\"News

News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties

\"News

News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

Antrim

A young mother who is battling terminal cancer has spoken about the heartbreaking prospect of never seeing her children start school.


Antrim woman Terri Moore (23) first felt a lump on her stomach when she was pregnant with her daughter Macey 17 months ago.
She was diagnosed with a hernia but, when she fell pregnant again earlier this year and the problem worsened, she insisted on further tests.


Last month Terri and her family received the shocking news that the lump is in fact a deadly, malignant tumour which has spread to many of her organs. 
The rare form of cancer is known as Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) and has a poor survival rate - it is estimated only around 20 per cent of sufferers receiving treatment live for three years after diagnosis.


Terri told the Antrim Guardian: "When we were first told it was cancer I actually took the news quite well. 
“So many people are diagnosed with different forms of the disease and survive so I was just concerned about getting treatment as soon as possible."
'

However Terri is currently 27 weeks pregnant with a baby boy, who she and her partner Andy have already named Max. 
Doctors have taken the decision to induce the birth next week in order for Terri to undergo treatment without posing a risk to her unborn child.
(Source: Antrim Guardian)

Armagh

A man in his forties has tragically died after being overcome by smoke when a saucepan overheated at his home in Newry.

Firefighters attended the scene at the house in High Street last Thursday night after neighbors were alerted by the smoke alarm going off.

It is understood fire officers found no evidence of a blaze.   The victim, who lived alone, was taken by ambulance crew to hospital around midnight, but he later died.
(Source: Crossexmainer.co.uk)

Carlow

A teenager girl who fell off a bouncing castle and damaged her spine during the summer has taken her first steps since the accident. Family and friends of Suzanne O’Neill worried that she might never walk again after the accident, which saw her damage her spinal cord and vertebrae in her spine.

But what doctors at the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire didn’t realise was that 16-year-old Suzanne wasn’t going to give up without a fight. And now the plucky youngster from Raheen, Hacketstown is looking forward to getting back on her feet.

“She’s doing really well. The doctors are very happy with her, they’re all very pleased,” said her mother Anne.

The only daughter of Pat and Anne O’Neill, Suzanne is being looked after in Dun Laoghaire by a fantastic team of doctors and nurses. Having made slow and steady progress from the time of her accident on 30 July, she is now allowed home for a few hours every Saturday.

“She’s home every Saturday just for the day, but we hope in the next two or three weeks that she’ll be able to come home for the night. She took her first steps last week. She’s very positive, her attitude is very optimistic,” added Anne.

Local families have rallied around the young girl, a former student of Tullow Community School who transferred to Coláiste Eoin, Hacketstown shortly before the accident.

“She has fierce determination. Hopefully, she’ll make a full recovery,” said neighbour Liam Hickey, who is helping to organize a fundraising tractor run in aid of Suzanne this weekend. “We’re expecting a big crowd at the tractor run. It would be nice to make as much as we can for her now,” added Liam, who is also involved in organizing a cabaret and auction night in aid of Suzanne the following weekend.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)

Cavan

It's the talk of Drumlane. The Drumlane Dramatic Society, which no longer exists as an entity, came up trumps in the National Prize Bond Draw recently. The question on everyone's lips is, who is going to claim the money?

Well the good and generous souls in Drumlane are in reality not too concerned about collecting the money but would like to see it reinvested in further prize bonds at least. The society invested £75 back in January, 1975, and wait for it, won the amazing sum of €75 in June, 2011.
(Source: The Anglo Celt)

Clare

Clare County Councilor PJ Ryan has become one of the latest victims of crime in the county, after property valued at €2,500 was stolen from his business premises in Sixmilebridge.


Mr Ryan, who runs a farm machinery and home heating oil business in Iverstown with his sons, turned up for work last week to discover that a total of 21 batteries had been stolen from lorries, tractors and environmental storage bins in the garage compound. The theft has prompted the county councilor to call for the introduction of legislation to regularize the scrap metal business.


“Scrap metal is big business and I’ve no doubt the batteries were stolen for their lead content and their scrap value. Where I have a serious problem is the fact that the scrap metal business is virtually unregulated.


