Antrim has been named the first Fairtrade Borough in Northern Ireland for reaching a high standard of support for farmers in developing countries. Dozens of retailers and caterers threw themselves into the bid, going over and above the basic requirements to help farmers and workers across the globe get a fair return. Paul Holly, assistant director of operational services with Antrim Borough Council, said: “We are delighted to have received this award, especially as we are the first in Northern Ireland to have done so.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


Almost 40 jobs are being created thanks to a new multi-million pound technology centre in Co Armagh. MITIE, a leading FTSE 250 outsourcing company with 56,000 employees, is building the centre in Lurgan to support its security systems across the UK and beyond. When completed in March 2011, the facility will be the most advanced non-military installation in the UK providing remote monitoring of CCTV and alarm systems, vehicle tracking, lone worker support, helpdesks and screening and vetting services.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


Carlow volunteers went above and beyond the call of duty last week for the fourth annual national day of volunteering. Men, women and children across the county put on their ‘Good Samaritan’ hats and took part in the huge variety of helpful activities. The window of Shaw’s Department Store on Tullow Street came alive for a few hours as people took part in ‘the big knit’. Over 100 little hats were knitted for Innocent Smoothie bottles, with 25c going to Age Action Ireland from each hat.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


A 21-year-old beauty from west Cavan has made it to the last five out of 25,000 applicants to be the Face of Ireland 2010. Flying the Cavan flag in the Face of Ireland modeling competition is Fiona Mawn from Correvan, Blacklion. She's hoping to succeed the reigning Face of Ireland - another Cavan girl, Heather McArdle from Cootehill.
(Source: The Angle Celt)


Kilkee lost its coveted Blue Flag status for a week in August. The removal of the Blue Flag, which is an international environmental award made to beaches and marinas that demonstrate good environmental standards and good sanitary and safety facilities, followed a test which was carried out on August 9 by An Taisce. Blue Flag status was subsequently restored a week later.
(Source: The Clare Champion)


Cork is set to get it’s share of 75 new jobs over the coming 18 months after a major recruitment company announced it is to extend its operations here. Irish-owned professional recruitment consultancy, Premier Group, announced last week that it is rebranding three of its leading recruitment businesses; Premier, Verkom and Brunel to Morgan McKinley.
Source: (Cork Independent)


Police in the Strabane area made four arrests for suspected drink-driving offences last weekend. Chief Inspector Andy Lemon, the area commander, said that these were drivers who took a chance that they would not be caught. "My message to them is that it is a chance that is not worth taking. It is just not worth putting your livelihood and that of you family at risk.”
(Source: Derry Journal)


House prices in Donegal are continuing to fall, according to two surveys out last week. The average asking-price in Donegal in the third quarter of 2010 was €183,000, a fall of €86,000 from the peak, according to asking price of a three-bedroom semi-detatched house in Donegal is €171,000 in the third quarter of this year, down 1.5% compared to the second quarter of this year, according to The fall for a four bed semi was marginally more at 1.82% with the average price now standing at €204,000
(Source: Donegal Democrat)


A family near Newry Co Down had a lucky escape when their house was struck by lightning, blowing a hole in the roof and sparking a power shortage. The drama unfolded in Ballyholland when the bolt struck the house last week blowing the electric sockets out of the walls. Storms and heavy rain battered the area from around 3.30pm.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


One of Ireland's best known and most respected medical figures, retired heart surgeon Maurice Neligan, has died at the age of 73. Mr Neligan worked for many years at Dublin's Mater and Crumlin Hospitals and performed Ireland's first heart transplant in 1985. He was also involved in the establishment of the Blackrock Clinic in the mid-1980s. Maurice Neligan was always an active campaigner for improved health services and a frequent critic of much health policy and many policy-makers.
(Source: The Evening Hearld)


