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News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

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ANTRIM

Police were dispatched to Antrim Area Hospital on almost 230 separate occasions in 2012, the Antrim Guardian can reveal.

Following a high volume of cases which came before the local Magistrate's Court, the Guardian requested the figures under the Freedom of Information Act.

Police attended the hospital on 227 occasions in 2012, which means that on average there were more than four call-outs every week.

Twenty-two of these dispatches related to alleged assault offenses, 10 of which involved injury.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]

ARMAGH

The United Ireland – You Decide campaign, which was officially launched on Friday morning, May 3, in Crossmaglen, will see people from Crossmaglen County Armagh and neighboring Creggan Upper in County Louth going to the polls on May 25 on the question of Irish Unity.

The campaign group has taken on the ambitious plan to host a mock border poll asking almost 3,000 people, “Do you think Ireland should be reunited?”

Chairperson of the group Emma McArdle outlined the vision of the campaign saying:

“Our group has come together to tell the story of the people on the ground who actually live day and daily with the effects of the border. Our voice has been lost in this debate so far and so we want to articulate how the border impacts on us.”
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

CARLOW

Three local charities will benefit from the efforts of some brave men this June when they take a run up Dublin Street in a pair of stilettos.

The Carlow Stiletto Sprint, an alternative to the “wo-men’s” mini marathon, will see some daring divas show off their high-heeled skills when they run, jog and walk through the center of town.

Carlow Mental Health Association, Asante Eye Care Kenya, and Chic and Cheerful – a voluntary run charity shop in Carlow that supports women and children's projects in Kenya and Ethiopia – will all benefit from the fundraiser.
[Source: Irish Independent]

CAVAN

The Slieve Russell Hotel in Ballyconnell has been chosen as home to members of the American delegation following U.S. President Barrack Obama while he is attending the G8 Summit of world leaders in neighboring Fermanagh next month, The Anglo-Celt can confirm.

In the past, the U.S. President’s overseas entourage to such events has been known to be as large as 600 persons-strong, and The Celt understands that for the month of June, a total of 2,000 rooms have been booked to accommodate traveling members.

All rooms for the weekend of the summit, taking place June 17-18, have been booked, though the hotel, golf and country club with Ciúin Spa and Wellness Centre will remain open to the public.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]

CLARE

Two of Clare’s Oireachtas members have received abusive correspondence from pro-choice and pro-life campaigners about proposed abortion legislation, it emerged last week.

Deputy Michael McNamara and Deputy Timmy Dooley have outlined a minority of campaigners that resorted to inappropriate language in a week when eight county councilors requested a referendum on the government’s proposed Protection of Life in Pregnancy Bill.

Despite a statement from Catholic bishops that the new bill is unnecessary to ensure that women receive “the life-saving treatment they need during pregnancy,” six Oireachtas members and 24 county councilors have rowed in behind the need to provide legal clarity for the medical profession who have to intervene with terminations of the unborn.
[Source: Clare Champion]

CORK

Twenty-five Cobh residents have committed to taking legal action against the establishment of a new metal recycling facility at the former Verolme dockyard in Rushbrooke and will be personally liable for legal fees of around $79,000.

At a meeting on Tuesday night in Cobh, following expert legal opinion the Cork Harbour Alliance for Responsible Development (C.H.A.R.D.) has decided to lodge judicial review proceedings.

As a result, 25 individuals have committed to be signatories to the High Court proceedings, which will cost around $79,000.
[Source: Cork Independent]

DERRY

A County Derry teenager who died after being struck by a car in Newtownstewart on Friday night, May 3, has been described as a “good-hearted lad.”

Cathal Donaghy (16), from Craigbane village, was on his way to Omagh in a mini bus for a night out with friends when the collision happened at Beltany Road, Newtownstewart about 11 p.m. on Friday. The teenager was standing outside the bus when he was struck by a car.

He was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital but died from his injuries on Saturday afternoon, May 4.
[Source: Derry Journal]

DONEGAL

An invitation has been extended to retiring Manchester United boss, Sir Alex Ferguson, to attend the 40-year anniversary celebrations of the Donegal Manchester United Supporters’ Club.

The invitation was made to the Reds’ boss some time ago and before news of his intended retirement emerged last Wednesday.

 “We have sent the invite, we’re not sure now if this changes things, hopefully not, but it doesn’t change our view on him, he was simply the best,” Paddy Delap, treasurer of the club, told the Democrat.
 [Source: Donegal Democrat]

DOWN

Staff and customers of Newry Credit Union were left traumatized following a terrifying robbery Wednesday afternoon, May 1.

