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News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties

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ANTRIM

The Alliance Party has issued an 11th hour plea for “responsible, shared leadership” ahead of this year's Council A.G.M.

The meeting on Thursday, June 13, will see the election of mayor and deputy, as well as appointing the chairs of the council committees.

Though unionist domination has been on the slide at the Civic Centre, they still hold sway by a wafer-thin majority of one in the 19-seat chamber – and. traditionally, they have made it count.

Unionists have jealously guarded the top job, taking it every year since the reorganization of local government in 1973 with two notable exceptions.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]

ARMAGH

Two weeks ago, a visit by shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland Vernon Coaker to Whitecross was a compassionate gesture by a man keen to touch base with those affected by the Troubles.

That’s the opinion of Michael O’Hare whose elderly mother Mary met with Mr. Coaker in her home on Thursday, May 23.

Mrs. O’Hare’s 12-year-old daughter Majella was shot dead by a British soldier as she made her way to church in August 1976.  Two years ago the family received an apology from the British government acknowledging Majella’s unlawful killing and discounting army claims that she had been the victim of crossfire.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

CARLOW

A Garda (police) helicopter was called in on Sunday night, May 2, when a brazen burglar being chased by local Gardaí jumped from a stolen getaway car and fled on foot.

A botched burglary attempt at Feltham Hall, Blackbog Road saw the culprit take off in a stolen gray Mercedes, with Gardaí in hot pursuit. As Gardaí closed in on the burglar, he abandoned the car at Hanover Road, jumped a wall into a neighboring garden and vanishing into the night. Local Gardaí enlisted the help of the air support unit shortly before midnight as the dramatic chase unfolded.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]

CAVAN

Cavan minors have been dealt a huge blow with the news that midfielder Greg McGovern has been ruled out for six to eight weeks with a broken foot.

The towering Swanlinbar man, who had been in fine form in the wins over Armagh and Fermanagh, sustained the injury in training with the county team Friday night, May 31. McGovern, ironically a cousin of injured Swad and Cavan midfielder Gearoid McKiernan, turned 18 last week.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]

CLARE

A pathologist is due to present evidence to the Central Criminal Court in Dublin as to the horrific injuries that led to the death of a north Clare woman, over two years ago.

Colm Deely of School Road in Ballyvaughan, when arraigned last Tuesday, pleaded not guilty to murdering his 43-year-old friend, Deirdre McCarthy, between 11 p.m. on March 27, 2011 and noon the following day, at an unnamed location in Clare.

Ms. McCarthy’s body was found washed up on Fanore Beach a few days later; she had been strangled.

On Wednesday, Paul Green S.C., prosecuting, said a pathologist would tell the jury that Ms. McCarthy died from asphyxia, strangulation and blunt force trauma, including blows to her head, trunk and extremities.
[Source: Clare Champion]

CORK

A group of Kilcredan primary school children were dramatically evacuated from a burning bus on Wednesday morning just outside the Jack Lynch tunnel.
It is understood the children from fourth to sixth year, were going to Páirc Uí Rinn for a Sciath Na Scol U-13 hurling final against Frankfield school, Scoil Niocláis.
A full 5- person capacity coach, hired from Mackey Coaches, Midleton, had just exited the Jack Lynch tunnel on the Mahon side, when the back of the bus went up in smoke.
[Source: Cork Independent]

DERRY

What have the Loch Ness monster, a killer whale, 30 Joseph Lockes, a real life subbuteo team and a squad of German U-boat captains got in common?

They were just some of the many characters who appeared in Derry last weekend for “The Return of Colmcille.”

The large-scale outdoor extravaganza, which took place last Thursday and Friday, has been written by Frank Cottrell Boyce, the author of the Olympic opening ceremony and outdoor art experts, Walk the Plank.
[Source: Derry Journal]

DONEGAL

The winner of the massive $13 million lotto jackpot has placed a bet on Donegal taking the All-Ireland for the second successive season.

