A security alert caused major disruption to residents in Rathenraw last Monday after a suspicious object was found on the windowsill of a property in Norfolk Square.The homeowner discovered the object when she opened her curtains at around 9am - her children, pupils at Sperrin Integrated College in Magherafelt, had walked past it on their way to school sometime earlier. The device, which was made from a coffee jar filled with sugar, petrol, batteries and a coat hanger, was declared an elaborate hoax after examination by Army Technical Officers.
 (Source: Antrim Guardian)


Customs officials seized nearly 12,000 litres of illicit diesel at sites at Hannahtown in west Belfast and in County Armagh last Friday morning. HM Revenue & Customs said the raids were part of a major cross border operation against suspected fuel fraud, tax evasion and money laundering. Searches were also carried in counties Meath, Monaghan, Roscommon and Galway. Two vehicles and cash were seized during the raids in Northern Ireland.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


Carlow towns and villages narrowly missed out on the national title in this year’s Tidy Towns competition. Clonegal and Leighlinbridge were only points away from the overall winner, while every Carlow entrant improved their position from last year. Clonegal walked away as the overall county winner, with a grand total of 303 marks, while Leighlinbridge was also among Carlow’s three gold medallists. Carlow town also secured a gold medal in the annual awards, announced last Monday at a ceremony in the Helix Theatre in Dublin.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


It was great news for the county as the official word came through... Cavan town will host the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in August 2011. It was not unexpected but still sparked major celebrations as the business community breathed a sigh of relief that the major international event, worth up to €30m to the local economy, was coming back again.
Now the hard work begins afresh, but the Fleadh Executive Committee (FEC) under the leadership of County Manager, Jack Keyes, have the advantage this year of the experience of organising what was one of the best All-Ireland fleadhs in history - the Cavan Fleadh 2010.
(Source: The Angle Celt)


A young Ennis woman was recently named one of the top 10 ‘Outstanding Young Persons of the World’. Junior Chamber International, a worldwide membership-based non-profit organisation, selected Melanie Hennessy from Cloughleigh as one of their 2010 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (JCI TOYP).“It is really amazing. It seems a bit ridiculous because it is only me. When you tell people Outstanding Young Person of the World it sounds unbelievable so I don’t tell people because it is too crazy,” the medical student said.
(Source: The Clare Champion)


Hotel room rates in Cork fell five per cent in the second quarter of 2010, according to the Hotel Price Index (HPI), making a bed in Cork worth about the same as one in Mexico City. Room rates dropped from €80 per room per night to €76, making Cork a great destination for a value break in Ireland and putting the city on par with Prague (€75), Mexico City (€74) and, closer to home, Dublin (€73).
Source: (Cork Independent)


A group set up to develop links between Derry and London has unveiled an ambitious plan to create 400 new jobs in the city. London-Derry Connections Ltd aims to boost the local economy by helping create the posts by 2013 - the 400th anniversary of the signing of the Londonderry Charter by King James I."400 Jobs by 2013 - that's our target,” Colm Cavanagh, chairperson of the local firm, told the ‘Journal’. Joe Doherty, of the company’s Jobs Task Group, added: “Jobs is the crying need for the North West”.
(Source: Derry Journal)


A district judge has told a Donegal man who used foul language to a member of the Garda that he has a month to travel to Co Mayo and make the pilgrimage to the top of Croagh Patrick. At Milford District Court in Letterkenny last Monday Judge Séamus Hughes told Joseph McElwee (38) of Aughavennan, Rathmullan, Co Donegal, he was to do the four stations of the famous Mayo pilgrimage as a mark of respect for his fellow Irish people, especially those in the line of duty.
 (Source: IrishTimes)


A symbolic blessing of bonnets representing the lives of convict women banished to the other side of the world took place in Rostrevor last Sunday. The ceremony took place at Kilbroney Church and the blessings carried out by Canon Jamieson. The bonnets for the women on board the Kinnear and the Roslin Castle were made by Kilkeel women Laura McClelland and Margaret McBride.In 1834, 165 convict women were transported from Cork on the Roslin Castle on its fifth journey to Australia.
(Source: Newry Democrat)


A young dog has become one of the early victims of Halloween savagery in the Republic of Ireland, after its jaw was blown off when thugs apparently stuck a lit firework into its mouth. Gardai are now trying to track down a group of youths behind the horrific incident which happened on Cardiffsbridge Road in Finglas, Dublin, about 6.30pm last Wednesday. The small tan terrier, believed to be two or three years old, was probably somebody's pet, the DSPCA believes.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


