After two years' work setting up and growing the Antrim-based cancer charity Eye Feel Good, the group's chairman, Richard Fee, has stressed that the Champion award won at the Antrim Community Awards is a testament to the work of the charity as a whole and the generosity of the people of Antrim.

When his wife Annemarie was diagnosed with eye cancer shortly after giving birth to the couple's first child, Richard recognised the need to raise awareness of the disease.

(Source: The Antrim Guardian)


The Northern Ireland student left in a coma after she was attacked with a metal baseball bat in America has begun to walk, talk and breathe on her own.

Natasha McShane, 23, from Silverbridge in County Armagh, was attacked as she returned home from a night out with a friend in Chicago on 23 April.

Two people have been charged with attempted murder.

The hospital has said Natasha has improved. Her grandmother, Bernadette, said it was great to have good news.

"It is exactly seven weeks tonight since we heard about the attack," she said.

(Source: BBC News)


A Carlow man who received a callous death threat via his email has appealed to people to be wary of what appears to be a new method of forcing vulnerable people to hand over huge sums of money.

The victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, was left in a very frightened state after he opened an email from a person who claimed to have been hired to kill him. And although the man realised that it was most likely a hoax claim, he was still left shaken by the fact that his life and the safety of his family were threatened.

(Source:  The Carlow Nationalist)


The need to rebuild a special identity in the Catholic Church in the wake of the pain and suffering caused by clerical sex abuse has been identified by the Bishop Elect of Killaloe, Fr Kieran O’Reilly.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Fr O’Reilly described himself as a “person of hope but not false optimism” when questioned about the importance of Church renewal.

The 57-year-old Cork cleric told members of the local and national media that Ireland has a great tradition and deep-rooted faith in the Gospel, which provides an ideal foundation to embark on a new journey of discovery.

The former superior of the Society of Africa Missions warned that the pain and suffering experienced by victims of sexual abuse and those who continued to suffer as a result of abuse should not be underestimated.

Acknowledging that victims carry the burden of abuse all their lives, he stressed it is important that they are supported as much as possible.

(Source: The Clare Champion)


Dr Dylan Evans, the behavioral scientist at the center of the ‘fruitbatgate’ fiasco, has been found guilty of sexual harassment by UCC.

The academic showed a paper about the oral sex habits of fruit bats to a colleague in the Medical School at the college thereby sparking a controversy which became known as ‘fruitbatgate’ and which rose to prominence on international fora and websites.

The academic expressed bemusement and confusion at the college’s finding, saying that he found it strange that the President concluded as he did after the report’s head found that the lecturer was not guilty of the sexual harassment count. The academic was cleared of sexual harassment by the report’s author.



A brother of one of those gunned down on Bloody Sunday has called on the British authorities to track down Lieutenant Derek Wilford and bring him to justice.

John Kelly, whose brother, Michael, was among those murdered on January 30 1972, made the call after it emerged that the former commander of the soldiers who carried out the shootings on Bloody Sunday is still alive.

(Source: The Derry Journal)


Rev. Ian Henderson, who has led the Methodist communities in Donegal Town, Ballintra and Inver for the past eleven years, has been elected President of the Methodist Church in Ireland.

Rev. Henderson, is currently the District Superintendent of Methodism's North West District, which stretches from Ballymoney to Ardara and Dunkineely. He's also the Senior Assistant Secretary of the Methodist Conference. His election took place on Monday at the church's Annual Conference in Belfast. and he will be formally installed as President at next year's conference in Newtownards.

(Source: The Donegal Democrat)


Fire fighters are tackling a large gorse fire in the Mourne mountains in County Down.

The blaze is in the Dinny Water region on the Head Road, about two miles from Annalong.

Police had earlier  warned they would take serious action against anyone caught starting fires.

On Thursday, fire crews had to use golf carts and buggies to tackle a blaze on gorse land close to Rathmore golf club in Portrush.

(Source: BBC News)


Ever since Thierry Henry's unpunished handball helped deny Ireland its place on soccer's grandest stage, Ireland has been awaiting its moment of retribution — and is cheering every misstep as France stumbles to the brink of World Cup failure.

Thursday night's 2-0 victory by Mexico over the French inspired Dubliners to don sombreros, down tequila shots, and mull whether it's possible to construct a few Henry pinatas in time for France's final group match Tuesday against the World Cup hosts, South Africa.

