The reckless abuse of aerosols robbed the army of an eager new recruit, a tight knit group of pals of a trusted friend and a heartbroken mother of a loving son, an Inquest in Antrim heard two weeks ago.

Macaulay Higginson was just 16 when a life filled with so much promise was senselessly squandered after a night of boisterous teenage fun culminated in tragedy.

October 12, 2012 started like any other day for Macauley, with the former Parkhall College student meeting up with mates at Rutledge Recruitment and Training on Dublin Road, Antrim. He was studying warehousing, but his heart lay elsewhere.

Macaulay wanted to join the Royal Irish Regiment and was biding his time before he was old enough to enlist, though he would have settled for a spot on the books of his beloved Manchester United.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


An armed hijacking which occurred in Crossmaglen town center earlier this month is being linked to an alleged “turf war” between illegal fuel smugglers along the border, the Examiner has learned.

Around noon on Friday, May 3, two men – one brandishing a gun – forced the driver of a jeep from his vehicle, before fleeing in the stolen car through the town, thronged with people attending the monthly fair.

The hijackers were traveling in a silver car that had been rammed by another vehicle from behind on Newry Street.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


An Irishman who has worked at Buckingham Palace for 60 years was presented with a gold medal by Queen Elizabeth last Tuesday.

Pat Carroll, who is from Carlow, started working as a palace messenger on the day of the queen’s coronation in 1953. He worked in the lord chamberlain’s office before becoming a state porter, welcoming guests to events at the palace. The 84-year-old still works part-time as a state porter.

The Royal Victorian medal is a reward for personal service to the royal family.
[Source: Irish Times]


The two men questioned at Carrickmacross Garda (Police) station in connection with the murder of former Detective Garda John Kerins at his Bailieborough home last year were released without charge last Tuesday night.

Kerins (49) was found shot dead at his home in Cornaveagh on the outskirts of Bailieborough on the November 9, 2012.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


The Clare reel is proving beneficial in the treatment of Parkinson’s patients, according to an Italian neurologist. His findings will be presented at an international health conference during this year’s Feakle Festival.

Dr. Daniele Volpe, director of neurological rehabilitation at St. Raffaele Arcangelo Hospital in Venice, is a regular attendee of the international music festival in Feakle and arising from an experience there in 2010, he launched a study into the potential benefits of set dancing for Parkinson’s sufferers.

Speaking to the Clare Champion, Dr. Volpe explained how the research came about and how the reel step, with origins in Clare, is proving more beneficial to patients than any other set dance.

“It all started in June 2010. I usually attend Irish music festivals in Ireland and one of my preferred festivals is the Feakle Irish Music Festival, where I love to play guitar in music sessions. One night I was playing in Pepper’s Bar and a man with Parkinson’s started to dance so fluent and good.
[Source: Clare Champion]


Controversy continues to rage internationally about the tax affairs of Apple, which employs over 4,000 people at Hollyhill and Lavitts Quay in Cork as part of their European headquarters, in a case which could see Ireland officially labeled a tax haven.

Evidence and questions in the United States Senate sub-committee on investigations uncovered a statement from Apple C.E.O., Tim Cook, that the company had struck a secret deal with the Irish government in 1980 to pay tax of just two percent, rather than the corporation tax rate of 12.5 percent. Apple executives stress that the tax policy of the company and subsidiaries is a continuation of that natural agreement.

Both the Department of Enterprise and the Department of Finance denied that any deal had been struck with Apple.
[Source: Cork Independent]


A 31-year-old who broke a man’s jaw in two places has been jailed for six years.

The victim was hit with a pool cue wielded by Sean Paul Farrelly in an “unprovoked attack” in a Waterside bar.

Farrelly, of Strabane Old Road, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent on January 30, 2011.

Derry Crown Court heard the 31-year-old was drinking with the injured party and the man’s girlfriend.
[Source: Derry Journal]


Donegal has achieved the highest number of Blue Flag beach awards of any county in the country.

At an awards ceremony in Dublin last Thursday, thirteen of Donegal’s beaches were awarded the prestigious Blue Flag award by Phil Hogan T.D., minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government.

The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognized eco-labels, and only beaches that meet specific criteria relating to water quality, beach management, environmental information and safety services achieve this accolade. As a pre-requisite, the bathing water at Blue Flag beaches must meet the highest standards of bathing water quality.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]


More than 80 firefighters tackled a blaze which raged through Mourne Park House in Kilkeel Saturday night, May 18.

