\"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

First Minister Peter Robinson visited the home of an Antrim man, who is now accused of explosives offences, when his own property was targeted by a pipe bomb earlier this year. Former DUP election candidate John Smyth junior was comforted by party colleagues, including Mr Robinson and South Antrim MLA Trevor Clarke after a device was thrown through his bedroom window at Seacash Walk in March.


At the time of the attack Mr Robinson said he was 'disgusted at the blatant attempt to endanger his life' and he offered the 'full support of the DUP' to help bring the perpetrators to justice.
Smyth has now been suspended from the party following his arrest just hours after a pipebomb attack on a Polish couple at Seacash Drive last Wednesday (October 12).


At Ballymena Magistrates' Court on Saturday, he was charged with making explosives with intent to endanger life and making explosives under suspicious circumstances.


The 30-year-old, whose address was given in court as Birch Hill Park, was refused bail by Judge Danny McGill.


Smyth's solicitor told the court that the accused 'posed no threat to the Polish community or any other foreign national'.


The court was also told that Smyth was being treated for manic depression and recently tried to take his own life.


Opposing bail, a police officer said it was feared Smyth may interfere with witnesses and the gathering of evidence. 
The officer added that information had been obtained which suggested 'harm may come to him' if released.


Smyth is due to appear in court again on November 8 via videolink from Maghaberry.
(Source: Antrim Guardian)

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Armagh

The former Forkhill Barracks, described as “a blight on Forkhill”, can finally look forward to an ambitious redevelopment as a planning application has now been submitted for 20 social and affordable houses for the Fold Housing Association. Work is expected to begin on the site in the centre of the village before April next year and is hailed as the first stage of major redevelopment plans for the eight acre site.

The two and three bedroom homes being proposed will incorporate the latest in green technology and will be available for those on the housing list.

The plans are a welcome boost to the area as the local community has been angered in the past by the government’s refusal to regenerate the site.  Following the withdrawal of troops from the barracks in 2006, the Forkhill Regeneration Committee initiated plans to redevelop the site but funding was turned down in 2008 by the Finance Minister at the time, Peter Robinson.  That decision sparked protests by the locals who saw the disused barracks as a “blight” on their area and a physical divide in the centre of the village.
(Source: crossexmainer.co.uk)

Carlow

A motorist saw yellow – double yellow – when she returned to her parked car last Thursday to find that the council had actually painted double yellow lines on either side of her car! 



And to add to her woes, the young woman had been issued with a parking ticket.



The Carlow Vocational School student, who does not wish to be named, was left stunned by the discovery at Green Road, Carlow. The student had been regularly parking in the same spot for the past three weeks.



“She was 100% adamant that the lines weren’t there that morning,” according to her mother. “The lines were freshly painted all the way up to her car’s tyres, and to the car behind hers too. Both of the cars had parking tickets on them. They can’t do that!” she added.



“There were no signs up to say that painting was going to take place and no traffic cones – nothing – yet she got a ticket,” the angry mother explained. “They should have put signs up and certainly not have given out tickets.”

(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)

Cavan

Cavan has the fourth highest proportion of so-called 'ghost estates' with 757 houses vacant in the county. That's according to the figures released by the Department of the Environment. The revelation comes within weeks of Cavan County Council passing a variation to the County Development Plan effectively rezoning thousands of hectares of land across the county to pull back on the level of land zoned for residential and mixed used development.
(Source: The Anglo Celt)

Clare

Tulla United soccer club’s B team enjoyed a 2-1 win when they visited Shannon Olympic earlier this month but within hours of the final whistle, many of the players were counting the cost.


That evening, several of the players were suffering from painful bites, while one of them was subsequently put on a type of medication used in treating tropical infections.


Tulla player, Phil Browne said it was only after the game that he discovered he had suffered a number of bites. “They were the itchiest bites I ever had. They were worse than bites I got from mosquitoes in India,” he commented.


Dermot O’Keeffe was part of the Tulla United defense and he was forced to go to Shannon Doc on the Monday night after the game.


“I hadn’t been feeling great on Sunday before the game and then on Sunday night I started to feel the lumps on my legs. Then on Monday I was a lot worse. All my legs had gone red. It was like the spots had joined up and I felt very bad.”


He said that he had been “ready to collapse” by Monday evening and then sought medical attention. He was given medication similar to that used to fight tropical infections and made a recovery fairly quickly afterwards.


