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News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties

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ANTRIM

Locking doors and windows is one of the most basic safety precautions the P.S.N.I. recommends to avoid falling victim to thieves.

But two weeks ago, opportunistic criminals stole two kit bags from a police vehicle in Antrim after officers failed to take their own advice and secure the car.

The officers were attending a report of theft at a property in Caulside on Monday, November 26 when the items were stolen.

A P.S.N.I. spokesperson confirmed the incident had occurred but stressed that none of the items taken was a risk to the public.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]

ARMAGH

The close-knit community in Jonesboro has been left stunned and saddened at the passing, within hours of each other, of two of its most well-known and respected citizens.

Late on Tuesday evening, December 4, the sudden and untimely death of Patrick McMullan occurred in his Regina Park home. Patrick, better known as Tatty, was a prominent and popular figure in the area and his passing has left a huge void in the community, and particularly in the lives of his wife, seven children and grandchildren.

Just hours later people were further devastated with news that Tatty’s friend and next-door neighbor, Paul Connolly, was killed in a tragic road accident on Wednesday morning, Dec. 5.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

CARLOW

Minister of State Michael Ring has defended the allocation of $260,000 to his local football club in County Mayo.

The grant to Westport United F.C. was part of $34 million in new funding for local sports projects that was announced last Monday.

Mr. Ring said his department received a record number of applications for funding and the money was allocated to counties based on the population.

He said he gave 20 percent extra to those counties who had not benefitted as much from grants in the past, such as Carlow, Cavan and Wicklow.
[Source: RTE News]

CAVAN

Three Garda (police) stations will close next year as part of a money-saving ”restructuring” announced on Wednesday, December 5.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has announced that he will shut 100 stations nationally, with the county losing three rural bases – Stradone, Redhills and Bawnboy Garda stations.

The Anglo Celt exclusively reported the closures of the stations as far back as June and had information that a further three were on a list of possible closures.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]

CLARE

A 90-year-old Ennis man has described as “insulting” a letter he received from the HSE asking if he still needs treatment – 12 years after he was first referred by his doctor.

Kevin Stapleton from College Green had been suffering with his instep when he was referred by his doctor to the Regional Orthopaedic Hospital in Croom back in December 2000.

He never got an appointment but last week he received a letter asking him to confirm if he still needs treatment. The H.S.E. gave him two weeks to respond.

“That letter is a joke, after 12 years I think it’s insulting to get this,” Mr. Stapleton said.
[Source: Clare Champion]

CORK

Gardaí (police) in Cork have recovered almost $52,000 in jewelry stolen from houses around the city in the past few weeks as part of an anti-theft operation that will continue over Christmas.

The clampdown is targeting well-organized gangs that specialize in burglaries, as well as professional shoplifters.

Blackrock Road, Douglas and Bishopstown are believed to be the main targets of crime gangs travelling from all over the country on stealing sprees between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Three women from Dublin were arrested recently after a city center shoplifting session that saw them gather over $8,000 worth of goods from hard-pressed retailers.
[Source: Cork Independent]

DERRY

A man has been treated for a dislocated shoulder, broken ribs and head injuries after being attacked in Derry.

Police say the 43-year old was attacked in the Fern Park area of the city on November 15 and has spent two weeks in hospital recovering from his injuries.

They say they want to speak to three teenage males who were seen on a quad bike in the area at the time of the attack.
[Source: Derry Journal]

DONEGAL

The people of Donegal Town and environs were shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic death of Aaron Scott, of Copany, Donegal Town last Wednesday.

The popular 26-year-old, who worked at L.I.D.L., was reported missing earlier that day.

Gardaí (police) then received a report of a car at Lough Eske and, on investigation, recovered his body from Lough Eske at around
11 a.m.

Supt. Leo McGinn confirmed that there are “no suspicious circumstances” in relation to the death.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]

DOWN

Police and emergency services are dealing with a suspected toxic gas leak on a ship at a harbor in County Down.

The M.V. Arklow Meadow docked in Warrenpoint Harbor with a cargo of grain last Wednesday.

It is understood that it was carrying packets of aluminum phosphide, a pesticide used to kill rodents. However, when it becomes wet it can become unstable and release gas.

