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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

The mother of one of the soldiers gunned down in a hail of bullets at Massereene Army Barracks left court in floods of tears last Monday as graphic CCTV images were shown during the first day of the trial of the two men accused of their murders.


Sappers Patrick Azimkar (21) and Mark Quinsey (23) were killed in the callous gun attack on March 7, 2009. 
Four other people, including two civilians delivering pizzas to the base, were seriously injured.


All four parents of the murdered soldiers were present at Antrim Crown Court last Monday and sat just yards from the two accused as the trial got under way. 
Mrs Azimkar and a painfully distressed Mrs Quinsey left the courtroom as the shocking CCTV footage lasting around a minute showed the horrific incident unfold.
Colin Duffy (43), from Forest Glade in Lurgan, and Brian Shivers (46), from Sperrin Mews in Magherafelt, both deny any involvement in the attack.


Delivering the prosecution's opening statement, Terence Mooney QC told the court that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the defendants as 'principals' ie the gunmen.


However, he said that the presence of DNA linked them to the getaway car, 'making them accessories in a joint enterprise'.


The trial is expected to last approximately five weeks.
The court heard that up to 200 witnesses from as far afield as the USA and New Zealand will be called to the stand.
(Source: Antrim Guardian)

Armagh

Amidst the anguish of recent thefts committed on defenceless pensioners and the rising toll throughout the locality of aggravated burglaries and opportunistic robberies, it would seem a new low was reached last week with the armed robbery of a popular Newry charity shop.

The local community was left reeling as news began to emerge that the British Heart Foundation charity shop on Hill Street had been robbed at knifepoint. On Wednesday, 2nd November, a staff member at the branch was left terrified when, shortly after 4.00pm,  a man entered the premises brandishing a knife and demanding cash. Fearing for her life the worker handed over the money and the thief made off on foot.

Jane Flannery, Operations Manager for British Heart Foundation (BHF) shops said the theft will significantly impact on the charity.

“Thankfully our assistant shop manager escaped unhurt which is our main concern,” she said.

“We’re now appealing for the local community to come forward if they have any information about the incident.  This incident cost £280 – a loss of vital donations to the British Heart Foundation.”
(Source: Crossexmainer.co.uk)
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Carlow

When Linda Byrne, the first Irish woman to complete the Dublin City Marathon, crossed the finish line in record time, her Carlow boyfriend and his family were there to cheer her on.

Linda, who trains with the-Dundrum South Dublin Athletics Club, has now qualified for the London Olympics and credits local lad Kevin Lawlor with pushing her that extra mile on the day.

“He’s been a great support. He was up watching me on the day and he was cycling to different spots along the route to watch me and cheer me on,” added Linda.

Twenty-four-year-old Linda was the first Irish woman to complete the Dublin marathon at Halloween. Her record time of two hours, 36 minutes and 21 seconds, means that Linda now qualifies for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

“It’s very exciting. It’s been my goal the whole year; focusing on qualifying. Now I’m totally relieved and I can focus on the games.”

Kevin, from Pollerton, and his parents Mary Patricia and David, as well as his brothers Diarmuid and Ronan, were all at the finish line to cheer on Linda.

“They’ve been great support. I go to Carlow regularly on my holidays,” joked Linda, who admitted that St Laurence O’Toole’s track and the Oak Park forest walk featured prominently in her training regime.
“I’ve been training down there a good bit. It’s great to be able to use St Laurence O’Toole’s and Oak Park.”

Linda, who met Kevin in DCU three years ago, where they were both studying on athletics scholarships, will have a huge Carlow contingent behind her as she steps out in green, white and gold in London next year.

“It’s great. It’s amazing how much it means to everyone and the support I’ve received has been brilliant.”
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)

Cavan

One of the 26 staff who are to lose their jobs at Flair International in February has spoke of his dread at the prospect of having no work to go to. Currently there are 87 people employed by the Bailieborough factory, including the field sales team. The company last week stressed that this course of action is essential in order to save the jobs of the remaining 61 people.

The company says that the requirement to cut the workforce has been brought on by a number of factors, most notably the Irish sales of Flair's shower enclosures has dropped significantly during the last four years of recession. Growth in the UK and mainland Europe has not been sufficient to offset the fall in Irish sales.
(Source: The Anglo Celt)

Clare

Clare Mental Health Services has apologized to a Sixmilebridge woman over its failure to deal properly with a complaint concerning her dissatisfaction with treatment of her husband, who was admitted as a voluntary patient to the Acute Psychiatric Unit of Ennis Hospital. 

