The "phenomenal" achievements of jockey Tony McCoy were recognized at a special reception at Stormont two weeks ago. The Moneyglass man was the guest of honor at Parliament Buildings at a function held in his honor after the 35-year-old chalked up his 3,000th National Hunt win earlier this year. Joined by members of his immediate family and friends in the Long Gallery, the 14-times champion jockey, widely regarded as the greatest ever, received commendations from members of the racing fraternity and reception host, Sports Minister Nelson McCausland.

(Source: The Belfast Telegraph)        



The dumping of a large quantity of asbestos waste in south Armagh has been slammed by the Sinn Fein councilor for the area, Packie McDonald. The extremely harmful material was found to have been discarded just off the motorway, near the village of Killean, on Thursday last. Mr. McDonald says the actions of those responsible for dumping this potentially lethal material show complete disregard for the safety of the people of the area. “The potential dangers of asbestos are widely known and the inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses, including malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestos,” Mr. McDonald explained.

 (Source: The Examiner)


Carlow’s Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) has been forced to increase its staffing levels to help deal with the ever growing demands on its service. The additional money advisors will help deal with the problems that are now being faced by the 6,806 people who are on the live register in County Carlow. Figures published last week showed that a further 294 people in Carlow have been forced to join the county’s growing dole queues in the past month.

 (Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


Houses on the market in Co. Cavan are starting to sell as vendors and auctioneers have slashed prices by up to 40% in some cases. The news comes in the week that a new report has shown rents in the county have fallen almost 12% in the last year. A three-bed semi-detached house in Cavan town can now be purchased for about €140,000, while a four-bed townhouse in nearby Butlersbridge can be snapped up for €135,000.

 (Source: The Anglo Celt)


Workers at troubled Shannon company Element Six held a protest march at lunchtime last Thursday to highlight further their frustration at the “inadequate” redundancy package being offered to staff who will be laid off as part of a survival plan that has still to be agreed. Both union and non-union employees of the industrial diamond manufacturer, which is already facing a threat of strike action, marched from the plant through the Shannon Free Zone.

(Source: The Irish Times)



The need to be cleverer with our cash has spurred a Charleville man to set up a new service aimed at saving householders both time and money. The new online service,, is the brainchild of Tony Aherne and is designed for those seeking competitive quotes from tradesmen for specific domestic jobs or those undertaking a complete new build. Based at Cooleens, Charleville, Mr. Aherne claims CleverMike will help people save time and money by providing a service where people can log on to the website, describe a job they want done and receive free quotes from CleverMike's registered pool of trades people.

(Source: The Corkman)


Thousands of householders in Derry have been advised to keep their windows and doors closed because of potentially hazardous smoke from a huge tire fire. More than 10,000 tires at a tire depot in the Pennyburn Industrial Estate were on fire after the blaze was discovered shortly after midnight last Wednesday. Fire crews from Derry, Coleraine, and Omagh were involved in tackling the blaze with 41 firefighters at the scene at one stage.

 (Source: The Derry Journal)



The weekend before last the famous Máire Rua Gallagher was selected as Gaoth Dobhair Person of the Year. Marie is considered a woman who knew hardship and tough times and a woman who has emerged as one of the most instantly recognizable faces in this county.

(Source: Donegal Democrat)


An amateur snapper from Co Down fought off thousands of competitors to win a tourist photography competition last week. Ryan Wilson impressed the judges with his entry entitled Into the West to take home first prize in the Wonders of Ireland contest. The winning picture features Tyrella beach near Downpatrick against the stunning backdrop of the Mourne Mountains, with a horse and rider in silhouette. The photo also shows a dramatic sky with heavy clouds and sun bursting through, which was described as “typically Irish”.

