News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties


Ennis resident Paudie Sheahan was presented with a national bravery award at a ceremony held in Farmleigh House recently following an incident in the county town where he confronted a dangerous knife-wielding man in 2001.

Paudie was one of 18 recipients at the awards ceremony and was presented with a bronze medal and certificate of bravery for his efforts to rescue a woman being threatened by a man wielding a knife.

He explained how the incident unfolded on Christmas night in 2001 and how he was faced with the split-second decision to go up against an armed man in order to rescue a woman in distress.  

“We were sitting in our sitting room, the DVD player was new and we were trying to figure out how the thing worked. It was around 9pm and we had two children aged two and nine months at that stage.

“My wife, Trofi, heard someone screaming outside. I opened the door. I really thought it was someone who had fallen off a skateboard or something, it was that kind of shouting. Between the door of our house and the gate pillars, there is about 10m so when I opened the door, there was this man holding a woman up to the pillar of our house with a knife that I could clearly see. It was a kitchen devil knife. It wasn’t until when I subsequently saw it in an evidence bag that I thought ‘oh God’,” Paudie recalls.
(Source: The Clare Champion)


Overcrowding at Cork Prison has resulted in prisoners having nothing more than mattresses on the floor to sleep on. A total of 141 prisoners have also been let out of the prison so far this year on early release, in a bid to alleviate the problem.

Last week, there were 293 prisoners at the Cork facility. However, with a bed capacity of just 272, the remaining 21 inmates had to be given mattresses to sleep on.

A spokesperson for the Irish Prison Service confirmed to the Cork Independent that while Cork Prison is currently operating at a level in excess of its official bed capacity, “there are contingency plans in place including the use of mattresses”.

The spokesperson confirmed that prisoners are sleeping on mattresses on the floor.

This practice, said the spokesperson, was only used for a short period of time as prisoners are quickly relocated or dispersed throughout the prison estate, while the prison also relocated inmates to other facilities.

They added that the Irish Prison Service had to accept all prisoners committed by the courts into its custody and did not have the option of refusing committals.
Source: (Cork Independent)


Facilities for tourists visiting the Bogside area of Derry are set to be greatly enhanced in the next few years, according to one local tourism provider.

Mickey Cooper from Free Derry Tours said the tourism potential of the area, which attracts thousands of visitors each year, has yet to be realized.

Mr Cooper was speaking ahead of the launch of several new projects designed to attract more visitors to the area. These include a number of books explaining the history of the area from the time of St Columba right up to the present day, new signage making it easier for tourists to find places of historical interest, and capital investment in museum facilities in the area.

“We want to improve the tourism project in the area in order to attract more visitors,” Mr Cooper.

The tourism operator said the area has the raw materials to be a major attraction. “We are very fortunate in terms of the product we have on our doorpsteps but we still have a problem in terms of promotion,” he said.

Mr Cooper, also a local councilor, said Triax are preparing to launch a community tourism strategy in the coming weeks. Explaining what will be happening, Mr Cooper said: “There are things that can be done in terms of marketing to promote our product better.

“New signage is going up in the area in the next few weeks that will explain the history of the area to visitors and to show them where the various projects are based. We also have funding for web development which will hopefully help in terms of marketing and promotion,” he said.
(Source: Derry Journal)


Following the recent closure of the Gweedore based company, MFG, who were funded to provide insulation to homes across Donegal many elderly people have been left without the necessary insulation and are fearing the worst as the cold weather sets in,

Under the Warmer Homes Scheme hundred’s of homes across South West Donegal were approved to receive free insulation yet with the closure of the company they have been left without having any work carried out to their homes.

Sustainable Energy Ireland are now dealing with the applications from MFG but have indicated that they cannot guarantee that the work will be carried out until next year.

This issue affects hundreds of people across South Donegal who were approved for the insulation work over a year ago.