News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties


The spokesperson said the company is “exiting markets that are proving not to be strategic any longer, where we’re seeing lower client demand”.

It is believed that around 100 of the staff will be finished by April next, with the remainder likely to finish up in June. Sykes had a number of rounds of redundancies in recent years, including the announcement of 75 lay-offs in September.

Senator Tony Mulcahy provided catering services at the company for over 20 years. He said it is sad to see it closing. 
“I’m sorry to see them going, they were a fantastic company to do business with and I was involved with them for 22 years. I couldn’t speak more highly of the local management.”

He said up until now, there had been hope that the company would land a new contract and that the loss of jobs is heartbreaking for those involved.

Mayor of Shannon Mary Brennan said the news is disappointing, both for the workers and the town. 
“At this stage every job is so important for Shannon and for families the future is looking bleak.”

Councillor Patricia McCarthy said when a company lays off some of its workforce, there is still hope that it may take on more people in the future, but when it closes completely it is particularly disappointing.

Fine Gael Town and County Councillor Sean McLoughlin said it is a serious blow for Shannon. 
“It’s a huge loss to the town. They have been here for years and it comes at a time when we need to attract jobs.”
(Source: The Clare Champion)


A Cork mother has claimed last week that she no longer feels safe in her Glanmire home and that her son now lives in fear, having been the victim of two racially motivated attacks in as many years.

The woman, who moved to Cork from Cameroon over ten years ago, told the Cork Independent last week that her son has been attacked twice in two years at the same Cork city school.

She says that in February 2009, he was the victim of an assault on his school grounds which left him with loose teeth and mild injuries after being punched in the mouth.

Just four weeks ago, on November 11, she received a phone call from her son who has special needs, telling her that he had been assaulted again.

He explained that while he was playing soccer, a group of young boys started calling him "nigger".

“He told the teacher but the boys denied it," she said. She claimed the youths then shouted more insults at him, such as, 'Show off nigger, why don’t you go and bring more black people with you?'

According to her son, one of the three boys punched him repeatedly in the head leaving him with a fractured jaw which was later operated on at CUH.

The assault has left her son isolated and living in fear.

“He loves soccer. He’s very good at it. But now, he is too afraid to play. He’s too afraid to go out. I’m so angry.”

“My son has special needs. He is a slow learner, he just needs some extra help in understanding things and he has never been confident. The only thing he cares about is football.

“Now he doesn’t go out any more. He doesn’t want to go to school. He’s afraid. Of course he is,” she said.

“I am an Irish citizen and so are my children. I have been in Cork since 2001.”
Source: (Cork Independent)


A former mayor of Derry has described a suspected arson attack on a car belonging to a woman recovering from a serious illness as “a despicable act.”

Sinn Féin councilor Lynn Fleming made the comment after the car was set on fire at Mimosa Court in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

“This is a despicable act. The owner of the car, a local woman, is just recovering from a serious illness and the last thing she needs is for the stress of this incident. The fact that the car was parked up close to local houses could not have been lost on the perpetrators who set fire to the car without any regard for the occupants of adjacent homes.”
(Source: Derry Journal)


As fears grow over the future of the Garda Drugs unit in Donegal, local campaigner, P.J. Blake has cited the drug related deaths of sixteen young people in the county in the last decade and a half.

Claiming that families were still “suffering and grieving” over their respective losses, he maintained: “I’ve been at some of these funerals and I’ve seen the grief of these poor people. I’ve also seen the crocodile tears shed by some other people at these funerals. A week later these scum are out selling the drugs on the streets again - that’s how much they care.”

The Letterkenny based anti-drugs activist has written to local public representatives within the past couple of weeks calling for their support against the feared downgrading of the drugs unit in the county. “Sadly the demand is there and our young people are suffering.