(Source: The Down Democrat)



Composer Phil Coulter last Wednesday night paid tribute to knife victim Sebastian Creane who, he said, was almost part of his family. Twenty-two-year-old student Sebastian was murdered in his Co Wicklow home by friend Shane Clancy, who then killed himself. Mr. Clancy’s ex-girlfriend Jennifer Hannigan and Mr. Creane’s brother Dylan were also injured in the frenzied attack in Bray in the early hours of Sunday morning last. Mr. Coulter said the victim was one of the oldest and closest friend’s of his eldest son Daragh and was practically part of their family. He described Mr. Creane as one of the most gentle, respectful, and charming lads that he ever encountered.

(Source: The Evening Herald)


A police dog has been hailed for finding a missing pensioner in Northern Ireland. Tach the German Shepherd tracked down the 80-year-old man who had fallen in fields in rural Co Fermanagh and was facing a night in the elements. The elderly man was suffering from mild hypothermia when he was eventually found after a three and a half hour search. The alarm was raised when a carer called at his home near Newtownbutler at around 8.30pm last Friday to discover he wasn't at home. A police spokesman said an extensive search was launched. "The police helicopter was tasked to the scene, and police on foot and a local police dog handler began a search," he said. "At around midnight, Constable Keith McCabe and his Belgian Shepherd dog Tach located the man where he had fallen in fields near his home." The pensioner was treated in hospital over the weekend and returned home on Sunday last.

(Source: The Fermanagh Herald)


A new book on the lakes of the country has documented the supernatural beasts that have been sighted in waters across Galway, and which are believed to still lurk in the murky depths. The book, entitled ‘Irish Lake Marvels – Mysteries, Legends and Lore’ by John Dunne, revives the stories that were probably well known by older generations of farmers and fishermen who had the living daylights scared out of them by a monster rearing its ugly head. The Connemara region features prominently in the book of lore, and the scariest beast of them all seems to be the monster-in-residence at Lough Auna, three kilometers south east of Clifden. A number of bog workers over the years have reported seeing a massive creature that has the head of a horse and the body of an eel slinking through the water.

 (Source: Galway Independent)


Businesses in Tralee expect a bumper week with thousands of visitors expected to pack the town for the Rose of Tralee's historic fiftieth anniversary celebrations, which got underway last Friday. Tourism interests say they are expecting an increase of around 50 per cent on visitor numbers compared to last year's festival and the majority of Tralee's hotels are already entirely booked out. According to Holiday Tralee, the majority of hotel rooms in Tralee have already been snapped up, as have most short-term rental apartments.

(Source: The Kerryman)


An oak barrel, full of butter, estimated to be roughly 3,000 years old has been found in Gilltown bog, between Timahoe and Staplestown. The amazing discovery of the barrel, which is being described by archaeology experts in the National Museum as a "really fine example" was found by two Bord na Mona workers.

Source: The Kildare Nationalist)


Begging on Kilkenny streets has hit epic proportions in recent weeks, according to a local councilor who said beggars are taking advantage of tourists visiting the city during the summer. Kilkenny Borough councilor Martin Brett said there were now more beggars on the streets than ever, as the tourist season draws more people into town. “The number of people begging in the city is increasing in a serious way,” Clr Brett said.

(Source: The Kilkenny People)



The High Court has granted an order to close down a solicitor's practice in Co Laois. The Law Society sought the order against Eamon P Comiskey, of Ballycarnan, Portlaoise, accusing him of fraud and dishonest practices in connection with a number of property transactions. The court order requires him to suspend his practice, freezes his accounts and he has to hand over all his files to the Law Society.

(Source: The Irish Times)


Rents across the country have fallen by a further 5% in the past 3 months, according to the latest report published by the property website Although the national average rent is down 17% over the past 12 months, rent in Leitrim has only fallen by 8.4% in the same time period. The average rent in Leitrim in the second quarter of the year was just over €485.

