Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams suffered an embarrassing setback last Thursday after he failed in his first attempt to be added to the electoral register. He went in person last week to give a declaration to the returning officer for Louth that he is now living in the county instead of his former base in Belfast. This would have allowed him to vote in the constituency where he plans to run in the next general election in place of retiring Sinn Fein TD Arthur Morgan. But Mr Adams' claim was struck down due to a lack of evidence that he was living in the Louth constituency on the dates required.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


A well-known Co Armagh republican, Colin Duffy and Magherafelt man Brian Shivers will go on trial early next year accused of murdering two soldiers in the Real IRA gun attack on Massareene army base in March 2009. The prosecution said this week that evidence against the pair consists of DNA found on a number of items found in a partially burnt out car thought to have been used in the attack with a date for the trial now set for January 14, at Belfast Crown Court.
(Source: Belfast


Burglars dressed entirely in white to blend in with the snow robbed a local business last week. Rocca’s takeaway in Graiguecullen was broken into during the early hours of Wednesday morning last when the two thieves, both caught on CCTV, smashed a window in the fast food restaurant. “We got them on CCTV – they were dressed in white from head to toe,” said owner Onorio Rocca.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


Little Eden Kellett from Bailieborough is not even two years old yet and she’s already striking a pose as an international model. At the age of 22 months, Eden has been chosen as Miss May in a charity calendar produced by Texan children’s clothes designer, Tara Carr of Ava Lane Couture.

“The calendar features a collection of her unique clothing designs from this year,” explained proud mum, Lynda. “Each model was chosen by the designer and Eden was the only international model chosen!”
(Source: The Angle Celt)


Four-hundred pupils at Holy Family National School contributed to a major handprint mural, which is currently on display in the school. The project was overseen by local artist David O’Rourke as part of Clare County Council’s artist-in-residence scheme.

The scheme covers all art forms and focuses on a collaboration between artists and participants in order to realise an artistic project, programme or event.
(Source: The Clare People)


The number of people signing on to the live register in Cork dropped between October and November. Cork North Central Fianna Fail TD, and Minster for State, Billy Kelleher announced that the number of people signing on dropped by 624 for the period, as well as a fall in unemployment numbers from 44,186 to 43,562 during the month. Speaking about the drop Minister Kelleher said, “Well obviously the numbers of people unemployed throughout Cork are still too high but I’m glad to see another drop in the number of people on the live register locally.”
Source: (Cork Independent)


A Londonderry man has been jailed for five months for breaking into a house. Alan Whelan (24) of Drummard Park was charged with the offence, which occurred at a property in Grangemore Park, on November 30 last year. The city magistrates’ court was told a householder awoke at 5.30am on hearing noises in his garage. He disturbed two intruders who made off when he appeared. Stereo equipment had been stacked up ready to be taken and a crate of beer had been opened and two tins taken. Tests revealed that the defendant's DNA was on one of the tins. When questioned he could give no explanation.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


Fears of an exodus of the county's young people will intensify in the new year as many prepare to head overseas in search of work. Among them are many well-educated graduates who say they have no alternative but to leave home. Student Union President of Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Marian Gibbons from Fanad, a graduate in Law Studies at the college, says like many of her friends, she is also being forced to emigrate in search of work.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)


A Co. Down man who ran a failed yacht and boat sales company from an island on Strangford Lough has been barred from acting as a company director for eight years.
Misconduct admitted by selling agent David Thomas McKnight (49) of Inishanier, Whiterock, in Killinchy, included failing to refund over £100,000 which had been paid for a boat. Mr McKnight gave a disqualification undertaking to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in October, according to a statement released by DETI last week.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


Public transport workers have been hailed for going beyond the call of duty during the Big Freeze. Bus, train and Luas staff were praised for helping commuters get home in the Arctic conditions. One Iarnrod Eireann train driver offered to drive an elderly couple from Armagh to Monaghan when it appeared they would be stranded. Luas drivers got out of their trams to push cars, while Dublin Bus staff have managed to struggle into work in all types of conditions.
(Source: The Herald)


A Fermanagh club wants the GAA to act as a private bank for its membership.
Derrygonnelly Harps have submitted a motion to the Fermanagh convention next week asking that the GAA set aside money from its "healthy net current assets" to fund start-up businesses by GAA members. The exact text of the motion asks that "our association, the Gaelic Athletic Association, set aside part of its healthy net current assets to a revolving loan fund, which will be used to assist association members with business start-up loans, repayable over a fixed term at preferential interest rates".
(Source: Irish Independent)