Almost 20 people were treated as a result of the toxic gas leak.
[Source: BBC News]

DUBLIN

The Real I.R.A. mob who gunned down gangland godfather Eamon Kelly have issued a chilling death threat against a well-known bodybuilder. Muscle fanatic Sean Enright (32) has been warned R.I.R.A. mobsters are planning to assassinate him.

Gardaí (police) paid a visit to Enright – who previously survived a gangland hit by the same dissident faction – to inform him of the threat last week.

The warning comes as Gardaí step up their investigation into the murder of notorious mobster Kelly. He was shot three times in the chest with a handgun as he walked towards his home at Furry Park Road in Killester on Tuesday afternoon.

Sources say that the new threat against Enright (32) could be linked to his close friendship with a member of the Kelly family.
[Source: Evening Herald]

FERMANAGH

The large influx of media arriving in Fermanagh for the G8 Summit in June should all be prepared to be in bed before 11 p.m. each night.

That’s the message of local councilor John O’Kane, who said that any pressmen, objectors or visitors should be advised they will only be able to get a drink up to 11 p.m. on certain nights at certain pubs in the county as the P.S.N.I. have objected to many Article 44 applications.

These applications only permit the sale of alcohol until 11 p.m. unless there is live entertainment or the premises are serving food.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]

GALWAY

Organized traveling gangs are carrying out between five and seven burglaries every single night across County Galway – and yet householders are not securing their properties adequately.

Gardaí (police) are advising rural householders in Galway to seriously consider installing alarms following another spate of burglaries that have occurred over the past two weeks.

But one of the leading alarms companies in the county has told The Connacht Tribune that there has not been any noticeable demand for their services despite Galway having been subjected to dozens of break-ins over the past month.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]

KERRY

Kerry G.A.A. finances were badly hit over the course of a "challenging year," according to Treasurer John Joe Carroll, with falling revenue and dramatic drop in crowds for county championship games.

In his report to Monday night’s convention, Carroll will tell delegates that income has decreased by 11 percent, while attendances in the county have plummeted by 22 percent on 2011 figures.

Carroll also believes live television coverage of the county football final may be a double-edged sword.
[Source: Irish Examiner]

KILDARE

A Kildare man, whose daughter died in a fire on the Curragh almost seven years ago, lost his own life in a fire in a vacant house in Kildare Town in the early hours of Friday morning, November 30.

The body of William “Biller” Farrell (53) was found in the property at Leinster Walk by emergency services that attended the scene. Gardaí (police) in Kildare were alerted to the fire at approximately 5 a.m. A passer-by raised the alarm after spotting smoke coming from the property, which had been unoccupied for a number of years.

A number of units from the County Kildare Fire Service attended the scene and brought the fire under control. Mr. Farrell’s remains were discovered by members of the emergency services.
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]

KILKENNY

Six men remain in detention following a Garda (police) operation in south Kilkenny last Monday morning.

Gardaí carried out searches of seven properties in the area, as part of an investigation into organized crime. The operation was launched from Thomastown Garda Station – and six men, in their late 20s to early 40s, have been detained in Thomastown, Waterford, and Wexford Garda stations.

The men are being questioned in relation to a number of aggravated burglaries and armed raids in the region. Under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, they may be held for up to seven days.
[Source: Kilkenny People]

LAOIS

Staff cuts at Laois County Council are being blamed for the erratic opening hours of the St. Peter and Paul’s Cemetery in Portlaoise.

In a statement to the Leinster Express, the council explained that the opening hours for the main gate in Portlaoise Cemetery are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday. The cemetery is closed on Saturday, except for funerals. It is opened on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The statement went on to confirm that staff cuts have had an impact on opening hours.
[Source: Leinster Express]

LEITRIM

It’s Ireland’s only “county magazine” and one of the longest running annuals in the country. This year the Leitrim Guardian celebrated its 45th edition with a gala evening in Carrigallen’s Kilbrackan Arms Hotel.

Special guests on the night were the Leitrim Guardian People of the Year 2013 – joint-winner Olympians Colin Griffin and Laura Reynolds.