Around eight or nine of the Tulla players were showing bite marks from the game when they next assembled for training.


Shannon Olympic chairman, Tony Hanrahan said he wasn’t aware of his club’s players being affected after the game. Mr Hanrahan said that while there are sometimes midges at the grounds, there hasn’t been any real problem. He also said the midges usually disappear “at the first sign of a frost”.
St Senan’s Rugby Club’s grounds are nearby and an underage team were training there on the same day as the soccer match. The following week some parents commented that their children had received bad bites and they were opting to put insect repellent on their children as a result.


The club’s president, Bernie Ryan said while there may sometimes be insects around the ground there has never been any problem with them.
(Source: The Clare Champion)

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Cork

Aviva has stated that it intends on keeping its Cork operation open, despite announcing last Wednesday that 950 of its staff will lose their jobs in Ireland.

A statement released to the Cork Independent said no final decisions have been made yet, however.
“The announcement is a proposal and no details other than the potentially impacted roles are available. It is our intention to continue to have a presence in Cork, Dublin and Galway," the statement read.

There are over 200 employees in the Aviva offices at Cork Airport Business Park but no jobs will be lost before March 2012 and it could take it up to two years before all the redundancies take effect.

The UNITE Trade Union, which represents the workers, said it was shocked by the announcement.

“The axe has fallen harder and sharper than the worst fears of staff,” said UNITE Regional Officer, Brian Gallagher. “They are stunned and scared by what they have been told.”
Source: (Cork Independent)

Derry

Limavady’s only pedestrianised street is to get an “impressive” makeover costing £200,000, the ‘Journal’ can reveal.

The Public Realm Scheme, involving the Department of Social Development and the Department of Regional Development - will see a “rather tired looking” Market Street get an upgrade with new paving, lighting, trees replaced and new street furniture.

A DSD spokesperson said: “This £200,000 public realm project to upgrade Limavady’s Market Street, which is being funded by the Department for Social Development and designed and implemented in partnership with the Department for Regional Development’s Road Service, will commence in January 2012 and take approximately 10-12 weeks to complete. The work will involve the refurbishment of the existing pedestrian zone with the installation of new paving, lighting and street furniture together with replacement tree planting.

“Utility providers are expected to take the opportunity to upgrade their networks in advance of this but it is envisaged that all preliminary works should be completed by early December with temporary reinstatements in place to ensure the area is fully open and safe for use over the busy Christmas/New Year period.”
(Source: Derry Journal)

Donegal

A leading road safety campaigner has criticised the four year jail term given to a man convicted of the death of a Donegal woman and her unborn child.

Publican Kevin McArdle (29), Longfield, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, was handed down a four-year prison sentence with the final year suspended after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of Roisin Connolly, a Dublin-based teacher who was originally from Fanad - and two passengers in the BMW he was driving.

Mary Clinton of road safety group A-Ceart, said she was disgusted by last Tuesday’s verdict which she described as ridiculous. She said the sentence handed down should have been “much more severe”.

“I am gutted at the sentence. He will be out in two years. It is ridiculous for wiping out four lives. It is sending out the wrong message. Is life so unimportant today that you get three years for wiping out four lives? Justice has to be seen to be done and that is not justice.”

The Letterkenny woman said early release for good behaviour should be done away with. “If they had shown good behaviour they would not be in prison in the first place.”

Mrs Connolly had been driving back to her Dublin home with husband Stephen on December 27th, 2010, after visiting her family in Donegal. The collision occurred at 6.45pm at Moynaltybane on the main N2 Dublin-Derry Road, 2km from Carrickmacross.

The Seat Toledo the Connellys were driving in collided with McArdle’s BWM which was driving on the wrong side of the road after overtaking a number of vehicles at speed. She died later at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, in Drogheda. Despite the efforts of a team of surgeons at the hospital, her unborn baby girl, Catherine, also died.

McArdle had drunk nine pints of beer and five glasses of brandy before the crash and was three and a half times above the limit.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)

Down

A body recovered from a lake in Co Down has been confirmed as that of missing pensioner Maurice Owens.

The 73-year-old had not been seen since leaving his home in Barcroft Park in Newry last Sunday morning.

His remains were found in Camlough Lake on Thursday.

Police said his death was not being treated as suspicious.

