News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties


He learned that the DBI had been previously provided for all Derry Credit Union members of two years or more, but on November 21 the body’s membership unanimously passed a motion that ‘the DBI for the year 2012 be paid for by members by way of a deduction from dividend and/or interest rate rebate’.

Mr McCafferty, who also holds an account in Pennyburn Credit Union, where death benefit insurance was not provided, did not have sufficient dividend in Derry Credit Union to pay the insurance premium.

But he says he didn’t realize that until it was too late. By the time he enquired about his DBI policy, the December cut-off date for premium payment had passed.

Mr McCafferty told the ‘Journal’: “I received no notification that the decision had been taken, I received no letter, I simply knew nothing of it. I had enough money in the account to pay the premium, which was around £6, but did not know that I had to do it.”
(Source: Derry Journal)


The family of a man murdered by dissident republicans in Donegal four years ago say they are confident that more people will be brought to justice.

Andrew Burns’ family were speaking after a 37-year-old Strabane man was sentenced to life for the murder of the 27-year-old at Doneyloop in February 2008.

Martin Kelly of Barrack St, Strabane, Co Tyrone was handed the sentence at the Special Criminal Court last Tuesday after being convicted last month.

Speaking to the Donegal Democrat, Andrew’s sister Michelle Coyle said: “Really at the end of the day there is going to be no sentence that is going to bring anybody back. We have a great deal of sympathy for Mr. Kelly’s family who are victims in this as well. We would also like to thank everyone who helped - all the people involved in getting as far as we have got, the gardaí and the PSNI. This brings a little bit of closure. We are confident that there will be more convictions and it is just a matter of having to go through that again.”

Mr Burns was shot twice in the back by a gunman linked to the dissident republican group, Oglaigh na hEireann. Kelly (37 was also found guilty of the unlawful possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life on the same date.

Kelly’s trial began in early October last year but after two days of evidence the court started a “trial within a trial” to decide on the admissibility of statements made by Kelly while in garda custody in Letterkenny and a statement made by Kelly to two senior garda at a hotel in Northern Ireland.

Gardaí believe that at least two others were involved in the murder and details of the involvement of unnamed men were heard during the trial. Letterkenny superintendent Vincent O’Brien said that both Kelly and Mr Burns were associated with the dissident group, Oglaigh na hEireann. The superintendent said that Kelly had named his accomplices during an interview with gardaí.

In court he agreed with defense counsel Mr Giollaoisa O’ Lideadha that because of this there was “ a very real, exceptional, dangerous threat to his life” and that he would probably have to be exiled from his family and home when eventually released from prison.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)


A humble Irish potato has been bestowed with special status after being singled out for protection by European law makers.

The safeguards won by the Comber Early does not mean it is off the menu, just that its name cannot be pilfered by any impostor crops.

The spud, known for being harvested early in the season, has been granted Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status under EU law.

That means only those lifted from the fields round the Co Down village can be called New Season Comber Potatoes or Comber Earlies.

The potato now joins an elite selection of brands synonymous with a particular region that have been granted the protection. Its illustrious company includes Champagne, Parma ham and feta cheese.

Comber Earlies are only the second product from Northern Ireland ever afforded PGI recognition, following the Lough Neagh Eels.

Stormont's agriculture and rural development minister Michelle O'Neill welcomed the move.

"New Season Combers/Comber Earlies are famed throughout the north of Ireland for being the earliest local potato to be harvested and for their unique characteristics," she said.

"We are justifiably proud of the quality of our locally produced food and it is encouraging to have our products recognized internationally.

"PGI registration is good news for the local economy and will help local growers to market New Season Combers domestically and further afield and protect against imitation.

"It will also build consumer confidence in this product by providing reassurance of its provenance."


The Dublin gang boss who survived being riddled with six bullets had a bitter falling out with members of his own gang.