News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties



The Bridge Training Unit in Antrim has won an 11th hour reprieve after the Northern Trust finally buckled under pressure and paid their dues in full.

Shell-shocked parents were warned that the unit, which offers a home from home for more than 20 local people with severe learning difficulties, would close May 24 if the Trust failed to settle their account.

Trust Chief Executive Sean Donaghy witnessed the strength of feeling himself last Wednesday night when he took part in private talks with the Council at the Civic Centre.

He and a senior member of his team were confronted by a large group of protesting parents – and passions were running high.

Some were clearly angry, while others wept openly, but they all shared a sense of injustice that the award-winning unit was being sacrificed, leaving them all in limbo.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


There is uncertainty over the apple harvest in County Armagh due to unseasonable weather over the past few months, a leading producer has said.

Armagh Bramley apples secured Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status in March and the crop is worth millions to the local economy.

Apple grower Pat McKeever said poor weather in April and early May had "hammered" the orchards.
However, he said there was hope of a second bloom in the recent heat wave.
[Source: BBC News]


A family has last week spoken out about the distress they felt when they visited their “ransacked” family grave at Haroldstown Cemetery to find it destroyed by cow manure and ravaged by weeds.

The Curran family was shocked to discover the condition of the cemetery, with cow manure all over the family grave and a memorial plaque they had erected a month earlier broken into pieces.

Buried in the Curran family plot is Michael Curran from Ballykillduff, who died in 1960, his wife Mary and three of their children.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]


Father Brendan Smyth's abbot has finally apologized to victims for his inaction over not stopping the country's most notorious pedophile, but survivor groups say his words do more harm than good.

Fr. Kevin Smith, who was the predator's boss as abbot in Kilnacrott Abbey, Ballyjamesduff last Tuesday said: "Having had some time in prayer and reflection in Medugorje on the past when I was Abbot and Superior of Holy Trinity Abbey, Kilnacrott, Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, I wish to acknowledge and apologise to all those who were abused in any way, their family, friends and fellow priests for mistakes which happened within the Church and various Institutions from August 1969 - March 1995, when I retired.

"I thank the present Prior and Superior for the counseling help being made available through 'Towards Healing' [the telephone counseling service].

“However, I believe that the real permanent healing comes from inviting Jesus Christ, The greatest Healer of all, into our lives and handing over to him all our hurts. There has been a call for a criminal investigation and or international enquiry - I promise that I would be open to and give all information to either or both of those bodies. The Truth will set us all free.”
[Source: Anglo Celt]


Three out of a total of seven arrests as part of a cross-border garda (police) operation into organized prostitution, brothel-keeping and associated offences were made in Clare last week, The Clare Champion reveals.

Two men, one in his 30s and one in his 20s, and a woman in her 20s were arrested in Ennis town last Tuesday as part of a large number of planned searches in the Republic and in Northern Ireland under Operation Quest, a coordinated operation involving An Garda Síochána and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
[Source: Clare Champion]


Niamh McCarthy, a 19-year-old student from Ballygrissane, Minane Bridge in Cork tragically lost her life last Wednesday afternoon following a freak sand dune accident on Tuesday in Maharees, near Castlegregory in Co Kerry.

She had been in a critical condition at Kerry General Hospital in Tralee since the accident where her family had gathered at her bedside in the hope of her recovery.

The first-year UCC science student apparently became trapped in the dunes on Tuesday afternoon when the dune suddenly collapsed while she was at the beach with her friends. It is understood that they had been digging holes in the dunes when one of the dunes collapsed.
 [Source: Cork Independent]


World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has warned fans against replicating professional wrestlers’ moves after a late night drunken copycat video filmed in Derry went viral online.

The video – Drunken WWE Derry – has been watched a massive 62,000 times since being posted on video site YouTube on May 20, and features two would be wrestlers enjoying a late night brawl in William Street.