News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties


(Source: The Corkman)


The Catholic Church in Derry has proposed a radical shake up of post-primary education in the city which could signal the end of academic selection, single sex schools, and the creation of two new sixth-form colleges.

The ambitious proposals are contained in a new document, “Together Towards Tomorrow,” written by Diocesan Administrator Monsignor Eamon Martin.

Martin is proposing a “family” of Catholic post-primary schools across the city working together in a new partnership towards a phased transition from academic selection. The proposals also include a “substantive change” to the shape of post-16 education in the city with the possible establishment of one or two new sixth form colleges catering for 1,800 students.

The initiative is designed to improve education provision, tackle disadvantage, and strengthen links between schools.

(Source: Derry Journal)


One of Ireland’s top discount retailers, Lidl, recently gave a selection of its loyal and lucky Facebook followers the chance to shop for free in any of the chain’s large number of stores as part of a nationwide online competition.

Last month the discounter celebrated the milestone of becoming the first Irish supermarket to reach 100,000 Facebook fans and lucky Maeve Thomas from Ballyshannon was one of the winners selected who got the chance to load up her trolley in the one-minute Supermarket Sweep which took place at the Lidl Bundoran store.

Whether it be food and treats, alcohol, home essentials or DIY goods, the lucky winner had the chance to pick up hundreds of euro worth of top quality shopping without spending a single cent. Maeve happily took off for the non-food aisle where she picked up some of the latest quality specials on offer at Lidl.

(Source: Donegal Democrat)


Two businesses at the heart of Newry have been helping fund an ambulance in Mangadu, India, for the Sisters of Saint Ann of Providence who work from their convent near Chennai in Tamil Nadu.

Newry Credit Union supplied the loan in November 2010 to Newry broadcaster Rowan Hand to bring the ambulance to the people.

This week the special collection tubes located at the Good Food Shop and at the Meat Boutique were brought just across the road, and further money was deposited on account in the Credit Union against the loan.

Rowan said he took the loan out in complete confidence that it would be repaid through the kindness of the Newry people.

(Source: Newry Democrat)


Ever wondered where the phrase a “dead ringer” comes from, why we wear black to a funeral or who was the first person to be killed in the Easter Rising?

A new book titled “Dead Interesting” by author, historian and proud Northsider Shane MacThomais has all the answers.

The fascinating book was launched by Senator David Norris in Glasnevin Cemetery Museum where Shane has worked as historian and tour guide since 1998.

Shane’s latest work features quirky and easy to digest facts about the origins of our burial traditions, phrases and a whole host of interesting stories about the ordinary and well-known figures buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

The 48 chapters of “Dead Interesting” is the culmination of 18 months of painstaking work trawling through the archives of Glasnevin Cemetery, old newspapers and museums both in Ireland and abroad.

(Source: Dublin People)


Criminals have stooped to a new low -- stealing donated clothes from the Salvation Army.

The police in Enniskillen say that the thieves used hydraulic rams, of the type seen in real life police raids on suspected drug dens, to break open the metal skips where members of the public drop off unwanted clothes.

The first incident occurred at the Salvation Army’s clothes bank at Dunnes Stores carpark.
Police believe that, in this case, an hydraulic ram was used to open the shute (the mouth of the skip).
It is not known how much clothing was actually taken. However, police estimate the damage to the skip to be up to £240.

(Source: Fermanagh Herald)


Protesters at the Occupy Galway camp say they have no intention of leaving Eyre Square as they begin their 130th day of demonstrating against austerity cutbacks and the bailout of the bankers.

Some members of Galway City Council might prefer if they would vanish into thin air, but the committed group of activists who have camped out for over 18 weeks said they are not going anywhere.

The activists have had little or no contact with city officials since they began their protest in October, and only learned that the Council intends to take legal action in order to move them on through local media reports last week.

The protesters said that Gardai on the beat have been “really brilliant” since they set up the encampment and, apart from the odd exception, even the late night drunks have been supportive of Occupy Galway.