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News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

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ANTRIM

The dark shadow of paramilitary terror fell over Antrim's Steeple estate once again last week, when a major security alert drove scores of families from their homes.

Police and army bomb disposal experts made the familiar journey to Mallusk Gardens following the discovery of a suspect device.

It is understood that the length of piping had been put through the letter box of a house. No-one is presently living in the house, but sources in the estate have claimed that the incident was linked to recent unrest in the Ballycraigy area.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]

ARMAGH

A group of young entrepreneurs from St. Joseph’s High School, Crossmaglen have wowed the panel of R.T.É.’s Dragon’s Den with their young enterprise business, “Splash.” As part of the school’s C.O.P.E. (Certificate of Personal Effectiveness) program, 10 lower sixth students, along with their teachers, Paul Mulholland and Noreen McMahon, created the business to supply personalized reusable sports water bottles to schools, businesses and sporting clubs. The company has already secured orders from local primary schools and football clubs.

In December last year, Splash achieved the award for Best Product at the Young Enterprise Trade Fair in Banbridge. The pupils continued on their path to success, becoming the only representatives from Northern Ireland, and the only school to make it through to the final 20 entrants to present their project to a panel of judges at the Gibson Hotel, Dublin for the All-Ireland final of Junior Dragons Den.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

CARLOW

Friday evening (April 26) at the Carlow County Council offices was set aside to honor the achievements of the All-Ireland-winning Myshall team at a civic reception, but, with so many of the players representing Carlow in the camogie National League Division Four final, it was no surprise that talk centered on the possibility of the county winning promotion to Division Three.

After losing last year’s final to Dublin, the set-back spurred them on to All-Ireland glory, but when a new season came along, it was back to the lower division where they recorded easy wins over Kildare (2-13 to 0-2), Tyrone (2-12 to 0-3) and Cavan (1-14 to 0-6). Wicklow were also in the same group but there are clearly problems as the Garden County conceded four walk-overs.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]

CAVAN

May 1 marked the introduction of a new carbon tax, and Cavan/Monaghan Fianna Fáil T.D., Brendan Smith, has expressed serious concerns about its introduction.
 
The Cavan/Monaghan deputy says the new tax on solid fuels, which took effect last Wednesday, means that the price of a 88-pound bag of coal will rise by as much as $1.60, with cost of briquettes also increasing.
 
“This will have a severe impact on older people and families who cannot pay their basic household bills as it is. Many people across Cavan and Monaghan are having serious difficulty finding the money to pay for fuel due to the prolonged winter. This new tax will make a bad situation worse," Deputy Smith said.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]

CLARE

Proposed investments in the region of $69 million by Doonbeg Golf Club could be left blowing in the wind if plans for a new $131 million wind-farm are approved in West Clare.
That’s according to Doonbeg Golf Club manager, Joe Russell, when he was questioned about the impact on the west Clare economy if An Bord Pleanála approves Clare Coastal Wind Power’s plans for a 10-year planning permission for a 40-turbine wind-farm in the area.

As one of the largest tourism providers in Clare, Doonbeg Golf Club has already made considerable investments in the local economy, with an ongoing commitment of $195 million and has plans for major additional investment.
[Source: Clare Champion]

CORK

Five people, including two Cork city councilors, were arrested and three young people were cautioned and removed from a protest at Bank of Ireland, Patrick Street last Wednesday.

Clr. Ted Tynan, Clr. Mick Barry, Jim O'Connell, James Hallinan and Brian Gould were all arrested under the Public Order Act during a peaceful protest when they refused to leave the branch after instruction from the Gardaí (police).

The protest was part of a national day of civil disobedience organized by Campaign Against the Household and Water Tax against the property tax on Mayday, the international day of workers.
[Source: Cork Independent]

DERRY

A 44-year-old man has died hours after being recovered from the River Foyle by Foyle Search and Rescue.

Shortly after 9:30 a.m., the P.S.N.I. received a report that a man had been fallen from the Foyle Bridge into the river. Foyle Search and Rescue were alerted and recovered the man who was then taken to hospital.

Minutes after the incident, four vehicles were involved in a collision on the waterside-bound carriageway of the bridge. Police said they believe the two incidents were linked.
[Source: Derry Journal]

DONEGAL

The Letterkenny man charged with dangerous driving causing the death of a three-year-old boy has been found not guilty.

