Weekly news from around the 32 counties of Ireland


A policeman's girlfriend was injured last Friday when a bomb exploded under her car as she left his Belfast home. The 38-year-old woman was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital for minor injuries and was later discharged. She was reversing a red MX5 sports car out of the drive of the semi-detached house at Kings dale Park in east Belfast when there was an explosion under the front of the car. The blast, at 7.30am, sent shockwaves through the quiet residential area less than half a mile from police headquarters. A major security operation was mounted in the area, with army bomb disposal experts examining the car that was abandoned half in the drive of the house and half in the road.

(Source: The Belfast Telegraph)



James Doyle from Whitecross is a newly crowned World champion having captured the World Men’s Handball Singles One Wall B title. The tri-annually World Handball Championships took place over a nine-day period and the cream of the world’s handball crop fought it out for success at Portland, Oregon, USA with James emulating the feat of his wife Máighréad Ní Riabhaigh-Dúill.The Irish handball history books were re-written three years ago when Máighréad captured Ireland’s first adult One Wall World title in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

This time round it was the turn of husband and fitness specialist James, to reach the highest accolade in the sport, elevation to World champion. Fittingly one of the oldest and most prestigious clubs in the United States and indeed the world, Oregon Hanball Club was the perfect venue for James, who recently captured the National Open title in Abbeylara, to add a World title to his many sporting achievements.

(Source: The Examiner)



Carlow is benefiting from the presence of US firm Unum in more ways than one. 35 staff in the company raised €13,000 for two local charities, the Delta Center and Saplings Carlow, by participating in a ten kilometer walk. Each of these worthy causes received €6,400 as a result of the fantastic fundraising effort, after Unum matched the sums collected by the team at its software development centre in Carlow. Now, the town’s new Visual arts centre and George Bernard Shaw Theatre has gained too, after the US multinational decided to present it with a grant for $10,000 (around €7,000). The money will be spent on a hearing aid loop to allow those with a hearing impairment to switch their hearing aids to a channel through which they will hear the venue’s sound system directly.

 (Source: The Carlow Nationalist)



Cavan maybe bereft of All-Ireland glory on the football field but a young Killeshandra precision engineer has brought national acclaim to the county by scooping the top award this year. Michael Sweeney from Drumcartagh, who has been an apprentice with TDF Engineering in Killeshandra for the last four years, beat competition from every county in Ireland to become the young Irish Precision Engineer of the year. The MD of TDF Engineering, Tommy Maguire, said it was recognition for Michael's skill. He is the 12th apprentice to progress to great heights in the Killeshandra firm. "A lot of our fitter/turners have emigrated and are in places such as America, Australia and New Zealand and doing well for themselves," said Tommy.

(Source: The Anglo Celt)



A businessman last week revealed that he and his business partners are paying €20,000 in bank interest each month on a project that a county council has rendered no longer viable. Last Thursday, Clare County Council gave the go-ahead for a €60 million retail park at Smithstown, Shannon. But it refused planning permission for the neighborhood component of the application with the result that no aspect of the retail park will commence. The application was made by Greenband Investments and Seán Halpin. Mr. Halpin criticized the council, saying: “I have never encountered the kind of stone-walling, trip-wires, impediments that was put in the way of this development here.”

(Source: The Irish Times)



Pepper spray will be in use by all gardai on the streets of North Cork by next month, prompting at least one local sargeant to say it will help combat crime in the area. Sgt Gary Kirwan, currently training Millstreet gardai in the use of the spray, welcomed the initiative, which is also being rolled out nationally. It is anticipated that next month every garda in North Cork will be issued with a canister of pepper spray. Already there have been four incidences in Dublin where pepper spray has been used. Pepper spray is a chemical compound that with one spray causes eyes to shut and leads to a piercing pain. Sgt Kirwan, who got sprayed with the chemical as part of the training process, said that the effects could last for up to two hours. In fact, by the end of this month most Gardai in north Cork will have had a personal dose of the spray to help them appreciate the debilitative affects. Up to now gardai could only use batons as an additional defense measure.