Shortly before 10 p.m., fire crews were called to the scene at the large stately house, which is the ancestral home of the earls of Kilmorey and one of Northern Ireland’s grandest homes. The roof of the main part of the house had collapsed, and firefighters fought to stop the flames spreading to adjoining wings of the building.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service are investigating the cause of fire, which is believed to have started in the roof.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


Justice Minister Alan Shatter attempted to avoid a roadside breath test it was suggested in the Dail (Irish Parliament) last Thursday.

Independent T.D. Mattie McGrath questioned whether the minister had tried to escape taking a breathalyzer test when stopped by Gardaí (police).

Mr. McGrath asked Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister] Eamon Gilmore if he was aware that Mr. Shatter had been stopped at a Garda checkpoint, had been asked to produce a specimen of breath and whether "his [behavior] and reaction to this request was appropriate and indeed cordial."
[Source: Evening Herald]


Two bomb alerts in two days, a “likely” dissident attack and the influx of thousands of G.A.A. fans from across the border are providing a serious headache for police ahead of the G8 Summit.

Last Tuesday, the Stragowna and Drumroosk Roads in Kinawley were closed after a suspect device was discovered in the area and, due to the seriousness of the threat, army bomb disposal experts were called.

This followed on from Monday when Enniskillen Magistrates Court had to be evacuated after a security alert around 11 a.m. After a two-hour evacuation of nearby premises on East Bridge Street though, the alert was declared a hoax.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]


Galway doctors have issued a warning over the risk of using lawn mowers after a spike in the number of people presenting at U.H.G. with injuries.

As the weather improves a little, more people are out mowing lawns but may not be using protective gear, such as goggles, footwear or long trousers.

It's understood that in the last 2 days at least 4 people have presented at A and E with hand injuries sustained from lawn mowers.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]


Two men have been found guilty of murdering a Brazilian man and dumping his body in a north Kerry bog.

The body of Bruno Lemes De Sousa was discovered in Shronowen Bog outside Listowel on March 11, 2012.

John Paul Cawley (20) and Wenio Rodriguez Da Silva (29) – both with an address at 2 Ardoughter Ballyduff – were accused of murdering 28-year-old Bruno Lemes De Sousa, between February 16 and 17, 2012.
[Source: Irish Examiner]


Dermot Earley has been forced to retire from inter-county football because of injury.

The Kildare midfielder had planned to compete in this season's championship, but has been forced to call it quits earlier than hoped due to a back injury.

The two-time all-star confirmed his retirement on Newstalk's Sports Sunday show saying: “Unfortunately, I hurt the back in the warm-up against Dublin on the [May 10] and what I thought was a spasm was a disc that was bulging and hitting a nerve, and over the next two weeks it got progressively worse.

“I was really struggling with it and ended up having to have surgery. I had one operation that didn’t work and I had to go back in the following week to have a second one so that was five weeks.”
[Source: RTE News]


A full 49 hours before tickets go on sale, a teenage fan of pop group, One Direction, has started queuing for her tickets for the show in Croke Park next year. Megan Casey-McGuirk, a 15-year-old Presentation Secondary School student, had camped outside RollerCoaster Records, Kieran Street, Kilkenny, because she did not want to lose out.

“The last few times, I ran out of luck because when I got to the counter they were all sold out,” she said.

She really admitted loving all the band-members but especially, Niall.
[Source: Kilkenny People]


A young Portlaoise man was treated in hospital for face and shoulder injuries following a violent assault on the Mountmellick road and later in his home.

The man was walking with two other men along the Mountmellick Road, heading towards Portlaoise Town, at 4:50 a.m. on Sunday morning, when a dark-colored car stopped with them.

“One man got into the car and he was assaulted,” Inspector Martin Harrington said.

The man was also assaulted in his home, along with his mother.
[Source: Leinster Express]


Two cars were broken into during a training session for the county team at Pairc Sean MacDiarmada in Carrick-on-Shannon.

Thieves smashed in the windows of the vehicles on Tuesday evening, May 14.

Nothing was taken from the first vehicle but a sum of cash was stolen from the second car.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]


Top British historian Dan Cruickshank has drawn a link between Limerick’s magnificent Georgian architecture and the way the period inspired much of America.