Representatives from the Western Trust are to meet residents from a County Fermanagh village last week. They are to explain the process that led to two child-abusing brothers being sent home to Donagh. James and Owen-Roe McDermott abused children in the village over a 30-year period, but a judge ruled they were mentally unfit to stand trial. There was outrage in Donagh when they returned. The pair have since admitted themselves to a hospital for treatment.Between them, four McDermott brothers, from Moorlough Road in Donagh, faced 60 charges of abuse.
(Source: BBC Northern Ireland)


Around 800 households have their waste collection service cut off by Galway City Council each year for non-payment of charges, the local authority has revealed. And there are fears that hundreds more low-income homes in the city face being cut off if the Council decides to abandon its costly waiver scheme at the end of the year, as the local authority faces one of its toughest budgets yet. While a renewed proposal has not yet been put forward by Council officials on abandoning the waiver, it is expected to form part of recommendations when the 2011 local authority budget is discussed in November.
 (Source: GalwayBay Fm)


Mystery surrounds the discovery of a young Newbridge woman’s body in the grounds of St Dympna’s Hospital in Carlow early last Sunday morning. The body of the 35–year-old woman was discovered at 3am last Sunday when a passer-by made the grim discovery as he was walking along the Old Dublin Road. The woman’s body was found lying beside a park bench inside the wall of the hospital grounds. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene and her body was taken to Waterford Regional Hospital for a post-mortem.

(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)


Budgies of all shapes and sizes were under the roof of St Patrick's Community Centre in Loughboy last Saturday for the Eire Budgerigar Society's Open Day Exhibition.120 birds from all over the country took part in the event, which was last held in Kilkenny in the mid-eighties. The man responsible for bringing the bird show back, Gerald Lanigan told the Kilkenny People that the event had gone ‘fantastically well’.
(Source: Kilkenny People)


Criminal gangs are behind a spate of car break-ins around Portlaoise, the Portlaoise Joint Policing Committee heard last week. Superintendent Philip Lyons said gardai believed the thefts from cars were being carried out by three or four gangs in the town. "You seldom get a forced break-in," he said, "instead they find a weak point of entry". The car thefts are almost all being done by individuals to support their drug habit. "They go down and try all car doors in an estate to see if any of them are open," he said. "They are looking for loose change, laptops, mobile phones. Our message is don't leave anything in your car," Supt Lyons said.
(Source: Leinster Express)


Following on from last week's story on the local flood warning, The Leitrim Observer has learned that many farmers in the Rooskey Jamestown area experienced flooding on their land with some having animals stranded in the floods. As a result of heavy rainfall last week Leitrim was given a local flood warning, but despite the advanced warning Cllr John Ward said Waterways Ireland still failed to act in time and open the relevant sluice gates to alleviate the water levels.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)


Castleconnell man Shane Coleman – the recently crowned Mr Gay Limerick – led hundreds of people through the streets of the city last Saturday last during the annual pride parade. But the 21-year-old has now set his eyes on the Mr Gay Ireland pageant in October, and is hoping to take home the title. He won the local title during at an event hosted in 31 Thomas Street by Madanna Lucia last week."I would love to win and do Limerick proud. Things are definitely getting easier for the gay community.
(Source: Limerick Leader)


Gardai in Granard were forced to use pepper spray on a man at last weekend after he breached the terms of his temporary release from prison.The man, who is in his early 20s and from the Granard area, was spotted by a community garda walking down the north Longford town's Moxham Street with his sister last Sunday evening. Despite an initial search being carried out on the woman under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1984, the man suddenly took off on foot.
(Source: Longford Leader)


Local business owners have called for better policing of Dundalk town centre after a series of complaints about "intimidatory" begging in the area in recent weeks. A number of men have been spotted begging in Earl Street, Market Square, Francis Street and Roden Place in recent weeks with their actions starting to have an effect on local businesses who are struggling to make ends meet as it is. One of the businesses most affected by the increase in begging is Riva in Earl Street with owner Tim Murphy explaining that people had been put off sitting outside the restaurant because of they were being regularly pestered while trying to enjoy their lunch
(Source: Dundalk Democrat)


A Murriskman has scaled Croagh Patrick for the 100th day in a row last week, gathering hugh crowds from around the country and as far as the UK to join him on this milestone trek. Matt Loughrey (32) of Carrowkeel, Murrisk is almost one third of the way through his challenge but intends to climb the Reek another 265 times. Matt started the task on June 5 of this year to raise money for the St Vincent De Paul charity. Matt moved to Westport five years ago and took a full-time job as a tour guide on Croagh Patrick in 2007 and that year made more than 40 ascents.
(Source: The Mayo News)


