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News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties

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ANTRIM

An Antrim couple's teamwork has culminated in them raising a fantastic $3,125 for Friends of the Cancer Centre, the charity of our regional center of excellence in cancer care based at the Belfast City Hospital.

John and Donna Taylor were motivated to raise funds for Friends of the Cancer Centre as a couple of close family members have been treated at the Cancer Centre in recent years.
John decided to challenge himself and decided to run his first ever marathon in Belfast in May.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]

ARMAGH

A 35-year-old woman, believed to be the mother of two children reported as missing while under the care of social services, appeared in court in Newry last Monday charged in relation to their abduction.

A 48-year-old man also appeared at Newry Magistrate’s Court on August 4 charged with Child Abduction, following the disappearance of three-year-old Fernando Boyle and his six-year-old sister, Pinar Boyle two days earlier.

The children, who are under the care of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, went missing with their mother, 35-year-old Elizabeth Boyle, after an arranged meeting at Cheeky Monkeys Play Centre, Sheepsbridge, on Thursday, August 2.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

CARLOW

It may have been a miserable month, but at least we Carlovians had less rain this July than anywhere else in Ireland.

Figures compiled by Met Éireann registered the lowest rainfall for the summer month at the Oak Park weather station.

And that’s not all . . . the people of Tullow had an even better summer, with local weatherman Alan O’Reilly registering 2.9 inches of rain over the 31 days, compared with Oak Park’s 3 inches.
“By and large, the month wasn’t out of the ordinary. The rainfall wasn’t massively above the average from 1981 to 2010. July was pretty average,” noted Alan.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]

CAVAN

"I think it will be good because it will generate debate and have people say “What the hell is that? Turn it off!'," predicts a laughing Joe Keenan, of a bonkers video by artist Jenny Keane, due to be screened in every pub in Cavan Town.

Joe, along with artists Siobhan Harton and Sally O'Dowd, is curating an exciting arts juggernaut that's gearing up to be the talk of this year's Fleadh. Key to the project, called trans-art.cavan, is that it brings artworks, some of which are accessible, others a little more challenging to the Fleadh-going masses. Challenging is probably where Jenny's “debate-generating” video of a close-up of a masticating mouth comes in – it's definitely hard to swallow (ahem).
[Source: The Anglo Celt]

CLARE

Clare’s Chief Superintendent has urged those affected by crime to come forward and confront “bullies” by making a complaint, thereby letting them know this behavior will not be tolerated.

Speaking to The Clare Champion, Chief Superintendent Kerin said he didn’t wish to offend anyone with comments he made two weeks ago urging the public to make a complaint or “shut up about it.”

 “I hope I didn’t insult anyone because perhaps it came across being arrogant but, at times, our job can be very frustrating because we know of incidents that are happening and people won’t make the complaints for various reasons. They have got to understand that unless we receive a complaint or witness it ourselves, we can do absolutely nothing.

“I fully understand why people are reluctant to come forward; there is a fear element out there but I keep saying that bullies have to be stood up to and if they do, invariably you find they are cowards and they back off. So people should come together and unite and say ‘we are not tolerating this in our community and we are going to stand up for our own communities’,” he said.
[Source: Clare Champion]

CORK

A former Garda (police officer) from Cobh who left the force in July has severely criticized the lack of funding and support for rank and file Gardaí. Niall O' Connor felt he had no option but to leave the force after years of frustration and in going public he has been inundated with messages of support from serving members of the force and the Garda Representative Association (GRA), who are as frustrated as he is.

"For the last few days there's been nothing but positive feedback from rank-and-file Gardaí and sergeants, those who are working out there on the job and the GRA also released a statement backing up what I said. I've also been getting messages of support on Twitter and Facebook as well," said Niall.
 [Source: Cork Independent]

DERRY

Controversial road signs welcoming visitors to Northern Ireland are to be erected in Derry and Strabane.

The Northwest signs are among eight that have been, or are to be erected at locations on the north/south border.

Sinn Fein has branded the signs a “provocative stunt” by Department of Regional Development minister Danny Kennedy.

