News from around the 32 Irish counties


The girlfriend of one of the soldiers murdered at Massereene Barracks in Antrim last year has thanked local Orangemen for honoring their memory. The Randalstown District sold 12,000 badges they designed in memory of the two soldiers – Sappers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey – who were gunned down outside the base by the Real IRA as they collected pizzas on March 7, 2009.
(Source: The Antrim Times)   

Police fired plastic baton rounds during serious street violence in Co Armagh the weekend before last as rioting broke out in the nationalist Drumbeg and Meadowbrook estates in Craigavon. Three new-style plastic baton rounds were fired when rioters attacked police vehicles with bars and pieces of masonry. Chief Insp Jason Murphy said: “This was an attempt to kill or seriously injure our officers.” He claimed his officers had done everything possible to quell the situation before they resorted to firing rounds.
(Source: The Irish Times)


A large number of Carlovians waving placards and flags welcomed home the triumphant Irish Winter Olympic Bobsleigh team of Aoife Hoey, Claire Bergin and Leona Byrne on their arrival at Dublin Airport last week. 

To even qualify for the games was an achievement in itself but coming 17th out of the twenty one teams was more than they could have hoped for. 

 Put in context there were over 50 teams initially competing for the final 20 places and Australia’s late inclusion brought this to 21. 

After the late objection by the Australians it was particularly satisfying to finish above the southern hemisphere country while teams from Russia, Great Britain and Germany were also left to prop up the field behind the fighting Irish. 

(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)

Despite the huge downturn in the building sector, the performance of Kingspan in central Europe and particularly in Holland, Germany and Belgium held up "pretty strongly", according to Kingspan chief executive, Gene Murtagh. He added that the weaker larger markets are the UK and US. He was speaking after the group reported a fall in profits but said the company was optimistic for the future. Mr. Murtagh said that he sees no reason why the company could not pay a "modest" interim dividend later this year if the group's current performance is maintained.
(Source: The Anglo Celt)

A €14 million upgrading of infrastructure and equipment at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Ennis copperfastens its retention as an acute medical hospital in the future, Deputy Timmy Dooley has claimed. 
 A new refurbishment project delivering 50 replacement in-patient beds will be officially announced by Health Minister Mary Harney in the coming weeks. 
 While the Mid-West Health Service has declined to confirm the cost of this project before it goes to tender, it is rumored that it will be in the region of €10m.
 (Source: The Clare Champion)

Hotel room rates in Cork fell 31 per cent in 2009 compared to 2008, according to the Hotel Price Index (HPI), a survey of hotel room prices in major destinations in Ireland and across the world. This was the steepest fall experienced by any major Irish destination researched by It cost €77 per night on average to stay in Cork during 2009, compared to €111 the year previous.
(Source: The Corkman)

Sinn Fein MLA Martina Anderson has said that investment by the international Orana Group in the North West is planned to hit the £600m mark and has the potential to create 3,000 jobs.
She said the group have already spent £150m between Crescent Link and another site at Bridgend. Sainsburys have been signed up as tenants at Crescent Link and negotiations are being finalized with others. Ms Anderson added that Orana plan a multi-million pound project in Strabane.
(Source: The Derry Journal)

Lifford's Shay Given broke the Republic of Ireland's appearance record when he skippered the side the international friendly against Brazil at the Emirates Stadium in London recently.
Thirty-three-year-old Given earned his 103rd international cap against the Brazilians at Arsenal's stadium.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)

A brother of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has been released on bail of 15,000 euros after handing himself in to police in the Irish Republic. Liam Adams is wanted by police in Northern Ireland over claims he sexually abused his now grown-up daughter from the age of four. Mr. Adams told the bail hearing at Dublin's High Court "the media have treated my family disgracefully". "I would love to go home, but not under their circumstances." His alleged victim, Aine Tyrell, waived her right to anonymity late last year to allege that her father had molested her, claiming that the abuse included rape. Half of Mr. Adams' bail money was provided by a lifelong friend, while the other half was a cash bond of 7,500 euros paid by another daughter, Claire Smith.
(Source: The Belfast Telegraph)