Two men, who left a helpless defenseless teenager unconscious after an unprovoked sectarian attack, heard last Wednesday how long they will have to serve in jail.

Judge Alastair Devlin told Colin Kingsbury (23), formerly of Carntall Gardens in Antrim, and Nathan Wilson (21), formerly of Birch Hill Meadows in Antrim, that he wanted to consider and review the case before passing sentence.

The pair, who admitted causing their then 17-year-old victim Jordon Duffy grievous bodily harm in the attack at Station Road, Antrim, in the early hours of August 5, 2011, was convicted of his attempted murder last month following a trial at Antrim Crown Court.

[Source: Antrim Guardian]


The public inquiry into the murders of the two most senior Royal Ulster Constabulary officers killed during the Troubles heard closing statements two Fridays ago.

The Smithwick Tribunal was set up to investigate allegations of Garda (police) collusion in the 1989 I.R.A. murders of R.U.C. Chief Supt. Harry Breen and Supt. Bob Buchanan.

They were shot dead in an I.R.A. ambush on the Edenappa Road, near Jonesborough while returning from a meeting in Dundalk Garda station.

[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


Mystery surrounds a borrowed book that has been returned to Carlow County Library after 58 years. Flabbergasted staff-members in the library on Tullow Street, Carlow, were left open-mouthed when the book was dropped onto their front desk by an unknown lady.

The book, “Fra Angelico: The Master Painter” by Aengus Buckley, was lent out on April 20, 1955. It was returned to a shocked staff-member, Lionel De Froy, who is on work experience from Belgium, on May 28. The book in question features black-and-white illustrations of the early Renaissance Italian painter’s work. Fra Angelico lived to be 60, which is two years longer than the book was lent out for.

[Source: Carlow Nationalist]


A 26-year-old Polish man has died after he got into difficulty at a lake in east Cavan on Monday night, June 24.

The man is understood to have been living in the Drogheda area in recent years. Gardaí (police) were last Tuesday in the process of informing his family and friends, both in Poland and Ireland, of the tragic accident. The man was with friends at a lake in the Knocknagarton area, Munterconnaught, near Virginia, at about 10 p.m. on Monday night when he got into trouble.

It is reported that his friends brought him ashore, emergency services were alerted and his body was taken by ambulance to Cavan General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead later.

[Source: The Anglo Celt]


An “impending crisis” looms for elderly people with complex medical conditions that require long-term residential care in facilities over the coming years

Nursing Homes Ireland (N.H.I.) announced last week it will lobby Clare politicians to highlight the chronic shortage of new long-stay accommodation facilities to deal with the dramatic projected increase in the county’s elderly population.

The Clare Champion has learned only two new nursing homes were built in Limerick and Clare over the last five years – Athlunkard Nursing Home, Westbury, which has 43 beds in total, and St. Michael’s Nursing Home, Limerick, which has 35 beds.

[Source: Clare Champion]


Last Monday marked the 20-year anniversary of the passing of the legislation that decriminalized homosexuality in Ireland, and Cork's first openly gay T.D. has called on community organizations to reach out more to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (L.G.B.T.) community.

The legislation followed a 16-year legal battle by Senator David Norris, the former presidential candidate, in the European Court of Human Rights. The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) 1993 Bill was proposed by Fianna Fáil Justice Minister Máire Geoghan-Quinn and removed Victorian laws from Ireland's statute books.

[Source: Cork Independent]


Thieves have stolen catalytic converters valued at $38,000 from vans parked in an industrial park in Derry.

Police say the theft occurred two weekends ago at Campsie.

“Sometime between 5 p.m. on Friday, June 21, and 8 a.m. on Monday, June 24, thieves cut through a fence to gain entry to the yard and removed catalytic converters from 10 Mercedes vans parked there. Each catalytic converter will cost [$3,800] to replace making the total amount of replacement to the owner [$38,000],” a P.S.N.I. spokeswoman says.