Delores Keogh, Castlecrine, Sixmilebridge, has also described her shock and upset at receiving a “shameful” HSE letter as part of the release of medical records under the FOI act, which incorrectly stated her husband, John, who was 59 when he was admitted for treatment, was dead.


Both related issues came to light last week following the release of a report by the Office of the Ombudsman, which stated a local manager couldn’t find any record to indicate whether the complaint made by Mrs Keogh was ever referred to a senior medic and acknowledged that, in all probability, it was not done.


Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2002, Mr Keogh was treated for suspected Lewy Body Dementia in 2008 and is still receiving treatment for dementia. Mrs Keogh currently receives six hours assistance per week from a carer, even though she insists John needs 24-hour care.
Mrs Keogh has requested the HSE to conduct an independent public inquiry into all aspects of her husband’s care, including his medication and treatment while he was patient in the Clare Mental Health Services over an eight-week period from February 2009 when he was admitted to Ennis Hospital.

She believes this inquiry should include all psychiatric patients who were present at the time, covering all the treatments they received from medical staff. 
The Mid-West HSE hadn’t responded to a number of Clare Champion queries at the time of going to press. 
However, when questioned on Mr Keogh’s case back in April 2009, the HSE stated it was confident this patient “is receiving high-quality care delivered by clinical staff and expert in the management of this type of illness”.


“The cases dealt with by staff can be extremely difficult and often require 24 hour, one-to-one nursing, which is provided at the hospital.
“The Acute Psychiatric Unit in Ennis Hospital, which is managed by the Clare Mental Health Services, is an approved centre under the terms of the Mental Health Act and offers a quality of treatment and care that is informed by best practice. HSE staff responsible for the care of mental health patients are committed to providing caring, professional and competent care to these patients.”

The HSE letter, which caused great upset for Mrs Keogh, was sent on December 21 last and referenced “Mr John Keogh RIP”.

It stated, “Please note these are the only medical records we hold on your deceased husband attending the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Dooradoyle”.


Mrs Keogh was extremely upset to receive this letter and said it took her a number of days to get over it. Her husband was sitting in the next room when she was reading the letter.

However, she said if he had been in hospital at the time it would have been even more upsetting, as she would have presumed he was dead, having received official notification of this.
(Source: The Clare Champion)
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Cork

Bus Éireann has denied that bus drivers in the city are at risk of being attacked by passengers, following a claim that it’s a matter of time before a bus driver in severely injured on the No. 5 route.

Speaking to the Cork Independent, one Cork city bus driver who works both the number 5 and 8 routes, along with others, said it is a matter of time before a driver is bottled or stabbed while carrying out duties for Bus Éireann.

On Thursday 27 October, thousands of euros of damage was done to the 10.45pm bus from Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) as it made its way into the city centre. Gardaí in Bishopstown confirmed that the investigation into the incident is ongoing.

One eyewitness told the Cork Independent that youths had allegedly kicked the roof of the bus, while others had smashed bottles on the bus and yet another had drawn blood from their knuckles having repeatedly punched the bus roof, leaving stains in the bus.

The driver, who contacted the papers last week and wished to remain anonymous, said his wife and children worry about his safety each day as passengers, mostly students, on the No. 5 bus are allegedly becoming increasingly abusive.

The bus runs between the city centre, Kent Station and CIT.

“Tuesdays and Thursdays are the worst nights for hassle from the students on this route. Many of the students are drunk and some don’t want to pay their fare. But then, it gets worse. They hang off the bars, start fights and break bottles.
Source: (Cork Independent)

Derry

Derry Priests and music sensations, Martin and Eugene O’Hagan, have proved to be the toast of both the music industry and Hollywood and are returning to their hometown for a special Christmas performance.

The O’Hagan brothers are two thirds of supergroup The Priests. Their show ‘Christmas With The Priests’ sees them and Fr. David Delargy singing much loved classics such as Ave Maria, Pie Jesu and Amazing Grace. The Priests will also perform tracks from their third album ‘Noel’ for the first time. So expect Ding Dong Merrily On High to O Come All Ye Faithful, Sussex Carol to Silent Night.

Despite having recorded great success ‘The Priests’ are reeling from what they are calling ‘Black Wednesday.’ That is the cancellation of their US tour this month.

