News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties



A Crumlin woman has made a heartfelt plea to thieves who stole a laptop containing some of the only photos of her late husband and son.

Theresa Lavery, from Landgarve Manor, spoke to the Antrim Guardian about the 'devastating loss' of the photos after her home was broken into on Monday, January 16.
Theresa said she was 'hysterical' when she came back from work around 9.35pm to find the back door of her house had been kicked in and that the laptop and other valuables had been taken.

“They must have been disturbed because they left behind things which were obviously valuable," she said. "My quilt was lying on the floor downstairs so they must have been using it to carry things before they were spooked."

This is not the first trauma Theresa and her 24-year-old daughter Danielle have had to deal with. Theresa's 31-year-old soon Martin died suddenly in December 2010 and her husband, also called Martin, was shot dead aged 40 by two UVF gunmen in his home on Belfast's Crumlin Road in December 1992.

He was lying on the floor playing with his five-year-old daughter when they burst in and shot him four times in the chest. They also held a gun to his teenage son's head before firing a shot at Theresa as she chased them from their home.

Speaking of the burglary, the local woman said: "I was hysterical when I saw the door kicked in.
That's the way they came in when they shot my husband in front of my children and it was like reliving the same nightmare all over again.

“Martin never really got over his father's death. That's why he got sick and to be honest, ultimately, it killed him too."

Despite the horrific memories the burglary has dredged up, not to mention the financial burden, Theresa and Danielle said that all they care about is the return of their precious photos and videos.

Danielle said: "That Apple Mac laptop contains some of the only memories we have of Martin and Daddy. All we want is to get those back.

“I was putting together a memorial DVD using the images and now that's lost. We don't care about the laptop or the TV or anything else - just our memories. All they have to do is make a copy or send us the hard drive.

“I don't remember my daddy's voice but I had a recording of him on the laptop, now I'm never going to hear his voice again. And it's the same with Martin."

Danielle added: "His wee nieces and nephews were his world and it breaks my heart that someday, they'll feel the same, gutted that they can't remember their uncle's voice or see pictures of happier times he spent with them.

(Source: Antrim Guardian)


A Newry company has managed to beat off stiff international competition to win a five million euro refurbishment contract for a Scandinavian Ferry operator.  MJM Group, who won the contract despite bids from six other international companies, announced that it would lead to the creation of 16 new jobs, both at graduate and shop floor level.

The firm was founded in 1983 as a specialist joinery sub-contractor and has since developed into an international Project Management Contractor with divisions in Specialist Joinery, Marine refurbishment and Public Area Fit Out.   MJM Marine will begin work on the Swedish ferry, part of the Stena RoRo fleet which sails between Sweden and Denmark at the end of February.

MJM Managing Director Jonathan Guest said that the ship would go into dry dock in a shipyard in Sweden to be stripped right back to its steel work.

“And then, manufactured from our factory in Newry, we will be sending out all the furniture and equipment, fitting out the entire vessel, bringing it up to a very high standard.”

MJM, operating from 100,000 sq ft of factory space in Carnbane Business Park in Newry, has worked with a number of shipping companies in the past including Carnival Cruise Lines, Cunard, Holland America and Royal Caribbean.  The global company boasts offices in London, France and Poland and services markets in UK, Europe, USA, the Far East and Australia.


Over 20 homes across the county were burgled in the past seven days, a huge increase on recent weeks.

According to gardaí, there has been “a spate of burglaries recently and all parts of the county were hit”. 

Houses in Clonegal, Leighlinbridge, Tullow, Rathvilly, Ardattin, Ballinabranna, Borris, Ballon and Carlow town were targeted by thieves in the past week.

Gardaí believe some of the incidents are connected.

In one instance on Saturday, culprits entered the grocery shop adjoining the Ardattin Inn and stole a quantity of cigarettes and spirits. 

Subsequently, gardaí received information that a number of suspects who may have been involved in the Ardattin burglary were attempting to break into a home on the Old Leighlin Road area of Carlow.

Gardaí quickly arrived on the scene and arrested four people on suspicion of burglary.