Weekly news from around the 32 counties of Ireland



A giant toy modeling kit of the Titanic was unveiled last week on the site where the doomed liner was built almost a century ago. One hundred years after Belfast's ship builders put together the original vessel, scale replicas of its component parts have now returned to docks in the form of an innovative public artwork.

(Source: The Belfast Telegraph)        



Cocaine with an estimated street value of half a million euro was uncovered at an isolated farmyard in Carlow two weekends ago. Approximately eight kilograms of the illegal drug, valued at around €70,000 per kilo, was uncovered at a farmyard at Raheendoran, near Ballinabranna, after members of the Carlow Drugs Unit carried out a raid on the premises.

The raid was as a result of information received by Carlow gardaí and the drugs were brought to Carlow Garda Station, from where they will be forwarded for forensic examination. It is understood that what local gardaí describe as “a significant find of illegal drugs” was destined for the Carlow drugs market.

(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)



The government is urging people to support their local retailers, while An Garda Siochána and other public service uniforms are manufactured in Asia, as it is not commercially viable for them to be made in this country. Cavan County Councilor Peter McVitty expressed concern about garda uniforms being made in China at a recent meeting, describing the current situation as "crazy". "In these times, with unemployment as it is, we should look at how much it would cost to get them made here. There must be so many businesses in the country that would be glad to make them," he said.

(Source: The Anglo Celt)



Multimillionaire JJ McCabe said last week that he did not want to “buy” a seat on Clare County Council, after it emerged that he spent less than €2,400 of his €18 million fortune in his failed bid to become elected last June. Official figures show the 73- year-old bachelor farmer, who stood as an Independent, spent €2,390 on his campaign. In terms of declared spending, this placed him in 38th place of 55 candidates. The candidate who declared the highest figure was newly elected Cllr Tony Mulqueen (FG), who spent €6,531.

(Source: The Irish Times)



The owner of a Doneraile pub at the centre of an arson attack on Tuesday morning last said they were 'very lucky' the would-be arsonists were so incompetent. A rock was thrown through the front-window of the St Leger's bar in Doneraile around 2.30am on Tuesday morning last. In what was clearly a planned attack, a can of petrol was then thrown through the window, followed up by a bottle with a lit rag attached. However, the device did not catch fire. Luckily for the proprietor, the window had two panes of glass and the rock had penetrated only the outer window, and the petrol bomb did not succeed in getting into the bar. Tony Leahy of St Leger's Pub, along with his business partner and staff had just finished cleaning up the bar at around 2.30am when the attack occurred.

(Source: The Corkman)



More than half of BBC Radio Foyle's programs could be axed and jobs lost under a major cost-cutting drive by BBC Northern Ireland. The station's flagship "News at One" slot and the popular Sean Coyle and Mark Patterson programs will be replaced by existing shows on Radio Ulster - if proposals by management in Belfast get the green light.

(Source: The Derry Journal)



The 15km dual carriageway project had been the subject of an oral hearing in June 2008 after its preliminary design and Environmental Impact Statement had been completed and submitted to the board of An Bord Pleanála for confirmation before moving on to detailed design and construction. Donegal Co. Council will now have to take stock and examine what options it has open considering an estimated €4 to €5 million has already been spent on the project to date.

(Source: Donegal Democrat)



Newry historian Dr John McCavitt got the invitation of a lifetime when he was unexpectedly summoned to the White House while carrying out research on Rostrevor-born Major General Robert Ross. Dr McCavitt spent three weeks in Washington and Baltimore during the summer for work on a forthcoming autobiography on Ross, who is famed for his role in burning down the famous residency in 1814. During his visit, Dr McCavitt received a call from the White House curator who invited him to a private tour of the building’s archives - a chance he jumped at. “I was delighted to have been afforded private tours of the US Capitol and the US Navy Yard on the trip,” he said.

(Source: The Down Democrat)



Music mogul Simon Cowell has vowed to leave Britain if Irish X Factor sensations John and Edward Grimes win the competition. The twins, who have become the act that viewers love to hate, have been the centres of controversy since they made the live shows, raising questions about their singing abilities. Cowell previously described the duo as "vile little creatures" and his opinion of the Lucan natives seems only to have worsened as they have sailed their way through the finals. He said: "If they win it would be a complete disaster. I would get on a plane and leave the country then sulk for about six months and Louis will be in serious trouble. "The fact is, it's a singing competition and they can't sing." The judge went on to blast the twins further as "deluded" by their newfound fame.