News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties


Martin Kelly (36), a bus driver, of Barrack St, Strabane, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of 27-year-old Andrew Burns, also from Strabane, at Donnyloop, Castlefin, on February 12th 2008.

It is the prosecution’s case that Kelly was part of a joint enterprise to lure Mr Burns from Strabane to Donnyloop, where he was shot twice.

Last week the trial at the Special Criminal Court, which is expected to last three weeks, heard evidence from State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy who said Mr. Burns died from a gunshot wound to his back which caused massive loss of blood.

State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy told the court that she carried out a post mortem on Mr Burns’s body on February 13. She found four gunshot wounds, two entry wounds and two exit wounds, showing that two shots had hit him.

She said that no bullets were recovered. One gunshot wound was a flesh wound to the left shoulder. The other gunshot had entered the right side of the back and had caused injuries to the aorta and bowel.

She said the bullet had entered the right side of the aorta which is main blood vessel. “This man died from gunshot injuries,” she added.

The gunshot wound to the back had penetrated the abdominal cavity and Mr Burns had lost “a substantial quantity of blood which caused his collapse and death”.

“As death was due to blood loss he would have been capable of walking for a considerable distance before collapsing. Without urgent surgical intervention he could not have survived,” she said.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)


A bomb alert near where a military homecoming parade is taking place in south Belfast has been declared a hoax.

The Kings Hall parade is being held to honour troops who have returned from Afghanistan.

A number of roads closed due to the alert in the grounds of a bar on the Lisburn Road are open again.
Army bomb experts dealt with a suspicious package and declared it an elaborate hoax.

Hundreds of soldiers from the Irish Guards and Royal Irish Regiment will parade in front of an invited audience during the event.

At the last homecoming parade in Belfast in 2008, police in riot gear kept opposing crowds apart.
The policing bill came to almost £500,000.

The Ministry of Defence turned down an initial offer from Belfast City Council for a parade through the city.
(Source: BBC News)


Two masked men armed with a gun have hijacked a taxi before burning the car out.

The incident happened in the Fountain Terrace area of Strabane at about 10pm on Friday.

The PSNI said two men dressed in black, wearing balaclavas and gloves approached the car and forced the driver out.

They drove into Innisfree Gardens, where a third masked man was seen standing.

The car, a blue Renault Trafic, was found burnt-out a short distance away in Innisfree Gardens.
The taxi driver was not injured in the hijack.
(Source: The Evening Herald)


A man has been rescued from mountains in County Fermanagh after suffering from suspected heart problems.

The victim - who is believed to be aged in his mid-40s - was found by the North West Mountain Rescue Team on the Cuilcagh Mountain on Saturday afternoon.

Belfast Coastguard were asked to request the help of the Irish Coastguard helicopter, which flew in from Sligo to take part in the rescue.

The man was then flown to St Angelo Airport in Enniskillen and then brought to the Erne Hospital.
At time of press his condition was unknown.
(Source: Irish Times)


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Almost 250 workers at Aviva Insurance in Galway are facing into a further month of uncertainty and job insecurity, as they await a formal announcement from HQ in London about the possible axing of one in every two jobs from its 2,000 strong Irish workforce.

Management of Aviva insists that its internal review of its Irish operations in Galway, Cork and Dublin is still underway – the grim news of the official numbers it seeks to lay-off in Ireland is expected in about five weeks, with Christmas just around the corner.

The insurance giant has kept tight-lipped about its intentions but an RTÉ’s Prime Time program last week revealed that 1,000 out of its 2,000 workers in Ireland face the chop – almost 500 more than had originally been feared.