A PSNI spokesperson said the family of Mr Owens wished to express their gratitude to all those involved in the extensive search operations.
(Source: Newsletter.co.uk)

Dublin

A couple with six children have avoided a jail term for taking part in a vicious and unprovoked assault on an army sergeant and his wife.

Wesley Condon (34) of Blackditch Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin admitted assault causing harm to Christopher Mahon and his wife Rose at Ballyfermot Road on May 1, 2010.

His partner, Michelle Kelly (38) of Blackditch Road, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Rose Mahon.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that the victims, who are in their fifties, were on their way home from a night out when they were set upon and kicked and punched as they lay on the ground.

Mr Mahon, who has served in the Irish Defence Forces for 31 years, read an emotionally charged victim impact statement saying he had never witnessed such an attack before, despite serving during the Troubles and in Lebanon.

Garda John Griffin told the court that the couple were on their way home from a night out at around 2am when they heard Kelly, Condon and a third man, shouting abuse and gesturing at them from across the road.

Mr Mahon approached them and asked them why they were saying things about his wife.

He told Gardai that the next thing he knew he was on the ground and receiving "kicks and digs" in the head and ribs.

He looked across to his wife and saw that she was on the ground and that Michelle Kelly was kicking her in the face. He then saw Condon kicking his wife and punching her.

In his victim impact statement, he said that attack had left him and his wife "scarred".

Watching his wife being punched and kicked with "so much ferocity" while he lay on the ground unable to get to her will haunt him for the rest of his life, Mr Mahon said.

They couple received a three-year suspended sentence.
(Source: The Evening Herald)

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Fermanagh

A man from County Fermanagh who was sexually abused by four brothers has spoken publicly for the first time.

Michael Connolly grew up in the village of Donagh and was targeted and abused by the McDermott brothers.

He has waived his right to anonymity to help other victims and to demand a change in the law.

Earlier this week, one of the McDermott brothers had his prison term extended by six months for abusing another schoolboy.

Six survivors who went to court last year have been presented with a community award by Stormont for helping to bring the brothers to justice - ending generations of abuse.

Johnny McDermott was jailed for nine years after admitting 35 counts of sexually abusing young boys and girls. His sentence was extended by six months earlier this week.

Peter Paul McDermott hanged himself the day after his trial started last year.

The case made headlines when two other brothers, Jimmy and Owen Roe, were found mentally unfit to stand trial.

The judge placed them on a two-year supervision and treatment order and allowed them to return to their home near a playground and a school.

Following a public outcry the two brothers admitted themselves voluntarily to hospital where they remain.

Since the case, the maximum length of a supervision and treatment order has been extended from two to three years.
(Source: BBC News)

Galway

As many as forty job losses are expected at Galway Airport at the end of this month when Aer Arann’s suspends flights at Carnmore, a decision which has been described as a ‘blow’ by tourism chiefs in the West.

Aer Arann’s shock announcement last week that it would cease its flights between Galway and London Southend, London Luton, Edinburgh, Manchester and Waterford from November 1 is “not welcome news” according to Fáilte Ireland West general manager Fiona Monaghan.

She said the November to Spring periods is generally quiet but the loss of visitors on short-breaks of two to three nights at weekends from cities such as Manchester, London and Edinburgh is a “blow” to Galway City. “That market is going to be affected,” she said.

Ms Monaghan said the loss of any air access is not welcome, but it was a commercial decision by Aer Arann based on passenger numbers.
(Source: GalwayBay Fm)

Kerry

Plans are being developed to provide a full-time day care centre in the grounds of Listowel hospital for elderly people of North Kerry.

The region remains the only part of the county without a fulltime service, despite the massive savings it would represent for the HSE in the long term, volunteers spearheading the campaign say.

However, the North Kerry Day Care Centre (NKDCC) has now hopes to locate a purpose-built centre on the grounds of Listowel Hospital that would provide extended day care services to the elderly.

The group currently provides care two days a week from a premises in Listowel that was built as a community house for the Respond estate. However, the organisation now wants to extend its service.
(Source: Irish Times)

Kildare

An Athy couple were being questioned by gardaí last Monday after a car hjacking and attempted hold-up at a filling station.

The Garda Air Suppport Unit and Armed Response Unit assisted gardaí from Athy and Carlow in apprehending the man and women who are in their 30s.

