News from around the 32 counties of Ireland



Television presenter Mary Kennedy showed her support for the Dunamaise Arts Centre’s fundraiser “Red or Black” while she was in Portlaoise last Wednesday at St. Peter and Paul’s Church.

Mary, along with priests of the parish Fr. Paddy Byrne and Fr. George Augustine, met with the arts center’s director Michelle de Forge and organizing committee for the event to wish them well with the fundraiser.

“Red or Black” will be taking place on Friday, March 15, at the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel. Kick-starting the festivity for St. Patrick’s Day, the event hosted by R.T.É. sports analyst and hurling legend Michael Duignan is a live game show. As everyone knows, it is also a major fundraiser for the Dunamaise Arts Centre and will give a member of the audience the chance of winning $1,300 and other great prizes on the night.
[Source: Leinster Express]


A Leitrim man convicted of threatening to kill a female Garda (police officer) by posting her a spent cartridge and a letter depicting a bloodied hand has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Conor McCaffrey (27) of Mullinasillagh, Aghacashel, Carrick-on-Shannon, had been convicted by a jury of five women and seven men following a trial at Carrick-on-Shannon Circuit Criminal Court last November.

McCaffrey had pleaded not guilty to a total of eight charges including threatening to kill or cause serious harm to Detective Garda Karen Ryan on June 27, 2011.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]


It is a fairy-tale story with more than a hint of David versus Goliath: two weekends ago, world darts champion Phil “The Power” Taylor went toe-to-toe with a nine-year-old from Limerick – and lost.

At an exhibition match in Newcastle West on Friday, February 22, young Darragh Shine from Limerick City toppled the 16-time world champion in one leg of darts, sending the watching audience and his father David, into ecstasy.

David told the Limerick Leader that while Taylor did go easy on his son, Darragh still had to pull off one of the toughest skills in the sport – hitting his doubles to win the game.
[Source: Limerick Leader]


A Longford mass-card salesman who was jailed for 18 months for being in possession of images of child pornography is to get his passport back, despite objections from the State.

Thomas McNally (52), Foynes Court, County Longford has been given permission to travel to China with his wife – despite the fact that Gardaí (police) have stated that if he fails to return, there will be no way of getting McNally back to Ireland.

Counsel for the State, Desmond Dockery B.L., told the hearing that the defendant had “acquired a Chinese wife.”
[Source: Longford Leader]


A judge said no purpose would be served in a 49-year-old father of three serving a custodial sentence who discharged a shotgun at a house in a local estate in the early hours of the morning.

Dundalk Circuit Court heard that Gary McAreavey of Gort Nua, Station Road , Castlebellingham fired three shots from the shotgun causing damage to the house and grazed the side of the head of another man. He pleaded guilty to the reckless discharge of the firearm on October 18, 2009.

It was stated there was street disturbances and the accused received a message that his wife had been killed.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]


A Westport man who indulged in a “year of bullying and intimidation of a child” by sending threatening and offensive text messages received a six-month suspended prison sentence two weeks ago at a sitting of Westport District Court.

The sustained campaign against Harry Langan was waged over 10 months, prompting his parents to go public with their plight in The Mayo News last May in a bid to stop the harassment.

Brian Flynn (27) of Lanmore, Liscarney, Westport harassed now-15-year-old Harry Langan between November 2011 and August 2012, during which time the teenager received up to 500 text messages of a sexual, threatening, obscene and malicious nature.

Judge Mary Devins said the young boy was so bullied and intimidated that he could well have suffered from much more serious consequences and paid tribute to his parents, Brian and Gemma.
[Source: The Mayo News]


A new $285,000 tourist driving route for counties Meath and Louth has been launched by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar. The Boyne Valley Drive, 140 miles in length and taking in 22 historic sites along the way, is a collaborative project between Fáilte Ireland and the local authorities in Meath and Louth, which seeks to revitalize the region and promote it as a must-visit destination for overseas tourists.

The new route will promote the area as one of world renowned heritage with some of the best examples to be found anywhere. The sites featured along the way include Bru Na Boinne (the U.N.E.S.C.O. World Heritage sites at Newgrange Knowth Dowth), Trim Castle, Monasterboice, Slane Castle and Mellifont Abbey.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]