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News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties

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ANTRIM

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]

ARMAGH

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]

CARLOW

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]

CAVAN

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

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]

CORK

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]

DERRY

Around 300 loyalists held a flag protest on Derry’s Peace Bridge on Sunday, December 9.

Police say the protest – sparked by Belfast City Council’s decision taken two weeks ago to fly the Union Flag only on designated days – passed without incident.

But they say a file will be sent to the Public Prosecution service about the actions of some protestors.

“Between 250- 300 people gathered on the Peace Bridge for a short time after walking there from the Fountain Estate and Bond Street areas,” a P.S.N.I. spokeswoman says.
[Source: Derry Journal]

DONEGAL

People across Donegal are in shock with the news of the sudden, tragic death of Shannon Gallagher, the sister of Erin, the 13-year-old from Ballybofey who took her own life in October.

Shannon Gallagher (15) was found dead last night at Stranamuck, near Castlefin.

There was a huge outpouring of grief following the death of Erin, and concern at claims that she had been bullied.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]

DOWN

The mother of a child who died in a Belfast hospital in 1996 has broken down while giving evidence at the public inquiry into the girl's death.

Jennifer Roberts' nine-year-old daughter, Claire, died in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

She is one of five children whose deaths are being examined by the hyponatraemia inquiry in County Down.

During her testimony last Thursday, Mrs. Roberts became extremely emotional and had to leave the witness stand.

She had been recounting to the inquiry how, at the time of Claire's death 16 years ago, she and her husband were told their daughter had died from a viral infection.
[Source: BBC News]

DUBLIN

Tributes have been paid to a Dublin dad-of-three who dropped dead in front of his wife after energetically performing the popular “Gangnam-style” dance.

Eamonn Kilbride (46) was celebrating with colleagues at their Christmas party in Blackburn, in England, when he suddenly suffered a heart attack Saturday, December 8.

The Dubliner had performed the vigorous dance moves from the well-known Korean music video just moments before he collapsed with chest pains.
[Source: Evening Herald]

FERMANAGH

Fly tippers beware.

That’s the stern warning from Fermanagh District Council this week following news that, over the past 12 months, refuse staff had to remove 260 illegal items, including advertising banners.

Gerry Knox, the council’s director of technical services, said the removal operation was very time-consuming, and costly.

“It’s something we have to keep at because there were some persistent offenders. You get a lot of advertising for business, which is for personal gain, and that is not permitted, somebody running a shop sale for example.”
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]

GALWAY

Members of the “Tribes of Galway” living in the U.S. are being invited to compete in an oyster eating competition as part of The Gathering 2013.

So far, 74 gatherings within the county have been registered on The Gathering website since it launched 10 weeks ago.

One of the biggest events is the Tribal Shuck-Off event on Sunday, September 29, as part of the yearly seafood festival.

Entry is open to those with a link to one of the 14 “Tribes of Galway,” the merchant families that drove Galway’s prosperity from the mid-13th century to the 19th century – Athy, Blake, Bodkin, Browne, D'Arcy, Deane, Ffont, Ffrench, Joyes, Kirwan, Lynch, Martin, Morris and Skerrett.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]

KERRY

Not for the first time the twin issues of emigration and rural depopulation have been highlighted at a county convention, with Kerry chairman Patrick O’Sullivan citing the example of Coláiste Na Sceilge, who just three years ago won an All-Ireland colleges football title.

“In the past few years the number of students attending Coláiste Na Sceilge has fallen dramatically,” said O’Sullivan, “an indication of the serious affect rural depopulation is having in south Kerry.

“Players transferring to overseas clubs since the downturn in the economy have also affected clubs in rural areas to such an extent that many fear they will be unable to field teams unless some radical solutions are found.

