The newly refurbished boathouse at County Antrim Yacht Club enjoyed a high-profile official opening last week. Television crews and photographers descended on the seaside town last Tuesday for the unveiling of the listed building (dating from c.1870) by expert canoeist Elaine Alexander, immediately prior to embarking on a 1000-mile round Ireland challenge.The boathouse will be used as a boat storage facility by CAYC members and also as an overnight stop off point by kayakers and canoeists on the soon to be opened East Coast Canoe Trail.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


About 100 homes were left without power after vandals attacked an electricity sub-station in County Armagh last Wednesday morning. A number of cables were cut and fuses removed from the sub-station at Mandeville Drive in Tandragee. NIE said those responsible risked their lives by breaking into a place full of live cables. Power was restored to affected homes within two hours.
(Source: BBC News)


A talented chef from Killeshin, who was a perfectionist in the kitchen, died suddenly last week. The community of Killeshin was stunned to learn that 34-year-old Andrew Ryan suddenly took ill at his home in Ballinasloe, Galway last Thursday and passed away. The eldest son of Michael and Marie Ryan, Andrew was head chef at the Carlton Shearwater Hotel in Ballinasloe, where he was incredibly popular and respected. His siblings, Mark, Glenn, Barry and Michelle, have been left devastated by Andrew’s untimely passing. Andrew was instrumental in the building of the Ballinasloe hotel, having designed the kitchen himself, down to every last detail.

“He put his own stamp on it,” said his younger brother Barry, who added that Andrew had also recently designed a brand new menu for the hotel, due to be launched next week. A past-pupil of Killeshin NS and St Mary’s CBS, Carlow, the lively young man was passionate about food and traveled the world to hone his skills. “He wanted to do everything. He was good at all aspects and he was always interested in learning more,” said his heartbroken father Michael.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


A man with an address in Ballyjamesduff, and formerly from Dublin, pleaded guilty at a Special Sitting of Cavan District Court to a charge of assaulting Judge Sean MacBride at a sitting of the court on February 17, 2011. Paddy Foran from Carnin, Ballyjamesduff also pleaded guilty to a charge of engaging in threatening and abusive behavior on the occasion. He also faces another charge alleging that he had unlawful possession of stolen property, including a dog trailer with two steel ramps to the value of €360, a Stihl chainsaw to the value of €300, and one steel handmade welder's trolley to the value of €80, knowing the property was stolen or being reckless as to whether it was stolen. All items were recovered.
(Source: The Anglo Celt)


An Ennis cardiologist has made history by becoming the first Irish person to win an international award for groundbreaking work carried out on heart muscle recovery at University College Cork. Dr John O’Sullivan, an MMI clinician scientist fellow, won the Young Investigator Award at the American College of Cardiology meeting in New Orleans recently.

The Young Investigator competes in open international competition with the best cardiac research projects from around the world. ?The award-winning work was carried out in the laboratory of Professor Noel Caplice at the Centre for Research in Vascular Biology at UCC.
(Source: The Clare Champion)


A thief in Garretstown broke into a car by smashing the back window to steal a child’s purse with just €2 in it. Details of this and a spate of other thefts emerged at a meeting this week discussing the rising numbers of thefts from cars in Cork. Supt Eddie McEoin addressed the Cork Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting at County Hall last Monday and said motorists needed to take better care with property being left in cars. He said the recent incident was just one case whereby items had been left in the car in full view of thieves, who are cashing in on the lucrative practice. He said that scenic areas were being targeted as members of the public leave their cars and go for walks, leaving property in full view in vehicles. Similar incidents have been reported in woodland areas in North Cork.
Source: (Cork Independent)


A convicted double murderer has launched a legal challenge over regulations which currently stop him gaining a license to work as a bouncer. Derry man Antaine O’Dochartaigh is seeking to judicially review eligibility criteria he claims is irrational and breaches his expectations as a prisoner released under the Good Friday Agreement. His case is believed to have potential implications for a number of others who cannot apply for the permits. O’Dochartaigh was freed in 2000 after serving time for more than 70 terrorist-related offences, including the killing of two loyalists, Cecil McKnight and Gary Lynch, in Derry in 1991. Following his release he had worked as a doorman until new licensing requirements for security industry staff were extended to Northern Ireland.
(Source: Derry Journal)