“All deals are primarily cash transactions; no questions are asked and no records are kept. Unlike when selling jewelery, sellers don’t have to produce any form of identification when trading in scrap metal. Certainly the legislation needs to be tightened up,” he told The Clare Champion.


Councilor Ryan believes the thieves were well conversed with the layout of the garage.


“To me it seems as if they knew the layout. We have good security, three CCTVs were in operation, yet they were able to avoid them. No vehicle went in or out of the yard so they had to gain access through neighboring farmland.


“This is the first major theft we’ve had. There were some petty things in the past, nothing major. With these boys, nothing is safe. I’ve heard that manhole covers in cities are being robbed wholesale.

nything they can get their hands on is gone. Scrap metal is very big business at the moment, particularly if the raw material is costing you nothing,” he declared.


On the same night, two batteries were taken from a mechanical digger at Cappalaheen, between Kilkishen and Broadford. Almost 200 liters of diesel was also taken from the Hyundai track machine.

\“In the second case the digger was parked two fields in and wasn’t visible from the road,” Councillor Ryan pointed out.
(Source: The Clare Champion)

Cork

Ninety per cent of Cork plasterers are unemployed, while just eight per cent of plasterers working in the county hail from Cork.

These are the stark figures revealed to the Cork Independent by the plasterer's union this week. The new Operative Plasterers and Allied Trades Society of Ireland (OPATSI) representative in Cork said that external contracts are continuing to erode local employment opportunities, while Government schemes to boost employment are not being policed.

Barry Murphy, who was appointed to the position in August, criticised a Sustainable Energy Ireland scheme which was launched to reduce carbon emissions and create much-needed employment in the building sector.

“This money is not going to the local economy or the Irish unemployed construction workers, it needs to be policed. The money is going to contractors that are not compliant with the Registered Employment Agreements, as set out by the Labour Court," he said.

“Only eight per cent of guys working as plasterers in Cork are local lads, or even Irish. I’m not racist, that’s not what this is about. It’s about the Government creating schemes to boost the economy and local employment but workers are coming in and destroying workers’ standards. The majority of working plasterers in Cork are not from Ireland," he continued.
Source: (Cork Independent)

Derry

Three female mental health sufferers in Inishowen have urged people to look at them and not to think they are nutters.

Part of Get together Inishowen (GTI), Michelle Hannah, Helen Rees Doherty and Sharon Quinn, who have all suffered some form of mental health issues, say the worst part is the stigma and shame attached to their disorders.

“You’re constantly worried what people think.

“Even when you go to she the psychiatric nurse you’re thinking people’ll be saying ‘There she is, she’s mad’, or something like that,” explained Helen.

“It’s the simple things that can sometimes be the hardest to do.”

Facilitated by the Worklink centre in Carndonagh, GTI was set up in 2005 to attempt to defeat social isolation. It now has around 50 members who meet on a monthly basis for outings and other social events, which include trips to the theatre, the Old Lamass Fair and even a gruelling climb up Scalp mountain.

“The group has been a huge help in my life,” said Michelle. “It gives you something to look forward to and get excited about. Before I came here I hadn’t left the house in four years, depression had completely taken over. The psychiatric nurse I had been seeing suggested I came and since I haven’t looked back.

“I have severe mental health problems for many years and since I started GTI I can’t believe how far I have come.”

Though the three women are still living with their illness they are all very quick to let people know that once you are brave enough to step forward, there is a whole lot of help and information available.

“Once you’re in a group like GTI it is easy to open up. Everyone understands if you’re not having a good day and we’ve all become such good friends now we can act as a support for each other,” said Helen.

“We have suffered from mental health problems, but we’re not nutters, we’re just ordinary people from different backgrounds,” added Michelle.
(Source: Derry Journal)

Donegal

Earlier this year, during the highly successful Donegal Shores Festival in Kincasslagh, Ireland’s best-known mother let slip that she had just knitted a few pairs of socks for Pope Benedict XVI.

