News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties



Motorsport fans could have been forgiven for thinking that hordes of excited teenage girls had been victim of a magic spell as they swarmed to the Ulster Rally at Junction One over two weekends ago.

However, no mystical forces were at work, just a celebrity face as Harry Potter star, Rupert Grint turned up for the two-day event to support his racing driver brother James.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


There was widespread disgust throughout the locality two weekends ago at an arson attack which took place at the newly opened Slieve Gullion Adventure Play Park.

Portable toilet facilities, which had been recently implemented for the convenience of patrons of the park and recreation area, were burnt beyond repair in the attack, which took place Friday night, August 17. A disabled toilet in the block was completely destroyed by the deliberate fire.

Sinn Féin MLA, Megan Fearon, who visited the burnt-out site, condemned those responsible for the mindless vandalism, and expressed concern that south Armagh’s newest and most popular tourist attraction should be blighted in such a way.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


There are imminent fears that residents of Carlow Town could find themselves wading through filth because the local authority cannot afford to keep cleaning the streets.

It is understood that Carlow Local Authority has been warned by Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan that its budget will be cut by almost $1.3 million because of the low level of household charge payments in the county.

A source has told The Nationalist that street cleaning was stopped two weekends ago following the government’s threat to slash the council’s budget, but town engineer Brian O’Donovan has denied that plans are in place to stop street cleaning on Saturday and Sunday mornings on an ongoing basis.

“No specific decision has been made,” insisted Mr. O’Donovan.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]


Cavan-based insulation maker Kingspan generated trading profits of $66.2m during the first half of the year – a 19 percent surge compared to the corresponding period in 2011.

The boost to profitability came even as rivals struggle in the market and some of the geographies in which Kingspan operates continue to remain difficult.

Revenue at the company rose three percent to $951.8 million, and was down one percent on a constant currency basis, while earnings per share jumped 28 percent to 27.6 cents.

Chief executive Gene Murtagh said the results had been achieved through a combination of organic growth and the successful integration of acquisitions.
[Source: Irish Independent]


The mayor of Kilkee, Councilor Claire Haugh, has defended the town’s right to host a festival bearing the name of South American revolutionary Che Guevara. This year’s third annual festival will be held on the weekend of September 28.

The festival will be launched by Che Guevara’s daughter, Dr. Aleida Guevara, and Cuban Ambassador to Ireland, her Excellency Teresita Trujilio. It is expected that the Chilean Consul will also be in attendance.

Last year, U.S. representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, urged Galway City Council to reject the proposal to erect a monument honoring Che Guevara.
[Source: Clare Champion]


Genuine, sweet and never without a smile is how Rose of Tralee winner Nicola McEvoy was described after scooping the title last Tuesday night. Her sash may have read Luxembourg but she is still one of our own as Nicola grew up in Kerrypike.

Sinéad O'Donovan works with Nicola in Luxembourg and was in the Dome to see her big win, says no one was surprised when Nicola's name was called.

"We knew she would be very hard to beat so we weren't a bit surprised. She is such a lovely girl and she is so down to earth and takes everything in her stride so she was the ideal candidate. When she won the Luxembourg final she went through to the semi-final which was in Portlaoise and when she got through that we booked our tickets straight away for the final."
[Source: Cork Independent]


The restoration of Derry’s Guildhall has been given a multi-million dollar cash boost.

Tourism Minister Arlene Foster and Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland visited the Guildhall last Thursday to announce $5.6 million of financial assistance to support on-going restoration work.

The funding will be used to help transform the Guildhall from a functional civic building into a multi-faceted visitor experience to include a tourist information point, permanent and temporary exhibition spaces and a café area.
[Source: Derry Journal]


Gardaí (police) in Donegal Town are appealing for information after a “substantial sum” was taken from a hotel on August 17.