The trio were to embark on a tour of 1,000 seater venues in the States last week but that was postponed until the Spring of 2012.
(Source: Derry Journal)

Donegal

A 22-year-old Buncrana man has been charged in relation to a crash that claimed the lives of eight people last year.Shaun Kelly, was the driver of one of the vehicles involved in the collision, which happened at Meenaduff on the main Clonmnay to Buncrana Road at 10.40pm on Sunday, July 11, 2010.

The crash is the worst single road accident on record in the history of the state. Those who died were Hugh Friel, 66, from Dunaff, Urris, who was driving home from bingo in Buncrana, and all the passengers in Mr Kelly’s Volkswagen Passat: Mark McLaughlin (21) of Fahan; James McEleney (23) of Clonmany; Paul Doherty (19) of Ballyliffin; Ciaran Sweeney (19) of Ballyliffin; PJ McLaughlin (21) of Rockstown, Burnfoot; Eamon McDaid (22) of Ballymagan, Buncrana; and Damien McLaughlin (21), of Umricam, Buncrana. All were killed instantly.

Mr Kelly was arrested last Thursday morning and appeared before Buncrana District Court where he was charged with one count of dangerous driving causing death.

His solicitor said that, because of the injuries he suffered in the crash, he did not pose a flight risk.
He was released on bail and is to appear again before Buncrana Court on 8 December.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)

Down

Residents of Forkhill came together during a community meeting last week to say they will not tolerate vandalism is their village, following an evening of anti-social behavior on Halloween night. 
One resident said the community was left "shocked, horrified and quite frankly disgusted" at the antics that took place in the village.


A letter on behalf of the Forkhill community to the Democrat said: "Of course people expected a bit of messing and a bit of craic about the village, however the line was crossed when property was vandalized and defenceless and senior citizens were targeted and left traumatized in their homes. 


“The community of Forkhill woke up Tuesday morning to hear that senior citizens' homes were wrecked and property burnt as well as cars vandalized on the street. 


“The people of Forkhill came together and made a stand to show support to the victims of the nonsense that took place. There was a public meeting called immediately by the residents of the village for Tuesday evening. 


“This meeting was attended by local councilors and a large number of villagers, with at least one representative from the majority of families in the village in attendance. 


“One of the main points at the meeting was that the people of the area wanted to commend the fact that these acts are carried out by a minority of people. "Furthermore, it was expressed that the young people who do not take part in these mindless acts should be supported and commended. 

(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Dublin

A major catastrophe was averted at Dublin Airport last year when a German charter flight almost collided with a Turkish plane on the runway.

The two aircraft were carrying a total of 235 passengers and crew between them when they were involved in the near miss in October 2010.

Results of an investigation carried out by Ireland’s Air Accident authority have just been published and describe the near collision as a "serious incident."

The report states that the Germanwings Airbus, with 125 passengers and five crew aboard, was about to touch down when the pilot spotted another aircraft on the runway.

A Turkish Airlines jet, with 99 passengers and six crew on board, had failed to comply with air traffic control instructions. The investigation team concluded that the plane had entered an active runway without permission.

The two aircraft came within just 144 feet of each other. The German pilot initiated a "go around" procedure and climbed to just 3,000 feet from the ground and subsequently landed safely.

Investigators reported that on its final approach to Dublin Airport, the German plane’s pilot told air traffic control: “We’re going around, there’s a plane entering the runway.”

The Turkish flight had been cleared to taxi in preparation for take-off, and to hold short of the active runway.

The Turkish pilot told investigators he was distracted by "heads-in" tasks in the cockpit. He also said he "did not see or correctly interpret signage for the holding position" according to the report.

The Irish Aviation Authority has since advised Turkish Airlines to amend its procedures and instruct pilots to maintain an external lookout at all times during taxiing.

They have also advised that crew conduct a "verbal cross-check when about to enter a runway."
(Source: The Evening Herald)

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Fermanagh

Relatives of those killed in the IRA's Remembrance Day bombing in Enniskillen were among hundreds who gathered in solemn reflection at the town's cenotaph.

The annual commemoration service in Co Fermanagh has assumed added symbolic significance and been touched with a deeper poignancy since the 1987 atrocity in which 11 people were killed.

The town has become synonymous with Remembrance Day in the wake of the infamous terrorist bombing, when the IRA blew up a building beside the cenotaph in the minutes before the event was due to start.

