Concerns are mounting that the new Antrim and Newtownabbey “super council” will be crippled by debt from its very inception.

Shocking new figures have revealed that Antrim was in debt to the tune of $31.7 million in March 2012 – an increase of almost $8 million on the previous year.

But even that towering total does not account for all of the borough's liabilities, which are currently estimated at $49,357,505.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


A vicious assault on a local priest, in which he was savagely beaten and robbed in his home, has been met with outrage throughout the community.

Dromintee parish priest, Fr. Dermot Maloney, was alone in the parochial house on Main Street, Jonesboro when he was confronted by three youths who had forced their way into his home around 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 30.

It’s believed the teenage intruders, one of whom is alleged to be just 14-years-old, climbed over a locked gate and came through the back door of the property.

Using a hammer, the assailants beat Fr. Maloney about the head, demanding money. He pleaded with them to stop and told them repeatedly that there was no cash kept in the house.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


Over 16,400 cigarettes have been seized by the Revenue Commissioners in County Carlow.

Following an intelligence-led operation, officers from the customs service discovered the “Goldengate,” “Torro,” “Denim Blue” and “West” cigarettes when they entered an apartment in Tullow.

They carry a retail value of over $9,000 and represent a potential loss to the treasury of just under $8,000.
[Source: Breaking News]


As part of the Garda (police) district and station rationalization program for 2013, Ballyconnell Garda District was to be amalgamated with Cavan Garda District from midnight on Sunday, November 10.

As part of this program, Redhills Garda Station will close on the same date and will be policed from Belturbet Garda Station. Garda Stations at Ballyconnell, Belturbet, Killeshandra, Swanlinbar, Blacklion and Dowra will continue to be policed as at present.

The new amalgamated district will be known as Cavan Garda District and will be under the management of Superintendent Jimmy Coen at Cavan District Headquarters.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


An Ennis-based Garda’s (police officer’s) own car registration number has been cloned and is being used on a Volkswagen Golf, wanted in connection with a spate of burglaries in the county.

The revelation came at a public meeting of Clare’s Joint Policing Committee and senior gardaí also confirmed that a speed van also had its plates cloned.

The issue of cloned plates was raised by Councilor Tony Mulqueen. He said he was aware of members of the public who had received speeding fines in the post in respect of times and locations where they could have been.
[Source: Clare Champion]


Five-year-old Katie Connolly, who suffers from Down’s syndrome, asthma, juvenile arthritis and a heart condition, has had her medical card renewal application rejected.

Katie, from Douglas, who has had a medical card for the past four years, needs to visit the doctor once a month and go to occupational therapy and speech-and-language therapy every two weeks.

The five-year-old was also recently diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, which requires regular visits to Crumlin Hospital in Dublin.

Katie’s parents, Jackie and Ray, organized a protest outside city hall on Saturday, November 9 to highlight their plight and the plight of other parents who have been affected by cuts to medical cards.
[Source: Cork Independent]


Plans to erect bilingual signs on roads in Claudy and Park could be delayed because Derry City Council policy does not recognize them as streets.

The issue arose after 28 requests were made to Derry City Council for signage in English and Irish for streets in the area.

In line with council policy, plebiscites were then held to get the views of local residents and 26 of the requests got the necessary 66 percent or more approval required to erect the signs.
[Source: Derry Journal]


A man who shook his baby daughter so violently that he caused her brain damage and cracked her ribs has walked free from court.

Shaun McCahill (21) admitted three counts of assault causing harm to the baby, who was only nine-weeks-old at the time of the last of three incidents in which he had shaken her.

But Judge John O'Hagan said he would not send McCahill to jail because of the bond he had built with the child since. The judge also allowed the naming of McCahill in court, but banned the identification of the child.

Letterkenny Circuit Criminal Court heard that McCahill, of St. Mary's Terrace, Ramelton, County Donegal, had shaken the baby on three occasions – twice with his hands and once when she was in a pram.
[Source: Evening Herald]


The M.P. for Newry and Armagh, Conor Murphy, says he will not be intimidated by a loyalist death threat against him, nor let it deter him from carrying out his duties.

On Tuesday, October 29, a phone call from someone purporting to represent the Ulster Volunteer Force (U.V.F.) was received at Mr. Murphy’s Newry constituency office, threatening to shoot him at his home.

Mr. Murphy said he is taking the threat seriously.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


A teenager has admitted stealing a Grand Theft Auto video game from another man who had queued up to buy it on its day of release.

Dean Martin (18) snatched the controversial game from the 26-year-old man's hand after he came out of a shop where it had just gone on sale.

Martin was fined $536 at Dublin District Court.
[Source: Evening Herald]


A 49-year-old Belfast man accused of possessing a firearm and ammunition in suspicious circumstances was bound for Enniskillen, the High Court has heard.