Ninety-two year old Julia O’Donnell, mother of Daniel and Margo and indeed an author in her own right, decided to knit the socks for the Pontiff when she had read about the harsh winters expected all over Europe this year. Of course she used only the very best Donegal wool for the job!

Speaking to the Donegal Democrat she said: “I just decided to knit a few pairs of socks for the Pope. It would be nice to think that he had a few pairs all the way from Donegal and to be honest I expected to hear no more about it.”

But early last week, Julia got a very pleasant surprise when the postman delivered a package to her which came all the way from the Vatican and included a pair of Rosary beads, a personal letter of thanks, a blessing and a signed memento by the pontiff.

“To be perfectly honest I just couldn’t believe it at first. I never thought that anybody would take the time to do such a thing. I am absolutely honored and you can rest assured that these gifts will have pride of place in my home,” said the formidable Julia.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)

Down

Life on the farm isn't always sunny for Christa Bahner.



"You can't just grow the vegetables and expect to sell them. There's a lot of steps after that," she says in the greenhouse of her farm in Belmont.



But thanks to the Community Supported Agriculture Program, she's developed quite the following.


"It's a great way to get to know families in our area. It's a great way for us to know where a lot of our vegetables are going.

"

Customers pay a flat fee, then stop by once a week to pick up fresh vegetables that are in season.


The farm currently operates a 30 member CSA.



"It's really important for us to get that financial support because we only have cash income May to October.

"

Which is why the city of Belfast wants to increase the number of users. 

"You spend money on a local farmer, their local farmer, that local farmer will put it back right in his community and we want to support that," says City Manager Joe Slocum.



They've teamed up with the Maine Farmland Trust to create a savings account program specifically designed for CSA's.



"That was you don't have to come up with a one time payment of 100, 150 dollars, you can save for it, little by little.

"

The accounts will be available at four participating banks in Belfast.



Slocum says it's a chance to invest in the city's roots.



"Belfast recognizes that the agriculture community is not just a part of our history, it's one of the many important economies we have and whether their big economies or small economies we want to enhance them.

"

Spreading the wealth to support growth in Belfast.



The banks participating in the program are Bangor Savings Bank, Camden National Bank, Damariscotta Bank and Trust, and Key Bank.
(Source: WABI)

Dublin

A doctor accused of ignoring frantic calls from a patient who underwent a gastric band operation was found guilty of professional misconduct.

Dr Laszlo Ruscsak (46) threatened to cut off the patient's aftercare when she complained about his aggressive and dismissive behaviour.

Mrs Lucia Dowd of Lucan, Co Dublin, complained the Dublin-based doctor provided no follow-up aftercare when she travelled to Hungary for the operation, which is intended to help patients lose weight.

At one point, Dr Ruscsak sent an email to Mrs Dowd which stated: "I can cancel your aftercare at any time. You have right to sue me at any time (I am not afraid of it LOL)". LOL means 'laugh out loud'.

Mrs Dowd, a relative of Liveline presenter Joe Duffy, described how the consultant anaesthetist ignored her anxious phone calls and provided no follow-up to her €7,000 operation, which was carried out by a different surgeon in Budapest in October 2009.

Dr Ruscsak, who did not attend the Irish Medical Council's hearing, was found guilty of professional misconduct on a number of counts, including that he disclosed Mrs Dowd's confidential medical and personal information to RTE's Liveline radio programme, and that he failed to provide adequate psychological counselling to Mrs Dowd, who was suffering from depression.

Dr Ruscsak worked out of the now defunct Haven Cosmetic Surgery Clinic in Stillorgan, Dublin.
"He talked the talk, he was a good salesman," Mrs Dowd said of her first consultation.
(Source: The Evening Herald)

Fermanagh

A contentious loyalist parade through a border village cost more than £70,000 to police, it has been revealed.

Over a dozen bands took part in the march through Newtownbutler in Co Fermanagh earlier this summer, despite opposition from residents in the mainly nationalist area.

The July event passed off peacefully after a huge security operation was put in place.

Now it has emerged that the cost to the PSNI was £73,000.

