News from around the 32 Irish counties


Athy lost one of its most popular and longstanding public figures at the weekend, with the passing of former Councilor Frank English, who died at Tallaght hospital on Saturday morning last, after a short illness. First elected to Athy Town Council in 1967, his consistent popularity and dedicated service ensured that he was re-elected on seven subsequent occasions. Two years ago, he celebrated his 40th anniversary as an elected member of the town council, amid many tributes from fellow public representatives and officials. 
He decided not to stand in last June’s local elections and is understood to have been ill for several months.
(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)

Mayor of Kilkenny, Cllr Malcolm Noonan has said claims by a Kilkenny business man that he and the Green Party have kidnapped the St Patrick's Day Parade are unfortunate, unnecessary, and potentially damaging at a time when the City needs everyone to come on board and make the St Patrick's Day Parade a success.
Referring to Mr. James Walsh, who runs the Toyota car franchise in the city, the Mayor said it would appear that Mr. Walsh has a particular grievance with the Green Party over changes brought in to the Vehicle Registration Tax in 2008
 (Source: The Kilkenny People)

Winner of the Arts Award for Laois People of the Year, Portlaoise native Pat Boran has long been making waves in the world of literature, and is among the best known of Ireland's contemporary poets. His latest work, 'The Invisible Prison: Scenes from an Irish Childhood', was published to great acclaim last year. A memoir of his Portlaoise childhood, 'The Invisible Prison' has struck a resonant chord beyond his hometown. It is set for release in the UK next month, and is already in its second edition at home.
(Source: The Leinster Express)

Gardai (police) in the Sligo/ Leitrim division received an average of 11 days paid sick leave and nearly €2 million in overtime in 2007, according to a recent report by the Garda Síochána Inspectorate. The Garda Síochána Inspectorate is an independent statutory body established to promote excellence and accountability.
It's latest publication, the Resource Allocation Report revealed that the average officer in the Sligo/ Leitrim division took over eight days through sick leave, over two days from long term sickness and less than a day through injury in 2007 - compared to a national average of six days.
(Source: The Leitrim Observer)

Billionaire philanthropist Chuck Feeney has donated more than €46m to Limerick in the past nine years, new figures reveal. However, that figure does not include the estimated €2m given by Mr., Feeney towards to construction of UL president Prof Don Barry's new on-campus residence. The University of Limerick, Milford Care Centre, and the local support agency for migrants, Doras Luimni, were the top three recipients in Limerick from the so-called "secret billionaire". The bulk of that funding has been directed to educational and construction projects at the University of Limerick, which Mr. Feeney has had a close association with since it was established as the National Institute of Higher Education in the 1970s.

(Source: The Limerick Leader)

A 'blazing ball of fire' was seen falling through the sky in County Longford Wednesday evening before last.  The unusual sight was caused by a collision between a meteor and the earth's atmosphere and now the hunt is on by Longfordians to find a piece of this giant meteorite, which is valued at an astounding $500 (€360) per gram.
(Source: The Longford Leader)

Mayor of Drogheda Michael O'Dowd says he is extremely disappointed with the portrayal of the town on a TV3 program aired on Monday night last. 'Crime Capitals', with investigative reporter Donal MacIntyre, staged 'a reconstruction' of the alleged events that took place in March 2009 at Townley Hall, from the point of view of the two girls who say 'they were attacked and one raped'. In another section, Clogherhead is. 'I watched the program and I found it to be sensationalized, and very fast and loose with the full facts,' says Cllr O'Dowd.
(Source: The Drogheda Independent)

A leading Shell to Sea campaigner was sentenced to seven months imprisonment at last Wednesday’s sitting of Castlebar Circuit Court. Judge Raymond Groarke branded Pat O’Donnell of Porturlin Shore, Ballina a ‘thug’ and a ‘bully’ who had no respect for Gardaí before he sentenced him to seven months imprisonment for incidents involving members of An Garda Siochana. 
Mr. O’Donnell, known locally as ‘The Chief’, received a three month sentence for threatening and abusive behavior towards Sergeant Cathal O’Malley at Glengad on September 13, 2008 and four months for willful obstruction of a peace officer on September 14, 2008 at Doologh, Geesala. Both sentences are to run consecutively.
(Source: Mayo News)