For many years visitors to Donegal Town will have noticed large groups of young people whizzing back and forward across the Diamond doing spectacular moves on their skateboards. This dedicated group have been campaigning without success for years to have their own skateboard park where they would not be inconveniencing other members of the public and have the opportunity to enjoy their sport in a safe environment. The determination of the group has finally paid off and the spokesperson for the group, Rory Breslin from Donegal Town told the Donegal Democrat that they would be finally opening the first indoor park in the county within the next month.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)


Two elderly Ballynahinch brothers are recovering at home after being targeted by brutal robbers. Sam and Wilbert Somerville, who are both in their late 70s, have recounted the horrifying weekend attack in their Ballycreen Road home. A gang of four masked men, believed to be in their 20s, burst past Sam as he stood at the door of the house shortly after 11pm last Saturday night. He said the men knocked him to the ground as they forced their way in. They tied Sam up before threatening him with his own gun, which they found as they ransacked the property. Sam said he begged one of the men to remove the gun from his head, which at the time he believed was loaded with a single cartridge. But despite the threat of the gun and a knife, Sam said he was more frightened by the cruelty the men showed.
(Source: The Down Recorder)


An innocent man was caught in the crossfire of a gang warfare when a grenade was thrown at a Dublin house last Wednesday night. The victim suffered facial injuries in the attack which is being linked to a bitter internal dispute in 'Fat' Freddie Thompson's gang. Thugs bombed the house in Crumlin shortly after 10pm -- but none of the occupants have anything to do with the feud. The 55-year old victim -- who has no involvement in crime -- was injured when the deadly fragmentation device exploded outside the door of his home on Lorcan O'Toole Road. Sources have revealed that last week’s incident was the sixth time in three years that the house has been targeted.

"It has been shot at, petrol bombed and now there is a grenade attack -- it is amazing that no one has been killed at that house," said a source.
(Source: The Evening Herald)


Administrators have been appointed to the company which owns the Lough Erne 5 Star Hotel and Golf Resort in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. The luxury resort, which opened in 2007, is located on a 600 acre peninsula between Castle Hume Lough and Lower Lough Erne and features the first golf course designed by Nick Faldo in Ireland. On Thursday, John Hansen and Stuart Irwin of Belfast accountancy firm KPMG were appointed as Joint Administrators of Castle Hume Leisure Limited. John Hansen of KPMG said: "It is our intention to continue trading and keep this outstanding resort open for "business as usual'' including weddings and all other bookings. The Joint Administrators will seek to find a new owner however, in the meantime it is our intention to keep the business open and indeed drive the business forward at every opportunity."


A major Galway construction company has shut down all of its building sites, with the temporary loss of more than 450 jobs, in an eleventh hour bid to secure its future.
Cordil Construction says it is owed “substantial monies” for Department of Education and HSE building projects, and directors have made phone calls to ministers in recent days in a desperate bid to save the company. It now has a two-week ‘window’ to secure bank funding and save the jobs. It’s understood Cordil’s cashflow has been put under severe strain because of strict conditions imposed by Government contracts.
(Source: GalwayBay Fm)


Kerry Co-Op Creameries has netted €42 million through the sale of 1.5 million shares in Kerry Group. The shares, with a nominal value of €0.125 each, were placed with institutional investors at a price of €28.25 per share. The proceeds from the sale will be used primarily to repay borrowings. Following the transaction, Kerry Co-operative Creameries now owns 22.8 per cent of the company, down from 23.7 per cent. Kerry co-operative has been gradually reducing its shareholding in the PLC since the flotation of the company.
(Source: Irish Times)


Gardai (police)are continuing to investigate a shocking sexual assault that took place in Newbridge last week.??A teenage girl was assaulted near the town’s train station between 1am and 1.30am on 1 May in an attack for which no one has been arrested as of yet.??Sergeant Seamus Rothwell of Newbridge Garda Station said the gardaí are taking the case very seriously and are conducting a thorough investigation to try and find the young teen’s attacker.??They have been checking CCTV cameras, including those at the railway station which capture some footage near the area where the teenager was assaulted.??Gardaí have also been conducting house-tohouse enquiries in an effort to find out more about who was responsible for the attack.
(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)


Kilkenny is in danger of losing another historic landmark unless a conservation plan is implemented. The steps at St Canice’s Cathedral are approaching their 400th anniversary and they are beginning to show their age. Local councilor Malcolm Noonan has hit out at the borough council saying that they would be better off spending the remaining money raised by development charges on protecting the city’s heritage than on building the central access road that he opposes. Cllr Noonan said that the million euro that the borough council is planning to spend on the central access scheme would be better off used to protect the steps. He said “I think council funding would be better spent on protecting historic structures than on a road that no one wants.”
(Source: Kilkenny People)


