News from around the 32 counties of Ireland, week of September 8 2013



Antrim Council has become embroiled in a police porn probe amid allegations that sexual images of children were accessed by a senior member of staff.

Detectives descended on the Civic Centre last Wednesday afternoon following reports that disturbing material had come to light.

A 59-year-old man was interviewed by officers and later left the building. Following last week's events, it is understood he is no longer employed by Antrim Council.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


After Jonesborough woman Joanne Aydemir passed away from cancer at 37, her cousin, Geraldine, was more determined than ever to fundraise in her memory – and followed through on a head-turning venture that has generated a whopping $22,745.87 for Friends of the Cancer Centre.

Geraldine, a 31-year-old qualified occupational therapist from Crossmaglen, has always been known for her glossy long red hair, but she decided to shave it all off in a bid to raise cash.

To a chorus of “oohs” and “aahs,” her locks were dramatically lopped off on stage at the event that took place in Clarnagh Maid on July 27, and the freshly-shorn Geraldine has set a whole new ethical fashion trend in her hometown.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


The brother of Environment Minister, Phil Hogan, admitted to a Garda (police officer) that he had drank around 15 pints during the day before crashing his jeep, injuring a passenger, a court has heard.

Gardaí attending the crash scene at Knocklow, just outside Tullow, County Carlow, on October 14 last year described how Paddy Hogan (51) was slurring his words, smelled of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet.

The publican was released from custody hours later after an Intoxilyzer delivered a reading of “mouth alcohol.”
[Source: Evening Herald]


The region’s tourism facilities got a boost with the completion of the $396,000 Ramor Sports Club marina on the shores of Lough Ramor just outside Virginia. Diving, fishing, windsurfing, kite surfing, sailing, skiing and all water-based activities will all be possible from the impressive new marina.

Located in front of the Lakeside Manor Hotel, it is the only one of its kind in the region.

“There is no other water facility of this nature on a closed water system in Cavan or Monaghan – so this is a very welcome tourism asset to the two counties,” said John Toland, development officer with Cavan-Monaghan Leader.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


While the rest of the county went saffron and blue, Lisdoonvarna turned pink last weekend.
History was made in the north Clare town when it hosted its first gay festival, The Outing.
As well as promising an economic boost to local businesses, the international media attention the festival is receiving, organizers believe, is highlighting the town and the county to a huge new audience.

“County Clare is the most scenic part of the country, so why not hit a new market across the world. There has been worldwide coverage of this festival. From the B.B.C., the top U.S. gay magazine, Out, there have stories about this. It takes a fresh new approach to the month-long matchmaking festival. It is the weekend at the beginning of it and it gives the whole thing a fresh new look and a facelift,” the event director, Eddie McGuinness told the Clare Champion.

The response to the festival in Lisdoonvarna, Mr. McGuinness said, has been broadly positive.
[Source: Clare Champion]


A quarter of Cork pupils are in “supersized” classes of 30 or more children and more than 90 percent are in classes of 20 or more, making Cork primary schools among the most overcrowded in the country.

New figures published today show 26 percent of primary pupils are in classes of 30 or more, 66 percent of pupils are in classes of 20 or more, which is greater than the E.U. average, and just eight percent of pupils are in classes under 20.

More than 14,000 pupils in Cork are in classes of 30 or more.

The I.N.T.O. said the figures showed the impact of increasing school numbers and government cutbacks on the ground in schools.
[Source: Cork Independent]


Experts from auction house Bonhams are on their way to Derry to unearth the North’s hidden art gems.

Charles O’Brien, a specialist in 19th century painting, and Matthew Bradbury, a modern British and Irish art expert, will hold two valuation days at the Beech Hill Country House Hotel on September 17 and 18.

A spokesman for Bonhams said the event has already attracted significant interest and Bonhams ask the public to book an appointment in advance to avoid disappointment.
[Source: Derry Journal]


The Gathering has been a real godsend but we need to plan now so that tourism in Donegal doesn’t fall flat next year, a councilor has warned.