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News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

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ANTRIM

Politicians and the local residents' group have condemned a sectarian attack outside a hotel in Templepatrick village.

A 16-year-old was assaulted in the car park of premises on the Antrim Road at around 1 a.m. on Tuesday, July 2, after being attacked by a gang of four men.

The teenager sustained a fractured cheekbone and had two teeth knocked out.

Alliance councilor for the area, Alan Lawther, said that there was “no place in our society” for such attacks.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]

ARMAGH

Talented dancers Shane McKeever, from Crossmaglen, and Laura Carville, from Middletown, will be traveling to the Kaohsiung in China this September to represent Ireland in the World DanceSport Games.

Shane and Laura will be carrying the Irish flag alongside the top ballroom and Latin dancers from all over the world. The pair, who will compete separately in the line dance section, are the only dancers from Ireland competing in the World DanceSport Games.

Both dancers scooped medals in the qualifying World Country and Line DanceSport Federation (W.C.L.D.S.F.) Games in Nashville in January this year, with Shane winning gold and Laura winning a silver medal.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

CARLOW

Carlow’s local representatives have voted in favor of gay marriage, even though eight councilors abstained from the vote and one councilor actively voted against it.

Clr. William Paton proposed a notice of motion at the last meeting of Carlow County Council, calling for his fellow councilors to support “full marriage equality for all citizens, regardless of race, religion or sexuality”, on behalf of the Labour Party.

“We had a full, open and honest debate about it and I’m particularly pleased that the motion received support from across the parties. They didn’t vote according to party lines,” Clr. William Paton told the Nationalist.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]

CAVAN

The Office of Public Works has indicated that five former Garda (police) stations, now vacant properties under its control will be considered for sale on the open market if no other purpose is found for them.

The O.P.W. currently has five vacant properties listed for Cavan. These are all former Garda stations in Bawnboy, Finea, Stradone, Tullyvin and Redhills, the latter of which is not yet closed but is due to be fully decommissioned later this year.

Some of the vacant state-owned properties comprise of the recently closed Garda stations the O.P.W. say “are no longer required for operational reasons.”
[Source: The Anglo Celt]

CLARE

Clare County Council has had to fork out almost $9 million in insurance claims taken against the local authority during the past five years. This equates to an average weekly payout of $34,091.

The figures were revealed at this month’s county council meeting following a request from Councilor Michael Hillery concerning the number of insurance claims made against the council over the last five years.

Anne Haugh, director of Services for Transportation, Environment and Water, in a written report, stated in 2008 there were 73 claims resulting in $1.2 million being paid out. The following year 76 claims were made and the payout came to $1.7 million.

In 2010, $3 million was paid after 96 claims were processed while in 2011, $1.7 million was paid on 119 claims. Last year there were 89 claims and $1.2 million handed over.
[Source: Clare Champion]

CORK

For one Cork man, the incentive of getting to see his team Manchester United play was all he needed to help him overcome cancer. Tom Ryan, who was diagnosed with having Hodgkin's Lymphoma five years ago, was given just six months to live when he was 22. He was then offered the chance to go watch his boyhood heroes Manchester United play, and that was the key encouragement he needed, says Tom.

"I was introduced to Dave O'Connor, who owns Suit Distributors in Cork, through family about a year ago. He had heard about my battle with cancer and that I was a huge [Manchester United] fan and he said he wanted to do something for me.

"I got a soccer ball which had been signed by the team, a letter from Sir Alex Ferguson and a program which had been signed by various former players such as Bryan Robson also."
He then got to see them play and meet some of the team which made his year.
 [Source: Cork Independent]

DERRY

Campaigner and member of Ireland’s Council of State, Ruairí McKiernan, is gathering information from people he meets on his tour before speaking at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties on July 29 and 30.

Having traveled up the west coast since July 1, taking in Connemara, Inishbofin Island, Westport, Croagh Patrick, Achill Island, Belmullet, Sligo, Ballyshannon, Letterkenny, Ruairi arrived in Derry last Thursday morning.

“Derry is looking amazing at the moment and there’s such a great atmosphere around the city. The people are so friendly and welcoming and it is great to see such pride in what is truly a wonderful and special city,” he said.

