Weekly news from around the 32 counties of Ireland


(Source: The Drogheda Independent)



Joan Varley, the Castlebar lady who gave birth to the first surviving set of Siamese twins in the British Isles, has died after illness. The late Ms Varley, from An Sruthán, Turlough Road, Castlebar was aged 43 and had suffered from a brain tumor for the past eight months. She died last Thursday at the Galway Hospice. Ms Varley was mother of twin daughters, Niamh and Aoife, aged 12, and a son Cian (9). The birth of Niamh and Aoife was a huge medical breakthrough. Born in St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester on April 6, 1997, the girls were transferred to Great Ormonde Street Hospital in London for surgery eleven weeks after their birth.

(Source: Mayo News)



Taoiseach Brian Cowen has complimented the winner of the prestigious James Dyson Award, which was presented to Tullamore student Noel Joyce at a function in the Court Hotel last Wednesday. 29 year old Carlow IT design student Noel, was presented with the James Dyson Best of Irish Design Award for his invention - a hydraulic wheelchair braking system, which is set to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of disabled people. Noel was presented with the award and a check for €2,500.

(Source: The Offaly Express)



Roscommon County Council is paying way over the odds for rental accommodation and is merely operating a subsidization scheme for desperate landlords, it has been claimed. Last week Cllr Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan alleged that rents being paid to the 250 plus landlords on the scheme were way over the market value for their properties. Cllr Flanagan pointed out that he received three examples of houses rented under the scheme in the last week and he branded the prices being paid as “totally unrealistic”.

(Source: The Roscommon Herald)



Seventeen councilors voted at a meeting last Monday to a proposal that, in effect, hinders the Newbay Doherty Group from its plans to redevelop the Carraroe Retail Park that would create badly needed jobs and more choice for shoppers. Clr. Imelda Henry proposed that the council reject the County Manager's recommendation and leave the zoning for small goods in the Carraroe Retail Park at 20% and not change it to 30%. She said the Carraroe Retail Park was built "at a different time to what we live in now" and it was her opinion that it was "a bit too big."

(Source: The Sligo Champion)



As an announcement last week by Deputy Michael Lowry confirmed two million euro in funding for the provision of a new endoscopy unit at Nenagh General hospital, the chairman of Nenagh Hospital Action Committee, Christy Hartigan, warned against empty promises being peddled by politicians.

(Source: The Tipperary Star)



Political parties have been urged to do all they can to encourage more women to become involved in shaping future governments, as it was revealed not one female is represented on a committee charged with the transition of the proposed new Mid Ulster council. Earlier this month, the Assembly's Joint Committee on the Constitution heard evidence about the impact of the PR-STV electoral system on the representation of women at Stormont. In all, the Assembly has 18 female members, representing just over 16 per cent of the total 108 MLAs.

 (Source: The Tyrone Times)



Preparations are well under way for the Tall Ships Race 2011, with four entertainment stages, food markets and park and ride facilities planned for the city. Chairman of the committee, Des Whelan, outlined the work that has been carried out in organizing the mammoth event.

The objective, he said, was to create a world-class festival over four days from June 30 to July 3. "We want to present Waterford in the best possible light to the 400,000 visitors and the national and international media."

(Source: Waterford News & Star)



The new County Buildings in Mullingar were announced last week in Dublin as winners of a major architectural award. The €40m project, opened on June 11, was named as winner at Plan Expo at the RDS Simmonscourt of the 2009 OPUS Architectural and Construction Award for the category of buildings costing over €20 million.

(Source: The Westmeath Examiner)



Disgraced swimming coach Ger Doyle served as a volunteer at the children's Mass in Bride Street Church while awaiting trial for the sex offences on which he was convicted two weeks ago. But the parish administrator Fr. Jim Fegan said last week that the church authorities in Wexford knew nothing about the case and no-one brought it to their attention. Doyle (48), of 7 Emmet Place, Wexford, was convicted by a jury in Wexford Circuit Court on 35 sex-related offences involving five boys aged 10 to 15 years at New Ross Swimming Pool between January 1981 and December 1993. The former pool manager and Irish Olympic team mentor pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was remanded in custody for sentencing next January.