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News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

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ANTRIM

A Randalstown man has been stung by thieves after they stole a hive full of honey bees.

Ian Wallace, who has been keeping bees for 30 years, was left stunned after he made the discovery on Wednesday, February 20.

In the winter time, bees hibernate and, two weeks ago, Ian paid a visit to the hive to check things were as they should be.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]

ARMAGH

The latest case of an animal carcass being dumped in local water supply has sparked outrage among the local community and prompted Sinn Fein Councilor Terry Hearty to condemn the perpetrators as “utterly reprehensible.”

Mr. Hearty expressed his disgust after the discovery of a rotting cow carcass in Lough Ross two weeks ago. The disturbing find follows a similar incident in January when the carcasses of two cows were found dumped in Creggan River, along a stretch of the river popular with walkers in the Poet’s Glen.

Commenting on the latest incident, Councilor Hearty said: “I am absolutely appalled and disgusted that somebody could stoop so low as to dump an animal in our drinking water supply at Lough Ross.”

CARLOW

Gardaí (police) investigating the deaths of a couple in a murder-suicide in a B&B have been speaking to their family members in a bid to establish a possible motive for the incident.

Gardaí have named the deceased as John Deegan (53), Cadamstown, Birr, County Offaly, and Deirdre Keenan (51), Carragh Road, Naas, Co. Kildare.

Postmortems on both remains have confirmed they died of gunshot wounds. Mr. Deegan’s legally held shotgun was found at the scene.

He is believed to have regularly carried the gun in his van, which was parked near the B&B in Carlow Town where the couple was found dead at about 1:30 p.m. last Monday.
[Source: Irish Times]

CAVAN

A Cavan Town resident has launched a campaign to get a skate-park built for the town's kids.

John Moore says that the town and kids would benefit in terms of health and not falling into a life of crime or drug-abuse, or worse, like so many of his childhood friends did.

In an e-mail to Cavan County Council, he outlines the benefits of a park for the kids and teenagers of the town and says that they have "no place to meet up and hang out with friends, they are just getting into trouble with Gardaí (police), drinking and taking drugs".

He emphasizes that a skate-park would "be a great place for the kids to socialize, stay out of trouble and get much-needed exercise".
[Source: The Anglo Celt]

CLARE

The memory of a newborn baby who passed away at the Cliffs of Moher in 2006 is set to be honored in March as part of events to mark the 25th anniversary of the twinning of Ennis with Phoenix, Arizona.

Baby Nicholas was born prematurely to American parents Kelly Stokes and Delia Garcia Stokes, passing away shortly after his birth. His parents were so touched with the support they received at the time of the tragedy that they have raised over $80,000 to supply emergency equipment and emergency response training for personnel at the cliffs. The first-aid center at the tourist destination is called The Nicholas Room in their son’s honor.

On March 16 at 11 a.m., runners, joggers and walkers will gather at the Cliffs of Moher for a five-mile trek to remember Nicholas and also to raise funds for the first-aid room and the neo-natal unit of the Mid-Western Regional Maternity Hospital. Among them will be Delia and Kelly, who will travel from their home in Phoenix.
[Source: Clare Champion]

CORK

It is believed that a former public representative remains in Garda (police) custody after he allegedly tried to hire a hit-man to murder a number of people.

Gardaí in Gurranabraher arrested the man on suspicion of conspiracy to murder last Thursday morning in the Cork area. The male is in his late 30s.

He is currently detained at Gurranabraher Garda Station under the provisions of Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007, which allows Gardaí to detain suspects for up to seven days.
[Source: Cork Independent]

DERRY

S.D.L.P. Derry City Councilor Jimmy Carr has unreservedly apologized last Friday for remarks he made about a fellow councilor’s Scottish accent.

He said: “I want to unreservedly apologize to Clr. Eric McGinley for my rash and insensitive remarks.

I will be offering my apology in person to Clr. McGinley [on Friday]. I regret that I did not take the opportunity to retract the words I used in Facebook earlier.”
[Source: Derry Journal]

DONEGAL

Up to eight women a day are being advertised for prostitution online everyday in Donegal, according to the Immigrant Council of Ireland.

Local T.D.S. and senators are being called upon to help to speed up a review of the laws on prostitution following the revelation.

The call by members of the I.C.A., Macra Na Feirme, many trade unions, Chambers Ireland and the Immigrant Council of Ireland comes as hearings by the Dáil Justice Committee on the issue come to an end.

Denise Charlton, chief executive of the Immigrant Council said: “After years of campaigning and several months of Dáil (Irish Parliament) hearings the truth is now plain for everyone to see. Irish and foreign criminal gangs are using prostitution as a low risk, high profit crime to line their pockets in Donegal and across the country.”
[Source: Donegal Democrat]

DOWN

The socialist republican party, éirígí, has condemned the re-arrest of its spokesman, Newry man Stephen Murney, from Maghaberry prison on Wednesday morning, February 20.

