News from around the 32 counties of Ireland, week of Nov 3 2013



Opening the locks at a playground may not be the most taxing of jobs, but it seems that when Antrim Borough Council puts the key-holder on the payroll it becomes a whole new ballgame.

The job itself is child's play, but that has not stopped Antrim Council writing a check for $2,008 to the Inter-Estate Partnership in Parkhall for doing just that.

That was just one of scores of invoices silently agreed by the Resources Committee two weeks ago. In less than 10 minutes, unfazed councilors “signed off” payments totaling a cool $3,268,907.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


The family of Silverbridge woman Natasha McShane say they feel a sense of relief and justice after the man who attacked her and left her for dead on a Chicago street more than three years ago was unanimously convicted of the crime.

A statement written by Natasha’s brother, Conor, and read outside Cook County Criminal Court after the verdict was announced on Thursday, October 24, said his sister’s life has changed forever and the attack brought “great sadness and sorrow to our home.”

At the conclusion of a trial lasting five days, the jury took little over three hours to find Heriberto Viramontes (34) guilty on all counts against him, which included attempted first-degree murders of Natasha and her friend, Stacy Jurich, aggravated battery, and armed robbery.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


Carlow and Westmeath have drawn up an alternative National Hurling League proposal for consideration ahead of this month’s Central Council meeting.

Both counties are angry they have been left out of the recommended 12-team Division 1 and have drafted a different format to cater for the interests of all the Liam MacCarthy Cup teams in Ireland.

Carlow Chairman Michael Meaney has warned they and Westmeath will “do what we have to do to get recognition for the hard work being done in our counties.”
[Source: Irish Examiner]


Cavan goalie Alan O’Mara will speak candidly about his battle with depression on a TV3 program dealing with mental health this evening. The Cavan G.A.A. star is one of many Irish people in the public eye to speak out about their experiences with mental illness on the half-hour special show, “Time to Talk.”

Interviewed by Sinead Desmond, O’ Mara discusses how depression made him question everything.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


A woman and her two children had a lucky escape on Thursday when the care in which they were traveling left the road at a notorious corner on the main Ennis to Ennistymon Road.

The crash, just after midday, brought to seven, the number of accidents at Ballyknock, Kilnamona in the past 11 days according to Clare County Councilor James Breen.
[Source: Clare Champion]


The Cork Roma Community are said to be living in fear following the removal of two Roma children from their homes in Athlone and Dublin two weeks ago.

"Living in fear" is how the Cork Roma community has been described by the co-founder of the Roma Support Group, Bill Dunlea, after two children were removed from Roma homes two weeks ago.

The second child that was removed, in Athlone, was related to members of the Cork Roma community and the family was in regular contact with Cork Roma Support Group, who is working towards national support.
[Source: Cork Independent]


A scheme is being launched in Derry aiming to breathe new life into the city’s empty shops and office buildings.

The North’s Social Development Minister, Nelson McCausland, has announced his department is to fund the Vacant Spaces Project, developed in partnership with Ilex, which aims to match Derry’s empty commercial space with new tenants.

“The Vacant Spaces project will try to make use of vacant buildings in key locations in a way that can add value to the city center and stimulate local businesses and employment,” the minister said.
[Source: Derry Journal]


Over 200 children from the south of the county invaded Donegal last Thursday evening taking part in one of the biggest Trick-or-Treat festivals in the county.

The event was organized by Ashtree Garden Centre, who had a special pumpkin party, fashion show and disco for all the children and indeed many of the adults!
[Source: Donegal Democrat]


A businessman was told he would be shot dead if he did not hand over $16,000 to the Official I.R.A., the High Court heard last Wednesday.

Money was demanded from the Newry-based victim for registering on the organization’s “Richter scale” over the alleged selling of steroids, prosecutors said.

In phone calls, he was warned both he and his family were under surveillance and he would be left with nothing if he did not comply.
[Source: News Letter]