News from around the 32 counties of Ireland, Oct 20 2013



Community leaders have united to condemn the heartless thief who terrorized an 81-year-old man in his Greystone home “for the sake of a few pounds.”

The elderly grandfather had settled in for an evening in front of the television blissfully unaware that this would be a Saturday night like no other.

Everything changed at around 8:15 p.m. when an unexpected caller appeared at the door of his home at Bleerick Drive.

And it was soon clear that this was no social call. As soon as the door was opened the intruder barged in and attacked the startled O.A.P.

Once he had over-powered his frail victim, the thug roughly tied up the petrified pensioner.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


A Crossmaglen priest escaped unhurt during a brazen robbery of his parochial house home on Saturday afternoon, October 12.

Around 4 p.m., Fr. Liam McKinney answered his door to find two men who said they were seeking pastoral care from the priest. Inviting the pair into the front office of the Newry Road premises, the priest quickly became suspicious as to their motives.

Speaking to the Examiner following the incident, Fr. McKinney explained that as soon as the culprits had entered his home, he became uneasy about their behavior, fearing the situation was not what it had initially appeared to be.

Far removed from seeking pastoral advice, the men became increasingly threatening and tampered with the parochial safe containing parish records.  It was at this stage the young priest, fearing for his safety, left the house to raise the alarm.
[Source:  Examiner Newspaper]


A Carlow-based whiskey maker is to generate 55 jobs over the next few years with a$34 million expansion.

Walsh Whiskey Distillery is to build a new craft distillery at Royal Oak in Carlow with funding from Italian drinks company Saronno.

Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton welcomed the announcement, saying the new distillery will help Irish exports and is a model of what the government is trying to achieve.
[Source: RTE News]


Cavan hoteliers have welcomed the announcement by Minister Noonan to retain the nine percent tourism V.A.T. rate.

Tony Walker, branch chair, Cavan Irish Hotels Federation (I.H.F.) says that the reduced V.A.T. rate has been enormously successful to date, enabling tourism and hospitality businesses to take on 15,200 additional jobs at a very difficult time when employment would otherwise have dropped significantly.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


A north Clare parish priest is offering to conduct “downsized” weddings for couples who have been putting off taking the plunge because of the recession.

Lisdoonvarna priest, Father Conor Cunningham, has offered to open up traditional Sunday mass for weddings and has also offered his services free of charge if couples decide to partake in a private church ceremony involving the bride, groom and their witnesses. The offer comes as marriage rates continue to drop in many parts of the country. According to Fr. Cunningham, financial difficulties brought about by the recession should not prevent willing couples from getting married.
[Source: Clare People]


Cork's Central Library was a crime scene under investigation last Tuesday, when it was reported a grandmother and her two grandchildren walked in on a man “shooting up” in the toilet Monday evening.

The woman reported the incident to a library employee in an upset state and left without giving her name or contact details and when the employee went to check the toilet, there was no one there.

Manager of the Grand Parade Library Mr. Eamon Kirwan was not working Monday, but he said he understood someone walked in off the street and asked to use the toilet around 5 p.m.
[Source: Cork Independent]


Twenty-two “high end jobs” are being created at a pioneering new medical research center in Derry.

The Northern Ireland Centre for Stratified Medicine – the only one of its kind on the island of Ireland – is based at the Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Centre (C.-T.R.I.C.) at Altnagelvin Hospital.

The $18.4 million facility is a collaborative project between the University of Ulster’s Biomedical Sciences Research Institute, C.-T.R.I.C. and the Western Health and Social Care Trust.
[Source: Derry Journal]


The H.S.E. unveiled plans for a new $2.7 million community mental health center, which will be located at Rowanfield House, Donegal.

The state-of-the-art development will deliver a modern center for community mental health services in the south Donegal area.

Speaking at the unveiling of the plans, John Hayes, area manager, H.S.E., said, “As a former member of the mental health team I am committed to further development of services. This building here will be a one stop shop where people can visit without any stigma.”
[Source: Donegal Democrat]