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News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties

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ANTRIM

History was quietly made on Sunday, November 11, when for the first time ever a Catholic priest led Antrim's Service of Remembrance in memory of those who paid the ultimate price in wartime.

Elsewhere, however, lives were threatened over the symbol of that solemn sacrifice – the poppy.
The most important day in the Royal British Legion calendar got under way with military precision at 2:15 p.m., and a huge cross-community crowd saluted the sacrifice of local members of the security forces before making their way to the Antrim Forum.

Five years ago around 350 people gathered for the service, but that figure has doubled – and is continuing to rise. Indeed, there was standing room only as Father Sean Emerson led the service, assisted by Protestant churchmen.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]

ARMAGH

A couple who claim they are the victims of an on-going campaign of harassment and assault by Newry P.S.N.I., were at the center of a heavy-handed policing incident that recently prompted Councilor Michael Ruane to speak out at the unjustified level of force used by police against them.

The chairman of the Policing and Community Safety Partnership (P.C.S.P.) voiced his concerns two weeks ago at the very public incident, which occurred on Monaghan Street in Newry, in the early hours of Saturday, October 27, and resulted in the hospitalization of the couple. In the statement, he expressed his concern about the tactics police used.

“This makes the job of the P.C.S.P., whose remit is to build confidence between the public and the P.S.N.I., incredibly difficult. According to witnesses, the level of force used by the policemen involved cannot be justified. Whilst I accept that this case is now with the police ombudsman, this very public incident has, I believe, certainly undermined much of the positive work that we have been involved in creating confidence between the community and the P.S.N.I.”
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

CARLOW

A seizure of drugs worth an estimated $50,000 took place during a Garda (police) search of a house in Kilminchey, Portlaoise, County Laois, on Sunday, November 11.

The drugs included ecstasy tablets, cannabis herb and cannabis resin.

A 30-year-old man was arrested following a second raid.

The man was detained at a property at Graiguecullen, Co. Carlow, where Gardaí also discovered speed and cannabis herb with an estimated street value of $7,500.
[Source: Irish Times]

CAVAN

Liberty Insurance is set to shed 75 jobs in its Cavan offices in a "restructuring" that will see a total of almost 300 jobs axed nationally.

Employees were addressed at briefings in Cavan, Dublin and Enniskillen last Thursday and heard that in addition to the 75 Cavan jobs going, a further 140 redundancies in Dublin, and 70 in Enniskillen will go.

Liberty said that the move comes after a "strategic review of its cost base" and that they are seeking to secure 285 redundancies, "most of which it is hoped will be voluntary.” They say the move is due to the volume of the U.K. business declining sharply over the past few years.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]

CLARE

The average consumer debt in the county has increased five-fold over the last four years with judgment claims filed against Clare debtors jumping from $1,175,701in 2008 to a current figure of $7.234 million.

An indication of the hardship Clare people are experiencing is also reflected in the dramatic rise of credit union’s taking defaulters to court.

Of all the credit unions in the country, Scariff-based Derg Credit Union has registered the highest number of judgments against customers this year, with 46. St. Francis Credit Union, headquartered in Ennis, had the third-highest with 33 judgments over the same period.
[Source: Clare Champion]

CORK

Cork City has one of the highest suicide rates in the country, according to preliminary estimates released last week by the C.S.O.

The Mahon-based body found that there were 61 deaths by suicide officially recorded between 2009 and 2011 in Cork City, with a total of 210 in the city and county. However, one expert in the area believes the real figures may be even higher than those reported.

Professor Ella Arensman, director of research, National Suicide Research Foundation, U.C.C. says she wishes that the C.S.O. didn’t release preliminary figures which are almost always an under-representation of true figures. “The actual figures are always higher,” she said. “We have to be careful for 2010 and 2011 with the C.S.O. figures.”

"Anything you get with suicide rates is two years behind,” according to Pat Buckley, founder of Let’s Get Together Foundation, based in Midleton. “You can’t get last year’s stats on suicide, but you can get stats on everything else,” he said.

Mr. Buckley believes suicide figures are hugely underestimated with many deaths listed as accidental poisoning, crashes and accidents that are actually suicides.
[Source: Cork Independent]

DERRY

Derry enjoyed “exceptional” global media exposure in the Clipper Round the World yacht race, a new report has found.