"We had our sombreros out last night. On Tuesday we'll be blowing our vuvuzelas in support of the South Africans," said out-of-work Dublin construction worker Paddy McCafferty, 30, who was collecting the morning newspapers — at 2 p.m. — after celebrating France's defeat until dawn.

(Source: Canadian Press)


The victims of four paedophile brothers from County Fermanagh have said they hope they have broken a cycle of abuse which has preyed upon children for generations.

On Friday three brothers from Donagh, near Lisnaskea, appeared in court in Omagh.

John Michael McDermott, 60, of Moorlough Road was jailed for nine years.

James, 61, and Owen Roe McDermott, 52, were mentally unfit to stand trial. They were given lifetime sexual offences prevention orders.

A fourth brother killed himself after the start of his trial last month.

(Source: BBC News)


A ‘sister city relationship’ between Galway and the Chinese city of Qinedao could provide a vital link to our economy, education, tourism and culture according to Mayor Declan McDonnell who at the weekend welcomed Qinedao Mayor Xia (Shah) and a group of officials to the city.

As part of the visit, a formal memorandum of agreement was signed between the Ocean University of China (OUC), Qingdao and NUI Galway which is aimed to enhance co-operation and exchange between the two universities.

(Source: Galway City Tribune)


A man has been jailed for six years for the manslaughter of his lover’s husband in Tralee, Co Kerry a year ago.

Michal Kurowski (29), from  Old Gallows Field, Tralee was convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury of the manslaughter of Michal Skotak (32) at Racecourse Lawn, Tralee on May 16th, 2009.

During a four day trial, the court heard Kurowski had stabbed his partner’s husband during a row after a First Holy Communion party for the deceased’s adopted child.

An electronics graduate, Kurowski came to Kerry in from Poland September 2005.

(Source: Irish Times)


Residents in the Castle Park area of Athy were terrified early last week when a lone gunman got out of a car and fired several shots at the front of a house in the estate.

The shots smashed two upstairs windows and a glass panel in the hall door. It is understood there were three people in the house at the time but nobody was injured.

The car, which was rapidly driven away from the scene, was later found burned out on a roadway near bogland in the Cloney, Kildangan area.

(Source: Kildare Nationalist)


Kilkenny’s own acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and audio-visual innovator Jeremy Hickey, aka RSAG, released his second studio album last weekend.

Having wowed the music industry with the release of his exciting 2008 double effort, Organic Sampler, RSAG returns with Be It Right Or Wrong, which was preceded by the single ‘The Roamer’.

To support the release RSAG has already set out on an initial mini Irish tour, with dates in Limerick, Cork, Galway, Dublin, and Dundalk this month.

And he has now pencilled in a date for Kilkenny in July, at the Set Theatre on Saturday July 24. Tickets are not yet on sale but expect them to be snapped up quickly as his last two performances at the venue sold out. And the local man is apparently hyped up about his homecoming

(Source: Kilkenny Advertiser)


Protesters against a planned electricity sub station in Ratheniska co Laois are gathering outside the Heritage Hotel in Portlaoise.
Eirgird is hosting an information session on the proposed development at the hotel throughout the day in a bid to quash local opposition.

Its says the 100 million Euro project is needed to ensure an adequate supply of electricity for both Laois and Kilkenny
Residents of the area say they have health and envirnoment concerns if the substation gets the go head.

(Source: Midlands 103)


As the number of burglaries and break ins increase around the county, it is understood that a "professional" crime gang are in operation.

Kiernan's Pharmacy in Mohill was a victim of a well thought out and professionally executed burglary last week.

Between the hours of last Thursday night and Friday morning (June 9-10) a gang gained access to a vacant building beside Kiernan's Pharmacy on Main Street Mohill and then proceeded to chisel the two and a half foot wall to gain access to the property

, and cut off all alarms upstairs before ransacking the premises and taking thousands of euro worth of perfume, cosmetics and technology. The gang even managed to take the hard drive of the CCTV system before fleeing the scene.

(Source: Leitrim Observer)


Taoiseach Brian Cowen has given the green light to a 337 million euro redevelopment of deprived areas in Limerick.
The regeneration masterplan handed to the Government last April will focus on Moyross, Southill, St Mary's Park and Balinacurra Weston.

Mr Cowen insisted the money was available to complete 26 projects to reverse the decline in the housing estates over the next four-and-a-half years.

