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News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties

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Antrim

A disabled man has pleaded for an end to attacks on his home after being mistakenly branded a pedophile.

The 50-year-old was ecstatic to be allocated a Housing Executive property on Antrim's Menin Road at the end of last month, after being on a waiting list for almost five years.


However after receiving the keys on Friday, May 13, he was horrified to discover the windows of the house had been smashed when he visited to decorate just two days later.


His nightmare worsened when the vandals daubed the words 'pedophile scum' on window boards put up by Housing Executive staff.


The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Antrim Guardian: "I don't know where people have got the idea that I have that kind of a background.


“My record is as clean as a whistle, I have nothing to hide but a few individuals seem to have it in their heads that I am some sort of monster.
(Source: Antrim Guardian)

Armagh

A lorry hijacked and set on fire outside Crossmaglen last Thursday evening was being driven by an Irish Customs officer who had got lost and inadvertently strayed across the border, The Examiner can reveal.

The 40ft trailer carrying a fuel tank had been seized in a joint Customs and Gardaí (Irish police) raid at a laundering plant close to the border at Drumacon, Castleblayney earlier in the day.

It appears the driver became separated from a convoy removing items from the raid site when he took a wrong turning and crossed the border into south Armagh.

It was on the Blayney Road, at the junction of Loughross Road, on the outskirts of Crossmaglen when the hijack occurred.  A group of men forced the lorry to stop and hauled the driver from the cab before dousing it with petrol and setting it on fire.  Fearful for his safety, the driver made off across nearby fields.  He was removed from the scene by PSNI officers some time later.

A spokesperson for Irish Revenue and Customs said the driver was shaken but uninjured.
(Source: Crossexmainer.co.uk)

Carlow

A World War I hand grenade was probably the last thing builders expected to find in the attic of a Bagenalstown house – but that is exactly what they did find. 



Army bomb disposal experts were called in last week after builders made the shocking discovery in the attic of a house on Kilree Street. 



Thankfully, they had discovered nothing more sinister than a little piece of history. 

The house was originally owned by Bagenalstown man Jimmy Mara who, along with thousands of Irish men, joined the British Army to fight in World War I. 



It is understood that Jimmy brought the grenade home with him after being stationed in Turkey and France throughout the war, which lasted from 1914 to 1918.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)

Cavan

Two men were charged in connection with a shooting incident in a housing estate on the outskirts of Cavan town Saturday morning (June 4) last when a man sustained injury to his leg.

The Garda (police) Regional Support Unit was called to Ardkeen, close to the Cavan Swimming Pool, at about 10.30am in response to a dispute between a number of people.

A verbal altercation took place and it developed. A shot gun was produced and a shot discharged.
One of the men received pellet wounds to his leg but his injuries are not life threatening. Four people were arrested and questioned later. Two of them appeared before a special sitting of Cavan District Court that Sunday evening and were charged in connection with the incident.
(Source: The Anglo Celt)

Clare

“I killed the devil”, a 31-year-old Barefield man responded to a garda (police) when cautioned on a charge of murdering 21-year-old Eoin Ryan from Ballyea last week.

Joe Heffernan of Cappagh Beg, Barefield appeared before a special sitting of Ennis District Court last Wednesday evening where Garda Donagh Walsh gave evidence of charging him with the murder of Eoin Ryan from Newhall, Ballyea last Tuesday.


The semi-naked body of the young Ballyea man was found in a barrel in a field at Cappagh Beg, Barefield at approximately 7am on Tuesday, which led to the launch of a murder investigation in the Ennis area.


At Wednesday evening’s court sitting at 7pm, Garda Walsh said he arrested the accused at 5.48pm that day at Ennis Garda Station, where he charged him with murder and cautioned him in respect of that charge.


Garda Walsh explained that in reply after administering the caution, Mr Heffernan said, “I killed the devil”. The garda then served a true copy of the charge on the defendant.
(Source: The Clare Champion)

Cork

A Cork writer and scientist has been shortlisted for a prestigious writing award. Eoin Lettice, owner of the Communicatescience.eu blog has been shortlisted for the international 3 Quarks Daily (3QD) Science Prize for an article he wrote about President Barack Obama, Guinness and statistics.

“The article, entitled ‘Is Féidir Linn: Obama was right’, looks at the background to Obama’s recent claims that the famous stout tastes better in Ireland than anywhere else in the world. Is there any scientific evidence to back up this claim?