The dramatic events started at approximately 7.20pm on Sunday evening (16 October). A man was approached in the car park of Lidl in Athy and was ordered by a knifewielding man to hand over his car. The victim didn’t resist and was not harmed during the car jack and the raiders made off in the car.

Later that night at approximately 9.20pm gardaí were alerted to an incident taking place at a filling station in Castledermot. A shop assistant pressed the panic alarm in the store after a man entered the premises carrying a knife and demanded cash. The man left the shop without any money. The description of the car being used by the robbers was the same as the vehicle stolen earlier from Athy.
Local garda units were alerted and a short time later gardaí in Carlow observed the car in Carlow town. The gardaí units gave chase and were assisted by the Armed Response Unit and the Garda Air Support Unit.

The chase came to an end as the car headed in northbound on the M. at Busherstown, Carlow and a man and women were arrested.
(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)

Kilkenny

Over 3,000 households in Co Kilkenny are currently seeking accommodation assistance from Kilkenny County Council, and part of the increase is coming from relationship breakdowns.

About two-thirds of those 3,054 households are in the city and environs area (1,952), and the other areas with the highest demand include Callan (125), Ferrybank (108) and Castlecomer (107) as of the end of September, as outlined in the council’s quarterly housing report. And while the numbers are increasing across the board, senior executive officer Martin Mullally said that one cause was relationship breakdowns after which both sides would end up applying for housing assistance. In such cases, he said, “we have in effect a doubling of applications.”

Of the total on the council’s housing list, 2,645 cited “financial” as their main reason for seeking assistance, with other reasons including medical or compassionate, overcrowding, sharing involuntarily, disabled, elderly and Travelers.
(Source: Kilkenny People)

Laois

Last week, it was confirmed that the contract documents for the Laois Grouped Towns Sewerage Scheme has been signed at an estimated cost of €10.7 million.



This contract comprises the construction of 18.9 km of foul sewer, 1.9 km of rising main and 310 metres of storm sewer.



The contract will serve the towns of Abbeyleix, Clonaslee, Durrow, Mountrath, Rathdowney and Stradbally. 



Minister for the environment Phil Hogan has recently approved the tender documents for the Design Build Operate (DBO) contract for the construction of five new wastewater treatment plants in the towns included in this scheme.



Just four months ago, it was estimated that the cost of the development would be over €16 million, but the recent estimate indicates a €10.7 million cost.
(Source: Leinster Express)

Leitrim

At least one home was flooded, a number of motorists were left stranded and several other homes and businesses were threatened by flash floods which struck Glenfarne, Dromahair and Manorhamilton last Monday.

At least one home was flooded, a number of motorists were left stranded and several other homes and businesses were threatened by flash floods which struck Glenfarne, Dromahair and Manorhamilton last Monday.

Despite the heavy rain which fell in the area during last Monday morning, many local residents in both north Leitrim communities were shocked by the speed at which water levels rose with the River Bonet rising by over a foot in just 15 minutes.

The severe rain that fell in the village last Monday afternoon and the subsequent floods saw the River Bonet burst its banks resulting in the closure of roads around the area.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)

Limerick

A man who fell asleep at a bus stop on Mulgrave Street was repeatedly stabbed in the face with a kitchen knife in an “unprovoked and brutal attack”, Limerick Circuit Court has heard.

Damien O’Brien, 25, with an address at St Munchin’s Street, St Mary’s Park, was charged with assault causing harm on April 7 this year.

The defendant, who has 106 previous convictions, admitted committing the offence in a drink and drug fuelled attack, telling gardai “I want to do life” [in prison] and that he had “a bit of shit in my head” on the day in question.

State prosecutor John O’Sullivan, BL, said Mr O’Brien pulled the knife on the 48 year-old injured party and stabbed him up to seven times in the face.

The victim had fallen asleep in a corner of the bus shelter, after consuming a “copious amount of alcohol”. He woke up after 11pm and recalled seeing someone with a knife in his hand.

The victim shouted ‘Stop, stop’, Mr O’Sullivan told the court, and made his escape by running towards the Brother Russell home.

“It was a brutal attack, that took him by surprise,” he added.

Mr O’Brien told gardai he had drank a couple of cans as well as 40-50 “Up-Johns”, or relaxants, throughout the day.

