News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties


Fr Tommy Marrinan, Parish Priest of Gort, said this was a celebration of the life of an adventurer, who probed great heights and depths.

He said the caves in the area - that Artur loved to explore - were permanently filled with water.

He said it was ironic that his funeral mass was being held in that particular church in Kiltartan, which was submerged four feet in water during last year's floods.

Tributes were paid to the underground mapping carried out by the Polish diver to assess future flooding problems.

Margaret Kozlowski said her brother had always followed his heart and cave exploration was his great passion.

She said it would be very difficult for the family to get over this tragedy.
(Source: RTE News)


A twelve-year search for ' Kerry's Queen of the Ballad' ended in a jubilant reunion last week, when Tralee historian Peter Locke finally met Eileen Sheehan of Abbeydorney.

Peter's quest to find Eileen ( now Flaherty) began after he came across her ads in old editions of The Kerryman while compiling his own CD ' Dance Halls and Dance Bands.'

Having trawled dozens of editions of The Kerryman from the 1960s, one name kept popping up in the entertainment section — Eileen Sheehan, Kerry's Queen of the Ballad. Eileen, a well known face on the music scene at the time, not only performed in Kerry but throughout the country.

Despite numberos enquiries on Peter's part, no one seemed to know the whereabouts of Eileen, until he was put in touch with Ballymac man Gerry Savage, a relative of Eileen's husband.

" Thanks to Gerry I made contact with Eileen and we had a great time catching up this morning," Peter told The Kerryman after last Tuesday's meeting.

"It was wonderful to finally meet the lady who I had been searching for the past 12 years. Several people I asked didn't know who she was, others told me she had imigrated, but when I spoke to Gerry she told me she's alive and well in Abbeydorney. She'a s wonderful woman and I got a huge welcome when I arrived."

Peter explained that Eileen, now in her mid 80s, recorded an LP and EP during her heyday, and was runner up in the national Queen of the Ballad competition in 1962.

" When the music scene changed and the big acts like Dickie Rock and the showbands took over, Eileen unfortunately faded from the scene, as did the old Irish ballad, so it's great to bring her into the public eye again. She was huge in her day."

Eileen's LP and EP — featuring songs like Ballyseedy Cross, A Brave Boy From Tralee and Dan O'Hara — will now be transferred to CD by Peter's friend John Quinn in Coventry.
(Source: Kerryman)


The new confidence in the agricultural sector will be evident at the National Ploughing Championships in Athy, Co Kildare, this week where there has been a huge rise in the machinery section.

“There has been an enormous demand for space for machinery on the site and as you know machinery sales are a barometer of the wellbeing of the sector,” said Anna Marie McHugh, the public relations officer for the ploughing association.

“We are expecting a record attendance here, but we have been astonished at the demand for machinery space.”

She confirmed Taoiseach Enda Kenny would be attending on Thursday, while other Ministers would also attend. “The Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, has indicated he will be here on at least two of the days, and the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan, will also be here.”

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin will also attend the event, which is expected to attract 180,000 people over the three days from Tuesday.

The championships will be formally opened by President Mary McAleese on Tuesday, her last time to do so as President.

The event will be a major hustings for those who wish to replace her in the park, and all presidential candidates in the field – Michael D Higgins, Gay Mitchell, Mary Davis and Seán Gallagher – have signaled their intention to be at the championships. Ms Davis will have a stand.

Ms McHugh said the preparations on the 700-acre site near Athy were almost complete.

“The Army has been on the canal all morning constructing the pedestrian bridge which allows access from that side of the town to the site, and it is expected to be complete by the weekend.”

A traffic plan which will cover an area 30 miles around the site has been prepared by the Garda. Traffic will be funneled into regional car parks – 400 acres have been set aside for cars.
(Source: Irish Times)


Champion Irish horse trainer Aidan O'Brien has been hit with a bill for more than half a million euro for unpaid tax.

The director of Carriganog Stud in Piltown, Co Kilkenny, was among the top 10 biggest settlements on the latest defaulters' list.

He settled a bill for 526,077 euro with Ireland's Revenue Commissioners following an investigation into tax evasion on offshore assets.