Accompanied by Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, the queen landed at George Belfast Belfast City Airport last Wednesday where she was greeted by Northern Secretary Owen Paterson and Dame Mary Peters, lord lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast. She then began a series of engagements in Belfast and Hillsborough, Co Down. Security for the visit was especially tight and, with arrangements kept secret, no one appeared on the streets to watch the motorcade as it made its way to the studios of UTV in south Belfast for the first engagement.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


A submission by lawyers acting for a republican accused of murdering two British soldiers in Northern Ireland last week forced a judge to postpone a decision on whether he should stand trial. Co Armagh man Colin Duffy, and his co-accused Brian Patrick Shivers from Co Derry, were due to hear whether they would be returned for Crown Court trial. Mr Duffy (42), from Forest Glebe, Lurgan, and Mr Shivers (45), from Sperrin Mews, Magherafelt, are charged with shooting dead Sappers Mark Quinsey (23) and Patrick Azimkar (21) outside Massereene barracks in Co Antrim last year.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


Drugs are being openly sold around the town park in Graiguecullen, according to one Carlow woman who witnessed such a drug deal last week. The shocked mother of two told The Nationalist that she was in the playground last Tuesday evening around 5.45pm with her young children, when she noticed a man loitering at the corner of the playground, just outside the fence. “The kids were playing away.” she said. “We were the only ones left – a couple with their kids had just left. I had spotted the man hanging around but thought little of it.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


A Cavan man who carried out two unprovoked attacks on two separate individuals was sentenced to a total of 15 months at Cavan District Court when he pleaded guilty to the offences.Patrick Lee, 13 Parkview, Cavan, was sentenced to nine months for assaulting P.J. Kelly at Connolly Street, Cavan, on July 25, and was given a six-month consecutive sentence for assaulting Joseph McCann at Townparks, Cavan, on the same date.
(Source: The Angle Celt)


Ninty years on, the deaths of three people in War of Independence violence will be commemorated with an ecumenical service in Doonbeg on October 30. Resident magistrate Alan Lendrum died at Caherfeenick, near Doonbeg, on September 22, 1920 and this led to the subsequent killing of two IRA volunteers, Willie Shanahan and Michael McNamara.

When Lendrum’s grandnephew, Geoff Simmons and Mr Shanahan’s nephew, Eoin Shanahan, began carrying out research into the affair, they began to collaborate and their efforts form the backdrop to the commemoration on October 30.
(Source: The Clare Champion)


A price war that has erupted between Ryanair and Irish Rail could see an increase in Cork business tourism. Irish Rail is exploring the possibility of offering free tickets on the Cork - Dublin route, after Ryanair began offering its customers one-way flights from Cork to Dublin for €10, including taxes and charges.
Source: (Cork Independent)


Tributes have been paid to well known Derry artist Joe Coyle who passed away last week following a lengthy illness. The founder of Alhpa Stained Glass, based at Castle Street, Joe has created some of the city’s most memorable stained glass pieces. For the last year he had been working on the restoration of St. Columb’s Cathedral and he was also responsible for the iconic artwork commemorating those who were lost in the Claudy and Omagh bombings.
(Source: Derry Journal)


The build up to the Cashealrd to Belleek Vintage Tractor and Car Run in aid of Mental Health and Cancer services is continuing at a great pace. While there has been a lot of hard work and effort input so far by the organizing committee, a spokesman has appealed for as many people in the area as possible to get involved. There is an urgent need for more funds for these services in this border area and it is hoped that there will be huge support given by businesses and locals both now and on the day - 30th October - in aid of these worthy causes.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)


Brian Conlon, founder and chief executive of the Co Down-headquartered firm First Derivatives, was awarded the title of 2010 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year at a ceremony in Dublin’s Citywest last Thursday Mr Conlon was presented with the award by President Mary McAleese, after first being named the winner of the competition’s International category.
(Source: Irish Times)


She's best known for her jaw-dropping performances on The X Factor but it looks like Dublin finalist Mary Byrne has unwittingly landed herself another TV gig. The Herald can reveal how the Ballyfermot-born singer, dubbed the new SuBo, could soon be popping up in an episode of RTE's Anonymous after stumbling across the TV cameras during a visit home last week.
(Source: The Evening Hearld)


Unionist unity candidate Rodney Connor has failed in his legal challenge to his General Election defeat by Sinn Féin .A court ruled that Michelle Gildernew was duly elected as MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, despite an arguable breach of rules governing the ballot. Mr Connor brought a petition after losing out to Ms Gildernew by four votes after three recounts.


Success is becoming second nature to Portumna’s latest singing sensation, Conor O’Meara, who has already won talent competitions, landed lead roles in musicals, and grabbed the chance to record his own CD – and he’s still only 16. Being the mayor’s son can certainly bring its advantages­ – his dad is Portumna’s ‘first citizen’ Donie O’Meara – but the fifth year student at Portumna Community School can safely be judged on his own merits.
(Source: Connacht Tribune)


While the national body of the Irish Countrywoman’s Association (ICA) celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, Kildare ICA will receive a special award for their work with women in rural communities at the REHAB Kildare People of the Year Awards 2010.Ellen ‘Nellie’ Dillon, who has long been associated with the Kildare awards, is also a lifelong member of the ICA and was delighted when she was notified of the presentation.
(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)


There were over 50,000 horsechestnuts used for the Irish Conker Championships in Freshford last weekend. Over 4,000 people attended the event last weekend for the 11th staging of the competition which just keeps growing in popularity. The festival was brimming with loads of interesting, challenging and spooky things for children and adults. A Ghost Trail was held on Saturday night with spine tingling tales and spooky sights involved.
(Source: Kilkenny People)