“I black out when taking them,” he told gardai during a series of interviews. “I suppose it [the attack] was due to the tablets.”
(Source: Limerick Leader)

Longford

Crime in rural areas of the midlands has been on the rise in recent months. In the past week, several serious incidents have taken place across the region, the latest of which took place on Monday night last week (Oct 17).

Two men, disturbed during a burglary in Roscommon, were chased through Co Longford, before the pursuit ended in Mullingar with a successful arrest. During the chase a Garda helicopter assisted personnel on the ground in Legan to help apprehend the pair.

At the weekend Gardai arrested three men in relation to an attempted robbery at Ardagh Post Office on Friday last.

Two men entered the village post office at 4pm and demanded cash from the post mistress. One was carrying a bat and the other another implement. An alarm was activated shortly afterwards and the two men fled the scene empty handed.

The following day, Saturday October 15, Gardai carried out a number of searches in the area and arrested three men. All three were subsequently released without charge and a file is being prepared for the DPP.
 (Source: Longford Leader)

Louth

A court in Lithuania has sentenced Louth man Michael Campbell to 12 years in prison for trying to buy weapons for the Real IRA.

Campbell, whose brother Liam was a senior member of the Real IRA, was snared by a sting operation involving undercover agents from Britain’s MI5 and the Irish and Lithuanian security services.

He admitted trying to buy weapons in the Baltic state but insisted they were not for the Real IRA.

He claimed he had no connection to the organization, and was entrapped by secret agents who initiated the arms deal and guided it at every stage.

Judge Arunas Kisielius found Campbell guilty of membership of a terrorist organization, weapons smuggling, and trying to illegally buy arms including automatic rifles, explosives, grenade launchers and a sniper rifle.

“The evidence acquired during the investigation proves that the weapons and explosives would have been used for terrorist attacks and killing of innocent people in the United Kingdom,” prosecutor Irmantas Mikelionis said.
(Source: Irish TImes)
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Mayo

A Ballina man ‘snapped’ when he could not get his dole money and dosed petrol over the floor of the social welfare office in protest.

Fifty-one-year-old Gerry Walsh of 33 Healy Terrace, Ballina poured petrol in the hallway of the Department of Social Welfare office in Ballina after his dole was stopped for the second time. The incident occurred on October 26, 2010 and after he was arrested he told gardaí that every man has a snapping point and he had reached his.

Mr Walsh entered the building at 11.45am with a red cannister containing a mixture of petrol and oil which he retrieved from his garden shed 40 minutes after he was told his dole had been stopped.

Up to 30 people were present in the building and he shouted for them to call the fire brigade while he poured the liquid over the hallway of the building. The building was evacuated and when gardaí arrived they observed Mr Walsh with the cannister in one hand and a cigarette lighter in the other.
(Source: The Mayo News)

Meath

A Trim mother is facing eviction from her home over her refusal to pay penalty rent she believes she should not be charged.

Denise Gorman, a mother of two, who has been living at her Manorlands home for 10 years, says she has been charged an additional €40 a week in penalties by Meath County Council.

However, Ms Gorman says she has fully complied with the council's requirements and that she is not going to pay what she believes are "crazy" penalties.

Under every tenancy agreement, a rent review form must be filled out before the new level of rent is charged to council tenants in January of each year. In the Trim area, the deadline is 8th December.
Single mother Ms Gorman says she correctly filed the form with the council although she admits she was a few days late.

"The forms were definitely with them before the end of the year but the penalty rent was never dropped and that has been added on, week on week," she said.

"I've tried to reason with them, but they've done absolutely nothing to change it. For the moment, I'm in limbo and it'll be a disaster (if evicted). I've a son in school here and my work is here, too. All I can do now is wait and see but I've had absolutely nothing off them (regarding negotiating the penalties) about something I shouldn't have to pay," she added. The review of circumstances is used as a way of calculating the next year's rent, which can be reviewed upwards or downwards depending on earnings, who is living in the house and various other factors.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)

Monaghan

The parents of a man, beaten to death in County Monaghan four years, have said they remain hopeful his killers will be brought to justice.

Stephen and Breege Quinn were speaking on the anniversary of their son Paul's murder.

Last week, hundreds of people attended a mass in memory of the 21-year-old in his hometown of Cullyhanna in south Armagh.

Paul Quinn was savagely attacked by a gang of masked men after being lured to a farm in Tullycora, near the village of Oram in 2007.