A terrified woman was held prisoner by a gang of men in a brazen robbery that occurred in Cullahill last Monday night. The gang plundered the Topaz Service Station on the town’s main street by forcing the garage owner’s wife to allow them access. The woman was alone in the family home adjacent to the petrol station when four masked and armed men struck at around 11pm. The men forced the woman to open the garage next door, where they proceeded to steal a large quantity of cigarettes and an amount of cash. After removing the goods, the men locked the woman back into her house and fled the scene. Though badly shaken by her ordeal, the woman phoned first her husband and then the local gardaí, who arrived at the house within minutes.
(Source: Leinster Express)


This month marks the 50th anniversary of the first ejection from a military aircraft in Ireland, after then Cadet Ron McPartland, a Drumshanbo man, was ordered to eject after a training flight went wrong on May 5, 1961. The Irish Air Corps introduced jet aircraft to their fleet when the first three Vampire jets, (serials 185,186 and 187), were delivered on the 21 July 1956. These were also the first aircraft in the Irish Air Corps to be equipped with Martin-Baker ejection seats, a safety mechanism created by Co Down man, James Martin.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)


Five men have appeared before Limerick District Court after they were charged in connection with a major garda (police) operation targeting organized crime across Munster. The five, four of whom have addresses in Limerick city, are accused of committing a variety of offences – some of which date back to 2003. The offences, which are alleged to have happened at locations across counties Limerick, Clare, Tipperary and Galway include theft, robbery, fraud, possession of stolen cars and a variety of road traffic offences.
(Source: Limerick Leader)


A Longford man accused of raping and murdering a mother-of-three was asked by her sister if he was “some kind of a pervert”, a court heard last week. Michelle Rodger said Patrick Rae was talking to her at a club in Dundee with her sister Mary McLaren. The body of Mrs McLaren, from Dundee, was found almost two weeks after the night out in the city last year. Patrick Rae, 41, denies that between 25 February and 10 March last year at North Marketgait and elsewhere in Dundee, he sexually assaulted and raped Mrs McLaren, of Rowantree Crescent, Linlathen, Dundee, and murdered her. It is alleged he punched her on the head and banged her head on the ground and against a wall, struck her on the neck with a knife, and seized and compressed her throat.
(Source: Longford Leader)


A man and woman walked away from this mangled MG sports convertible without serious injury after the car crashed through the garden wall of a house in Ravensdale. The man, who is in his 20s, and a teenage girl with Autism survived relatively unscathed when the car in which they were traveling lost control at Blackgates, Ravensdale on Friday, April 29. The car smashed through a low garden wall and narrowly missed the front door of the house. The two occupants of the car, who live locally, had a very lucky escape according to a member of the emergency services.
(Source: Dundalk Democrat)


A Romanian man who died when his fishing boat was capsized by a wave drowned when water entered his lungs through a tracheotomy tube in his neck.
Mircea Ungar (55), a computer technician from Sibiu in Romania, drowned on Lough Mask last Sunday morning. Mr Ungar had arrived in Ireland on Saturday and was accompanied by six friends, who were staying in Tourmakeady on a fishing holiday.
(Source: The Mayo News)


A sophisticated diesel laundering plant uncovered by the Customs Service and gardaí (police) outside Navan last Thursday had the capacity to launder 7.8 million litres of fuel per year. Four men were arrested following an early morning raid on two large sheds on a farm near Wilkinstown last Thursday in what was described as the culmination of a wide-ranging investigation by gardaí and customs personnel. The plant had been under surveillance for a period of time and customs officers said a fuel laundering operation was "in progress" when they raided the premises.
The raid was a joint operation by officers from Revenue's Customs Service and Meath Gardai. Some 30,000 litres of laundered fuel and 12,000 litres of hazardous 'sludge', two tanker-trailer units and four vehicles were seized at the plant, along with ancilliary equipment.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)


Three girls, aged between 14 and 16 years, were sent for trial last week from the District Court to the Circuit Criminal Court on charges of causing criminal damage of almost €3 million to Hope Castle, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, as a result of an arson attack on November 4th last.The castle, owned by Monaghan County Council and leased as a hotel to Christopher Haren, was destroyed by the fire. Judge Sean MacBride was informed at a sitting of the District Court in Carrickmacross last week by John Murray, a witness for the county council, that the building was insured.
(Source: Irish Times)