“It’s a light-hearted look at this very trivial story,” said Eoin, “Science is a very important subject which has an effect on every part of our lives. However, I still think it can be fun and entertaining and that we can engage people in science without it being boring!”
Source: (Cork Independent)

Derry

A farmer from outside Greysteel has spoken of the trail of destruction left behind by what he believes was a tornado, which whipped the roof of his 80-foot long shed into the sky last Wednesday.

Dairy farmer, Fergie Kelly from Upperlane Road was in the shed around 12.30 with 10 workers trimming the feet of about 50 cows when the drama unfolded.

Within seconds the winds picked up and the corrugated roof of the 35-foot wide shed peeled off and flew into the air.

“It sounded like a bomb went off,” he told the ‘Journal’, shocked. “It was pure panic. The cows stampeded and ran out, breaking down gates, and into the field. We ran out and saw the tornado down the field. The roof trusses were flying through the air. It was some sight. It was like a big black ‘V’ sign going through the sky. We watched the tin sheets from the roof swirling around and around and dropping into the field across the road.”
(Source: Derry Journal)

Donegal

Sheep rustling is rampant throughout Donegal and has been rapidly escalating due to the current economic climate, our proximity to the border and the growing bravado of brazen thieves, the Democrat can reveal.

The industry is worth €30-40m alone to the region with Donegal accounting for 16% of the national flock last year. And according to the latest agricultural data available, of the 2.2million breeding ewes in the country, the north west and predominately Donegal account for 18% of those ewes - that 396,000 ewes.

“An increasing trend in the theft of sheep has been noticed in Donegal and the North West, especially over the last twelve to eighteen months. Our suckler Chairman had 40 lambs stolen in Cork, but while the numbers are smaller in Donegal, they are happening on a much more frequent basis than elsewhere, according to the evidence available to us,” ICSA Press Officer Patrick Donohoe told the Democrat.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)

Down

A teenager died sniffing aerosols minutes after leaving a care home responsible for her safety, an inquest heard.

Darlene Bell, 15, was found in a playground in Newtownards, Co Down, late at night last June after telling staff at the unit that she was going out to get cigarettes.

She had used solvents in the past and was at the Ashgrove Centre care home in Newtownards, having recently been moved from a secure home which she could not have left at will.

Coroner Joanne Donnelly quizzed social worker witnesses at the Belfast inquest about why the disturbed adolescent, who suffered a litany of abuse in her early years, was able to leave.

Ashgrove night supervisor Gordon Moore said: "Ashgrove is not a secure centre, the locked gates are to keep people out, they are not to keep people in."
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Dublin

A father-of-three was gunned down in cold blood at his home in Dublin last Thursday. A gang of four men killed Liam Kenny (53) in a hail of bullets.

Seconds earlier they had tried to break down the front door of his house at Shancastle Avenue in Clondalkin.

The attack, which occurred at 4am, is the third gang related killing in Dublin in less than a month.

Mr Kenny was shot through the door panel of the house, gardai (police) said. A number of his family members were in the house at the time and were being treated for trauma and shock.
None of them were hurt in the shooting.

Officers said the murder occurred soon after the fourman gang tried to break down the door of the terraced house.

Within seconds, a gunman opened fire through the door panel, striking the victim.
(Source: The Evening Hearld)

Fermanagh

Derek Thornton has a dream. Several, in fact. And BBC NI has been helping to make those dreams a reality in a new four-part series.

Back in 2007, BBC NI met Derek, a farmer from Fermanagh, who was unable to swim, cook or dance.

We followed his outrageous efforts to master these skills, and many more besides, in a series called Derek's Dreams.

Fast forward to 2011 and 62-year-old Derek is back, but this time he is taking his ambition to the extreme.

With a program that sounds more like your average sexagenarian's idea of a worst nightmare, Derek's Dreaming Again takes Derrylin's most famous farmer on a brand new set of adventures.
Watch him attempt to sky dive in County Offaly, ski down some of Austria's most dangerous slopes, and survive Ray Mears-style in the wilds of Scotland.

"The skiing was the hardest," said Derek. "It was the boots - they would tame lions them boots, you can't put them on!