Last year’s winners, Carrigallen’s Corn Mill Theatre, represented by Gus Ward, were on hand to pass on the trophy. Speaking following the presentation, Colin Griffin noted that his father had received the award back in 1979 “long before I was born” adding that he was delighted to be one of this year’s recipients.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]

LIMERICK

A male aged in his late-teens has been arrested by Gardaí (police) as part of the investigation into an alleged sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl.

The teenager was arrested in the Limerick area last Thursday morning and is being questioned at Roxboro Garda Station. He is being detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Gardaí are investigating claims that a fourteen-year-old girl was raped in the car park of a busy shopping center.
[Source: Limerick Leader]

LONGFORD

A north Longford car dealer is facing an unprecedented attempt to overturn his bankruptcy status in Northern Ireland, a court has heard.

John Alex Kane, who has had an address at Granard, County Longford, is said to have owed nearly $6.5 million in unpaid taxes.

It is believed to be the first time the Office of the Irish Revenue Commissioners has sought to annul a bankruptcy secured outside its borders, as lawyers for the Revenue Commissioners brought a challenge to the validity of the order made against Mr. Kane. An order rescinding the earlier determination was made at the High Court in Belfast two weeks ago.

The case is understood to hinge on whether he lives and works in N.I. and comes after the motor trader was declared bankrupt in Belfast in June.
[Source: Longford Leader]

LOUTH

Two Dundalk artists have completed a new mural on the back wall of the Tourist Office at Market Square Dundalk.

The new work depicting the Táin is by Barry Finnegan and Killian Walsh.

The mural is the second artwork which the young artists have completed on this wall. They were previously commissioned to create an artwork for Dundalk’s participation in the Entente Florale. After some years, the mural had been defaced and vandalized, and it was decided to commission a new one.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]

MAYO

A Castlebar woman bravely put herself at great risk in order to fend off brazen robbers who had entered her home/business premises on Saturday evening, December 1.

Regina Sweeney was getting ready to close up The Elegant Touch bridal boutique at herself and her husband’s house at Corheens, Breaffy just before 5 p.m. when she heard a smashing noise downstairs.

She went downstairs to see a 6’4” man in a balaclava standing with his back to her in the hallway and could hear at least one more man going through another room.

She could have turned around and went back up the stairs until they left but instead she made a brave dash for the alarm at the front door in the hope that its sounding would force the intruders to flee.
[Source: The Mayo News]

MEATH

Several road accidents were reported around the county last Tuesday morning, December 4, as motorists around Meath grappled with icy roads.

Although motorists were travelling slowly, several vehicles skidded off the road as they hit icy patches.

Gardaí (police) received reports of at least 11 accidents across the county and, in most cases, these were minor incidents.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]

MONAGHAN

A Monaghan farmer, who claimed he didn’t see a loaded shotgun at his feet in a car, has been jailed for firearm and ammunition possession.

Father-of-two Eamon Lennon of Iniskeen, County Monaghan was last Thursday sentenced to five years in prison with two suspended for possession of a sawn-off shotgun and ammunition over two years ago.

He pleaded guilty to the unlawful possession of the sawn-off, 12-gauge, side-by-side shotgun at Ecco Road, Dundalk, Co. Louth on the August 8, 2010.

He also pleaded guilty at the Special Criminal Court to the unlawful possession of two 12-gauge, Eley shotgun cartridges on the same occasion.
[Source: Irish Independent]

OFFALY

Earlier in 2012, Offaly County Council embarked on a commissioning process for a new “gateway” sculpture for Birr, as recommended under the Birr Public Realm Plan.

Artists were invited to submit proposals, which would create an innovative response to Birr’s cultural and environmental heritage and create an iconic focal point for the public living in and passing through Birr Town. The chosen location is the Tullamore road into Birr, close to the junction at Woodlands.

Thirty submissions were received from artists all over Ireland and the U.K. and the selection panel (Rachel McKenna, Emma Nee Haslam, Jock Nichol, Michael Fortune, Frank Heslin, Clr. Michael Loughnane and Clr. John Carroll) shortlisted four to create models for public display.
[Source: Offaly Express]

ROSCOMMON

Up to 50 people availed of dinners at the new Roscommon Town Soup Kitchen, which opened its doors on Monday morning, December 3. Such was the demand for the service that that the facility stayed open beyond its closing time of 4 p.m. Now the man behind the new soup kitchen has rejected criticism that such a facility will bring the town down or is not needed.

