News from around the 32 Irish counties



Alliance leader David Ford has confirmed that he is poised to resign his Council seat to devote his energies to his new role as Northern Ireland Justice Minister.
 With new legislation opening the door for co-option of new members rather than a costly by-election - and one that Alliance would struggle to win at that - all eyes will be on the newcomer joining the chamber.
(Source: The Antrim Guardian)

A new blueprint for overseeing controversial parades in Northern Ireland hopes to avoid future violence by encouraging rival groups to talk to each other. First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness unveiled proposals for a new system to replace the current Parades Commission. The plans, including a new focus on encouraging dialogue, have been drawn-up under the terms of the Hillsborough Castle Agreement brokered to stabilize the power-sharing government at Stormont.
(Source: The Irish Times)


A family drove across England the weekend before last carrying the remains of their father in a heroic attempt to fulfill his dying wish to be buried in his native Carlow.

 The remains of Richard Anthony (Dick) Kinsella, formerly of St Mary’s Park, Carlow, were left stranded in Birmingham Airport on Friday night last, when air travel across Europe ground to a halt due to volcanic ash. His daughters Beth and Anna courageously decided to drive the remains of their dad back to Carlow themselves Saturday before last, taking on a six-hour drive across England to the ferry at Holyhead.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


More than €1.3m will be spent on various education projects including a new school for Laragh, a major extension for Virginia College and smaller projects at 31 schools in the county under the Summer Works Scheme. Meanwhile, funding of €7.5 was sanctioned for the completion of the new inner-relief road for Ballyconnell, which has now gone to tender. Also, almost €2m was announced for Co. Cavan under the Rural Water Program. This money will be spent on upgrading group water schemes and modernizing small public water and sewerage schemes.
(Source: The Anglo Celt)


A fledgling water company in Lissycasey is tapping into a lucrative market on the continent after securing an annual contract to supply 14 million bottles of natural spring water to a major European airline. Last week, the first consignment of biodegradable and compostable bottles, the first of their kind in Ireland and produced by Clare Spring Water Limited at its €4.2 million plant, was transported to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.
 While Clare Spring, located on High Street, has signed a confidentiality clause with the European company concerning some aspects of the deal, the new export contract is regarded as a major coup for the company, which is less than a year in operation. Up to 84,000 biodegradable bottles can be produced by the plant daily in full production. 
Management from the European airline, which prides itself on being environmentally friendly, visited Clare Spring recently and conducted a thorough examination of the water production facilities before committing to the lucrative deal.
(Source: The Clare Champion)


A new multi-million euro nursing home in Ballincollig, that will employ up to 100-people when it is fully operational, is set to open its doors by the end of this year.
(Source: The Corkman)


Derry continues to top the North's unemployment league. Figures released last week by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) show a total of 5,057 people, or 7.4% of the workforce, are out of work in the city.
(Source: The Derry Journal)


A new survey has reported that 90 percent of Donegal people have no idea how much water they use. The details of the survey came in the same week that councilors got a preview of new technology that will enable the council to keep closer tabs on water consumption from council schemes.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)


Dissident republicans based in the border areas of south Armagh and north Louth are delivering ready-made bombs to Belfast for spectacular attacks on big targets – including Palace Barracks and Policing Board Headquarters. A senior security source described those border regions as “the crucible” of dissident engineering activity – meaning their bomb making.
(Source: The Belfast Telegraph)


Dublin Bus has revealed plans for a radical overhaul of its services with major re-routing and one in 12 buses being taken off the road within months. Up to 150 bus drivers will also be made redundant under the scheme, which will start in July. But despite the reduction on buses, a company spokesperson insisted it would not result in delays for passengers. Dublin Bus is promising buses every 10 minutes, or less, on most services during peak demand times. The company insists it will provide more frequent services with fewer buses by avoiding congestion. The new plan, the most in-depth review of Dublin's bus network ever undertaken, will result in savings of €12m a year to the company.
(Source: The Evening Herald)