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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.

The single and accompanying video “Because We Can” was just released in the U.S.A., and Duddy revealed all to the Derry Journal from his base in Queens, New York.

Having spent years at the top of his game, the “Derry Destroyer” hung up his boots and announced he was retiring from the sport in January 2011.

Nowadays the local man is more likely to be found treading the boards in New York theatres or as a bartender in the “Big Apple.” And he admits he has never been happier.
[Source: Derry Journal]

DONEGAL

Garda (Police Officer) Bernard McLoughlin, who tried to save his colleague after their car was rammed in Donegal, has been awarded $60,000 by the High Court.

He told the court that he regarded Gary McLoughlin as a best friend as well as a colleague. The court heard that they had shared a flat and had trained together at Templemore before being sent to Buncrana.

On December 13, 2009, the pair was searching for a speeding car when it crashed into them at Lisfannon. Despite suffering severe hip and leg injuries in the crash, he did his best for his friend.

Detecting a pulse, he held Gary’s head in the recovery position until the emergency services arrived.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]

DOWN

Two Newry stores have become the first retail casualties of 2013. Jessops and fashion retailer Hoi Polloi both closed their doors permanently at close of trading on Friday, January 11, bringing fresh misery on the job-front to local people employed by the beleaguered firms.

Administrators were appointed to The Jessop Group Limited on Wednesday, Jan. 9, at the request of the directors.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) announced that the company had been hit by increasing competition from supermarkets and internet retailers, which had affected its core marketplace, with the camera chain suffering a significant decline in 2012, which was forecast to continue until 2013.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

DUBLIN

A mother-of-three has been jailed for not sending her children to school.

The woman, described as “too liberal,” kept her three girls at home for colds and flu without any doctor’s notes, a court heard.

The children missed 28 days from last September – more than a third of the school term.

Apart from the illnesses, the Dublin mother alleged that one of the children was bullied.

But a judge sentenced her to 28 days in prison after being told there was no medical evidence of their illnesses or a bullying complaint.
[Source: Evening Herald]

FERMANAGH

The union flag dispute shows no signs of abating with protesters in Enniskillen escalating their action by marching along the busiest stretch of road in the county.

Around 70 flag-carrying protesters took part in the demonstration, and although Sinn Fein has questioned the legality of the protest, organizers insist the Parades Commission was notified.

Traffic was diverted during the protest, which went from Quay Lane along Wellington Road to the Lakeland Forum car-park, and back via Belmore Street to Gaol Square.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]

GALWAY

Galway has been branded “Ireland’s knowledge city” by a top academic, having the second-highest proportion of Ph.D. graduates in the country.

It means the city and county are in a prime position to attract investment from multinational companies that require a skilled workforce.

And with Galway also claiming the country’s second-highest level of graduates, coupled with a “baby boom” about to enter the education system, the future of our talent pool looks firmly cemented.

But the leading academic warned that Galway will need to draw people into the “Ph.D. net” from neighboring counties.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]

KERRY

A British man has appeared before Tralee District Court charged with unlawfully importing cocaine.

William Lamb (67), with an address at Clonmeen, Banteer, County Cork, was arrested at Kerry Airport on Monday, January 14, following the discovery of cocaine with a street value of $375,000.

Nine pounds of the drug were discovered by Revenue Officers in the lining of Mr. Lamb's rucksack when he arrived on a flight from Frankfurt on Monday.

It is the largest seizure of cocaine at Kerry Airport.
[Source: Irish Examiner]

KILDARE

An elderly man was left in a state of shock after three people entered his home in the Maganey area and stole his wallet, which contained a large amount of cash.

The incident occurred sometime between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. when the 93-year old man who lives in the Johnstown area of Maganey answered his door. Two females and one male rushed in past the elderly man once the door was opened and, while the man was in a state of confusion, they removed his wallet from his pocket.

It is understood that the wallet may have contained up to $1,335. The thieves left the scene quickly and the elderly man was unable to give a description of those involved.
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]

KILKENNY

Last Thursday, Gardaí (police) confirmed that a man had died at the scene of a car crash involving a number of vehicles at Grovine on the Waterford road outside Kilkenny.

Among the many injured, two were critical, and had been taken to St. Luke’s General Hospital.

The accident occurred on the Kilkenny side of Danesfort G.A.A. field. All emergency services attended the scene.
[Source: Kilkenny People]

LAOIS

People are “carelessly driving on graves” in Saints Peter and Paul’s Cemetery, Portlaoise.

Clr. Jerry Lodge told a meeting of the Portlaoise Electoral Area committee at county hall that it was a matter of urgency to prohibit driving on graves and that the council takes any reasonable steps they can to tackle the problem.

