It may have won a key legal battle in the ongoing funding war with the Northern Trust, but the champagne remains on ice at Bridge Training Unit in Antrim.

The award-winning center for vulnerable adults has been embroiled in a lengthy dispute over payments, and despite the victory at the High Court its future is far from assured.

Jacqueline Barnes, managing director of Bridge, is battling to keep heads above water – but she fears that the longer the Trust “drag their feet,” the tougher it will be to throw a lifeline.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


The police investigation into the murder of Detective Garda (Police Officer) Adrian Donohoe is believed to be focusing on an eight-strong south Armagh-based gang, some of whom are known to police in relation to other offenses including armed robbery and car theft.

Garda intelligence suggests up to nine people were involved in the robbery at Lordship Credit Union on January 25 during which Garda Donohue was shot dead.  It’s believed detectives have identified a number of people they suspect of having been involved in the killing and, with the assistance of the P.S.N.I., are concentrating their efforts in the south Armagh area.

The getaway car used in the killing was found burnt out at Fews Forest near Keady and police have already seized C.C.T.V. recordings from premises between Dundalk and Keady in an attempt to follow the movements of the vehicle.  The Volkswagen Passat was stolen during a robbery in Clogherhead, County Louth days earlier.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


Arctic weather gripped parts of the country last Tuesday with cold temperatures that continued for the rest of the week. Snow was not forecasted for the next few days, but there was frost and icy patches in most areas.

Parts of the country affected by heavy snow included counties Cavan and Monaghan; Drogheda, Wicklow Town, Greystones, Navan, Kells, Kilkenny City and Longford Town. Snow was also reported in Carlow, Louth, Westmeath, Offaly, Longford, Wicklow and Wexford.
[Source: Irish Times]


The wife and cousin of Olympic boxer John Joe Nevin have been ordered to make a payment of $335 to Cavan Boxing Club after being found to have carried out an illegal collection in Mullingar.

Mary Nevin, 7 Grange Heights and Marie Nevin, 68 Ardleigh Vale, both in Mullingar, appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes at the local district court.

Both women were charged with holding an unauthorized collection in Newtown Lawns on April 20.

The court heard the collection was arranged to help send John Joe's parents and his wife and son to London to support his Olympic bid.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


The aim of the Welcoming Claire to Clare initiative is to gather the most people with the first or surname Clare, Claire or Clair in County Clare on June 23, as they attempt to break a world record.

Their campaign to reach out to people with this name across the country and the world took its first tentative steps last week with the help of a twice Irish dancing champion, a local stylist, Clare designers, a catchy tune and a film producer.

A short film aimed at calling on all Clares to the county is being produced by ¬Martin O’Malley of Malbay Studios. It will feature Clare Daly, who will dance in various locations around the county, showcasing what it has to offer.
[Source: Clare Champion]


A Cork activist has called on Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny to apologize to the survivors of Magdalene laundries after it was found that the State was involved in over a quarter of admissions since 1922.

"He has to do the right thing, he has no other choice." This is what Dr. Katherine O'Donnell, a campaigner with survivor advocacy group Justice for Magdalene, says of An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who has yet to offer the victims an official apology.

A 1,000 page report was published on Tuesday afternoon by an inter-departmental committee chaired by Dr. Martin McAleese. Mr. Kenny was pressed on his lack of apology by T.D.s in the Dáil last Wednesday but he said it was important to reflect on the findings and make the appropriate response in two weeks after a Dáil debate on the reports.

The report shows that 1,200 women of 10,012 admissions made in eight of the laundries since 1922 were from Cork, which accounts for 11 percent of the overall figure. This is the second highest figure, behind Dublin which accounts for 11.5 percent. There were no records available for two of the laundries operated by the Sisters of Mercy in Galway and Dun Laoghaire.
[Source: Cork Independent]


A Derry woman has been left badly shaken after being robbed on the Peace Bridge by a man carrying a knife.

The woman was attacked at 8:25 p.m. last Tuesday night as she was walking along the Peace Bridge towards the Waterside.

A male approached her from behind and made off with her handbag.

The male then ran towards Foyle Street where it is believed he got into a taxi and was dropped off in Great James Street. He is believed to have been wearing a blue tracksuit top.

The female did not sustain any injuries; however, she was left very badly shaken.
[Source: Derry Journal]


A new survey, which has been carried out by Eircom Phonewatch, shows that while Donegal residents place a high value on the fact that they have good neighbors, half of the respondents feel much less secure than they did a year ago and are taking steps to improve their own security.

This comes in the wake of the ongoing spate of burglaries throughout the county, which caused a national outrage after elderly people were attacked in their homes. The incidents attracted major national media attention at the time and put the focus on the indiscriminate attacks in the county that, regrettably, are ongoing.