The republican group claimed its target had been parading military personnel but all their victims were civilians who had come to pay their respects to the fallen.

Army cadets and veterans' associations were among those who took part in the traditional parade through Belmore Street ahead of the service last week.

In bright autumn sunshine, the Union Flag was lowered ahead of the Binyon words being spoken.
The two-minute silence was observed impeccably as standards were lowered.
(Source: Press Association)

Galway

The organizers of the Christmas market insist it is to open as planned, despite the presence of the Occupy Galway protestors living on Eyre Square who have ruled out abandoning their camp.

Several meetings have taken place between Marie Moynihan-Lee, producer of the market on behalf of the Galway City Business Association, and the protestors over the last week in a bid to reach a resolution on staging the event.

A number of councillors had publicly called on the group to remove themselves from Eyre Square, or threaten the very survival of the second annual Christmas market, which last year attracted 600,000 visitors and generated €10m in income to the city.

A spokesperson for Occupy Galway said after “a temperature check” within the group it was decided they would not move. The group of around 20 tents have been camped out on the plaza end of Eyre Square for a month in solidarity with similar protests around the world.

“The market can work around us. We can make some compromises – like if they want to get a truck in we’ll narrow the camp – but I think moving off the spot altogether is off the table.”
(Source: GalwayBay Fm)

Kerry

The GAA and soccer communities in Co Kerry have been stunned by the sudden death of a second young footballer in the space of a fortnight.

Connor Spellman died at home at Ballycasheen, Killarney on Saturday after suffering a suspected brain haemorrhage.

The 29-year-old starred locally for Killarney Legion GAA and Killarney Celtic FC.

He died just a week after the funeral of fellow local sportsman Brendan O'Driscoll of Annascaul and Camp United.

Mr Spellman is from a very well-known Kerry family who have operated a successful sawmill business in Killarney for many years.

He and his wife, Michelle McCarthy, were married in Spain 14 months ago and they have an eight-year-old daughter, Holly.

Kerry GAA commentator Weeshie Fogarty, who trained Mr Spellman at Killarney Legion GAA club, described him as a brilliant young GAA and soccer star.

"He was one of the best under age players I have managed and trained," Mr Fogarty said.

"When he was playing under 14 with us, I was present at an East Kerry game and Connor scored 10 goals, all from play. I have never before or since seen this repeated," he added.

Killarney Celtic first team manager Karl McMahon said the death had shocked the whole town and saddened everyone in the club.

"He was a great player. He was the first to arrive at training every night and the last to leave and he was a great example to the younger players," Mr McMahon said.

The previous Saturday, Brendan O'Driscoll was laid to rest. He died after collapsing during a local championship game.
(Source: Irish Independent)

Kildare

Gardaí in Kildare are seeking the public’s assistance in tracing the whereabouts of a 16-year-old girl.

Deimant Daciolaite was last seen at the Whitewater Shopping Centre in Newbridge Co Kildare on Tuesday last, the 8th of November.

She is 5 feet 6 inches in height with a large build. She has black hair and brown eyes.

It is believed she may have travelled to Dublin city centre or to Rathfarnham or Tallaght.

(Source: Irish Times)

Kilkenny

An Urlingford company has teamed up with a Roscommon firm in a €3.2 million deal, and the pairing up of the two businesses also links two celebrated GAA players.

The newly announced partnership sees Shane Curran, former inter-county goalkeeper for Roscommon and managing director of Global Flood Solutions, team up with The MW Hire Group, the Kilkenny plant and pump hire company headed by Matty Walsh, 1993 All-Ireland winner with the Kilkenny senior hurlers.

With the deal, Global Flood Solutions will supply The MW Hire Group with its Big Bags Defence System exclusively for three years in Ireland. The multi-purpose defence barrier, which is primarily used to protect from flooding, is used worldwide where the system has been identified for use by major NGOs in disaster relief and within the oil industry.

“It fits perfectly with our products and we’ve already had demand for it from our existing clients, where it was recently identified for use in a large weir development,” Mr Walsh said. “We’ve also recently supplied major infrastructure projects along the Panama Canal and to Abu Dhabi (and) I envisage similar projects will require the system in the future.”
(Source: Kilkenny People)

Laois

A Laois couple are in mourning last week after their eldest son was tragically killed in a farm fire in Australia.

Kieran Tynan (22), of Lisacul, Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, had only travelled out to Perth a month ago in search of work. Originally from Borris- in- Ossory, Kieran lived there with his family for the first half of his life.