Mary Donoghue, administrative officer for Water Services, said the erection of bollards will be included as a priority in the works, which are scheduled to commence in January 2013.
[Source: Leinster Express]

LEITRIM

County Leitrim has long been a respected destination for British and European angling tourists. However, the angling market has changed, and a fresh approach is now needed for the county to grow a strong tourism base from the angling market once again.

A new organization, the Leitrim Angling Community Alliance, has been formed to support a major marketing project to reenergize and grow Leitrim’s angling sector. This will involve creating a new angling website that is smartphone-enabled and updated daily. It will feature angling specific accommodation, fishing resources. It also will produce and market Co. Leitrim angling brochure, participate at international trade shows, and organize familiarization-trips by angling agents and journalists. The initiative will also see the creation of a calendar, which lists local angling events and festivals across the county alongside other key marketing campaigns.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]

LIMERICK

A Croom man who crashed his car into a hedge was found to be over the drink driving limit, Kilmallock court heard.

Anthony Fitzgerald (48) of Caherass, Croom pleaded guilty to the offense at Shandrum, Charleville on December 23, 2011.

Inspector Edward Golden said at around 10 p.m. Garda (Police Officer) Gerard Dillon attended the scene of a single-vehicle collision.

“A blue Volvo was crashed into a hedge on the right hand side of the road.

“The Garda spoke to a man standing beside the car whose speech was slurred and the Garda got a strong smell of intoxicating liquor.

“The defendant admitted to the Garda that he had a few pints and had been driving the car at the time of the accident,” said Inspector Golden.
[Source: Limerick Leader]

LONGFORD

A piece of art devised by Longford artist Shane Cullen is to remain in place following a meeting of Athlone Arts and Heritage Ltd. last Wednesday.

Members of its board held talks to discuss a motion for the removal of Mr. Cullen’s “Fragmens sur le Institutions Republicaines IV” from the town’s Luan Gallery.

That plea had earlier been made by Athlone Town Clr. Mark Cooney, son of former Fine Gael Justice Minister Paddy Cooney, on the grounds it was “offensive to so many people.”

As reported by the Leader in last Wednesday’s newspaper, the artwork has so far managed to attract viewings from around 1,200 people, with just three complaints being made.
[Source: Longford Leader]

LOUTH

Musician Duke Special was caught speeding at up to 116 miles per hour on the M1 motorway, Dundalk district court heard two weeks ago.

The singer-song writer with an address at Lomond Avenue in Belfast, appeared under his real name Peter Wilson.

The 42-year-old was originally charged with dangerous driving arising out of the incident at Gibstown, Dundalk on August 22, 2012, but the court heard on Wednesday, January 9, he was willing to plead guilty to careless driving if it was acceptable to the court.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]

MAYO

There are too many groups working in the area of suicide prevention and suicide awareness. That was the strident view of Pontoon-based Dr. John Connolly, the secretary of the Irish Association of Suicidology, who was speaking when he launched the Mayo Be Well campaign last Monday at the Mayo County Council.

The well-being campaign is an initiative of the Mayo Suicide Prevention Alliance, a partnership group set up in 2009, which has brought together many organizations and groups working in the areas of mental health and suicide awareness and prevention in Mayo.

Dr. Connolly outlined at the launch how too many organizations working independently of each other can be a problem, and explained how the Irish Association of Suicidology (I.A.S.) are in the midst of developing an accreditation procedure for such groups.
[Source: The Mayo News]

MEATH

Workers at the Old Darnley Lodge Hotel in Athboy occupied the hotel last week, following the shocking announcement last Wednesday night that the hotel was closing.

The sit-in began when workers were given just one hour's notice of the hotel's closure on Wednesday night.

Representatives of the hotel's 45 staff-members have met with the receivers, McInearney Saunders, who told them they would be seeking a buyer, and also met with S.I.P.T.U. officials on Thursday.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]

MONAGHAN

Silvercrest Foods, the County Monaghan producer of the sample of beef burgers in which horse meat accounted for 29.1 percent of their meat content, is part of the Larry Goodman meat processing empire.

Mr. Goodman (75) is one of Ireland’s richest and most controversial business figures and, in the 1980s, headed a business that was responsible for approximately 4 percent of Irish gross national product.

His A.B.P. Food Group had a turnover of $3 billion in the 12 months to the end of March 2012 and approximately 7,500 employees. It has its headquarters in Ardee, Co. Louth.
[Source: Irish Times]

OFFALY

A man is facing life in prison after pleading guilty to the murder of Offaly veterinarian Catherine Gowing in North Wales in October 2012.

