News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties



Vandals who damaged two school buses and a window at Riverside Special School caused disruption and upset to “some of the most vulnerable children in society,” the headmaster has told the Antrim Guardian.

The $6,400 worth of damage was discovered at the Fennel Road premises at around 7 a.m. Friday (September 7) and pupils, parents, and staff members looking forward to the end of the first week of the new term were quickly notified.

Children had to be brought to school by their parents or wait for replacement buses to collect them at around 10 a.m., meaning they missed out on a portion of the morning's lessons and activities.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


The controversy over the appointment of enforcement officers from a private security company by Newry and Mourne District Council continues to gather momentum, following the publication of an open letter, signed by five trade unions, which outlines the unions’ “grave concerns” at the potential impact on council employees.

The Examiner understands that a meeting took place on September 6 between council officials and trade union representatives, at which concerns were raised about the perceived “privatization” of public services and the consequent threat to jobs.

It has emerged that Protec Safe Door and Event Management Ltd., the company engaged to carry out certain enforcement duties related to dog fouling, littering and tobacco control – which were previously performed solely by council workers – is believed to be owned by Councilor Brendan Curran, a fact that has caused further consternation among union members.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


A Tullow publican was viciously set upon by a gang throwing bottles, glasses and even a hanging basket as he attempted to stop the angry mob entering his pub on Sunday night (September 9).

Paddy Hogan, brother of Minister Phil Hogan and owner of The Hogan Stand in Tullow, was subjected to a terrifying attack by up to a dozen men and women that left him covered in blood and his face cut extensively by flying glass.

The shocked publican was taken to St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny by ambulance on Sunday night, where he received treatment for his injuries.

“I am shocked … all I’m trying to do here is make a living and run a good house,” said Mr. Hogan, who was visibly shaken by the ordeal.

“There’s a lot of talk about travelers’ rights, but what about the publicans? If I refuse to serve someone, I’m in trouble, but what if I do serve someone and this happens – it’s a no-win situation,” Mr. Hogan told The Nationalist.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]


The 25 Kingscourt Brick former workers, who had been outside the plant for 272 days in a dispute over redundancy payments, can now look forward after accepting the latest redundancy offer from Lagan Brick management.

Following a two-hour meeting last Wednesday night in the Kingscourt Community Centre, the former Kingscourt Brick workers delivered their decision in favor of accepting the offer.

SIPTU Industrial Organizer John Regan explained that proposals had been presented to the workers in the previous two days and last Wednesday they balloted on the offer and close to unanimously accepted the package put before them.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


Primary schools in Clare are among the most overcrowded in the country and almost nine out of every 10 pupils in the county are in classes greater than the EU average.

New figures published last week show that almost 90 percent of pupils in Clare schools are in classes of 20 or more and over one quarter are in “super-size” classes with over 30 children.

The report shows that 27 percent of primary pupils are in classes of 30 or more which equates to 3,656 pupils. Fifty-eight percent of the primary school population is in classes of 20 or more and 15 percent of pupils are in classes under 20.

Clare INTO Representative Sean McMahon has claimed the figures show the impact of government cutbacks on the ground in schools and that Irish class sizes are back to where they were a decade ago and getting worse.
[Source: Clare Champion]


A profound effort is being made by Gardaí (police) to trace the origin of a brown, powdery substance that is believed to be the cause of the deaths of Liam Coffey and Michael Coleman in Kinsale two weekends ago.

The two young men died from suspected overdoses in the early hours of Sunday morning (September 9) at Mr. Coleman's house that he shared with his girlfriend in Kinsale. Post-mortems were subsequently carried out on both bodies and toxicology reports are expected to confirm that this substance was the cause of Mr. Coleman and Mr. Coffey's deaths.

The HSE is urging caution to drug users and they are focusing on a brown, powdery substance being distributed in the Cork area which known to contain Methyl amphetamine (MDMA Ecstasy) and Paramethoxymethamphetamine (PMMA).
[Source: Cork Independent]