Just after 2 p.m., two men entered the premises, one of whom police believe was possibly armed with a firearm, and demanded money. An eyewitness told The Examiner that one of the men jumped over the nearest cash desk to the entrance and began screaming a terrified staff to open the money drawers and hand over cash.  Meanwhile, his accomplice barked orders at shocked customers who were concerned for their own safety.

After grabbing a sum of cash, the men made off on foot in the direction of High Street where it is believed they got into a silver-colored vehicle with a southern registration plate to leave the area.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

DUBLIN

The High Kings singer, Darren Holden, has spoken of how he feared for the lives of himself and his daughter during a terrifying road-rage incident.

Holden, who is a member of the ballad group who performed for U.S. President Barack Obama, was driving daughter Ava (5) to a dance class Saturday morning, May 4, through Walkinstown, southwest Dublin, when the incident occurred.

"I was stopped going right outside near the Halfway House Pub on Walkinstown Avenue on to the Drimnagh Road when suddenly there was a screech of brakes as a car broke a red light and came up behind me.

"There was only one lane, and this car was going crazy to get past me. It was like something out of a movie," Darren told the Herald.
[Source: Evening Herald]

FERMANAGH

An extra 3,600 police officers are being flown into Northern Ireland as part of the security operation for the G8 Summit. Along with this, there will be support from the London Olympics security firm G4S and military assistance.

The International event, being held at the Lough Erne Resort outside Enniskillen, will be one of the largest police operations to ever take place here and was discussed at length at a press conference at Hillsborough Castle last Thursday.

At the press conference it was also confirmed by Secretary of State Theresa Villiers that there will be “additional military assistance,” which will partly come in the form of helicopter escorts for the world leaders. Additional military helicopters will be provided in June, by way of extra security.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]

GALWAY

A man in his 40s is being treated at University Hospital Galway after he was hit by a car on the Dublin road last Thursday afternoon.

The man was walking near the entrance to Merlin Park hospital at around 1:30 when the incident occurred.

Emergency services attended the scene, and he was taken to hospital for treatment of his injuries.
[Source: Galway Bay FM}

KERRY

White-tailed eagles have hatched in Kerry for the first time in over 100 years at two separate locations.

The event has been described as “momentous” and warmly welcomed, especially in the light of setbacks, which saw several of the 100 birds introduced here since 2007 die from indiscriminate poisoning and shooting.

In the last few days a pair has been confirmed to have hatched chicks at a nest in Killarney National Park, County Kerry, having laid eggs in late March.
[Source: Irish Times]

KILDARE

Thieves targeting A.T.M.s are coming up with new ways of defrauding unsuspecting customers of their money. Following a recent incident in Newbridge, Gardaí (police) have issued a warning about the latest twists in cash machine crime.

A customer using the Bank of Ireland A.T.M. at Main Street, Newbridge was taken by surprise when his card did not come back out of the machine and appeared to have been “eaten.”

In fact, according to Sgt. Seamus Rothwell from Newbridge Garda Station, the customer had just become the victim of a “card-catcher.”
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]

KILKENNY

Twenty-one soldiers from Stephens Barracks in Kilkenny were saying goodbye to their families and friends last Thursday as they prepare to fly to Lebanon for a six-month tour.

Lieutenant Kieran Brennan, son of the Head of H.R. for the Defence Forces, Colonel Kieran Brennan, and nephew of Comdt. Canice Brennan is one of the troops traveling abroad.

Siblings Sergeant Darren Nolan and Private Amy Nolan from Castlecomer who are part of the battalion, are also following in a strong family tradition as their father Michael was also a member of the Defence Forces and served overseas on a number of occasions.
[Source: Kilkenny People]

LAOIS

Element Power who plan to build 150 wind turbines in Laois, are reporting “constructive feedback” from their talks with neighbors of potential sites.

The company behind Greenwire began meeting fence-line neighbors in January. They have already agreed land lease options with hundreds of landowners, some in areas outside those designated as suitable for wind-farms by Laois County Council, leading to anger and public protest.

The company will hold public information days before going for planning permission in early 2014, claiming potential for 10,000 new jobs over three years.

Greenwire plan to build 450 turbines across five midland counties, to supply the British grid.
[Source: Leinster Express]

LEITRIM

Two weekends ago to correspond with the Leitrim-New York championship game in America, Leitrim Tourism launched a recruitment drive to increase the number of Leitrim Ambassadors in the U.S.