"I believe this is a recoverable investment by Government, by the taxpayer, in view of the blighted lives and reduced potential of the areas concerned, as a result of our failure to plan properly in the past," he added.

(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


Longford Town Council's plummeting financial reserves are in line for a massive lift following Minister for the Environment John Gormley's decision to appoint three full time traffic wardens to the county town, can reveal.

News of the special dispensation from the Green Party leader comes less than a month after the local authority was forced to lay off three temporarily employed wardens on foot of the Government's self-imposed recruitment embargo.

The move, it was claimed at the time, could have far reaching consequences for the council's financial status going forward especially as just under €1.1 million had been set aside by Town Manager, Jack Kilgallon in the authority's draft budget for 2010.

(Source: Longford Leader)


The Louth County Hospital, Dundalk, may well close as an acute hospital at the end of the month due to a shortage of junior doctors.

The Health Service Executive said it is trying to recruit enough non-consultant hospital doctors but if they do not, it does have a contingency plan in place from 1 July.

The plan will see the centralisation of all acute services from Louth County Hospital into Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

The 24-hour emergency department in the Dundalk hospital will also close to be replaced with either a 12-hour service or a minor injuries clinic.

Instead the HSE said next week it plans to open the €11.5m emergency department in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, which has been idle for several months due to a staffing row with nurses

(Source: RTE News)


An Independent  councillor on Mayo County Council whose name was on Tuesday’s list of tax defaulters, said he brought his “error” to the attention of the Revenue Commissioners.

However a spokesman for the Revenue said people who make voluntary disclosures do not end up on the defaulters’ list.

Michael Holmes, of Newfield, Mulrany, Westport, Co Mayo made a €45,408 settlement arising from the underdeclaration of income tax and VAT. The case involved a Revenue single premium insurance products inquiry.

The tax involved was €16,506 and the interest and penalties were €28,901. Mr Holmes is a farmer and agricultural contractor and has been a councillor for six years.

(Source: Irish Times)


A man and woman facing charges connected to the death of the model, Katy French, in Our Lady's Hospital in Navan in December 2007, were remanded on bail when they appeared at Trim Court last Thursday.

Kieran Ducie (40) of Lambertstown Manor, Kilmessan and Ann Corcoran (29) of Tolka Road, Clonliffe Road, Dublin 3 are both due to appear at Navan Court on Wednesday 23rd June.

They are both charged with the reckless endangerment of Katy French at Lambertstown Manor, Kilmessan between 1st and 2nd December 2007 by supplying her with cocaine and failing to get medical assistance in a timely fashion.

They are also charged with conspiring with others to possess cocaine for the purpose of supply to another at the Statoil Service Station, Bracetown, Clonee between the same dates.

(Source: The Meath Chronicle)


Tullamore girl Kathy Conroy will be representing the 'Faithful County' in the Miss United Nations National Final in the Limerick South Court Hotel on Saturday, July 2 next.

The winner of the national pageant will be crowned Miss Ireland and earn the distinction to represent the country at the World Miss United Nations in Jamaica.

Kathy is hoping to bcome the first Offaly girl to be crowned Miss Ireland and she has received some sponsorship from Hugh Lynch's, Tullamore in her quest to claim the coveted title.

(Source: The Offaly Express)


The State of the Art extension planned for Scoil Mhuire Post Primary School in Strokestown costing €4m took a step closer this week when local Minister Michael Finneran turned the sod on the 22,000 square foot project.

During his visit to the school, Minister Finneran said: "Scoil Mhuire Post Primary School boasts enrolment of some 400 pupils from Strokestown and its environs and this new extension will be of enormous benefit not only to these students but also to the future generations that will be educated here.

"This major extension involves four classrooms, two science laboratories, a technical graphics room, a metalwork room, sttore rooms, boiler house, offices, first aid room, upgrade of some existing rooms and an upgrade of heating and toilets.

(Source: Roscommon Champion)


The High Court has reserved judgment on the long-running legal row over whether public rights of way exists across the historic Lissadell estate in Co Sligo, former home of the State’s first female government minister, Countess Constance Markievicz.
The legal costs of the 58-day action, which opened last October, could be as high as € million, legal sources suggested.

Mr Justice Bryan McMahon heard final legal submissions in the case after which he reserved judgment.

The dispute is one of the most protracted legal actions to have come before the High Court, involving a total of 52 witnesses and 8,000 pages of transcripts.

