News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties



As hundreds of athletes from across the globe joined together to mark the opening of the 2012 Paralympic Games last Wednesday, three members of the Jordanian team were noticeably missing from the celebrations.

Instead of soaking up the atmosphere in the Olympic Stadium and preparing for the competition of their lives, power-lifters Omar Sami Qaradhi and Motaz Al Junaidi will be watching the historic events unfold from their home country.

The athletes and their coach, Faisal Hammash, were axed from the games two weeks ago after being charged with a number of sexual offenses, which allegedly took place in Antrim.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


Householders and small businesses across the North are set to benefit from a reduction in electricity costs after an announcement that prices are about to drop.

A 14.1 percent reduction in power prices due to come into effect in October will mean that hundreds of thousands of Power NI customers will save around $131 a year. The price drop is in addition to a new six percent discount announced by the company for online billing.

The Utility Regulator, Shane Lynch, has said that the reduction is a visible sign that regulation is working for Northern Ireland consumers.

“The announcement is good news for consumers,” he said. “I’m delighted that regulated electricity prices are reducing for domestic and small business consumers.”
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


The term “shotgun wedding” took on a more sinister meaning for the groom at a Carlow hotel over two weekends ago when he was held at gunpoint on the morning of his big day.

On August 24 (Friday) at about 5:45 a.m. outside the lodges within the grounds of Killerig Resort Hotel, a groom woke to find masked raiders in the process of stealing a vehicle hired by one his wedding party.

On what should have been the start of the happiest day of his life, the 36-year-old groom opened to the door to see why the lights of the vehicle were on when he was suddenly confronted by an armed and masked man.

“The raider stuck a firearm in his face and told him to back off,” stated Sgt. John Foley of Carlow Garda (Police) Station.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]


A trainee teacher suffered a serious head injury in a freak camping accident when a steel tent stake lodged deep in her skull.

Laura Connick (22), of Coolree, Wexford, is recovering in Beaumont Hospital in Dublin after an operation to remove the stake, which became embedded in her head during a camping trip at the Fleadh Cheoil in Cavan two weeks ago.

The injured woman found her tent torn down after returning from visiting the toilet at 5 a.m.

Her father, community warden Mick Connick, said: "She and a friend were trying to pitch the tent when one of the steel stakes that was holding the tent down sprung up and got stuck in her head over her ear."
[Source: Irish Independent]


As reports persisted throughout the county last week that Micko Dwyer is the frontrunner to be the next Clare senior football manager, both the Kerry legend and Clare GAA Chairman Michael O’Neill have denied any official contact has been made.

“I didn’t hear anything about it,”Micko told The Clare Champion last Wednesday. Asked if he was contemplating a return to inter-county management, having taken a break this year, he replied, “I have made no decision yet”.

Clare Chairman Michael O’Neill said O’Dwyer was not “formally approached by anybody. There is much speculation and Micko’s name is one of five or six being linked to the position,” he added.

Despite the Kerryman’s outright denial, The Clare Champion understands that unofficial approaches have been made to the man that guided Kerry to eight All-Ireland senior titles before going on to achieve success with Laois, Kildare and Wicklow.
[Source: Clare Champion]


Workers at the Target Express depot in Little Island are entering a weekend of protest as confusion mounts over the reasons behind the company ceasing operations, with a simple message of “give us some respect” coming from the team there.

Workers began their sit-in protest last Tuesday morning after learning on the RTÉ Six One news that they were out of work following the Revenue Commissioners’ attachment of the company’s assets. Customers with debts to the company were also instructed to pay directly to Revenue.

Just before going to print, The Cork Independent learned that a liquidator had arrived at the depot to explain his duties and to compile a stock take. It is believed the workers were not prepared to let him complete this.

Workers are not letting any freights or vans in or out, and, crucially, are holding onto packages within the warehouse.
[Source: Cork Independent]