News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties




The search is underway to find the 2012 Rose of Tralee. Last week the Rose of Tralee company have officially launched the search for the lucky lady who will succeed reigning Rose Tara Talbot when the finals are held in The Dome next August.

The competition got underway last Monday and selection events will be held in every county from March until June with the Regional Finals of the Rose of Tralee taking place in Portlaoise from June 1 to 3.

The Rose of Tralee International Festival in Tralee from August 17 to 21.

Each county has a different selection date and application deadline, so anyone interested should log on to to download an application form.

Entrants must be aged between 18 and 27.

There are great prizes on offer for the eventual winner including a World Travel Fund of €25,000 from the Pilot Training College, jewellery and homeware from lead-sponsors Newbridge Silverware, the use of a car for the year, free accommodation at any Carlton Hotel in Ireland and much more.

Rose bosses have also launched the search for this year's escorts. One escort will be picked as the Pilot Training College Escort of the Year live on TV when he will be presented with a check for €5,000.
Men aged between 21 and 30 can apply to be an escort by filling in the online-form at and return it with a non-refundable application fee of €25.

The closing date for all Rose of Tralee escort applications is Friday, April 13.
(Source: Kerryman)


An Athy family was lucky to escape with their lives after an early-morning fire gutted their home in a matter of minutes last Thursday morning. 

The blaze, apparently caused by an electrical fault, struck the house on the Monasterevin Road near Kilberry at around 7am. 

Smoke alarms were triggered which enabled the couple, three of their children and a visiting friend to get out just before the flames engulfed their home. 

Declan Davis told the Kildare Nationalist that he and his wife Margaret had been asleep upstairs and their 15-month-old daughter Tilly was in the room with them. Also in the house were two of the couple’s other children, Marcella (8) and Ellie (9) along with their cousin Alyssa Whelan who was on a sleep over. The couple’s other two children were sleeping over at another friend’s house. 

“Marcella actually helped the other two girls to get out the window. She was really great,” said Declan, adding that it was “really lucky” that the two other Davis children were not in the house as “she mightn’t have managed to get them all out on time”. 

He also stressed the importance of the smoke alarms, saying simply: “Without the alarms, we would all have been stone dead.” While he and his wife managed to escape down the stairs with the baby, they were horrified to see how rapidly the staircase was overtaken by flames. “It was gone in about five minutes, just unbelievable.” 

(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)


Kilkenny Borough Council has been participating in the Urbacht Links project and is hoping to secure EU funding to help renovate St Mary’s Church in an eco-friendly manner as part of the project.

Senior council planner Denis Malone gave a presentation to the councilors at their meeting last Monday night outlining the goals of the project.

Kilkenny, along with eight other historical cities in Europe, is taking part in the links project.

“The cities involved in Links project aim to replace their historical cities into a dynamic of residential attractiveness while preserving the architectural identity cultural heritage and historical values. The challenge is to improve quality of life in old centers and to create a comfortable, affordable and sustainable housing seeking out a good balance between preservation requirement and evolution need,” according to the plans for the project.

Cllr Martin Brett (FG) asked if the project would allow Kilkenny to access EU money independently of the central government. Mr Malone said that funding streams would come online as a result of the project.

Cllr Malcolm Noonan (Green) said the council would have genuine funding opportunities as a result of this. Cllr Noonan called on the council to reconvene the St Mary’s redevelopment committee along the lines of the successful Kilkenny City Walls Steering Committee.
(Source: Kilkenny People)


Councilors at their recent annual budget meeting called on council management to do all it can to keep outdoor staff levels as they are.

After hearing county manager Peter Carey say that 100 jobs have not been replaced in the council over the past few years, cllr John Joe Fennelly said: “We can’t let our outdoor staff numbers be depleted anymore. They are the people who we depend on in rural areas.”