The dream of extending the hand of friendship across a bitterly divided Antrim Council chamber had been shattered last week, with unionists poised to deliver another power share “nightmare” to the other side of the house.

A broad coalition, involving the Alliance, SDLP, Sinn Fein and two members of the Ulster Unionist Party had hastily cobbled together a cross-community compromise which would have seen Ulster Unionist moderate Paul Michael stay in the top job joined by former nationalist MLA Thomas Burns.

Momentum seemed to grow behind this split ticket – until Ulster Unionist hardliners cried foul and called on Mike Nesbitt to send a wrecking ball into the delicate deal. After hearing both sides of the argument, the leadership has ordered the Council team to stick together – and vote against power-sharing.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


Long standing SDLP Councilor, John McArdle was elected to the prestigious role of Lord Mayor at last Monday’s meeting of the Council in Newry Town Hall.

Councilor McArdle is one of the longest serving members of the SDLP in Newry, having been first elected to Newry and Mourne in 2001 and subsequently reelected on the two following occasions to the Council.

A familiar and popular figure around Newry, John has been heavily-involved in community life throughout the years.

As a Staff Nurse in Daisy Hill Hospital for the last thirty years, the multi-talented Councilor has always been particularly focused on the welfare of the hospital, championing all the developments that took place over the years and campaigning against cuts and loss of services.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


One of Carlow town’s most recognizable landmarks has become known as a drinking den, leaving shoppers feeling intimidated and threatened.

The Liberty Tree on Potato Market has been attracting day-drinkers, leading to scores of complaints from the public.

There have now been calls to remove shrubbery around the iconic fountain in a bid to target those who use it as a drinking den.

Bye-laws currently in place in Carlow town allow gardaí (police) to impose immediate on-the-spot fines to those caught drinking alcohol in public.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]


Dowra, Killeshandra, Bawnboy, Ballinagh and Redhills garda {police) stations are all set to close in the coming months; while Ballyconnell Garda Station is set to be downgraded, losing its district headquarter status, The Anglo-Celt can exclusively reveal.

The proposed changes are part of a district-wide review, which is set to recommend the imminent closure of the five rural garda stations in the county, while the fates of two other stations are in doubt - Stradone and Shercock.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


Clare Travelers have been accused of adopting a “code of silence” about people involved in criminal damage to Traveler accommodation in the county that so far has cost an estimated $590,000, it emerged last week.

Extensive investigations by Clare gardaí (police) into suspected arson attacks and vandalism of Traveler accommodation are being hindered by a lack of information from residents in halting sites.

Gardaí have confirmed that only one person has been prosecuted for causing criminal damage to Traveler accommodation units in Ennis and Shannon following 10 incidents over the last three years.

A garda spokesman told The Clare Champion they found it extremely difficult to get any information in relation to these incidents, despite extensive door-to-door interviews of residents, forensic tests and public appeals for information.
[Source: Clare Champion]


There were angry scenes from anti-Household Charge campaigners at last Monday’s Cork City Council meeting after a motion calling on the City Manager not to pursue people through the courts was defeated.

The motion, put forward by Socialist Party Councilor Mick Barry and Worker's Party Councilor Ted Tynan, was debated at the end of the fortnightly meeting, Lord Mayor Terry Shannon's last in his term of office.

However, once the debate began, members of the campaign in the public gallery stood up en masse – forcing the Lord Mayor to address the members of the public on Chamber etiquette. One person shouted "Zieg Heil", during the Lord Mayor's comments.
[Source: Cork Independent]


A judge has asked the press not to print the addresses of two men charged with importing mephedrone because he doesn’t think “those paramilitary thugs out there should get any more help than they already have.”

District Judge Barney McElholm made the request during a court appearance of Waterside men David Stuart Robinson and Craig Inglis.

Robinson (27) of Pennethorne Court and Inglis (23) of Kinsale Park are jointly charged with importing the class B drug.

They are also accused of conspiring to possess the drug with intent to supply and possessing Mephedrone with intent to supply.
[Source: Derry Journal]


The twister that was photographed last Monday morning above Sliabh Sneacht was an exceptionally rare event, according to a meteorologist with Met Eireann.

Gerald Fleming told the Donegal Democrat that, even though the remarkable phenomenon was not technically a tornado because it didn’t touch down, it was still exceptional by any reckoning.