An independent evaluation of media coverage of the 2011-12 race has revealed that the Derry-Londonderry yacht featured in 2,091 news items. The report states that the news and media reached a cumulative audience of 285 million people with an estimated “public relations value” of $13 million. It further states that an audience of 630 million viewers will see the Derry entry on the “Against the Tide” documentary to be aired on the Discovery Channel, representing an estimated P.R. value of $54.7 million.
[Source: Derry Journal]

DONEGAL

Buncrana’s Scoil Mhuire was agog last Monday with the news that its video has gone viral on YouTube with more than 22,000 hits across 56 countries in just two days.

Teacher Katrina McGonagle, who coordinated the “lip dub” of both teachers and students singing along to the Undertones’ hit “Teenage Kicks,” said she was absolutely amazed at the response to their school video.

She said: “There is a massive buzz here today. We never, ever expected a response like this. What’s happened has even got mentioned in the national media. It really is exciting for us all – not just the students!”
[Source: Donegal Democrat]

DOWN

In the first of several evidence sessions to examine evidence surrounding the murders of two County Down women in Turkey last summer, a witness has testified to seeing the father and son suspects near the scene of the killings.

Best friends Marian Graham, from Newry, and Cathy Dinsmore, from Warrenpoint, were stabbed to death in a forest on the outskirts of the Turkish city of Izmir, in August 2011.

Recep Cetin (22) and his father Eyup are accused of murdering the women and are being tried in a series of hearings which are being held over a number of months in Izmir. Recep was the boyfriend of Marion Graham’s daughter, Shannon, at the time of the killings.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

DUBLIN

A gangster jailed for 11 years was heavily involved with a Dublin football club. Before he became a key member of the gang which was led by Eamon “The Don” Dunne, Joseph Warren was heavily involved with his local football club, Belclare Celtic, in Ballymun.

At the time, the former soldier was being commended for his management skills with one club official even telling the Herald in January, 2005: "He's doing an excellent job. The lads work hard in training and Joe has given them the confidence to go out and win games."

But less than three years later Warren was involved in a major cash-in-transit robbery conspiracy, which led to him being given an 11-year jail sentence at Dublin Circuit Court last Wednesday.
[Source: Evening Herald]

FERMANAGH

An electrical substation on private land once owned by the Quinn Group in Derrylin was extensively damaged on Thursday evening, November 8, when vandals broke through the perimeter fence and set the building on fire.

The latest attack on assets of the former Quinn Group has brought an angry reaction from the area’s residents, who ask why such attacks are taking place in the North when Sean Quinn is in jail in Dublin.

And, following the arson attack, there are fears that not only are these incidents damaging the image and the economy of the Derrylin area, but that they could actually hasten the closure of some of the business trading under various receivers and administrators.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]

GALWAY

The campaign to guarantee the future of the air service to the Aran Islands stepped up a gear last week when more than 100 islanders attended a public meeting in the issue in Galway City.

But the islanders were disappointed that only one government T.D. was present at the meeting, which was called on foot of fears that the subsidy to maintain the air service to the islands is to be withdrawn.

And it has been learned that Junior Gaeltacht Minister Dinny McGinley would not commit to maintaining the $2.5 million subsidy when questioned on Tuesday by both Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh and Deputy Eamon Ó Cuív.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]

KERRY

The value of Petrel Resources, an exploration company, quadrupled after it said it had found as much as one billion barrels of oil off the Southwest coast.

The vast reserves are in the so-called South Porcupine basin, which is a huge area off the coast of Kerry.

Petrel believes new computer analysis shows several oil fields on top of one another.

This would make it relatively easy to extract any oil because a single well could suck up oil from many fields.

The snag for Petrel is that any oil is 125 miles from the coast and lies beneath 3,280 feet of water and 1.8 miles of rock.
[Source: Irish Independent]

KILDARE

Thieves operating in the Newbridge area seem to be “getting ready for Christmas” by breaking into local homes and making off with saleable items, ranging from T.V. sets to jewelry and perfumes, according to local Gardaí (police).

In a string of burglaries last week, unoccupied houses have been targeted, with afternoon and early evening proving the most popular time for the would-be housebreakers.

Three homes in the College Orchard area were hit on Saturday, November 10, with similar goods taken in each case.
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]

KILKENNY

Papal Nuncio to Ireland Archbishop Charles Brown was in Kilkenny two weeks ago, to present over 120 students with the John Paul II Award at a special ceremony in St. Mary’s Cathedral.