The proceedings were brought against Sligo County Council by barristers Constance Cassidy SC and Edward Walsh SC, who bought the 410-acre estate in 2003 for €4 million and have spent some €9.5 million restoring it.

Evidence was given the State stepped back from purchasing the property after former Minister Martin Cullen said restoration work would have cost about €30m.

(Source: Irish Times)


Thirty five second level schools throughout County Tipperary are facing chaos when the doors re-open in September as a result of the Government moritorium on appointment to posts of responsibility in the education sector.

It is believed that more than 20% of all posts will remain unfilled in the county thereby leaving Principals and Deputy Principals tearing their hair out over the summer months.

With the state examinations still in full flow, the next huge challenge facing school authorities will be the managing of these posts and at the present time, there is just no filling of them. Schools are unable to appoint people to posts of responsibility thanks to the directive which prevents recruitment and promotion in the public sector, affecting teachers, Gardai, local authority, civil service, courts service etc. The issue pertains to the primary sector also and is affecting many primary and national schools through Tipperary as well.

(Source: Tipperary Star)


A three hundred pound bomb has been found in a van parked outside a police station in County Tyrone.

Hundreds of homes have been evacuated in the village of Aughnacloy. Dissident republicans are thought to be responsible.

A controlled explosion was carried out on the device this morning.

At a press briefing this afternoon, PSNI Superintendent Brian Kee condemned those responsible for the bomb and said there would have been fatalities if it would have detonated.

"We can confirm that this was a viable device containing an estimated 300lbs of explosives. I have no doubt that if this device had detonated it would have caused complete devastation and lives would certainly have been lost," he said.

"The intention of the people responsible for planting this bomb in the middle of the village of Aughnacloy is to murder police officers with no regard for the people who live in this community. "This is an outrage and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms by every right thinking person."



Ireland's application for EC assistance for redundant workers in a high profile crystal manufacturer has been approved.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills, Mary Coughlan, welcomed the announcement by the European Parliament of its approval of the aid.

It comes under the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) and will go to benefit over 650 workers made redundant at the Waterford Crystal Kilbarry plant and in ancillary enterprises in 2009.

The EGF application is for just under €4m, of which the Government is providing almost €1.4m, with the remainder coming from the EGF.

The Tánaiste said: "This is the second EGF application in support of redundant Irish workers affected by the adverse impacts of globalisation to be approved for assistance under the Fund.

"We are appreciative of this support. It responds to the strong case made by the Government and EU recognition that the measures to assist workers form



A 61-year-old woman and a 47-year-old man have gone on trial charged with the murder of the woman's husband 23 years ago.
Vera McGrath and Colin Pinder deny the murder of Bernard Brian McGrath between 10 March and 18 April 1987.

Mr Pinder pleaded guilty to manslaughter this morning, but that plea has not been accepted by the prosecution.

The Central Criminal Court heard the main prosecution witness will be Ms McGrath's daughter, Veronica, who was married to Mr Pinder.

She will say that some time at the end of March or beginning of April 1987 she saw a sustained assault on her father, Mr McGrath, by her mother and Mr Pinder.



A Wexford-based financial services provider has been fined €23,000 by the Financial Regulator for overcharging customers.

The regulator found that Culleton Insurances Ltd inadvertently applied excessive broker fees to some customers’ policies between August 2004 and October 2007.

The regulator also agreed with the company a schedule of repayments to affected customers or charity.

The breaches were discovered during an inspection by the Financial Regulator. The Regulator said that the firm “acted promptly to rectify the issues that were identified”, including the appointment of an independent third party auditor to identify the level of overcharging, the amounts of overcharge involved and the affected customers.

(Source: Irish Times)


A 22-year-old man has been charged gardaí in connection with the death of a young man in Wicklow on Friday.
The man appeared before a special sitting of Bray District Court later.

John O’Brien from Delgany, who was also 22, died after he was attacked shortly before midnight.
His death followed a row at a party in a home nearby.

Gardaí were responding to a report of a fight on open ground at Charlesland, near Greystones when they discovered the body.
They found Mr O’Brien lying face down on the footpath at Farrankelly Road, which links the N11 and Greystones village. He had sustained fatal head injuries.

Emergency services were summoned and a local doctor attended the scene, but Mr O’Brien was pronounced dead at the side of the road.

(Source: Irish Times)

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