[Source: Derry Journal]


A building which was a landmark to travelers making their way to West Donegal is soon to be commemorated in a night of music and dance.

The Tannery, which was located just outside Mountcharles, was originally built as a tannery in the 1600s to serve the fishing ports of Burtonport and Arranmore.

Strange as it may seem to the present day-reader, Killybegs was not even on the radar in fishing circles in those days. The port as we know it today had not been developed and the main fishing areas tended to be in the west of the county and off the islands.

[Source: Donegal Democrat]


Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster officially opened M.J.M. Group’s new $11 million purpose built factory in Newry Tuesday, June 18.

Established in 1983 as a family-owned joinery business, M.J.M. Group has evolved into a leading international specialist in new build, refurbishment and fit-out services to the marine, commercial and private sectors.

Speaking following a visit to the state of the art facility in Carnbane Business Park, Arlene Foster said: “M.J.M. is an established export focused company with a strong [$31 million] order book already secured for 2013, largely in the marine market.”

[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


One of the country's biggest drugs traffickers has been convicted of having almost $2.6 million worth of drugs.

Alan Boggans – who drove flash cars and lived in a mansion in south Dublin – was busted following a major Garda (police) surveillance operation.

The 38-year-old, from Newcastle in south County Dublin, was convicted last Wednesday following a six-day trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. He will be sentenced next month.

[Source: Evening Herald]


Education Minister, John O’Dowd, has approved development proposals to close Devenish College and Lisnaskea High School and to form a new amalgamated post-primary school in Enniskillen.

Commenting on the decision, Mr. O’Dowd said: “I have considered very carefully all aspects of these proposals and have decided to approve the amalgamation of the two schools.

“In making my decision I was mindful that there has been a significant level of opposition to the closure of Lisnaskea High School. I appreciate that the school has support from the community which it has served for over 50 years and that its closure will be a disappointment to those who have been closely associated with the school during this time.”

[Source: Fermanagh Herald]


Galway City has the second highest commercial vacancy rate in the country.

Figures provided for the second quarter by GeoDirectory show that the city has a rate of 15.8 percent.

This is topped by Limerick which has the highest vacancy rate of all five major cities studied at 17.2 percent.

[Source: Galway Bay FM]


A house in Killorglin, County Kerry, was sealed off by detectives investigating the double murder of a mother and daughter last last month.

The two-story semidetached building in a private estate at Ardmoniels just minutes’ walk from Langford Downs where Jolanta Lubiene (27) and her daughter Enrika (8) were found murdered.

A 26-year-old man who was arrested in Killorglin over the murders last Thursday morning remains in custody. He is being held under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 in Killarney Garda (Police) Station.

[Source: Irish Times]


Kildare county footballing legend Johnny Doyle is the new face of the credit union movement in County Kildare.

Two weeks ago he joined launched a major marketing campaign highlighting the benefits of the credit union.

The new campaign kicked off on Monday, June 17, at Kildare Town Credit Union, where Johnny was introduced as the new face of the campaign.

[Source: Kildare Nationalist]


St. Brigid’s College in Callan is to receive a major refurbishment including the building of new specialist classrooms and facilities, following a $6 million investment from the Department of Education and Skills.

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan has confirmed to the Kilkenny People that the major redevelopment is to be formally approved by next October, by which time the project will be submitted for planning permission. A design team, led by Bluett & O’ Donoghue Architects of Kilkenny, will now work with the Board of Management to develop the most appropriate scheme development for the school.

Principal of St Brigid’s College Pat Power said he is delighted with the announcement.

[Source: Kilkenny People]


A Portlaoise man had to pepper-sprayed by Gardaí (police) after becoming aggressive when they attempted to seize a vehicle on his property.

Paul Worthington, 4 Liogard, Portlaoise, attempted to physically stop the Gardaí removing the vehicle on December 17, 2011. Inspector Declan Dunne gave evidence that Worthington threatened the Gardaí and continued to be abusive, until pepper-spray was finally deployed.

