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News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

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ANTRIM

Figures just released reveal that there was an increase of just over eight percent in overall crime in the Antrim Borough during the last year.

The latest police statistics, published last month, address drug crime, hate crime, stop-and-search statistics and many more.

Many of them give an overview of the position at the end of the 2012-13 financial year, while others provide a monthly or quarterly update.

Area Commander Chief Inspector Natalie Wilson said: "These latest crime figures tell us that while we have been performing very well in many areas, overall we can do better.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]

ARMAGH

Ahead of his retirement this month as principal of St. Joseph’s High School in Crossmaglen, Mr. Kevin Scally has voiced his concern about the perceived delays in moving towards a non-selective education system. He says calls from Catholic bishops for grammar schools to end academic selection are going largely unheeded and has expressed a wish that the leading churchmen be more outspoken over the lack of progress.

As registration for the unofficial 11+ tests opened recently, every grammar school that runs the exams is planning to continue using them, despite last summer’s statement from senior church figures instructing schools to scrap transfer testing. Grammar schools were given two years to reduce admission by entrances exams by 25 percent, however, to date, there has been little progress.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

CARLOW

The education minister has announced a major reorganization of higher education – including the setting up of three new technological universities.

It follows recommendations made by the Higher Education Authority, which is calling for consolidation of the I.T. sector.

Dublin Institute of Technology, the Institute of Technology Tallaght, and the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown will come together to become a technological university.

Cork I.T. and I.T. Tralee will also come together, as will Waterford I.T. and Carlow I.T.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]

CAVAN

Some 629 fixed penalty notices were canceled in Garda (police) districts across County Cavan in a two-year period (2011 and 2012), a recently published Garda report has revealed.

The report from the Garda Professional Standards Unit examined the processes and systems in place to deal with the cancelation of fixed-charge notices by superintendents and inspectors acting in that capacity.

Some 8,202 notices were issued in Cavan in 2011. Of these, 359, or almost 4.5 percent, were canceled, while 270, or over 5 percent, of the 5,115 issued in subsequent 12 months, were also scrapped.
Per district, the Cavan Town area has issued the highest number of penalty point notices over that same period (6,774), cancelling 325 of them.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]

CLARE

The first 140 days of the year have seen 148 burglaries in the county – a burglary a day. Clare’s Chief Superintendent John Kerin outlined the figures, which showed a decrease in the majority of crime categories in recent months, at last week’s meeting of the county’s Joint Policing Committee.

He detailed how Garda (police) undercover operations had yielded results in relation to drugs, crime and car break-ins.

There have been 10 thefts from cars parked in Bunratty in the first five months of this year, sparking a warning to be extra vigilant in the county’s top tourism spots.

Of the 148 burglaries from January 1 to May 20, 64, or 43 percent, were in the Ennis area; 19, or 13 percent of burglaries, were in Shannon; and the remaining 65, or 44 percent, were reported across the rest of the county. In the same time period there were a total of 72 thefts from vehicles, 29 of which took place in Ennis; 15 in Shannon and the remaining 28 throughout the county.
[Source: Clare Champion]

CORK

Adopted Corkman Denis Carré captured the world's attention two weeks ago when he attended the Cannes Film Festival as South Korean singer Psy, and he hopes to gain worldwide musical approval this week when he releases his first single.

“Electro-Kudro” is the single to be released this week by Psy impersonator, Denis Carré, who has been living in Cork for the past 10 years, and featured as the Cork Independent Profile in 2010.

Mr. Carre has been working as a lookalike since December last year, but catapulted to fame after attending the Cannes Film Festival as the South Korean singer-songwriter.
[Source: Cork Independent]

DERRY

A renewed call has been made to have City of Derry Airport renamed to commemorate the city’s historic links to aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart.

Sinn Féin Councilor Elisha McCallion brought the proposal before Derry City Council last year, but it was rejected by the S.D.L.P. and the unionist parties.

Now, Clr. McCallion has made a fresh call to have the council-owned facility renamed following the renewed interest generated as a result of last month’s anniversary of Ms. Earhart’s record-breaking transatlantic flight.
[Source: Derry Journal]

DONEGAL

A 66-year-old father-of-three has been jailed for over two years after he pleaded guilty to a series of sexual offenses on three sisters.

Last Wednesday’s sitting of Donegal Circuit Court heard how the offenses took place over an eight-year period.