“What was particularly spectacular about this funnel cloud was that the winds were stronger higher up than they were lower down. That’s what gave it the long, coiling appearance.”
[Source: Donegal Democrat]


The Green Party is encouraging people in North Down to join a club and grow their own food.

The party says planting fresh fruit vegetables makes for a great hobby and encourages community and social interaction.

Their newly-established Grow It Yourself (GYI) club is up and running now.
[Source: Belfast Telegraph]


A chronic back pain sufferer who grew cannabis in a lit, ventilated tent in his bedroom to medicate himself told gardai (police) he did not know it was illegal, a court heard.

Gardai who raided Eamonn Owens' house found four plants worth $2,000 being grown under lamps with a fan trained on them, and harvested leaves stored in the wardrobe, along with fertilizer and books on how to cultivate the drug.

Dublin District Court heard gardai had to break in the bedroom door because he was out at the time of the search, and kept it locked to keep what he was doing from his teenage nephew.

Owens (28) was given a three-month suspended sentence when he pleaded guilty to drugs charges at Dublin District Court.
[Source: Evening Herald]


Fermanagh language expert Joseph Shields has joined a string of Hollywood stars as a member of France’s National Order of Arts and Letters, the country’s highest cultural award.

The Irishman received the award last Monday night in Strasbourg for his work promoting the French language and culture.

Previous recipients of the award include Oscar-winning actor Michael Caine, Grammy award-winner Stevie Wonder and James Bond star Roger Moore.

He was nominated to be a Commander of the Arts and Letters by former French culture minister Frédéric Mitterrand.
[Source: Irish Times]


Two Galway brothers have been jailed for nine years for membership of a criminal organization, marking the first sentence under new anti-gang legislation.

Michael O’Loughlin (32) of Rahylin Glebe, Ballybane and Eddie O’Loughlin (28) of Rockfield Park, Rahoon both pleaded guilty to participating in the activities of a criminal organization in the Galway area between February 10 and June 1, 2010.

Judge Martin Nolan praised the work of the Garda (police) investigation, known as Operation Foolscap, which was headed by Detective Inspector Gerard Roche. It resulted in the arrest of the brothers and 10 of their associates.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]


A junior cert student in Tralee who is took his exams in his home because of his cancer has raised thousands of euro which he hopes will help provide a den in Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin, Dublin.

Donal Walsh of Blennerville, a student at CBS The Green, has to sit his exams at home to prevent the risk of infection as he recovers.
[Source: Irish Times]


Communities throughout Co. Kildare are moving to set up more and more Community Alert and Neighborhood Watch schemes, following the recent high-profile attacks on elderly residents in rural areas highlighted in the national media.

According to the county’s Crime Prevention Officer, Sgt. Conor McMahon, there has recently been an upsurge in demand for these schemes and the gardaí (police) were “delighted to see them springing up.”

“After incidents like the one in Galway, involving the two elderly men, there definitely seems to be a heightened awareness of the issue,” said Sgt. McMahon, who is based in Naas.
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]


Plans for a 32-house estate in Thomastown have been refused planning permission by Kilkenny County Council because there are already unfinished estates in the town and because the site is zoned for the town’s second phase of development.

Twenty-eight submissions regarding the planning application were made by residents of the neighbouring Dangan Terrace, Thomastown, maintaining that there is no demand or need for further houses in Thomastown at present, that an increase in traffic would add to the dangerous conditions on the R700 and R703, and that there are already unfinished estates in the town, which is experiencing a high level of emigration, among other concerns.
[Source: Kilkenny People]


Local communities have been left stranded with the loss of two bus services this month, as Bus Eireann and Aircoach both cut their services to Laois.

Bus Eireann is cutting out Durrow, Abbeyleix and Johnstown and taking the motorway directly from Portlaoise to Urlingford, effective from Sunday, June 24, in efforts to speed up their new Cork to Dublin airport service.

Aircoach cancelled their inter-town service June 8, blaming a decline in passenger numbers. They will now operate an express service only from Cork to Dublin airport. It took in Portlaoise Abbeyleix and Durrow.
[Source: Leinster Express]


Mohill’s Phil Kearney-Byrne is the winner of the RTÉ Radio 1 2012 Short Story Competition in Memory of Francis Mac Manus.