It was part of a £5.7m bill for policing parades and public disorder during this year’s marching season.
The bill, which includes PSNI resources, investigation costs and damage to equipment, was detailed during a meeting of the Policing Board last week.

It has led to criticism, with the SDLP describing the amount as “shocking”, while unionists branded it the cost of cultural intolerance. The biggest cost for a single parade was £766,000, which was spent on policing an Orange Order march near Ardoyne on July 12 and 13.

A further £301,000 went towards the security operation for the Apprentice Boys’ march through Londonderry on August 13, with the contentious Whiterock parade costing £233,000.

There was also a £154,000 bill for the Tour of the North parade in mid-June, while a contentious march through Rasharkin in North Antrim cost £65,000.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Galway

Sentencing in the case of a city woman convicted earlier this year by a jury of setting fire to her Council house has been deferred until support services are put in place prior to her release from custody.

Veronica MacAnespie (45), of 38 Tulach Ard, Rahoon, Galway had denied setting fire to her local authority house at the above address in the early hours of November 28, 2007, during a three-day trial at Galway Circuit Criminal Court in May.

The jury took just over an hour to find her guilty and Judge Raymond Groarke remanded Ms MacAnespie in custody to await sentence on July 13. She was further remanded on that date to appear before the court again last week for sentence.

However, it emerged at the sentencing hearing that City Council had evicted Ms MacAnespie from her home immediately following her conviction and incarceration last May and she had no place to live now if released. The court was told the City Council was now ‘obliged’ to house her.

Judge Groarke said he would not finalise sentencing until such time as the woman had a place to stay and was being supervised and helped by the relevant support services.

Kieran O’Loughlin, SC defending, said the City Council were obliged to house his client and the psychiatric service in Galway would have to put support services in place for her.

Judge Groarke agreed and said the doctor at the Central Mental Hospital stated MacAnespie was still very vulnerable and needed supervision. Reading between the lines that meant that as long as she remained vulnerable she posed a risk of doing the same thing again, he said.

He adjourned sentencing to Friday, November 11 next so that the local services could liaise and put a support structure in place for the woman. “I have to ensure that something similar or worse does not happen in the future,” he added.
(Source: GalwayBay Fm)

Kerry

A 42-year-old man has been found guilty in Tralee of the multiple rape and sexual assault of a then 10-year-old girl in her home in a town in south Kerry in the Christmas period 2001/2002.

The eight counts on which the man, who is not a relative, was found guilty included two counts of oral rape, three counts of rape, two of sexual assault one of attempted anal rape .

He was acquitted of the rape and sexual assault of her older sister during the same period.

The jury of six men and six women had spent just under three hours deliberating on the matter at the Central Criminal Court in Tralee before bringing in unanimous verdicts after the five day trial.

(There were originally 11 counts but one count of sexual assault was withdrawn from the jury). The court heard upsetting evidence from the two young women how their mother was “always drinking”.

he would go out with her then live in boyfriend and the man would babysit the two girls and a number of younger siblings. When the older girl revealed to neighbours her allegations he was asked to leave the house.

The younger girl told the jury she remembered on one occasion being carried from her bed to a back bedroom when her mother was out drinking. He was drunk and staggering, she had been wearing a pink nightdress with a monkey on it.

The man had raped her in the back bedroom and he had also orally raped her. He had stopped when she screamed when he attempted to rape her anally, she told the jury.

During the attack “he said the same thing as always . . . good girl”, she told the jury.

On another occasion she vomited after oral rape in the sitting room of the house and he told her to fetch a towel to clean it up, she said.

School records of the older girl showed high levels of absenteeism, the jury heard.

The man, who is from a large family from outside Kerry had denied all counts. He had told gardaí who had travelled to London in 2009 to interview him that it was “two sisters making up stories” and that he would never touch a child.
(Source: Irish Times)

Kildare

The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office show a total of 18,084 people signing on in the county, a drop of 1,280 on the August figure.



The Kildare total mirrors the pattern elsewhere in the country, with unemployment falling nationally although a staggering 442,200 people are still jobless. In addition to the monthly decline, the national figures are also showing a decrease of 4,976 on September of last year, amounting to 1.1%, and this has been heralded as the first actual annual decrease in unemployment since April 2007.



