News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties



Antrim Council will not be dreaming of a white Christmas after 'reluctantly' signing up to help clear its town centers of ice and snow this winter - even though it could be digging a financial hole for years to come.

It had hoped that Roads Service Chief Jim Campbell would deliver some early festive cheer last week when he came to thrash out a compromise with Civic leaders, but the warm reception soon cooled when it became clear that the early promise of a deal on insurance liability was not on his Christmas list.

But with memories of last year still painfully fresh, the chamber ploughed ahead with a deal of sorts - though this belated show of true grit was almost lost on the people of Antrim after the Council decided to hold the two-hour talks behind closed doors.

It had been an agenda item but, presumably to spare red faces when the gloves came off, all visitors were given the cold shoulder - to the consternation of those forced to mill outside for an hour waiting for the scheduled Planning meeting.

Ulster Unionist Adrian Watson agreed that it was 'absolutely scandalous' that the Council was becoming a cold house for open and accountable debate - and agreed to lift the lid on the heated debate.

(Source: Antrim Guardian)


Success in sport in south Armagh, and particularly in Crossmaglen, has often been the envy of many.  Now two local GAA clubs have teamed up with the area’s Chamber of Commerce with the aim of replicating their sporting success in the world of business.

Crossmaglen Rangers GFC and Culloville Blues GFC have joined forces with the Crossmaglen and South Armagh Chamber of Commerce to help raise the profile of the area as a feasible business hub in this new digital era.

Its location, just off the Belfast/Dublin Corridor, together with the plethora of resources, make Crossmaglen a significantly viable option for businesses seeking to gain a foothold in trading both nationally and internationally.


Iceland received a frosty welcome to Carlow last week, when just hours after opening, the frozen food supermarket was robbed of their first day’s takings.

Cold-hearted thieves stole a “substantial” sum of cash, believed to have been in excess of €50,000 from the Tullow Road supermarket, by brazenly using a mini digger to rip through a wall at the premises, then making off with two safes.

The incident took place between 5.05am and 6.15am on Friday morning. Iceland had enjoyed a bumper opening day last Thursday, with hundreds of Carlow shoppers rushing to the town’s newest supermarket.

Then hours later, the thieves struck, first gaining entry through the roof of the store room, before using a mini-digger at the premises to smash through the wall and removing both safes.

Tom Keogh, CEO of the AIM Group which holds the Irish franchise for Iceland, confirmed that a large portion of the store’s takings on its opening day was contained within the safes.

“We have been given a great welcome to Carlow – we’ve enjoyed an incredible few days, which thankfully has continued,” he added.

Mr Keogh stated that the robbery did delay opening on Friday morning by a number of hours, as some staff had been “traumatized” by the event, but trade did resume as normal on Friday morning and continued as busy as ever all weekend.

A witness to the robbery described to The Nationalist how he thought it was a dream, as the callous thieves dragged the safes from the new supermarket. 

“I was woken by a loud bang at around 5am but I didn’t think anything of it and went back to sleep but was woken again at about 6.20am,” said the witness, who did not wish to be named.

“I looked out the window and saw two lads dressed in tracksuits, wearing hoodies and balaclavas and I called the gardaí. I kept watching – they had a black car parked behind a truck at the back of Iceland.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)



More news stories from Ireland on IrishCentral

Winter storm lashes Ireland as first snow falls

Surprisingly, Jewish Hanukkah menorah now a favorite Irish Christmas tradition



A Blacklion man has become the first ever Irish (if not the world) Parkinson's disease patient to climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain. 54-year-old Hugh Cormack not only overcame the restrictions of his illness but remarkably also overcame his fear of heights to scale the 19,300 foot mountain.

Hugh was just 45-years-old when he first noticed signs of the disease. A former midfield star with the local GAA club, he had just taken up squash, was a non-smoker and a social drinker. He had held down a good job, as a prison officer in Loughan House prison near his home for 27 years and he thought he was in prime condition for his age.
(Source: The Anglo Celt)