“We in Kerry G.A.A. will do whatever is necessary to help clubs but we must work together with Munster Council, and the association at national level, to ensure that rural Ireland is supported, and not neglected.”
[Source: Irish Times]

KILDARE

“You’d better watch out” is the traditional warning when Santa Claus is “coming to town,” but in Newbridge on Saturday, December 8, it was Santa who should have been watching out as he and his driver got an unwanted Christmas surprise.

Traveling in a vintage fire engine, Santa Claus (a.k.a. local man Robbie Devereaux) and his driver were horrified to be targeted by three teenagers who pelted them with eggs.

The incident, which could have resulted in a serious accident, is being investigated by local Gardaí (police). It occurred shortly before 6 p.m. on Saturday evening, after Santa had joined Newbridge Mayor Murty Aspell to switch on the Christmas lights. Following the music and festivities, Santa prepared to leave the town but first had to travel along Edward Street as it wasn’t possible to actually turn the engine on the street.
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]

KILKENNY

A number of students from a local school have received counselling after witnessing the horrific death of a man decapitated by a Dublin bus two weeks ago.

Eoghan Dudley (28) died of devastating head injuries when he went under the wheels of the 15-ton double-decker vehicle. It is alleged that he was pushed, and a 29-year-old man has since been charged with his manslaughter.

Around 100 students from C.B.S. Kilkenny, accompanied by their teachers, were in Dublin City Center Thursday, December 6, at the time on a class trip. They were near the busy junction opposite Trinity College on Nassau Street during rush hour, when the disaster happened.
[Source: Kilkenny People]

LAOIS

Garda (police) mountain bike patrols of Portlaoise’s housing estates and public areas are to continue during the winter months.

Sergeant Tom Walton told the Portlaoise Joint Policing Committee meeting that patrols were conducted over the last few months.

He outlined that the Community Policing Unit specifically targeted primary and secondary schools delivering talks on crime and the consequences of juveniles getting involved in crime, road safety, bullying, and cyber safety.
[Source: Leinster Express]

LEITRIM

The close knit Mullies and wider Manorhamilton communities have been devastated by the deaths of three members of the same family in a house fire in the early hours of Saturday morning, December 8.

Dessie McDonald (75), his wife Patsy (77) and their daughter, Patricia (34), were sleeping in their two-story home at Lisnabrack near Manorhamilton when the fire broke out downstairs. A passing taxi driver noticed the blaze and raised the alarm shortly after 2 a.m.

Fire services from Manorhamilton, Sligo and Carrick-on-Shannon all attended the blaze, which is thought to have started in the kitchen. However, they were unable to save the family.

It is understood that Mr. McDonald bought the home a number of years ago and had substantially refurbished the property. He returned to his native north Leitrim to live following his retirement from his job as a bus driver in New York. Mr. McDonald was joined by his wife Josie and daughter Patricia, and the couple’s two other daughters lived in the U.S. and the West of Ireland.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]

LIMERICK

A victory for the working class man was heralded in Limerick Auction Rooms, after a Limerick Soviet five shilling note was returned back to its “rightful owners.”

The Limerick Trades Council had begun a campaign in the days leading up to the auction to keep the note from 1919 in Limerick.

Last Wednesday afternoon the council beat off competition from three other bidders to take home the note to the Mechanics Institute on Hartstonge Street.

Mike McNamara, president of the Limerick Trades Council, revealed after the auction that they were prepared to bid as high as $4,580, but after a few minutes of bidding, it was theirs for €1,830.
[Source: Limerick Leader]

LONGFORD

A County Longford mother has claimed child benefit cuts announced in the budget may force her family below the poverty line in the lead up to Christmas.

Bernie McCann, a mother of four from Drumlish, was last week counting the cost of financial adjustments announced by Finance Minister Michael Noonan.

Faced with a $13 cut to her monthly allowance, Bernie is also counting withdrawals made to care grants, as she also occupies the role of carer to her son Micheal, who suffers from a rare blood disorder.

