News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties



With the shutters coming down last Thursday, time ran out for the award-winning Bridge Training Unit in Antrim.

A funding dispute with the Northern Trust has left a black hole in their accounts and unable to keep their heads above water, Bridge has no option but to fold.

It is a devastating blow for the trainees who consider it a home from home. Most cannot understand why the center has to close - and neither can their parents.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


An independently-led investigation is the only way to get to the bottom of a financial gaffe committed by Newry and Mourne District Council officials which could end up costing ratepayers up to $150,000, Sinn Fein Councilor Terry Hearty has said.

The costly mistake centers on the planned Council Recycling facility earmarked for a site on the Newry Road in Crossmaglen. In 2009 the Council purchased the site and negotiations of the sale included an agreement that the seller would construct an entrance road. However, this never materialized and the company later went into administration. It has recently emerged, however, that the Council handed over $69,000 to the seller without following proper protocol and is now embroiled in a legal battle to have this money returned. Furthermore, the road must still be constructed and recent tenders for the project have indicated it could cost in the region of $100,000. To add insult to injury, when asked, Council officials admitted that an important file documenting the terms of the sale has since disappeared.
 [Source: Examiner Newspaper]


The disused Teagasc building in Bagenalstown should be made available for youth services in the town and not be left lying idle, according to Councilor Jennifer Murnane O’Connor.

Cllr. Murnane O’Connor pleaded with the government to consider this option and expressed her surprise that agriculture minister Simon Coveney is content to let the building remain disused.

“In response to my colleague Dara Calleary’s questions in the Dáil (Irish parliament) [last] week, Minister Coveney refused to answer whether the Teagasc building in Bagenalstown can be used for vital youth services in Carlow,” said Cllr. Murnane O’Connor. “Teagasc is unable to sell the premises and, rather than letting it lie idle, it should be made available to the local regional youth service for youth work and development purposes. Amazingly, Minister Coveney refused to answer the question from Fianna Fáil and, rather than be proactive and look into the proposition, he is content to pass the buck and pretend like it is not an issue,” she added.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]


Sheep rustling, stolen Guinness kegs, burgled schools and the thefts batteries from a temporary traffic light were amongst the crime figures for the first three months of this year. The figures were revealed at the Cavan County Joint Policing Committee on Monday (May 21) by regional Garda (police) Chief Superintendent James Sheridan. Chief Supt. Sheridan says the figures show a greater need for people to be aware of suspicious activity "at all times of the day".

He added: "I know it's not much of a consolation to people who've suffered, having their houses robbed, but the number of burglaries in the county decreased significantly.

"We are very much focusing on targeting these crimes, we're looking at the where, when and at what times these crimes are being committed and we are having a degree of success in our detection of the people carrying them out."
[Source: Anglo Celt]


Clare County Council is to sell off almost 100 acres of land in Drumcliffe in a public auction next month. A guideline price of between $440,000 and $470,000 has been placed on the land, situated four kilometers north of Ennis.

Handling the sale on behalf of the council is Costelloe estate agents. The 37.3 hectares are situated close to the graveyard fronting the north side of Drumcliffe Road.

According to David Costelloe, the land has “enormous potential”. He is expecting a good level of interest at the auction on Friday, June 22 at 3 p.m. in the Old Ground Hotel.

“The land has road frontage of about 120 m, with extensive frontage to Ballyalla Lake, the River Fergus and the River Poulacorry. It is mixed land comprising upland, caucas and a small portion of forested area,” he explained.
[Source: Clare Champion]


The authors of a new book launched in Cork last week have found that Irish people have been victims of trafficking in Australia.

An estimated six people are being trafficked for the purposes of the sex industry in Cork City at any one time, according to David Lohan and Dr. Jennifer deWan.

However, their research also found that Irish emigrants in Australia have been trafficked in the construction industry, undergoing forced labor, having their travel documents withheld, and being subjected to threats of serious harm.