The figures remain very high, however, with an unemployment rate of 14.3%, and the CSO points out in its latest statement that in the past 12 months, the figures have generally stayed “within a narrow range between 441,600 and 447,900.

At Kildare's three social welfare centres, the slight decline is evident in all cases.

In Newbridge, the total number of people signing on in September amounted to 9,396, as opposed to 9,892 in August. In Athy, 2,740 people were registered in September, down on the previous month's total of 2,903, while in Maynooth, the September total was 5,948, also down from 6,569 in August.

The improved figures give some cause for hope, given that a few months back, Kildare was on the cusp of breaking the 20,000 barrier for the first time ever, in terms of the number of jobless people in the county.

(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)

Kilkenny

A Kilkenny roofer who transported cocaine valued over €200,000 in order to repay a “drugs debt” has been given a seven year suspended sentence. Kieran Hickey, (26) of High Street, Ballyragget, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to having cocaine for sale or supply on June 17, 2007.

Judge Rory MacCabe said that given that Hickey “had addressed every aspect of the probation services’ concerns”, was working and had not come to garda attention since the date of the offence, he would take the “unusual step” of suspending the entirety of the sentence for five years.

The court heard that Hickey was observed by a garda surveillance team as he interacted with a taxi they had been monitoring in Dublin city centre on suspicion that it was involved in a drugs operation.
Hickey admitted to gardai he had been paid to transport the 3kg of cocaine, worth €208, 460, by people “he feared” to help relieve his heavy “drugs debt”.
(Source: Kilkenny People)

Laois

Two Laois brothers have been jailed for three years for raping a woman in a hotel, despite a prosecution witness’s claim that he was put under pressure by gardaí when making his statement.

Eamonn Flanagan (33) of Dunamaise, Stradbally and Seamie Flanagan (40) of Ashley Gardens, Portlaoise continue to deny the offences and have not shown remorse. Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan said because of this he could not impose a non-custodial sentence. 

The judge said that Irish prison conditions are overcrowded and “in some cases an affront to human dignity.”

Despite this, he imposed three-year terms on each man and ordered that they be registered as sex offenders. 



At a hearing last Monday, defense counsel for Seamie, Pauline Walley SC, said a prosecution witness has since claimed that he was put under pressure by gardaí to say he saw the men at the door of the room where the rape occurred.
(Source: Leinster Express)

Leitrim

Little angel, five-year-old Mari Keane Connolly, was laid to rest following a heart-rending funeral service in Boyle last Tuesday.

Tragic Mari died after as fire engulfed her father’s home at Termon Road, Boyle last Monday morning in a blaze which gardai have ‘suspicious’.

Mari’s father, Richard Connolly was severely injured escaping the blaze and although was able to persuade his two eldest daughters to jump to safety, little Mari did not escape.

Mr Connolly had been looking after his daughters while his former partner, Teresa Keane, was in hospital giving birth to twin daughters.

Brave Mr Connolly suffered a broken back and punctured lung after he fell escaping his home. Although in hospital in Dublin, Mr Connolly vowed to be there with his little girl for her final journey.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)

Limerick

Limerick absence in the Rose of Tralee final over the past four years has prompted the resignation of the local Rose Committee – leaving the county’s future representation in the competition in doubt.
In recent years the organizing committee has been highly critical of the method of selection of Roses for the finals, which has seen Limerick without a representative in Tralee since 2007.

And last week, after an involvement spanning 51 years, the Limerick Rose Committee/Kerry Association in Limerick has announced that it is handing back the running of the Limerick Rose selection to the International Rose of Tralee Festival.

“It was very sad that for the 50th Rose of Tralee in 2009 we had no Rose. There were other centers represented in Tralee for the first time who have not been back sense, I suppose that was very heartbreaking for us,” said Martina Murphy who was involved in the Limerick Rose Committee for 11 years.

