News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties


And for dolphin watchers it is peak season, as they follow the fish population which is also at its peak, Mr Lane added.

"Two or three weeks ago it was hard to spot a pod," he told the Irish Independent. "But any time from the end of July to November is the best time to see them. It's really a hidden jewel in our crown," he said.
(Source: Irish Independent)


The Housing Executive has closed two sub-offices in County Down after a member of staff was threatened.

It said an employee at an office in Ballynahinch was subjected to verbal and threatening behaviour by a member of the public.

The executive said another office in Newcastle was also closed as part of the risk assessment procedure into the incident, because it was manned by a single member of staff.

It said it hoped it would be able to re-open the offices, but it must be satisfied that staff will be safe.
It is believed the person responsible for the attack was known to the staff member.

"For the female worker who was working there in isolation, it was extremely traumatic," said Liam Gunn of the Housing Executive.

"The perception of the staff member was that there was the potential for violence."
(Source: BBC News)


Gangland thug Shane Lyons poses with his girlfriend -- months before he subjected her to an attack so savage she was left fearing for her life.

Lyons (41) locked his then girlfriend Fiona Kelly into his bedroom and brutally assaulted her and a close pal, Kerry Lee Ball, in a shocking incident at his southside home on August 31, 2009.

The Herald can reveal that Lyons is a notorious gangster who has links with 'Fat' Freddie Thompson's gang.

He was also involved in a major dispute with gangland boss Eamon 'The Don' Dunne over a stolen car, before 'The Don' was shot dead in a Cabra pub last year.

Lyons is also a convicted drugs trafficker who was jailed for four years in March 2001 after he admitting importing IR£160,000 worth of cannabis from South Africa.

The violent crook has also links to veteran gangster Martin 'The Viper' Foley.

Last week, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Lyons (41) choked Ms Kelly before locking the door and telling her to "sleep on the floor like the animal she was".

A friend who tried to protect her was then beaten so badly by Lyons that she had to be taken away in an ambulance.

Lyons, Ms Kelly and her pal Kerry Lee Ball, who had given birth to a baby six weeks earlier, had all been on a night out together before he attacked them at his Rathfarnham, Dublin, home.
Ms Kelly described Lyons during the attack as "the face of pure evil".

Lyons had separated from his wife after she had a miscarriage and had been seeing Ms Kelly for six months at the time of the attack on August 31, 2009.
(Source: The Evening Herald)


The sister of a GAA player who was seriously injured during a match in the US has described him as an inspiration after he woke from a coma and started to communicate with his family.

Fermanagh footballer Mark McGovern sustained serious head injuries during an off-the-ball incident for the Ulster GAA San Francisco club in June.

His parents and three sisters traveled to the United States and have been by his bedside during the last five weeks.

They were present when Mark regained consciousness after waking from a coma, and have been able to communicate with him.

His sister Grace said his progress has been remarkable.

"From being told Mark may not make it through the first night to beating a liver condition, pneumonia and MRSA alongside his brain injury, he has fought everything that has been put in front of him," she said.

"Mark has now regained consciousness and is fully aware of his surroundings and everyone around him. Mark is yet to talk but has been trying to lip words in order to communicate with us, and has attempted a few steps with assistance."
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


Number of merchant ships docking has more than halved since the ‘boom’ years
The economic recession has resulted in a massive falloff in traffic through Galway Harbor – the number of merchant ships docking here has more than halved since the ‘building boom’ years and the tonnage the ships carry has also dropped significantly.

In 2005, 419 merchant ships brought 959,000 tons of goods to Galway Harbor but in 2010 only 187 merchant ships arrived carrying just 630,000 tons, 232 fewer ships and 329,000 tons less.

Despite the reduction in traffic and tonnage, the Central Statistics Office’s latest release, Statistics on Port Traffic, showed that Galway Harbor remains Ireland’s seventh busiest port in terms of tonnage traffic.
(Source: GalwayBay Fm)


The first sod has been turned on a new €97.03 million Tralee bypass in Co Kerry.

The project will divert an estimated 25 per cent of all traffic away from the town centre, reduce travel times for many people and bring benefits for regional tourism and road safety, it was said during the sod-turning ceremony.