For the first time in its long history as a prime tourism destination, Connemara industry operators are banding together to market and develop the region in a concerted bid to entice more overseas and domestic visitors to stay longer and broaden their experience once they get there. A steering group made up of 14 local operators and representatives from Fáilte Ireland, Galway County County and Údaras na Gaeltachta, led by chairman George Finnegan has drawn up a dynamic action plan for the whole of Connemara.
(Source: GalwayBay Fm)


Good examples of traditional Irish furniture were now very rare, a conservator has told the official opening of a Co Kerry exhibition on the traditional Irish dwelling. Furniture adviser to the Office of Public Works, Sven Habermann, said there was a healthy trade in settle beds between this country and the US in the 1970s and 1980s when there was demand for stripped pine. Very good examples of meal bins, beds and such were now very rare and the exhibition, at the entrance building to Muckross folk farms, contained some of the finest.
(Source: Irish Times)


Kildare is represented by a Newbridge woman on this year’s Operation Transformation the RTÉ One television programme which helps people to change their lifestyle, become fitter and lose weight. The programme will not be screened until 5 January, but meanwhile the five leaders were chosen from hundreds of applicants and the news was delivered to each of the five, in person on the John Murray Show on RTÉ radio recently.
(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)


Arctic weather conditions caused chaos in the city and county forcing schools to close and created lethal road conditions recently. Temperatures plummeted to minus 9.6 degrees in the city early on Monday morning last, the lowest temperature ever officially recorded in the country in November. Prior to last Monday the lowest temperature recorded in November was minus 7.2 degrees which was recorded at Kilkenny Castle in 1887.
(Source: Kilkenny People)


More than 600 people work in Portlaoise's jails, according to the latest figures.
There are more than 270 prison officers working at Portlaoise Prison, and a further 336 officers based at the adjacent Midlands Prison on the Dublin Road. Releasing the figures in the Dáil, Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern said that the go ahead had been given to recruit 80 more prison officers, despite the ban on recruitment to the public service.
(Source: Leinster Express)


The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is still considering a file prepared by local gardai following an investigation into an assault on pensioner, Jonny Goolden in his home in early September. Mr Goolden, who lived alone in his home in Ned/Doogarry near the Cavan/Leitrim border, died four weeks after the attack.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)


A YouTube video featuring students falling on a frozen path near the University of Limerick is proving to be an internet sensation. Almost 170,000 people have already viewed the three minute video which was posted on the popular website last weekend.
Accompanied by John Lennon's Slippin and Slidin, the video was recorded last week at the height of the cold snap.The amateur footage, which was recorded from a parked car near the entrance to the pathway, which links the College Court estate and the University.
(Source: Limerick Leader)


Co Longford Social Services Meals on Wheels Service defied the terrible weather conditions in past weeks to get out to homes across the county. The army assisted the local volunteers on Monday last as conditions in some parts of the county were particularly treacherous. "At the moment we are delivering over 200 meals daily. The meal consists of hot soup, main meal and dessert and the total dinners delivered for 2009 was 59,767," a spokesperson for the service told the Leader.
(Source: Longford Leader)


Four men were charged at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin last week in connection with the discovery of a mortar in Co Louth recently and Garda investigations into the activities of the dissident terrorist group, Óglaigh na hÉireann. Dalton McKevitt (35), of Woodbury Gardens, Dundalk, Co Louth was charged with the unlawful possession of an improvised mortar launcher. Niall Farrell (34), of Closhbrid, Dundalk, Co Louth was charged with the unlawful possession of a mortar launcher at Commons Road, Dromiskin. Patrick Tierney (25), of Drumarg Park, Armagh city, Co Armagh and Patrick Gordon (22), of Newtownhamilton Road, Armagh city were also charged
(Source: Dundalk Democrat)


An Achill man struck Dáil Eireann once again on the day of the Budget. Joe McNamara (41) who is originally from Achill, drove his cherry picker down Kildare St in Dublin early last Tuesday and hoisted his placard-covered crane up at least 50 feet over the Dail Eireann gates. The crane he drove through the capital had slogans glued to its side that read “Winner - Dermot Ahern €310,000 payoff: 4 million pension - The losers: Minimum wage; the sick and elderly; the students; welfare.”
(Source: The Mayo News)