Since a new selection structure was introduced in 2005, Limerick Roses have no longer secured an automatic entry to the final in Tralee and have, instead, had to go through regional finals. Limerick qualified at the regional finals in 2005, 2006 and 2007, however, for the last four years Limerick has not had a Rose on stage in Kerry.

According to Ms Murphy, a teacher at the Salesian Secondary School on the North Circular Road, she has raised this issue every year with the Rose of Tralee committee but to no avail: “I would say Tralee were sick of hearing my voice at the end of the phone.

“We were very vocal about the regional final and the unfairness of it but we had an excellent working relationship with them. Anthony O’Gara has spoken publicly about how we were the strongest committee in the world – definitely the largest committee as well. But we just couldn’t get past it. The loyalty of the 50 years didn’t really make any difference to automatic entry. We were put into the pot alongside the others. What was unfair, I suppose, was Cork and Dublin had automatic entry whereas we didn’t,” she said.

A letter was sent by the Limerick Committee to Tralee last week outlining its decision, and as of yet there has been no response. “They might be on holidays or they might be out of the country but we are yet to receive a response. We do wish our successors well,” said Ms Murphy.
(Source: Limerick Leader)

Longford

Gardai in Longford are currently seeking the public’s assistance following a serious sexual assault in Longford town during the early hours of last Monday morning.

The incident, which has been described by Longford Gardai as “very serious”, took place at the railway bridge near Farneyhoogan, Longford between 12am and 12.30am.

The woman, who is local and in her mid-thirties, was walking alone when she was attacked near the railway bridge, close to the old swimming pool.

During the violent attack, the woman was sexually assaulted and she is said to be heavily traumatised following her ordeal.
(Source: Longford Leader)

Louth

A lucky Dundalk girl was plucked from the audience and invited on stage for a dance number with global superstar Rihanna at her sell-out show in the O2 in Dublin on Monday, October 3.

Anita Salako from the Avenue Road, Dundalk was “thrilled” to have been picked to go on stage with the singer who is famous for her mega-hit singles such as Umbrella, Take a Bow, Only Girl (In the World), What’s My Name? and Disturbia.

The sister of local dance instructor and founder of Crystal Ice Dance Academy, Emmanuella Salako, sat on the stage in front of a packed O2 while Rihanna dressed in black hotpants and fishnet stockings performed one of her crowd-pleasers.

“I invited Rihanna’s dancers to do a workshop for Crystal Ice at The Studios Dundalk while they were in Ireland. They gave the class the day before Rihanna’s concert and that night, we all went out for a party with the dancers,” said Emmanuella.

“The dancers gave us free VIP tickets and backstage passes all access. My sister Anita was called up on stage by Rihanna. It was a fabulous weekend. I will be bringing some of the dancers to Dundalk in November when they come back again.”

Rihanna played the O2 in Dublin as part of her LOUD Tour and with Rihanna mania showing no signs of slowing down, she is set to play another sell-out gig at the venue on Friday, November 25.
(Source: Dundalk Democrat)

Mayo

A massive brawl erupted in the grounds of St Colman’s Church, Claremorris last Monday during the funeral ceremony for Patrick Collins of Luí na Gréine in the town.

Six people were arrested during the disturbances and Garda reinforcements were called in from as far away as Galway. One man who was struck across the head with a slash-hook was rushed to Mayo General Hospital with serious injuries. He is understood to be from County Donegal.

Fr Peter Gannon was just commencing his homily when he became aware of the growing din and commotion outside the church. He stopped the ceremony and many in the congregation, aware of the ructions developing in the church foreground, rushed to the doors.

At this stage, Fr Peter informed the congregation that, out of respect for Patrick (known to many in the travelling community as Padraig), the doors should be closed and no dispute should be furthered within the walls of the church.

Many in the congregation adhered to the request and the rest of the celebration of Requiem Mass proceeded in normal fashion.

Such was the intensity of the feud outside that large rocks and stones, together with slash-hooks, knives and hammers, were all part of the row that spilled out onto the public footpath. Some of the large rocks were still visible last week behind the cordoned-off area.
(Source: The Mayo News)

Meath

Meath's jobless figures have fallen, leading to a cautious welcome for what has been described as "a small but significant step".

