Weekly news from around the 32 counties of Ireland


(Source: Waterford News & Star)



Talented musicians in Westmeath and surrounding Midland counties are being sought to play key roles in a proposed new concert orchestra for the region, it emerged last week. Kinnegad-based conductor and cellist Vincent Hunt, who is the chairperson of the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras and director of the Midlands Youth Orchestra, is leading the charge to create an amateur/professional symphony orchestra to represent the region. Mr. Hunt maintains that the Irish Midlands Concert Orchestra - the working title for the project - would produce such a musical ensemble for an area of the country "largely deprived of instrumental music tuition, and symphonic orchestra playing".

(Source: The Westmeath Examiner)



Wexford was left reeling last week following the death on Saturday last of 33-year-old local sportsman, Ollie Walsh who collapsed suddenly in his Spanish apartment. Boxing champion Ollie, a brother of Olympic boxing coach, Billy Walsh died on Saturday morning after complaining of ill health just moments before to his Romanian-born girlfriend, Dina. The couple had spent last Friday night socializing with friends in Marbella in Spain, where Ollie has resided for the last 18 months. The son of Liam and Kathleen Walsh from Wolfe Tone Villas, Ollie had been in 'peak physical health' and was employed as an instructor in a gym in Spain.

(Source: The Wexford People)



Cycling legend Lance Armstrong was amongst the 109 riders who saddled up at Enniskerry for the three-day Tour of Ireland race to Cork two weeks ago. Seven-time Tour de France winner Armstrong as well as English sprinter Mark Cavendish, the pair two of cycling's finest athletes, were at the Ritz Carlton for the start of the race. That day's stage saw the cyclists make the 196km trip to Waterford with Armstrong's presence a huge boost for the Tour of Ireland, which was reduced to three days this year due to financial factors. It was Russell Downing from Britain, however, who won overall victory in the challenge, Texan Armstrong having pulled out of the Tour before the final race due to back problems. It wasn't my day,' Armstrong said on his decision to quit.

(Source: The Wicklow People)