The jury of six men and a woman took less than an hour to find Alex McDaid not guilty of dangerous driving causing the death of Patrick McDonagh.

Mr. McDaid was the driver of a bin lorry which was involved in an incident at Ballymacool, Letterkenny on February 16th, 2010, in which Patrick McDonagh was killed.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]

DOWN

Two men have robbed a shop in County Down.

The pair entered a business in the Hill Street area of Newry on Wednesday afternoon.

One – who may have been armed with a gun – demanded money before making off on foot in the direction of High Street.
[Source: Belfast Telegraph]

DUBLIN

The gangster shot dead in a Dublin business park was executed by his own gang, Gardaí (police) believe.

It has also emerged that Gintaras Zelvys (43) tried to use his wife as a "human shield."

Detectives are working on the theory that the Lithuanian criminal was murdered by members of his own gang over a bitter cash dispute.
[Source: Evening Herald]

FERMANAGH

Police in Fermanagh are investigating an incident of arson at the Carlton Hotel in the Main Street area of Belleek in the early hours of Thursday morning, May 2.

Shortly before 1:30 a.m., it was reported that a window in the property was smashed and what is believed to be a petrol bomb was thrown inside.

Police and N.I.F.R.S. attended and the fire was extinguished.

Nobody was injured in the incident.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]

GALWAY

A Connemara campaigner is calling for a dangerous road stretch in Rossaveal to be addressed following a fatal road crash in the area last Wednesday night.

Fifteen-year-old Leah Feeney from Clynagh in Carraroe was killed in the collision, which occurred at around 9:45 p.m.

The student of Scoil Colmcille in Inverin was walking with a friend near Terry's pub in Rossaveal when she was struck by a car.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]

KERRY

A Garda (police officer) has spoken of how the death of a colleague through suicide had a profound effect on other Gardaí serving at the station.

Garda Eoin Donovan said help received from Console, the suicide-prevention agency, helped Gardaí come to terms with the horrific loss of much-respected colleague and friend.

The agency had approached the Gardaí in the aftermath of the tragedy to offer support.

Last Monday, Console opened the country's first suicide resource center in Tralee, County Kerry, one of the counties with the highest rate of suicide and self-harm.
[Source: Irish Independent]

KILDARE

Angry credit union members took part in the first of a series of protests outside Newbridge Credit Union offices on Friday morning, April 26, calling for more information and the holding of an A.G.M.

Around 50 people turned out for what will be the first in a number of protests outside the premises each Friday morning at 10 a.m.

No annual meeting has been held in the past two years and special manager Luke Charlton and his team from Ernst & Young, originally appointed by the High Court in January of last year, continue to examine the credit union’s finances, an operation which, to date, has cost almost $2.6 million.
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]

KILKENNY

On Monday evening, May 6, Kilkenny Roses will gather at the Ormonde Hotel in Kilkenny for a night full of entertainment, glamour and above all, great fun, as we find out who will represent Kilkenny at the Regional Festival 2013.

Roses will appear on stage to speak with M.C. Brendan Hennessy and get an opportunity to do a party piece of their choice if they so wish. All entrants will be interviewed by a judging panel prior to Rose Selection night.
[Source: Kilkenny People]

LAOIS

Prison officers in Portlaoise and elsewhere have warned that they will ballot for industrial action up to and including strike action.

Speaking at their Annual Delegation Conference in Athlone last Wednesday, Stephen Delaney, president of the Prison Officers Association, said prison officers would ask members to vote a strike if the government imposes pay cuts.

“Our National Executive Council (N.E.C.) has forwarded an emergency motion to conference which I hope is supported. This motion states that should the government decide to unilaterally impose pay cuts by way of legislation on prison officers that the N.E.C. convene immediately with a view to conducting a national ballot of the membership for the taking of industrial action, up to and including strike action.”
[Source: Leinster Express]

LEITRIM

Gathering events are being staged throughout Leitrim this year to welcome back emigrants, to towns, villages and parishes to enjoy their native culture, music and sport. Well the Leitrim diaspora, particularly those from the McLean area in Yonkers, have got a head start on this process.

