News from around the 32 counties of Ireland, week of September 1st 2013


Trade unions, politicians and families of service users have all expressed their shock at the decision to close the recently renovated 22-bed unit at St. Brigid’s Hospital in Ballinasloe. The H.S.E. has decided to keep an older unit in Roscommon open instead.

Senior mental health service managers in Co. Galway have appealed directly to the National Director of Mental Health Services in Dublin to review the controversial decision as a matter of urgency.
[Source: Irish Times]


Ben Bulben, the mountain immortalized by W.B. Yeats, is at the center of yet another row about access.

Sligo County Council has been asked to declare that a public right of way exists on a 50-meter stretch of road described by some campaigners as the safest and most popular route to the mountain.

More than 50 people have completed a questionnaire circulated by the council to determine whether and for how long the public has used this route “without hindrance” and the file is due to be passed to the local authority’s legal department early this month.
[Source: Irish Times]


Bridget Browne from Littleton shares the amazing experience of her climb to the summit of Mont Blanc. Bridget has climbed a number of mountains in her time, including Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis. This is her story from Mont Blanc.

Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps and the European Union. It rises to 4,810-meters above sea level.

It was first climbed in 1786 by Jacques Balmat and Michel Paccard. The first woman to reach the summit was Marie Paradis in 1808.
[Source: Tipperary Star]


The funeral has taken place of Cookstown girl Charly-Jean Thompson who died in hospital from her injuries following a two-vehicle crash on the main Cookstown to Omagh Road on Wednesday, August 14.

Charly-Jean (15) was a passenger in a B.M.W. car that was involved in an accident on the Drum Road, near Kildress, shortly after 9:40 p.m.

Three men were also seriously injured and two are being treated in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast for their injuries. They include Charly-Jean's boyfriend, Ryan McCracken, who was seriously injured.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]


An urgent meeting has been sought with the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) by Deputy John Halligan to discuss the city’s retail and unemployment crisis.

The independent T.D. for Waterford has written to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny to seek a meeting with him and the minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, ahead of the new Dáil term.

Deputy Halligan has labeled the South East Employment Action Plan as ineffective and told the Waterford News & Star that austerity was severely affecting spending power.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]


Jason Ryan has ruled himself out of the running for the position of county senior football manager.

The former Wexford boss, who joined Kieran McGeeney’s coaching staff in Kildare this season, told the Westmeath Examiner that while it “remains to be seen” if he will stay with the Lilywhites next season, he won’t be managing a team of his own “in any county next year.”

Former Westmeath manager Luke Dempsey has also ruled himself out of contention for the Westmeath job.
[Source: Westmeath Examiner]


Former All-Ireland winning hurling captain, Martin Storey, has been nominated to sit on Wexford Country Council for Labour, the party announced last Wednesday.

The former Wexford hurler and three-time all-star recipient was nominated for co-option onto the council last Tuesday night by the party’s Enniscorthy branch.

The 48-year-old was chosen to fill the vacancy left following death of Councilor Pat Cody last month.
[Source: Irish Times]


Three injured climbers have been rescued from a County Wicklow mountain cliff-face by abseiling rescue teams and a helicopter in a major operation involving around 40 rescuers.

The Glen of Imaal Red Cross and Dublin Wicklow mountain rescue teams were scrambled following a 999 call that a group of climbers at a cliff at Luggala were in difficulty when one of them fell with two others injured.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter flew mountain rescue teams, H.S.E. and Mountain Rescue advanced paramedics to the top of the main face of the cliff.

A male climber was airlifted to hospital at around 8 p.m. as light was fading on Saturday night, August 24, while another was walked off the mountain. 

Rescuers abseiled to the third-most critically injured climber in worsening weather and darkness.

The man was lowered down the cliff-face by stretcher before being taken to a waiting ambulance.

He is recovering in hospital with multiple fractures.
[Source: RTE News]