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


By last Tuesday morning, the flames had advanced to within 2 km. of Nicola Higgins’ home, leading her to fill every available container with water and watch breaking news bulletins with bated breath.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]


The controversial school funding shake-up has divided schools in the local area, with some faring well from a new School Enhancement Programme for capital investment, while many more face crippling cuts in Minister O’Dowd’s revised funding formula.

Five schools in Newry and Mourne are set to benefit from a Department of Education investment worth a potential $170 million.  Our Lady’s Grammar School Newry, Sacred Heart Grammar School Newry, Rathore Special School Newry, St. Mark’s High School, Warrenpoint and Killean Primary School, are among 50 schools throughout Northern Ireland who learned two weeks ago that their applications under the School Enhancement Programme (S.E.P.) for capital investment have secured approval to proceed.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


At least three older people collapsed during a massive lunchtime rally in central Dublin over savage budget cuts.

The demonstration was interrupted at one stage to secure medical help for one protester.

But not even the poor weather could deter pensioners from getting their message across – that they find the budget measures affecting them totally unacceptable.
[Source: Evening Herald]


People in Fermanagh are the happiest in the United Kingdom, according to recent figures published by the Office for National Statistics.

Fermanagh has the highest score for happiness, while Derry, by contrast, has the lowest.

In its personal wellbeing across the U.K. survey, which measures elements of life satisfaction, more people in Northern Ireland rated their life satisfaction as “very high” than any other part of the U.K.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]


A convicted child abuser has been sentenced to eight years for raping his 10-year-old niece in Galway two decades ago.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had pleaded not guilty to the rape of the now 29-year-old in Connemara, but was convicted by a jury following his trial last July.

The 64-year-old also denied three charges of sexually assaulting the same female.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]


Organized deer walks took place Saturday, October 19, around Killarney, County Kerry, where at least one red deer stag has died during this year’s rutting or mating season.

The walks, organized by the Kerry Deer Society, have been taking place over the past number of weeks, during daylight and darkness, to hear the roaring and watch the fighting stags – Ireland’s oldest herd of red deer. The walks are now so popular that numbers are being restricted to minimize disturbance to the deer.
[Source: Irish Times]


Kildare’s Chief Superintendent, Michael Byrnes, called for motorists to slow down last Bank Holiday weekend, as part of a major national crack down on speed.

From Monday, October 21, to Sunday, November 3, there will be 24 one-hour checkpoints set up in the Kildare Garda (police) division – 12 high-visibility speed detection check points and 12 general road traffic check points.

Speaking at a special press conference at Naas Garda station last Wednesday afternoon, the Chief Superintendent declared, “Speed is the number one killer on roads in Kildare. We had one fatality last year and this year we’ve had 11 accidents, which resulted in 13 fatalities.”
[Source: Leinster Leader]


A Kilkenny woman struck gold recently when she walked away from the Winning Streak game show with prizes and cash valued at $55,400.

Annette Mahon, from Goresbridge, won $55,400, including a Suzuki Vitara, on the R.T.É. game show which took place on October 19. Five players from Dublin, Carlow, Clare, Kilkenny and Kerry won prizes to the value of $397,000 with John Cronin from Kerry walking away with prizes worth $193,252. The lucky three-star ticket was purchased at Corrigan’s Service Station in Bagenalstown.
[Source: Kilkenny People]


Jerome Stack, who was involved with the Dromcollogher Broadford side, which won the Limerick S.F.C. title on Sunday, October 20, will be on board as a coach. Fergal Byron and Noel Garvan, both Leinster S.F.C. winners with Laois in 2003, have been appointed as selectors.
The former Westmeath and Galway manager met with little resistance from club delegates, who passed through the Kerryman with little debate. He had been nominated for the position four weeks ago, and has already put a backroom team in place.
[Source: Leinster Express]


With Halloween approaching rapidly, Gardaí (police) in Carrick-on-Shannon have issued a warning to the public about precautions that should be taken.