News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties



More young lives will be senselessly lost if urgent steps are not taken to halt the deadly solvent abuse craze that is sweeping Antrim, a school governor has claimed.

Solvent abuse has already been linked to one death in Antrim this year, but Councilor Adrian Watson fears that many more teenagers are risking “an early grave in their pursuit of cheap kicks.”

There is disturbing evidence that young thrill-seekers are buying deodorants and other aerosol products in bulk in order to inhale the butane – even though they are effectively playing Russian roulette with their own lives.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


Two brothers have appeared in court in the Republic of Ireland facing extradition for a double murder in Tassagh, near Keady six years ago.

A County Armagh couple – Thomas O’Hare and Lisa McClatchey – was beaten with hammers and doused in petrol before being set on fire, in a vicious attack. The couple were seriously injured and died later in hospital.

Police arrested the brothers, Niall and Martin Smith, in County Louth and County Dublin Wednesday morning, December 12, and detained them using European arrest warrants before bringing the pair before the High Court in Dublin.
 [Source: Examiner Newspaper]


A post-office manager who stole $2.3 million from his employer to fund his gambling habit has been jailed for three years.

Tony O'Reilly, of 10 Sandhills, Hacketstown Road, Carlow, stole the money from his post office over a 14-month period.

And bookmakers Paddy Power valued his custom so much they took him on lavish, all-expense paid trips to the Europa Cup Final in the Aviva Stadium and the Irish Derby at the Curragh.
[Source: Irish Independent]


Jailed local businessman Sean Quinn can spend three days and nights with his family over the Christmas period after he was granted temporary release from prison last Thursday evening.

It is understood the decision was made following discussions between the Attorney General, the Prison Service and the Minister for Justice. The 66-year-old will be released on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and St. Stephen's Day.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


Clare’s court poor box has netted over $40,000 for charity organizations across the county, more than double the figure gathered last year.

The county’s district court judge, Patrick Durcan, dispensed the proceeds of the district court poor box last week, which totaled $40,300, a dramatic increase on the $19,000 collected in 2011.
In 2010 the poor box took in just $13,200, while $17,025 was made in donations in 2009. In 2008 it netted $34,000 for local charities. A total of 27 charities have benefited from the court poor box this year, including a number that had not benefited previously.
[Source: Clare Champion]


Counterfeit €50 notes were being passed in Kinsale two weekends ago, and Gardaí (police) in the town are warning retailers to be vigilant.

Stone Mad Gallery in Kinsale found that they had accepted a fake €50 note on Saturday from a man who bought an item worth €12 ($16).

Gardaí in Kinsale are “following a definite line of enquiry,” according to a spokesperson.

Owner Jill Brennan praised the reaction of Kinsale Gardaí for their thoroughness and fast reactions.
[Source: Cork Independent]


An I.T. student who had 195 pornographic photographs and movies of children aged from seven to 14 years was sentenced at Derry Crown Court on Friday.

Brendan Murphy (23) was a student at the University of Ulster’s Magee campus, when his housemates discovered the images on his laptop computer and reported the matter to police, the court heard last Tuesday.

The student from Meadowlands Avenue in Warrenpoint, County Down, admitted 22 charges of possessing the indecent images of children and a further charge of possessing an extreme pornographic image depicting bestiality. The offences took place between December 2009 and March 2010.
[Source: Derry Journal]


A former worker at a community development group is staging a sit-in at the premises.

Anne McGowan, a project coordinator with Atlantic View C.D.P. in Ballyshannon, lost her job when the organization closed down on November 29. She had worked there for more than 11 years.

Last Wednesday morning, she locked herself into the office, insisting that she will not budge until she receives the redundancy payment she believes she is entitled to.

“This is not the kind of thing anyone wants to do, least of all at this time of year. I will stay here as long as it takes, right through Christmas if needs be,” she told the Donegal Democrat.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]


A local press photographer and his family are recovering from a terrifying ordeal following the discovery of a pipe bomb at their Mayobridge home Friday, December 14.