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News in Ireland - news from around the 32 counties

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 Antrim

A starving pony set on fire and left to die while tethered by the roadside could survive, it was revealed last week.

The docile grey animal is recovering at a Co Antrim sanctuary after it was doused in flammable liquid and set alight in Co Armagh.
 
In what has been labeled one of the worst cases of animal cruelty ever, it is suspected youths set the horse on fire in the Annvale Road area of Keady two weeks ago.
 
Police confirmed the horse would have undoubtedly burnt to death if not for the quick actions of a passer-by.
 
The member of the public saved the horse’s life by extinguishing the flames and tended to it until a vet reached the scene.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)
 
Armagh
 
A man was hit with a baseball bat during an incident at a house in Bessbrook in County Armagh.
Last week two men and a woman tried to force their way into a house at Oriel Park, armed with baseball bats and a knife.
 
A man inside the house was struck with a baseball bat, while one of the intruders was stabbed with a pair of scissors during the incident.
(Source: BBC News)
 
Carlow
 
A very ambitious €12m investment is being planned over the next few years on roads and housing in Co Carlow. 
 
The work will be undertaken in Carlow town up to 2013 as part of a multi-annual capital program for 2011 to 2013. 
 
The money will be spent across a range of services, including housing, roads, and recreation and amenity.
 
As part of the plan, the Council said it plans to acquire derelict sites across the town. Part of the plan also includes a regeneration project for areas like John Sweeney Park. Figures presented to councilors showed that the town council has over €6m in reserve funding available.
 
The Council have built up a capital reserve to be used for future projects as they arise.
(Source: Build.ie)
 
Cavan
 
Cavan Rose of Tralee contestant, Brioni Gallagher, prepares to run the Bailieboro Mini Marathon on June 12. With a healthy heart on her mind, the talented musician will be showing her support for the Irish Heart Foundation.
 
It will be one of Brioni's first public engagements as Cavan Rose and she is calling for people across Cavan to join her and run red for the national charity fighting heart disease and stroke.
 
"I'm having great fun training for Bailieboro and I'm looking forward to supporting the Irish Heart Foundation," said Brioni. 
 
"It's really important to be active and healthy and I hope I can encourage people across the county to get out their walking and running gear and make a pledge to help keep hearts beating everywhere."
(Source: The Anglo Celt)
 
Clare
 
Kilrush Gardaí (police) are warning people in West Clare not to buy jewelery offered for sale to them. This follows last weekend’s robbery of jewelery valued at €140,000 from Hartman’s jewelery shop, Moore Street, Kilrush. 
 
“The thieves used homemade wooden ladders. They climbed a high wall nearby and broke a rear protective grille at the back of the jewellers. They then broke a window and gained entry,” 
 
Kilrush Garda Superintendent Gerry Wall told The Clare Champion. 
“It’s mostly diamond rings, eleven presentation trays of diamond rings, bracelets and pendants,” he explained. 
Superintendent Wall said that the individual value of the stolen jewellery varies. 
 

“Individually, they are valued at between €275 and €2,720 per item. There is a strong possibility that they could be offered for sale locally to younger people especially.”
(Source: The Clare Champion)

Cork
 
Judge Michael Pattwell is to retire from the bench at the end of this month. The District Court judge made the announcement prior to a sitting of Midleton District Court, Co Cork, last week. 
 
Judge Pattwell (66), originally from Clonakilty, Co Cork, was appointed to the District Court in 1990.
He said last week he “loved” his time as a judge. “That’s why people are surprised I’ve called it a day.”
Source: (Irish TImes)
 
Derry
 
Survivors of historic institutional abuse from Derry traveled to Stormont last week to meet junior ministers Martina Anderson and Jonathon Bell.
 
Jon McCourt from Derry was joined by Margaret McGuckian and John Meehan for the meeting with the junior ministers at Parliament Buildings.
 
They discussed the various recommendations made in the Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (SAVIA) response to the consultation on a possible inquiry.
 
Speaking after the meeting, Ms Anderson said: “We are very conscious that we are dealing with extremely sensitive and emotive issues which have affected many people’s lives for a long period of time. We want to take the time to design a process that will hopefully, not only address the issues raised, but also bring some form of closure to the legacy of suffering of many victims of historical institutional abuse.”
(Source: Derry Journal)
 
Donegal
 
A Glenties Electoral Area councilor said that elements of the county’s draft development plan could signal the “death knell” for rural Donegal.
 
At last week’s meeting of the Glenties Electoral Area, councilors expressed concern with the draft, which they said would centralize population and greatly restrict one-off housing.
 