"They were afraid I'd fall and break my leg and claim a big lump of money from the BBC.
(Source: BBC NI News)

Galway

A distraught County Galway family is angry and bewildered over the failure of the Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore to demand the reopening of an inquiry into the suspicious death of a 34 year old man in Germany late last year.

Matthew Fitzpatrick from Portumna was found hanging in his Mannheim apartment and the authorities there deemed his death a suicide – his family insist otherwise saying that there were 34 marks on his body which haven’t been explained by the German police.

And when his body was flown home to Ireland, an independent post mortem was carried out and it was revealed at an inquest into his death that Matthew had a blunt force injury to the back of his head along with a deep injury to his lower back – injuries which were not revealed in the post mortem carried out in Germany.
(Source: GalwayBay Fm)

Kerry

Two Slovakian women who were running a brothel from a hotel did not realize they were committing a crime, a court has heard.

Simona Brutenicova (30) and Silvia Szelepcsenyiova (31) last week pleaded guilty to running a brothel at a holiday apartment at the Castleross Hotel in Killarney, Co Kerry, on May 26. Judge Olan Kelleher fined each of them €850 for the offence at Killarney District Court.

Detective Garda Jim Murphy told the court gardai (police) carried out a surveillance operation at the hotel following a complaint by management.

Gardai set up the surveillance operation on May 23 and obtained a warrant three days later and searched the premises.

Ms Brutenicova, of Rovnianaowa, Petrzalka, Bratislava, and Ms Szelepcsenyiova, of Ruzinou, Rezedova, Bratislava, were found with large amounts of cash in their possession. One had €6,000 and the other €2,300.
(Source: Irish Independent)

Kildare

The family of the toddler who fell through a cavity in the balcony of Naas church onto an unsuspecting parishioner say the little boy, known only as Alan, is recovering well following the incident.

The incident occurred when the baby fell through the gallery at the 10am Holy Communion Mass in the Church of Our Lady and St David on Sunday, 29 May. The parishioner who broke the child’s fall is believed to have sustained a relatively minor shoulder injury. Paramedics and gardaí (police) were called to the scene and the child and the male parishioner were removed outside for treatment before the child was removed to Tallaght hospital for further observation of his medical condition.
(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)

Kilkenny

A Kilkenny-based company has won a contract from ESB ecars to install home charge points for electric cars nationwide. The company has also integrated the first electric vehicle into its own commercial fleet of over 80 vehicles.

Gaeltec Utilities Ltd – which specializes in design, installation and commissioning in the energy, renewable and telecommunications sectors – will install up to 2,000 home charge points under the contract.

Through a home charge point, electric cars are fully charged overnight from the homeowner’s domestic electricity supply. In addition to the roll-out of home charge points, ESB ecars is rolling out the network of public and fast-charge points across Ireland as well as implementing the supporting IT systems.
(Source: Kilkenny People)

Laois

A man from Co Laois is recovering in an Australian hospital after an attack last week that left him with head injuries.

29-year-old Liam Ryan from Portlaoise was set upon last Thursday week in Brisbane.

He banged his head against a pavement after receiving a punch in the mouth.

A spokesperson said Mr Ryan is now out of intensive care at The Royal Brisbane Hospital.

19-year-old Brisbane man, Manaia Freeman Ramea, appeared in court on a charge of assault occasioning bodily harm.

Mr Ramea was remanded in custody.
(Source: RTE News)

Leitrim

Speeding was the biggest offence Leitrim drivers are received penalty points for in April this year.
Out of a total of 3,747 penalty points received by Leitrim drivers in April, 3,016 were issued for breaking the speed limit.

361 drivers from the county were issued with fixed charge penalty notices for driving while holding a mobile phone, while 150 failed to wear safety belts in April.

Over 50 Leitrim drivers had a tendency to cross the continuous white line and 31 drivers were notified that they failed to obey traffic lights.

The figures were collected by the Road Safety Authority and relate to those driving with a licence issued by Leitrim County Council.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)

Limerick

80 new jobs are to be created in County Limerick following the announcement that Teleflex Medical OEM is to expand its manufacturing operations in Annacotty.

TML, which has operations in Annacotty since 1983, manufactures catheter and tubing devices to support large original equipment manufacturers in the medical technology sector and the company says its expanded manufacturing capability will support existing and new clients.