(Source: The Leitrim Observer)



Fears are growing for another 200 jobs, after staff in a local firm were asked to train workers from India. The employees are worried that their jobs will be lost in a copycat scenario to the situation at Dell, where 2,000 workers lost their jobs to a new plant in Poland, after Limerick- based employees were asked to get the plant up and running. News that engineers at a Shannon telephony firm are training Indian workers has put local staff on high alert. Now, 180 jobs - the majority of which are filled by people from Limerick - could be put at risk in the first part of 2010, with management allegedly admitting that many of the firm's 40 contractors could be gone by Christmas.

(Source: The Limerick Leader)


Viewmount House in Longford has been nominated for four prestigious awards at the renowned Food & Wine Magazine Edward Dillon Restaurant of the Year Awards 2009. Viewmount Restaurant has been short listed in the categories of Best Service, Best Good Value, Good Cooking, and Best Wine Experience. All nominees have been selected by the food-loving public and now the final decision lies with a panel of Ireland's top food and wine experts who have the difficult task of choosing the winners.

(Source: The Longford Leader)


The Irish Medical Council has recommended a consultant to work with gardaí (police) investigating allegations of sexual assault against former Lourdes Consultant Michael Shine. A spokesperson for Drogheda gardaí confirmed a consultant doctor had been appointed to work with investigating gardaí. Michael Shine was struck off the medical register last year after the Medical Council found he abused his professional position by making sexual advances towards three patients. Since then, almost 70 new complaints have been lodged against the 77-year-old former doctor. All of the complaints were made by men who claim they were assaulted by Shine in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital or at his private consulting practice on Fair Street between the 1970s and the 1990s.

(Source: The Drogheda Independent)


As stab victim Frankie Heneghan is buried last Tuesday in Ballyheane cemetery, the county’s Garda (police) Chief has called on people to remain calm. Chief Superintendent Tony McNamara has stressed that the recent litany of violent crimes were not related to each other. However, outspoken Fine Gael Deputy Michael Ring warned that Ballinrobe Garda Station must be reopened round-the-clock, in light of the shocking violence in the south Mayo town.  Chief Supt McNamara confirmed that a Special Investigation Unit had been established to investigate the series of knife crimes over the last two weeks in Westport, Kiltimagh and Ballinrobe.

(Source: The Mayo News)



The future of the Kells Heritage Center looks increasingly uncertain as town councilors and officials prepare for a special meeting to discuss the crisis looming because of falling revenues and outstanding need for major reconstruction in the 208-year-old building.

Kells Town Council chairman Brian Curran is trying to organize an emergency meeting of councilors and officials to deal with the problem in advance of the ordinary monthly meeting of the council scheduled for September.

(Source: The Meath Chronicle)


Retail giant, ALDI, will have to wait a little longer before opening locally after the County Council shot down proposals for a new store on the outskirts of Monaghan town.
Last week, it was reported that ALDI, the largest retailer in Europe, was planning on opening a new store next to Argos at the Monaghan Retail Park on Clones Road. An application to build a discount food store with a total floor area of over 1,500 sq m had been submitted to Monaghan County Council at the start of July.
 However, the council subsequently turned down the application on four grounds, including concerns that the development would lead to an “excessive level” of retailing in Monaghan and would be in excess of the needs of the town.

(Source: The Monaghan Post)


Special needs children with autism who attend St. Conleth's Early Intervention Preschool, Carbury, are now able to further develop their sensory processing skills through new swimming and sensory activity programs, thanks to funding of €10,000 from AIB Edenderry. The funding, awarded under the AIB Better Ireland Program, has allowed the school to provide swimming classes for the children and to purchase new sensory equipment.

(Source: The Offaly Independent)


The level of addiction to illegal and prescribed drugs among prisoners at Castlerea Prison has been raised as a matter of concern by the Inspector of Prisons Judge Michael Reilly in a new report published two weeks ago. Judge Reilly outlined his concerns in the 2008/2009-inspection report published, which estimated that as much as two thirds of the prison population may have addiction problems.