Murney appeared at Banbridge Magistrates Court sitting in Newry, where he was charged with collecting information likely to be of use to terrorists, possession of articles for use in terror and aiding and abetting criminal damage.

Mr. Murney was already being held at Maghaberry Prison on previous charges of collecting information likely to be of use to terrorists when he was released into police custody for further questioning on Wednesday.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

DUBLIN

Gangsters stored three shotguns and ammunition on the roof of a Dublin primary school.

Detectives believe that the haul belongs to a gang of young hoods that includes Aaron Rattigan, a cousin of jailed gangster “King Ratt.”

Gardaí (police) made the shocking discovery at the Mhathair De School on Basin Lane in Dublin's south inner city after reports of suspicious activity.

A source said: “This is a very worrying trend – a pipe bomb was found at a school in Crumlin only a few weeks ago.”
[Source: Evening Herald]

FERMANAGH

Two of the men involved in the robbery of the Northern Bank in Kesh in February 2009 have been jailed at Derry Crown Court.

Both men were jointly convicted of robbing the Northern Bank in Kesh of $8,100 and $1,600, and with being involved in the aggravating taking of a car which was then driven dangerously on roads including Killadeas Road, Kesh and Boa Island Road, Kesh.

Sean McKay (26) whose address was given as H.M.P. Maghaberry was told that having considered a pre-sentence report, the court believed that the offense, or combination of the offense and one or more offenses associated with it, was so serious that only a custodial sentence could be justified.

The defendant was told he will be jailed for eight years and six months followed by two years on probation.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]

GALWAY

A dispute involving part-time Bus Eireann drivers on 96 Galway school bus routes has now been resolved.

It follows a meeting held last week on Monday, February 25, between S.I.P.T.U. representatives and Bus Eireann Management.

S.I.P.T.U. says hours have now been restored for three part-time drivers with some being moved to alternative routes.

The new arrangements mean threatened strike action involving 37 drivers has now been averted.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]

KERRY

The father of an Irish man attacked in Australia has said his son is recovering from his injuries.

Twenty-five-year-old Kieran Cahill from Killarney, County Kerry, was allegedly attacked by three men outside a kebab shop in Sydney in the early hours of Monday morning, February 25, after he asked a number of men to stop hassling a couple of women.

The Irish Echo newspaper in Australia said one man has been charged with the assault, but that police are looking for others in connection with the incident.

Kieran's father, Michael, said he has been in contact with his son via text message.
[Source: Irish Examiner]

KILDARE

A man was stabbed in broad daylight on the main street in Athy on Monday morning, February 25.

The man, who is in his 20s, was taken to Naas General Hospital for treatment but his injuries were described as “not life threatening.”

The knife attack followed a row between two men outside the post office at Duke Street at approximately 10 a.m.

During the altercation one man produced a penknife and stabbed/slashed the other man in the back.
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]

KILKENNY

Documents and computer records were seized from the Thomastown headquarters of Kilkenny company B&F Meats two weekends ago, as the local business remains firmly under the spotlight in the international horsemeat scandal.

Operations have been suspended at the company’s Carrick-on-Suir facility since Friday, February 22, when it emerged that the plant, which debones beef and horsemeat, was dispatching horsemeat to the Czech Republic using a label in the Czech language which translates as “beef.” The Department of Agriculture’s Special Investigation Unit carried out a forensic examination with assistance from Gardaí (police) – and this has now been extended to the Thomastown offices.
[Source: Kilkenny People]

LAOIS

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]

LEITRIM

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]

LIMERICK

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]

LONGFORD

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]

LOUTH

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]

MAYO

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]

MEATH

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]

MONAGHAN

A man who was involved in the fatal hit-and-run of a young Monaghan cyclist was on bail and serving a suspended sentence for a number of thefts at the time of the accident, writes Declan Brennan.

Judge Patrick McCartan described the death of Shane O'Farrell on a summer's night over two years ago as a tragic accident, which occurred because the deceased was not properly lit up.

Mr. O'Farrell (23) died on August 2, 2011 after his bike was struck by a car on the N2 Dublin to Derry Road between Carrickmacross and Castleblaney sometime after 10 p.m. that evening.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]

OFFALY

The owner of an Offaly bus hire company has pleaded guilty to failing to maintain a school bus that was later involved in a fatal crash.

A separate charge that alleged the owner’s failure had caused the death of school boy Michael White (15) has been dropped by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The bus crashed on a bog road just outside Clara, County Offaly on April 4, 2006 when the back axle came away and the bus flipped over. Mr. White died as a result of “catastrophic injuries” suffered in the crash.

