News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties



Shocking new details have emerged of the grisly killing of former Antrim woman Lyn Coburn at her Connor home by her son on Mother's Day last year.

John Coburn (35), a paranoid schizophrenic, cut off his mother's head and stabbed his brother, Andrew, in a frenzied attack at her home at Rossburn Manor.

Coburn has already pleaded guilty to manslaughter and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm through diminished responsibility, and was sentenced last week.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


The armed robbery of Slieve Gullion Credit Union Friday evening, December 7, has sent shockwaves throughout the local community, with the latest incident coming just two weeks after staff there were confronted by a three-man gang wielding axes and a handgun.

Despite increased security measures being implemented at the Credit Union since the robbery on November 23, two men brandishing a firearm and a hatchet managed to enter the Forkhill premises around 7 p.m. on Friday and force disbelieving staff into handing over a sum of cash. The pair, who hid their faces with scarves, made their getaway in a blue Toyota Avensis.

The robbery has been widely condemned, with S.D.L.P. M.L.A. Dominic Bradley slamming the perpetrators as “totally reprehensible.” Mr. Bradley, who also referred to the separate armed robbery of a Killeen filling station on Thursday evening, Dec. 6, said those responsible for both thefts “need to take a hard look at the consequences their actions have on the lives of staff members and business owners.”
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


Forestry officials are stepping up efforts to combat the deadly ash dieback disease after further positive samples were found in new areas.

Survey results have now confirmed 22 cases of ash dieback, or chalara. The majority of these are in young plantations, six are in horticultural nurseries and one was found in an ornamental ash tree.

Incidents of ash dieback have now been found in counties Leitrim, Meath, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Waterford, Carlow, Kildare, Laois, Longford and Galway.
[Source: Irish Independent]


The Strypes have signed a five-album record deal with major record company Mercury. The contract was signed in the Clarence Hotel in Dublin on Friday, December 7, bringing an end to the race among a clutch of major labels to have Ross Farrelly, Josh McClorey, Peter O'Hanlon and Evan Walsh on their books.

Audiences at The Strypes' recent London gigs had been dominated by leading music industry figures, lured by the band's reputation for breathing new life into old school rhythm and blues. Due to their strong bargaining position, The Strypes were able to secure a commitment of at least "two firm albums" with Mercury Records U.K., and whose portfolio include the likes of Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Chuck Berry and Justin Bieber. There is then an option of a further three albums.

Under the terms of the contract, they will have as much input into their future direction as the company, which was essential in persuading them to sign, according to bassist Pete.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


Clare County Council is finding it increasingly difficult to reduce its annual expenditure of $133.1 million without reducing frontline services, county manager, Tom Coughlan has warned.

In his address to county councilors as part of the Draft 2013 Budget, Mr. Coughlan had admitted the preparation of this budget was particularly difficult due to the fact the scope to achieve operational savings is progressively reducing.

Commercial rates are expected to remain the same for the second successive year pending the eventual outcome of councilors’ deliberations of the annual budget estimates, which are scheduled to start this Tuesday.
[Source: Clare Champion]


An Irish Australian group is appealing for help for a young Cork mother and her children who are facing eviction from their home in Queensland for unpaid rent. The woman, who moved from Cork in 2009, will be evicted from her home on December 20 if the debt of $5,275 is not paid. An urgent appeal has been issued by the Irish Australian Support Association of Queensland (I.A.S.A.Q.) for the family who are living on the Gold Coast.

The Cork woman, who has not been named, earns $420 a week in her job but has rent costs of $380 per week. She has been struggling to get by since her New Zealand-born husband left the family and stopped contributing to the rent in November of last year.

Speaking to the Cork Independent, I.A.S.A.Q. President Peter Long says that the situation is extremely urgent.

"What makes this so difficult and the need for cash so urgent is that the family has no entitlement to any social security benefits of any type in Australia due to the nature of the visa that the family has.”
[Source: Cork Independent]