. Tickets are a princely $235 for the event on Sunday, April 7.

Late last year, Morrison, known as “Van the Man” released a new studio album with Blue Note – “Born to Sing,” his 35th studio album as a solo artist.

His last album for Blue Note was the Grammy nominated “What's Wrong with This Picture?” in 2003.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]


Leitrim, Laois, Kildare, Monaghan and Clare showed the biggest reduction in road deaths in the five years that saw the country set new safety records.

Cavan was the only county to record an increase in the level of fatalities from 2007 to 2012, according to the Road Safety Authority (R.S.A.).

Noel Brett, R.S.A. chief executive, said the success was down to everyone’s individual efforts.

“The reduction in road deaths in nearly every county in Ireland shows just what can be achieved when communities come together and say, ’enough is enough, we don’t want any more people dying on our roads’,” he said.
[Source: Irish Examiner]


While very unscientific and representing just a small sample of the large number of G.A.A. supporters in Offaly, the reaction to the proposed new Offaly jersey has been less than positive.

A trawl through social media shows a mixed reaction; however, the majority of comments have been less than complimentary.

Meanwhile, a poll running on the Offaly Express website shows a majority of respondents would prefer if Offaly adopted their changed white strip as their main kit. The kit is similar to that worn in 1982 by the Offaly footballers who stopped Kerry winning five-in-a-row. Again, the sample size to date is small, but at the time of writing, 67 percent preferred the changed kit, 21 percent wanted to stick with the current jersey, while only 13 percent wanted to adopt the new kit.
[Source: Offaly Express]


A row has broken out in the parish of Creagh outside Ballinasloe over renovation works worth up to $1.35 million to Our Lady of Lourdes Church.

A newly-formed campaign group, Creagh Church Action Group, claims that the renovation works carried out to date at Our Lady of Lourdes Church have not only breached a number of planning stipulations, but have also caused “damage” to the church.

Concerned residents in the parish, which extends into South Roscommon, called for an immediate halt to the works when they held a meeting before Christmas, and have since registered a formal complaint with Galway County Council.
[Source: Roscommon Herald]


Fianna Fáil held a public meeting in Sligo last week on reform of the Common Agriculture Policy (C.A.P.) and the challenges facing the farming sector in the North West region.

The meeting, hosted by local Senator Marc MacSharry and the Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson Éamon Ó Cuív, took place at 8 p.m. last Thursday, January 31, at the Glasshouse Hotel.

Representatives of all the major farming groups were in attendance.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]


Last Wednesday’s $14.4 million winning lottery ticket was bought in Thurles, County Tipperary

Excited speculation is filling the cathedral town as it’s emerged that the jackpot’s winning lotto ticket was bought in local newsagent Scanlan’s, in Liberty Square, Thurles Co. Tipperary. There was just one overall winner. National media and reporters from all over the country have descended on 61 Liberty Square, with passersby being quizzed as to who they think scooped the jackpot. Balloons are festooned around the shop in celebration.

Manager Vincent Scanlan said there was great excitement in the shop, but declined to speculate on who the lucky winner might be. “I’d be guessing it’s somebody local because 90 percent of my trade are local. But I cannot say it’s somebody local.”
[Source: Tipperary Star]