Seamus Clarke, the proprietor of J.P. Clarke’s on McLean Avenue, recognized a good idea when he heard it, and he adapted the concept to coincide with the Leitrim versus New York clash on May 5. Seamus and Leitrim supporters’ committee organized “A Leitrim Gathering to Remember” in Rory Dolan’s on McLean Avenue in Yonkers after the game.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]

LIMERICK

Gardaí (police) had to be called to Shannon Airport after what has been described as a “mutiny” took place among passengers on a diverted Ryanair flight two weeks ago.

The flight from Krakow to Cork had to be diverted to Shannon due to high winds, but passengers were kept waiting for a number of hours on the tarmac and were not allowed to get off, despite the fact that many of them were due to travel on to Limerick anyway.

After spending close to six hours on the plane, passengers then began to demand that they be let out and claim their baggage, leading to an “agitated” and “vocal” stand-off between passengers and crew.
[Source: Limerick Leader]

LONGFORD

Twenty-four-year-old Aisling Farrell from Tang was crowned the Longford Rose 2013 following a gala event at the Longford Arms on Saturday night, April 27.

The fourth-year medical student at University College Dublin (U.C.D.) is a former pupil of Mercy Convent, Ballymahon, and is the daughter of Susan McKenna and sister to Siobhán and Fergus.

The self-assured and bubbly young woman managed to pip 13 other Roses to the post to claim the Longford Rose crown.
[Source: Longford Leader]

LOUTH

A Louth man has been given a five year sentence for ramming a garda car. It emerged in court that Padraig O'Riordan had a pistol in the car when gardai pursued him in a high-speed chase.

In his submission to the court, defense barrister Brendan Grehan said that the weapon had been discarded some distance from where O'Riordan was arrested and the behavior of the accused was an attempt to escape from gardai rather than an attempt to confront gardai.

In an apparent reference to the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe, who was a colleague of the gardai in the case, Mr Grehan said he accepted the evidence "has a particular resonance in this circuit given recent events".

O'Riordan (28), of Point Road, Bellurgan, Co Louth, pleaded guilty to a series of 11 offences carried out in Co Louth between January 17 and 19, 2011.
[Source: Irish Indepdendent]

MAYO

An investigation into the alleged smuggling of cannabis and cocaine into the Acute Mental Health Unit at Mayo General Hospital is ongoing. The Garda (Police) Drugs Unit has visited the hospital unit, where visitors were reportedly smuggling drugs to patients. The H.S.E. has issued a statement saying they are aware of the issue.

In a 2012 report by the inspector of Mental Health Services, the Mayo General Hospital Acute Mental Health Unit was described as being “well managed” on the night of the inspection and it was noted that “observation was carried out as prescribed.”

However, a Castlebar councilor has said it was “no surprise” that drugs were reported to have been smuggled into the hospital unit, as services were being “cut to the bone.”
[Source: The Mayo News]

MEATH

A warning over the H.S.E.’s refusal to replace ambulance crew members who are off sick was made last week following an incident on Sunday, April 28, in which a Garda (police officer) had to drive an ambulance from the scene of an accident near Dunsany.

Four ambulances were dispatched to a road accident in the Dunsany area on Sunday, but one ambulance had just one crew member as the other member of staff was unexpectedly sick.

A Garda had to drive that ambulance to hospital from the scene of the accident.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]

MONAGHAN

Patients who turn up at hospital minor injury units are now facing a charge of $130 for the first time.

Minor injury units, which open for a limited number of hours, have replaced round-the-clock A&E departments in several hospitals.

These units treat sprains and strains, broken bones, wound infections, minor burns and scalds, minor head injuries, insect and animal bites, minor eye injuries and injuries to the back, shoulder and chest.

They have so far been free but hospitals will now be able to charge $130 following a recent move by Health Minister James Reilly.

Monaghan Hospital is the latest to announce the charge for its minor injury unit and it came into effect last Wednesday.
[Source: Irish Independent]

OFFALY

Gardaí (police) in Tullamore are investigating an incident in Edenderry where shots were fired at former Offaly County Council Chairman Ger Killally as he and three other people were leaving his house in a car at the townland of Shaen.

