News from around the 32 counties of Ireland, Oct 27 2013



Antrim Grammar School took the unusual step of contacting parents last week to warn them of the modern perils facing their children today.

The school recently held two information evenings on the theme of “Safeguarding your Child,” and what emerged was a disturbing picture of young people facing threats completely alien to the experiences of their parents.

Drugs, of course, are nothing new – but the school was keen to highlight that the scene was evolving.

The prevalence of drugs “of all kinds” in the greater Antrim area came as no great surprise, but many parents were unaware of the “increased strength” of cannabis in circulation or the “extraordinary dangers” offered by chemical highs, many of which are adulterated with other substances.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


The trial of a man accused of the attempted murder of Silverbridge student Natasha McShane, has heard harrowing evidence of how the horrific injuries she sustained in the attack, more than three years ago, have left her with limited ability to walk or speak.

Heriberto Viramontes (34) was found guilty of attacking Natasha and her friend, Stacy Jurich, on their way home from a night out in Chicago in April 2010.  The pair was walking under a viaduct when a man emerged from the shadows and attacked them with a baseball bat.

Natasha, a 23-year-old student at the University of Illinois at the time, sustained extensive head injuries and was left fighting for her life.

Her parents, Sheila and Liam, brother Conor and sister Karla were present in Cook County Criminal Court during the trial.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


Short-sighted councilors have left the south of the county vulnerable to new proposals for high-powered overhead lines.

A decision taken over 10 years ago by local councilors to remove high-amenity areas from the Carlow County Development Plan has effectively left the south of the county wide open for EirGrid’s proposed pylons, according to the newly-formed Save Our Heartland (S.O.H.) group.

“Their legacy is that we have no protection now – we are not communicating the value of this landscape to external bodies,” argued Helena Fitzgerald, a Borris resident and member of the group.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]


If you saw someone out running around in their distinctive red Run D.M.C. 4 C.F. shirt last week, a few words of encouragement helped to boost them on in their way in their final days of preparation before they take on the Dublin marathon on Bank Holiday Monday, October 28.

The request came from local business woman and mother Lorraine O'Neill, whose daughter, Mia, lives with the respiratory disease Cystic Fibrosis. Lorraine, for the second year in a row, is set to lead yet another group of local runners to take part in the Dublin Marathon, which takes place this Bank Holiday Monday, working together to not just raise awareness, but also much-needed funding to assist in improving facilities at Cavan General Hospital for persons with Cystic Fibrosis (P.W.C.F.) in the region.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


Over 6,000 new Clare children aged five or under will be able to benefit from free G.P. care following Budget 2014.

Fine Gael Senator Tony Mulcahy has stated that 10,709 Clare children will be eligible for free G.P. care under a new government family-friendly measure.

The Department of Health estimates that 43 percent of children and adults nationally are already covered by a full medical card or G.P. visit card.
[Source: Clare Champion]


The music scene is mourning the loss of a budding star as West Cork deals with the grief of losing one of their own.

The Calvinists bassist, Taidgh Burke, died tragically last Tuesday from injuries he sustained in a single-car collision in Bantry on Sunday morning.

Following the crash on Sunday, which occurred at 4 a.m. on Bridge St., Taidgh was taken to Bantry General Hospital.
[Source: Cork Independent]


A serial sex offender who admitted making indecent images of children has been jailed for four months at Derry Crown Court sitting in Antrim.

Daniel Martin “Speedy” Carlin, of Ballyarnett Village, pleaded guilty to nine charges of making indecent  images between August 2008 and April 2010.

A previous court hearing was told Carlin’s home had been searched by police on April 8, 2010.

During the search police seized video cassettes, floppy disks, C.D.s and a total of four computer towers and P.C.s.
[Source: Derry Journal]


A 30-year-old botanist who immigrated to Australia seven years ago has told the Democrat of her fears as the wildfires raging across New South Wales edge ever closer to her new home.

Up to 60 fires are burning across the region – 13 of them uncontained.