The initiative encourages people in the U.S. to think of Leitrim as a holiday destination, not only during the year of the Gathering, but in 2014 and beyond.

The campaign is targeting people who come from Leitrim and are now living in New York, and the U.S., and is encouraging them to become advocates of their native county by creating awareness of what’s on offer and encouraging others to consider the county for future holidays.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]

LIMERICK

It has been a good week for staff in Limerick’s retail sector, with more than 130 jobs saved from the axe.

D.I.Y. chain  B&Q and fashion retailer Pamela Scott have emerged from examinership, in a move which will see more than 100 local workers hold onto their jobs.

And there was more good news last Wednesday after video rental chain Xtra-Vision – which went into receivership two weeks ago – confirmed it would not be closing any of its three Limerick outlets.
[Source: Limerick Leader]

LONGFORD

Aughnacliffe native Jim Curran was a key figure in the protests surrounding the recent death of Margaret Thatcher.

Within hours of Ms. Thatcher’s death, Mr. Curran, who was a neighbor of Ms. Thatcher’s, made his way to her house with two posters. The first alleged that Ms. Thatcher supported state terrorism; the other claimed that Ms. Thatcher was an anti-Irish racist.

“I decided to revenge Thatcher’s policy towards our patriots the Hunger Strikers, which was described by former German Chancellor Helmut Khol as ‘amazing, so cold so callous’.”

Mr. Curran, who is chairman of the Irish Civil Rights Association, also played a key role in “the Wake,” which was carried out on the Saturday after Ms. Thatcher’s death. “The Wake,” which took place in Trafalgar Square, London lasted from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
[Source: Longford Leader]

LOUTH

Dundalk bodybuilder Darren Donnelly was lucky enough to meet W.W.E. wrestler Kane two weeks ago.

Kane, who is a Spanish-born American professional wrestler currently signed with W.W.E., where he is a co-holder of the W.W.E. Tag Team Championship.

Darren, who competed in the National Irish Bodybuilding Championship, met Kane in Dublin on his W.W.E. tour.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]

MAYO

A jury returned a verdict of death by misadventure on Thursday, May 2, at the inquest into the death of Patrick (Paraic) O’Donnell (39) with an address of 3, St. Fionnan’s Close, Achill Sound, Achill Island.

Mr. O’Donnell, a carpenter by trade and a single father with one daughter, was involved in an altercation with security staff at Cox’s Bar in Castlebar after he was asked to leave the premises in the early hours of June 7.

C.C.T.V. footage at the inquest showed a dispute between Mr. O’Donnell and one of the bouncers, during which Mr. O’Donnell attacked the bouncer and was then wrestled to the ground by two security men until Gardaí (police) arrived, arrested him and he was taken in a patrol car to Castlebar Garda Station. He was unresponsive when the car reached the Garda station, had no pulse and was pronounced dead less than an hour later at Mayo General Hospital. The inquest heard conflicting evidence as to whether or not Mr. O’Donnell was responsive when arrested by Gardaí outside Cox’s.
[Source: The Mayo News]

MEATH

Students from Eureka Secondary School, Kells, have been named the Young Social Innovators of the Year 2013.

Their project “Bring Organ Donation into Education,” aims to educate teenagers about the option of organ donation before they leave secondary school.

Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy, chairperson and co-founder, Young Social Innovators and Anne O’Leary, C.E.O. of Vodafone Ireland, presented the winning students with their awards at a special ceremony following the 12th Young Social Innovators Annual Showcase, which was supported by the Vodafone Ireland Foundation.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]

MONAGHAN

The people of Dundalk were treated by award-winning comedy impressionist Oliver Callan during the Bank Holiday weekend in the Fairways Hotel, as the star kicked off his live tour.

The Monaghan mimic returned to Dundalk after appearing as grand marshal in the town’s St. Patrick’s Day parade this year.

The show follows a hit YouTube video “Just Saying,” which parodied just about every nuance of the Dundalk accent and its landmarks.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]

OFFALY

Offaly is gearing itself up for a return visit from the Obama family next month.

Reports two weeks ago suggest that First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters Malia and Sasha could visit the family’s ancestral home in Moneygall while the President attends the G8 Summit at Lough Erne in County Fermanagh.