The young man, nicknamed ‘Tiny’, still has a lot of family and friends in Laois, as his father Martin is a native of Borris-in-Ossory, while his mother Margret (née Madden) is originally from Rathdowney.

The eldest of four children, Mr Tynan had been working at a hay processing plant, which was the scene of the fire, early last Saturday morning, in New Norcia, 130kms north of Perth.

The Tynan family originally lived on the Rock Road in Borris-in- Ossory, but moved to Roscommon a little over ten years ago when the victim’s father, Martin, was offered a job managing a Dawn Meats factory.

No funeral arrangements were made at the time of going to press, as the family will have to await clearance from Australian authorities before being able to bring the body home.

Lisacul parish priest Brendan McDonagh led prayers for Kieran and his family, at Masses over the weekend.
(Source: Leinster Express)

Leitrim

Local representatives have described their disappointment at last Monday’s announcement by Bank of America that it was planning to axe 102 jobs at its Carrick-on-Shannon centre.

According to a statement issued by the bank 90 of the jobs affected are in the UK Credit Card Collections area with the remaining 12 positions in the Human Resources/Training sector of the operation.

While the 90 collections redundancies will be sought through “voluntary means” where possible, the 12 other jobs impacted by the announcement will be compulsory.

The bank has now opened a collective consultation process for the redundancies and a spokesperson stressed that the announcement did not impact credit card customers in Ireland where it is “business as usual”.

Speaking to the Leitrim Observer following the announcement, Leitrim County Council Manager, Jackie Maguire said that she had spoken to management at MBNA and had been assured there was “no correlation between these voluntary redundancies and the sale of the business”.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)

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Limerick

A patient who was awaiting transfer from the Mid Western Regional Hospital to St John’s died of a suspected heart attack after two days lying on a trolley.

An inquest will be held to establish the cause of the 35 year old’s death, which occurred within the past two weeks.

The man, who was suffering from an inflammatory bowel condition known as Crohn’s Disease, was viewed as a ‘minor case’ on his arrival at the Regional. He was seen by both senior and junior doctors in the 48 hours before he died and had received his papers for transfer to St John’s.

Shortly before he was due to be transferred however, he suffered a suspected cardiac arrest as a result of an undiagnosed condition and died.

This particular case prompted local representatives of the Irish Nurses’ and Midwives’ Organisation (INMO) to raise “specific concerns” with HSE management around the transfer of patients out of the hospital, and the protocol in respect of that type of transfer.

A spokesperson for the INMO said they were aware of the particular case but would not comment directly on it out of respect to the deceased man’s family.

The spokesperson said: “The INMO have raised directly with the HSE issues in respect of protocols for the review of patients by medical doctors prior to transfer to other locations”.

The HSE issued a statement which stressed that the HSE “do not comment on individual cases. In the case of a recent death, we respect the primacy of the corner’s inquiry”.

“There is nothing to suggest at this moment any association between inter hospital transfers and poor outcomes for patients in the Mid Western Regional Hospital,” said the statement. “We would find it regrettable if there is any association prematurely made between the day to day management of the hospital and any recent tragic event in the life of any person or family.”
(Source: Limerick Leader)

Longford

It’s not every day a 15 year old youth gets to hang out and play soccer with professionals such as Kevin Kilbane and the likes, but that is exactly what Longford’s Daryl Carrigy was doing last month when he was invited over to Derby County in England to participate in trials with the well established club.

Following on from his début appearance with the U15 Ireland soccer squad earlier this year, Ardagh’s centre forward ace was spotted in top form on the playing fields of Derby County during the trials which were held a couple of weeks ago. He is currently in his second season with Dublin league topping side, Stella Maris.
(Source: Longford Leader)

Louth

Dundalk man Terry Kelly has achieved a first for his country by being the first Irishman to win gold in the 4 Nations Fly Fishing competition.

Originally from Fatima, Terry currently lives in Manydown Close and is a member of Dundalk and District Brown Trout Anglers club.

Terry was one of six Irishmen who represented Ireland at Barfinnehy Lake in Killarney at the 4 Nations Fly Fishing competition on Wednesday, October 19.

“We practised for four days prior to the competition. The practise days were windy and rainy but the conditions were fairly good on the day of the competition,” said Terry.

“The competition started at 9.15am and ran until 6.30pm. There were 24 anglers from four different countries participating in the event - Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.”