Clive Sharp (46) appeared at Mold Crown Court on Monday at a brief hearing where he only spoke to confirm his name and to enter a guilty plea.

He faces an automatic life sentence, but Mr. Justice Griffith Williams is yet to determine the minimum term he must serve before he can be considered for release. However, the judge intimated that in this case a life sentence could in fact mean life.
[Source: Offaly Express]

ROSCOMMON

Staff-members at Flix Cinema and Leisure who lost their jobs two weeks ago have told of their fury that the news was broken to them by management through a text message.

Close to 30 people were employed at the complex at the Centrepoint Retail Park, which opened its doors just 13 months ago. Staff learned of the facility’s closure via text on Monday, January 7. The Herald understands that the staff is owed several weeks wages, with many also entitled to holiday pay.

It is understood that at a meeting with staff on Friday night, Jan. 11, management gave an undertaking that wages would be paid, but one member of staff who spoke to the Herald said most employees were holding out little hope.
[Source: Roscommon Herald]

SLIGO

A captivating little toddler is the latest victim of the carnage on Northern Ireland’s roads.

Ryan Cox, who was aged just 19 months, died after a two-vehicle collision in Fermanagh.

His mother Catriona was also seriously injured along with the driver of the other vehicle, who is understood to be from County Sligo.

The crash, involving a Renault Megane and a Peugeot 307, happened on the Boa Island Road near Kesh at 3:50 p.m. last Monday.
[Source: Belfast Telegraph]

TIPPERARY

Commenting on the increase in the Irish Dairy Board Milk Price Index to 111.1 for December 2012, Tipperary farmer Pat McCormack, deputy president and chair of I.C.M.S.A.’s Dairy Committee, said that it again clearly highlights the fact that the price being paid by Co-ops to milk suppliers is well behind market developments and needs to move up immediately to reflect reality.

Mr. McCormack noted that cash-flow pressures are growing on dairy farmers by the day and co-ops must respond by passing back the improved market returns.
[Source: Tipperary Star]

TYRONE

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive looks set to be abolished, leaving staff and tenants in Mid-Ulster uncertain of what the future holds.

On Wednesday, January 9, Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland released a written statement to the assembly outlining plans to dismantle the organization, citing it as no longer "sustainable" in its current form.

For the past 40 years, the organization has had the sole charge of allocating social housing in Northern Ireland; however, under the proposed changes, it is likely that these homes will now be transferred to housing associations.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]

WATERFORD

A full visiting ban is in place at Waterford Regional Hospital (W.R.H.) as of last Tuesday, as a result of suspected cases of the Norovirus (vomiting bug).

Visiting to all wards of the hospital is prohibited apart from exceptional circumstances, which includes critical care patients and maternity wards where visiting is restricted to partners only. Meanwhile, parents will only be allowed to visit the Children’s Ward.

Waterford Regional Hospital said it regrets this inconvenience but it is necessary at this time to prevent the spread of these illnesses to both patients and staff.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]

WESTMEATH

"It's a very funny book," is how Robert Cogan describes “Ulysses,” which describes just one day – June 16, 1904, Bloomsday.

Just what Bloomsday was about is the theme of “The Bloomsday Story,” Robert's two-act play, containing words and music, which runs on February 1 and 2 at The Greville Arms Hotel in Mullingar; February 2 being both the anniversary of Joyce's birth and of the publication of Ulysses.

"These are going to be fun nights," promises Robert, who takes part in the play along with his wife, professional singer Ann Tyrrell, and professional actor Paul Kennedy.
[Source: Westmeath Examiner]

WEXFORD

A play by Enniscorthy author Colm Tóibín, based on his 2012 novella about the life of Mary in the aftermath of the Crucifixion, is set to debut on Broadway this spring.

Harry Potter actress Fiona Shaw will star in “The Testament of Mary,” with previews beginning March 26 at the Walter Kerr Theatre. The opening-night show is set for April 22, when it will run for 12 weeks.

The show will be produced by Scott Rudin who, in 2012, won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards, being the first producer to do so.
[Source: Wexford Echo]

WICKLOW

A woman who was raped as a child by her father for 10 years told Gardaí (police) that the abuse became as frequent as having dinner, a court has heard.

Fiona Doyle (née O’Brien) said her father, Patrick O'Brien (72), raped her every night when her mother went out to play bingo.

Waiving her right to anonymity, she told the Central Criminal Court that no sentence imposed on O'Brien could “undo the enormous damage that my father has done to me.”

She said: “It is something I have lived with since I was a young child and it's something I will have to live with until the day I die.”
[Source: Irish Examiner]
 

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