He said the city had “transformed” since he last visited five years ago. “The mood is really fantastic, it look to have really turned a corner. From talking to the people, the City of Culture has given an injection of hope to Derry at the right time.”
[Source: Derry Journal]

DONEGAL

Armed raiders targeted An Grianan Hotel in Burt in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Three men entered the premises at approximately 2:45 a.m.

One of the gang was armed with a shotgun, which they used to threaten a night porter who was on duty at the hotel.

The assailants targeted a safe and also took money from the hotel bar before leaving the scene with a significant sum of cash.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]

DOWN

The recently opened Tesco Extra store on the edge of Newry City has been placed on the market for a whopping $41.3 million. The store, which opened in June, is described by the property selling agents, C.B.R.E., as the dominant supermarket in the area.

Site developer Turkington Holdings has put the property on the market with institutional buyers such as pension funds expected to snap it up.

The 93,000 sq. ft. building, which includes a car park with 531 spaces, is let to Tesco for 25 years at an income of around $2.4 million per year.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

DUBLIN

The father of tragic Lynsey O'Brien, who fell to her death from a cruise ship, has died suddenly.

Paul O'Brien (42) was found dead, reportedly at his business premises in Ballymount.

It is understood that he contacted a family member two weekends ago who alerted the emergency services.

The father-of-four had been struggling to cope with the trauma of losing Lynsey (15) on a dream holiday trip onboard a cruise.
[Source: Evening Herald]

FERMANAGH

Flagship store Dowlers, of East Bridge Street, is to cease their operations in Enniskillen, while clothing shop, Too, is another to fall victim to the economic downturn. The losses to the High Street follow hot on the heels of Wesley Elliott, which will cease its clothing retail business and specialize now solely in curtains and soft furnishings.

Drew Wigham, manager of Dowlers, explained that the Enniskillen business had become financially unviable and unfortunately the store had to close.

“It was just becoming more and more difficult to keep the business alive and we eventually reached the point when we had to close. The rates and everything else just became a phenomenal burden in the present economic climate.”
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]

GALWAY

A young Galway man has collected the winnings on a lottery ticket bought in May

The man, who wishes to remain private, popped into the National Lottery office last Thursday to collect his $652,000 top prize winnings, which he won on the Daily Million Plus draw on Monday, May 13.

He purchased the $9.80 Quick Pick plus ticket in Peter Kelly’s, Ballinasloe.

It was his first time to play Daily Million Plus, and he plans to share his winnings with his family and possibly purchase a new car.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]

KERRY

Kerry Group has broken ground on its $130 million Global Technology and Innovation Centre, which will employ 900 people when fully commissioned in 2016.

Located on a 28-acre site in the Millennium Business Park, Naas, County Kildare, the new Europe Middle East and Asia center will give customers access to Kerry’s technologies, scientific research, innovation and applications expertise across food, beverage and pharmaceutical markets.

There are 200 people already working in the interim facilities adjacent to the site. The campus will accommodate 800 people by year-end 2014, plus a further 100 in 2016. Some 600 construction workers are currently on-site.
[Source: Irish Examiner]

KILDARE

A man has been released and a file is being sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions following a drugs seizure in County Kildare.

The 19-year-old man was arrested after heroin and cannabis herb were seized at a house in St. Patrick's Park, Celbridge.

The seizure has an estimated street value of up to $157,000.
[Source: RTE News]

KILKENNY

Rumors are rife that Kilkenny officially sold out of paddling pools last Thursday afternoon, on foot of a record increase in demand in recent days.

The stunning weather has seen overheated punters flocking to shops in search of something in which to have a splash and cool off, but leaving empty-handed. Temperatures soared last week, with last Wednesday the hottest, and popular water amenities such as the Weir, Bishop’s Meadows and Graignamanagh have seen huge numbers turning up for a swim.

But anyone hoping to dip their toe without leaving home will have to come up with a new plan, as paddling pools are now a rare and elusive commodity. Argos on High Street has also confirmed it is sold out of pools of all sizes.
[Source: Kilkenny People]

LAOIS

A Portarlington beauty spot has been targeted by illegal dumping in recent weeks.

A vast quantity of P.V.C. casings for copper wire was found dumped in Corrig, much to the disappointment of the local Tidy Towns Committee, Dirty Old Towns, local residents and businesses.

Chairperson of the local Lions Club, Willie Murphy expressed his disgust at the dumping.

