News from around the 32 Irish counties



It’s a bug’s life. Even government ministers have reached that conclusion. Although, despite the buzz, there wasn’t a bee in sight, when, in glorious sunshine, Transport Minister, Noel Dempsey opened Westport’s latest luxury hotel, shortly after 2pm last Friday afternoon.   “I am reliably informed this is one Five Star hotel that is not going to end up in NAMA,” Minister Dempsey said. He beamed broadly as he ceremoniously booked-in the first guest to Ostán Fheithidí an Bhealaigh Ghlais – The Greenway Insect Hotel. Indeed, Minister Dempsey seemed unfazed by the fact it was a wiggly worm that was first to cross the red carpet, and not a glamorous Ladybird, as was the twitter on the bush telegraph. Only minutes earlier, Noel Dempsey, with his carapace – aka helmet – twinkling in the sunlight had landed ahead of an army of multi-colored cyclists at the new hotel located on the Greenway near the Quay.
(Source: Mayo News)


Fifty Meath GPs have sent a petition to the Health Service Executive (HSE) chief executive Brendan Drumm calling for the reinstatement of the consultant surgeon, Joe McGrath, who has been suspended from the staff of Our Lady's Hospital in Navan. The GPs claim that his suspension is linked to his publicly-stated opposition to HSE cutbacks which he says have led to a "downgrading" of the hospital. Claims that there was no consultant surgeon on duty at the hospital last week as a result of the suspension have been denied by the HSE.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)


Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen has assured people in Clonmacnoise that public consultation will take place ahead of its chance of inclusion on the World Heritage List. Last week the Government announced Ireland's new Tentative List of potential nominees to the World Heritage List. The new Tentative List which has been submitted to UNESCO includes the Monastic City of Clonmacnoise and its Cultural Landscape.
 (Source: The Offaly Express)


Roscommon County Council has been allocated more than €90 million in government funding to deliver new and improved water and sewerage infrastructure across the county over the next three years. The major funding announcement was made last Monday by local TD and Minister for Housing and Local Services Michael Finneran under the Water Service Investment Program and the Rural Water Program 2010.
(Source: The Roscommon Champion)


Ending weeks of intense speculation, it was confirmed last week that revered poet and legendary songwriter, Leonard Cohen, is to perform at an open air concert at Lissadell House, County Sligo, on Saturday, July 31st.
 (Source: The Sligo Champion)


St Mary's Famine Museum in Thurles is expected to close in May as a result of a recent spate of vandalism, despite the fact that it is a financially viable visitor and tourist attraction. The decision is expected to be taken at a Vestry meeting of the Church of Ireland community to be held early in May and will bring the curtain down on Thurles' main tourist attraction which saw visitors coming from all over the world.
 (Source: The Tipperary Star)


One of Tyrone's greatest cultural treasures, a 450-year-old silver chain of office used by the O'Neills, may soon return home after gathering dust in the vaults of an Edinburgh museum for more than a century. The whereabouts of the priceless ceremonial chain has been at the heart of an international mystery which has obsessed historians and O’Neill enthusiasts for decades. However, local historical sleuths have managed to track the item to a museum in Edinburgh where it languished as part of a trove of other valuable artifacts from Tyrone.
 (Source: Belfast Telegraph)


A decline in vocations has been given as the reason taken by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart to lose the landmark Grace Dieu retreat centre on the Tramore Road. Nine jobs will be lost when the centre closes in September 2011, it was confirmed by the Centre’s director, Fr. Michael Serrage.
(Source: Waterford News & Star)


Fresh forensic evidence may clear an Athlone man of a murder for which he has spent almost twelve years in jail. John Earle, now 44, was jailed in England in 1998 for the murder of 67-year-old Peter Halliday in Northumberland. The incident gripped the North East of England after the corpse of Halliday was found on a local beach, having been dumped in the North Sea days earlier. But now the sentence could be quashed after the UK's Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) referred the case to the Court of Appeal, which will review the new evidence, which follows advances in DNA testing since the original trial
(Source: The Westmeath Independent)


Parts of the Guillemot Lightship have been removed by Wexford County Council on health and safety grounds. The Council sent contractors down to Kilmore Quay last Thursday to make the ship 'safe', by removing parts of it that were considered likely to fall or be blown off by strong winds. Niall McGuigan, Director of Environment Services with Wexford County Council, said they had to make the ship safe as it had become a public health hazard. 'Certain parts of it were damaged. We knew it had become dangerous and couldn't allow it to remain that way,' he said.
(Source: The Wexford People)