The survey revealed that one in five people in the county now rate burglary in the same league as losing their job or not having enough money their monthly bills.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]


Victims’ campaigners have angrily condemned the sentence handed down to Fr. Terence Rafferty, the Newry priest convicted of indecently assaulting a teenage girl more than a decade ago.

The former administrator of Newry Cathedral avoided prison two weeks ago and was instead sentenced to 100 hours community service after pleading guilty to four counts of indecent assault.  Rafferty, of Chestnut Grove, Newry was also given a three-year probation order and has been banned from working with children or vulnerable adults for 10 years.

The priest was serving as a parish priest at St. Peter’s in Lurgan when the abuse took place over a six-month period in 2001.  While his defense lawyer argued that his mental health was “brittle and vulnerable” due to dealing with harrowing events during the Troubles, prosecutors maintained he had abused his “position of trust” and listed an aggravating factor as the age difference between the priest, who was 38 at the time of the offenses, and his victim, who was just 16.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


A Dublin man who was arrested by detectives investigating the murder of Real I.R.A. terror boss Alan Ryan had been released from prison just weeks before Ryan was shot dead.

The 24-year-old Donaghmede man was picked up by Gardaí (police) in the Artane area of the capital last Wednesday, but sources say that it is not believed he was directly involved in Ryan's murder.

Instead it is thought that he may have key information in relation to the killing.

The suspect is considered a low-level criminal who has a number of previous convictions including serving a short sentence for street-level crack cocaine dealing.
[Source: Evening Herald]


Enniskillen athlete Sian Hurst has received the “Athlete of the Year” award from the I.W.W.F. Europe and Africa. She is the first Irish athlete ever to win this award.

Sian was presented with the award in Unterageri, Switzerland where 24 countries were represented, including Ireland. Each Europe and Africa Council elects their Confederation Athlete of the Year based on their performances at major events.

Last summer, at the Europe Africa Wakeboard Championships, Irish Team Rider Sian Hurst competed in the Open Ladies section.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]


A 21-year-old man was expected to appear in court last Tuesday in relation to a weekend assault that has left a young Barna man fighting for his life in a Dublin hospital.

Gardaí (police) arrested the man – from the North Galway area – on Sunday evening under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, following the incident at Rossaveal Pier in the early hours of Sunday morning.

An altercation developed at the pier shortly after 3:30 a.m., between a number of young people driving cars who had been following the Galway International Rally – the injured man was allegedly hit in the head by a person wielding a wooden timber mallet.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]


Culprits raided bars in Kilgarvan, Lauragh, and Castlegregory — where police stations have been closed — as well as Annascaul in West Kerry, and the Mid-Kerry village of Firies.

It was confirmed last Tuesday that the robberies occurred in a 24-hour period on Jan 29-30, and the thieves made off with goods worth thousands of dollars, including cigarettes, alcohol and cash.

The first premise targeted was Boland’s Bar, Cloghane, Castlegregory, where a cigarette machine and its contents, valued at $8,000, was ripped from the wall.

In nearby Keane’s pub in Annascaul, the back door was forced in and a sum of money and cigarettes were taken, while a cigarette machine and its contents was also stolen from The Shanty Bar in Ballyfinane, Firies.
[Source: Irish Examiner]


Over $1.3 million was paid out to Kildare’s eight Oireachtas (Parliamentary) representatives in wages and expenses during 2012 – an average of over $181,743 per person.

On top of the standard salary of $124,004 for deputies, Oireachtas figures just published show a total of €458,406 was paid in expenses to Kildare’s T.D.s and one senator in 2012.

The figures reveal that Fine Fáil’s Seán Ó Feargháil was the highest paid politician in the county over the 12-month period, receiving over $206,000 including expenses. Deputy Ó Feargháil’s pre-tax haul also included a $25,000 payment for being the Fianna Fail Party whip.
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]


At 5:30 a.m. last Thursday morning there were 170 people queuing up in the center of Kilkenny City to buy Bruce Springsteen tickets for the upcoming concerts in Nowlan Park on July 27 and 28. That figure hit 220 by 6 a.m. The queue stretched from the ticket outlet, RollerCoaster, run by the unflappable Willie Meighan, down as far as Crotty’s Cafe at the end of the street.

Gillian Kavanagh from Michael Street, Kilkenny was first in the queue. With the temperature at 28 degrees, she was well wrapped up for the Bruce Vigil at around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday evening. She and her brother Tommy had two chairs out on the street. Next in line was Johnny Ryan of O’Loughlin Gaels G.A.A. club and he was there since 6 p.m., but had got a break when his sister-in-law sat in his fold-up chair for an hour.