(Source: The Roscommon Herald)


Schools throughout County Sligo have expressed delight at this year's Leaving Certificate results, with grades in maths and science subjects in particular not reflecting a national trend of low achievement. Principals at a number of local schools said results in these subjects were generally good. Overall the majority of students were happy with their grades as the anxious wait for results came to an end on Wednesday last. At Summerhill College, Principal, Mr. Michael Murphy, said students there had "got their just rewards." "The good students will always do well. They worked well and got what they deserved and I have no doubt that they will do well at third level.

(Source: The Sligo Champion)


Kevin Rudd, the Australian Prime Minister, in a recent speech stated that his Irish ancestors were from Ballingarry parish, about which he had much to say. They were Owen Cashin and Johanna Maher, both from Gragaugh. Should the Prime Minister make an official visit to Ireland during his tenure in office, the local historical Ballingarry 1848 Committee have invited him to visit Ballingarry, the parish of his ancestors, and to visit Famine Warhouse 1848 with its strong Australian connection.

(Source: The Tipperary Star)


The British government has expressed its "deep regret" at the death of an Aughnacloy man shot at an army checkpoint over 20 years ago. Aidan McAnespie, 24, who had no criminal record, was shot by a soldier as he walked through a border checkpoint at Aughnacloy in 1988. Secretary of State Shaun Woodward acknowledged the "pain and suffering" of Mr. McAnespie's parents. Una McCabe, a niece of Aidan's, said the statement had given her family a form of 'closure'.

(Source: The Tyrone Times)


Funding cuts are threatening to close the renowned St. Brigid’s Family Center in the city thereby scrapping essential counseling and support services for hundreds of people.

Director of the facility, Dick Hickey, has warned St. Brigid’s, along with the Sacred Heart Centre on the Old Tramore Road, will shut down if a recommendation by An Bord Snip Nua to abolish the Family Support Agency goes ahead.

(Source: Waterford News & Star)


The death has taken place of one of Athlone's most popular and well-regarded native sons.

Frank Young of Carrickobrien, Athlone, passed away on Monday last. A native of the town, Frank was a son of the late William and Winifred Young, Retreat House, Athlone. A retired farmer, Frank was a noted figure in agricultural circles and possessed a deep passion for GAA and in particular, hurling. A compassionate and humanitarian man, he was the driving force behind the Athlone Families Together group formed in Athlone following the controversial deportations of two Nigerian families. Frank, who had a Masters in Agricultural Science, had a long and successful career with Teagasc as an Agricultural Advisor in the South Roscommon area and was always keen to promote the agricultural industry to the younger generation.

(Source: The Westmeath Examiner)


The Wexford skyline 'will be changed forever' by a new lighting system to be installed on the fly tower of Wexford Opera House. The lighting system, described as 'a spectacular lighting feature' was commissioned through the Per Cent for Art Scheme by the Office of Public Works (OPW), which is over seeing the project at the €30 million opera house on High Street. The artwork, entitled 'Liquid Mountain', was created by artist Andrew Kearney, who won the €65,000 commission, and will be unveiled for the first time on September 25, to mark the closing of the inaugural Wexford Culture Night. Mr. Kearney hopes that his creation will be 'a cultural and architectural hub, viewed by residents and visitors alike from various traditional vantage points'.

(Source: The Wexford People)



Gardai (police) completed searches of wooded area for missing Stephen O'Meara as his parents admit they are 'fearing the worst' over the fate of their 26-year-old son. Gardai are still seeking clues as to his whereabouts and remain convinced that there are people out there who know what happened to the father of three. The last time Stephen was sighted was on Thursday August 6 by his partner, Catherine Green, at their home in Rosehill Estate, Wicklow town. Two weeks ago the gardai began conducting searches of wooded areas, firstly in Annacurra, before switching their attention to Ballinvally between Redcross and Avoca and Ballydonnell

(Source: The Wicklow People)