Author and historian, Mr. Cruickshank, who has fronted a variety of shows focusing on historical buildings worldwide, was in Limerick to study the city’s iconic Georgian heritage.

He delivered a lecture to the Hunt Museum focusing on the need to revitalize the buildings, some of which have fallen into decay, after being invited by Elizabeth Hatz, a professor of architecture based at U.L. and in Stockholm.

Mr. Cruickshank, a European specialist on Georgian architecture, said he is amazed at how well preserved the area is.
[Source: Limerick Leader]


Increasing fodder shortages, bad weather and poor ground conditions have left many local farmers struggling to feed cattle and unable to make plans for cutting silage and hay for next winter.

On Friday, May 17, tons of haylage from France arrived at Lakeland Dairies and Connacht Gold co-ops in Longford Town. Hundreds of farmers from across the county queued in the rain to avail of the cattle feed, which I.F.A. has warned is a short-term measure to help farmers who have run out of fodder altogether.

North Longford farmer, Séan Conefrey, spoke to the Leader about the difficulties facing farmers, and he also pointed to the increasing levels of depression and suicide that has now become evident in the farming community. Although Mr. Conefrey has fodder, many of his neighbors and friends do not, and he said that those that had feed were doing their best to share supplies with struggling counterparts.
[Source: Longford Leader]


Dundalk musician Jim Corr has told a court that he was in “dire straits” and that his actions were designed to “protect” his son.

Corr is facing a court examination over his means in an effort by A.C.C. Bank to secure payment of some $1 million still outstanding from a $1.8 million judgment obtained over an unpaid loan advanced to him and others in 2004 to buy lands at Goresbridge, Kilkenny.

Bernard Dunleavy, barrister for A.C.C., questioned Corr about the circumstances regarding the sale of a property he owned in Donnybrook, Dublin 4, and accused the songwriter of coming up with a “scheme to divest of the property” and keep it from the bank.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]


Rumors surrounding the sale of the five-star Ashford Castle in Cong can now be put to rest. The 365-acre estate has been purchased by South African hotel group Red Carnation Hotels for $26 million. The hotel was placed in receivership 18 months ago by its owner Gerry Barrett, who purchased the property in 2008 for $64 million. Contracts were exchanged for the iconic castle last Tuesday. Since going on the international market in October 2012, the iconic estate received more than 200 inquiries from potential bidders across the U.K., Europe, Far East, U.S. and Australia.

Commenting on the purchase, Ashford Castle’s new owner Beatrice Tollman, president and founder of Red Carnation Hotels, said: “We are thrilled to have Ashford Castle as part of our collection and welcome the whole team to the Red Carnation family. Like the rest of our hotels, Ashford Castle is an iconic property, in a unique location and with a reputation for luxury and excellence, and we are delighted that we will be bringing some of Red Carnation’s signature touches to it.”
[Source: The Mayo News]


Filming for the R.T.É. Television series “Kitchen Hero: HomeCooked!” with chef Donal Skehan took place in Trim Castle last Saturday, and readers were invited along to meet Donal and watch the recording. Donal is taking to the road in a vintage Citroen H van and laying out his stall at festivals and gatherings to show people how easy it is to prepare delicious, home-cooked food. It’s his HomeCooked Roadshow.

Donal will be travelling the country to promote the HomeCooked message and will be visiting Waterford for the Food Festival, Kerry for the Set Dancing Festival, Ballymaloe for the Lit Fest, Howth for the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival and Limerick for the River Fest. He will be taking inspiration from home and abroad and introducing us to mouthwatering recipes like, Chilli and Lemongrass Chicken, Howth Seafood Chowder, Jerk Chicken with Mango Salsa, Blue Cheese Beef Sliders and Butterflied BBQ Yoghurt and Mint Lamb.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]


Customs officers and armed Gardaí (police) have raided an illegal diesel-laundering operation near Castleblayney, Monaghan.

A large scale operation capable of "washing" the dye from 15 million liters of diesel every year was discovered during the dawn raid at a premise at Drumacon.

Revenue estimates it would have cost the State $10 million a year in lost revenue.
[Source: RTE News]


Four Offaly players have been selected on the 2013 Tesco Homegrown N.F.L. Team of the League for Division 4.

Emma Corcoran has been chosen at right-half back, captain Siobhan Flannery has been selected in midfield while Mairead Daly and Lorraine Keena have been chosen at right-corner forward and full-forward, respectively.

