News from around the 32 counties of Ireland, Nov 25 2013



One in every five shops in Antrim is currently lying empty, placing the town in the unenviable position of sixth for the highest shop vacancy rate out of a study of 17 towns and cities across Northern Ireland. At 21.6 percent, the statistic is almost one percentage point higher than a year ago, with the Antrim figure now even greater than the Northern Ireland overall total of 19 percent, according to the N.I. Commercial Property report, which was released last week.

Out of the 17 towns ranked, only Ballymena, Bangor, Newry, Lisburn and Portadown had a higher number of vacant shops than Antrim, although it should be noted that the increase in vacancies in the town between last year and this year was amongst the lowest in all of Northern Ireland.

Antrim town, Alliance councilor, and member of the Antrim Town Development Company, Neil Kelly, said that while there was “no magic pill” to solve the current economic ills, he urged people to shop local.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


The response from the P.S.N.I. to the recent shooting in Cullyhanna has prompted local Councilor Terry Hearty to question whether south Armagh actually has a reasonable emergency police service.

During a meeting of the Police and Community Safety Partnership on Monday, November 11, Councilor Hearty took the opportunity to raise issues with policing in the area, with particular reference to the incident where a man was shot in his home.

Insisting that an emergency 999 call is rarely more serious than a person being shot, Councilor Hearty said it is “totally unacceptable” that the police did not visit the victim’s home until the following day.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


R.T.É. analyst Tony Considine believes Carlow and Westmeath should focus on promotion from the lower tiers of the Allianz Hurling League after the G.A.A.'s decision not to change the format.

On Saturday, November 16, Central Council opted to retain the status quo of two graded sections that include six teams in each section, which will not include the two Leinster counties.

Considine said: “I don't think they have any case. The structure of the league now is very good. If you look at the league last year, even the relegation battle between Cork and Clare, both teams ended up in the All-Ireland final.”
[Source: RTE News]


The lawyer for the Cavan nanny accused of the murder of a one-year-old girl in her care has complained of “missing pieces” of information from prosecutors to help fight the charges, writes The Irish Times.

At a pre-trial hearing in a Massachusetts court, Melinda Thompson, attorney for Lavey native Aisling Brady McCarthy, sought further information from prosecutors, says the paper, ranging from data on the hard drive of a laptop used by the family of the child Rehma Sabir to details of the specific allegations against her client.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


Ennis has been excluded in the latest list of 16 primary health care centers, which are being progressed nationwide by the H.S.E., Health Minister James Reilly has confirmed.

Ennis was included as one of the 35 potential locations for primary care centers to be developed by means of a public-private partnership when the government announced details of its multi-million euro stimulus package in July 2012.
[Source: Clare Champion]


The clock on St. Anne's Church in Shandon is currently set to 12 o’clock, and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Time hasn't stopped in Cork, but for one of the icons of Cork, it will be for weeks at least, as Cork City Council wait to discover what options they will have to fix the venerable timepiece.

Neil Purkiss, senior executive architect with the City Architects Department, explains that they are “still exploring the options” but that they will receive a “recommendation and report within a week.”

Last week he met with the past and present engineers of the clock from maintenance engineering company, Smiths of Derby.
[Source: Cork Independent]


City of Derry Rugby Club could become the city’s major outdoor concert venue, post-the City of Culture year, it’s been claimed.

In a joint venture with Institute Football Club, City of Derry last week officially launched “Country Comes to City.”

Headlined by Nathan Carter the summer show will bring around 5,000 country fans to Judges Road on June 14 next year.
[Source: Derry Journal]


Two men in their 50s are being questioned in Garda (police) custody following the seizure of a significant quantity of drugs at a house in Bundoran last Thursday morning.