News from around the Irish counties



A group of members of Longford Historical Society, who attended this year's 'Twelfth' in Lisbellaw as guests of the host Orange Lodge, were guests of the chairman of Fermanagh District Council, Bertie Kerr last Tuesday at a function at Enniskillen Castle. The Longford group had met their hosts during a visit to World War One battlefields in Belgium. Its spokesman said his members were 'more than happy' to attend and see the tradition and ceremony of the Orange Order. James MacNerney added: "We felt it was important to come in the spirit of reconciliation. "We all have to live together on this island, and we have to respect each other's traditions."

Source: The Fermanagh Herald


Galway City Council management has moved to reassure the public that essential services will be maintained, despite the city's looming financial crisis. City Manager Joe MacGrath was responding as the true extent of the city's budgetary troubles were revealed in a mid-year financial report. The worrying document was furnished to city councilors last Friday and shows that the council has been doubly hit by the current economic crisis, with a significant drop in income coming alongside a greater demand for waivers and subsidies.

Source: Galway Independent


Government deal maker Jackie Healy Rae admitted last week that he is not in a position to force Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen into assisting Kerry's beleaguered farmers who were hit by the closure of the REPs 4 scheme. Addressing over 250 angry farmers at an IFA protest outside his Killarney clinic last Saturday, the Kilgarvan man was heckled continuously as he addressed farmers from the back of a lorry just hours after the government announced the early closure of the grant scheme. Amid heated calls of "go, go, go" from the assembled farmers, the Kilgarvan man said that the government could still pass votes without his support.

Source: The Kerryman


The Oxegen music festival has been branded a success, with the organizers and gardaí (police) having quashed fears that the 80,000 revelers could cause damage to the town of Naas. Tidy Towns chairman Councilor Seamie Moore has praised Oxegen organizers MCD and the gardaí for their roles in ensuring that Naas remained orderly and tidy throughout the weekend. “There was a great effort made,” he stated, noting that complaints made after the recent AC/DC concert had been addressed.

Source: The Kildare Nationalist


Thieves who broke in to Gowran's Reptile Village Zoo early last Tuesday morning are contenders to be named Kilkenny's 'thickest thieves'. The intruders smashed their way into the zoo, which houses man-eating crocodiles and a dazzling array of dangerous animals including pit vipers, Nile Monitor lizards and boa constrictors. They then stole three worthless creatures, raided a charity box and smashed through a door - despite the fact the one right next to it was open - all of which was caught on video camera.

Source: The Kilkenny People


Portlaoise Town Council heard last week that putting the name ‘Bellingham’ on a roundabout on the Mountrath Road was akin to a suburb of Paris being called ‘Hitlerville’ after the Nazi occupation of France. Cllr Brian Stanley (SF) told the council that neither the councilors nor the people of Portlaoise were happy with the label ‘Bellingham’, which, although claimed to be historically appropriate, was the name of the commander of an army of occupation of the town. The name had been given to the estate adjoining the roundabout and then to the roundabout itself, which is on the main road.

Source: The Laois Nationalist


A junior doctor who admitted he pretended to give a crucial antibiotic to an elderly women to "placate" a nurse was found guilty of professional misconduct at a public hearing by the Medical Council on July 6. Malaysian-born Lee Sengh Khoo, who worked at Sligo General Hospital, was censured, fined €2,500 and suspended from the medical register. The Medical Council's Fitness to Practice Committee found he was dishonest in pretending to administer the drug.

Source: The Leitrim Observer


The much anticipated report from An Bord Snip Nua, which was discussed by the Cabinet this Wednesday, recommends that Shannon Development should be amalgamated with other state agencies including the IDA and Enterprise Ireland.

Shannon Development, which was established in 1959, is the only regional development agency in the country and has operations across Limerick, Clare, Kerry, North Tipperary and South West Offaly. It employs over 130 people and has an annual turnover of around €33 million. At the end of 2008 the company had assets and land worth over €250 million. If the recommendations go ahead it is still not clear how many people, if any, would loose their jobs.