The investment, which is supported by the IDA, will be in the areas of new buildings, machinery and equipment and the 80 new jobs will be in addition to the 143 staff currently employed at the Limerick operation.
(Source: Limerick Leader)

Longford

Scottish authorities have launched a major review into how convicted Longford rapist, Patrick Rae was allowed to flee Ireland and go undetected for almost two years before brutally murdering mother of three Mary McLaren in Scotland last year.

The investigation follows the imprisonment of Mr Rae for a minimum of twenty years for the murder of Ms McLaren in Dundee over a year ago.

Less than a week after Rae was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison, Scottish Police have confirmed an inquiry into the Rae case has been launched after it emerged the Longford native was was wanted in Ireland to face a sexual assault charge at the time of the murder.
(Source: Longford Leader)

Louth

The family of children attending a school in the diocese of Meath is asking their bishop to ensure schools under his patronage deal properly with bullying complaints.

The Co Louth family held a peaceful protest outside the Mullingar home of Bishop Michael Smith last week and left a letter stating their belief that his authority as delegated through the board of management and principal is “not being properly exercised”.

“Agreed procedures are not being adhered to in a current case of complaint,” the letter said and asked that those procedures be followed “to protect all parties involved”. The family has asked not to be publicly named because of fears for their children who are still in the school.
(Source: Irish Times)

Mayo

Two brothers who had a combined total of more than 50 criminal convictions were jailed for nine months each by Judge Mary Devins in relation to criminal damage charges dating back to March 4 last.

Jimmy McDonagh of 11 The Grove, Castlebar and Owen McDonagh 27 Castlegrove, Castlebar caused damage estimated at €6,791 when they decimated a car belonging to John Maughan, 1 Rowan Drive, Castlebar using iron bars and bottles. A glass patio door belonging to Mr Maughan was also smashed by Owen McDonagh causing approximately €1,100 worth of damage.

Both men said they had been extremely intoxicated when the incident occurred and had no recollection of the events leading up to or during the destructive acts.

Defence Solicitor for Jimmy McDonagh, Alan Mulchrone, said the events of the day had spiralled out of control and the two men had originally intended going on a fishing trip to Clifden.
(Source: The Mayo News)

Meath

The tragic death of the talented Bellewstown racer, Derek Brien, during the Isle of Man TT motorcycle races last Monday has plunged the east Meath area into mourning.

The 34-year-old, who won the junior race at the Manx Grand Prix on the Isle of Man four years ago, crashed at Gorse Lea on the second lap last Monday's Supersport race.

Medics rushed to the scene but the Meath man was pronounced dead a short time afterwards.
An investigation has now been launched into the cause of the crash which was the second fatal accident - and third death - at the event over the past week.

Mr Brien was a son of Thomas and Rosemary Brien. He was a carpener by trade and was highly regarded in local, national and international motorcycle racing circles.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)

Monaghan

A young musician died after he was viciously assaulted by a gang who tried to steal his car as he slept in it.

Gavin O'Connor was attacked in the early hours of last Saturday morning in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan.

The 22-year-old suffered serious injuries before he was dumped about three miles away in the village of Lisdoonan.

Mr O'Connor died in Our Lady Of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, late last Saturday night.

Gardai (police) are investigating if he was driven over by his own vehicle.
(Source: Dundalk Democrat)

Offaly

Unemployment continues to rise in Offaly with Live Register figures showing an increase of 2% across the county over the last two months.

The figure now stands at 9,241, up 2% since April and 7% from 2010 figures.

Birr and Tullamore both recorded 8% increases between May 2010 and 2011 while Edenderry recorded a 6% increase.

There are now 4,269 on the Live Register in Tullamore, up 1% from April of this year.
Meanwhile there are 2,495 in Birr, a 2% increase between April and May.

finally there are 2,477 on the Live Register in Edenderry, also an increase of 2% over the past two months.
(Source: Offaly Express)

Roscommon

Detailed plans have been submitted to Roscommon County Council by Peter Hynes for the construction of a retail and commercial development at Ardsallagh Beg.

Plans include the demolition of existing storage sheds, workshop, and retail shop, together with permission for a new 1,210 square metres retail and commercial development.

The development will be subdivided into 3 units consisting of a new retail shop and adjoining retail units, together with all associated site and landscaping works, on a site of 405 hectares.
(Source: Build.ie)

Sligo

A woman pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of a 54-year-old woman and serious harm to the woman's husband in August of last year.