Frank McHugh, Narin, Portnoo, a former employee with Bord na Móna, who was described as “retired,” pleaded guilty to a total of 17 counts of sexual assault on the three sisters between October 1977 and November 1985.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]

DOWN

Local florist, Siobhan Hughes, has notched up another terrific result, scooping a silver medal in the Junior Florist of the Year category at the Chelsea Flower Show two weeks ago.

No stranger to the prestigious competition, having claimed a bronze medal last year in the Young Florist of the Year awards, Siobhan is thrilled to have gone one step further this year to come home with a coveted silver award.

On Tuesday, May 21, the 25-year-old from Lisseraw impressed the Chelsea judges with her beautiful arrangement based on the theme of a never-ending circle.

Speaking to the Examiner on her return from Chelsea, a jubilant Siobhan, who works in George Preston Flowers in Newry, explained how entrants were instructed to take inspiration from previous winners over the years.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

DUBLIN

A barefoot woman who waved two large kitchen knives at Gardaí (police) believes she was suffering from acute paranoia at the time after her drink was spiked at a party, a court heard.

Sky Elgar (35) was involved in a 30-minute stand-off with armed Gardaí after she refused to drop the knives.

Elgar, of Willow Wood Green, in Hartstown, believes her drink must have been spiked at a party and she was suffering from acute paranoia at the time of the incident.

Judge David McHugh convicted and fined Elgar $130.
[Source: Evening Herald]

FERMANAGH

Shouting “Up the ‘Ra” at police has cost an Enniskillen man $300.

Around 8:45 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day, police were on foot patrol in the Diamond in Enniskillen when Lee Carty (25) from Drumbawn Close, Drumclay, walked past them and shouted “Up the ‘Ra.”

There were about 40 people in the area at the time. The defendant was cautioned for disorderly behavior and made no reply.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]

GALWAY

Up to 50 percent of students at Galway schools are going without breakfast or lunch as a result of widespread poverty in the city and county, it has been claimed.

A recent meeting of County Galway V.E.C. heard that teachers had reported regular instances of students turning up to school without having eaten breakfast, while others did not have a packed lunch.

Clr. Liam Carroll said that the issue had risen in discussions with a number of schools in the Galway area and he felt it was a problem facing families across the country.
[Source: Galway Independent]

KERRY

Kerry legends Eoin “Bomber” Liston, Mikey Sheehy, Ogie Moran and Darragh Ó Sé, who share a haul of 29 All-Ireland medals, led a county board delegation to New York that netted $210,000 in four days.

The money will go towards the G.A.A.'s new Centre of Excellence, which it hopes to develop at Currans near Castleisland, part of a $3.5 million project in conjunction with I.T. Tralee.

The former Kerry greats were part of a seven-man delegation led by County Board Chairman Patrick O'Sullivan, Michael McCarthy and John O'Dwyer.
[Source: Irish Independent]

KILDARE

Members of a Kildare golf club were shocked Wednesday night, May 22, to receive a text informing them that the club had gone into receivership.

However, the management of Woodlands Golf Club at Coill Dubh, Naas, has since stressed that while the receiver has a charge over the property and land, the club as such will remain operational.

“We are in negotiation with the receiver in order to continue operating the club,” Secretary Orla Winder told the Kildare Nationalist last Monday. She added that the club was still open to members and for green fees, while competitions would go ahead as planned.
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]

KILKENNY

A few famous faces have already been spotted around town, and tickets were selling like hotcakes for the shows and gigs at this year’s Cat Laughs comedy festival, which began last Thursday night and runs until Monday.

The craic and merriment that always accompany the annual June bank holiday weekend event were already very much in evidence, and the little bit of good weather hasn’t done any harm. Festival C.E.O. Jane Russell says the buzz is as good as ever.

“Ticket sales are going extremely well,” she said.

“There have been a lot of positive vibes around the festival this year and it has definitely contributed. There’s a lot sold-out already – Dylan Moran, Neil Delamere, some of Kevin Bridges’ ‘A Touch of Cloth.’”
[Source: Kilkenny People]

LAOIS

Elderly residents of Droimnín retirement village in Stradbally are calling on the developer and Laois County Council to tackle health and safety issues, backed by Clr. Tom Mulhall.

