News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties



Individuals and groups have voiced their opposition to proposals to designate the Mournes as a national park during a public meeting in Newcastle, County Down.

It is one of a number of areas under consideration by the Environment Minister Alex Attwood.

More than 1,000 people attended the event at the Slieve Donard Hotel.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK without a national park and the minister wants two to be created.
[Source: BBC News]


A woman was so shocked to dig up a grenade she threw it to the ground in fright.

Claire Love (48) was using a garden fork to dig around a tree stump behind her home in Dublin when she made her surprising discovery.

"I must have hit it with the fork a few times. I thought it was a stone but it was very heavy when I picked it up," she said last Wednesday.
[Source: Evening Herald]


A man was given a suspended jail sentence for a smash and grab attack on a car belonging to a Sinn Fein MLA.

Brian Cassidy (33), of Main Street in Irvinestown, admitted breaking a window in Fermanagh politician Phil Flanagan’s Citroen Xsara and stealing $6.

He was sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay Mr. Flanagan $80 compensation.
[Source: Belfast Telegraph]


Students are being advised on the official NUI Galway website that if they are going to use cannabis, they should “do it discreetly” and “preferably in their own home.”

The NUI Galway Student Counseling Service has warned students that if convicted of cannabis possession, they can face a substantial fine and a criminal conviction that could affect their future careers and travel plans.

Under the heading of “cannabis and the law,” the NUI Galway Counseling Service advises students that are going to use cannabis, to be “cautious” about where and when they use the drug.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]


A Belgian man living in Kerry has vowed to continue his hunger and thirst strike until he gets a response from the government to his claim for social welfare.

Jan De Neuborg, who has lived in Ireland for 14 years, said that he applied four months ago to the Department of Social Protection for welfare payments.

However the 56-year-old, who suffers from severe depression and high blood pressure, has never received a response, despite repeated written requests.

He said that he is in serious financial difficulties since his pension from the Belgian authorities was cut off last May.
[Source: Irish Examiner]


The mother and grandmother of a six-year-old autistic child say they are “frustrated and distressed” after applications for care allowances by both women were turned down.

Athy grandmother Geraldine Fitpatrick looks after her granddaughter, Clodagh Bolger, while Clodagh's mother, Pamela, is at work. Clodagh, who is a pupil in the special unit of Scoil Mhicil Naofa in Athy, is autistic and requires a high level of care.

As a result, Geraldine, who lives at the Moat of Ardskull, just outside Athy, spends most of the week staying at Pamela's home in Ballitore.

“Clodagh is a lovely child but she is very hyperactive. If she doesn't wake until 7 a.m., that's a lie-in. Sometimes she is awake and alert at three or four in the morning. She climbs, puts things into her mouth and constantly repeats words and phrases. Up until about two years ago, she didn't have any speech. Now she is starting to put sentences together and call us by name but you have to watch her all the time, for safety's sake.”
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]


It’s that time of year again.

The sun was out, and the county was truly starting to buzz again with All-Ireland fever. Sunday was fast approaching, and Kilkenny was a sea of black and amber – as it should be every September.

Jerseys, hoodies and Kilkenny kits were selling like hot cakes, and neighborhoods around the city and county were brightening up their own communities.
[Source: Kilkenny People]


“Conservation experts” will have to be engaged to monitor all stages of a proposed development at Killenard.

Despite receiving three submissions, Laois County Council has approved conditional planning permission for the ambitious project which will feature an archive store and exhibition space at Mount Saint Anne’s Retreat & Conference Centre.

There are 13 conditions attached and the Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, An Taisce and the Heritage Council have the right of an appeal to An Bord Pleanala against the council’s decision and this must be lodged within four weeks.
[Source: Leinster Express]


Carrick-on-Shannon native Marie Lowe is one of 21 e-car ambassadors, from all over Ireland, who take part in the ESB’s Great Electric Drive.