News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties



North Down Irish and ballroom dancers recently surprised Belfast shoppers with a flash mob dance spectacular, organized to raise awareness of the Children's MRI Scanner Appeal for the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

The appeal aims to raise $3m for a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) facility dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of sick and injured children in Northern Ireland.

The Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children is currently the only children's hospital in the UK and Ireland that does not have its own MRI Scanner.
[Source: Belfast Telegraph]


Dublin Castle should be raking in $25m a year from tourism instead of acting as a civil servants' car park, a city business leader has insisted.

The castle should contain six or seven museums rather than being used as a parking area for Revenue Commissioners staff, Dublin City Business Association (DCBA) chief executive Tom Coffey said.

He was speaking ahead of his presentation with economist Felim O'Rourke to Dublin city councilors.
They are expected to argue that Dublin City Council should be in charge of tourism in the capital, rather than the Government and Failte Ireland.
[Source: Evening Herald]


While Sinn Fein has still to make up its mind on whether to allow its elected representatives to meet the Queen when she comes to Enniskillen this Tuesday, and, if so, will they shake her hand, others can’t wait.

Ulster Unionist MLA, Tom Elliott said he was “delighted” that she will visit Enniskillen on her two-day visit to Northern Ireland and give the people of Fermanagh-South Tyrone an opportunity to show their gratitude to her.

For its part, Sinn Fein, locally, are adopting a “wait and see” approach. The chairman of Fermanagh District Council would normally be expected to be invited along to one or more of the functions the Queen will be attending, among them a morning ecumenical service in Enniskillen and, it is thought, a visit to the new South West Acute Hospital.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]


An elderly woman was killed in a road traffic pile-up on the N17 in County Galway last Wednesday evening.

Gardaí (police) are investigating the crash which occurred at 4:45 p.m. and involved four cars.
The incident occurred at what’s known locally as Cloonmore near the Headford Road junction, three miles from Tuam on the Galway side.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]


Kerryman journalist Marisa Reidy has been honored by the Law Society of Ireland for a colorful court report that involved a famous whistling donkey.

The story was chosen from scores of court reports from national and regional print media to win a Justice Media Merit Award in the Court Reporting category of this year's awards.

The “whistling donkey” case made national and international headlines following Marisa's coverage of Dingle District Court last November. The case concerned a well-known Dingle busker who was stopped by gardaí (police) for driving with bald tires on his Hiace van. In the back of the van was the talented donkey.

Dingle District Court broke down in laughter when a garda told Judge James O'Connor that the donkey played the tin whistle as part of the defendant's busking act on the streets of Dingle.
[Source: The Kerryman]


Hundreds of Kildare families who are caught in the debt trap, are turning to moneylenders as a last resort.

Last week the Kildare Nationalist learned that in some council housing estates in the county 100% of households are having dealing with moneylenders, both legal and illegal. This shocking statistic was revealed by Paddy Lavery from the

Newbridge office of the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) who said that the money lending practice has spread like a cancer.

“The practice is so ingrained in the lifestyle of many people that people think nothing of it and just accept it. Every week they make a payment of $10, $25, $60 or whatever it is and it continues from one week to the next.”
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]


Gardaí (police) have found yet another cannabis grow house in County Kilkenny. This time it was the turn of the sleepy village of Kells about eight miles from the city. Gardaí have discovered 200 cannabis plants growing at a detached house close to the village.

The seizure was made at about 2 p.m. on the Haggard Road. The seizure is estimated to have a street value of $200,000 (subject to analysis). There were no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.
[Source: Kilkenny People]


Gardai (police) have seized an estimated $175,000 worth of Cannabis at a grow house in Ballacolla, Co. Laois.

As part of an ongoing investigation into the cultivation of Cannabis, Gardai carried out at search at a house near the south Laois village, on June 19. During the search a cultivation site was discovered and Cannabis plants with an estimated street value of $175,000 (pending analysis) were seized.
[Source: Leinster Express]