News from around the 32 Irish counties


Nearly 200 people attended the emergency department of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital since December 24th with a series of injuries, many as a result of falls due to the freezing conditions. A HSE spokesperson confirmed that approx 180 presentations were made at the emergency department at the hospital following 'falls and slips' according to the press office. Meanwhile, Mayor of Drogheda Michael O'Dowd admitted many residents became ' prisoners in their own homes' over the Christmas period as the lack of gritting left conditions on footpaths too dangerous for use.
(Source: The Drogheda Independent)

A consultation process has begun in Westport on the number of Masses celebrated weekly in St Mary’s Church, Drummin Church and Lecanvey Church. Each week about 26 Masses are celebrated across the three churches but with the reduction in priest numbers in recent times this number, which does not take account of funeral, wedding and school Masses, is likely to reduce quite dramatically early in 2010. Archbishop Michael Neary has pointed out on numerous occasions; the number of priests available to work in parishes across the diocese has declined dramatically in recent years.
(Source: Mayo News)

A last-minute shopping surge two weeks ago provided a much-needed boost for Meath businesses who reported a relatively busy festive season, but a reduced spend by shoppers. In Navan, traders were upbeat despite the fact that many experienced a fall-off in business this year - but many said the spending reduction wasn't as bad as they had feared.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)

The number of bus services in Offaly is likely to be significantly reduced in the new year after the Labor Court largely backed a series cost-cutting measures proposed by Bus Éireann.  Following a hearing last month, the Labor Court recommended some changes to the company's proposed measures but ultimately backed its plan to cut routes and take 150 vehicles out of service. It's understood that Bus Éireann is proposing cuts to four of its routes serving towns in Offaly.
(Source: The Offaly Independent)

The funeral took place last Wednesday of John Ryan, Upper Rosses, Rosses Point, one of Sligo's best known and respected businessmen who died peacefully at Sligo General Hospital on Sunday last. John entered the auctioneering business in 1968 in accommodation above the shop, one of only a small number of auctioneers in Sligo at the time. In conjunction with Edmund Farrell senior who was in charge of Irish Permanent in Dublin, Mr. Ryan introduced the Irish Permanent to Sligo for the first time. Another of his business interests was the White House Hostel on Markievicz Road and he was also a former Director of the Southern Hotel in the early 1980's. The late Mr. Ryan also had a keen involvement in music and was founder member of the Sligo Choral Festival.
(Source: The Sligo Champion)

St Bridget's Family and Community Center and Waterford Institute of Technology are some Waterford organizations to receive Government Dormant Accounts Funding welcomed by Waterford's Minister Martin Cullen TD.  Waterford organizations will receive €180,000 under the end-of-year round of this Fund, which aims to revitalize communities throughout the country through planning, investment and development (RAPID).
(Source: Waterford Today)

Mullingar has got a serious "thumbs up" from one of its best known natives last week, Ryanair boss, Michael O'Leary. But, he says, the town has suffered from a lack of political influence. In a wide-ranging interview with a local paper just days before Christmas, Mr. O'Leary touched on his career ambitions, his life in Mullingar - and on where he sees Ryanair going. And he has tipped local TD Willie Penrose as a possible minister in the next Government. A native of Mullingar, Mr. O'Leary says he is very proud of the town.
(Source: The Westmeath Examiner)

Worshippers attending the Christmas Day service at St. Mary's Church of Ireland church in Enniscorthy had some very distinguished, unexpected visitors in their midst on Friday last. Church warden Ken Leech opened the church door to a gentleman wearing a dark coat and the trademark glasses of Ireland's best-known rock singer. The stranger was accompanied by his wife, two children and his father-in-law who all took their place without fuss in a pew among the congregation of 94. Word was relayed to Archdeacon Chris Long that Bono and family were in the church, all unannounced, but the Rector did not quite believe it until he spotted him during his sermon. Yes, it really was Paul Hewson (also known as Bono), Ali Hewson, along with their children and Ali's father who has a house in the Scarawalsh area.
(Source: The Wexford People)

Even Christmas Day didn't provide any respite for the crews of the Wicklow's Mountain Rescue Teams as they responded to no less than four call outs. The first call for the Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue and the Dublin/Wicklow Mountain Rescue teams arrived bright and early at 4.15 a.m. on Christmas morning after recovery services were unable to come to the assistance of a couple who had been stranded at the remote Featherbeds area of the Dublin/Wicklow Mountains. Icy conditions meant the high mountain roads were hazardous.
(Source: The Wicklow People)