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News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

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ANTRIM

A small strip – or rather a 10-meter long one – of Antrim Town quite literally greeted U.S. President Barack Obama when he touched down at Belfast International Airport last Monday morning.

Obama's first step on to Northern Irish soil was straight on to red carpet supplied by Gourley's, a family firm with three stores in the town.

The two carpets marked the path of the President's short stroll from Air Force One to his waiting car, and then from the car to the V.I.P. section of the airport.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]

ARMAGH

Crossmaglen and South Armagh Chamber of Commerce launched their “Buy Local” Campaign on Friday, June 14, at Cross Square Hotel.

Newly-appointed Mayor Michael Ruane attended the launch and highlighted the campaign’s aim to encourage citizens to spend their money within the local community, by informing them of the economic and cultural benefits of buying local and supporting local jobs.

Businesses in the area had the opportunity to come along to the launch and showcase the best of Crossmaglen and South Armagh’s products and services while being encouraged by the Mayor to support the local Chamber and fully endorse the campaign.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

CARLOW

Three fishermen were viciously assaulted Thursday evening, June 13, by a gang of youths in Carlow Town, resulting in all three being hospitalized. Jackie Owens and his brothers, Jim and Michael Murphy, were set upon by the gang on the banks of the River Burrin in Carlow town center. “If the Gardaí (police) hadn’t come along, I don’t know if we’d be here today,” Jackie told The Nationalist.

The three veteran anglers were walking on the river bank at approximately 7 p.m. on Thursday when “two young lads came flying up on horses.” Jackie confronted the pair, telling them to get off the track because they were a danger to the public and threatened to call the Gardaí if they didn’t leave.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]

CAVAN

Two weeks ago, cyclist groups in Cavan gave a warm welcome to the official opening of one section of a network of cycle paths that ultimately will cost over two-thirds of a million dollars. Cavan Town received a $890,000 grant to develop a cycle and walk pathway on the outskirts of the town.

The Minister of State for public and commuter transport, Alan Kelly, officially opened the cycle path on Tuesday, June 11, one of the many official openings of cycle paths he completed across the country that day. The Active Travel scheme that funded the construction of a 1.5-mile walking path as well as a 3.7-mile cycle lane was supported by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

The aim of the scheme is to reduce traffic congestion within the town and to encourage more sustainable modes of transport. The next stage of the cycle lane development is due to start in September with an additional eight-mile of cycle lane being funded.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]

CLARE

A smartphone application that uses G.P.S. technology and Google Maps to guide tourists around the heritage trails of Ennis has gone live.

The Ennis Walking Trails app provides detailed information and photographs for 56 points of interest along five walking routes around the county town. Amongst the well-known heritage attractions profiled in the app are Ennis Friary, Chapel Lane, Poor Clares Monastery, Ennis Courthouse, Bindon Street, O’Connell Monument, Steeles Rock and the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul.

The walking routes, which are also highlighted by color-coded signage and on 41 associated interpretation boards around the town, range from 0.6-mile to 1.9-mile and take 35-80 minutes to complete. The app also includes audio information relating to 13 points of interest under “People & Places.”
[Source: Clare Champion]

CORK

One Cork neighborhood has been left horrified after the discovery of the body of a foal, whose ears and tail had been removed. The mutilated foal, which appears to have died during birth, was discovered by a group of local children, including Kaitlyn O'Connell (12), whose mother, Emer, said the discovery was gruesome.

"There has always been horses in the field where Kaitlyn found the foal. Its two ears and tail had been cut off cleanly, it was obvious that it was done with a knife rather than by another animal. It's crazy, Kaitlyn was very upset when she rung me to say what she had seen. The area the foal was found in is often used by children and walkers and I just don't know why anyone would act out so violently. She was very shaken by the whole thing," Emer O'Connell told the Cork Independent.
[Source: Cork Independent]

DERRY

A Derry woman charged with a number of offenses under terrorism legislation, including possession of explosives, was granted bail at Belfast High Court last Thursday.

Lesley Concannon, a 32-year-old Zumba teacher who is originally from the U.S.A., was charged along with her 39-year-old husband, Kevin Barry Concannon, following police raids on their home at Beechwood Avenue, Derry two weeks ago.

Her mother and brother flew in from West Virginia for last Thursday’s hearing accompanied by a representative from the U.S. Consulate.
[Source: Derry Journal]

DONEGAL

Three fishermen have been rescued after their boat sank off Dunaff Head in Inishowen last Wednesday afternoon.

