News from around the 32 Irish counties



Prison officers at Northern Ireland’s top security jail last Monday night forcibly removed a group of Republican inmates who barricaded themselves into a dining hall. No one was injured in the hour long operation to end the two-day protest by 28 prisoners at Maghaberry Prison in Co Antrim. The inmates blocked the doors of the room on the day the 1916 Easter Rising is commemorated. A suspicious object was thrown out into the corridor at the outset of the incident, but bomb disposal officers later declared that it was not a viable explosive device. The prisoners, who had been attending a Mass in the hall inside the republican Roe House accommodation block, remained there as supporters called for them to be granted political status.
(Source: The Antrim Guardian)   


A pioneering Northern Ireland-based research project could be set to transform the way solar technology is harnessed to provide environmentally friendly energy solutions. The three-year project, spearheaded by Kingspan Renewables in Co Armagh, has resulted in a progressive new product, which could make it easier to adopt solar technology at home and in the workplace.
(Source: The Irish Times)


One of the most mean-spirited thefts to take place in the county in recent times has left the County Carlow Hospice Committee devastated, but all the more determined to plough ahead with their plans to raise the €1 million needed to provide a dedicated cancer hospice for the county.
The theft of hospice money boxes from two collection points in the town has been described as by the founder of the committee, Anne Byrne, as “devastating”. The missing collection boxes were stolen from the Maxol Filling Station on the O’Brien Road and from the Sue Ryder Charity Shop in Castle Hill, Carlow town.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


It has been a dramatic week in this area following on last Tuesday's decision by the financial regulator to seek the High Court appointment of provisional administrators to Quinn Insurance. Politicians from North and South have met representatives of the company and with Quinn workers over recent days, and expectation and anxiety are building in the run-up to next Monday's full high court hearing on the appointment of administrators to Quinn Insurance.
(Source: The Anglo Celt)


The total payout to Clare families under the Mortgage Interest Supplement Scheme (MISS) has increased 10-fold over a five-year period to €1.2 million. This is reflective of the fact that more people are in receipt of social welfare due to growing unemployment. Almost 300 Clare families are now availing of the scheme.
 Clare County Councilor Martin Conway has predicted that the amount of money paid out under the scheme could reach €3m by year end, as the number of applications received by the Health Service Executive (HSE) continues to rise significantly due to spiraling unemployment.
(Source: The Clare Champion)


Cork-born chef Rachel Gaffney of Rachel Gaffney's Authentic Irish Foods, based in Dallas, was on hand to serve up a taste of Ireland during a 'Back in the USA' sales blitz two weeks ago, organized by Tourism Ireland, which took in the cities of Atlanta, Dallas and Houston.
(Source: The Corkman)


In a series of startling revelations at Buncrana District Court last week a man claimed the Gardai (police) stripped him naked and handcuffed him in the cells overnight, Having been arrested for drunk and disorderly behavior, a charge he denies, Derick Mulligan made the allegations before Inishowen Judge Seamus Hughes.
(Source: The Derry Journal)


Letterkenny Garda Station came to a stand still last Wednesday as a minutes' silence was observed to remember heroic Garda Robbie McCallion who was fatally injured in the line of duty one year ago. The silence was held at 2pm in the station where the Swinford-native was based. 29-year-old Garda McCallion died on April 7, 2009, in Beaumont Hospital with his family by his side, ten days after he was seriously injured when he was knocked down while investigating an alleged attempted car theft.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)


The famous Northern Ireland football tournament which starred players like David Beckham is |facing a funding crisis. The Milk Cup is a prestigious international youth event that has attracted teams from across Europe and Great Britain that also brings in valuable tourism revenue each year. But organizers have warned politicians that financial pressures mean it may not survive to 2012. The alert was sounded in a letter to Stormont Ministers seeking a government funding re-think.
(Source: The Belfast Telegraph)


A pregnant woman dubbed Jihad Jamie has entered a plea of not guilty to a series of terrorism charges after traveling from Ireland to hand herself in to US authorities. The Colorado native is alleged to have moved here last September with her six-year-old son and the international terror suspect known as Jihad Jane. On the day she arrived she married Algerian man Ali Charif Damache who is in garda custody charged with sending a menacing text. Jamie Paulin-Ramirez (31) was arrested with Damache (45) and five others last month and voluntarily returned to the United States last week to face charges there.
 (Source: The Evening Herald)