Speaking at the new Twist Soup kitchen, which opened on Castle Street, Oliver Williams said that there was a need for a soup kitchen in every large town in the country.

”There seems to be some opposition to this in the town, maybe because there is a stigma attached to soup kitchens. But this will not bring the town down as some people might say and will only complement the town,” he said.
[Source: Roscommon Herald]

SLIGO

A nun on trial for indecently assaulting pupils in a national school in the midlands in the 1970s has been found not guilty by direction of the trial judge.

Sr. Mary Theresa Grogan had pleaded not guilty to 63 charges of indecently assaulting seven girls while they were third class pupils in the school.

The trial of Sr. Grogan, who was also known as Sr. Peter, had gone on for three weeks at Sligo Circuit Court with the final week taken up by legal argument.
[Source: RTE News]

TIPPERARY

Nenagh Town is on the brink of receiving a massive early Christmas boost with the announcement by Minister Alan Kelly that natural gas could be piped into the town by mid-2014, thereby saving an estimated $25-40 million within five years for businesses in the area.

Furthermore, Thurles and Roscrea could also benefit, according to the minister who says that new pipeline will run along the old N7 route from Birdhill to Nenagh, should the Commission for Energy Regulation accept the project, which will be submitted to them this week. Sources indicate that such a proposal will be looked on favourably by the C.E.R., The Tipperary Star understands.
[Source: Tipperary Star]

TYRONE

An investigation is being carried out following reports of an outbreak of the ash dieback disease among trees in the new Hill of the O'Neill tourist attraction in Dungannon, the Courier can reveal.

The public park has been closed since last month amid health and safety concerns and it is not expected to reopen until January 2013.

However, the Courier has learned that there are fears trees in the park might have been infected by chalara fraxinea, the deadly fungus which is spreading throughout the U.K.'s ash trees.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]

WATERFORD

The family of a W.I.T. student, who collapsed on campus and died hours later, a week after knee surgery, has called for an independent investigation into his death, stating that they would have no faith in an internal H.S.E. inquiry.

An inquest into the death of Niall Comerford (22) was heard at Waterford Courthouse two weeks ago, where the cause of death was said to be due to acute cardiac failure secondary to a pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis. The inquest heard that Niall, a second-year legal studies student, had undergone surgery on his knee at Kilcreene Hospital, Kilkenny, seven days before he died. His family said they have been left with too many questions and not enough answers after the healthy young man passed away suddenly on October 1 of this year. The H.S.E. has said it is liaising with the family to address their concerns.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]

WESTMEATH

Former Justice Minister Paddy Cooney has criticized a piece of artwork in the new Luan Gallery, which features messages smuggled out of prison by Republican activists during the H-Block protests in Northern Ireland.

"First of all, I don't think it is art and secondly, the theme is inappropriate. If it was removed I'd shed no tears," Mr Cooney said last week of the “Fragmens sur les Institutions Republicaines IV 1993-1997” exhibit by Longford artist Shane Cullen.

The controversial installation consists of black panels on which Mr. Cullen has painstakingly hand-painted messages from I.R.A. prisoners smuggled out of jail during the H-Block protests in Northern Ireland in the 1980s.
[Source: Westmeath Independent]

WEXFORD

An incident that took place in the early hours of Thursday morning, November 29, resulted in a father and son being sent to hospital with serious injuries.

Jim Handrick (52) and his 16-year-old son were involved in the incident, which is currently under Garda (police) investigation.

Gardaí believe the incident involved a “civil element” and they are currently attempting to establish the truth and clarify the facts.

It is alleged that a repossession company arrived at Mr. Handrick’s Ballinastraw home where they attempted to remove a vehicle from his property, and the incident stemmed from there.
[Source: Wexford Echo]

WICKLOW

A 60-foot fake snowman that vanished from a town center has turned up safe and well – if a little deflated.

The inflatable Snowy the Snowman had been missing from Wicklow Town for a week but has now been returned, accompanied by a sign saying “Sorry.”
Following a tip-off, Garda (Police Officer) Anthony McHugh and Garda Neil Doyle located an airless Snowy at the Halpin Monument in the town last Tuesday morning.
[Source: Irish Independent]
 

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