Kevin Geoghegan made headlines last week when he and his partner, Carol Lorgan, collected their bumper check at the National Lottery headquarters in Dublin. Last Wednesday, Kevin told the Donegal Democrat: “I have placed a bet on Donegal to win. I fancy them. I am not going to say how much of a bet I placed on them, but I did back them.

“I fancy other teams to win, too. I am a betting man,” he said.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]

DOWN

A Belfast court has heard how a woman who was allegedly snatched from a Dundalk street last December pretended to be dead while her abductors argued about how to dispose of her body.

The woman said she had been grabbed and bundled into a car, driven by a woman, while on her way to meet her boyfriend near the Square in Dundalk.

She told the court she was then taken across the border and sexually assaulted before escaping from a house in Newry and alerting police.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]

DUBLIN

Roll-your-own tobacco disguised as tea and valued at some $134,000 was seized by Revenue Customs officers last Wednesday.

The quarter-ton of tobacco was concealed in bags marked as tea from China. The illegal load was discovered when officers from Dublin Airport intercepted a van in north Dublin City. The seizure was part of an operation against a Dublin-based smuggling and distribution gang.

Officers questioned one person in relation to the find and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions. The load represented a loss of $95,000 to the exchequer.
[Source: Irish Times]

FERMANAGH

Policing Lough Erne for the G8 is a “significant” operation and anyone that breaches the restriction zone in place will be held accountable, according to P.S.N.I. Superintendent Alywin Barton.

As part of the security effort specialist police boats crews that patrolled the waterways around the London Olympics have been deployed to the Lough during June.

Marine teams that ensured the safety of the Thames and sailing venues at Weymouth and Portland on England’s south coast are already on the waters of Lough Erne, with further high speed boats on the way.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]

GALWAY

A Galway senator is calling for changes regarding the pupil-teacher ratio in Gaeltacht schools to be reversed.

Gaeltacht primary schools used to have a slightly better ratio compared to other schools, but this was increased in the 2012 budget.

It's now thought around 80 percent of the Gaeltacht primary schools nationwide have four teachers or less.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]

KERRY

A man has been arrested after drugs with an estimated street value of $185,000 were seized in County Kerry.

The haul – found at a residential property in Ardfert – included cannabis herb, cannabis resin, cocaine and a small amount of M.D.M.A.

The planned operation Friday evening, May 31, was conducted by Gardaí (police) from the Kerry Divisional Drug Unit, assisted by local units.

The suspect, who is aged in his mid-20s, was detained at the scene.
[Source: Irish Examiner]

KILDARE

Clongowes Wood College is Kildare’s top school in terms of sending students on to university. The school is ranked number one in Leinster and 21st in the country. The table, which featured in The Sunday Times two weekends ago, listed Ireland’s top 400 schools based on the average proportion of pupils who went on to university in Ireland and Britain, teacher training colleges, Royal College of Surgeons, and the National College of Art and Design.
[Source: Leinster Leader]

KILKENNY

Tenders for the new pedestrian bridge in Kilkenny City are in and have been opened, with construction work expected to begin on the project next month.

The closing date for receipt of tenders for the Bateman Quay bridge passed in May. The bridge is estimated to be completed within 16 weeks.

The new bridge will traverse the River Nore from Bateman Quay to John’s Quay near the Carnegie Library. It is not yet known what the bridge will be called, or if the public will have a say in the naming of it.
[Source: Kilkenny People]

LAOIS

Junior doctors assigned to cover the Accident and Emergency Department of Portlaoise Hospital is set to fall by one-third, next month.

From July, there are only four junior doctors guaranteed to be on duty in the A&E, according to the Irish Association of Emergency Medicine.

Earlier this year, the I.A.E.M. warned of staff shortages at middle grade level, but said that the problem would worsen after July.

But two weeks ago, the I.A.E.M. said that A&Es across the country, including Portlaoise are “teetering on the edge of total collapse.”
[Source: Leinster Express]

LEITRIM

Thieves have made off with copper wire valued at over $13,000 following a break-in at the E.S.B. Service Store on the Elphin Road, Carrick-on-Shannon.