“I am down [$50] (a month),” she said, as she glossed over the finer points of the budget with the Leader. “My oldest (son) was just taken off me (in terms of child benefit) as he has just turned 18 so it is a serious cut to our family.”
[Source: Longford Leader]

LOUTH

A concerned Dundalk mother has told the Democrat that she fears for the health of her children who have to run an assault course of discarded needles on their way to school.

The Barrack Street-based mother, who didn’t wish to be named for risk of reprisal, said that her children came home and told her of lethal needles that have been discarded in the area of Barrack Street.

Speaking to the Dundalk Democrat, the concerned mother said: “There are junkies in the area who are using and discarding needles in plain sight of children. I had to go and kick needles into the gutter. It’s desperate.”
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]

MAYO

Two men were still in hospital last Tuesday as a result of injuries sustained following a car crash near the Galway/Mayo border on Thursday night, December 6.

The men, believed to be from the Dublin area, were back seat passengers in a blue Volvo car which crashed at Belmount, Milltown, just over the Galway/Mayo border. Gardaí (police) say that the car was “acting suspiciously” in the Hollymount area on Thursday night and drove off “at speed” when Gardaí approached it near the village of Hollymount.

The driver and front-seat passenger fled the scene of the accident and are still at large, despite an intensive Garda search, involving officers from Mayo and Galway and the Garda helicopter.
[Source: The Mayo News]

MEATH

Controversial rapper Eminem will headline a second gig at Slane on August 17, 2013 – two months after the Bon Jovi gig on June 15.

Tickets go on sale this Wednesday, December 19 at 9 a.m., for $103.90.

Having once vowed that the rapper would never get a date at Slane again, after pulling out of a concert in 2005, owner Lord Henry Mountcharles has now confirmed they have made up and that the 40-year-old rapper will now appear in Slane eight years later.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]

MONAGHAN

Ireland could be facing a modern gold rush after a low-profile exploration company reported it had found gold worth "millions" in the Southeast.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, I.M.C. Exploration said it had found an exceptional level of gold deposits after drilling. The company said drilling had found 11.38 troy ounces of gold per ton of earth. That is more than 300 times the size of the reported finds in Clontibret, County Monaghan.

"These results are one of the highest-recorded gold grades ever found in Ireland and the company is rapidly progressing with ongoing drilling," the company said.
[Source: Irish Independent]

OFFALY

Laois and Offaly government colleagues, Fine Gael’s Deputy Charlie Flanagan and Labour Senator John Whelan, have locked horns in a bitter war of words as the fallout from a harsh budget rumbled on.

Senator Whelan criticized his party Leader Eamon Gilmore for being “out swanning around with Hilary Clinton” while he and other parliamentary colleagues were getting it in the neck from lo- income working families who took “an unfair, inequitable and disproportionate” hit in budget 2013.

“We pledged to protect Child Benefit on the eve of the general election. This cut is hard to stomach from a cabinet of mostly fat gray-haired men in gray suits who are detached and most will not face the electorate next time and stand over their actions.”
[Source: Offaly Express]

ROSCOMMON

The government’s decision to close three Garda (police) stations in the county has been slammed by the chairperson of Roscommon’s Joint Policing Committee who believes that it will give a “green light to criminal activity.”

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter announced two weeks ago that Ballintubber, Ballyforan and Knockcroghery stations would all close next year, bringing the number of stations closures in Roscommon to six in just over a year, following the closures of Loughglynn, Cootehall and Tarmonbarry earlier this year. It has also emerged that Boyle Garda district is to be amalgamated into the Castlerea Garda district as part of the announcement.
[Source: Roscommon Herald]

SLIGO

The parents of a five-year-old girl who died in an arson attack said the inquest into her death two weeks ago was harrowing. In an exclusive interview with The Sligo Champion, mother Teresa Keane, said: "I knew Mari was burned but I never realized how bad it was until the pathologist read out his report."