The players will receive their awards on Thursday, May 30 in Croke Park.
[Source: Offaly Express]


Fears have been heightened that criminals will be allowed to “roam freely” through Castlerea
when an open prison facility opens at Harristown House.

The minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, along with the head of the Irish Prison Services, Michael Donnellan, met with councilors, John Murphy and Paschal Fitzmaurice, in the Dail (Irish Parliament) two weeks ago.

However, both councilors have expressed concerns at comments made by Mr. Donnellan regarding the “freedom” that the prisoners on temporary release will have when they are moved to the open facility.
[Source: Roscommon Herald]


Kevin Walsh has admitted that playing "lower-ranked" teams in Connacht has been a "problem" for Sligo on his five-year watch.

As they prepared to go to London last weekend for the last of the three Connacht quarterfinals, Walsh has acknowledged that their mindset against the historical “big two” in the province, Galway and Mayo, has always been better.

So the delay in confirming that he would remain on for a fifth successive year as manager had nothing to do, he insisted, with Sligo's presence on the “softer” side of the Connacht championship draw.
[Source: Irish Independent]


Following a strategic business review, Britvic has announced a range of restructuring proposals aimed at achieving greater operating efficiency. The measures include a proposal to separate the Britvic Ireland wholesaling business into a stand-alone entity and relocate the supporting customer care activities for this business from Thurles to Britvic’s facilities in Dublin.

This proposal will mean that it is no longer commercially viable for Britvic to retain a dedicated customer call center in Thurles, and all remaining customer care activities will also transfer to Dublin with associated redeployment opportunities, a company statement said last Thursday.
[Source: Tipperary Star]


Two Dungannon men have been jailed for five years for terrorist offenses connected to the seizure of seven grenades filled with nails, nuts and bolts.

Martin McGilloway (41) from the Springdale estate in Dungannon was sentenced to five years in prison at Belfast Crown Court on Friday, May 17, and ordered to serve a further five years on supervised license.
Judge David McFarland earlier handed down the same sentence to his co-accused, Thomas Hamill (41), also of the Springdale estate.

Both men were arrested following the discovery of improvised explosives in a car that had been stopped on the Mineveigh Road, Dungannon on May 28, 2012.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]


When Kay Forristal lost her husband of 36 years to cancer, her life was turned upside down. While acknowledging the fantastic support of her children and friends, she said those who are widowed are left with a lasting sense of loneliness, one that she is now setting about filling.

The Ferrybank resident is starting up a group, “The Company Club,” for those who are widowed, divorced, separated or single, and hopes that through this, that terrible loneliness can be combated.

Kay’s husband John Forristal, a well-known local musician, passed away in 2010, two-and-a-half years after he was diagnosed with medullary thyroid cancer, one of the rarest forms of cancer in the world.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]


A Mullingar pop star is hosting a 90s disco reunion in his hometown on Saturday June 8, in aid of cancer care charity L.A.R.C.C.

Bressie, together with band Smash Hits, decided on the idea as the Bloomfield Disco in Mullingar held so many good memories for him and his friends growing up.

The reunion invites all of Bressie’s close friends and those from Mullingar and around the country who want to have a night of fun, color and amazing music.
[Source: Westmeath Examiner]


A local couple had spoken last week to the Echo about their despair at having to put their intellectually-disabled daughter into a nursing home because of ongoing government cuts.

Johanne and Alan Powell, from Fethard-on-Sea, will put their daughter, Siobhan (29), into a nursing home on May 27.

Commenting on the situation and why they had to make such a heart-wrenching decision, Johanne said: “She is severely physically and intellectually-disabled and requires full-time care. Up to now she has been living at home with us but the recent cut-backs have finally defeated us. The final straw was when her transport from home to her day service was cut from five days to three days. At the minute we are driving her the 24 miles to her service two days a week, but this is of course unsustainable. So residential service it will have to be.”
[Source: Wexford Echo]


As many as 1,000 homes in north Wicklow have been left without water after the worst incident of algae growth on record has again hit householders in the eastern region.

A recent outbreak of the algae left tens of thousands of homes and businesses across Dublin without tap water over Easter.

In the latest incidence, homes in north Wicklow have either no water or reduced supplies.

The problem stems from the most severe incidence of algae growth on record at the Roundwood water treatment plant.
[Source: Irish Independent]

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