News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties



Kilkenny LEADER Partnership has launched a new program to help get Kilkenny’s long-term unemployed people back into the workforce.

The program called TÚS, which means ‘beginning’ in Irish, the program will provide 80 long-term unemployed people with a 12 month work placement in community and voluntary organizations across Kilkenny. The TÚS program will match each participant to a work placement best suited to their skills and areas of professional interest with the aim of helping participant’s upskill and gain work experience with the long-term goal of employment.

The program also includes training and programs will be personalized to best suit each participant. Courses provided by the TÚS programme include CV preparation; ICT and ECDL training; interview preparation and much more.

“This program is the first of its kind in the country, aiming to get 80 long-term unemployed people back into employment through training and work placements, tailored to best suit each participant. As part of our Employability Strategy, we are always working towards helping Kilkenny’s unemployed get back into the work force and this program is a continuation of this work,” said Declan Rice, CEO of Kilkenny LEADER Partnership.
(Source: Kilkenny People)


The Government ban on hiring public service staff, coupled with a rash of retirements and tight budgets is set to hit Laois County Council employees, and services provided by the council.

With a 30 per cent drop in staff numbers, workers are taking on additional jobs in order to maintain standards, County Manager Peter Carey told the Leinster Express.

“Staff numbers have been significantly reduced mainly due to funding constraints and the moratorium. Obviously this will impact on service levels and result in staff taking on additional duties.

“We are currently undergoing a re-structuring process in order to deal with the changes but Laois County Council is committed to maintaining a high standard of customer services in so far as possible,” he said.

The council are finalizing their 2012 budget, which will be smaller than last year.

“The draft has not been completed as yet and, accordingly, the overall reduction has not been finalized,” Mr Carey said.

Overall employee numbers have dropped from 500 to 367, according to Director of Services Anna Marie Delaney.

The reduction in public service pensions has prompted a number of council staff to opt for early retirement, further putting pressure on resources. The county manager said it was too early to be sure of how many staff will leave the service in 2012.

“However, the situation is being monitored and I will be in discussions with the Dept of the Environment, Community and Local Government to address any issues that arise,” Mr Carey said.
(Source: Leinster Express)


Budget 2012 proposals to shut two of North Leitrim’s garda stations, have been met with disgust at Leitrim County Council monthly meeting.

Just hours after the first day of cuts were announced by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, Councillors angrily denounced the closure of stations in Kiltyclogher and Drumkeerin as “simply unbelievable”. Stations in Co Roscommon have also been impacted with closures also impacting nearby stations in Cootehall and Tarmonbarry.

Cllr Mary Bohan acknowledged there had been talk before the Budget of the possible closure of the county’s so called one-man stations but she told fellow councillors she was completely flabbergasted by the Government’s decision to close Drumkeerin’s station, which acts as a base for a Sergeant and two other gardai.

“Drumkeerin has been refurbished in recent years and it is a garda barracks which includes a residence for gardai stationed there. This is a totally shocking announcement for the community,” she said.

“I understood it was the one-man garda stations that were being reviewed not the bigger garda stations. At a time when there is an increase in crime and a need for even greater garda resources this is a terrible decision,” she added calling on Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter, to reverse this decision.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)


Mungret residents are seeking an urgent meeting with Limerick County Council over what they maintain has been a 20-year record of neglect of their village.

Mungret Community Alert, a group formed two months ago, is highlighting traffic dangers, flooding, a lack of footpaths, poor lighting and other issues.

And the local group is also looking for assurances that the upgrade of sewerage and foul water scheme - for which over €2 million was allocated by John Gormley last year - will go ahead. Over 90 people attended the inaugural meeting of Mungret Community Alert a few weeks ago.