In turn the Ulster Unionist minister has said there has been an overreaction to the new signage scheme.
[Source: Derry Journal]

DONEGAL

An Arranmore curate has told his congregation that any legislation on abortion should not be passed under the terms of the X case, saying he believed that would make Irish abortion laws the most liberal in Europe.

Speaking on the island two Sundays ago, Father John Joe Duffy told parishioners that he welcomed the decision of Donegal County Council, who voted at their regular meeting last month to oppose any form of legislation of abortion.
 [Source: Donegal Democrat]

DOWN

An 86-year-old woman has been knocked to the ground and injured by a man who stole her handbag in Newtownards, County Down.

She was attacked in the Donaghadee Road area of the town shortly after 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday.
She was taken to hospital to be treated for her injuries which are not believed to be life threatening at this stage.
[Source: BBC News]

DUBLIN

He was “the youngest of three remarkable children born to Michael and Ellen Houlihan of Reineen, Castleisland,” Co. Kerry, Ann Houlihan told the congregation at St. Kevin’s Church on Dublin’s Harrington Street in today.

She was speaking at the end of a funeral Mass for her uncle journalist Con Houlihan (86) who died at St James Hospital at the weekend following a long illness.

“We thought him the gentlest of giants, the uncle who coaxed me from behind the sofa with bananas when I was terrified of his mountainous presence. We would migrate top his orbit at pitches and race tracks around Kerry, never realizing he was already an institution.”
[Source: Irish Times]

FERMANAGH

A $310,000 facelift for Enniskillen town center is on the cards with the hope that environmental improvements will help encourage High Street investment.

Fermanagh District Council has formally committed itself to taking the lead in the $310,000 Enniskillen main thoroughfare spruce-up scheme.

The money has yet to be awarded by the Department of Social Development (DSD) and, at last week’s council meeting members were informed that, due to the delay on the part of DSD in coming forward with the funding, the original economic appraisal for the scheme had to be updated at the cost of an extra $9,000.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]

GALWAY

The parents of the young Tuam man, who was subjected to a vicious attack last weekend, have said that they are now more hopeful that their son will make a recovery from his serious head injuries.

Shane Grogan (22) remains unconscious in the Beaumont Hospital but his parents Joe and Joan have told The Connacht Tribune that they are much more positive about their son’s condition than they were immediately after the attack.

Shane and his girlfriend were returning home in the early hours of August 5 following an enjoyable day out at the Galway Races when he was attacked.

He sustained serious head injuries after a piece of concrete curbing is understood to have been thrown at him.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]

KERRY

NAMA is now in control of $234 million worth of land, houses and other property in Kerry according to figures contained in the agency's 2011 annual report.

Kerry comes ninth in the list of Irish counties containing the most NAMA-controlled property. All properties controlled by the agency are valued at November 2009 levels, which coincide with the President's signing of the NAMA Bill into law.

Other figures released by NAMA show that the agency is currently involved in enforcement action in relation to 43 of the properties it controls in Kerry.
[Source: The Kerryman]

KILDARE

Kildare Co. Council has no hope of collecting the remaining 45 percent of unpaid household charges within the next few months and is facing a total loss of $2.7m in government funding as a result.

Community grants and services, including repairs to elderly persons’ homes, are likely to be hit as a result.

Councilors gathered for their meeting on Monday two weeks ago in the shadow of a government announcement that the council’s allocation for the third quarter of this year, which was originally to be $24,763,042, is being reduced by $694,660.
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]

KILKENNY

Ryan Rhys Griffiths (18), a student of Kilkenny College, is among a group of young ambitious Irish chess players forging a successful path across Europe this summer.

Ryan joins Kilkenny-based juniors as John Courtney, Sarah Jane Hearne, Catherine Hearne and Eoin Minnock in raising the profile of Irish chess and Ireland abroad. A Fide Chess Master, Ryan had an exceptional tournament at the 87th Paris Chess Championships in July, where he scored four wins and four draws against eight international masters and chess grandmasters to win the trophy for best performing Junior.
[Source: Kilkenny People]

LAOIS

Up to $12,000 worth of damage was done to a church in Killermogh, near Abbeyleix last month.

