News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties



A County Londonderry property developer, whose firm collapsed in 2010, has been declared bankrupt.

Colin Fletcher owned CRF Developments which bought property in the Portrush and Portstewart areas.

The firm had planned a major development on Portstewart promenade but the business got into financial difficulties.

Ulster Bank then appointed an administrator to assess the company.

In May, a report from the administrator estimated that at the time CRF Developments failed, it owed the bank almost £16m.

However, the sale of its properties will only raise an estimated £5m - leaving the bank with a loss of more than £10m.

Mr Fletcher, who has an address in Portrush, was declared bankrupt last week after a creditors' petition was lodged at the High Court.

The administrator said none of the property portfolio has yet been sold as it had taken time to resolve "a number of legal and practical issues".

However, he added that a number of parties had expressed interest in particular properties and several offers had been received.

The administrator also said it would not be of benefit to creditors to try to develop the firm's land bank.

The Northern Ireland property sector was badly hit when the property bubble burst.
Several prominent developers have been bankrupted after they were unable to repay huge bank loans.
(Source: BBC News)


Shotgun residue was found in the car of a man abducted and murdered by republicans, an inquest has been told.

Charlie Armstrong went missing in 1981 on his way to Mass in Crossmaglen, south Armagh. His remains were found in a bog in County Monaghan in July 2010.

He is one of the Disappeared, 16 people abducted and murdered in the Troubles.

The Republic's state pathologist told the Dublin inquest the cause of death could not be determined but Mr Armstrong's skull was badly damaged.

"The skull was very badly damaged which may suggest there had been some injuries, but I can't prove it," Professor Marie Cassidy said.

A jury at Dublin City Coroner's Court recorded a verdict of death by unlawful killing and found Mr Armstrong suffered an unnatural and violent death at the hands of a paramilitary organisation.

The IRA is believed to have abducted and murdered 57-year-old Mr Armstrong, one of the so-called Disappeared.

His remains - weighed down with stones - were found less than 300 meters away from the bodies of John McClory and Brian McKinney, whose murders were admitted by the IRA.
(Source: BBC News)


Bagenalstown is appealing the extraordinary decision by the national Community Games body to ban the entire area from participating for a year. The soccer team is facing a staggering five-year ban, which is also under appeal.

“It’s very unfair,” said under-12 soccer mentor Michael O’Neill. “At the end of the day, it’s all about the children and they did nothing wrong. It’s terrible.”

Hundreds of children from the area look set to lose out as a result of supporters’ behavior at the under-12 soccer final on Sunday 14 August. “I’ve a young lad starting soccer and if the ban comes into effect, he’ll be too old to play when it’s lifted,” said Des Kehoe, a parent who was at the final and believes the punishment is far too severe.

“It’s completely unfair. The reason for entering the pitch was to console our children. Castlebar were on the pitch as well, but they were left alone,” added Mr Kehoe.

Several parents approached the referee, who they believed robbed Bagenalstown of All-Ireland gold. “Parents were very emotional. They went onto the field and people were shouting and screaming at the ref. It was ‘ah, ref you robbed us’; it wasn’t foul language, in fairness,” added Michael Nevin, a parent and mentor in Bagenalstown.

“The area’s being slated for one incident. I know it’s not OK but it happens. The ref played nine minutes extra time. That seems to me that he knew he was wrong,” added Mr Nevin.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


Gardaí believe that one gang were behind at least two robberies in the County Cavan region early last week and have appealed for anyone who has any information about a black Mondeo car acting suspiciously to contact them.

In a brazen raid last Monday morning the gang arrived at the home of Tom Rehill near the village of Crosskeys and forced their way into the house where they robbed a gun case and its three shotguns.

Mr Rehill's 18-year-old daughter was on her own in the house when the gang struck at about 9.30am last Monday morning. After the gang forced their way into the house and were ransacking it she had the presence of mind to lock herself in her bedroom before exiting the house through a bedroom window and running to a neighbor's house.

As the gang made off with the gun case containing the shotguns a neighbor of Mr Rehill's happened to arrive on the scene in his car and tried to block them in but they managed to make their getaway.