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News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties

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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.

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