News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties



Kilkenny scored its highest-ever mark in the Tidy Towns competition this year, but this was still not enough to secure the coveted overall crown.

The competition’s results were announced at a ceremony in the Helix in Dublin last Monday afternoon. Kilkenny scored 309 out of a possible 400 – one mark more than last year. The winning town was Abbeyshrule in County Longford with a score of 312.
[Source: Kilkenny People]


The findings of the IBAL littler league that class Portlaoise as moderately littered and ranked 39 of 42 areas surveyed have been rubbished by a Laois County Council official.

John O’ Donoghue, Senior Engineer Environment and Roads, said the Council “are very disappointed that Portlaoise Town did not receive litter free status.”

He outlined that it was two privately-owned sites – one on Station Road and one adjacent to Bruach na hAbhainn housing estate – that were classified as Grade D by IBAL (Irish Business Against Litter) which “prevented Portlaoise from obtaining litter free status.”
[Source: Leinster Express]


Gardaí (police) in Carrick-on-Shannon are seeking the help of the public after a 16-year-old from east Galway was seriously injured when he was hit by a car on the R280 outside Cartown last Wednesday. Gardaí would particularly like to hear from two people who contacted them in relation to people walking on the road – one of those callers was a woman from Leitrim Village.

The youth was transferred to Sligo General Hospital and his injuries were described as “not life threatening.”
[Source: Leitrim Observer]


The mother of two children who suffered horrific injuries in a petrol bomb attack six years ago last week has said the attack will haunt her for the rest of her life.

Speaking at her home, Shelia Murray said her daughter Millie (12), and ten-year-old son Gavin, would need treatment for their burns for the rest of their lives.

On the sixth anniversary of the petrol bombing, the father of murdered Robert Sheehan – who had acted as a lookout for two older teenagers who petrol bombed Ms. Murray’s car – said his son had been haunted by the incident and had “never got over it.”

Robert Sheehan, who was jailed for two years in 2007 for his role in the unprovoked attack, was murdered earlier this month.

He had been shot several times in the head and body while attending a family wedding party in Co. Clare. Both events are unconnected, according to Gardaí (police).
[Source: Limerick Leader]


The detection of burglaries has doubled in the Longford Roscommon district in comparison to this time last year.

The stark figures were revealed by Inspector Fran Nicholson at the Joint Policing Committee meeting of Longford Town Council last Wednesday.

Inspector Nicholson also said public order offenses had risen significantly for the same period. Although unable to give exact figures, Insp. Nicholson estimated it was a rise of 15 to 20 percent. The introduction of new Garda (police) rosters earlier this year, which has led to an increase of Gardaí on-duty at hours normally associated with antisocial behaviour, may have had a bearing on the increase, Insp. Nicholson said.
[Source: Longford Leader]


The threat of more Garda (police) stations closing and the changing economic times has increased the need for more alert groups.

A survey has shown that one third of farmers do not feel safe and 11 percent have been victims of crime.

The huge rise in fuel costs means that thieves are targeting items such as diesel tanks on lands.

A current problem is bogus callers targeting older people living on their own.

And this is where the alert groups are proving to be of enormous value.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]


Over 10,000 householders in Mayo have been warned to register and pay the $130 household charge – or face the prospect of legal action in the next month.

A special meeting of Mayo County Council revealed that 10,600 properties have been identified as having not paid the household charge, and that final warnings are to be delivered to them in coming days. Mayo County Manager Peter Hynes and his Head of Finance, Peter Duggan, both reiterated that the only way to avoid reductions in public funding was to pursue those who have not yet paid the charge.
[Source: The Mayo News]


A call for a seven-day rota system for Meath County Council street-cleaning staff has been made following heavy littering in Market Square in Navan two weekends ago.

Clr. Tommy Reilly said the state of Market Square on Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday and into Monday morning could no longer be tolerated.

Fast food wrappers, cans and other litter remained scattered over the grass and paved areas at the Bull sculpture, and on the ground near a litter bin at the former ACC building.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]