A Portarlington based poet is on the shortlist for a prestigious international award. Jean O'Brien is one of six poets shortlisted for the Arvon International Poetry competition. Now in its 30th year, the Arvon International Poetry Competition is said to be one of the UK's most prestigious open poetry prizes. The first prize of £7,500 is one of the largest available for a single poem. The competition receives entries from around the world.
(Source: Leinster Express)


Gardai were left red faced last week after a planned drugs raid on a home in the Drumeela area near Newtowngore resulted in the wrong house being targeted. An elderly man was given the surprise of his life when gardai burst into his home through the front door at around 8.30am last Friday week. According to local reports the man lived alone and was completely unconnected with the investigation being carried out by gardai.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)


The Hail Mary is the all time favorite prayer for Limerick families, a new prayer book "Prayers of Our People", which was compiled by over 800 children drawn from over 70 parishes across the Diocese of Limerick and some neighboring dioceses. In what is the most widespread 'survey' to date carried out among Irish families of their favorite prayers, the book reveals the prayer preferences of three generations.
(Source: Limerick Leader)


TV3's Ireland AM has teamed up with Carraig Donn to search for the new 'face' of the popular fashion brand, and among the finalists is local woman Helen Lynch. The competition ran all last week on the morning program and last Wednesday Granard native Helen Lynch represented Co Longford in the search for the ultimate woman. "It has been great fun. I have five sisters and they encouraged me to take part in the competition, so I sent in the pictures,” said Helen.
(Source: Longford Leader)


Local radio volunteers have won a ‘Social Benefit Achievement Award for their weekly program ‘Ability Focus’ on Dundalk FM.Linda Hamill and Christina O’Boyle received the award for their work in highlighting the positive contributions that are being made by people with disabilities. Christina and Linda - who share the research and interviewing each week - have brought the different disability awareness groups in Dundalk together.
(Source: Dundalk Democrat)


An eighteen-year-old Ballina man who drove his car at another youth resulting in him being flung onto the roof of the car was given a five year suspended sentence at last week’s sitting of Castlebar Circuit Court. The incident occurred at 4am on August 15, 2009 at Pearse Street, Ballina when David Higgins of Shanaghy Heights, Ballina hit Padraig Dunne with his car. The court heard that Mr Higgins had driven at Mr Dunne with the attention of making him jump off the road but he hit him.
(Source: The Mayo News)


After the conditions of last Christmas and New Year, residents of Navan and surrounds will be well-rehearsed for a new movement coming to the town this December - 'Navan on Ice’. However, its not the town’s footpaths that will provide the sliding conditions this time, but a major ice skating rink to be located at Navan Racecourse
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)


The bowling shoes worn by international pop icon Michael Jackson on a family visit to Jumpin' Jacks in Tullamore before his tragic and untimely death went on show on October 23 at 'Thrill the World' Offaly. Being held in Market Square, Tullamore, it is the Irish entry in a global world record attempt for the largest simultaneous dance to Michael Jackson's hit 'Thriller' will be performed.
(Source: Offaly Express)


The charity calendar launched by the Boyle Celtic Legends over-40’s football team, has caught the public imagination and taken off.Six of the Legends featured as the opening item on last Friday nights Late Late Show. Online sales on website have rocketed since last week, with orders coming in from USA, Germany, Spain and Australia.
(Source: The Roscommon Hearld)


Amid fears that €270 million will be cut from education in the forthcoming budget, Sligo IT students staged a protest last week as part of the effort to increase awareness of the situation in advance of a major national demonstration being planned for November 3 in Dublin.
(Source: The Sligo Champion)


A Company founded by a Thurles native had a special reason to celebrate last week after its role in establishing an initial lifeline to 33 men trapped in a mine in Chile led to their euphoric release.

It was a drill manufactured by Mincon which established the initial lifeline to the miners who were trapped 2,300 feet below ground in the San Jose gold and copper mine outside Copiapo, Chile.

Mincon International Limited was founded by Mr. Paddy Purcell, originally from Borroway in Thurles, in 1977 and is run today by his son Joe.
(Source: Tipperary Star)


The family of a Dungannon taxi driver who was murdered 20 years ago, have demanded an independent, international enquiry into his death, as they continue their search to uncover the truth behind his horrific killing. Frank Hughes, described as "gentle and inoffensive" by those who loved him, was lured to his death on October 23, 1990, after he went to pick up a bogus fare from the Glengannon Hotel.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


Over valued buildings are forcing hoteliers to pay huge rates and that in turn is putting the entire industry in jeopardy, members of the City Council were told last week.

At the heart of the problem is a staff shortage in the office of the Commissioner of Valuation where responsibility lies for reviewing the value of properties.
(Source: Waterford News $ Star)


Athlone IT is on track to become one of the country’s leading centers for high performance sports and athletes in the years ahead, if a new ambitious planning application lodged in recent weeks for a new multi-million euro indoor sports arena, including the country’s first IAAF indoor running track and auditorium moves forward. Despite challenging economic times, the third level institute is pressing ahead with the project
(Source: Westmeath Independent)


Nobody will be prosecuted for murdering Wexford mother of two Rebecca French, who was found in the boot of her burning car last year. The trial at the Central Criminal Court of two Lithuanian men charged with the 30-year-old’s murder ended last week after the second man pleaded guilty to impeding the investigation.
(Source: The Irish Times)


It's official, Irish pubs are the best in the world, according to the internationally acclaimed Lonely Planet Guide. A seaside pub in Wicklow, favored by stars, has been named best overall pub in the world on the travel company's website. The Harbour Bar in Bray, which has been frequented by Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Sinead O'Connor among several other celebrities, also came first in the "off the beaten track" category this year.
(Source: The Evening Hearld)