Phil Kearney-Byrne’s entry, entitled It’s All a Cod was the overall winner and Phil will be awarded $3,750 along with having her winning entry read by actor Pat Laffan and broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 on Monday 18 June at 11.10 p.m.

Ms. Kearney Byrne’s winning entry introduces two divergent portraits of a stubborn widower and plays with the clichés of what it is to be elderly. Dublin-born Kearney Byrne studied science at UCD and trained in London as a psychotherapist. She lives and runs her professional practice in Mohill. She was short-listed for the Fish Flash Fiction and Short Story Competitions in 2010. It’s All a Cod is her first piece of fiction to be published.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]


A barman who was sacked after customers complained he had been drunk on the job and messing up orders has been awarded $3,782 after taking a case to the Employment Appeals Tribunal.

Gerard Clery, of Cappalaheen, Kilkishen, County Clare, denied drinking while on duty at the Mall Bar, Sandmall, on the night of Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010.

Bar owner Pat Cowhey gave evidence of having dismissed Mr. Clery arising from complaints. Mr. Cowhey said he had had reason “on numerous occasions” to warn Mr. Clery to cut down on his drinking. He had seen evidence of this himself and had also received complaints from customers.

Mr. Cowhey’s niece was working on Easter Sunday and called her uncle to tell her Mr. Clery was drunk on duty. He received calls from customers making the same claim.
[Source: Limerick Leader]


Dozens of workers at Bord Na Mona in Lanesboro will down tools for a second time later this month over a 3.5% pay increase.

Unions at the State-owned peat producer this week gave the green light to escalate industrial action by holding two further days of stoppages on June 27 and 28.

News of the additional stoppages comes after staff at the peat firm rejected an earlier deal involving Union officials and management concerning the 3.5% rise earlier this year.

The deal, agreed last April, reportedly meant staff would have received a lump sum payment of $1,250 upfront along with a 1.75% pay rise.
 [Source: Longford Leader]


Fifty percent of houses in Louth have paid the Household Charge according to the Louth County Council

And the council have said they will now proceed to recover the outstanding charge from households that have not paid.

Payments made after March 31 incur interest of one percent per month.

The Household Charge continues to be paid online and by post.

The backlog has now been processed by the department and Louth County Council like all other local authorities has been informed that the process is up to date.

At the end of March about 30% of the hoses liable for the charge had their payments processed.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]


Two Mayo brothers charged with possession of explosives and membership of the IRA have been remanded in custody after appearing before the Special Criminal Court last Monday.

Colm Mannion (32) of Burriscarra, Clogher, Claremorris and Brian Mannion (29) also of Burriscarra, Clogher, Claremorris are accused of being in possession of explosives material on Saturday, June 9 at a house close to the well-known village of Carnacon.

The two brothers appeared before a Special Criminal Court sitting after they were arrested in a raid on a premises in Clogher which was part of a garda (police) operation against dissident republican activity in the west of Ireland.
[Source: The Mayo News]


One of Ireland's most sacred monuments – the Lia Fáil or Stone of Destiny – on the Hill of Tara, which served as the coronation stone for the High Kings of Ireland - has been vandalized.

The attack – by someone wielding a hammer or iron bar – has horrified archaeologists, historians and ordinary members of the public who view the stone as a central part of Irish mythology.

The attack on the stone was discovered by a local historian on June 9, and the damage has been inspected by the Office of Public Works (OPW) and the National Monuments Service. The incident has been reported to the gardai (police).
[Source: Meath Chronicle]


Revenue from parking charges in Tullamore has fallen by 72%.

At last Monday’s quarterly meeting of Tullamore Area Committee, Gabriel Conlon told members that revenue had fallen from $1.4 million to $800,000.

Mr. Conlon was giving a presentation to members on the Tullamore Draft Parking Bye-Laws 2012.
The bye-laws which are on public display until June 22 with the closing date for submissions July 9, will see a number of changes in parking around the town.

These include the introduction of one-hour maximum parking in the center of town, two-hour maximum paid parking in town center residential areas, and 50 cent per half-hour paid parking in all-day car parks.
[Source: Offaly Express]


A five-year-old girl died after a man set fire to a house because he was in a rage over finding his girlfriend lying on a bed with another man a few weeks earlier, Roscommon Circuit Court heard last Tuesday.

