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News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties

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ANTRIM

“Disenfranchised” young loyalists are being urged to come together and make their voices heard in a “peaceful and democratic way.”

On Wednesday, January 9, a new group calling itself the Antrim Unionist Forum (A.U.F.) was established to “help unionists and loyalists start to reconnect with local politicians” and arrange a strategy to “combat the current attack on British symbols and identity.”

The group claims to act as the “missing link” between elected representatives and intends to send five representatives from across the borough to meetings of another newly-formed group calling itself the Ulster People's Forum.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]

ARMAGH

M.E.P. Martina Anderson received a warm welcome on her visit to the Newry and Armagh constituency on Thursday, January 10.

As part of her trip, the M.E.P. travelled to south Armagh where she visited Daisy Chains Day Care in Crossmaglen and Happy Faces Nursery and Preschool in Glassdrummond.

Many of her party colleagues turned up to welcome her into the area, including M.P. Conor Murphy and M.L.A. Megan Fearon,  along with Newry and Mourne Sinn Féin councilors Packie McDonald, Colman Burns, Anthony Flynn and Terry Hearty.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

CARLOW

A Carlow man has been sentenced to three years with the final 18 months suspended for assaulting a stranger and leaving him with significant facial scars.

James Kehoe (30) threw a glass in Mark Connolly’s face at Horans Bar in Baltinglass, Wicklow, on St. Patrick’s night, 2010.

He was convicted by a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury last November, having initially pleaded not guilty to assaulting Mr. Connolly, causing him harm and to intentionally or recklessly causing him serious harm at Horans Bar, Main Street, Baltinglass.

He claimed throughout his trial that he had acted in self-defense after Mr. Connolly had been aggressive towards him.
[Source: Irish Independent]

CAVAN

It is emerging that An Bord Pleanála granted permission for the controversial new $40 million Tesco development despite a recommendation from its own inspector to refuse permission for the development for three reasons.

While the full detail of the inspector's report has not yet been released, it's understood that she expressed concern about the fact that the development would be 65 feet above the existing town center. This was one of the main arguments of local traders as part of the Keep Cavan Alive campaign – which claimed that it would take footfall away from the town center.

The president of Cavan Chamber of Commerce, Jim Burke, who was also involved with the campaign, has said he is "very disappointed" with the decision to grant permission for the 50,000 sq. ft. store.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]

CLARE

The government should consider introducing legislation whereby anti-social tenants could be housed in a “scum town,” a Clare local representative has suggested.

The Mayor of Amsterdam revealed plans last month to move those engaged in intimidating or violent behavior towards neighbors to new housing units, made in some cases from converted shipping containers. The areas in which these would be located were subsequently dubbed “scum villages,” where the worst offenders would spend a minimum of six months. Those who remain unreformed would face eviction.

Fine Gael Councilor Joe Arkins mooted the idea of creating scum towns here in Ireland at a county council meeting on Monday.

“It sounds drastic but we are at a stage where something drastic must be done in this country,” Councilor Arkins said.
[Source: Clare Champion]

CORK

It was a close escape for one lucky dog who found himself in a serious situation Saturday, January 12. Louis Hyde, who is in charge of the Cork River Rescue, happened to be in the Blarney area on Saturday when he got a phone call to say that there was a dog in trouble close to the river that runs through the town.

"I went straight to the scene myself and the guard and local residents had already gathered. What I could see was a cocker spaniel dog who was badly caught in some barbed wire and was dangerously close to falling in to the river. He was very distressed when I arrived and from what I can tell, it seemed he had been stuck there overnight."

Cork River Rescue is a voluntary service that was set up by Louis in 2006. It is based in Monkstown and currently has 12 volunteers on its books. Louis says that this is the first time in six years of service that the unit has ever had to rescue an animal.
[Source: Cork Independent]

DERRY

Not only will Derry’s former boxing champion John Duddy bring his sold-out play to The Playhouse this spring, the Galliagh man also stars in rock-god Jon Bon Jovi’s new music video, which was released last Tuesday.

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