Rocks and sticks were thrown at the windows of the 200-year old Church of Ireland church, smashing “fist-sized holes” through priceless stained and colored glass. The vandalism was discovered by a parishioner who was visiting a family grave on Friday, July 20, and Abbeyleix Gardaí (police) was then alerted.
 [Source: Leinster Express]

LEITRIM

The Independent Roscommon-South Leitrim TD Luke Flanagan wrote to the Oireachtas authorities a few weeks before his altercation with Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett alleging that Laois-Offaly Fine Gael TD Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy had blocked his way and prevented him from leaving a meeting.

Mr. Flanagan and Ms. Corcoran-Kennedy had attended a meeting of the Oireachtas environment committee in late June, which had discussed the problem caused to local farmers by excessive flooding in the river Shannon area.

At the end of the meeting, Ms. Corcoran-Kennedy approached Mr. Flanagan and challenged him over references he had made to her on his Twitter social media account.

Later that evening, Mr. Flanagan tweeted: “I am reporting Deputy Corcoran Kennedy to the Oireachtas usher staff for physically denying me from leaving the meeting on Shannon floods.”

When another account user asked did she really block his way, he replied: “Meeting was over. She refused on three occasions to let me pass unless I listened to her rant. Not acceptable.”
[Source: Irish Times]

LIMERICK

After nearly 1,500 days in intensive care and rehabilitation, a young woman struck down with a rare disease is back living at home with her family in county Limerick.

Patricia Ingle (23) contracted a rare disease from parrots while working in a pet shop in Limerick city in 2008, which left her paralyzed, brain-damaged, confined to a wheelchair and breathing with the aid of a ventilator.

But after 1,069 days in the Mid-Western Regional hospital in Dooradoyle and a further nine months in a rehabilitation center in Oxford in the U.K., Tricia is home for good.
[Source: Limerick Leader]

LONGFORD

A woman in her 20s was arrested and questioned last Friday morning following a burglary at the home of a retired priest in Granard on Thursday, August 2 last at approximately 6:30 p.m.

The Leader understands that the suspect was later released and a file has since been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in respect of the matter.

Gardaí (police) say that this is the second time in as many weeks that the elderly priest has been targeted.

The woman who was questioned is believed to be originally from Co. Westmeath but living in the Granard area. It is understood that $80 was stolen in the burglary. A Garda spokesperson said that the victim was shaken after the incident and confirmed that he had also been targeted by thieves two weeks prior to last Thursday.
[Source: Longford Leader]

LOUTH

Dundalk dredger, the Hebble Sand, which was previously owned by the Dundalk Port Company, has departed the dry dock in Dublin Port and is currently heading for Campbeltown, on the Mull of Kintyre Peninsula.

The grab-hopper dredger which has remained in Dublin Port for more than one year departed Dublin Port on Friday, August 3.
 [Source: Dundalk Democrat]

MAYO

The unemployment rate in Mayo has risen by 2.8 percent in the last month but the latest figures show that there has been a two percent decrease in the last 12 months.

The latest live register figures released by the Central Statistic Office show that the number of unemployed in Mayo for July stands at 13,800. The figure was an increase of 376 or 2.8 percent compared to June when the figure was 13,424 but a decrease of two percent on the same time last year.
[Source: The Mayo News]

MEATH

John Evans has stated that he would be "interested" in replacing Seamus McEnaney as Meath senior football manager as the race gets underway to find a replacement for the Monaghan man.

Kerryman Evans was brought into the Meath set up last April by McEnaney after relegation from NFL Div. 2 and he proved to be a popular choice among the players.

One of his roles was training the team although it was understood he was also closely involved in the selection process.

Inevitably a number of familiar names have emerged as possible replacements for McEnaney with Colm O'Rourke, Sean Kelly and Gerry McEntee among those mentioned.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]

MONAGHAN

An illegal growth hormone, commonly known as angel dust, has been detected on a farm in the Republic of Ireland for the first time since 1999.

The Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed that two cattle at a farm in County Monaghan tested positive for Clenbuterol.

A small quantity of the substance was also found on the farm, which was restricted during the investigation.