Mari Keane-Connolly from 49 Termon Road, Boyle, Co. Roscommon, died after her home “became an inferno” in the early hours of October 3rd, last year.

Teresa Keane, in an emotional victim impact statement, said her daughter “had been killed for nothing” and no apology would bring her back. Abuse was shouted at John Lynch, with an address at 39 Church View in Boyle, when he was led into court.
[Source: Irish Times]


At the Yeats statue outside a bank in Sligo, Paul Murray was blowing up balloons and trying to explain to a tourist what Yeats Day was all about, with a passing reference to Bloomsday. “In Sligo we have a writer who people actually read,” he explained.

The first-ever Yeats Day, billed as a dawn to dusk celebration to mark W.B. Yeats’s birthday, had started with a boat trip across Lough Gill to the lake isle of Innisfree and a full Irish breakfast on the menu for passengers (not a nutty gizzard or a urine-scented mutton kidney in sight).

Senator Susan O’Keeffe, the driving force behind the event, said the idea was to give everyone an opportunity to enjoy Yeats, “even the people who know only one Yeats poem”.
[Source: Irish Times]


Two intrepid Nenagh women are travelling to Thailand this summer to carry out volunteer work at Cultural Canvas Thailand. Rosemary Kennedy from Foilnamuck, Dolla, and Susan O’Connor, Tyone, are travelling together to Chiang Mai, Thailand, with EIL Intercultural Learning Ireland to take part in the project.

Both are past pupils of St Mary’s Secondary School, Nenagh. Rosemary, daughter of Mary Hayes, Ballinahich, is a nurse working in The Galway Clinic, and Susan, daughter of Nora Chadwick from Borrisoleigh, and St Mary’s deputy principal, Luke O’Connor, is a primary school teacher in Scoil Mhuire, Clondalkin, Dublin.
[Source: Tipperary Star]


The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (the Department) has accepted disqualification undertakings from three directors of a Tyrone plant machinery hire company.

John Martin Haughey (50) and Padraig Haughey (24), both of Drumeen Road, Beragh, Omagh, accepted disqualification undertakings for seven years and five years respectively and Francis Patrick Horisk (32) of Shantavny Road, Ballygawley, accepted disqualification undertakings for six years in respect of their conduct as directors of PFG Plant Hire Limited ("the Company").
[Source: Tyrone Courier]


A 14-year-old boy was punched in the face by another youth who stole his money. The unprovoked attack is one of a number of incidents currently under investigation by Gardaí (police) in Waterford.

Investigations were also ongoing following a drug seizure and a number of burglaries which had taken place in the city last week.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]


As her prize, Strand Street resident Emilia Krysztofiak will now spend much of the summer photographing concerts by the likes of Snow Patrol and Florence and the Machine.

Emilia was one of 12 photographers who were shortlisted in the HTC One Hot Press competition last month. This group was then asked to photograph and take video footage of an intimate gig in Dublin by the band Royseven. When their work from the concert was assessed, two overall winners - Emilia, and Sean Conroy - were chosen.
[Source: Westmeath Independent]


Reliable sources close to Deputy Mick Wallace have confirmed to The Echo that he will not resign his Dail {Irish parliament) seat.

Deputy Wallace was due to deliver a statement to the Dail last Thursday, but Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett declined the Wexford TD’s request to do so as it did not fall within the remit of the Standing Orders cited in his statement June 9.
[Source: Wexford Echo]


Sixteen-year-old Owen Peurois from Wicklow town was delighted to meet Oscar nominated actress Saoirse Ronan at the Coca Cola Cinemagic International Film and Television Festival for Young People in Dublin.

Saoirse, who is a patron of the Festival, had dropped in to the Burlington Hotel in Dublin to meet with some of the young people taking part in a masterclass in directing and writing for film which was bring hosted by film director Aisling Walsh.

Along with Annie Keegan (18) from Blackrock in Dublin, Owen helped the film star to blow out candles on a belated birthday cake which they presented to her. Saoirse had been working on a film last month when it was her 18th birthday so Cinemagic decided to surprise her with a chocolate birthday cake when she arrived at the Burlington Hotel.
[Source: Wicklow People]

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