The Boss fans received tea, coffee and sandwiches from Ray Langton in the Marble City Bar at around 10:30 p.m. while at 2 a.m., Supermac’s sent down chips and boxes of chicken and promised to send breakfast stuff down at 8 a.m.
[Source: Kilkenny People]


Growing up in the country side you can remember walking, cycling or getting a lift from a neighbor to your local G.A.A. pitch. Here in Seoul, where the G.A.A. still is an integral part of the Irish expatriate community, we take a taxi, bus or subway to training.

Seoul Gaels was set up in 2002 after some Irish guys went to watch our national soccer team in the Korea-Japan World Cup. These men decided to stay, some of whom are still here, and they loved the Korean way of life, but craved some G.A.A. They set up the club, won the All-Asian Finals that year, and the club has grown from strength to strength.

Fast forward to 2013 and the club is looking forward to its 11th season. There were over 80 members last year, the majority being English teachers living in the Seoul Metropolitan area. The club is comprised of people from Ireland, England, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Malaysia and, of course, some Korean locals.
[Source: Leinster Express]


Two Vietnamese nationals appeared before a sitting of Donegal District Court last Wednesday morning in relation to the seizure of almost $670,000 worth of cannabis in two separate locations in the county on Monday, February 4.

Dang Hai Nguyen, of Lisconnor, Kilclare, Carrick-on-Shannon, was found with plants valued at $320,000 at this address. The 44-year-old was arrested at the scene and detained at Manorhamilton Garda (Police) Station. The court heard from defense solicitor Conor Maguire that the defendant had only been in the country for two weeks and did not hold a passport.

As part of a separate investigation, 41-year-old Dinh Trung Trinh, of no fixed abode, was found with $335,000 worth of cannabis at Corrick, Aughamore and taken to Carrick-on-Shannon Garda Station.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]


Ireland’s oldest person, Annie Kett, has died at a nursing home in County Limerick at the age of 107.

The country didn’t have a president – King Edward VII was head of state – when Annie Hayes was born in The Glen, Killaloe, in 1905.

One of six children, she attended the local school and immigrated to England in the 1920s to train as a nurse.

She returned to her native County Clare in the mid-1930s and married Kilkishen farmer John Kett in 1937 – the year of De Valera’s constitution.
[Source: Limerick Leader]


The result of a major investigation into how a nine-meter high wall collapsed, killing two men and leaving four others injured at a Longford Town D.I.Y. store and garden center two weeks ago, may not be known for some time.

Health and Safety officials revealed last Monday that the extensive analysis carried out at the town’s Connacht Gold store has now come to a close.

A spokesperson for the Health and Safety Authority, however, could not confirm when the details of the investigation would be known.

“It’s ongoing,” said the spokesman.

“Fatal site investigations aren’t wrapped up in days. These things take time.”
[Source: Longford Leader]


As the Gardaí (police) issued a fresh appeal for information, the focus of investigations in the Det. Garda Donohoe murder continues to be firmly focused on the activities of a known criminal gang operating in the Crossmaglen/Keady /North Louth area.

The gang at the center of the investigation are thought to been behind a number of armed robberies across the South Armagh/North Louth area, and it is thought that they have been acting with impunity in the area for some time.

It has also been revealed two weekends ago that the P.S.N.I. have formally warned one of the prime suspects in the case, as they have learned of a credible threat to his life by dissidents in the area.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]


At least a dozen dead dolphins were found on a number of beaches along the Achill and Erris coastline.

Mystery surrounds the dolphins’ deaths, but the National Parks and Wildlife Service is to carry out postmortems on a sample of the carcasses to try to determine what could have happened.

Local observers say three different species of dolphin – common, bottlenose and euphrosyne – were found ashore over two days on Achill beaches two weeks ago, with the majority being the common dolphin.

Sightings of the dead dolphins were confirmed at Keem Beach, Keel Beach, Dooagh and at Dookinella, and there were also two dead dolphins found on Cross Beach near Binghamstown. A statement released from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht confirmed that arrangements are being made to carry out postmortems on some of the dolphins.
[Source: The Mayo News]


Gardaí (police) are investigating a serious assault, which occurred in Gormanston last Wednesday night.

Around 7:30 .p.m, two males sustained stab wounds during an incident at a hotel car park. The men, both aged in their 20s, were removed by ambulance to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda.

The scene was preserved for a technical examination. Enquiries are ongoing and no arrests have been made.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]


The production of burgers at a processing factory in County Monaghan is expected to resume shortly.

Rangeland Foods, near Castleblayney, suspended production after horse meat was found on the premises.

An audit by Department of Agriculture officials now has cleared it to resume producing burgers for the domestic and international markets.

Meanwhile, Poland's chief veterinary officer has written to Irish authorities on the issue.