Designed for retired people with a “high standard of finish and low maintenance,” most of Droimnín’s 36 houses and a large apartment block were left incomplete since the economic downturn, with just the retirement home and 10 houses now occupied.

“The priority is to get the lights on, it gets very dark here in winter,” said one lady, who is worried about a deep hole near her house, partly covered by a concrete block.
[Source: Leinster Express]

LEITRIM

Leitrim G.A.A. County Board have confirmed in a statement that four members of the Leitrim Senior Football panel have been dropped from the squad following what they have termed “breaches of discipline that have fallen below the strict code of standards as agreed by team management and players.”

The statement declined to name the four panel members who have been excluded from the squad due to take on London in the Connacht Senior Championship Semi-Final on Sunday, June 23.

However, the Observer understands that the four players dropped are Ballinamore Sean O’Heslin’s duo Wayne McKeon and Shane Moran, and Eslin brothers Tomas and Conor Beirne. Both McKeon and Tomas Beirne started for Leitrim in the recent victory over New York in Gaelic Park with Beirne winning the Man of the Match award.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]

LIMERICK

A motorist who was caught driving without insurance on six separate occasions was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and disqualified from driving for 15 years.

At Limerick Court, Michael Quilligan (25) of Altimira Court, Thomondgate, pleaded guilty to each of the offenses, which happened on dates between February 21, 2011 and February 14, 2011.

Judge Eugene O’Kelly was told all of the offenses happened at locations in the city and that, on each occasion, the father-of-four was driving a different car when stopped.
[Source: Limerick Leader]

LONGFORD

A County Longford businessman last week embarked on a journey with somewhat of a difference as he and five others set off on a grueling 2,780-mile trek to disaster-hit Chernobyl.

Eoin McGinnity commenced his “maiden voyage” to the Ukrainian province on Friday, May 24, in a bid to provide valuable essentials to local children still affected by a disaster more than 27 years ago.

The talkative 38-year-old and director with Longford town D.I.Y. firm Providers said for all his inexperience when it comes to long-distance charitable jaunts, the cross-European adventure is one that excites him greatly.
[Source: Longford Leader]

LOUTH

Dundalk hire company Dromad has won it’s second European award at an awards ceremony in Paris.

Dromad won the overall award for ‘Small Rental Company of the Year’ at the awards, which were organized by the European Rental Association and held at the Hyatt Paris Etoile Hotel, in front of an audience of 300 rental managers and representatives from equipment manufacturers to recognize the tool hire industries elite.

The international judges stated Dromad Hire “was not a ‘wait and see’ kind of company.
“In an extremely difficult market they remained positive and looked for solutions.

“They found new markets outside of construction, including a departure into renting fitness equipment, and were successful in completely transforming the company.”
 [Source: Dundalk Democrat]

MAYO

A Ballintubber native has become the first Mayo man to reach the top of Mount Everest.

Kieran Lally reached the summit at about 4 a.m. Irish time on Thursday, May 23, raising over $33,100 for the Irish Cancer Society. Mr. Lally, who left Ireland eight weeks ago to begin his journey to the world’s highest peak, was part of an exhibition team known as “Summit Climb.” The team encourages men and women from around the world, of all ages, to join up in groups to tackle some of the world’s highest mountains.

A close friend of Lally’s, Gerard Lohan, told The Mayo News that the Ballintubber man is in good form, despite being very tired with a little altitude sickness.
[Source: The Mayo News]

MEATH

Early-morning traffic in Navan last Wednesday was disrupted for a short period between 7:15 and 8:00 following a two-car collision at the Meath Chronicle junction.

It is not abundantly clear what caused the collision between the two vehicles at this stage and no information is available at this time.

The weather conditions were good at the time.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]

MONAGHAN

The A.B.P. Food Group, which was at the center of the horse meat scandal, has announced plans to D.N.A.-test almost a million cattle a year. The firm says this will allow meat products to be traced back to the animal of origin.

Chief Executive Paul Finnerty said the company had learned “significant lessons” from the horse meat scandal and had been closely examining the potential for D.N.A. testing since then.

A.B.P.’s former Silvercrest plant in Ballybay, County Monaghan, produced the burger containing 29 percent horse meat that was the focus of the horse meat scandal in January. It sold the plant to Kepak last month and the new owners announced two weeks ago that they had won back the Burger King contract that was lost when the horse meat scandal erupted.
[Source: Irish Times]

OFFALY

Two males aged in their 20s have been arrested by Gardaí (police) following an armed robbery in Geashill, County Offaly, on May 28th.

