News from around the 32 counties of Ireland, week of August 24 2013



Sinn Fein has roundly condemned the decision to torch several Ulster and Union flags at the recent internment bonfire in Antrim.

The blaze sparked a predictably angry backlash from loyalist leaders, with Ulster Unionist Adrian Watson and members of the Antrim Unionist Forum calling on republican representatives to tie their colors to the mast on the burning issue.

And last week they have – and hardliners from both traditions may be surprised to learn that they share loyalist concerns about the burning of provocative symbols.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


A six-hour delay by police in responding to a call regarding two house robberies in the Crossmaglen area has been heavily criticized.   Despite the quick-thinking actions of the burglary victims who had noted the make, description and registration of the perpetrators’ getaway vehicle, the culprits escaped the area after being monitored by locals for some time.

At approximately 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, August 15, Sinn Féin Councilor Terry Hearty made the call to police after arriving on the scene of one of the incidents within minutes of being alerted to it.

Mr. Hearty said, “Very soon after I had spoken to the victims, I contacted the P.S.N.I. and informed them that local people had recorded the registration of the vehicle used in the robberies and that this vehicle was still in the locality and was being monitored by members of the community.”
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


An “ironman” style competition for chefs is going to take place as part of the upcoming Carlow 800 Festival, with the aim of promoting culinary tourism in the county.

The first ever Irish Chefs World Culinary Challenge has received entries from chefs based in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, alongside Irish and Carlow chefs.

The challenge will take place over two days. Day one involves a “mystery basket” where competitors will have to use the mystery produce supplied (all high-quality Irish ingredients) to create a two-course meal for the judges. The next day, the chefs will be asked to take a classic Irish dish of their choice and produce a modern-day classic.
[Source: Business & Leadership]


G.P.s across the country could be legally prescribing cannabis as early as next year after the Department of Health announced it was to hear people’s view on legalizing the drug on prescription.

Sativex, which is the trading name for the drug, is derived from cannabis and will be made legal to M.S. and palliative care sufferers for pain relief. The drug is already permitted in other E.U. countries.

Doctor Eamonn McDwyer, who has been a G.P. in Cavan for 43 years, said that this will come as welcome pain relief to those patients suffering from M.S. and those in palliative care.

“The illnesses at the moment that medical cannabis used in is multiple sclerosis [M.S.] and patients in palliative care. According to literature the drug provides great pain release, as well as being physically uplifting,” said Dr. McDwyer. “Effectively, by [legalizing] the drug for medical use, it will cause no risk to the public. If people had previously wanted the drug they would have been able to get it and use it anyway.”
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


Five separate sheep kills in one rural village this year have prompted calls for the implementation of a database of dogs and their owners.

Dog owners in the county are being urged to keep their pets under control after the latest attack involving a flock of sheep close to the Galway-Clare border.

The sheep were grazing in Boston, Tubber last Friday, when they were attacked by a dog. Two of the sheep were killed on site and a further two were badly injured and had to be put down. Another 18 were injured and six sheep are still missing.

Clare’s I.S.P.C.A. warden Frankie Coote said these attacks are too common.

“I am seeing these types of cases at all times of year. This is the fifth recorded attack in that immediate area this year. There shouldn’t be that number in the county as a whole,” he explained.
[Source: Clare Champion]


One Cork woman has been on a remarkable quest to discover why her father brought back a samurai sword that from Nagasaki to Castletownbere in 1945.

The sword has been in the famous MacCarthy’s Bar in Castletownbere since then, but the family has not known how it came into their father's possession.

Nicola MacCarthy recently went to Japan to make a documentary for TV3 on the origins of the mysterious sword.

Her father, Dr. Aidan MacCarthy, was interned as a P.O.W. in Nagasaki and is believed to have been given the sword by Second Lieutenant Isao Kusuno. Nicola is trying to trace the family of Kusuno to discover the truth.
[Source: Cork Independent]