News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties


The report found that “litter control is a major challenge” and cited traffic as a problem: “Vehicular traffic seems to be at a standstill for ages in certain parts of the city centre. Even getting around on a bicycle is challenging for the adjudicator who senses an element of road rage from the impatient and frustrated car drivers who often react to being at a standstill by charging into the next available open space.”

On a positive note, the report praised the character of Kilkenny, calling it “a real hang out city ... (where) people wander about and chat, even in the rain.”
(Source: Kilkenny People)


Crime dropped by a quarter in Portlaoise this summer but drugs continue to be a major issue, according to a garda report just published.

Senior gardai revealed the figures to Portlaoise Town Councillors at the Joint Policing Meeting in County Hall. And local law and order appears to be so well maintained, one councillor even joked that perhaps the gardaí can afford to go on holiday.

Superintendent Philip Lyons reported an overall 26 percent reduction for the period of June - August from the same period last year, and also a general drop in crime figures from the period March - May of this year, with only burglaries showing an increase.

The gardaí report a total of 54 public order offences detected in Portlaoise over the last quarter, which represents a reduction of 20 incidents from the previous three months. The nature of these offences were drunkenness and threatening or abusive behaviour. There were also five incidents of trespassing on private property.

Although there were 40 burglaries, which stands at an increase of 14 crimes on the previous quarter, Supt Lyons said this figure is down 16 percent from last year. On theft, there has been an 11 percent decrease, with 10 thefts of vehicles, two from the person, 49 from shops and 65 other types of theft, including the theft of heating oil, diesel, tools and items stolen from cars.

There were also 43 offences of criminal damage reported, one less than the last three months. The superintendent also said that drugs continue to be a major issue for the guards, with 18 detections for the sale or supply and 23 offences recorded for possession. The gardaí also report a 20 percent decrease in drink driving offences, which the superintendent ascribed to the increased number of mandatory alcohol tests.
(Source: Leinster Express)


Children as young as nine are being treated for self harm in the North West and figures for those seeking help from suicide awareness groups in Co Leitrim are rising dramatically according to STOP spokesperson, Mary McTernan.

Speaking with the Leitrim Observer at the start of World Suicide Prevention Week, Mrs McTernan said that mental health and, in particular, suicide prevention was still woefully underfunded.

Referring to a recent study by UCD Professor of psychiatry, Kevin Malone, Mrs McTernan said that it was clear the numbers of people self harming was increasing at an alarming rate.

The study compared data from 1993-1998 and 2003 to 2008 and found that the suicide rates for children and teenagers has doubled in Ireland since 1993.

The study also found there was a 40 percent increase in the rate of suicide among boys aged 15 to 17 since 1993, with the number of girls under 18 taking their own lives doubling during the same period.

Other studies have shown that members of the travelling community were six times more likely to take their lives than the settled population and members of the gay community were a staggering seven times more likely to self harm.

While nearly 500 deaths last year were attributed to suicide a further 193 deaths returned an undetermined verdict and Mrs McTernan said that it was clear that well in excess of 700 people were taking their lives in Ireland each year – far higher than the number dying on our roads.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)


Limerick County Council has started boarding up a 13th century church ruin that underisables have been using to drink and take drugs in.

Last year an article in the Leader highlighted how the adjoining graveyard in Caherconlish had become so overgrown that it resembled a ‘jungle’, according to locals.

Volunteers have cleaned up the graveyard and it has gone from being one of the worst cemeteries in East Limerick to being one of the best said Cllr Eddie Wade.

“The council under archaeologist Sarah McCutcheon are boarding up the windows and putting in a door so the undesirables can’t go in. It’s sad that it has to be done. However, gardai in Caherconlish have kept a close eye on the church and the messing in there has been curtailed. Now it’s up to us as a council to help them,” said Cllr Eddie Wade.

Due to the dilapidated state of the ruin the councillor said safety was a big concern due to the number of people now visiting their cemetery.