The raid occurred sometime on the evening of May 31.

The thieves broke down a fence at the rear of the property to gain access to the metal.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]

LIMERICK

A plumber is to face a trial before the circuit court after he was charged with the manslaughter of a County Limerick woman who died in a Cork hotel more than two years ago.

Richard Davis (44) of Killanully, Ballygarvan, Co. Cork, was brought before Macroom District Court after he was charged with unlawfully killing Miriam Reidy (35), from Ballyhahill, who died from carbon monoxide poisoning at the Trident Hotel in Kinsale on January 4, 2011.

Davis, who was granted free legal aid, is also charged with two offenses under the provisions of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 relating to her death.

It is alleged the self-employed plumber was “negligent in the commissioning” of a gas boiler at the Tridant Hotel where Ms. Reidy was attending a hen party.
[Source: Limerick Leader]

LONGFORD

There were celebrations in Portlaoise over the June bank holiday weekend, as the Longford Rose was chosen to go forward to the Rose of Tralee International Festival in August.

Aisling Farrell, who was crowned Longford Rose in April, is the first Longford Rose to make it to the Dome since Grainne Fox back in 2007.

A native of Tang, Aisling’s mother Susan McKenna hails from Newtowncashel, and the Rose herself attended Mercy Secondary School in Ballymahon. Aisling is still elated after the weekend, and is thrilled to be representing Longford at the festival. “I’m so excited to go down to Tralee and represent such a beautiful county,” she says.
[Source: Longford Leader]

LOUTH

Dermot McArdle, the Dundalk man convicted of the manslaughter of his wife, Kellyann Corcoran, in Spain, has returned to his native town having been released early from a Spanish prison.

McArdle has been released even though it is thought he has failed to pay $290,000 in compensation to Kellyann Corcoran’s family. McArdle was not due to be released until August.

The 42-year-old was spotted by a journalist from The Star newspaper driving a 2005 Volkswagen Golf in Dundalk last Wednesday visiting relatives, days after his release from Alhaurin prison in Malaga.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]

MAYO

A Westport G.A.A. player who sustained a fractured jaw and chin when he was struck by a member of an opposing G.A.A. team has dropped a Section Three assault charge against Patrick McHale of Gurteens, Ballina.

A court had previously heard that during a match between Ballina and Westport in the James Stephens G.A.A. Park on May 27, 2012, Gary Keane of Fahy, Westport received a fractured jaw and chin and was on a liquid food diet for eight weeks.

Mr. Keane took the stand at Ballina District Court to withdraw the matter. While on the stand, Superintendent Joe Doherty asked Mr. Keane if he had been put under any pressure to withdraw the charge, to which Mr. Keane replied, “No, no pressure to withdraw this.”
[Source: The Mayo News]

MEATH

It was D-Day last Wednesday for more than 4,400 families across Meath as the State examinations got underway with English Paper One. Some 4,418 Meath students are sitting the Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate examinations in 19 schools around the county, joining the 116,841 candidates nationwide who began their examinations.

A total of 2,012 students are taking the Leaving Certificate in Meath and 99 of those are taking the Leaving Certificate Applied exam.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]

MONAGHAN

Shannon McCabe should have been among almost 57,000 students starting the Junior Certificate written exams last Wednesday.

The 15-year-old already has the Home Economics practical under her belt.

But, on June 5, she was forced to sit the exams out at home because she couldn't get all the support her parents felt she needed for the written papers.

Shannon, from Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan and a pupil at Our Lady's Secondary School in the town, has Down’s syndrome, and is categorized as having a moderate learning difficulty.
[Source: Irish Independent]

OFFALY

There's been an explosion in sales of zero-grazing machines as farmers look for ways to avoid being caught out by disastrous grazing conditions.

"We just can't keep them made. We've taken on extra staff, the factory is still flat out, and we've enough machines forward sold to keep us going for months, so business is booming," admitted Cavan-based zero-grazer manufacturer, Niall O'Reilly.

He expects his sales to double this year to 60 machines, including two into England.