A Tullamore teacher who took a case against the VEC is facing paying legal costs after losing her case. Mary O’Toole’s claim that she was bullied and sexually harassed by a male colleague was dismissed recently by a High Court judge as “not credible”. The male colleague, Jim Mooney, had denied Mrs O’Toole’s claims, alleging she had pursued him including on one occasion when she shouted in the letterbox of his house: “I just want to be with you.” Mrs O’Toole had sued County Offaly Vocational Education Committee, claiming she was the victim of “a campaign” of bullying and harassment by Mr Mooney, a colleague at Tullamore College. In his reserved judgment, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill found there was no sexual harassment or bullying on Mr Mooney’s part directed against Mrs O’Toole.
(Source: Offaly Express)


Councilor Tom Crosby has been informed by Roscommon County Council that new signage name plates will be put in place in the town of Strokestown.? The signage will placed on the street corners identifying the different streets. ?The councilor got agreement that new signage would be put in place on the Housing Estates throughout the town, all of which will be of great benefit to tourists and visitors to the Town and area. ?The councilor also stated that the works on Elphin Street will be completed in the current year with ¤200,000 provided by Roscommon County Council to lay a macadam finish surface from the roundabout right up to Kiltrustan turn off. ?Works will also involve planing part of the surface at the upper end.
(Source: The Roscommon Champion)


Starting work on a new €3.2 million Centre of Excellence at a time when many clubs and county boards are struggling financially might seem a little extravagant or possibly even reckless – or indeed both. As far as the Sligo County Board are concerned the time is distinctly “opportune”, and having completed all the necessary background work, they intend to have the developers on their 22-acre site at Scarden, about 5km outside Sligo town on the Strandhill Road, by the end of the month.
(Source: The Sligo Champion)


The trial of two Thurles barmen accused of manslaughter is set to continue this Wednesday before a jury of six men and six women at Nenagh Circiut Court. Hayes Hotel bar manager Gary Wright, 34, of Kilfithmone, Borrisoleigh, and Aidan Dalton, 28, barman, also of Kilfithmone, Borrisoleigh, have both pleaded not guilty to causing the death of Graham Parish, 26, from Lomeshaye, Lancashire, on June 30, 2008. They are both charged with manslaughter through gross negligence under the liquor liability laws. Mr Parish was a guest at the hotel and the trial before Judge Thomas Teehan has heard that Mr Parish died from acute alcohol poisoning. The body of the civil engineer and father of two children was found in a room in the hotel on the morning of July 1, 2008.
(Source: Tipperary Star)


Police investigating the murder of Constable Ronan Kerr have arrested a 36-year-old woman in Pomeroy. The woman was arrested last Tuesday and is being held at Antrim police station. Constable Kerr, 25, died when a booby-trap bomb exploded underneath his car in Omagh, County Tyrone, on 2 April. A house in Pomeroy was searched. A 33-year-old man appeared in court last month charged in connection with the murder of Constable Kerr. Gavin Coyle, from Culmore Park, Omagh, was charged with possession of explosives, firearms and articles likely to be of use to terrorists at Dungannon Magistrates Court. No bail application was made and he was remanded in custody for four weeks.
(Source: MidUlster Mail)


Life remains on hold for a 17-yearold city soccer player who broke his neck and was within just three millilitres of splitting his spinal cord in a freak accident in the past week. Waterford sportsmen David O’Leary, the youngest of a family of two from Collins Avenue, Dunmore Road, said he was grateful to be alive though it is unlikely he will ever play sport again. The life threatening injuries for the Hibernians midfielder, who recently played in the De La Salle College team that landed the FAIS Senior cup final, occurred in an accidental collision with the Bohemians goalkeeper during a Schoolboy U16A league game at Mitchell Kennedy Park last Tuesday evening.
(Source: Waterford News and Star)


The county of Wexford has launched a new brand identity, created by Dublin-based agency StudioRichards, which aims to appeal to a wider audience. StudioRichards created the brand identity on behalf of Wexford Tourism and Wexford County Council, which focuses on the variety of the county, its heritage and international culture offering.  “Wexford County lacked a central identity to communicate what it stood for and to establish a consistent brand,” says creative director, StudioRichards, Simon Richards. “Wexford needed to attract a wider audience and expand on its image as the sunny southeast. The destination has an excellent portfolio of heritage, culture and adventure. It was these elements that needed to be communicated through the new brand.” StudioRichards created the proposition ‘Wexford - So Old, So New’, which marries the county’s rich heritage and history with its contemporary culture and adventure scene.
(Source: Business and