News from around the 32 Irish counties


Durrow woman Julianne Walsh has made it to the final six of the Macra na Feirme/ Bank of Ireland National Leadership Awards. The awards are part of Macra na Feirme’s leadership training program and provide opportunities for young people to develop the skills and attributes necessary for a voluntary leadership position in Macra or in the wider community. 

Six finalists in total have been chosen to go through to this year’s national final, and three overall winners will be selected on the day, based upon interviews with a judging panel and the marking of an already-submitted project.

(Source: The Laois Nationalist)

With Leitrim County Council's bill for the recent big freeze already set to top €500,000, councilors are calling on the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, to make special provision to pay for things such as additional supplies of salt and grit and labor during the crisis. A spokesperon for the Council has confirmed that the initial estimates of the cost of the recent icy weather is somewhere in the region of half a million euro, however with the situation still requiring ongoing gritting and other problems arising in terms of greater demands on water supplies and labor costs, this figure looks set to increase.
(Source: The Leitrim Observer)

City coffers may be overdrawn, but the council has confirmed there are no plans to sell Limerick's historic Treaty Stone to a casino in Atlantic City in the United States.
A page on the social networking site Facebook was set up on January 6 to save the Treaty Stone from alleged sale, and now counts over 1,500 supporters.
(Source: The Limerick Leader)

House prices in Louth fell by almost 40% since their peak, according to a new survey. The cost of an average house in Louth dropped by 23.3% in 2009 according to the House Price Report and overall, has dropped 38.3% since the peak in 2007. The average price of a house in Louth in the final quarter of the year was under € 210,000, down from a peak of € 340,000 in 2007 and well below the national average of € 242,000. Prices in the county fell by 10.4% in the last three months of the year, marking a further slowdown in price falls since earlier in the year.
(Source: The Drogheda Independent)

Murrisk is set to host the 2010 National Famine Memorial Day. It is proposed that the national event will take place in the village on May 16 next after Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív outlined the National Famine Commemoration Committee’s plans for the memorial day for 2010. Murrisk is home to the evocative National Famine Monument. The sculpture by John Behan depicts a ‘Coffin Ship’ with skeletal bodies and commemorates the Great Famine of the 1840s and is the largest bronze sculpture in Ireland and will likely form a central part of the Memorial Day.
(Source: Mayo News)

The Minister for Transport, Meath West TD Noel Dempsey has described as the coverage of his holiday to Malta two weeks ago as "tabloid sensationalism", full of inaccuracies. Mr. Dempsey returned from his holiday early on Saturday last as weather forecasts predicted that worse weather, described as Arctic, was to come. However, the anticipated worsening of conditions failed to materialize. The Transport Minister was criticized for being out of the country at a time when roads were impassable due to the big freeze. Meath East TD and Fine Gael road safety spokesperson, Shane McEntee, led the attack on Mr. Dempsey, posing outside Dail Eireann with a cardboard cut-out of the minister, whom he described as 'lost', alongside a cutout of Environment Minister John Gormley, with the moniker 'lost cause'.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)

Two Offaly natives have survived the horrific earthquake in Haiti that occurred last Tuesday while former All-Ireland Birr hurler Darren Hanniffy is heading up the GOAL aid mission to the island. Maeve Bracken, originally from Clara, and Sr Helen Ryder, from Banagher, were among the Irish survivors last week. Maeve is a lay missionary with Viatores Christi and has been working in Haiti for the last two years. A spokesperson for Viatores Christi last Thursday said that both Maeve and a second worker, Gena Heraty from Mayo, are alive and well.
(Source: The Offaly Independent)

Ski-holiday enthusiasts have been advised to keep their money in their pockets --all the thrills and spills of the piste are available for free in South Sligo. That was the advice of Clr. Margaret Gormley, who told last Monday's meeting of Sligo County Council all about the ice skating rinks in her native area. "People are spending fortunes going out on foreign holidays for skiing. Well, they could come out to South Sligo and have it for free, because we have the best of skating rinks there now," she said.
(Source: The Sligo Champion)