News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties



Antrim residents and business owners breathed a sigh of relief late on Sunday, November 18, when a “gas leak” in the town center was declared safe.

But relief quickly turned to anger when Northern Ireland Electricity confirmed that the loud bangs heard by locals and revelers were in fact caused by “heavy rain hitting live wires” at an excavation site on High Street.

The three “explosions” occurred at around 9 p.m. and were clearly audible above the music and general chatter in nearby Madden's Bar.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


A van fitted with a hydraulic ejector pad, believed to be of use in the diesel laundering process, was discovered alongside another van containing a storage tank with 265 gallons of illegal fuel, following a H.M. Revenue & Customs operation in Crossmaglen last week.

John Whiting, assistant director of criminal investigation at H.M.R.C., said both vehicles had been adapted for the purpose of diesel fraud, with one van adapted to transport the laundered diesel whilst the other was fitted with what he described as “a James Bond-style ejector system, whereby waste product could be ejected from the back of a vehicle very quickly and fly-tipped at the side of the road.”

“Both vehicles are unsafe for use on our roads and show a total disregard for the safety of other motorists. This indiscriminate dumping of waste is a very real threat to the environment and costs the tax and rate payers thousands of pounds in clean-up costs,” he said.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


Members of the public have reacted angrily to “state-sponsored vandalism” along the River Barrow. Two weeks ago, Waterways Ireland began cutting trees along the Barrow Track that, locals say, has left it “looking like The Somme.”

Local man Michael Whelan from Springfield Drive, who describes himself as “an avid walker,” claims the cut trees have been left “like spears” and voiced his concerns about the effect the chopped trees will have on the local wildlife. “We condemn the young fellas who did this in John Sweeney Park,” said Mr. Whelan, referring to trees that were chopped down at the entrance to the Carlow Town estate recently. “Now we have a state body doing it.”
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]


The High Court was told last Thursday that Seán Quinn, Sr., who is serving a nine-week prison sentence for contempt of court, has dismissed his lawyer and that his son, Sean Quinn, Jr. has also moved to appoint a new legal team.

Presiding Miss Justice Elizabeth Dunne was told the bankrupt Ballyconnell businessman had informed his lawyer of the decision to remove them during a professional visit while in prison.

A formal application for the lawyers to come off record will be made on Monday, November 26. The court also heard the rest of the Quinn family, with the exception of Peter Darragh Quinn, who is currently residing outside the jurisdiction, have hired new lawyers and that both the family and their newly-appointed legal team need time to review the contempt case.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


It is very much a case of Donegal’s loss is Clare’s gain following the appointment of Dr. Austin Stack as Professor of Medicine at the University of Limerick.

Dr. Stack has joined existing nephrologists Dr. Casserly and Dr. Cronin at the dialysis unit in the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick and at the Fresenius unit on the Dock Road.

He was consultant nephrologist at Letterkenny General Hospital in Donegal where he was highly-respected.

The Clare branch of the Irish Kidney Association (I.K.A.) has welcomed his appointment to the Mid-West area, while he has been enquiring about the kidney association in Clare, as he was familiar with the work of the Donegal branch.
[Source: Clare Champion]


The Jack Lynch Tunnel fully reopened last Friday, two weeks ahead of schedule to facilitate the free flow of traffic in the run-up to Christmas.

The tunnel has been closed nightly from 9:15 p.m. to 7 a.m. with the exception of Fridays, as part of an E.U. directive for additional fire protection. The work, which commenced in September, was originally scheduled to take six months but later reduced to three months.

“We’re delighted to announce that the work, which was originally scheduled to take six months, has been practically completed in less than three," said a spokesperson for the Jack Lynch Tunnel management team.
[Source: Cork Independent]


He’s best known for playing tough guys with a penchant for violence but movie star Ray Winstone was anything but when his latest film, “Ashes,” enjoyed its Irish premiere at the Foyle Film Festival last Wednesday evening.

The London-born movie star was in Derry along with “Ashes” director Mat Whitecross to promote the film, which was screened at the Brunswick Moviebowl. He started off by telling the Journal that City of Derry Airport is one of the nicest airports he’s ever been to.