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News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties

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Health campaigners have warned the cuts will have appalling consequences for Meath patients with services dramatically reduced at Our Lady's Hospital in Navan and crucial services curtailed in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]

MONAGHAN

President Michael D. Higgins opened the $4.6 million European-funded Castle Saunderson International Scouting Centre in Cavan two weekends ago.

The president was joined by dignitaries from both sides of the border, including Northern Ireland Executive Ministers Jonathan Bell, Nelson McCausland and Jennifer McCann and Minister of State in the Republic Fergus O’Dowd.

Located in Castle Saunderson Demesne, near Belturbet, and bordering counties Fermanagh and Monaghan, the new scouting facility has entrances from the North and the South.
[Source: Irish Times]

OFFALY

There are 386 vacant commercial units or premises in Offaly, according to figures released by GeoDirectory.

The figures represent an average vacancy rate for commercial units in the county of 11 percent, and are accurate as of June 2012.

The highest number of vacancies recorded in towns in Offaly was Tullamore with a vacancy rate of 11 percent or 156 units, followed by Birr where 113 vacant commercial units were identified – a rate of 11 percent.
[Source: Offaly Express]

ROSCOMMON

“A model student" and an "excellent footballer” are just some of the phrases that have been used to describe Boyle teenager Eoin Lavin who died following a car collision on August 19.
 
The 17-year-old former Abbey College student died in the early hours of Sunday morning when the car in which he was a passenger left the road and ended up partially submerged in a water-filled ditch.

The crash occurred at Carrowreagh on the Frenchpark to Boyle road at approximately 1 a.m. when the car collided with a ditch. Mr. Lavin was pronounced dead at the scene.
[Source: Roscommon Herald]

SLIGO

IT Sligo student Lydia Concannon is about to embark on the opportunity of a lifetime after being selected to take up the first annual Yeats Design Residency at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin.

It is part of a new innovative partnership between the national theatre and IT Sligo, bringing together two of W.B. Yeats's greatest passions – the Abbey Theatre and Sligo.

Lydia (22), who has just completed the four-year honors BA Performing Arts program at the IT Sligo, is set to begin the six-month residency in a couple of weeks. The course allows for specialism in theatre design or acting.
[Source: Irish Independent]

TIPPERARY

New figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), show that there has been nearly an 85 percent drop in crime around Thurles, though the Premier County is the third worst in Munster for the number of burglaries committed.

The figures show a dramatic decrease in reported crime in the Tipperary Garda (police) Division since 2007, according to the CSO. Since the recession began, there has been an average fall of 43 percent in reported crime across the county. The steepest fall in reported crimes was in the Thurles district, which saw a decrease of 84.9 percent over that period.
[Source: Tipperary Star]

TYRONE

Work has begun on the provision of Cookstown's first "Puffin" crossing . . . after safety fears for pedestrians in the area were first highlighted in the Courier.

A new Pedestrian User Friendly Intelligent (PUFFIN) crossing is currently being installed at Church Street, Cookstown by Roads Service's traffic management section.

The completed crossing – the first of this particular type in the Cookstown district – will provide a safer crossing facility for all pedestrians crossing at this busy location, particularly vulnerable road users (i.e. schoolchildren, the elderly and people with a disability).
[Source: Tyrone Courier]

WATERFORD

Face-to-face assistance for customers with queries about matters such as account balances and other day-to-day issues is set to disappear from Bank of Ireland at the Quay, in the city.

The “new way of banking” has already been introduced in Kilkenny, Wexford, Dundrum and in a small number of other areas as part of what the bank says is designed so that its customers will spend less time banking and more time enjoying life.

No specific date has yet been given for the closure but customers are being warned of the change through a leafleting campaign currently underway in the bank.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]

WESTMEATH

Two Athlone brothers are currently serving 11 years in a hellhole South American jail – despite one still proclaiming his innocence.

Dermot (20) and Leigh O'Neill (24), from Athlone, were sentenced two weeks ago for drugs offenses.

One of their brothers last week explained how the pair was handed 11-year terms in one of the most dangerous jails in the world.

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