He added: “The Irish team consisted of two Leinster men, two from Munster and two from Ulster. We were very slow to start and the team was in last position at lunchtime.

“However, we made a fantastic comeback to win silver in the finish up. Scotland won gold, England took bronze and Wales got the Wooden Spoon.”
(Source: Dundalk Democrat)

Mayo

The 25-year-old man killed in a road crash in Belcarra, Castlebar, Wednesday morning has been named locally as Brian Keane.

Mr Keane, a married father of two, lived with his wife Sarah (nee Mahon) and two young girls at Weatherfort, Clogher, Claremorris and was a native of Skirdagh, Newport.

Brian and Sarah only got married in August of this year.

Mr Keane died as a result of a single-vehicle road crash shortly after 7am. He was the sole occupant of the vehicle and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Brian Keane was well known in the West Mayo area. He played Gaelic football for a number of years with Burrishoole GAA Club and played rugby with Westport Rugby Club. He worked with Elverys Sports in Castlebar.
(Source: The Mayo News)

Meath

Navan gardaí are investigating an armed robbery at a supermarket in the town that took place last night (Wednesday 9th November).

At around 9.40pm two men wearing balaclavas and brandishing knives entered the Centra supermarket on the Commons Road and demanded money.

One stood on look-out at the door while the other threatened staff before jumping the counter and emptying the contents of both tills.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)

Monaghan

The Irish Government is to withdraw its commitment to pay towards a major road linking Co Monaghan with Co Derry.

The total cost of the A5 project, which was part of the St Andrew’s Agreement in 2006, was to be split between the Irish and British governments.

The last government pledged to spend £400 million (€470 million) on the road, which is viewed as an important part of the country’s infrastructure, RTÉ reports.

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar insisted that the current administration was “politically committed to the A5″ however, with €750 million being cut from the capital budget for next year, he said that the country was unable to pay.
(Source: Journal.ie)

Offaly

Gardai in Tullamore are investigating a spectacular crash which happened literally on their own doorstep on Wednesday night. The entire incident was caught on video and posted on line.

A Toyota that was going around the roundabout in front of the Garda Station was smashed into by a BMW that was coming down Patrick Street.

The Toyota was catapulted right up to the door of the Garda Station while the BMW ended up in the wall.

Miraculously nobody was seriously injured in the smash which happened at 9pm.

The man driving the BMW was arrested and brought the short distance remaining to the Garda Station.
(Source: Offaly Express)

Roscommon

Police believe the man who tied up and gagged his partner in her Co Roscommon home made a call to a friend to raise the alarm before he took his own life but the call was mistaken for a joke and ignored.
Detectives working on the case now believe the woman, separated mother of two Collette Keane (54), was tied up some time last Monday night.

She was tied and taped by her wrists and ankles to her bed in her home at Anvil Court in Roscommon town and had a sponge stuffed into her mouth before being gagged.

Her partner, Paul Timothy (47), then left her there and went drinking in Galway. He made a call to a man to raise the alarm about Ms Keane but the man who received the call thought it was a joke and did not act on it.

On Wednesday last Mr Timothy joined a tourist’s coach party in Galway that took in a number of stops including the Cliffs of Moher. He failed to return to the coach at the lunchtime departure time and the alarm was raised.

After a search in waters, the Coast Guard recovered his body. Gardaí investigating his death are not looking for anybody else.
(Source: Irish Times)

Sligo

A father of three was fined €250 at Tubbercurry Court for a fraud offence after money was lodged to his bank account for an Apple ipad that he had advertised online.

Kieran Lynch, Prucklish, Kilmacrennan, Co. Donegal, was summoned by Garda Michael Moran for committing the offence on September 27th 2010 at Fairgreen, Lowpark, Charlestown.

The court heard that the injured party in the case was looking at the advertising website, on which the defendant had an Apple ipad advertised. The injured party rang a phone number and arranged to transfer money to the defendant's account by online banking.

€150 was handed over in court. Defending solicitor Ms. Laura Spellman said that at the time the money was lodged, Lynch was selling the ipad. She added that a total of €450 was now handed over, which was the total amount that had been lodged to his account.
(Source: The Sligo Champion)

Tipperary

Five people have been arrested after a gun, ammunition and cash were seized from a car.

Gardai from Nenagh stopped the vehicle on the M7 motorway at Knockalton in Co Tipperary on Saturday morning.

Officers recovered a sawn-off shotgun, ammunition and money.