The three men were airlifted to Letterkenny General Hospital after they were brought to shore by another vessel following a mayday call they issued at 1:30 p.m.

The emergency call was made after the vessel, the St. Elizabeth, began taking on water. A rescue operation was coordinated by Malin Head Coast Guard involving two R.N.L.I. Lough Swilly lifeboats, the Mulroy coastguard vessel and the Sligo-based search-and-rescue helicopter.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]

DOWN

The community has united in condemnation of the armed robbery of five Dominican fathers in Newry on Thursday evening, June 13.

Around 8:30 p.m., two men, one of whom was armed with a handgun, entered St. Catherine’s Dominican Priory in Dominic Street and threatened the five priests who were in the house at the time. The men then made off with a sum of money.

Although unhurt, the clerics have been left very shaken by their ordeal.

S.D.L.P. M.L.A. Dominic Bradley said people are disgusted: “This was a despicable act – the robbery of a community who live by a vow of poverty and depend on donations from its congregation –  those who carried it out have shown no respect whatsoever for the Church or its people.”
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

DUBLIN

A burglar was on bail for possession of a sawn-off shotgun when he broke into the home of Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

Darragh Heavey (26) was arrested shortly after the break-in when Gardaí (police) stopped him and matched his shoes with muddy footprints found inside Mr. Shatter's home.

Heavey, of Moeran Road, Walkinstown, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary at Delbrook Manor, Ballinteer, on March 18, 2012.
[Source: Evening Herald]

FERMANAGH

Around 700 attended a march from the library in Enniskillen to the fence of the G8 summit venue last Monday evening.

It was organized by Fermanagh G8 Not Welcome, and a variety of groups and individuals took part, including those opposing fracking.

There had been fears that the summit could attract violence, however, this was not the case.

There were nine speakers, including veteran socialist, Eamonn McCann.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]

GALWAY

Gerard Quinn, professor at the School of Law at N.U.I. Galway and director of its Centre for Disability Law and Policy, has been appointed to the Scientific Committee of the E.U. Fundamental Rights Agency

The E.U F.R.A. is one of the specialized agencies that was set up in 2007 to ensure that the fundamental rights of people living in the E.U. are respected

Headquartered in Vienna, it helps to inform E.U. law and policy
[Source: Galway Bay FM]

KERRY

Gardaí (police) last Tuesday began a double murder inquiry after postmortems confirmed that a mother and her daughter died violent deaths after being attacked in their rented home in Killorglin , County Kerry.

The bodies of Lithuanian national Jolanta Lubiene (27) and her daughter Enrika (8) were found by Gardaí at about 8:30 p.m. on Sunday night, June 16, when they called to the two-story semi-detached house at Langford Downs, about two-thirds of a mile from the center of Killorglin.

For operational reasons, Gardaí have not commented on the results of the postmortems on the mother and daughter conducted by assistant State pathologist, Dr. Margot Bolster. It is understood, however, that both victims suffered serious stab wounds
[Source: Irish Times]

KILDARE

A Kildare farmer and his family were put at considerable risk because of lack of Garda (police) resources, according to Chairman of Athy East Community Alert Area Liam Dunne. The farmer confronted an intruder in his home after he spotted a strange vehicle on his property.

This latest comes in a week when a special report in the Irish Examiner showed that Kildare has proportionally the lowest number of Gardaí compared to any other Garda Division in the country.

With just 15 Gardaí per 10,000 people, Kildare has less than half the number of Gardaí stationed in Limerick and Sligo Leitrim Garda Divisions (31 per 10,000).
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]

KILKENNY

Residents living at the Closh and Walkin Street area of the city had reason to celebrate last week, following official confirmation that a skate-park will not be built on their doorstep.

The area had long been proposed as the location of a skate-park for the city. But residents had protested the development on numerous occasions and collected over 170 signatures in a petition against it.

Most of the elected members of the borough council, with the exception of the Fianna Fail group, remained adamant that the Closh was the most suitable area. But at the June council meeting, Clr. Joe Reidy proposed a motion to revoke the resolution referring to the Part 8 development – and Clr. Martin Brett (F.G.) seconded it.
[Source: Kilkenny People]

LAOIS

Residents of a Portlaoise estate are “at the end of their tether” because of troublesome neighbors.

