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News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties

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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.

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