Three men aged 19, 21 and 22, and two women aged 19 and 20, were arrested.
(Source: Evening Herald)

Tyrone

A man has pleaded guilty to killing a GAA player outside a Co Tyrone nightclub — just minutes before he was due to stand trial for manslaughter.

Conor McCusker, who was the brother of former Derry vice-captain Niall McCusker, died in hospital two days after being assaulted outside the Mint Cafe Bar in April 2009.

Earlier this year a jury failed to reach a verdict after a six-week trial of the man accused of Mr McCusker’s killing, Chris Murphy.

A fresh hearing was due to open at Dungannon courthouse last week. However, at the outset Murphy’s legal team asked for the manslaughter charge to be put to him again.

The 23-year-old, from Tullagh Drive in Cookstown, pleaded guilty.

Relatives of Mr McCusker looked shocked and some wept as the plea was entered.

Murphy was released on bail and will be sentenced next month.

Outside the court the McCusker family said they were emotional but glad the truth had come out.

Mr McCusker (31) was a player with the Ballinderry Shamrocks club and belonged to one of the strongest GAA families in the rural parish, which straddles the Tyrone-Derry border.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Waterford

The man who miraculously survived two gas explosions at a Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) building sustained third degree burns and is still waiting to see if he will regain full use of his hands.

The father of two was carrying out maintenance to a cylinder containing the highly flammable gas acetylene, which is used in welding, when the first of two explosions occurred on Thursday morning last.. John Self, of 16 Leamy Street, in the city, was left with burns to his face, neck and hands when the cylinder exploded at 10am, inside a storage facility used by WIT on the IDA Industrial Park. In an exclusive interview with the Waterford News & Star Mr Self’s wife Bridie outlined what happened on the day the shocking accident took place. Mrs Self said her husband, who has been an employee of the WIT for over 30 years, was changing the cylinder when the gas ignited. “He doesn’t know why it ignited. It is only hitting him now how lucky he is to be alive,” she said.
(Source: Waterford News $ Star)

Westmeath

A mystery backer has invested over half a million euro to wipe-out all remaining debts following the construction of Athlone Town stadium in Lissywollen.

Following days of rumors locally, Athlone Town Stadium Ltd spokesperson Tom Burke confirmed the wealthy backer, who wishes to remain anonymous, has joined the board of Athlone Town Stadium Ltd and that his staggering contribution - believed to be in the region of €550,000 - makes him the company's new major shareholder.

When speaking to the Westmeath Independent about the deal, Mr Burke insisted the stadium has not been bought outright by the investor, instead saying the investor is now the company's major shareholder. Mr Burke said there was two other shareholders in the company, and assured supporters the investor's intentions were "genuine and transparent", and that his only wish was to see Athlone Town FC continue to play football in Lissywollen for many years.

The company behind the stadium has no connection with the football club so this news doesn't have immediate consequences for Athlone Town FC. However, following the investor's amazing act of generosity, hopes are also high that the football club, and its playing side, could also benefit from the investor's good-will in the very near future.
(Source: Westmeath Independent)

Wexford

A liquidator has been appointed to insolvent Wexford construction company Goff Developments.

Ken Fennell of Kavanagh-fennell was appointed following a vote of the company's creditors recently.

Goff Developments was run by father and son, Francis and Damien Goff, of Horetown, Killinick, and has completed some large commercial, civil and residential projects in Co Wexford in the past 15 years.

Goff Developments had suffered a significant fall off in business through 2008 and had effectively ceased contracting in 2009. It also suffered as a result of bad debts.

The statement of affairs prepared by the directors of the company showed an overall deficit of over €10 million owed to both secured and unsecured creditors. The statement of affairs also showed €1.3 million owed by debtors and ownership of portion of a sewage treatment plant with Wexford County Council in Bridgetown.
(Source: The Irish Times)

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Wicklow

Dogs allowed to roam freely around Wicklow town all hours of the day and night are causing considerable problems.

Cllr Malcolm Earls raised the issue at last week's Wicklow Town Council meeting.

The Fine Gael councilor queried who was responsible for paying the county's only dog warden's wages.

'I understand there's only one in the county and he's extremely overworked. We have a problem at the moment in Wicklow town with roaming dogs. They're howling at night and keeping people awake, and also running after cats and running after children. But the dog warden can't come down frequently enough as he has to cover the whole county and is busy elsewhere.'
(Source: The Wicklow People)

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