Homeowners in Abbey Court on the Abbeyleix Road say they experienced assault, street brawls, loud parties, dangerous driving, illegal dumping, pet cruelty and damage to their properties, by tenants of three rented houses.

A pet kitten was killed by unleashed dogs as horrified children watched, and rabbit skins were thrown in a neighbor’s trees after hunting sessions. One tenant even built a shebeen in their back garden.
[Source: Leinster Express]

LEITRIM

Brazen thieves are targeting jeeps parked at family homes in south County Leitrim in the latest car parts scam sweeping the North West.

Carrick-on-Shannon Gardaí (police) are investigating the theft of catalytic converters from two jeeps parked at a home in the Cloone area two weeks ago.

Criminals are mainly targeting vehicles with a high ground clearance such as jeeps or M.P.V.s.

The extra clearance means that thieves can quickly climb under the vehicle without having to utilize a jack, cutting the pipes and removing the exhaust parts in a matter of minutes.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]

LIMERICK

The stars and stripes were fluttering proudly above the town of Bruff last week as the local community prepares to welcome home one of their own, the daughter of J.F.K., Caroline Kennedy.

Ms. Kennedy, along with her husband Edwin Schlossberg, their three children and other members of the extended Kennedy family – including her cousin Sydney Lawford, visited the historic town last Friday. Painters were perched on two cherry pickers for most of the week, diligently working away on freshening up the appearance of the houses and shop fronts along the town’s main street.

The paint was barely dry on Glynn’s Traditional Fish and Chips, the Old Bank B&B and Margaret Howard’s Pub by the time Caroline arrived in the town at lunchtime on Friday.
[Source: Limerick Leader]

LONGFORD

Business people were up in arms in Ballymahon last week over the increase in casual traders descending upon the town.

Locals claim that businesses in the south Longford town are feeling the pinch as a direct result of the trading, and members of the Ballymahon Traders’ Association claim that casual traders are using valuable car parking spaces from which to sell their wares.

“The major problem is that they are taking approximately 15-17 car spaces away from shoppers with their stalls,” Paddy Diffley of Ballymahon Traders’ Association fumed. “Then they park the vans on the opposite side of the road and take up more space.”
[Source: Longford Leader]

LOUTH

After selling their first bag of chips 50 years ago, O’Hanlons Takeaway sold their final bag on Friday, June 14, having fed the people of the Quay and surrounding area for over five decades. Three generations of O’Hanlons have worked in the chipper, which was first started by Joe and Bernadette. The tradition was continued by sons, Liam and Sean, and daughters, Geraldine and Rita. Their children have also worked in the chipper.

“It’s time for change,” said Sean O’Hanlon on the final day of business for the Dundalk landmark.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]

MAYO

A Castlebar youth, whom a judge couldn’t jail last month due to a lack of beds at detention centers, has been described as making “considerable progress,” a court has heard.

The youth appeared before Westport Children’s Court sitting in Castlebar on Thursday, June 13, in relation to charges of assault and public order.

He had appeared before Judge Mary Devins in Ballina Children’s Court on Friday, May 3, last for breach of bail conditions. One of the assault charges he was on bail for was assaulting a retired Garda (police officer) at Lough Lannagh, Castlebar.
[Source: The Mayo News]

MEATH

Pistols and ammunition were found in a business premise in Navan on Sunday, June 16, following a search by Gardaí (police) from the Special Detective Unit based at Harcourt Square.

The Gardaí were investigating the activities of dissident republicans. During the course of the search three pistols and assorted ammunition were recovered along with other paraphernalia.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]

MONAGHAN

Police are not yet investigating claims that a Swatragh man is at the center of a cock fighting scandal spanning both sides of the Irish border.

The man, whose name was not revealed, was identified by the B.B.C. after a two-year investigation by animal cruelty charity U.S.P.C.A.

He was filmed taking part in the blood thirsty sport, which has been banned for the last 200 years, as early as this month on a site in County Monaghan.
[Source: Tyrone Times]

OFFALY

A vehicle testing firm found guilty of breaching health and safety law in relation to the testing of a school bus, which was involved in a fatal crash, will be sentenced next month.

At a sentence hearing on Monday, June 17, the prosecution requested that the matter be put back to give them time to look into the accounts of the company.