Over 600 men and women took part in the second Kells Pink Ribbon Walk last Saturday in the picturesque surroundings of Drewstown House and Girley Eco Bog Walk. While there were some rain showers, the participants were prepared for all weathers as the organisers provided free pink ponchos, which helped to keep everyone dry and made the event a great success once again.The participants ran and walked the sponsored 10 kilometre event to raise funds for Action Breast Cancer.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)


An Edenderry Town councillor had a miraculous escape when a manhole cover shot four feet in the air in front of his car. Cllr Finian O’Neill was travelling through Tullamore when the freak accident occurred. The 20 kilogram cover flew straight into the air after being run over by a lorry.“I suppose it went four feet in the air and spun three times while it was in the air,” Cllr O’Neill recalled, “I didn’t know where it was going to go, it was frightening to look at.” “I was shaken from it, I didn’t know where it was going to go. It could have gone through the windscreen and taken the head off me,” he added.
(Source: Offaly Express)


It costs more than €13 each time somebody spends a penny in the public superloo in Boyle, the Roscommon Herald can reveal. Figures furnished by Roscommon County Council have revealed that the public toilet is costing more than €20,000 to run on an annual basis against an annual income of less than €750.Over the past 12 months the council paid €17,833.53 on rent and a further €2,189.12 on electricity costs to operate the superloo facility, which is located at the entrance to the car park on the Carrick Road, adjacent to the post office in the town. An additional €37.23 was spent on hardware, bringing the total expenditure to more than €20,000.
(Source: The Roscommon Hearld)


A Sligo man who lost his €4 million property empire is aiming to take off on a year-long challenging volunteering mission under the gaze of TV cameras. Ignatius Lynott of Ennsicrone is taking part in a new RTÉ show about aspiring volunteers who are ready to put their lives on hold for a year and travel to some of the most challenging places on earth. Following a call for applications earlier this summer, Ignatius was one of 70 volunteers selected to attend a weekend camp at Barretstown.
(Source: The Sligo Weekender)


Gardai have arrested a male in his 60's following an unauthorized taking of a car in Newport Village last week. At about 3pm last Thursday a car was taken from Newport Village. A four-month-old boy was in the back seat of the car at the time it was taken. Gardai immediately put in place a dramatic cross country chase, which included the use of a garda helicopter. The car was later recovered and the baby was found in Nenagh a short time later. The baby was uninjured and reunited with his parents.
(Source: Tipperary Star)


A Clogher man, whose downfall was described as 'biblical' in its proportions, has been jailed for 20 months after he swindled his employers out of £326,000. Leo McGirr siphoned off the cash over two years from Tyrone Tiling Services Ltd to feed his gambling addiction. Appearing at Dungannon Magistrate’s Court last Monday, 27 year-old McGirr, who is from Richmond Drive, Clogher, pleaded guilty to 169 counts of fraud from May 2007 to May 2009.
(Source: TyroneTimes)


The roaring success of the Harvest Festival held in Waterford last weekend was praised by the members of Waterford City Council at their monthly meeting. Cllr Gary Wyse, expressing his delight at the festival to date, said it was wonderful to feel like a tourist in his own city. Marvelling at the crowds that flocked to the quays last weekend to enjoy the food and atmosphere, his sentiments were echoed by all the members of the council.
 (Source: Waterford News $ Star)


Local twins Kathleen Conlon and May Nugent celebrating their 89th birthday last Wednesday, a milestone they believe makes them the oldest female twins in Ireland. Kathleen, from Goldsmith Terrace, and May, from Mount Temple, celebrated their birthday at a surprise party in The Bounty last Friday surrounded by their family.
 (Source: Westmeath Independent)


There were more people on trolleys at Wexford General Hospital last week than any other hospital outside Dublin. On at least three days there were 25 patients being treated on trolleys, while on one day, there were 28 people on trolleys. The Irish Nurses’ and Midwives’ Organisation carried out an analysis of its trolley watch figures for the month of August and compared it with the same period for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
 (Source: The Wexford Echo)


A former partner in a solicitors firm, which has an office in Ashford, County Wicklow, used over €1m from the estate of a dead client to buy his own house and other properties.Cash from the estate of Dónal Ó Súilleabháin was given to the Share fund of the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin. The High Court in Dublin heard  that Ruairí Ó Ceallaigh, a former partner in the firm of Seán Ó Ceallaigh and Company, used the cash to buy the house he currently lives in.Ruairí Ó Ceallaigh was struck off last month by the High Court after millions went missing from the company’s accounts.
(Source: The Wicklow People)