“The picturesque beauty spot and jewel of Corrig, Portarlington has recently been the target of dumpers. The beautiful hill with its vast array of different trees overlooking Portarlington Town which has the Carrick Tower dating back to the 1700s has not been spared from these mindless selfish littering menaces,” Willie Murphy said.
[Source: Leinster Express]

LEITRIM

Dublin dad Patrick Lynch says “someone could have died” at Butler’s Marina, Carrick following a life jacket fiasco with an ambulance crew.

Patrick and family were on their boat travelling to Carrick-on-Shannon on Saturday morning, July 6, when his son had a seizure.

They docked at Butler’s Marina and called 999, Patrick told the operator he was on a boat, they told him to place his son into the recovery position and wait for the ambulance.

But the ambulance crew said they could not go on the boat without life jackets due to “health and safety regulations.” Mr. Lynch offered to them life jackets, but they refused.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]

LIMERICK

Limerick jockey Brian Toomey remains in an induced coma following surgery on Sunday, July 7, to reduce swelling and resultant pressure on his brain.

The Croom man was admitted to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee on Thursday, July 4, with serious head injuries following a fall from the Lisa Harrison-trained Solway Dandy at Perth.

Lisa Hancock, C.E.O. of the Injured Jockeys Fund, issued an update on Monday that read: “Brian Toomey underwent surgery yesterday to reduce swelling and resultant pressure on his brain.

“The surgery went well and Brian remains in a stable condition in an induced coma. It is anticipated he will be kept sedated for the next few days as his progress continues to be monitored.”
[Source: Limerick Leader]

LONGFORD

An Ardagh family had a lucky escape on Sunday morning, July 7, after a car crashed into their house.

A well-known Ardagh couple, Mary and Peter Whitney of Croshea, was asleep in the early hours of Sunday morning when a car careered off the main Ballymahon/Athlone Road and struck their home causing severe damage to both car and house.

Miraculously no one was hurt in the crash and the driver walked away from the vehicle.
[Source: Longford Leader]

LOUTH

A man accused of a rape over 30 years ago, appeared before Dundalk District Court two weeks ago.

The 49-year-old – who cannot be named due to reporting restrictions – is also charged with indecent assault.

The offenses, which relate to a female, are alleged to have occurred at a location in County Louth on a date unknown between June 1 and August 31, 1982.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]

MAYO

Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny has described the killing of two elderly brothers in Castlebar as an “act of savagery.”

The bodies of the two men, aged 70 and 68, were discovered at their home on New Antrim Street in the town shortly after 7 a.m. last Wednesday morning. The men have been named locally as Tom and Jack Blaine.

While their deaths have been described as “suspicious,” Gardaí (police) are awaiting the results of a postmortem and an examination at the scene by State Pathologist Marie Cassidy before deciding whether it will be a murder inquiry.

However, it has been reported locally that the brothers were beaten to death, and Enda Kenny’s statement describing a “brutal and savage murder of two men that I knew well” also points in this direction.
[Source: The Mayo News]

MEATH

Trim man Tony Rochford is vowing to continue his hunger strike protest against the Local Property Tax and is now on his 25th day without food.

Mr. Rochford, from Steeple Manor, said he is not feeling too bad but is “getting weaker by the day” and is suffering from low blood pressure. He began his protest on June 17, and spent from Monday, July 1, to Sunday, July 7, in Dublin protesting outside the Dail (Irish Assembly) and at O’Connell Street; but returned to his Trim home on Sunday evening as he had become very weak, He declared outside the Garden of Remembrance that he does not want medical intervention if he should go into a coma.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]

MONAGHAN

Monaghan, Wexford and Donegal have the highest per-capita number of tax defaulters, analysis of revenue data over a five-year period has found.

Monaghan recorded the highest number of tax defaulters between the start of 2008 and the end of 2012, with 1.19 cases for every 1,000 adults living in the county.

This compared to a national average of just 0.55 cases per 1,000 adults over the period.
[Source: Irish Times]

OFFALY

The co-owner of a school bus that crashed in Offaly six years ago, causing the death of a teenager, has received a suspended jail sentence for an offense of failing to maintain the bus.

The bus lost control and flipped over on a bog road just outside Clara, County Offaly on April 4, 2006 when the back axle came away.

School boy Michael White (15) died as a result of “catastrophic injuries” suffered in the crash.