Aisling Cummins, 26, of Courthouse Drive, Grange, Co Sligo pleaded not guilty to a charge of drink driving on the same date.

Karen Mounsey, 54, was killed in the crash at Drumfin, Riverstown, Co Sligo and her husband James was seriously injured when the car they were travelling in was hit by Ms Cummin's car on 28 August 2010.

The couple had been traveling to work in Boyle, Co Roscommon, where Mrs Mounsey ran the restaurant in King House.

Her husband James was in Sligo Circuit court on crutches for the short hearing which was told that he was very badly injured in the crash.
(Source: RTE News)

Tipperary

It has been claimed in a court in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, that a secondary school operated an admissions policy that indirectly discriminated against a Traveler boy.

A ruling in the case involving 13-year-old John Stokes could have widespread implications for schools' admission policies across the country.

In December, the Equality Tribunal ruled that the Christian Brothers High School in Clonmel indirectly discriminated against Travelers.

It said that giving priority to those who had a father in the school was indirectly discriminating against Travelers, as very few of them had attended secondary school.

The case was taken on John's behalf by his mother Mary, who gave evidence in court last week.
(Source: RTE News)

Tyrone

A Tyrone club footballer involved in the off-the-ball incident that saw inter-county star Joe McMahon's jaw broken in two places has received just the minimum four-week suspension.

McMahon's also lost several teeth in the incident in the first round of the county league in mid-April, when his club Omagh St Enda's were playing Moortown.

The Tyrone County Board launched an investigation and it was reported last Wednesday that as a result, Moortown player, Martin McGuigan has received a four-week ban for 'striking'.

McMahon was stretchered off the pitch and taken to Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry where he needed surgery for the injuries he received.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Waterford

Valerie Collender, originally from Cappagh, Co. Waterford and who is now a Cardiac Rehabilitation Coordinator from Cork South Infirmary Victoria Hospital and her team were amongst the winners at the Crystal Clear MSD Health Literacy Awards.

At a ceremony in Dublin, Valerie and her team were recognized for their project, 'Take Heart – A Guide to Heart Surgery'. The 'Take Heart' program comprises a booklet titled 'Take Heart' which is used by patients before, during and after they have a heart operation. The booklet helps patients understand their diagnosis and make appropriate choices regarding their lifestyle following heart surgery.
(Source: Waterford Today)

Westmeath

A consultant psychiatrist has asked the High Court to declare he holds a permanent position at St Loman’s hospital in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, where he has worked for more than five years.
Seán Ó Domhnaill, Castlesize Road, Naas, Kildare, claims a decision by the Health Service Executive (HSE) to advertise the post he currently holds showed an intention to deprive him of lawful entitlements arising as a result of his completing four years continuous service under rolling fixed-term contracts.

Dr Ó Domhnaill has sought injunctions to prevent the appointment of anyone, other than him, to the post. The HSE had given an undertaking to the High Court to suspend interviews for the post pending the outcome of his proceedings.
(Source: Irish Times)

Wexford

Gardai (police) believe a gang that fired a shot during a post office raid in Co Wexford, wounding the postmistress and her son, are from Dublin and have been involved in a number of recent raids in the southeast.

The post office in Oulart, which was targeted by the armed gang just before 10am on Tuesday, was open for business again last Wednesday morning.

The injured postmistress, Chris Dempsey (66), was working behind the counter.

She was grazed on the right elbow by shotgun pellets when one of the raiders fired one of three guns they were carrying, including a full-barrel shotgun, a sawn-off shotgun and a rifle.

Ms Dempsey’s son John (31) was more seriously wounded in the leg but is expected to make a full recovery.

The gang entered the post office and demanded money.
(Source: Irish Times)

Wicklow

A disused building which has served as both a hotel and a construction office has been gutted in a fire near Ashford Village in Co. Wicklow.

A blaze was reported at the Cullenmore Hotel off the N11 at around 1am last Wednesday morning. Five units of Wicklow Fire Service attended the scene and it took them three-and-a-half hours to bring the fire under control.

The hotel closed in 2002 to allow for the construction of the new N11 and the building was then used as construction offices for the road project but had since fallen into disrepair. At the time of its closure the Wicklow People noted that it was a sad time for locals, who attended a farewell party.
(Source: Journal.ie)

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