The department said the evidence suggested it was an "isolated case."
[Source: BBC News]

OFFALY

Forty-one new housing units were commenced in the first four months of 2012 in Offaly, according to new statistics released by the Construction Industry Federation (CIF).

This represents a decrease of five units, or 11 percent, on the same period during 2011, when work began on 46 new units, according to the CIF’s latest Housing Statistics Bulletin.
[Source: Offaly Express]

ROSCOMMON

The beaten Roscommon minor football team, having represented their county in Croke Park on August 5, paid for their own dinner at a service station off the motorway as they made their way back home.

The team who lost out by the smallest of margins to Kerry earlier in the day traveled home by bus, stopping off in Meath for some fast food.

More than 5,000 Roscommon fans travelled to support the team as they played in the curtain-raiser to the two quarterfinal senior football matches on Sunday. When contacted by the Roscommon Herald, the Chairperson of Roscommon Minor County Board Oliver Kelly said that the decision not to go for a meal was one taken by the panel and management.
[Source: Roscommon Herald]

SLIGO

Those who refuse to pay local taxes should not receive State grants, according to Independent consultants. They have also called for a State injection of $12 million to counter the growing “financial crisis” at one local authority.

Grant Thornton, whose report into the finances of Sligo County Council was to be considered at a special meeting of the council last Thursday, has called for an overhaul of the “whole local-authority model.”

The report predicts the revenue deficit at the council will rise from almost $16 million now to $34 million by 2017 “unless immediate action is taken.” Its capital deficit is over $86 million.
[Source: Irish Times]

TIPPERARY

Nenagh Gardaí (police) has appealed to the public for help after a Limerick taxi driver was stabbed by two men and dumped on the side of the road at Newport.

The taxi driver had picked up two men in Davis Street, Limerick August 4, and brought them to Newport, where he was stabbed in the chest with a knife and screwdriver before being forced from his car at around 1 a.m.

The Treaty Cabs vehicle was later found on Childers Road, Limerick, after the company raised the alarm when it could not contact the driver.
[Source: Tipperary Star]

TYRONE

A diesel-laundering plant in Dungannon, capable of producing up to one million gallons of illegal fuel each year, is the latest to have been dismantled in the area in the past few years.

The Dungannon plant was uncovered last Tuesday by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and is estimated to be capable of costing the Treasury $3.8 million a year.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]

WATERFORD

House building continues to decline across the city and county according to the latest statistics released by the Construction Industry Federation (CIF).

Just 21 new housing units were commenced in the first four months of 2012 representing a decrease of 16 units, or 43 percent, on the same period during 2011, when work began on 37 new units, according to the CIF’s latest Housing Statistics Bulletin.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]

WESTMEATH

Athlone is to have its very own television channel later this month when Athlone Community TV (ACTV) is launched.

The community-driven initiative will be web-based and currently has some samples of what's to come available on its Facebook page.

The brainchild of Martin Sumner, Athlone Community TV aims to facilitate individuals, groups and communities to tell their own stories and Martin explained this week that it is very much a community initiative – driven by the community for the community.
[Source: Westmeath Independent]

WEXFORD

Wexford County Council has stated that they would welcome any interest in using Enniscorthy Courthouse from public or community users, following calls from two Town Councilors to make use of the currently empty building.

Calls came from Clr. Tom Moorehouse, who suggested the building be used as social welfare offices while Clr. James Browne stated that the Courts Service should relook at the building, with a view to refurbishing and reopening it as a court again.
[Source: Wexford Echo]

WICKLOW

A clean-up operation is revealing a long-hidden face in the countryside around Arklow as a pyramid literally emerges from the undergrowth following years of neglect.

Few people in Arklow and the wider county are even aware of the existence of the pyramid at the old Kilbride Cemetery on the outskirts of the town.

The monolith was commissioned by Ralph Howard, 1st Viscount Wicklow in the 1780s, as a burial site for him and his family is situated in and dominates the old cemetery.

It is the final resting place of 18 of his family members.

More than 500 people are believed to be buried in the cemetery which had become overgrown and neglected in recent years with the pyramid itself covered in ivy and tree growth.
 [Source: Wicklow People]

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