News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties



After years of delays and broken promises, Parkhall Integrated College in Antrim may finally be on course for its much-needed $14.6 million rebuild.

A whole generation of students has passed through the school since detailed proposals to replace the crumbling campuses were first tabled, but supporters allowed themselves to believe its time had finally come in June when Education Minister John O'Dowd unveiled his spending plans.

Their jubilation was short-lived, however, when it emerged that Antrim's last remaining controlled secondary school was not one of the lucky 18 sharing the $280m pot.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


A man was left with life-threatening injuries on September 16 after he was stabbed during an altercation in the early hours of Sunday morning. The horrific assault took place in the Thomas Street area of Bessbrook.

Newry Detectives launched an appeal for information after being called to the scene around 4:30 a.m. on Sunday following reports of a man having been stabbed during an altercation in the street.

The seriously injured man was rushed to hospital in Belfast following the incident.

A 34-year-old man was arrested a short time later and has since been charged with attempted murder.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


The county manager laid bare the true extent of cuts to the local authorities’ coffers two weeks ago as a result, he said, of the shortfall in the collection of the household charge.

Tom Barry stressed that the almost $1.3 million in cuts are “directly linked” to the collection of the controversial charge.

Services such as housing grants, maintenance, roads, waste water treatment, street cleaning, fire services, maintenance of burial grounds, library services and many more are being targeted in an effort to balance the books.

To date, 25 percent has been deducted from the overstretched budget.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]


A Cavan County Council official has reiterated their policy that “less is more” when it comes to fitting out the county's towns and villages with litter bins.

Last week one of the authority's most senior officers pointed to the results of this year's national Tidy Towns awards as proof that litter bins may not be all that they're made out to be.

Peter Gallagher, Cavan County Council's delegated officer for Cootehill, told town councilors that the success achieved by the people of Abbeyshrule in Co. Longford in winning the premier national Tidy Towns award was notable in more than one aspect.

Mr. Gallagher pointed out that Abbeyshrule's Tidy Towns committee made the decision to remove all the litter bins in their town. "I will say no more," the council official stated at the September monthly meeting of Cootehill Town Council.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


With Clare hurling enjoying unprecedented success with a second All-Ireland U-21 title in four years, County GAA Board chairman Michael O’Neill has appealed to the business community to help prevent a player drain.

He was speaking at the civic welcome by Clare County Council and Ennis Town Council, attended by several thousand supporters in Ennis on Sunday evening (September 16).

Each player received a rousing cheer when introduced. A special cheer was reserved for team captain Conor McGrath when he hoisted the Cross of Cashel Cup at the reception.

O’Neill said, “It’s important for us that these players continue to be available to Clare teams.”
He urged local employers to keep them in mind for any job vacancies.
[Source: Clare Champion]


A city center pharmacist has told the Cork Independent that there has been an “upsurge” in the sale of decongestants recently. Pharmacists have been warned that some people are buying over-the-counter drugs like Sudafed to manufacture crystal methamphetamine, a highly-addictive class A drug.

Eastern European gangs have been reported as buying large amounts of common decongestants like Sudafed. The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) has issued an alert to its members, after consultation with the Garda (Police) National Drug Unit.

Martin Lynch from the Victory Outreach group in Cork city center which deals with drug addicts and offers them help, is worried that the drug will become common in Cork soon.
[Source: Cork Independent]


A campaign against plans to close Magilligan Prison got underway last week with a petition that organizers hope will get 20,000 signatures.

The Prison Officers’ Association launched the campaign on Friday afternoon at the gates of Northern Ireland’s second largest prison, which the prison service plans to replace with a new medium security jail at a location closer to Belfast in six years’ time.

Chairman of the Association Finlay Spratt says the aim is to march to Stormont on November 19 and hand over the petition to Justice Minister, David Ford.