Councilors and council staff held a series of closed workshops on the plan last week, as part of the ongoing review of the county’s 2006-2012 development plan.
 
Fianna Fáil Cllr. Seamus Ó Domhnaill, who said the plan as is would mean a “death knell” for rural Donegal, said, “It’s not going to work here.”
 
Cllr. Ó Domhnaill and his colleagues also said the centralization of population would have a negative impact on the Donegal Gaeltacht and the Irish language. Councillors said that many of the restrictions in the draft have been imposed on council by state bodies.
 
“We can tweak this thing as it goes along the conveyor belt, but we can’t change what’s being forced on us,” said Cllr. Terence Slowey, adding, “One way or another we’re going to end up with a flawed county development plan.”
(Source: Donegal Democrat)
 
Down
 
The Grove shopping center in Downpatrick could be completely occupied by the end of the year.
 
B&M Bargains opened a new 10,000 sq. ft. store at the Lower Market Street outlet two weeks ago creating 20 new jobs and it has been confirmed that talks are continuing with other potential investors interested in taking over the remaining space at the retail complex.
 
B&M Bargains are the anchor tenants at the former Supervalu store which has been subdivided to provide several new units.
 
Mr. Paul Wilson of letting agents BTWShiells said a number of parties have expressed an interest in taking over what available retail space remains at the shopping centre.
 
“There’s great potential for further investment at The Grove and a number of parties are considering taking over what retail space remains on the ground and first floor levels,” he said.
 
“We are hopeful that we’ll be able to secure further tenants by the end of this year which would represent more good news for Downpatrick.”
(Source: The Down Recorder)
 
Dublin
 
A Councilor and neighbor of a man who has died in garda (police) custody has described the circumstances surrounding his death as "bizarre".
 
An investigation has been launched by the Garda Ombudsman after the Dublin man was found dead in garda custody.
 
Hugh Brien (52), a single man from Orchardstown Drive, Rathfarnham, was found to be unresponsive and unconscious when gardai checked him in his cell at 1.30am on Thursday, May 26.
 
He was immediately rushed to the Mater Hospital after gardai had attempted to resuscitate him but was pronounced dead an hour later.
 
Mr Brien was being held in custody at Store Street Garda Station after being arrested for a public order offence in central Dublin.
(Source: The Evening Hearld)

Fermanagh
 
A Co Fermanagh farmer lost a High Court challenge over a decision to withhold £168,000 in compensation for slaughtered cattle.
 
Stephen Crawford was seeking to judicially review the Department of Agriculture for not paying out for pedigree Limousin killed following bovine tuberculosis checks. Compensation was at first withheld while suspected irregularities in the tests carried out in 2006 were investigated.
 
Mr Crawford, of Greenhill Road, Maguiresbridge, had been prosecuted for allegedly interfering with the process by administering an unknown substance.
 
He was later acquitted of all 11 charges brought against him under the Diseases of Animals (Northern Ireland) Order 1981.
(Source: UTV News)
 
Galway
 
A Galway man has been jailed for two years after accepting money from a Chinese woman so that she could register him as the father on her child’s birth certificate and passport application in order to obtain an Irish passport for the child.
 
Separated father of three, Graham Hopkins (44), from 7 Castle Park, and hotel maid, Roulan Lin (26), with a former rental address at The Stables, College Road, both pleaded guilty at Galway Circuit Criminal Court to giving false information to a registrar at the Civil Registration Service, Galway, on April 20, 2009, contrary to Section 69(3) of the Civil Registration Act, 2004.
 
Lin came to Ireland in 2004 on a student visa to study English at a language school and worked all along in various hotels and fast-food restaurants, earning meagre wages. She became pregnant by a Chinese man and gave birth to a baby boy on April 19, 2009.
 
She feared the child would not be allowed remain with her in this country and she paid Hopkins, whom she had met through a mutual friend and who was in financial difficulty, €3,500 to name himself as the child’s father on the birth certificate and on the passport application form.
(Source: GalwayBay Fm)
 
Kerry
 
Gardai (police) seized almost 400 semi-mature cannabis plants on a remote site in the mountainy countryside outside Killarney, Co Kerry.
 
The seizure of 385 plants by Killarney gardaí near Derrycunnihy and the Eagles Nest area between Kenmare and Killarney last week, is one of a growing number of detections of cannabis leaf or grass plants cultivated in wilderness areas in the county, according to Kerry’s senior drugs squad garda, Sgt Declan Liddane.
 
In their mature state, cannabis plants are valued at €400 each, according to gardaí.
 