Raymond McKeown (61), a co-owner of Clara Cabs, River Street, Clara had pleaded not guilty to three counts of failing to maintain the 1989 Mercedes bus, one of which say this failure led to the death of Michael White on April 4, 2006.
[Source: Irish Times]

ROSCOMMON

Ireland sizzled in mercury-melting temperatures again last Wednesday as records were smashed for the third day in a row.

Parks and beaches across the country were packed as people scrambled to take advantage of the Mediterranean climate.

Newly-crowned Miss Irish Sun Sinead Duffy (23) sizzled as she topped up her tan at Shankill Beach in Dublin.

And the good news was that the scorching weather stayed for the weekend.

A Met Eireann forecaster explained: “It’s a combination of the very warm air mass from tropical regions and long periods of sunshine every day making the temperatures exceptionally high.”

Mount Dillon in County Roscommon was the hottest place in Ireland last Tuesday, and the sweltering 86 degree Fahrenheit recorded at the weather station topped the previous day’s record.
[Source: Irish Sun]

SLIGO

Two people have been arrested after a man (56) was stabbed to death at a flat in Ballybough in Dublin’s north inner city.

The man, who is originally from County Sligo, was drinking with a group in the flat when he was stabbed at about 5:10 p.m.

He was taken to the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital with serious stab wounds.

He was pronounced dead at about 8:45pm last Thursday evening.
[Source: Irish Times]

TIPPERARY

Cashel is set to lose out in the process of merging north and south Tipperary, according to South Tipperary and Cashel Town Councilors.

South Tipperary Manager Billy McEvoy said it was a “difficult process” trying to merge a county of 158,000 people with 9 local authorities. The new structure will see Cashel merged with Tipperary Town, with a large part of its hinterland moved into the Carrick-on-Suir area.

Clr. Michael Fitzgerald said the implementation team “had totally ignored the towns of Cashel and Templemore.” “The people of Cashel deserve better representation.”

Clr. Tom Wood said this “is anything but fair.”
[Source: Tipperary Star]

TYRONE

The former P.S.N.I. station in Coalisland appears set to be turned into townhouses, the Courier can reveal.

Plans to convert the former station in the center of the town into 19 new properties, believed to be townhouses, are mentioned in the District Housing Plan & Local Housing Strategy for the Dungannon area.

According to the document, the plans are listed under the new build schemes programmed in the borough over the next three years.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]

WATERFORD

The mayor of Dungarvan has welcomed a major $10.5 million investment for the GlaxoSmithKline plant in Dungarvan.

Speaking at Waterford County Council’s monthly meeting, the mayor, Clr. Damien Geoghegan, said he was thrilled to hear that approval had been given for the $10.5 million capital investment into the local plant, which will see the facility expand to include a new packaging line producing 100 percent recyclable material.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]

WESTMEATH

A highly-dangerous algal growth in Lough Ennell, which can kill dogs within an hour and cause a rash or eye infections in humans, has led Westmeath County Council to ban bathing at all areas of the lake.

There is, as of last Thursday, a total ban on swimming – and also on allowing dogs and other animals enter the waters of the lake.

The “blue-green algae” has developed as a result of the non-turbulence of the water, the presence of nutrients in the lake, and the arrival of the hot weather.
[Source: Westmeath Examiner]

WEXFORD

A Wexford man who was convicted by a jury of raping his son's 18-year-old girlfriend has had his conviction overturned on appeal.

The Court of Criminal Appeal last Monday morning quashed the conviction of the 49-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the now 25-year-old woman.

He was jailed for seven years by Mr. Justice Patrick McCarthy in June 2011, having been convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury the preceding April of raping and sexually assaulting the girl.
[Source: Wexford Echo]

WICKLOW

Greystones commuters are being unfairly treated compared to fellow travelers in Bray when it comes to prices for using the Dart, the Dáil (Irish Assembly) has heard.

Fine Gael T.D. Simon Harris hit out at the pricing structure for the service and said Greystones travelers paid 66 percent more than Bray Dart users ($12.57 compared to $7.59) for a return trip to Pearse Street Station in Dublin for going one extra stop.

The Wicklow T.D. said a pledge had been made to make the pricing structure more equitable but 10 years after the Dart service was extended to Greystones, this was minimal.
[Source: Irish Times]
 

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