Worthington has 15 previous convictions.

[Source: Leinster Express]


Communities in Cootehall and Drumshanbo are in shock following the sad passing of a young Leaving Certificate student two weekends ago.

Eighteen-year-old Michael Fryer of Clonebrien, Cootehall, County Roscommon, died suddenly at Sligo General Hospital two weekends ago following a brief illness.

The young man was a student of Drumshanbo Vocational School and had just completed his Leaving Certificate Exams at the school Thursday, June 20.

[Source: Leitrim Observer]


A woman was rescued from the river Shannon last Monday morning.

The alarm was raised at around 1:30 a.m. when the woman was seen in the water near Sarsfield Bridge in the city center.

Emergency services, including three units of the Limerick City Fire and Rescue Service, were deployed at the scene and the woman was taken from the water a short time later.

Afterwards, the woman, who is believed to be aged in her 20s, was taken to University Hospital Limerick as a precaution.

[Source: Limerick Leader]


A young mother residing in a Longford estate says she is living in terror and claims they are forgotten people.

Following the incident on Wednesday, June 19, at Palace Crescent where three young friends, aged between eight and 10, found a sawn-off shot gun in a disused shed and discharged it, she alleged that major crimes were being ignored and drugs were readily available “like packets of sweets.”

“When I moved here first, Palace Crescent was a very normal area but it is getting worse, so bad you’ve to keep your children indoors and it isn’t even safe to allow them out into the back garden to play.”

[Source: Longford Leader]


What has been described as a “crater” on the Avenue Road gave one Democrat reader a serious scare and he is now warning his fellow drivers. Joe McMahon, from Carrickmacross, was driving up the Avenue Road on a visit to Dundalk when he hit the pot hole, which he says damaged his car.

“I was driving up the Avenue Road towards Blackrock on June 5, when suddenly the left front [tire] burst. It was surprising at the time, as there is only 3,000 miles on the car.”

Mr. McMahon was forced to pull onto the side of the road and eventually parked up in front of Sloanes, across the road from the pothole.

[Source: Dundalk Democrat]


A Westport couple, whose 14-year-old son was the victim of a high-profile and sustained campaign of bullying by text message last year, has taken their quest to change the law to the Houses of the Oireachtas.

Brian and Gemma Langan visited Dáil Eireann (Irish Parliament) two weeks ago, where they made a representation on what they see as the anomaly in Irish telecommunications law that allows anybody to own a S.I.M. card and therefore an unregistered mobile telephone. They are calling for the law to change to ensure that those looking for a S.I.M. card for a mobile phone must produce identification and a record be kept of who owns the number attached to the S.I.M. card. This is already standard practice in many countries.

[Source: The Mayo News]


Some of the world’s literary giants were among the thousands who descended on Kells last weekend for the Hay Festival, which is expected to generate more than a million dollars’ worth of business for the town.

More than 7,000 visitors were expected to attend the festival which has been described by former U.S. President Bill Clinton as a “Woodstock for the Mind.”

The festival brought together the best of Irish, English-speaking and international authors and thinkers to celebrate the sharing of stories and ideas.

[Source: Meath Chronicle]


In County Monaghan emergency services were called in last Thursday afternoon to deal with a huge environmental threat on a cross-border road.

A large container full of diesel sludge –  the byproduct of laundered fuel –  was found abandoned on the main Castleblayney-Armagh Road at Killygola, about two miles from Castleblayney.

An environment crew from Monaghan County Council was called to deal with the trailer and Gardaí (police) diverted traffic while the operation was under way.

[Source: Irish Examiner]


National Music Day was celebrated in great traditional style recently at Áras an Mhuilinn with a preview of the Summer Seisiún Show.

The first Seisiún Show of the 2013 summer season will start on Wednesday night, July 3 at 8:30 p.m. and continues every Wednesday night in July, as well as on August 7 and 21.

