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News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties

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ANTRIM

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]

ARMAGH

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]

CARLOW

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]

CAVAN

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]

CLARE

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]

CORK

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]

DERRY

Two police officers were injured after a car stolen during a creeper burglary collided with their police vehicle.

Police say the creeper burglary happened in the Beverley Gardens area of Derry’s Waterside on the morning of August 28.

“At approximately 5:30 a.m., it was reported that a gray BMW 1 Series was taken from a house,” says a PSNI spokesman.

“The car later collided with a police vehicle in the Brockagh Road area of Derry at approximately 12:05 p.m. Two police officers in the car at the time were injured but their injuries did not require hospital treatment.”
[Source: Derry Journal]

DONEGAL

Mourners at the funeral of 24-year-old Andrew Duffy heard how the Donegal team need no greater incentive to win the All-Ireland to honor the supporter who died on August 26 (Sunday).

St. Columba’s Church in Termon was packed to overflowing as over 1,000 people turned out to say farewell to the talented GAA player.

Fr. Pat McHugh said Andrew was a shy, unassuming man who had a deep faith and his death has had a huge impact on himself and others in the community.

Several members of the Donegal senior football team, including captain Michael Murphy, Karl Lacey and Andrew’s Termon teammate, Michael Boyle, joined hundreds of mourners at the funeral mass.

Members of the Termon GAA club provided a guard of honor.

Andrew was laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery. He died following a tragic accident when he fell into the Grand Canal in Drumcondra just hours after the Donegal team defeated Cork to reach only their second ever All-Ireland final.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]

DOWN

The Down county board will meet shortly to analyze the Championship season but there is no indication yet that manager James McCartan will continue in his role.

McCartan took over in 2010 bringing Down to the All-Ireland final that year when they were unlucky to lose out to Cork by a point (0-16 to 0-15) and since then silverware has proved elusive.

He suffered two of the biggest setbacks of his three-year term to date earlier this summer when his team lost to Donegal in the Ulster final (2-18 to 0-13) and then surrendered tamely to Mayo in the All-Ireland quarterfinals (3-18 to 2-9).

These defeats impacted heavily on Down morale and created considerable disappointment within the county.
[Source: Belfast Telegraph]

DUBLIN

Friends of a Dublin deaf teen who died by suicide believed he was bullied in the months leading up to his death. Heartbroken Dublin mother Elaine Hughes buried Darren Hughes-Gibson (16) after an emotional ceremony in Swords.

The fun-loving teenager was known to his friends as Darren Power and nicknamed “Austin Powers.”

But his closest friends believe that he was bullied to death.
[Source: Evening Herald]

FERMANAGH

It is unlikely that during his time in Enniskillen, Samuel Beckett boosted the local economy in any major way; however, last week, over 20 years after his death, he certainly did. At least that’s the view of some local business people who felt a strong surge of trade due to an increase in footfall in the town.

The Tourist Information Centre in Enniskillen reported a large increase of visitors in the five days of the festival, with close to 1,000 people passing through its doors for the duration. The busiest reported day was Saturday with around 250 people who visited the center.

Charlotte Wilson, of the Tourist Information Centre said: “Figures were well up. It was a very busy weekend as is normally the case on a Bank Holiday weekend, but even more so because of the Beckett Festival.”
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]

GALWAY

Around one in every 10 secondhand cars in Galway have had their mileage “clocked” – by amounts of up to 100,000 miles – posing a potential deathtrap to their owners, according to new statistics.

A report from Cartell.ie, a vehicle history checking website, shows that 11,165 cars in Galway were found to have had their odometers “wound back.”

And the practice – which itself is not illegal and simple to carry out – is becoming more widespread as the recession bites and motorists turn their backs on brand new cars.

John Byrne of Cartell told the Connacht Tribune: “We know from our database how many used cars there are in the Galway area, and we know now than 10 percent of cars there have been clocked. It’s very easy to clock a car. All you need is diagnostic equipment, and wind the clock back. The figures vary hugely, and are anything from a few thousand miles to 100,000 miles.”
[Source: Galway Bay FM]

KERRY

Current Kerry captain Colm “Gooch” Cooper has given his public support to the county's newly-installed senior football manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice.

The pair soldiered together as teammates, winning a number of Munster and All-Ireland titles, and Cooper believes Fitzmaurice has what it takes to get the Kingdom back on track.

"It's a good appointment, Eamonn has been a senior selector and in charge of the U-21s and is a good man with a good knowledge of football," the talismanic forward told the Irish Sun.

"The Kerry County Board seemed to have an idea of who they wanted to succeed Jack O'Connor and they moved fairly quickly."
[Source: Irish Examiner]

KILDARE

Several iPads have replaced traditional schoolbooks for 172 first-year pupils at Pipers Hill College in Naas who began working with the new “digital schoolbag” two weeks ago.