According to reports in court, ammunition was found in the accused’s north Belfast flat and included types used in punishment shootings and assault rifles. Just hours after police made the discovery on September 24, they arrested Stephen Jones, of Cliftonville Avenue, on a bus bound for Enniskillen at the Belfast Europa Bus Centre.

Jones had purchased a one-way ticket.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]


A home in the county has been identified as having 21 times the acceptable level of radon.

The Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland discovered the cancer-causing gas at a home in Ballymoe.

Radon is the second biggest cause of lung cancer after smoking and is directly linked to more than 200 lung cancer deaths in Ireland each year.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]


More than 400 homes around the country have been identified with high levels of the cancer-causing gas radon in the past 18 months.

According to figures from the Radiological Protection Institute, one home in Tralee, County Kerry had 26 times the acceptable level.

The institute says that occupants were receiving the equivalent radiation dose of around 18 chest X-rays each day.
[Source: Irish Examiner]


The Kildare and Leighlin diocese marked an historic occasion on Sunday, October 13, when seven permanent deacons were ordained at Carlow Cathedral. They included Jim Stowe from Mount Carmel in Newbridge and Naas resident Fergal O’Neill.

The diaconate is viewed as a “new concept” through which men (married or single) take on a specific role within the church. However, as a diocesan spokesperson pointed out, the role was not at all unusual in the early church, gradually disappearing over the years. In more recent times, it has been revived and, in 2005, the Irish bishops decided to restore the permanent diaconate.
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]


A Kilkenny woman is being tipped internationally to be the Catholic Church’s first female cardinal.

If speculation in the Washington Post and Catholic media proves correct, Linda Hogan, who is originally from Callan and is the vice-provost of Trinity College in Dublin would be eligible to cast a vote in the election of the next pope.

The 49-year-old professor of ecumenics at Trinity, once a Protestant stronghold, has not commented on the speculation.
[Source: Kilkenny People]


Labour Senator John Whelan has said it is it is high time and long overdue for the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive to commit to the future of Abbeyleix and Shaen Community Nursing Homes.

Speaking in the Seanad (Senate) on Wednesday night, November 6, Senator Whelan said it was an “absurd situation” that just 16 patients remained in Abbeyleix, which had the capacity to cater for up to 50 patients.

“It’s time that the H.S.E. and the department committed, in a real way, to Community Nursing Homes,” he said.
[Source: Leinster Express]


An informative public meeting to promote the setting up the community-alert scheme in north Leitrim communities, which is operated by Muintir na Tíre in cooperation with An Garda Siochána (police), was held in the Bee Park Community Centre Thursday night, October 31.

The aim of the community alert is to provide essential information to communities and to An Garda Siochána that will help to prevent people from becoming victims of crime in local areas.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]


The sterling work done by city woman Anne Curtin in caring for both her son, Andrew, and husband, Michael, has been recognized by the Carers Association.

Anne (70) collected the title of Irish Carer of the Year at a gala dinner in Dublin’s Westin Hotel last week, beating 17 other contestants from across the land to the title.

She provides full-time care for local writer Michael, who is paralyzed by a stroke, and Andrew (30), wheelchair-bound following an accident two years ago.
[Source: Limerick Leader]


As political parties begin the selection process for candidates in the local elections in 2014, we may be at the start of a new cycle in politics here in Longford.

The abolition of the town councils will be the first part of this. While there is much financial merit in the government’s plan to abolish the town councils, and it is likely to receive much public support, the change will be felt on the ground very quickly. We are set to see a number of town councilors jostling for places on the party tickets for county council elections. This will be followed by a period of bedding-in for the new system. It may lead to a more integrated approach but the public will notice that there will be fewer public representatives to make their case to and less time and opportunity for matters relating to the town to be discussed.
[Source: Longford Leader]


Local singer-songwriter Sinead McNally has been busy lately helping to develop new Irish record label Live Loud Music and working on two brand new singles, which will be released before the end of the year.

Live Loud Music is a new Irish independent label being developed by both artists and other music industry professionals.

“I am really excited about being part of Live Loud Music,” the Blackrock musician said.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]


Communities across east Mayo were reeling when news of the loss of 65 Mayo jobs at Homecare Medical Supplies was confirmed by the company last Monday.

Kiltimagh has to face the loss of 50 jobs at the Homecare Medical service center on the Knock Road, while 15 jobs will go at the Ballyhaunis center on the Knock Road. A further 15 jobs will go at other Homecare centers in other parts of the country, meaning a total of 80 jobs in total will be lost nationwide.

The company, run by the McGuinness family from Knock, supplies healthcare equipment to the H.S.E., hospitals, nursing homes and the community-care, pharmacy and retail sectors.
[Source: The Mayo News]


Sinn Féin’s Sinéad Burke, was coopted onto Navan Town Council last week to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of former Mayor, Caoimhe Ní Shluain, who resigned from the council at its October meeting due to work and education commitments.