His parents say they still believe people living locally "know all about" Paul's murder and have called on them to go to the gardaí or the PSNI to "get it off their chest".
(Source: RTE News)

Offaly

Three in four graduates of new ‘recession friendly’ qualification in employment.

Figures released by Career Decisions Ireland at the recent graduation of Ireland’s first Diploma in Career Coaching, showed that three in four graduates, including those from Offaly, had secured jobs or started their own businesses, within weeks of obtaining their qualification.

With the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) recently claiming over 90,000 Irish graduates are currently unemployed or considering emigration, Ireland’s first Career Coaching graduates are bucking the trend.

Of the graduates who were conferred with a Diploma in Career Coaching (NFQ Level 7) in DIT, 75% have secured new employment. Of this figure, 30% have moved into new jobs with 45% having started their own Career Coaching businesses.
(Source: Offaly Express)

Roscommon

A man has been charged with arson following a house fire in Boyle, Co Roscommon, in which a five-year-old girl died earlier this month.

John Lynch (33), Church View, Boyle, was charged last week with committing arson by damaging by fire a private dwelling on Termon Road, Boyle, on October 3rd.

Garda Paul Kenny told Boyle District Court that the charge was put to Mr Lynch before the court sitting. Garda Kenny said that in response to the charge, he replied: “I never intended for anyone to get hurt,” and “I am deeply sorry.”

Mari Keane Connolly died in the fire at Termon Road where she was staying with her father, Richard Connolly, on October 3rd.
(Source: Irish Times)

Sligo

A young boy who fractured two teeth in an incident at the Waterpoint centre in Enniscrone was awarded €30,000 in an agreed settlement approved by Judge Michael White at the Circuit Court.

Patrick Howley, 6 Glencreevy, Erris Road, Crossmolina, who sued Enniscrone Leisure Limited through his father, Thomas, suffered the injuries when another child struck him on a waterslide on March 26th 2010.

Initially Judge White was told there was an offer of €22,500 in the case, including a total for special damages of €6,330 and general damages of €16,170. However, he said he would not approve it given the uncertainly of the cost of future treatment for the boy.

Judge White later approved an improved setttlement of €30,000 and measured costs of €5,800.
(Source: The Sligo Champion)

Tipperary

Thurles is to benefit from a further €50,000 worth of investment under the jobs initiative. Local Minister, Alan Kelly, has signed off on funding for the provision of pedestrian path along the L4126 to extend the walkway around Thurles. The paths will be competed between the R60/L4126 junction and the L4126/L8020 junction.

“This will help the local economy in a small way and deliver a facility that will be used by cyclists and walkers from the town. It will also create a number of days work before the end of the year so it is to be welcomed,” stated Minister Kelly.

“The funding will enhance the walkway around Thurles and is delivered via smarter travel funding under the jobs initiative which was signed off earlier on this year. The Department of Transport were not able to complete some projects in Dublin and I have overseen the transfer of these funds to towns such as Thurles to deliver tangible projects before the end of the year.”
(Source: Tipperary Star)

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Tyrone

Two men were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a petrol bomb attack on a house in Omagh, police said on Sunday.

The sitting room window of the house at Queen's Parade in the Campsie area of the Co Tyrone town was smashed at around 4.30am.

A petrol bomb was hurled inside.

A number of people were asleep in the building at the time, but there have been no reports of injuries.

Detectives said two males arrested in connection with the incident are helping police with their inquiries.
(Source: RTE News)

Waterford

A true gentleman, who served the people of Waterford for almost four decades, has been lost following the untimely death, under tragic circumstances, of the recently retired Superintendent of Tramore, Jerry Lynch.

In his career, as a husband, a father and a friend, Jerry touched the lives of many people and his sudden death has plunged the entire community into grief.

Fifty-eight-year-old Jerry, who was husband to Marian and father to Elaine and Gerard, hung up his hat as Superintendent in Tramore in April of this year, looking forward to enjoying well deserved retirement following 38 years of commitment to the force. But, in a heartbreaking twist of fate Jerry’s life was cut short following a fall from the roof of his home on September 26. On Saturday morning last, Jerry’s fight for life ended, and the father of two sadly passed away in Cork University Hospital.

