News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties


So far, there have been no sightings and little by way of leads for gardai to pursue as the investigation enters a fourth month.
(Source: Longford Leader)


Astronomy experts believe a meteorite may have landed in County Louth.

A large “fireball”, which is a really big meteor, was seen from various parts of the country on Tuesday, January 3rd.

Using calculations basedon various eyewitness reports, Astronomy Ireland now believes the meteorite most likely crashed into the sea off the County Louth coast.

“However, there’s always the chance that some of the meteor broke up and that maybe fragments of it landed somewhere in Louth,” David Moore, Chairman of Astronomy Ireland, told the Democrat.

A large number of reports from various parts of Ireland, from Derry to Clare, helped experts to roughly pinpoint the space rock’s landing place.

But Astronomy Ireland are looking for more reports from the Louth area.

“It was the night of the big storm and it was cloudy so perhaps not many people saw it because most people were indoors.”
(Source: Dundalk Democrat)


Allergan Pharmaceuticals have announced that they will invest $350 million (€275 million) in their Westport site over the next five years, to construct a 135,000 sq ft biologics manufacturing facility. Approximately 200 jobs will be created, along with up to 250 indirect jobs locally, during the construction period.

The news was officially announced by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, who called it a ‘huge confidence boost for Westport and the entire region’.

The company have acquired the Technology Park that is adjacent to their manufacturing facility on the Castlebar Road in Westport, and work on the design phase of the project will begin immediately. It is anticipated that the new plant - which is being developed to satisfy the ever-growing global demand for Botox - will be fully operational by 2017. While the construction phase will not take this long, the facility will have to meet strict regulatory and validation requirements before it can begin manufacturing.

Allergan first came to Westport in 1977, and over the last 35 years has been almost constantly expanding. The Westport facility is now the largest manufacturing plant within the company network, and with over 800 employees, also has the largest number of staff in one location, outside of their corporate headquarters in Irvine, California.
(Source: The Mayo News)

A 12-year-old Oldcastle boy who suffers from cerebral palsy cannot go to school because it has banned his assistance dog.

The youngster could be facing two more weeks at home before any decision is made to allow the dog back.

Luke Kelly-Melia, who is in sixth class at Knocktemple National School in Virginia, has to stay at home because of the "ludicrous" decision to not allow his assistance dog, Aidan, to accompany him to lessons.

His parents, Pauline and Brendan, have decided to home-school Luke, who turns 13 this week, and are waiting for the school to make a decision about their request to allow the specially-trained golden retriever back into the school.

Luke's father Brendan says his son's life has been "transformed" since last November, when he got the assistance dog from Cork-based charity Dogs For The Disabled, which helps Luke's mobility.

"He used to fall maybe three times a day," said Brendan, who admits he is struggling to understand the decision.
(Source: Meath Chronicle)


An Irishman who was injured as three of his colleagues were blown up by a bomb in Iraq in 2003, while he was serving with the US army, has died in Boston.

Bernard Shevlin (43) was from Castleblayney, Co Monaghan. He was also a former policeman in the US.

Following his police career, he joined the American army and served as a major with the US forces in Iraq.

He retired following a severe injury received while on duty in Iraq in 2003. He was with a military transport unit, towing a heavy anti-tank gun along the ruins of a war- torn suburb, when three security personnel were killed in a bomb blast.

He is survived by his wife, a son and two daughters, five brothers and two sisters.
(Source: Irish Times)


A five-year development plan for Tayto Park, outside Ashbourne, could see the facility attracting up to 900,000 visitors a year and employing 500 people during peak season, according to Ray Coyle, CEO of Largo Foods, who operates the attraction.

The company is to lodge a new planning application for expansion of the park later this year. Mr Coyle said that with support from the local community and Meath County Council, the facility could be developed into an even bigger visitor attraction in the area.

He explained that the company would be making a planning application by the middle of 2012 for a five-year development plan which would include an extension of the current facility. He said a lot of investment in local infrastructure would be required to deal with the numbers it would attract.