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News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties

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ANTRIM

An average of three criminal offenses occurred within one mile of Antrim town center every day during November, the latest figures released by the P. S. N.I. have revealed.

Residents can access this type of detailed information about crime in their area on a street-by-street basis thanks to a new mapping service.

The P.S.N.I. recently launched the online tool which allows users to enter their town or postcode and discover how many incidents occurred during a given month.

Service users can also find out what type of crime was committed and at what location – although property numbers are not used in order to protect the identity of victims.

The maps, which are updated on a monthly basis, outline data on 11 categories of offense – burglary, anti-social behavior, robbery, vehicle crime, violent crime, public disorder and weapons, shoplifting, criminal damage and arson, other theft, drugs and other crime.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]

ARMAGH

Police are on high alert after dissident republicans were suspected of planting an explosive device close to a police station in County Armagh.

Just a day after a device was discovered under the car of a P.S.N.I. constable, a pipe-bomb was found close to the gates of a police station in Tandragee, near the homes of elderly residents, Monday morning, December 31.

Residents were evacuated from their homes for a number of hours while Army technical officers examined the object, which was later declared a viable device.
[Source: Belfast Telegraph]

CARLOW

“Our community will not be an easy target for criminals – we want them to know that.” Those were the sentiments coming from the people of Kildavin following a recent public meeting.

The area has suffered from a spate of thefts and burglaries over the past year, culminating in the vicious assault of an elderly man and his son at the end of November. The community says they have now had enough and are fighting back against criminals.

The meeting, which was held in the Spellman Hall, was attended by Gardaí (police), councilors and people from the area with a view to setting up a local community text alert scheme in a bid to combat criminal activity. Following huge levels of support, a committee has now been set up and it had its first meeting on January 4.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]

CAVAN

There is "a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace". These were the words spoken at the remembrance ceremony held to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Belturbet bombings on Sunday, December 30.

Killing two local girls Geraldine O'Reilly (15) and Patrick Stanley (16) from Clara, County Offaly, injuring many others and causing destruction on a mass scale; the atrocity was caused by a Loyalist car bomb, which went off on Thursday night, 10:30 p.m., on December 28, 1972.

Attended by members of the families of both victims, more than 100 local people, members of the local council executive and town council and conducted by Monsignor Michael Cooke and Reverend Tanya Woods, the wreath laying service took place at the monument erected in memory of the victims at the spot where the bomb blast occurred four decades ago.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]

CLARE

A spokesman for Shannon Airport two weeks ago indicated that 2012 was likely to see the lowest passenger numbers there since 1988, almost a quarter of a century ago.

The final figure for 2012 isn’t yet available, but the figure in 1988 was 1.394 million, while it was 1.469 million in 1989, indicating that the 2012 figure is likely to be somewhere between the two.

This would represent a significant decrease on 2011, when over 1.6 million people used Shannon. The figures illustrate the calamitous decline seen at the airport, which saw a record 3.6 million passengers in 2007, before beginning a steep decline.
[Source: Clare Champion]

CORK

They brought out the big guns to kick-start the Gathering initiative in Cork on Tuesday, January 1.

A ceremonial 21-gun salute was fired at 1 p.m. from Spike Island in Cork Harbor — one of just two fixed national saluting stations in Ireland.

It was the first official Gathering event in Cork and was the first national ceremonial 21-gun salute fired in Cork Harbor in almost three decades — the last one marked the arrival of the Tall Ships.
[Source: Irish Examiner]

DERRY

Derry Magistrates Court has heard how a 23-year-old local man was so drunk when he tore a C.C.T.V. camera from outside a house in the Waterside that he was later seen putting the camera on the ground and “petting it.”

Peter Morrison of Heron Way was charged with theft of the camera, which was valued at $90 and criminal damage of the same.

The court was told that police were called to a house at Adelaide Avenue on April 11 last after the theft was reported by the householder.
[Source: Derry Journal]

DONEGAL

The first person to die on Irish roads this year has been named.

Patrick Gildea (39) from Glenties, lost his life when his jeep collided with a wall at Dooish between Ballybofey and Fintown just before 9 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

Mr. Gildea, who was known locally as “Packie,” was understood to be returning from a friend’s house in Ballybofey when the collision occurred.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]

DOWN

A man has escaped injury in a petrol bomb attack in County Down.