The owners of Clara Cabs, Raymond and Ruairi McKeown, both of River Street, Clara had pleaded not guilty to six counts of failing to maintain the 1989 Mercedes bus, two of which say this failure led to the death of the school boy on April 4, 2006.
[Source: Offaly Express]

ROSCOMMON

Progress has been made in compensation and relocation for turf cutters in Roscommon according to Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan T.D.

The minister confirmed that more than $1.4 million had now been paid to turf cutters on bogs that were in whole or in part located in the county and designated as Special Areas of Conservation. Approximately 950 applications have been received from turf-cutters on these bogs.

Of the 53 raised bogs nationally that have been nominated for designation as Special Areas of Conversation (S.A.C.), 14 of these sites are wholly or partly in Roscommon. Potential relocation sites have been identified for nine bogs located in the county.
[Source: Roscommon Herald]

SLIGO

The N4 Action Group is waiting to contact the family of the latest road fatality before erecting another white cross along the notorious route.

I.T. Sligo graduate Derek Bannon became the 30th person killed on the lethal road. The crash happened close to Lackagh Cross, an area that has now claimed eight lives.

Bernard Mulhern, from the N4 Action Group, said: "There was a fatal mini-bus crash a number of years ago. This latest fatality brings the number to eight in a short distance, less than [1.25 miles]. It's unbelievable, it's a horrible statistic."

TIPPERARY

Public Transport Minister Alan Kelly has welcomed the return of a morning bus service linking Nenagh, Roscrea and other villages to Dublin.

The 7:30 a.m. service leaving Limerick for Dublin had been withdrawn following Bus Eireann’s most recent timetable changes. However, Minister Kelly has been working with both Bus Eireann and the National Transport Authority to have the service restored.

“I welcome this development and it will give all sides, drivers, operators and customers a chance to assess the demand level for this service. This is a service Bus Eireann operates in a private capacity and I am delighted for both the local workers and local passengers that they have agreed to reinstate the service. This will be very helpful for many people accessing medical appointments and education opportunities,” stated Minister Kelly.
[Source: Tipperary Star]

TYRONE

More than 2,000 jobs could be put on hold in Cookstown following the revelation that the new police training college planned for the town is currently over-budget.

It is believed the plug could be pulled on the current tender process for the province's first multi-million pound Police, Prison and Fire Training College amid concern that the Cookstown project looks set to run over-budget by millions of pounds.

A multi-million-pound underestimation of building costs for the new 250-acre facility at Desertcreat outside Cookstown could now lead to a delay in the project – which was originally due to be finished in 2008.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]

WATERFORD

A low-level shopping development on the largely derelict site bordered by Michael Street, New Street, Stephen Street and Alexander Street in the city center could be brought back on track despite the land now being largely in the ownership of N.A.M.A.

N.A.M.A. are looking at their assets around the country to see how they can be rejuvenated and turned into viable options. Included among the sites is Michael Street in the city center, which could be developed by K.R.M. construction partnership with approval from N.A.M.A.

Richie Walsh of Waterford City Council confirmed that they had been talking to K.R.M. and N.A.M.A. and there might be a possibility for a redesign of the original development in order to move it on.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]

WESTMEATH

Westmeath and Mullingar Town Councils will officially invite Bruce Springsteen to visit his ancestral home of Mullingar and Westmeath, when he comes to play a series of concerts in Ireland this July.

The invitation is due to be sent out next week as part of The Gathering Ireland 2013.

The Wrecking Ball tour will see Bruce travel for concerts across Ireland including Limerick, Cork, Belfast and Kilkenny, all of which have sold-out, but the local authorities are hoping he will take the chance to visit his ancestral home for a well-earned break.
[Source: Westmeath Examiner]

WEXFORD

Irish national Vincent Martin Crowe (32) has been charged in Perth, Western Australia, with murdering Wexford man Kenny Meyler.

Mr. Meyler (21) suffered a stab wound to the neck in the Perth suburb of Scarborough on February 10. He died a week later.

Before Mr. Meyler’s death Mr. Crowe was initially charged with intent to do grievous bodily harm. Following a postmortem this was upgraded to a charge of murder last Monday at Perth magistrate’s court. Mr. Crowe has been remanded in custody to appear before Stirling Gardens magistrate’s court on March 27.
[Source: Irish Times]

WICKLOW

On a bitterly cold day on Saturday, February 23, a small gathering of invited people came together at Slaney Park House, Baltinglass to watch the inflation of two massive hot air balloons.

The significance of the event was not lost on anyone present as the balloonists aimed and fired hydrogen gas into the envelope. On this very site lived the man, Richard Crosbie, who succeeded in manning the first Irish hot air balloon flight in January 1785, not long after the first ever balloon flight in France.
[Source: Wicklow People]

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