Weekly news from around the 32 counties of Ireland



House prices have risen for the first time in two years, it emerged last Friday. The latest findings from the Nationwide House Price Survey also show local property prices grew by 9.7% during the last quarter — the best in the UK. South West England was second to the province at 4.9%. However, this boost for the local market was tempered by the news that Northern Ireland prices were down year-on-year by 8% — in stark contrast to the 50% increases seen at the height of the boom in 2007.

(Source: The Belfast Telegraph)      



Two local musical personalities, each of the highest distinction in their own field, were specially honored at the Tommy Makem festival of Song. Billy Finnegan of Wood Road, Meigh and Joanne Quigley, a native of Camlough were guests of honor at the event in the Armagh City Hotel last week. A formal cultural and commercial link between Armagh and  Milwaukee, USA was created at the event and two of the senior Milwaukee Executives were present.

(Source: The Examiner)



The creation of 60 new jobs in the county has been put down to the change in shopping trends during the current recession. Shoppers who are flocking to Aldi stores throughout the country have led to a bigger demand for Codd Mushrooms, which are produced and manufactured in Tullow.
And that means that Codd’s has to take on 60 new staff to keep up with demand for its products. This will be music to the ears of the 31 people who lost their jobs in the Tullow area during the month of July. As part of its expansion plan, Codd Mushrooms is currently in the process of constructing a new 7,000 square meter production facility at a cost of €2.5 million.

(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)



The Israeli ambassador to Ireland Zion Evrony visited Cavan last week on a nationwide tour to learn more about this country, to promote tourism to Israel and also develop Irish/Israeli relations. In terms of "misinformation" about Israel and its policies, Mr. Evrony hit out at comedian Tommy Tiernan for "anti-semitic" remarks that did nothing for relations between Ireland and Israel. Referring to the Catholic faith of the Irish, Mr. Evrony emphasized the potential to encourage more visitors to the Holy Land in Israel. He pointed out that religious tourism by Irish people to Cyprus averages 70,000 a year, compared to just 7,000 for Israel. "Jesus was born in Bethlehem, not Nicossia," said the ambassador.

(Source: The Anglo Celt)



The promoters of Pol an Ionain cave in north Clare, which contains reputedly the largest free-hanging stalactite in the world, last Thursday secured planning permission for a visitor center at the site. An Bord Pleanála last Thursday gave the plan the go-ahead in the face of opposition from An Taisce, the Pol an Ionain Action Group and the nearby rival cave, Ailwee Cave. Three years ago, the cave owners, John and Helen Browne, opened the cave to allow the public to view the 23ft-long stalactite after a 16-year long planning battle. However, the permission by An Bord Pleanála precluded any visitor center and the public has been bused to the cave site through a park-and-ride system. The Brownes, however, earlier this year, lodged plans for the visitor center and a car park for 30 cars after claiming that the enterprise is not viable into the future by relying on a park-and-ride system. Clare County Council gave the proposal the go-ahead.

(Source: The Irish Times)



Images of County Cork will be broadcast to an audience of approximately 200 million across China next month, after one of the country's cable TV networks, The Travel Channel, filmed on location here last week. Organized by Tourism Ireland in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland, the TV crew captured footage at the Jameson Experience in Midleton, at Cobh, the 17th century Charles Fort in Kinsale and at Blarney Castle. The Travel Channel is a cable TV network in China, featuring travel-related documentaries and shows from around the world with an incredible audience of approximately 200 million viewers. "We are absolutely delighted that the Travel Channel has chosen to film in Cork," said Susan Li of Tourism Ireland China. "This is a tremendous opportunity to highlight and showcase some of the very best of this part of the island to a massive audience”.

(Source: The Corkman)



The grandson of a well-known Derry man has been killed in a tragic accident in Canada.

17 years-old Ciaran Fagan, grandson of Patsy Fagan, was killed along with his best friend Shawn McLaughlin (18) when they were struck by an SUV as they left a party in the early hours of Saturday morning last in Brantford, Canada. Another girl who was involved in the crash remains in a critical condition at hospital. Earlier last week Patsy Fagan, former manager of Superfare, traveled to Canada with several other family members to be with his son Eugene (Ciaran's father) who emigrated almost 30 years ago.