The family of troubled Fermanagh businessman Seán Quinn has said that they intend to repay all of the debt that they owe. The family owes €2.8 billion to Anglo Irish Bank and reports suggested that the nationalized bank has written down this sum to zero. A statement issued on behalf of the Quinn family last week said they had “not sought, or been offered, as part of any consensual restructuring of the family’s indebtedness, any write-off whatsoever of any of the debt due.
(Source: Irish Times)


More than 29,000 people are currently on waiting lists for appointments to see consultants at Galway University Hospitals (GUH) – some of them for more than four years. University Hospital Galway (UHG) has been ranked bottom of a league table of hospitals following the publication of the latest HealthStat figures, which reveal that the city facility has the longest waiting lists in the country.
(Source: GalwayBay Fm)


Thieves posing as county council workers are targeting elderly people in the Newbridge area, possibly using markings left by genuine council workers to identify their victims. The claim follows recent work carried out by the council to repair the water system at a number of locations around the town. According to local Sinn Féin activist Jason Turner, a number of vulnerable and elderly residents have complained to him of being the victims of theft after they permitted men wearing high-visibility jackets and posing as council workers, to actually enter their homes.
(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)


Five hundred athletes competed in the 2nd Kilkenny Half Marathon and 10 kilometer race which took place in the city and it's environs recently. Deputy Mayor of the city, David Fitzgerald got the races underway at 11am at the castle for the half marathon and at noon on High Street for the ten kilometer race. According to race director, Aidan Quigley the courses allowed athletes to experience Kilkenny’s medieval streets and witness its beautiful tranquil country roads before finishing with a festival atmosphere on the Parade.
(Source: Kilkenny People)


The term legend can be over used. But last Thursday a true legend on the sports fields drew the crowds to Portarlington, Co Laois. They came to pay tribute and to honor the great Moss Keane who died last Tuesday, finally succumbing to his battle with cancer. He may have been an adopted son of Portarlington but the numbers of locals who attended his removal was testimony to how he had integrated and become a vital part of the local community.
(Source: Leinster Express)


Leitrim remains a county very much haunted by the specter of ghost estates according to a recent Irish Independent report which claims that this county, along with counties Sligo, Longford and Roscommon, are the worst affected by unfinished and largely unoccupied housing estates. County Manager, Jackie Maguire told the Leitrim Observer that Leitrim County Council had not received any figures from the national survey and she said they would await official news before commenting on the issue.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)


Limerick's new greyhound stadium opened its doors to the public for the first time last Friday night and special guests the Irish International Rules team joined the anticipated huge crowd at Greenpark for the occasion. The latest addition to Limerick's enviable sports infrastructure, which cost €20m to complete, can take 2,900 spectators, but anyone hoping to be among the 190 people seated in the track's restaurant are too late - it was booked out long ago.
(Source: Limerick Leader)


They say if you look for something hard enough, eventually you'll find it. While few may believe in this well-used adage, for John Gregory, a keen historian, those words ring especially true.That's because a few weeks ago he discovered a distinctive looking flag during an impromptu visit to an antique dealership in Rathowen. Little did he know, his find was a replica of the historic 'green ensign' - a flag carrying both the union jack and Irish harp and a symbol of Irish society prior to partition in 1922.
(Source: Longford Leader)


Oscar winning actress Brenda Fricker officially launched the Tain Festival last Monday, which will be held in Dundalk from October 22 to 31, in the County Museum. This year's festival features over 50 events in over 20 venues combining drama, music, comedy, children's events and fringe events before culminating in a closing lantern ceremony on Sunday October 31.
(Source: Dundalk Democrat)


The last thing Achill man Patrick Kilcoyne expected when cutting up freshly caught fish was to find a miniature flick knife in the gut of a fish but that is exactly what he discovered.

