News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties


A Mayo man has been found guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury of regularly sexually assaulting two children in the pub where he worked over eleven years ago.

The 39-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of sexual assault and 13 counts of oral rape against one girl, as well as 14 counts of sexual assault, 13 counts of oral rape and one count of anal rape against the second child, between June 1999 and September 2000.

The girls were between eight and ten years old at the time of the alleged offences.

Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan remanded the man in custody and adjourned sentencing to later this month.

Earlier in the trial, the first complainant, now 20 years old, told Ms Deirdre Murphy SC, prosecuting, that she and her best friend would go to her mother’s work place after school and would watch cartoons in a nearby pub where they regularly used the toilet.

She said that they began to be sexually abused together during their visits by the accused who was a bar man.

She said he would give them money and gave her cigarettes and cider. She said she ‘became addicted to smoking’ after that.
(Source: The Mayo News)


The owner of a family-run shop, robbed by a drug addict armed with a meat cleaver, has said that he has lived in fear since the attack and has now ceased trading.

Last week, Peter Nolan (29) from Celbridge, Co Kildare, was jailed for three years after robbing shops at knifepoint in Summerhill and Baconstown while on heroin in April of this year.

At Trim Circuit Court on Friday, the owner of the Dargan's Gala in Baconstown, Matthew Dargan, told the court of the effect of the robbery: "As a result of that robbery and a number of others over the years, I have decided to cease trading from this weekend. Every customer that comes in, I'm nervous and watching. I've decided I can no longer do it. I am just waiting for another robbery."

Speaking after Nolan's conviction, Mr Dargan said he had been burgled a few times already before the April 2010 robbery, but that now he had stepped aside from the family business of almost 60 years and three generations.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)


NOB Nation joker Oliver Callan has dismissed rumours he is homophobic - by revealing he is gay.
The comic from Co Monaghan said he felt like "literally the only gay in the village" when he came out in his tiny home town.

The 30-year-old officially revealed his sexuality live on TV after a whispering campaign that claimed he is a homophobe.

He was accused of being anti-gay due to sketches on David Norris and GAA star Paul Galvin.
Callan also told RTE's Saturday Night Show told of the mental torture he suffered because of his sexuality.

He added: "I've been called a fag, a daisy, a fairy, a pansy, a queer, all of that down through the years.
"I'm from a very small part of Co Monaghan and coming out probably made me literally the only gay in the village.

"Obviously everybody says you're born that way, but in all honesty when I was 11 or 12 I just knew I was different.

"I felt like a Protestant on the Falls and I knew I was different to my older brother who started driving the tractor when he was eight.

"I'm not singing I'm gay and proud. I'm saying I'm gay and I don't give a s**t and neither should anyone else." Callan, 30, said he was telling people about his sexuality because he did not want to be labeled a homophobe.
(Source: Irish Times)


Over 76,000 people are now residing in county Offaly, representing an 8% increase in population in the last five years.

The figures were published recently in the Statistical Yearbook compiled by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). The information is derived from the administrative work of Government departments, semi state bodies and local authorities.

The tables in this yearbook were prepared during August 2011 and in general, they contain details relating to 2010. Some of these results are provisional and are subject to revision.

The information shows there were 1,231 births, which represents 2.9% of the total births in Leinster in 2010. Last year, there were 872 deaths in Offaly, representing just over 6% of the total deaths in the province.

Meanwhile, according to the statistics, there almost a halving of the number of new cars registered for the first time from 2001 to 2010
(Source: Offaly Express)


A private company is to take over the management of a number of hospitals in the HSE West region, including Roscommon County Hospital. It has emerged that the Department of Health has begun the tender process, and it is reported that five private companies are already competing to secure a contract. It will involve managing University Hospital Galway (UHG), Merlin Park Hospital, Portiuncula Hospital and Roscommon County Hospital.

The Roscommon Hospital Action Committee said last week that the proposals just don’t make any sense. HAC spokesperson John McDermott said: “Everyone knows what’s needed is more front-line staff and not more management. The priorities are all wrong.”