Meanwhile, Offaly machinery manufacturer, Belmac, is experiencing a similar jump in demand.
[Source: Irish Independent]

ROSCOMMON

A Brazilian family of seven living in Roscommon has been given permission to legally challenge their deportation after a judge said the State must treat the interests of the children as a primary consideration in any deportation decision.

Mr. Justice Colm MacEochaidh ruled Odenis Rodrigues Dos Santos, his wife Antonia Alexandre de Morais, and their five children, can bring a High Court judicial review challenge over a decision by the minister for the Justice and Equality to order their deportation in March last year.
[Source: Irish Independent]

SLIGO

A Sligo man, who is currently serving seven years in prison for possession of cocaine, has been jailed for a further three years for assaulting a Garda (police) sergeant.

Sergeant Brian Lee suffered a fractured jaw and abrasions to his head, body and legs in the course of the assault by 31-year-old Patrick Irwin of St. Joseph's Terrace, Sligo.

Irwin was on High Court bail in relation to the drugs offence when the assault took place on May 29, 2010.
[Source: RTE News]

TIPPERARY

Ireland South M.E.P. Sean Kelly (E.P.P./Fine Gael) has called on the Gaelic Athletic Association to purchase the association’s historic birthplace, Hayes Hotel in Thurles.

The call from Mr. Kelly, a former president of the G.A.A., follows recent developments that have seen the iconic hotel being placed into receivership.

“I have called in the past for the association to purchase this historic building and I have written to G.A.A. President Liam O’Neill, Director General Páraic Duffy, and the Munster Council urging them to act on gaining ownership of this historic site.”
[Source: Tipperary Star]

TYRONE

There are fears for the future of day-care centers locally after a senior civil servant in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said it is "highly likely" that a number of centers for people with learning disabilities in the Southern Trust will close.

At a meeting at Sperrinview Special School to discuss the transition of young people with learning disabilities from school life to adulthood, the acting director of Mental Health and Disability Services, Miceal Crilly, said he "can't guarantee that any center in the Southern Trust is going to remain open", and later added: "It's highly likely that a number of [centers] across the Southern Trust will close."
[Source: Tyrone Courier]

WATERFORD

A powerful lobby from international sporting heroes to G.A.A. stars, publicans, members of the business community and the world of the arts are throwing their weight behind a campaign to have Ferrybank councilor, Davy Walsh, elected the next mayor of the city.

A member of the Workers Party, Davy Walsh, has served as a member of the City Council for the past 34 years, but despite his length of service, he has remained outside the “pact,” which is made up of various political majority groupings, who traditionally carve up prestige appointments between them.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]

WESTMEATH

Veteran radio host Roy Jennings swapped his headphones for a hairnet. Jennings was the first of the Midlands 103 presenters to be auctioned off in the station’s Hire a Presenter fundraising drive.

His services were acquired by Apache Pizza in Mullingar for the grand sum of $464 and he was there making pizzas last Thursday.

Apache agreed to donate an extra $1.30 for every pizza made by their newest employee. All proceeds will go to Living Links Midlands, as chosen by Roy. The charity provides outreach support to those bereaved by suicide.
[Source: Westmeath Examiner]

WEXFORD

History has been made in New Ross with the opening of the town’s first-ever museum.

The facility, which is called the Community Museum, was opened in North Street on Thursday, May 30, by Patrick Grennan, from the Kennedy Homestead in Dunganstown.

Mr. Grennan, who is a distant relative of the late President John F. Kennedy, highlighted the importance of the museum to the town.

Over the last few months, since plans for the project first came to light, the Tidy Towns committee and New Ross Chamber invited people to submit articles and items to the initiative
[Source: Wexford Echo]

WICKLOW

After auditioning well over 1,000 people in Wicklow Town, the producers of the T.V. show “Vikings” held further casting calls in Dublin last Thursday and Friday.

The program was looking to hire around 5,000 paid extras for the filming of the second season.

Filming starts at the end of this month and will go to the end of November.
[Source: RTE News]
 

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