The John Paul II Award recognizes the contribution of young people aged between 16 and 18 years to the activities of the Church in parish and schools, as well as to their community. It is recognition for having completed many hours of service to their church and community during the past 12 months.

The awarding ceremony took place at 8 p.m. on Thursday, November 8, facilitated by Bishop Seamus Freeman, following a mass in the cathedral.
[Source: Kilkenny People]

LAOIS

Up to $50 million could be generated from the 2013 National Ploughing Championships because of the location of Laois and its ability to host such a big event it emerged at the launch of the championships two weekends ago.

Speaking in Killenard, Peter Carey, Laois County Council’s county manager, thanked the National Ploughing Association for choosing Laois for an event that he said would have “huge significance.”

“When you think of the massive investment and spin-off – approximately 180,000 people coming to visit our county, an investment of somewhere in the region of [$50 million] – it is hugely significant and we are absolutely honored and thrilled to get this event for Laois,” said Mr. Carey.
[Source: Leinster Express]

LEITRIM

Carrick-on-Shannon Gardaí (police) are issuing an “alert” to all homeowners in Leitrim following a number of thefts and crimes over the past two weeks.

Two weeks ago, 11 unoccupied homes in Dromod were broken into and destroyed as thieves took copper cylinders and piping. The large-scale incident took place from Thursday, November 8, to Monday morning, November 12.

Eleven houses in the Fairways estate, close to Dromod Train Station were broken into and copper cylinders were “brutally forced out,” pipes were cut and the rampage left running water leaking through the houses causing large-scale damage.

A local sergeant told the Leitrim Observer the theft of copper is getting “very common” in the region as the value of copper increases. Gardaí are advising people who own unoccupied homes, or those who live beside them, to be wary that suspects are monitoring houses. Residents are advised to report any suspicious activity in the area to Gardaí.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]

LIMERICK

Limerick’s local authorities have plenty of salt to shake when temperatures plummet this winter.

They have secured more than 4,000 tons of rock salt to treat Limerick’s roads.

The authorities expressed confidence that they have ample supplies of salt and grit to treat the city’s and county’s roads in the event of a prolonged outbreak of cold weather.
[Source: Limerick Leader]

LONGFORD

Senior Garda (police) detectives were last week investigating the possible re-emergence of Traveller-related feuding in Longford after a fresh series of threats were posted on social media site YouTube, writes Liam Cosgrove.

The newly published material, labelled “Longford Nevins call out Joe Joyce,” appeared on the Internet earlier this month. It shows two men dressed in dark clothing and wearing balaclavas voice a succession of intimidating remarks in the direction of the Mr. Joyce referred to in the video.
[Source: Longford Leader]

LOUTH

The people of Bellurgan were deeply shocked by the tragic death of Moya McNally (83), who was killed in the two-car collision at the Ballymascanlon filling station on Saturday evening, November 10.

Gardaí (police) are seeking information about the collision which occurred at 6:30 p.m.

Moya and her late husband Hughie McNally were highly regarded members of the local community.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]

MAYO

A youth has been charged with assault causing harm after an attack on a retired Garda (police officer) who was walking with his wife at Lough Lannagh, Castlebar, on Thursday evening, November 8.

The youth (15), who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before Swinford District Court the following day, where he was remanded on bail to appear before Ballina District Court early next month.

The man, who is in his 50s, was walking with his wife at the new Riverwalk at Lough Lannagh, Castlebar, at approximately 6 p.m. when he was set upon by the youth in what is believed to have been a random attack.
[Source: Mayo News]

MEATH

A Ratoath family has scooped $638,000 in last week's Euromillions Lottery.

The lucky EuroMillions Plus ticket was sold on Monday, November 12, the day before the draw, in the Centra store, Corballis Shopping Centre, Ratoath. The ticket was a $8 Quick-pick number selection.

The overall EuroMillions jackpot had reached over $216 million, and was won by a winning ticket in France.

The delighted winners, who wish their win to remain private, live in Ratoath and both work fulltime outside the home. They have a young family. They decided to travel to Dublin to collect their check as soon as possible after the draw.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]

MONAGHAN

The town of Monaghan has increased its milk price by two cents per liter for October supplies in response to growing demand for milk from Northern Ireland.

The move sees its milk price rise from 40 cents to 42 cents per liter for milk suppliers in the Republic of Ireland.