Suspects were employing the most sophisticated means, including Google Earth satellite maps to locate remote locations for cannabis cultivation in Kerry, according to the garda.
(Source: Irish Times)
 
Kildare
 
An Athy woman is determined to return to continue her good work in Pakistan, despite the fact that a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the free Cerebral Palsey clinic that she helped set up and at which she volunteers.
 
The bomb went off Friday morning -20 May - at approximately 8.15am outside the Akbar Kare Institute in Peshawar Pakistan where Yvonne Frizzell was working up until the previous weekend.
 
“I came back to Ireland last Sunday (15 May) and then last Friday I heard that the bomb had gone off. We think two people have been killed, one was decapitated which suggests that it was probably the bombers who were killed. I normally walk past this area every morning between 8am and 8.30am and this bomb went off at about 8.15 local time so If I was there I would have been in the area or very close.”
 
Thankfully the clinic was empty at the time or this could have had a far more tragic outcome.
(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)
 
Kilkenny
 
A new extension at Drakelands House nursing home is due to bring an additional 31 beds – and at least 30 jobs – when it opens later this year.
 
Mirroring the structure and style of the existing 41-bed house, the two-storey extension includes en suite bedrooms with 31 beds, but the main attractions are probably the open spaces and living areas that will be enjoyed by both current and new residents, said proprietor Anne Fleck-Byrne.
 
The building work by Ormonde Construction is expected to be finished by the end of June, with the new section opening around August or September once the additional beds have been registered with the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), she said. To manage the larger number of residents, at least 30 staff will be taken on to assist the current staff of 43.
(Source: Kilkenny People)
 
Laois
 
Laois Gardai (police) have swooped on two drug factories which between them were producing up to 100,000 euros worth of cocaine and cannabis.
 
In a sign that the drug trade has not been hit by the recession, Gardai in Portarlington have broken up a cocaine mixing factory which was supplying drugs for the local market, but was also linked to a national criminal gang. Upwards of 70,000 euros worth of the drug was seized during the operation last Saturday week.
 
In an unconnected incident in Coolrain last week, gardaí uncovered a cannabis factory which could have been in operation for up to a year. Following a tip-off, Gardai uncovered more than 500 plants in a shed, estimated at being worth up to 20,000 euros.
(Source: Leinster Express)
 
Leitrim
 
Tesco Ireland Ltd have been granted planning permission to build a new retail store in Manorhamilton.
 
Leitrim County Council granted Tesco permission to build a store at Clooneen Park, new Line, Manorhamilton on Wednesday, May 18 with 24 conditions. The company had been granted planning permission by Leitrim County Council on a different site in 2009, but this was overturned by An Bord Pleanala, following an appeal by Robert Dunne.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)
 
Limerick
 
A Forty-three year old man who is charged in connection with a major drugs and firearms seizure on the northside of the city in May has been granted bail.
 
John Ryan, 43, of Airmount Terrace, St Patrick’s Road is accused of possession of an assortment of drugs, believed to worth in excess of €1m, for the purpose of sale or supply.
 
The drugs, which allegedly included heroin, cocaine, cannabis, cannabis herb and ecstasy, were seized by members of the divisional drugs unit during a pre-planned garda operation at an apartment complex on the Ennis Road, near the Strand Hotel on May 14 last.
 
A number of firearms and a quantity of ammunition were also seized at the premises during the same operation.
(Source: Limerick Leader)
 
Longford
 
Longford County Council have managed to achieve savings of €2.6m as part of the Croke Park agreement Of that figure, €1.6m relates to savings to on the payroll.
 
Outlining the details, Frank Sheridan said there is a requirement on the council to achieve savings across the various departments under the Public Service Agreement, more commonly known as the Croke Deal.
 
The agreement, between the government and the public service, runs from 2010 to 2014 and seeks to restore public finances by reducing the deficit to less than three percent of GDP. The savings are to be achieved through efficiencies and revised work practices.
 
Mr Sheridan said that Longford Local Authorities (Town and County) have, in consultation with the unions, developed a local action plan modeled on the national agreement.
(Source: Longford Leader)
 
Louth
 
Up to 1,000 cyclists will turn Louth into a sea of bikes this month when the Co-operation Ireland Maracycle challenge passes through the county.The annual event will see cyclists from all parts of Ireland, North and South and many overseas visitors cycle from Dublin to Belfast.
 
Participants will leave Dublin early on Saturday, June 25 to take on the 110 mile ride to Belfast where they will meet up at the famous Europa Hotel for a half way night of celebration.
 