The numbers on the live register in Meath in September fell to 11,721 from the August figure of 12,290. The figure for last month also saw a fall from the same period last year when the number unemployed in the county was 11,841.

Some 2,032 of those on the live register in Meath are under the age of 25 and the number of men on the dole is significantly more than women with 7,362 males and 4,357 females signing on.

Navan saw a drop in jobless numbers to 5,984 from 6,244 in August. There are 3,803 males and 2,181 females signing on, with 1,037 young people under the age of 25 registered.

In Kells, the number on the live register fell in September to 2,094, down from 2,165 in August. Some 1,313 males and 775 females are on the dole in Kells with 333 of these under 25.

In Trim, the numbers unemployed fell from 3,881 in August to 3,643 last month. There are currently 2,240 men on the dole in Trim and 1,403 women signing on. Some 662 of those on the live register in Trim are under 25.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)

Monaghan

Tractor thefts have fallen by 50pc as a result of a big garda operation that put an international gang out of business.

The operation, which spanned 11 jurisdictions, led to the recovery of €7m of stolen machinery.

The ringleader of the gang, Cyril McGuinness, is now locked up in Belgium, serving a seven-year sentence for his part in the theft of tractors and trailers units.

McGuinness (45), of Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, was detained by gardai on an European arrest warrant and his extradition to Belgium was then ordered by the High Court. He had been a key target of the garda stolen vehicles unit for the past seven years.

McGuinness is serving his sentence in a maximum security jail.

Four years ago McGuinness was convicted of 44 charges in relation to the illegal dumping of 28,000 tonnes of waste from the Republic in Northern Ireland and Scotland. The court heard that he was involved in one of the North's biggest crime gangs, which had made €2.6m in 20 months from the waste smuggling.

McGuinness trusted his associate, Damien McPhillips, from Clones, Co Monaghan, with the task of travelling around Europe to locate suitable vehicles.

McPhillips was extradited to Belgium after he was served with an European arrest warrant while on holiday in Spain. He was sentenced to four years' imprisonment along with a British accomplice, Bob Peachey, who was arrested in Germany.
(Source: Irish Independent)

Offaly

After spending three weeks in Mountjoy Teresa Treacy was free to walk among the trees she cherishes so much last week.

Last Thursday lawyers for the ESB and Eirgrid asked that Ms Treacy be released from prison to facilitate an appropriate environment for further discussions to resolve matters around the construction of the Cushaling - Thornsberry 110kV Line.

In a statement they said intensive efforts had been taking place with Ms Treacy’s family and the IFA to resolve the situation. “However, Ms Treacy’s release will enable further dialogue with her and her family to reach a mutually agreeable solution.”

“We remain committed to the completion of the project, which is critical to providing a safe, secure and reliable electricity system for the Midlands region.

“ESB and EirGrid are very pleased that Ms Treacy is returning to her family after what has been a difficult time for them,” they said.
(Source: Offaly Express)

Roscommon

Roscommon are reported to be interested in having Mick O’Dwyer take charge of the senior footballers.

Fergal O’Donnell stepped down last week after a very successful spell in charge of the Rossies, including winning the Connacht title in 2009.

His sudden departure, for work reason, shocked the county and now the legendary Kerryman is linked with the position.

However, county secretary Brian Stenson told the Irish Sun: “We have not even started yet [looking for a replacement].”

O’Dwyer, who has managed his own county, Kildare, Laois and Wicklow to success over a 36-year management career, stepped down from the Garden County job this summer but pledged to continue in the game if the right opportunity arose.
(Source: Setanta Sport)

Sligo

A man who was going to convert an old BMW into a horsedrawn carriage for tourists has seen his plans go up in smoke after it was set alight last weekend.

South Sligo horse breeder Seamus Durcan believes the Sunday night attack was as a result of a 'personal grudge' against him.

"I have no idea who would do this, but only a few weeks ago, human excrement was fired at the windscreen. Given that the car was located in an isolated spot, it seems to me somebody went to a lot of trouble to carry out this attack," he said.