A Kerry man who immersed himself in life in the locality after he was posted to serve in Newtown in 1972, Jerry managed to touch the lives of many with his compassionate and affable nature both on and off the job.

Chief Superintendent Pat Murphy of Waterford Garda Station said the death of Mr Lynch, a man he deeply admires, has shocked him to the bone.

“He was someone with a real feel for people and there was a real humanity to him. He had the common touch and I admired him enormously. I knew when he retired that he left a huge legacy and I knew I would miss him a lot for his professional contribution at the management table but I was pleased he was living in Ballygunner and would continue to make that contribution to the community. To suddenly hear that he had met a tragic accident and wasn’t likely to recover, it sent a shudder through me,” he admitted.
(Source: Waterford News & Star)

Westmeath

Local twins Kathleen Conlon and May Nugent celebrated their 90th birthday with family at a surprise party in the Dog and Duck in Ballykeeran on Saturday night last.

The ladies turned 90 on September 15 and believe this milestone makes them the oldest living twins in Ireland. Last Saturday they were joined by their sister Lilly Hickey and their extended family to mark the occasion.

Kathleen, from Goldsmith Terrace, and May, from Mount Temple, are very close and try to mark their birthday together every year. Originally from Kiltuber, Drumraney, their parents were Thomas and Kate Conlon. There were five siblings in the family and their brothers Paddy and Thomas Conlon have passed away.

Born in Drumraney, they both moved into Athlone at the age of 20. May went to work at the Shamrock Lodge Hotel, where she worked for nine years until she married Jimmy Nugent and they moved to Mount Temple, where she has lived since. She has four children Laurence, Mary, Tommy and Kathleen.
(Source: Westmeath Independent)

Wexford

A Co. Wexford truck driver falsely imprisoned his student girlfriend and threatened to kill her during a fit of "rage and jealously", the District Court was told in Waterford, last week.

Liam Clince (28) of Killanne, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, fell "head over heels" in love with the girl but got involved in a heated argument with her over certain " social exploits" the previous week.

While in an emotional state and driving along a quayside he threatened to put both of them "at the bottom of the river", the court heard.

He pleaded guilty to threatening to kill WIT student Margaret Birmingham on two occasions at Ballycraddock, Dunhill, Co. Waterford, and at Kennedy Quay, in Cork, and falsely imprisoning her at Smoormor, Co. Waterford, on November 8, 2010.

The DPP indicated summary disposal of the case in the District Court on a guilty plea only.

The court was told by Inspector Anthony Lonergan that the defendant collected Ms. Margaret Birmingham at a pub in Fenor, near Tramore in Co. Waterford, at approx 8.30 pm on the evening of November 8, 2010. He brought her to Ballycraddock, Dunhill where he stopped-up in a lane and pulled her out and pushed her against the car. Then he got a wheel brace and banged it against the vehicle.

The woman ran up the lane but he followed and caught her and brought her back to the car and they drove towards Dungarvan and then onto Cork.

During the ordeal which lasted several hours she fell asleep in the car and woke up to see a sign indicating the Port of Cork.

As the car travelled along the quay the defendant told her that he would put both of them "at the bottom of the river".

But following a phone conversation with his mother he brought Ms. Birmingham home. The defendant had no previous convictions.

Solicitor Ken Cunningham, defending, said the incidents on the evening in question arose out of " affairs of the heart" that went terribly wrong.

At that time he was under enormous financial stress.
(Source: Wexford People)

Wicklow

Illegal deer lampers came close to accidentally shooting a Wicklow motorist.

The incident occurred last Tuesday night around 8.15p.m. when Shillelagh man Mick Dunbar was driving through the village.

The bullet ripped through his jeep missing his head by mere inches. He believes that poachers were illegally deer hunting in the nearby woodland and that they might not even know the bullet went astray. 'I heard an unmerciful whistling noise so I pulled over the jeep to see what was wrong. It was only then that I saw the hole in both sides. It looks like a hollow point bullet was used which people use to kill deer. It's totally illegal and has to stop. I could have been on my way to the morgue if that bullet had been a few inches closer,' he said.

Local Gardaí are investigating the matter and have appealed for anyone who is out legally shooting in the area to be vigilant. ' This appears to be an accidental incident however we appeal to people to be sure of safety practices and be aware of their surroundings. Anyone who is aware of illegal activity should inform Gardaí.'
(Source: The Wicklow People)

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