Offaly musicians Ruth and Sarah Hennessy from Doon are part of the group.

[Source: Offaly Express]


Gardaí (police) in Boyle are investigating the alleged sexual assault of a teenage girl in the early hours of Sunday morning, June 23. The girl, who is understood to be 16-years-of age, was allegedly sexually assaulted in Boyle town sometime between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. on Saturday night into Sunday morning.

The incident was reported to a Garda who was on duty on the street that night. The exact location of the attack is unclear, but it is understood the teenager was attacked in a laneway off the town’s main thoroughfare. The girl was brought to the sexual assault treatment unit at the Midlands Regional Hospital in Mullingar Sunday morning and was later discharged.

[Source: Roscommon Herald]


Around 100 people took part in the annual Dip-in-the-Nip in County Sligo on Sunday, June 23.

The group took to the sea at Dunmoran Strand – without any clothes – all in the name of charity.

They are raising money for various cancer charities – and did so against the advice of the coastguard, because of poor weather conditions.

[Source: Laois Nationalist]


A landmark shop which has provided groceries to generations of families in the heart of Cashel has closed its doors after nearly 40 years of trading.

Buckley’s (Spar) at the top of the Main Street has ceased trading with the loss of about four jobs. The shop first opened its doors in the early 1970s before the arrival of retailing giants like Tesco’s and Lidl.

President of the Cashel Chamber of Commerce Séan Laffey said it was another example of the changing nature of retail, with the multi-national discount stores outcompeting family-owned businesses in the center of town.

[Source: Tipperary Star]


Pomeroy songbird Andrea Begley is on the road to stardom after being named the 2013 winner of T.V. show “The Voice” and landing a lucrative record deal on Saturday night, June 22.
The 27-year-old civil servant, who was described on the show as having the "voice of an angel," beat off stiff competition from bookies’ favorite, Leah McFall, and country crooner, Mike Ward. to be crowned the overall winner.

[Source: Tyrone Courier]


Gardaí (police) in Waterford are investigating an incident involving a suspicious approach to a child in City Square last Tuesday.

A 13-year-old girl was standing outside a shop at 4:55 p.m. when she was approached by a male of foreign extract. She was told by the male that she was pretty and asked if she wished to go for coffee with him. She declined.  He then asked her for her number and she declined again. The male then provided her with a phone number.

The young girl then walked away and met a relative and left area.  Gardaí say no harm was caused to the young girl.

[Source: Waterford News & Star]


Niall Horan and his One Direction band-mates have released a three-minute trailer of their eagerly anticipated 3D film.

Set for release in August, “This Is Us” gives fans a behind the scenes look at the lives of their heroes as the travel the world conquering the pop charts.

Director Morgan Spurlock and his crew traveled with Niall back to Mullingar earlier this year for his brother's wedding. According to reports, the film captures all the excitement in the run up to the big day as the Horan boys rushed about the town making last-minute preparations.

[Source: Westmeath Examiner]


The Emigrant Flame, which was lit on the New Ross quay-front two weekends ago, brought world media attention to the Barrowside town, in addition to ensuring its place in history.

In a truly incredible few days for the town and County Wexford, images of New Ross and some of its most prominent citizens were relayed all over the world.

Beginning two weeks ago, the town was featured on Sky, C.N.N., N.B.C., B.B.C. and R.T.É. which broadcast three hours of footage on Saturday relating to the lighting ceremony on the quay-front.

Members of President John F. Kennedy’s family, including his daughter, Caroline, and his sister, Jean Kennedy-Smith, traveled over for the event.

[Source: Wexford Echo]


An Irishman living in Qatar topped the billing when a stud farm on 98-acre made $240,000 over its guide at auction two weeks ago. Liffey View Stud at Blessington, County Wicklow sold for $1,024,000.

The holding is located about 1.2-mile from Blessington, overlooking Blessington Lakes. The property includes a derelict manor house, 48 stables and a three-bedroom bungalow.

[Source: Irish Independent]

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