News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties



Speculation is growing that Mayo could play host to one of the celebrity weddings of the year - that of English footballer Frank Lampard and TV star Christine Bleakley.

There have been repeated rumors around the county since before Christmas that the wedding reception of the famous pair will take place in Ashford Castle in Cong.

And when The Mayo News contacted the hotel for comment, they refused to deny it.

“We really couldn’t comment either way. That is all I can say,” said a tight-lipped Ashford Hotel Manager, Catherine Kenny.
(Source: The Mayo News)


Navan's failure to secure a share of €23 million Smarter Travel sustainable transport initiative funding has caused bitter disappointment in the town, which spent €80,000 on its bid for the competition.

Navan Town Council learned last week that its bid was unsuccessful and the towns of Westport, Limerick and Dungarvan will now share the €23 million prize over a five-year period on sustainable travel initiatives.

The entire community in Navan had got behind the Smarter Travel bid which was submitted in April 2010, and a record was set by local primary school's for Ireland's longest 'walking bus'.

Navan was one of 11 towns shortlisted under the National Competition for Smarter Travel funding. Funding for the program initially was €50m, but due to the economic climate, this was reduced to €23m.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)


A jury was ordered by a Central Criminal Court judge to acquit a man accused of taking part in the gang rape of a pregnant woman in Co Monaghan.

Two other men are still charged with raping and imprisoning the woman in her home and beating her boyfriend unconscious.

All three had pleaded not guilty to all counts.

The attacks are alleged to have taken place between November 15th and 19th, 2010.
(Source: Irish Times)


A little Offaly boy could get his wish to walk this week as he prepares for a life changing operation in the USA.

Oran Molloy from Birr arrived in the county last Friday. This week he will undergo the operation, which could see him stand, walk or even ride his bike, at the St Louis’s Children’s hospital on Valentine’s Day February 14.

The four year old suffers from a condition called Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy, which means that the young boy can’t stand or walk without assistance.

The family first contacted the hospital in July 2011 to see if their son would be a suitable candidate for a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy [SDR]. By August, they had been advised that he was accepted for the treatment.

It was then the family began the mammoth task of fundraising the €50,000 for their son’s operation as neither medical insurance or the Health Service Executive [HSE] were in a position to contribute to the huge cost of the operation, which involves the sectioning of some of the sensory nerve fibers that come from the muscles and enter the spinal cord.

And all going well for Oran on Tuesday, he will be in hospital for five days and after that he will visit the hospital twice a day for three weeks for intensive physiotherapy.
. (Source: Offaly Express)


A serial fraudster who drove a stolen car with a garda holding on to the bonnet for 500 meters was jailed for three years last week.

Conman Frankie Shanley, 36, told Ennis Circuit Court that he wants to move on with his life.

 “I am in a situation for the first time in my life that when I do get released, I have nothing over my head and I can move on with my life – which is all I want to do.”

Judge Carroll Moran imposed Shanley, of Co Roscommon, with a three-year jail term for the incident, where he drove a stolen black BMW with Sergeant Joe Fallon on the bonnet. Sgt Fallon, who was not in uniform, had been chasing the crook.

Shanley was arrested on 2 March last year in east Clare, ending a two-year, nationwide trawl for him.

e pleaded guilty to taking a car without the owner’s consent, dangerous driving, giving a misleading statement to gardaí and refusing to stop the vehicle when asked by a garda at Cappa, Whitegate.
(Source: The Roscommon Champion)


Almost fifty years after the Ard-na-veigh housing estate had been built, it still has not been taken in charge, the Borough Council meeting heard.

Councillor Matt Lyons said he was "astounded" to learn this was the case.

Proposing that a report on the condition of the estate be prepared with a view to taking it in charge, Clr. Lyons stated that the 'first road' at Ard-na-veigh as it was known was built in 1963.

The Borough Council had never carried out any repairs on the estate over the years and a concrete road and footpaths would continue to deteriorate further if nothing was done.
(Source: The Sligo Champion)


The general level of crime around has dropped, according to figures released by Supt Bob Noonan to Nenagh Joint Policing Committee last Monday.