The incident occurred at 10:40 a.m. last Thursday. Nobody was injured during the incident; however, the former Fianna Fail councilor and his three passengers sustained minor injuries after the car collided with a ditch and overturned. A number of shots were fired at the silver Volkswagen Passat. It is believed that Killally had a five figure sum of cash in the boot of his car.
[Source: Offaly Express]

ROSCOMMON

A 56-year-old parish priest in Roscommon is to be the new bishop of Kerry.

Raymond A. Browne, a graduate of St. Patrick’s College Maynooth and the Gregorian University in Rome, where he studied canon law, has been appointed by Pope Francis to succeed the serving Bishop of Kerry Dr. Bill Murphy, who has served almost two years beyond his retirement.

The announcement was made after 10 a.m. mass in Killarney’s St. Mary’s Cathedral.
[Source: Irish Times]

SLIGO

A Health Information and Quality Authority (H.I.Q.A.) report into an unannounced assessment at Sligo Regional Hospital has exposed a litany of hygiene issues from unclean resuscitation trolleys to failures of staff members to observe proper hand hygiene practices.

The assessment was carried out at the hospital on February 28 and included checks on the emergency department; surgical gynecology ward and the medical south ward.

The 16-page report said there were a number of risks identified by H.I.Q.A. staff including three patients with transmissible infection being cared for in a room were doors were open, near other patients; failures in the disposal of contaminated personal protective equipment and overflowing bins for health care risk waste.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]

TIPPERARY

Gardaí (police) are investigating the circumstances surrounding the discovery of a body in Tipperary last Tuesday, April 30.

It is believed the body is that of Bobby Ryan (52), who went missing nearly two years ago. His family is being kept informed about the Garda investigation.

A postmortem examination is to be carried out on the body which was found in a slurry tank in the Fawnagowan area, between Tipperary and Bansha, at about 2 p.m.
[Source: Tipperary Star]

TYRONE

A former Catholic Bishop of Clogher has said he accepts the criticisms of a report that said opportunities to deal with cases of child abuse in parishes across the diocese were "consistently missed."

Dr. Joseph Duffy, who served as Bishop of Clogher for much of the period the child abuse report focuses on, said he regretted the management of some cases.

On Wednesday, April 24, the church's National Board for Safeguarding Children (N.B.S.C.C.C.I.) published the findings of seven reports it conducted on the child abuse scandal, including one centered solely on the Diocese of Clogher.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]

WATERFORD

New Street, in the city center, was closed to traffic for nearly four hours of last Sunday morning as four units of the Waterford City Fire Service fought a blaze at the former Kiely’s Bottling Store.

The alarm was raised at 9.01 a.m. by a passerby. When the fire service arrived the blaze had caught hold at the 3,000 sq. ft. unoccupied building. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were committed to the site and, with assistance from a hydraulic platform used to pump water in the fire, were finally brought under control at 12:30 p.m. and no damage was caused to any adjoining properties.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]

WESTMEATH

Former Mullingar player coach Joe Schmidt has been officially announced as Ireland's new head coach by the I.R.F.U., stepping up from his Leinster position after beating competition from Les Kiss and Ewen McKenzie for the Ireland post.

He succeeds Declan Kidney who was removed on April 2 after presiding over a dismal fifth-place finish in the R.B.S. 6 Nations.

The New Zealander spent a couple of seasons in Mullingar during the early 1990s as a player/coach.
[Source: Westmeath Examiner]

WEXFORD

Wexford is set to embrace the spirit of one of its most famous sons, with a Mexican-themed, action packed festival in honor of William Lamport – arguably the inspiration for Mexican hero, Zorro.

“Zorrofest Wexford,” last Saturday, saw the town turn “Wexican” with a celebration of the life and legend of a real-life “Irish Zorro” – 17th-century Wexford-man Lamport, born in Wexford Town in 1611.
[Source: Irish Independent]

WICKLOW

One of Wicklow's landmark pubs, McDaniel's of Brittas Bay, will go under the hammer at the next Allsop's Auction to be held in the Shelbourne Hotel.

The pub and holiday home is a popular destination, especially during the busy summer tourist seasons, when visitors flock to Brittas Bay from far and wide.

The guide price is $815,000 to $880,000 – well below the $4 million paid for the pub the last time it was up on the market.
[Source: Irish Independent]

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