The bus went out of control on a bog road just outside Clara, County Offaly on April 4, 2006 after the rear drive axle came off. Schoolboy Michael White (15) died as a result of “catastrophic injuries” suffered during the crash.
[Source: Offaly Express]

ROSCOMMON

A “suicidal” Strokestown man was turned away from the psychiatric unit at Roscommon County Hospital two weekends ago as the unit was closed to admissions. The man and his wife contacted the Roscommon Herald to tell their story and express their fury. The man, who has been engaging with the services at the unit since January and took an overdose just three weeks ago, begged to be admitted to the unit, but was turned away.

“I am suicidal, I feel I cannot cope with life and I badly need help, but nobody is willing to help me. I can’t explain how upset I was to be told that I couldn’t get a bed in the psychiatric unit. There are spare beds in that unit. I saw that for myself but because there isn’t enough staff I was told to go away,” he said.

 Just two weeks ago the man was rushed by ambulance from his home to the A&E Department in Sligo after taking an overdose.
[Source: Roscommon Herald]

SLIGO

Minister for State at the Department of Transport Alan Kelly has announced details of $40,000 seed-funding for the development of a County Leitrim Greenway.

Leitrim County Council has plans to develop a world-class greenway along the length of what were the Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railways. While it stands alone, this project compliments a similar proposal submitted by Sligo County Council. The joint proposal would see the proposed route being developed from Collooney to Ballintogher in Co. Sligo travelling through Co. Leitrim, adjacent to Dromahair, Manorhamilton and Lough MacNean.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]

TIPPERARY

Templemore’s Clr. Michael C. Ryan is appealing to people throughout Tipperary to join with him in fighting the cuts to support hours for children with special education needs.

The cuts were announced last Monday, at a time when figures show there has been in increase in the number of children needing such support.

Clr. Ryan, whose son, Edward (6), has Asperger’s Syndrome, told the Tipperary Star he was appealing to parents and teachers to contact him to see if a meeting can be arranged to formulate a campaign to have the cuts reversed.
[Source: Tipperary Star]

TYRONE

The Courier has learned that the former Tyrone Crystal site has been sold.

It is understood that the site has been purchased by nearby-based Mallaghan Engineering.

The former Tyrone Crystal site was taken over by the National Asset Management Agency (N.A.M.A.), the Republic of Ireland's so called “bad debt bank,” following its closure three years ago.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]

WATERFORD

Grief and sorrow was evident on each parishioner’s face as close to 1,000 people attended the funeral of Kenny (47), Shane (44) and Paul Bolger (49) at the church of St. John the Baptist in the seaside village of Crooke, Passage East on Saturday afternoon, June 15.

They gathered on the street and inside the grounds of the church to bid a final farewell to their beloved friends.

Hundreds of people, led by members of the Bolger family – including Michael, Anthony and Lynda on foot, and Paula, her partner Colm and the men’s mother Margaret by car – followed the three black hearses as they made their way from Passage East to the church for requiem mass.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]

WESTMEATH

An unhappy Clr. Mick Dollard made clear his displeasure at the lack of funds to landscape a green space at the bottom of Dalton Park, during the June meeting of Mullingar Town Council.

“This matter was referred to Westmeath County Council’s Housing Section and unfortunately there is no funding available at the present time to carry out this work,” noted a written reply from the council.

However, a solution may come in the form of the development of the Robinstown Sports and Education Campus, the Labour Party councilor was told.
[Source: Westmeath Examiner]

WEXFORD

Serious illness did not prevent Clr. Pat Cody from leaving his hospital bed last Monday to make history by becoming the last-ever chairman of Enniscorthy Town Council.

Clr. Cody, who moved to Enniscorthy over 30 years ago from Kilkenny, has received the full backing of the man he has replaced, Clr. Keith Doyle. “All of the members are fully behind Pat and will be supporting him,” the Fianna Fail councilor explained to The Echo.

Coincidentally, Clr. Doyle is the son of the last Labour Party member to Chair the Council, the late Andy Doyle.
[Source: Wexford Echo]

WICKLOW

Wicklow County Council has pleaded guilty in the middle of its trial to criminal health and safety violations relating to the death of two firefighters in Bray six years ago.

Brian Murray (46) and Mark O’Shaughnessy (26) died fighting a blaze at a disused ink factory at Adelaide Villas in Bray on September 26, 2007.

The plea came on day nine of the trial, which has now ended. The council will be sentenced on July 30 at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court when they face fines of up to $4 million.
[Source: Irish Times]
 

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