It follows an increase of 3 cents per liter for its suppliers in the North, from 40 cents to 43 cents per liter.
[Source: Irish Independent]

OFFALY

Two Labour senators are calling for the setting up of a commission of inquiry into the murder of Fr. Niall Molloy.

Last Thursday in the Senate, John Kelly and John Whelan called for the establishment of an inquiry into the brutal murder in July 1985 of the Roscommon priest. They received a significant cross-party support for their initiative.

Fr. Niall Molloy’s life was taken in Clara, County Offaly, when he was a guest at a wedding.

The senators stated that the subsequent “botched investigation and cover-up” into the circumstances of his death, warrants an independent investigation, to allay mounting public disquiet.
[Source: Offaly Express]

ROSCOMMON

Roscommon Town is in urgent need of a soup kitchen and hopes are now high that one can be opened by the end of the year.

Dozens of Athlone residents flocked to the charity shop and soup kitchen Twist, when it opened its doors on Monday, November 5. Now, the man behind that venture has said that he will focus on getting a premises opened in Roscommon due to the “overwhelming need” for one in the town.
[Source: Roscommon Herald]

SLIGO

A trial at a court in Sligo has heard evidence from one of the alleged victims of a nun accused of indecently assaulting pupils in a midlands national school in the 1970s.

She said Sister Mary Theresa Grogan would tell the other children to go to sleep when she called her up to her desk to correct her homework and indecently assaulted her.

The nun (62), who was formerly known as Sr. Peter, denies 63 allegations of indecently assaulting seven young girls, mostly in a classroom.
[Source: BBC News]

TIPPERARY

The National Roads Authority has compiled a list of the “State’s worst bends,” which it plans to eliminate in the interests of safety.

Authority Chief Executive Fred Barry last Wednesday told T.D.s and senators the top “50 or so” worst bends had been identified, and work was under way or at planning stage on making these safer.

The county in need of the most schemes was County Tipperary, where seven bends were identified.

These were at Ballyhusty on the N74, four schemes on the N24, including two at Kilshane, and one each at Killavalla and at Borrisokane on the N52.
[Source: Irish Times]

TYRONE

A new supermarket in Coalisland, which is already partially-built, has been hit with a legal challenge by a consortium of retailers.

Extensive building work has already been undertaken at the site of the old egg store at Lineside and, to date, almost $1.6 million has been spent on the project – believed to be for a new Newell Stores supermarket.

However, a consortium of retailers, said to include Centra and Supervalu, have now lodged a legal challenge at the High Court calling for a judicial review into the decision to grant the supermarket planning permission.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]

WATERFORD

A member of staff of Waterford City Council was knocked over and pushed when protestors against household charges stormed City Hall Monday evening, November 12, just before the monthly council meeting was due to commence.

Gardaí (police) were called to the scene by council officials after picketers charged into the building and demanded entry to the meeting. It is believed that when admission was refused, City Council Superintendent James Forristal was forced out of the way by the angry mob.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]

WESTMEATH

National Irish Bank closed its 27 branches around the country last Wednesday and rebranded as Danske Bank, with a new advisory center due to open in Athlone this week.

Danske Bank Advisory Centres will be open in nine locations this week where customers can meet advisors face-to-face.

These will be located in Athlone, Cork, Waterford, Limerick, Letterkenny, and across Dublin in the I.F.S.C., Tallaght, Swords and Stillorgan.

About 100 staff-members are leaving under a voluntary redundancy scheme because of the branch closures.
[Source: Westmeath Independent]

WEXFORD

An Enniscorthy couple has been left overjoyed following the announcement that they were the winners of a coveted wedding-package prize on South East Radio.

Joe Weafer (25) and his fiancée, Yvonne Curran, were one of 13 couples who took part in the radio station’s game “The Price is Right” two weeks ago.

The Xtravision workers, who have been together for the past few years and got engaged earlier this year, couldn’t believe it when they were then announced as the couple who would be walking away with the thousands of Euro-worth prize.
[Source: Wexford Echo]

WICKLOW

A Paralympian has challenged Health Minister James Reilly to spend a day in a wheelchair before any more cuts are made to home-care services.

Student Padraic Moran, who has cerebral palsy, said targeting Ireland's most vulnerable would send the country back to the Dark Ages.

The 28-year-old, from Bray, County Wicklow, who represented Ireland in Boccia in London 2012, has 10 hours of personal care a week to help him in the mornings and with his evening meal.
[Source: Wicklow People]
 

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