The incident happened at a house in Movilla Street, Newtownards, at about 10:30 p.m.  on Friday, December 28.

The device and a brick were thrown at the front window of the property. A window was smashed and there was scorch damage to a window sill.

A man in his 20s was in the house at the time but was not hurt. The local D.U.P. M.L.A., Jonathan Bell, described the attack as "wrong and abhorrent.”
[Source: BBC News]

DUBLIN

The mother of a Dublin man fears something sinister happened to him after he missed his 25th birthday on New Year's Eve.

Paul Byrne, from Rush in Dublin, went missing on Christmas Day, not long after texting his girlfriend to wish her a happy Christmas.

Last Wednesday, Mary (51) said "things just aren't adding up" after her son didn't return home.

The last time the catering worker was seen was at around 3am on Christmas Day at the cottage he rents with housemates on Sandy Lane in the seaside town of Rush.
[Source: Evening Herald]

FERMANAGH

The community of Irvinestown has been left in shock after the sudden death of Maria Corrigan (42).
Shortly after 9 a.m. on Monday, December 31, police received a report from Ambulance Control of the sudden death of a woman at Reihill Park.

Maria had been making her way to work at McBrien’s Nisa supermarket on Main Street, Irvinestown when she collapsed and subsequently died.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]

GALWAY

A member of Galway City Council has called for urgent coastal protection works to be undertaken in the vicinity of Silver Strand Beach after up to 50 tons of the adjoining Knocknagoneen Hill collapsed and fell onto the shore over the Christmas holidays.

Clr. Donal Lyons (Independent) said that stark warnings from consultants, that the whole area could be “washed away” within 15 to 20 years, would ring true unless urgent remedial works are undertaken in the area.

He made representations to Director of Services Kevin Swift on Monday, December 24, after being informed that between 40 and 50 tons had collapsed onto the shore to the side of the picturesque beach over that weekend.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]

KERRY

Eoin Brosnan will captain the Kerry footballers next season after he was nominated by his club, county champions Dr. Crokes, on Sunday, December 30.

The 32-year-old Killarney-based solicitor was confirmed at the Munster club winners’ medal presentation. Kieran O’Leary will captain the team in the event of Brosnan’s absence from the starting line-up.

As revealed in Saturday’s Irish Examiner, Brosnan’s club-mate Colm Cooper was not pushing for a third year with the Kerry armband. While he enjoyed his two seasons as captain, Cooper is keen to concentrate more on his football in the new season.
[Source: Irish Examiner]

KILDARE

Gardaí (police) investigating a fatal shooting in County Kildare have confirmed that a second man has been taken to hospital, with injuries to his hand, which are not believed to be life threatening.

A 33-year-old man was rushed to Naas General Hospital just before 6 a.m. Saturday morning, December 29, with serious gunshot wounds, following an incident at a house in Kilmeague.

He died a short time later.

Gardaí later confirmed a 50-year-old man was being treated in hospital after he sustained injuries to his hands in the same incident.
[Source: Irish Examiner]

KILKENNY

Kilkenny’s Pembroke Hotel was honored as Best Value Hotel at the recent National Hospitality Awards in Dublin.

The Pembroke Hotel was also thrilled to receive “Best Customer Service” award presented by Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce.

“I believe the two awards are different sides of the same coin,” said Pembroke owner John Ryan.

“We make a deliberate effort to ensure that our guests receive a high-quality service when they are with us. I think it was Warren Buffet who said that price is what you pay and value is what you get. We are delighted to have been recognized for going the extra mile to ensure that all aspects of the customer experience as good as we can make it. That is the key to repeat business and great word of mouth.”
[Source: Kilkenny People]

LAOIS

A number of Portlaoise publicans were two weeks ago fined at the district court, for selling alcohol after hours.

Lethean Limited, 65 Main Street, Portlaoise, was found to have people on the premises at 1:45 a.m. on May 19, 2012.

Garda (Police) Inspector Martin Harrington explained that closing time was meant to be 12:30 to 1 a.m.
[Source: Leinster Express]

LEITRIM

The father of Niall Dorr made an emotional statement following the sentencing of Douglas Ward to 16 years in jail for the manslaughter of his son in Dundalk on October 13, 2010.