They will retrace their route back to Dublin early next morning. Louth is taking an active part in this year’s event.
(Source: Dundalk Democrat)
 
Mayo
 
After a ten-year legal battle, former Ballina garda (police) sergeant Christopher Joyce was awarded €31,000 last month as compensation for expenses incurred during his transfer from Ballina to the Aran Islands in 2000. 
 
Mr Justice Matthew Deery agreed that Mr Joyce was entitled to transfer costs of €31,000, which arose when he left his old sub-district in Ballina and moved to Kilronan on Inishmore.
Mr Justice Deery said that while many gardaí appointed to the islands look to move soon after transferring there, Mr Joyce had embraced his work.
 
At the centre of the expenses claim was a guideline regulation which implied that members of An Garda Síochána should live within a 15-mile radius of their garda stations
(Source: The Mayo News)
 
Meath
 
Celebrity chef Richard Corrigan wants to add a new dish to Irish restaurant menus and the Sunday roast choice – horse meat, which he describes as tasty and nutritious.
 
And he accuses Irish diners and consumers of being too sentimental about horses, as well as being hypocritical, in that they are willing to eat other farm animals, such as cows, sheep and pigs, but not horses. "If we are willing to eat meat, we should be willing to eat horse meat," he claims.
 
Corrigan, who comes from a farming background in County Meath, accepts that there is "an emotive issue" involved, that the Irish love horses, but maintains it makes no sense not to eat them. "I have eaten horse," he says. "It tastes similar to beef but more gamey. It's lean meat, with half the fat of beef and a high concentration of omega-3. It  makes wonderful charcuterie."
(Source: EatOutMagazine)
 
Monaghan
 
The Employment Appeals Tribunal has ruled that a former employee of the Tyrone Guthrie literary centre in Co Monaghan should be reinstated to his position despite saying its chairman “should have been shot”.
 
In a determination on an unfair dismissal case, the tribunal said Frederick Burns, of Newbliss, Co Monaghan, should return to work at the centre, where he was born, lived, served as caretaker and then grounds manager from 1997.
 
Mr Burns was dismissed in February, 2009 following a disciplinary hearing into allegations made against him including the use of abusive language and removal of scrap metal from its grounds for personal gain. The tribunal heard that in November 2008, Mr Burns clashed with the centre’s then director, referred to in the tribunal document as PD, when he refused to use a new clocking-in machine at the centre. He told PD that she could “shove your f*****g clocking-in machine, and you can shove it as far as you can”.
(Source: Irish Times)
 
Offaly
 
A five-week-old baby, whose soother was gallantly recovered by US President Barack Obama in Moneygall, Co Offaly, is now to be named in his honor.
 
Jamie Nolan, from Wilton in Cork, is to have 'Barack' added as his third name when he is christened in a few weeks' time.
 
Jamie -- whose father, Brian, hails from Moneygall -- made world headlines when he was plucked from the throng and hugged by Mr Obama on the village's main street last Monday week.
 
However, as Jamie was being handed back to his family, his soother fell from his mouth and dropped on to the pavement.
 
Mr Obama immediately recovered the soother and handed it back -- with the warning to wash it before giving it back to Jamie.
 
Jamie's mother, Caroline, said she would remember Mr Obama's kindness for the rest of her life.
The errant soother is now going to be framed and kept as a cherished memento for Jamie when he gets older.
(Source: Irish Independent)
 
Roscommon
 
Extensive cutting of turf is continuing on protected raised bogs throughout the country, in breach of Government restrictions, according to a new report.
 
Some 21 of 31 bogs which are supposed to enjoy protection as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) have suffered damage this year through cutting, burning, draining or turf extraction, according to the report by Friends of the Irish Environment. Six of 18 bogs where cutting was supposed to end last year are still being devastated by intrusive mechanical cutting, it said.
 
Among the worst affected habitats is Cloonchambers bog in Co Roscommon, where Independent local TD and turf-cutters’ spokesman Luke “Ming” Flanagan cuts turf. It has suffered extensive machine cutting, the report states.
 
(Source: Irish Times)
 
Sligo
 
A judge told a young man charged with theft and motoring offences at Sligo District Court that he was inclined to give him a chance and let him return to a job in England despite his record of 139 previous convictions.
 
Before the court was Christopher Clancy, 19 Caltragh Crescent who pleaded guilty to the theft of a handbag and camera from a car at Drumcliffe on April 14th last and with a charge of criminal damage.
 
He was also charged with having no insurance at Allingham Road, Ballyshannon on November 20th 2009 and on December 13th 2009 at Corcusconny, Dromahair. Clancy was further charged with possession of €10 worth of cannabis weed on the same occasion.
 