Patrick, also known as ‘Blondie,’ made the unexpected discovery when preparing the fish for his breakfast and could not believe his eyes when a two inch long blue knife fell into his sink. “I was given a few mackerel which were caught near the Atlantic Drive as a present and there was a coalfish with them. I was cleaning the fish in the sink when this object came out of it and fell into the sink.”
(Source: The Mayo News)


Malicious pranksters who make hoax calls to the fire service in Meath are costing the county council in excess of €40,000 a year. As the fire service approaches its busiest time of the year at Halloween, firefighters and council officials have warned that those who make malicious calls could be putting lives in danger and could face serious penalties as all calls are recorded and are traceable.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)


An Offaly businessman may face a return to jail at an upcoming sitting of the High Court.Donal Rigney from Gortacur, Mountbolus, Tullamore, was jailed for contempt of court before being temporarily released last Monday. Mr Rigney appeared before the court in August over his failure to return leased equipment worth €2 million.
(Source: Offaly Express)


Residents and landowners in the Crosshill area of Keadue are blocked a road on Kilronan mountain last Tuesday to prevent Roscommon County Council from carrying out works to widen the mountain road. The works have been met with fierce resistance from a small number of local families in the area since they began last Thursday. The five local families and landowners are claiming that since the works got underway trees and walls have been knocked on their land without any warning or consultation from the council.
(Source: The Roscommon Champion)


A stand-off continues in west Sligo as a bank tries to possess 35 acres in an effort to recoup up to a quarter of a million euro. In the aftermath of a failed attempt last Monday to take over the Easkey land, which the bank has sold, a 64-year-old farmer, his 33year-old son, their neighbors and friends are now keeping watch on the property day and night.

(Source: The Sligo Champion)


Concern was expressed regarding dangerous breeds of dogs at at meeting of the Templemore joint policing committee in the Garda College on Monday evening last. Raising the matter, Cllr. Martin Fogarty said some people can be very nervous of dogs and that this nervousness or fear is heightened when dogs are not placed on a leash and muzzled in public areas.

He said it was his opinion that people did not need to own certain dangerous breeds of dog and asked if gardai had spoken to owners of dangerous breeds in the town.

(Source: Tipperary Star)


A rising star of motorcycle road racing died in a 130mph crash at a notorious black spot in the North West 200, the inquest into his death has heard. Coroner John Leckey told the hearing in Belfast that Mark Young, 22, from Cookstown in Co Tyrone, died from a traumatic head injury suffered in a crash in his debut ride at the event in May 2009. The racer had been tipped for great things in the world of motorcycling and Mr Leckey expressed his "very deep sympathy" to the bereaved family who he said were steeped in the sport.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


Every street in Waterford is now online as Google have launched their Street View product in Ireland, allowing users to virtually explore cities, towns and countryside through street-level imagery.51,000 miles of road have been driven by Google to collect imagery for Street View Ireland.
(Source: Waterford News $ Star)


Athlone Active Age Group members put their best feet forward for their very own 'flashmob' dance last Friday, taking over Athlone Towncenter for specially choreographed dance routine to mark the National Day of Volunteering and Positive Ageing Week. Joined by Galway Active Retirement group, the Athlone ladies put on their dancing shoes for three specially chosen pieces of music for the occasion, ending with the lively 'Let's go down to the hop' number, one that had the large group of onlookers tapping their feet and clapping their hands in appreciation.
(Source: Westmeath Independent)


Two people were injured in a plane crash in Co Wexford last week. The aircraft, an Avid MKIV flyer based at the Taghman airfield, was on a local flight with two people on board last Sunday afternoon. The crash occurred between 5.30pm and 6pm.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Transport said Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) personnel arrived on site at about 9.30pm last Sunday night and they completed a survey of the scene on Monday. One of the two men on board was taken Waterford Regional Hospital and the other was removed to Wexford General Hospital.
(Source: The Irish Times)


About 120 cattle died in a farm fire in south Wicklow last weekend. John Hollingsworth from Barniskey, Redcross, four miles from Arklow, had just brought his animals in off the land for winter housing when a massive fire destroyed four sheds where the cattle were being housed.

Some estimates say that up to 120 cattle died in the fire with the total loss to Mr Hollingsworth expected to be substantial.
(Source: The Wicklow People)