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News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties

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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.

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