At approximately 7:45 p.m., two males wearing balaclavas and armed with a knife entered a convenience store in Geashill. They threatened and held up staff-members before leaving the store with an amount of money.

One of the males was apprehended by two members of the public as he left the store and was arrested by Gardaí minutes later. The second male fled the scene in a car. During a follow-up operation, a car was intercepted by Gardaí near Portarlington and a second male was arrested.
[Source: Offaly Express]

ROSCOMMON

The Department of the Environment has approved emergency funding of over €300,000 to help deal with a cryptosporidium outbreak.

It will be used to help fund the installation of a temporary U.V. and filtration system at a source of the Roscommon central water scheme in Ballingard outside Roscommon Town.

The funding will allow locals to once again safely use the water, after a weeks-long boil water notice.
[Source: RTE News]

SLIGO

Kevin Walsh has received the backing of the Sligo County Board despite their defeat to London in the Connacht Football Championship.

Sligo suffered the embarrassment of being the first side to lose to the Exiles in provincial action for 36 years last Sunday week.

Former all-star and Sunday Game analyst Eamonn O’Hara called on Walsh to relinquish his position after the exit.

However, Sligo Secretary Gerard O’Connor has told the Irish Independent that they will stick by Walsh for the qualifiers at least.
[Source: RTE News]

TIPPERARY

Bubbly Mrs. Maureen Armstrong, of Upperchurch, ran her 19th Dublin City Women’s Mini-Marathon on June 3 – at 88-years of age!

She was joined by her daughters, Martina Heffernan, of Two Mile Borris and Librarian, Marian Heffernan of Celbridge, County Kildare, and her grand-daughter, Fiona Armstrong. Three generations of a very popular and caring family who were all set for the great day for a great cause, the Irish Cancer Society.
[Source: Tipperary Star]

TYRONE

Parishioners at two churches in Dungannon have been reassured following the withdrawal of parking tickets issued to them while they attended church.

Churchgoers who parked on double yellow lines on Scotch Street while they attended Sunday morning services at Dungannon Presbyterian Church and St. Anne's Church last month were shocked to find they had received parking tickets from the police.

Concerns were raised about how the minor parking violations were handled and why tickets weren't issued for parking violations throughout the town.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]

WATERFORD

The people of Waterford were rooting for Waterford Rose Ellen Flahavan last weekend as she took part in the Rose of Tralee Regional Festival in Portlaoise.

Ellen, the daughter of John and Mary Flahavan, of Flahavan’s Porridge in Kilmacthomas, was one of 61 hopefuls, of which 21 were selected to advance on to the final of the competition in Tralee.

Speaking to the Waterford News & Star, primary school teacher Ellen said, “I would love to go through, I think anyone would, it’s a brilliant opportunity.” At time of press Irish Central Community News didn’t have the results of the roses selected.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]

WESTMEATH

Staff-members at Tesco Mullingar are armed with champagne for one lucky winner of $13.7million!

The $5 quick-pick buyer did the Lotto on Tuesday evening, May 28, and has yet to claim their prize.

The win is the highest ever experienced at the store, which has seen several winners, including a quarter of a million, and twice two million dollar winners, but nothing of this extent.
[Source: Westmeath Examiner]

WEXFORD

History was brought alive two weekends ago as Enniscorthy paid tribute to the 20,000 insurgents who faced the might of 10,000 well-trained and well-armed Crown Forces in 1798.

The National 1798 Centre, which was re-launched on Friday, May 24, following a $232,000 investment, transformed into a battle ground full of reenactments and family entertainment to demonstrate one of the bloodiest clashes in Ireland’s history.

Crowds of over 2,000 people passed through the center as family members ranging from toddlers to senior citizens took in the spectacular sights both in the center and on its surrounding grounds, with the glorious sunshine adding to the jovial atmosphere.
[Source: Wexford Echo]

WICKLOW

A lack of appropriately trained inspectors and outdated examinations of creche facilities are some of the issues affecting the childcare sector, experts have warned.

Undercover research by the R.T.É. reporters identified huge lapses in childcare provision at three creches in Dublin and Wicklow.

Footage showed poor staffing, children strapped into chairs and aggressive behavior from some workers.
[Source: Evening Herald]

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