Weekly news from around the 32 counties of Ireland


(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)



A tomb which lay undetected for over 100 years in St Canice's Cathedral is that of US President Barack Obama's most famous direct relative. The fascinating discovery by a local historian and filmmaker looks certain to boost tourism in the city and may herald a visit to Kilkenny by the most famous man in the world. President Obama's great, great, great, great grand uncle is buried in a vault under St Canice's Cathedral. John Kearney was the Bishop of Ossory at the time of his death in 1813 and also held the position of Provost of Trinity College. When Mr. Gabriel Murray found the tomb in May of this year, he uncovered a sad and tragic story of why the Kilkenny lineage to Mr. Obama died out. John Kearney is buried beside his son, wife and grandson. He died in 1838 at the age of 68 and his only son James died 14 years later of cholera in 1824, which explains why the Kilkenny line to Mr. Obama died out.

(Source: The Kilkenny People)



As Senator Ted Kennedy was laid in his final resting place in Arlington Cemetery last week, it brought back memories to a select few in Borris-in-Ossory about the time the dashing Kennedy brother visited the town searching for a cup of tea. In May 1964, the late senator visited Ireland, drawing massive media attention. A year before, his brother John F Kennedy had been assassinated in Texas, and Ireland was captivated by his younger sibling. He was en route from Dublin to Shannon Airport on the last day of his visit when, quite unexpectedly, the cavalcade made a comfort stop in Borris-in-Ossory. According to locals, Senator Kennedy was looking for a cup of tea away from the media spotlight. Egan’s in Portlaoise had been suggested, but was dismissed as it was perceived that it would cause too much of a hubbub. Borris-in-Ossory was seen as the perfect venue for a low-profile visit. The limousine carrying Senator Kennedy stopped outside Ber Cavanagh’s Bar and Grocery. He then went into Cavanagh’s kitchen, where he experienced a taste of local hospitality - enjoying a cuppa and a slice of homemade fruit cake.

 (Source: The Irish Times)



It’s a case of nearly there but not quite for the women of Co Leitrim. Despite years of being promised a BreastCheck service the reality is far different than what had been envisioned with many now facing journeys of five or six hours into other counties for their scans. "I'm not physically able to make that trip to Roscommon for my screening. I've been very sick over the past few years and my doctor says that I'm not physically able to such a long journey by car," Manorhamilton woman, Josie Reilly said last week. Having battled four cancer diagnoses over the last number of years and having spent two years in hospital - only getting out December last year, the five hour return journey to Roscommon Town has effectively been ruled out

 (Source: The Leitrim Observer)



There is continued confusion over the proposed M20 motorway with the National Roads Authority confirming that it has been deferred, and Cork County Council - the leading Authority for the project, saying that everything from their point of view remains on track.

According to the NRA the proposed multi-million euro motorway between the cities of Limerick and Cork has been postponed due to a lack of money. Sean O'Neill, head of communications at the NRA said that the M20 had been "reprioritized" due to lower traffic volumes compared to other schemes also awaiting funding.

(Source: The Limerick Leader)



The Irish All Ireland Hot Air Ballooning Championships are set to return to Ballymahon in September 2010 to celebrate its 40th anniversary. While the event will be hosted at Newcastle House in Ballymahon, organizers are keen to point out that the event will be county based and that plans are in place for a number of festivities in north Longford, Longford town as well as in Ballymahon.

(Source: The Longford Leader)



Pharmaceutical company Becton Dickinson (BD) have announced they are to make 22 employees redundant. In a statement on Tuesday last , the company, which currently employs 126 people, said the decision had been 'difficult but necessary' in the current economic climate. BD manufactures medical supplies, including insulin delivery products. BD is facing a challenging and very competitive environment globally and as a result we have taken a number of strategic and business actions there are designed to position the company for long term growth and to fund investments for the future,' said the company statement. 'These decisions were difficult but necessary and unfortunately they will result in a headcount reduction of 22 people at our plant in Drogheda.'

(Source: The Drogheda Independent)



Ballina’s €6 million education center officially opened its doors last week. The special schools, St Dymphna’s and St Nicolas’, which are now both situated adjacent to the former site of St Dymphna’s old school on a joint campus site, are ushering in an exciting new era in education in the north Mayo capital. While both schools will share the one roof they retain their own identity at the exceptional education campus. The new schools come equipped with classrooms with designated computer areas, libraries, resource rooms, multi-purpose rooms, spacious OT, Physiotherapy and Speech & Language rooms, modern kitchens and dining facilities, PE Hall, playing fields and basketball courts. Locally-based Junior Minister, Dara Calleary congratulated the staff and students, saying: “This is truly a momentous week in the history of both St Dymphna’s and St. Nicholas’ Special Needs Schools with the opening of their school.