The inquest heard how the innocent little girl died in a house fire in Boyle in the early hours of October 3, 2011. Speaking after hearing the details in the inquest, Teresa said: "I felt like getting sick. I couldn't describe it. It was just unnatural the way she died. Her body was charred. There was nothing left of her."

Heartbroken Teresa, a native of Culfadda, said the inquest has not brought closure because she will never get over what happened.
[Source: Sligo Champion]

TIPPERARY

The Central Statistics Office last Thursday released the final publication in its series of Census 2011 profile reports, showing that a total of 41,073 persons, representing 77.5 percent of commuters travelled to work by car in April 2011.

The publication, “Profile 10 Door to Door – Commuting in Ireland”, presents a profile of the commuting patterns of the Irish population and covers modes of travel, journey times, and time of departure for both workers and students.

Deirdre Cullen, Senior Statistician at the C.S.O. said: “This report provides further analysis of an extremely important theme from the Census 2011 results. It examines commuter numbers, looking at means of transport, departure times and time spent travelling for both workers and students.”
[Source: Tipperary Star]

TYRONE

Castlecaulfield Road Racer Trevor Ferguson died as a result of misadventure in a crash at the Manx Grand Prix in August, an inquest has found.

The 47-year-old father-of-three suffered "massive internal injuries" after colliding with a bank during the tragic accident, which occurred at The Nook section of the 37.73 mile Mountain course in Onchan on the Isle of Man.

Mr. Ferguson, an uncle of Dungannon road racing star Ryan Farquhar, was competing in the Supertwin event on Farquhar's own K.M.R. Kawasaki 650 machine when the crash happened on the second lap in dry and sunny conditions.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]

WATERFORD

A new interactive service whereby the general public can report non-emergency council issues that need attention such as litter, water leaks and graffiti, was unveiled two weeks ago.

Details of fixyourstreet.ie were given to members of city council by John Hawkins, who explained the service was being made available through a national initiative which the local authority signed up for.

“We have been running a similar program internally for the last four years where we can log info on our iPhones and it goes straight into the relevant department. It’s called mobile incident capture. So if any council employee is out and about they and they see graffiti or a road defect, etc., they can just log it in,” explains Mr. Hawkins.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]

WESTMEATH

Last year's census showed there were 3,607 carers in Westmeath and, for this group, the budget was "the straw that broke the camel's back," according to a spokesperson for their representative group.

Claire Duffy of the Carers Association said its Midlands offices, in Mullingar and Tullamore, have been inundated with calls since it emerged that the budget would cut the respite care grant by $425.

"It's hard to explain what the reaction from carers has been like. There is so much hurt, so much anger and so much disappointment given the work that these carers to do and the money that they are saving the State," said Ms. Duffy.

"The health system is completely dependent on the provision of family care in the home and for this care to be targeted in this way makes no sense.”
[Source: Westmeath Independent]

WEXFORD

Resident of an Ardamine estate, where an abandoned horse collapsed and was left to die on an undeveloped site in the estate, are appalled at the callous nature of neglect and disregard shown towards the animal.

Witnesses say a man drove up to the site, helped the animal from a horsebox, and drove away.

Locals claim that the horse was showing signs of difficulty with one of its legs. It eventually collapsed and was unable to get up.

Inspectors from the North Wexford Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (N.W.S.P.C.A.), were alerted to the situation and called in the society’s veterinarian, but despite his best efforts, the unfortunate horse could not be saved.
[Source: Wexford Echo]

WICKLOW

Up to 35 new jobs are to be created in County Wicklow following a $84 million deal between energy services company Crowley Carbon and Emrill.

Emrill is one of the biggest facilities management companies in the Middle East.

The deal will see the Wicklow-based firm deploy its ''smart building'' technology to some of the tallest residential and commercial towers in the world from its carbon control center in Enniskerry.

The agreement, which covers the next three years, will result in the new jobs, including roles for engineers and project managers.
[Source: RTÉ News]
 

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