The students received their iPads, which include digital textbooks and training in how to use them on their first day (August 24) in their new school. The initiative known as the Wriggle 1:1 mobile learning program will mean that these students will no longer have to carry heavy schoolbags.

“This is something that was going to happen eventually because of the way technology was going,” said Principal Colm O’Connor.

“The iPads are being rolled out to first-years only this year. All 65 teachers have been trained how to use the iPads and the various apps and they have been extremely enthusiastic and fully embraced the move,” he added.
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]

KILKENNY

A man who stole a substantial amount of money from an upstairs office at Dore’s Restaurant and Coffee Shop was caught on camera 16 times during the incident.

The popular business on High Street, which has cameras installed has a sign inside the front door that says “Smile You’re On Camera,” informing patrons that they are being recorded for security reasons.

Gardaí (police) are currently examining the footage from the alleged incident. Owner Michael Dore said that he was “shaken but fine” following the incident adding that he felt fortunate that it was not more serious. “We believe that he had a knife concealed so we are counting our blessings that there was no confrontation,” he said.
[Source: Kilkenny People]

LAOIS

A jackpot-winning Lotto ticket netting one lucky person a whopping $10.8 million has been sold in an Abbeyleix newsagent.

The $10 Quick Pick ticket was sold August 24 in Loughlin Moran’s newsagents on the town’s Main Street. It is not yet known whether the winner hails from the midlands or was just passing through the region, but Rebecca Moran, who was working in the family-owned store on Friday and who may actually have sold the jackpot ticket, told the Leinster Express that local speculation is rife as to the possibility of a new multi-millionaire in Laois.
[Source: Leinster Express]

LEITRIM

Liverpudlians Thomas Lloyd (35) and Sharon Cartwright (30) recently tied the knot at a marriage ceremony in Carrick-on-Shannon’s St. George’s Church of Ireland.

The couple, who each worked as train driver or train conductor for Northern Rail in Britain, visit Ireland often as Sharon has close family in Galway.

The couple wanted to marry in Ireland and in touring the countryside in our area in the spring of 2011 to find a venue, St. George’s was the first viewed and ultimately the perfect place for them.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]

LIMERICK

A Janesboro man has died after contracting Legionnaires’ disease during a holiday he took to Chicago.

Thomas (Tom) Keane, from McDermott Avenue, was one of eight people who contracted Legionnaire’s in Chicago’s Marriott Hotel last week.

He died at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital l on Wednesday, August 29. It is understood at least one other person died.

Tom had travelled to Chicago with his wife Olive for a 40th wedding anniversary treat, in particular to visit his son Shane (29) who secured a summer job there. After staying in the five-star hotel, they returned to Limerick early last week.
[Source: Limerick Leader]

LONGFORD

A seven-year-old girl has been released from intensive care following a car crash that claimed her mother’s life. The incident, which occurred on Saturday (August 25) at 6 p.m., resulted in the tragic death of Dolores McCormack (52).

A native of Moyvore, Ms. McCormack was travelling along the road at Ballagh, approximately two miles outside Mullingar. Her two children, Bronagh (7) and Katie (14), were also occupants of the car when it was involved in a collision with a second vehicle.

Bronagh was taken to the Midlands Regional Hospital, Mullingar, and then transferred to the intensive care unit at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, from which she was later released. Katie was also admitted to hospital for minor injuries.
[Source: Longford Leader]

LOUTH

A woman in her 30s has been found dead in a house in the College Manor Hoey’s Lane in Dundalk. Gardaí (police) found the body of the 34-year-old woman in a downstairs room in the house around 3 a.m. last Wednesday.

Gardaí are treating the death of the 34-year-old as suspicious and it is understood the woman sustained serious injuries and a post-mortem was due to be carried out that day.

It is believed that children were in the house at the time and they are now being comforted by relatives. The scene has been preserved and the State Pathologist was expected there that morning.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]

MAYO

The body of 45-year-old Irish engineer Robert Gray, who was killed in a shooting in Nigeria two weeks ago, was expected to be returned to Westport last Wednesday. While his funeral was held in Ireland last week, his devastated colleagues in Nigeria held a service for him Monday (August 27), after three days of official mourning for the popular employee of construction company PW Ltd.

Mr. Gray was ambushed and shot dead during an apparent robbery near the town of Takum, in Taraba State, close to the border with Cameroon, on August 23. He was traveling with a driver in an official Hilux van when the violent attack occurred around 5:30 p.m. His driver, who was also shot and seriously injured, is recovering in hospital. Reportedly, local police have been unable to speak to him due to the seriousness of his injuries.
[Source: The Mayo News]

MEATH

Navan Town Council has hosted a reception to welcome the Canadian high school team, Villanova, to the town as part of the Global Ireland Football Tournament 2012.

Deputy Mayor of Navan Francis Deane welcomed the team, coaches and parents to the town at the civic reception, at which the attendance included the Canadian Ambassador, Loyola Hearn.