Although there is no official confirmation of a visit, Mrs. Obama is understood to be keen on having her daughters visit the President’s ancestral home.
[Source: Offaly Express]

ROSCOMMON

A Garda (police officer) was injured in a mêlée involving up to 10 people at a housing estate in Cloonfad on Friday night, May 3. A Garda spokesperson described the assault as a “very serious public order incident” at the Westview housing estate in the West Roscommon village.

A number of children who were present at the time made their way to the entrance of the estate and flagged down a passing patrol car to raise the alarm, shortly after 9 p.m. on Friday. The Garda was assaulted when he tried to break up the row involving up to 10 people at the estate. He was hit over the head with a child’s metal scooter and was forced to retreat and call for back up. He subsequently received medical treatment for a deep cut to the back of his head.
[Source: Roscommon Herald]

SLIGO

A Sligo man has been sentenced to five years in jail for assault causing serious harm to a man he claimed had made a pass at him.

Daniel McLoughlin of Joe McDonnell Drive in Cranmore, Sligo, pleaded guilty to assaulting 60-year-old Cyril Moran at Mr. Moran's home in Cartron in Sligo in August 2010.

Mr. Moran died four days later in hospital.

Sligo Circuit Court heard that a contributory factor to his death was the fact that Mr. Moran had had heart surgery and was on warfarin.
[Source: RTE News]

TIPPERARY

The tightly-knit community of Gortnahoe was struggling to come to terms last week with the tragic death of Emily Wilson (10), who died just moments before she was due to take part in a local camogie game on Saturday last week.

Professionally trained counselors from the National Educational Psychological Service were being arranged to talk with Emily’s friends and classmates in Gortnahoe National School last Thursday, while a special Prayer Service is planned for 11:15 a.m. in the school’s main hall on Friday, May 10.
[Source: Tipperary Star]

TYRONE

Health Minister Edwin Poots has been forced to do a U-turn on the policy of closing residential care homes after visiting a facility in Cookstown to hear the views of residents.

However, local politicians are not convinced and say the comments from the D.U.P. minister don't go far enough.

Mr. Poots dramatically told representatives of all the Northern Ireland Health Trusts on Friday evening, May 3, to drop their current closure policy and said it was "unacceptable" older people were suffering distress over the proposals to close homes. The minister said he had serious concerns about engagement with individuals and families over the proposed closures.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]

WATERFORD

Cycling around on his red go-cart you could be mistaken for thinking that seven-year-old Ryan Caulfield McCormack had not just returned from hospital in the U.S. having undergone months of chemotherapy and a lifesaving bone marrow transplant.

Late last year, Ryan and his four-year-old brother Ethan were diagnosed with Adrenoleukodystrophy or ALD, a rare, serious, progressive, neurological and metabolic genetic disorder, which was made famous through the 1992 film “Lorenzo’s Oil.”

After spending nearly five months in a Minnesota hospital bravely fighting hereditary ALD, the Tramore native and son of Caroline and Jimmy made the return journey home with his family for the first time two weeks ago.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]

WESTMEATH

Hundreds of pupils at Presentation Senior School in Mullingar celebrated Europe Day.

The hall in Presentation Senior School was buzzing with excitement as fifth and sixth class students rallied around the various different stands, each representing a country in Europe, filling out a quiz sheet as they went.

It was a day to get to know each of the countries intimately, and each of the students invited their parents to join on the fun.
[Source: Westmeath Examiner]

WEXFORD

A teenage girl has spoken exclusively to The Echo about the events that led to her attempting to take her own life earlier this year.

The girl, from a rural part of the county, spoke to this newspaper with her mother.

Mary (not her real name) said she felt it was her only option at the time as “no-one was listening to her” with regard to her complaints of being bullied.

Appealing to other people in the community suffering from depression to “talk to someone they trust” and emphasizing that suicide is not the answer, the girl outlined the events that led to her attempt at suicide.
[Source: Wexford Echo]

WICKLOW

Wicklow Enterprise Centre has secured over $245,000 in funding which will be used to improve access to Wicklow Gaol and for new audio and video equipment.

Funding totaling $250,000 will be provided by Bord Failte with the enterprise center providing an additional $62,000.

Upon hearing the news at last Wednesday's monthly meeting of Wicklow Town Council, Clr. Conal Kavanagh commented, “to attract a grant of €192,000 has to be welcomed. Also putting in another €48,000 is very good news for a visitors attraction that is so important to the town. Putting other issues with the enterprise park aside, this has to be welcome news.”
[Source: Irish Independent]
 

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