Clr. Burke said it was a great honor and privilege to accept the position.

“As a person who was born and raised in Navan, I am very humbled by the faith and trust that has been shown in me to represent Sinn Fein on this council.”
[Source: Meath Chronicle]


Gardaí (police) in County Monaghan are investigating an armed robbery at a post office carried out by two men, one of whom was wearing a Dracula Halloween mask.

It happened at Latton Post Office near Castleblayney at around 5 p.m. on October 31.

The pair entered the post office armed with a crowbar and stick, and demanded money from the woman on duty.
[Source: Breaking News]


Gardaí (police) in Edenderry are investigating an aggravated burglary that occurred at the home of an elderly woman at Clonmore, Edenderry.

The burglary took place on Wednesday evening, November 5 at approximately 7:15 p.m. A lone male entered the house, threatened and demanded money from the woman in her 80s. He appeared unarmed. She was uninjured and was treated at her home.
[Source: Offaly Express]


A week after a cryptosporidium outbreak prompted the latest “boil water” notice in County Roscommon, Environment Minister Phil Hogan has approved $16 million in funding for upgrades to water schemes in the county.

In a statement Friday, November 1, the minister said he had approved the allocation of $16 million in funding for the construction of five new water treatment plants and one pumping station on the Arigna, Boyle/Ardcarne, Roscommon Central and South Roscommon Regional Water Supply Schemes.
[Source: Westmeath Independent]


Former Leitrim football boss Barney Breen has dismissed speculation that he is poised to take over from Kevin Walsh as Sligo manager.

Breen said that there had not been any contact from his neighboring county. Breen and George Dugdale were not handed a third term at the Leitrim helm, despite leading the county to their first silverware in 19 years with last year's F.B.D. League title.

"There has been absolutely no contact with me regarding the Sligo manager's job," said Breen. "I have had no calls or anything like that from anyone representing Sligo."
[Source: Irish Independent]


The decision not to include Thurles as a base for obtaining a new driving license has angered local councilor Jim Ryan. Under new regulations in force since the end of October, all applications for a new license must be made in person to the National Driving Licence Service offices in Nenagh and Clonmel.

“Thurles is once again being overlooked for this type of service,” Clr. Ryan told the Tipperary Star. “I am angered by this. Thurles was also overlooked when it came to having the headquarters for the new county council.”

The Independent councilor said he will be raising the issue at the next meeting of North Tipperary County Council.
[Source: Tipperary Star]


The number of members at Dungannon Library more than halved after its refurbishment in 2012, it has been revealed.

The figures were disclosed by the Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, Caral Ní Chuilín, in a written answer to the D.U.P.'s Gregory Campbell.

Mr. Campbell asked the minister to detail the number of users in each library that opened in the last six years. As Libraries N.I. have only been in existence for five years figures are only available for that period.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]


Waterford hopes to double the number of visitors to the city to 500,000 this Christmas for its month-long “Winterval” festival, which was unveiled today by R.T.É. children’s T.V. presenter Megan Cassidy.

The 30-day Winterval festival starts on November 29, when Santa Claus arrives in Waterford aboard a Viking Longboat.

Winterval Chairperson Barry Monaghan said the festival is designed to fill a gap for an all-encompassing Christmas festival in Ireland.

“The first Winterval last year was a huge success when we had over 250,000 visitors to Waterford City,” he said.
[Source: Irish Times]


The death occurred last Thursday morning of a former chairman of Westmeath County Council, Mark Nugent, of Carrick, Dalystown.

Mr. Nugent, who had been battling illness for some months, represented the Labour Party for over 20 years on the county council, representing the Kilbeggan area constituency.

He was also a worker director on the board of Bord na Móna.
[Source: Westmeath Examiner]


The trial of an Enniscorthy man charged with the murder of a father-of-two in 2011 began last Tuesday at Dublin’s Central Criminal Court.

Michael Furlong (35) of Apartment 5, Meadowfield, The Moyne, appeared before the court on Monday, charged with the unlawful killing of Patrick “Shockers” Connors on a date unknown on April 28-29, 2011, at Carraig Tur apartments in Enniscorthy.

He was originally charged with the offense at Enniscorthy District Court on January 18, 2012, when a plea of not guilty was recorded.
[Source: Wexford Echo]


A spray painter whom the Revenue Commissioners claim owes $1.9 million in income tax and V.A.T. was remanded in custody at the Circuit Criminal Court last Wednesday.

Trevor Dixon (57) from Bray, County Wicklow, who sprayed buses for Dublin Bus, had pleaded guilty in June to offenses including fraudulent evasion of income tax, incorrectly issuing V.A.T. invoices and failing to furnish tax returns between 2002 and 2008.

At his sentencing hearing, Shane Costello, for the Revenue Commissioners, said the 26 charges against Dixon were a sample of charges.
[Source: Irish Times]