Reading the victim impact statement, David Dorr, who is from Mohill said, “A new chapter in our lives begins now and sadly Niall is not in it. We will hold very dear his memory and will never let go.”

Douglas Ward with an address at Loughantarve, Knockbridge, County Louth, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the Central Criminal Court with the court hearing that a group, including Mr. Ward approached Niall Dorr and two of his friends and a row subsequently broke out. Mr. Dorr, who was a champion kick-boxer, attempted to stop the row before he was repeatedly kicked and punched in the head by Mr. Ward. It was reported in court that Mr. Ward continued to attack Mr. Dorr even after he became unresponsive.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]

LIMERICK

Sentencing was adjourned until the New Year in the case of a young man who threatened to “smash up” a fast-food restaurant if the owner did not give him $920.

Brian Curtin (21) of Spitland, Old Cork Road, County Limerick pleaded guilty to demanding money with menaces at Stuffins, Mulgrave Street on December 27, 2011.

During a sentencing hearing, Limerick Circuit Court was told the defendant entered the premises shortly before midday and became very aggressive when the owner refused to give him any money.

Det. Garda (Police Officer) Vincent Brick said Curtin, who has 142 previous convictions, repeatedly tried to jump the counter and at one point could be heard on the phone telling an acquaintance to “bring around baseball bats and hurleys.” The incident lasted for 22 minutes and was caught on C.C.T.V. in the restaurant.
[Source: Limerick Leader]

LONGFORD

Three men involved in a fracas along Longford Town’s Ballymahon Street on New Year’s Eve appeared before a special sitting of Longford District Court on New Year’s Day, charged under the Public Order and Firearms and Offensive Weapons Acts.

The three men, two of whom are from Longford and the third with a north Dublin address, were among a group of approximately 10 people who became involved in the row at a licensed premises along the town’s main thoroughfare at 10:55 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. The Leader understands that a number of golf clubs were also used and Gardaí (police) are describing the altercation as “a serious incident.”
[Source: Longford Leader]

LOUTH

A Good Samaritan saved Christmas for an elderly man while driving home during the Christmas season.

Niall McEvoy was dropping a friend home to Faughart when he spotted an elderly man in his 70s standing at the Newry Bridge on the Dundalk bypass.

On his way back from Faughart, Niall noticed the man standing in the same spot with a jacket over his head.

Becoming worried at this point, Niall turned around in his car and went back to see if the man wanted a lift.
It turned out that the man had alzheimer’s and was lost. Niall alerted gardai and they made sure he got home safely.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]

Mayo

John and Teresa Connor, a Tooreen couple, are the first Mayo people to have their names on the surface of Mars. Not only that, but their photos have circled the earth numerous times on board the N.A.S.A. Endeavor Mission.

John’s abiding interest in space exploration is behind this amazing story. He was checking the N.A.S.A. website one night when he spotted a notice asking anyone who wanted to have their names put on board the space mission to Mars to forward it to them at headquarters.

“Teresa and I decided there and then that we would forward our names to them for inclusion in the historic project,” says John. “We both got a certificate back stating – ‘John and Teresa Connor - John Connor: You are part of history.  Your name will be carried to Mars on a microchip carried by N.A.S.A.’s Science Laboratory Rover.”
[Source: The Mayo News]

MEATH

A young Irish sportswoman viciously attacked in New York will have to undergo further surgery this month.

Alisha Jordan (21) was hit in the face with a concrete block in a random attack by a man on the street last July.

The Irish woman's skull was broken and she suffered a broken nose, a broken cheekbone, and several broken teeth in the unprovoked late-night attack.

The young victim has needed a series of operations to repair severe facial injuries and had to have a metal plate inserted into the front of her skull.

Alisha, a native of Skryne, County Meath, was a star footballer for the Meath county team.
[Source: Evening Herald]

MONAGHAN

A new suspect is being questioned by murder squad detectives investigating the death of Monaghan teenager Jason McGovern, it was disclosed last Thursday.

The 17-year-old suspect is from the Omagh area, where the student was attacked in the early hours of Monday, December 31.

Mr. McGovern (19) was punched outside a nightclub after being involved in a verbal exchange with a group of men.

He travelled to Omagh with a group of friends but became separated.

