News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties


Gardaí in Clare have recorded 12 of thefts from churches in the past four months, with the first incident logged on August 7.

While gardaí can’t say these “despicable” crimes are being perpetrated by one individual or a group, they believe the majority of them are connected.

The Clare Champion has learned that on one occasion in August, a donation box was stolen from Ennis Cathedral during a funeral and on another occasion earlier that month, a handbag was stolen in Lifford Church during mass.

Churches at Kilnamona, Kilmaley, Connolly, Coolmeen, Rath, Kilmore Broadford, Lissycasey and Clouna have all been hit in the past four months. In most instances candelabra units and donation boxes were taken, with brass candle stands taken in others. There have been some attempts to gain access to sacristies but in some cases nothing was taken.

Chief Superintendent John Kerin has dubbed this “a really nasty and despicable crime” and is appealing for information from the public to help with the ongoing investigation.

“We believe more churches may have been the subject of crime but, in some cases, the priests might not know. Crime prevention officer Sergeant Joe Downey has met with the Bishop of Killaloe and staff and spoke to them about the problem and heard their concerns. He made crime prevention recommendations for churches around the county and they are now looking at those. The problem is that the clergy can’t close the churches.
(Source: The Clare Champion)


The late Rory Gallagher hit the headlines again last week with another petition celebrating the Cork guitarist’s talent.

This time the petition is to induct the blues rocker into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The campaign received a boost when former Guns N’Roses guitarist Slash asked his fans to sign the petition. Slash who played with Gallagher in the past, said on Twitter: “Please sign this petition to help get Rory Gallagher inducted into RRHF."

More than 11,100 people have signed the petition already. Gallagher sold around 30 million records before he died in 1995 from complications after he received a liver transplant.

Gallagher was born in Ballyshannon, Donegal but moved to Cork when he was young. Rory attended the North Monastery School and started playing guitar at the age of nine.

In 1972 he was named International Guitarist of the Year and was known to be one of the best guitarists in the world for many years.

Last month, Rory's brother Donal brought Rory’s famous sunburst 1961 Stratocaster guitar out of retirement in order to allow Joe Bonamassa to perform with it on his two nights at the London Hammersmith Apollo. Joe opened both nights’ performances with his rendition of ‘Cradle Rock’ using the guitar.

Artists are eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame once their first record was released more than 25 years ago.
Source: (Cork Independent)


The heartbroken family of a murdered Derry man say they’ve been left in a state of limbo as a result of the tragedy.

Self employed tradesman Damien Keenan died in the early hours of Thursday morning after being stabbed in his Francis Street home on Tuesday afternoon.

The father and grandfather celebrated his 51st birthday only two days prior to the attack.

Speaking exclusively to the Journal his children Paul and Michelle described their sense of “loss and bereavement”.

Paul Keenan said: “We have been left in limbo, everything happened so suddenly and we don’t know the full story yet.

“We just want him home so we can make the arrangements for his funeral but we don’t even know how long that will be as police investigations are ongoing.”

Mr. Keenan, who is originally from a well respected family in the Carnhill area, only recently remarried. He and his new bride had moved into their Francis Street home a number of weeks ago.
(Source: Derry Journal)


The Mayor of Bundoran, Sinn Féin Cllr. Mick McMahon, has congratulated gardaí on recovering 500,000 euro worth of cannabis plants in a recent raid on a premises on the outskirts of Tullaghan.

Mayor McMahon said: “Gardaí carried out an operation last Friday in which they recovered a substantial amount of drugs that were being grown in the building. I would like to congratulate them on their great work. Parents can sleep soundly knowing that these drugs, at least, will not make their way on to our streets.”

A garda spokesperson said that the drugs seizure of the cannabis plants was made at 9.30am following a planned search at a warehouse at Gargrim, Kinlough, Co Leitrim.

The spokesperson said: “It was a highly sophisticated process for growing cannabis, using the use of elaborate lighting.”

The operation involved Gardaí from Manorhamilton District, the Drug Unit/Task Force from Sligo and the Garda National Drugs Unit.