News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties


Mr McGovern finally came out of a coma on 3 August and his family said he was recovering well.

Medical bills for the Fermanagh man, who was just in San Francisco for the summer, are running in excess of $1m. The Irish community in San Francisco have already begun fundraising efforts.

The Mark McGovern Rehabilitation Fundraising Committee was recently formed to raise funds.
(Source: BBC News)


A Bushypark man, who had undergone heart transplant surgery, was among the 2,321 competitors who successfully completed the gruelling Ironman 70.3 event in Galway at the weekend.

It’s hard to believe that 12 years ago, Ernesto Antonio, was critically ill with heart failure in the coronary care unit of University Hospital Galway. He spent three weeks in intensive care before receiving a new heart after being transferred to the Mater Hospital in Dublin.

But last Sunday, he completed the Ironman triathlon in six hours 14 minutes and 10 seconds. He was the 1,146th athlete to pass the finish line. “Ah don’t talk to me about the time, I wanted to do it in six hours,” he laughed. “I’ll have to come back next year to break the six hour barrier.”

The 47-year-old who now lives in Brentwood, England had always wanted to do a triathlon before his transplant, and when he saw the Ironman was coming to his birth place, Galway, he jumped at the opportunity.
(Source: GalwayBay Fm)


Kerry's live register dipped slightly last month with 19 people coming off the register in the county.
he minor drop saw the county's live register fall from 16,728 in July to stand at 16,709 in August.

Of Kerry's seven individual social welfare offices only two saw an increase last month, Cahersiveen and Tralee, which also deals with welfare claimants from Castleisland.

Tralee's Live Register increased by 40 in August and now stands at 7,244 accounting for almost half of all welfare claimants in the entire county.

In Cahersiveen the register increased marginally by 14 to stand at 756 at the end of last month.
All other social welfare offices in Kerry saw small drops in the live register tallies.

Killarney dropped by 37 to stand at 2,704. Listowel and Kenmare both fell by 11 and are now at 3,317 and 579 respectively. In Dingle the total fell by seven and is now 760. Killorglin also fell by seven and now stands at 1,349.

The number of people signing on is not truly indicative of the true levels of joblessness in the county and it's generally believed it would be significantly larger were it not for the large numbers of Kerry people who have emigrated in recent months to seek work overseas.
(Source: Irish Times)


There has been “a dramatic increase in overcrowding” in hospital emergency departments, according to the Irish Nurses’ and Midwives’ Organisation. 

The organization has called for the opening of closed beds at all hospitals including Naas General, following the release of figures relating to patient numbers on trolleys during August. 

In all 221 patients were forced to wait on trolleys at Naas A&E during the month of August, owing to the lack of available beds. While this figure was down somewhat on the total for August 2010 (292) it was nevertheless dramatically up on the figures for earlier years, including a total of 68 for August 2007. 

Nationally, the INMO says there has been a 106% increase since August 2007. 

According to general secretary Liam Doran, the latest figures “confirm the worst fears” of the organization. He called for the opening of closed beds, saying that the trolley figures reflected the volume of bed closures nationwide, along with the reduction in continuing (long-term) care beds and the cutbacks in community-based services.

(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)


Kilkenny City has been named Ireland’s Tidiest Large Urban Centre for the second year in a row in the annual Tidy Towns awards.

With a total of 308 points, Kilkenny took home one of the top prizes – including a trophy and e5,000 – as the results were announced last Monday. Its score was just two points shy of the 310 given to the overall National Award Winner, Killarney.

Inistioge meanwhile earned a Bronze Medal Award of e400, with a score of 298 points.

In the County Awards, Kilkenny City took the top honor in Co Kilkenny for e1,000, followed by an award of Highly Commended for Inistioge (e800) and Commended for Tullahought (e500), with 294 points.

The e500 Endeavour Award for Co Kilkenny went to Goresbridge, whose score rose to 219 points, an increase of 10.61% over its score from last year.

The adjudicator’s report for Kilkenny city singled out many estates and locations that looked especially picturesque, and it gave particular praise to the group Keep Kilkenny Beautiful.

It praised the “aggressive tree planting program”, the Linear Park wildlife walk and landscaping, and even “the singing birds”.