He later made his way to the border village of Emyvale, County Monaghan, where he had been staying with friends. He was found dead at midday on New Year’s Eve.
[Source: Irish Examiner]

OFFALY

The number of patients waiting for a bed at the Midlands Regional Hospital in Tullamore has doubled in recent days with the latest Trolley Watch figures showing that 18 patients were without beds at the facility.

The figures that were released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Association on January 3 show an increase of 100 percent from Wednesday, January 2 when nine patients were reported to be waiting on trolleys.

Elsewhere in the region nine patients were waiting for a bed in Mullingar while three were waiting in Portlaoise.
[Source: Offaly Express]

ROSCOMMON

The number of mobile phones seized from inmates at Castlerea Prison has fallen significantly in the past five years since the introduction of increased security measures.

New figures furnished by Minister for Justice Alan Shatter indicated that just 24 mobile phones were seized at the prison up to the end of November compared to over 100 in 2008.

The figures showed that the number of phones seized across the prison network had halved since 2008 and that this trend was also evident at Castlerea Prison.
[Source: Roscommon Herald]

SLIGO

Iarnrod Eireann is going “off the rails” on the Sligo-Dublin line. That's the view of Sligo Chamber of Commerce over reductions to train services from January.

The company has confirmed that both the 7:05 a.m. and 9:05 a.m. services from Dublin to Sligo will cease. They will be replaced by one service departing Dublin at 8:05 a.m.

This means that the first train will arrive in Sligo at 11:05 a.m. from the capital.
[Source: Sligo Champion]

TIPPERARY

Pakistani student Malala Yousafzai has been announced as the recipient of the 2012 Tipperary International Peace Award. The Tipperary Peace Convention announced on New Year’s Day – World Day of Peace - that they are recognizing Malala’s “courage, determination and perseverance,” along with the impact she has had on so many across the world, with the award to her of the 2012 International Peace Prize.
[Source: Tipperary Star]

TYRONE

B.T. is building on its success in connecting communities by expanding further into rural areas, including Augher in the Dungannon borough.

One year on and B.T.'s Connected Communities program is being rolled out into more rural communities across Northern Ireland.

The major initiative, which was launched in a number of cities and towns in 2011 to establish on-the-ground I.T. support and resources in a bid to tackle online social exclusion, now supports 15 community groups across the island.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]

WATERFORD

West Ham have signed Waterford United’s teenage striker Seán Maguire after he impressed on a trial with the London Premier League club.

The 18-year-old scored 13 goals in Waterford’s first division campaign last season, helping them finish in second place before they lost the promotion/relegation play-off over two legs to Dundalk.

Maguire joined Waterford from Kilkenny junior club Evergreen, where he enjoyed a prolific scoring record, including over 50 goals in his final season at the club.
[Source: Irish Times]

WESTMEATH

A lucky lady from Westmeath bought a Christmas Millionaire Raffle ticket two weeks ago and then watched the draw live on RTÉ One on New Year's Eve to see her number pulled from the drum to win the $330,000 prize.

"I switched the T.V. over to the New Year's Eve coverage and watched Brian Ormond draw the winning tickets. I wrote down the numbers and then checked my ticket. I thought I must have written them down wrong – I couldn't believe it!" said the happy winner.
[Source: Westmeath Examiner]

WEXFORD

The J.F.K. Trust is confident that visitor numbers to the Dunbrody emigrant ship and visitor center will exceed 100,000.

The organization’s C.E.O., Sean Reidy, highlighted that as being among the trust’s principle plans when he recently spoke to The Echo.

He said the last 12 months proved very successful for the Dunbrody with foreign tourism being a major component of the center’s overall business: “2012 was a very successful year for the Dunbrody with over 60,000 visitors and major inroads are being made in attracting foreign tourists to New Ross and County Wexford.”
[Source: Wexford Echo]

WICKLOW

Walkers regularly had to be rescued after straying on to a County Wicklow army firing range last year.

This, and getting lost, made up one in 10 of the incidents dealt with by the Mountain Rescue Team (M.R.T.) last year.

Five out of 51 incidents dealt with by the Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue Team involved walkers wrongly descending the Co. Wicklow walk routes towards the army exercise area in the Glen of Imaal.
[Source: Evening Herald]

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