The Kells Pink Ribbon Walk committee handed over a cheque for €75,000 to Action Breast Cancer at a presentation ceremony in the Headfort Arms Hotel recently. The money was raised by over 600 runners and walkers who took part in the second annual Kells Pink Ribbon Walk at Drewstown House on 11th September, 2010. “We are so proud of the achievement of the Kells Pink Ribbon Walkers who raised this fantastic amount of money in very challenging economic times,” according to Penny McGowan, Pink Ribbon Walk committee chairperson.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)


The army barracks in Monaghan, which closed last year, is to be turned into a state-of-the art education campus under plans to be unveiled this week. The barracks, on the outskirts of the town, closed in January 2009, after more than 32 years of Army service in the Border county. It was the first of four barracks to close in a cost-saving measure announced in the budget. Lifford, Letterkenny and Longford also closed, amid protests from soldiers’ families and the local communities.
(Source: Monaghan Times)


The cold weather has even had an effect on crime in Tullamore last week. Gardai recorded last week as the quietest week of the year crimewise. With just two arrests for public order and burglary and five for shoplifting over the weekend, it seems the icy weather has kept would be offenders indoors. In direct contrast Gardai had recorded the busiest week of the year crimewise the week before.
(Source: Offaly Express)


There may be appeals to shop local this Christmas, but when it comes to looking for a spouse Roscommon people are looking outside of the county for a partner, according to the statistics for 2007 from the Central Statistics Office people in Roscommon are less likely to marry someone from the same county.
(Source: The Roscommon Hearld)


Focus Ireland has launched a new hard-hitting campaign which aims to help boost the charity's drive to raise funds vital to ensure its services in Sligo can cope with the growing demand for support from people who are homeless and others at risk of losing their homes. The campaign also aims to help galvanise support for more urgent action to combat and prevent homelessness in Ireland. The new public awareness and fundraising campaign features outdoor billboard and radio ads.
(Source: The Sligo Weekender)


Gardai in the Thurles District brought community policing in the area to a new level at the height of the artic spell in the past ten days when they embarked on a most commendable initiative that saw them deliver necessities to the homes of many elderly folk. Gardai, in liaison with agencies such as Muintir Na Tire, Civil Defence, St Vincent De Paul, Muintir Na Tire, and local branches of IFA, launched the initative that saw them call in on elderly and infirm people to ensure that they were safe during the artic grip.
(Source: Tipperary Star)


A man set his mother on fire in a rage over her refusal to take him to get food, the High Court heard last Wednesday. Francis Devine (19) is accused of lighting her petrol-soaked arm as she tried to stop an attempted arson attack on her partner's van. The woman suffered serious burns during the incident in Co Tyrone, a prosecuting lawyer said. Devine, of Coney Park, Coalisland, is also alleged to have carried out a separate attack on his mother during a row over money.
(Source: Belfast Telgraph)


Taxi drivers have experienced their busiest and most difficult week according to the city’s largest taxi company. Ollie O’Brien, owner of Rapid Cabs, said the icy conditions meant his drivers had worked “flat out”.Due to hazardous conditions many motorists left their cars at home, which significantly increased the workload for taxi drivers across the county.
(Source: Waterford News $ Star)


Over 500 people applied for 12 temporary Christmas jobs in the Argos store in Athlone’s Golden Island shopping centre. A spokesperson for the store confirmed that they were “absolutely inundated” with job applications once the company advertised their temporary positions about two months ago. “We were absolutely inundated, literally. Normally we get in around 500 applications in a cardboard box and they were all taken up, usually we end up sending some back.
(Source: Westmeath Independent)


Four men have each been sentenced to ten years in prison for disposing of and trying to destroy the body of Rebecca French in Co Wexford last year. At the Central Criminal Court, Judge Barry White described the killing of the 30-year-old as 'brutal' and 'savage'. He said the sentence was the maximum he could impose. Ms French's body was discovered by firefighters in the boot of her burning car at Cod's Lane on 9 October 2009.
(Source: RTE News)


Christmas tree growers in Wicklow are on high alert to prevent thieves from chopping down their expensive crop. On some occasions up to 80 to 100 trees have been hacked down overnight, leaving members of the Irish Christmas Tree Growers majorly out of pocket.
(Source: Wicklow People)