Inspector Sean McGinty said the defendant's 139 previous convictions were mainly for road traffic offences. When apprehended the defendant usually co-operated.
(Source: The Sligo Champion)
 
Tipperary
 
Reams of scaffolding, dozens of builders in fluorescent bibs, the persistent din of construction. It reads like a memory of those heady Celtic Tiger days when house-building seemed to be our national hobby.
 
And for the country as a whole, building work on such a large scale is a thing of the past -- a relic of a different age.
 
But there is one part of Ireland where residential construction is enjoying a boom. Welcome to Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary.
 
On the face of it, Cloughjordan is just another midlands village. There's a long main street, an elegant Protestant church surrounded by a green park and a GAA pitch just up the road.
 
But anyone who spends even a short time here will soon realise that Cloughjordan is a very different animal to its neighbours.
 
Not many villages of its size -- roughly 700 people -- have a thriving cinema club, a walking group, regular yoga classes or a food festival featuring Michelin-starred chefs from France.
(Source: Irish Independent)
 
Tyrone
 
Angry landowners are drawing up plans to block the erection of pylons and overhead electricity powerlines extending from the Co Tyrone border across hundreds of farms in counties Monaghan, Cavan and Meath.
 
A series of public meetings are scheduled over the coming weeks to persuade EirGrid to abandon its plans for a new multi-million euro North-South 400kv Interconnector.
 
Last week, Meath-based Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Food and Marine, Shane McEntee, called on Minister for Communications Pat Rabbite to seek a deferral of the application. Minister McEntee is supporting demands from community groups to have the cables placed underground.
 
The first application by EirGrid was withdrawn after discrepancies over the height of the proposed pylons were highlighted at a public hearing by An Bord Pleanala at Carrickmacross.
(Source: Irish Independent)

Waterford
 
A beekeeper who was forced to destroy his hives after the discovery of American foul brood disease in September 2009 had to appeal to Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly before Waterford County Council would pay him €349.30 in compensation. Noel Jones, of Gracedieu, Co Waterford, had received prompt payment of €180 from Kilkenny County Council for the destruction of six hives in its administrative area in October 2009, but Waterford council was holding out.
 
Mr Jones was told by Waterford’s veterinary inspector, Frances Connolly, that when she had applied for payment on his behalf, director of services Brian White said it had “no funds for the compensation of bee-keepers”.
 
The Bee Pest Prevention (Ireland) Act and regulations made in 1978 provided for the payment by a local authority of compensation at the rate of £25 (€31.50) per hive.
 
In Mr Jones’s case, 11 hives had to be destroyed.
(Source: Irish Times)
 
Westmeath
 
A 15-year-old Westmeath student has taken first prize in her category at the Texaco Children’s Art Competition in Dublin for the second year in a row. 
 
Deirdre Manny, from St Joseph’s Secondary School, Rochfortbridge, Co Westmeath, was among a small number of students to take a first prize two years running. She won in the special needs section for her detailed and beautiful work Welsh Poppies.
 
The teenager said she got her inspiration from a garden she saw while on holiday. It took her seven months to complete the painting and she enjoyed every minute.
 
“When you are drawing and doing art it’s very relaxing; you’re concentrating on perfecting it and doing it right,” Deirdre said.
(Source: Irish Times)
 
Wexford
 
Work is expected to commence on site during early June on a construction scheme to add an extension to a school in Wexford. 
 
It is valued at over €300,000 with sub-contractors to be appointed in due course after the main contractor Midland Construction was appointed for the works involved with the extension and renovations to St Endas National School, Ballycanew, Wexford.
 
The works comprises internal alterations and re-organization to the existing school layout and to construct an extension to the front of the school approx 222 square meters comprising of two additional classrooms and toilet facilities, new link corridor with storage area and new entrance.
 
It will also see an extension to the side of the school approx 48 square meters comprising of library, staff room, boiler house and bin store and new learning support room to the rear approx 15 square metres.
 
The architect is DCS and P Architects.
(Source: Build.ie)
 
Wicklow
 
A Wicklow farmer whose cattle were described as looking like they were on a “cattle concentration camp”, was recently given a five-month prison sentence for animal cruelty and fined €10,200 at Trim District Court.
 
Judge John Coughlan said it was “an appalling case of animal cruelty”, and inquired if he had the power to disqualify the accused from keeping animals.
 
Séamus Kelly (38), of Harristown, Hollywood, Co Wicklow, pleaded guilty to four counts of leaving unburied carcasses on lands at Clongiffen, Longwood, Co Meath, on March 5th this year and two counts of cruelty to animals at the same location.
(Source: Irish Times)

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