Mr. Hearn thanked the Villanova team, which has been staying in Navan since the start of last week, for bringing their great game to Navan and Ireland.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]

MONAGHAN

Two containers containing toxic sludge were dumped last Wednesday night near the village of Annyalla and two in the townland of Drumleek in the Castleblayney area.

Both finds were in areas close to local watercourses.

Damien Treanor, acting Director of Environment with Monaghan Co. Council, told RTÉ these latest dumping incidents bring to 54 the number of times the council has had to pick up and dispose of toxic diesel sludge this year.

To date in 2012 they have dealt with 290 tons of the sludge, which is a by-product of the illegal removal of dye from agricultural diesel.
[Source: RTÉ News]

OFFALY

Gardaí (police) in Tullamore are investigating an incident of shots fired at a house in Heather Grove, Clara on Saturday, August 25.

At approximately 2:15 a.m. shots were fired through the front door. There were a number of persons in the house at the time but no injuries were sustained during the attack.

The scene was preserved pending a full technical examination
[Source: Offaly Express]

ROSCOMMON

After more than three months in place, the boil water notice on the Castlerea urban supply has been lifted. It is now hoped that the notice still in place on the regional supply will be lifted in the coming weeks.

More than 2,000 homes have been affected by the notice on the urban supply, which was lifted on August 24.
[Source: Roscommon Herald]

SLIGO

Some distressed Sligo children returned to school last week without schoolbooks as a result of a debacle caused by an online book seller, Schoolbooks.ie

Despite what are now perceived to be false assurances from the company that its backlog would be cleared by last Friday, angry parents drove from all over Ireland to the company's Dublin offices demanding their pre-paid orders.

Some of those who blockaded the premises received their orders within two hours. The books were handed over by security staff.

However the company still insists that its backlog, which was highlighted earlier this month, has been cleared and that it has taken steps to improve communication with customers. “All backlog orders have been dispatched,” the company said.
 [Source: Evening Herald]

TIPPERARY

Dozens of transport and road haulage jobs are under threat across Tipperary, following the announcement last week that one of the country’s main haulage companies is to cease trading.

Target Express (Ireland), the freight company, is to cease trading with the loss of 400 jobs, some of those including employees of the company in Tipperary. Target Express had previously rented out premises for use as a depot near Thurles from Germinal Seeds, a firm based at the Horse and Jockey. Sales and Production Manager of Germinal Seeds, Jim Gibbons, said Target Express had stopped renting the premises from them some months back, and expressed sympathy for all Target’s employees who may have lost their jobs last week. Mr. Gibbons said they had enjoyed a good working relationship with Target Express.
[Source: Tipperary Star]

TYRONE

A mother-of-three from Eglish described the possible closure of children's heart surgery facilities in Belfast as "unbelievable.”

Anita Gildernew was referring to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children in Belfast which is under threat of losing heart surgery facilities following the publication of the “Safe and Sustainable Review” into the service.

The closure would mean Tyrone families would have to travel to Birmingham in order to receive treatment for children with heart defects.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]

WATERFORD

Gardaí (police) in Waterford tackling a spike in burglaries have made a number of arrests.

Four juveniles were arrested on suspicion of committing as many as 12 burglaries in the city over the last few weeks, in areas such as Larchville and Lisduggan. A file has been sent to the DPP in respect of the four individuals, who have now been released.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]

WESTMEATH

Among those with fond memories of the legendary astronaut is Athlone show-band musician Frankie McDonald, who met Neil Armstrong during his first visit to Ireland in April 1997.

The unplanned meeting between the two men took place in the lobby of The Brandon Hotel in Tralee.

"I was touring with Joe Dolan at the time and we were playing a gig in a theatre called the Siamsa Tíre in Tralee," recalled Frankie last Monday.

"I went into the Brandon Hotel for a meal and I was just finishing up when a musician I knew, Dermot Flynn, told me that Neil Armstrong would be coming into the hotel in about five minutes' time.

"Sure enough, he came in shortly afterwards with a big entourage of security people. I thought I wouldn't be able to get near him but I was actually able to go up and shake his hand.
[Source: Westmeath Independent]

WEXFORD

The daughter of the north Wexford man who was found dead in his front garden having died of asphyxiation has said the family is in limbo and will not know for months whether or not the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is going to bring a case against a woman charged in relation to his death.

Mr. Plunkett was found in the grounds of his home at Ballyedmond, just off the main Wexford to Gorey road, following a 999 call to the Gardaí (police) on Sunday afternoon, August 19.
[Source: Wexford Echo]

WICKLOW

An Irish-born red kite has nested and bred chicks in Ireland for the first time in nearly 200 years.

The male bird, which was born in 2010 to donor stocks of red kites brought in from Wales, was recorded breeding at a nest on a farm near Redcross, Co. Wicklow, earlier this summer. The event marks a major milestone for Co. Wicklow’s red kite reintroduction program which aims to restore Ireland’s native population of kites to their traditional haunts.
[Source: Irish Times]
 

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