Mr. Durcan, from Cashel, Tubbercurry, bought the 12 years old car 'for a small price' from a friend of his about two months ago, and was keeping it on his land at Drimbane, Curry, about a mile and half from his home. It was his intention to break up the car and to use its alloy wheels, leather seats and customised number plate to build a horse-drawn carriage.
(Source: The Sligo Champion)

Tipperary

A Thurles based company which is seeking to increase their workforce by more than ninety people before Christmas, may have to relocate to the UK in a bid to keep contracts, due to the fact that they simply cannot recruit staff.


ARE Direct Sales Management Ltd. trading as dsm Ltd. which operates out of the Archerstown Industrial Estate, just outside Thurles is one of the fastest growing companies in the region, having started out less than one year ago. The company, founded by Littleton man Aidan Ryan; John Aylward, Kilsheelan; and James Edinburgh, Ballykisteen; currently employs 26 people but has won lucrative contracts from the likes of Pure Telecom, Energia Electricity, and 3 Mobile to name just a few. These contracts now mean that they must recruit, as a matter of urgency, at least eighteen people now, with a further 75 to be added before Christmas.

However, the real story is in the number of people who have failed to turn up for interview having submitted their CV’s and received an invite to meet with the company executive. A total of 75 people were called over a four week period, but only 18 showed up. Of those eighteen, ten were offered jobs, but only seven took them up.
(Source: Tipperary Star)

Tyrone

A postman is recovering after being mauled by an Alsatian-type dog in County Tyrone.

Dean Barr was delivering mail in Castlederg when he was attacked. He sustained lacerations to his hands, arms and leg, as well as broken bones.

He said he thought he was going to die during the incident last Friday, and has called for the animal to be put down.

Strabane District Council is investigating the incident.

"I didn't see the Alsatian, so I assumed it was locked up round the back where it usually is," Mr Barr said.

"As I posted the mail, I turned round to get back into the van when the Alsatian leapt on me.
(Source: BBC News)

Waterford

A major vote of confidence in Waterford is being delivered by one of the city’s largest employers, Genzyme, as a major €150m expansion of its facility on the Old Kilmeaden Road, was formally opened last Tuesday by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton.

The opening, which will also be attended by Christopher A Viehbacher, CEO, Sanofi, coincides with a celebration of 10 years of achievement and growth since Genzyme commenced manufacturing on the city’s Industrial Park.
 (Source: Waterford News & Star)

Westmeath

Environment Minister Phil Hogan has been questioned about the problem of raw sewage being discharged into the River Shannon in Athlone during times of heavy rainfall.

Minister Hogan said the issue would be resolved by Westmeath County Council's planned Athlone Sewerage Scheme upgrade - but it's not clear when that work is likely to start as its Project Inception Report is still being considered by the Department of the Environment.

In June, the Westmeath Independent reported that deficiencies in the town's outdated sewerage system meant a mixture of storm water and raw sewage flows from the sewer network directly into the Shannon and the Athlone Canal at eight locations during heavy rain.
(Source: Westmeath Independent)

Wexford

The parents of a young woman diagnosed with cerebral palsy shortly after birth spoke of their delight after they received a €1.4m settlement.

Ann and John French from Ballymitty, Co Wexford, took the High Court medical negligence action on behalf of their daughter Deborah (24) against the South Eastern Health Board and consultant obstetrician Harry Murphy.

The case was settled before Mr Justice John Quirke without any admission of liability.

The family, speaking outside the court, said: "It means we'll be able to live more comfortably and everything will be easier."

(Source: Irish Independent)

Wicklow

A convicted paedophile who previously went on the run and ended up being caught in Wicklow has been missing for over two months now.

40-year-old Paul Hunter Redpath, originally from Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland, was last seen in Aberdeen on July 19.

Scottish Police are still investigating an alleged sighting of Redpath in Belfast.

He failed to comply with registration requirements and is now being treated as a ' wanted person.'

Grampian Police say Redpath is likely to associate with street drinkers and is likely to approach members of the public, charitable and religious orders asking for money.
(Source: The Wicklow People)
 

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