Dr. Janusz Zwiazek has requested access to documents, product labeling and test sample results after Irish authorities concluded beef products imported from Poland were contaminated with horsemeat.
[Source: BBC News]


The new Offaly County Library, Tullamore was officially opened by Minister Phil Hogan, T.D. on Monday, February 4.

The spacious new library opened last August 2012 and already there have been 72,000 visits made by children and adults in the past six months. Sixty thousand books and DVDs/games have already been issued on loan, and 4,500 new members have joined.

The library carries a collection of 39,000 items with improved collections for teens, children and adults. New digital collections include online searchable local newspapers, e-books and e audiobooks.

New opening hours are in place, and the library now opens 48 hours a week with Monday to Saturday openings. including lunch times and evening openings.
[Source: Offaly Express]


The number of reports concerning the welfare and protection of children in County Roscommon continues to be higher than the national average, according to the latest report available from the H.S.E.

A report into the Adequacy of Services for Children and Families for 2010 reveals the extent of welfare, neglect, and abuse concerns involving children in the county that year.

The report revealed that the social work department of the H.S.E. in the county dealt with 754 reports concerning the welfare, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect of children in 2010.
[Source: Roscommon Herald]


Once upon a time, a fine, spirited wee girl was born to her Irish mother and Scottish father in 1821 in Grange, County Sligo. Or so the story goes, because little Eliza Rosanna Gilbert grew up to change her name and nationality several times and travel the four corners of the world in search of excitement and adventure.

When she died at the age of 40, the world knew her better as Lola Montez, the Spanish dancer. As such, apart from gaining notoriety in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, she became a countess in the central European country of Bavaria, started a revolution there and toppled its government three times.

“Next to Queen Victoria, Lola was the most famous woman in the world,” says German director Jürgen Kuttner, whose new production, with co-director Tom Kühnel, of the musical Lola Montez, by Peter Kreuder and Maurus Pacher, has just premiered at the Cuvilliés Theatre in Munich, Germany. “She was a superstar not even someone like Madonna could reach.”
[Source: Irish Times]


Templemore town councilors have expressed their disappointment at the latest update on Templemore Flood Relief Scheme after they were told by Junior Minister Brian Hayes that the Office of Public Works is “assessing the optimal route for the culvert that is a central element of the scheme.”

And Mayor Michael C. Ryan called on local Oireachtas (Parliamentary) members to “get up off their backsides and make a push for the work to be done.”

Clr. Joe Bourke wanted to know why the O.P.W. had announced the scheme was going ahead before it had chosen the route, while Clr. Mick Connell described the culvert issue as a “red herring.”
[Source: Tipperary Star]


An Edendork company is to undertake a $5.3 million expansion, creating 84 new engineering jobs, it has been announced.

Edge Innovate, based at the Farlough Road, is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of a range of equipment used in the recycling, materials handling and quarrying industries.

Since the inception of EDGE Innovate in 2011, the company has grown from strength to strength, despite the turbulent global recession.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]


An abandoned two-story construction once intended to be a neighborhood shopping complex at Moonvoy Court, in Tramore, has now become a haunt for teenage gangs and it must be removed Waterford County Council has been told.

The derelict building is just one of a large number of issues of concern at Monvoy Court and on the Moonvoy Valley estate.

Mayor of Tramore, Clr. Joe Conway called on Waterford County Council to take all possible steps to have works completed by the developer in order that Monvoy Valley estate is taken in charge by the local authority.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]


The more people who write to their banks asking for help for Ireland's put upon homeowners, the greater impact it will have.

That's according to Mullingar mother-of-six Linda Raeside, who has sprang to national prominence in recent weeks thanks to her campaign to try and get the powers-that-be to do something to ease the burden on the thousands of Irish families struggling to make ends meet.

Since first appearing in the Westmeath Examiner on January 19, Linda has appeared on a number of .T.V and radio shows including the Today Show on R.T.É. and The Morning Show on TV3.
[Source: Westmeath Examiner]


People all over County Wexford were in shock last week following the sudden passing on Saturday, February 2, of noted historian, author and school-teacher, Dr. Billy Colfer.

A native of Slade, Mr. Colfer (73), was married to his beloved wife, Noreen, and had five sons: Paul, Donal, Eamonn, Niall and acclaimed international best-selling author, Eoin.

Noted for being an authority on Wexford history Mr. Colfer was a gentleman in every sense of the word.
[Source: Wexford Echo]


From man-eater to bloodsucker, Katie McGrath has just been cast as a glamorous socialite in N.B.C.'s big budget drama Dracula.

But before the Wicklow native sinks her teeth into that, she'll be going on a series of dates as part of Channel 4's new series Dates.

The 29-year-old actress will be joining B.A.F.T.A.-winning Dublin actor Andrew Scott, who played Moriarty in Sherlock, in the nine-part series that explores the dating scene.
[Source: Evening Herald]

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