Community leaders have united to condemn the heartless thief who terrorized an 81-year-old man in his Greystone home “for the sake of a few pounds.”

The elderly grandfather had settled in for an evening in front of the television blissfully unaware that this would be a Saturday night like no other.

Everything changed at around 8:15 p.m. when an unexpected caller appeared at the door of his home at Bleerick Drive.

And it was soon clear that this was no social call. As soon as the door was opened the intruder barged in and attacked the startled O.A.P.

Once he had over-powered his frail victim, the thug roughly tied up the petrified pensioner.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


A Crossmaglen priest escaped unhurt during a brazen robbery of his parochial house home on Saturday afternoon, October 12.

Around 4 p.m., Fr. Liam McKinney answered his door to find two men who said they were seeking pastoral care from the priest. Inviting the pair into the front office of the Newry Road premises, the priest quickly became suspicious as to their motives.

Speaking to the Examiner following the incident, Fr. McKinney explained that as soon as the culprits had entered his home, he became uneasy about their behavior, fearing the situation was not what it had initially appeared to be.

Far removed from seeking pastoral advice, the men became increasingly threatening and tampered with the parochial safe containing parish records.  It was at this stage the young priest, fearing for his safety, left the house to raise the alarm.
[Source:  Examiner Newspaper]


A Carlow-based whiskey maker is to generate 55 jobs over the next few years with a$34 million expansion.

Walsh Whiskey Distillery is to build a new craft distillery at Royal Oak in Carlow with funding from Italian drinks company Saronno.

Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton welcomed the announcement, saying the new distillery will help Irish exports and is a model of what the government is trying to achieve.
[Source: RTE News]


Cavan hoteliers have welcomed the announcement by Minister Noonan to retain the nine percent tourism V.A.T. rate.

Tony Walker, branch chair, Cavan Irish Hotels Federation (I.H.F.) says that the reduced V.A.T. rate has been enormously successful to date, enabling tourism and hospitality businesses to take on 15,200 additional jobs at a very difficult time when employment would otherwise have dropped significantly.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


A north Clare parish priest is offering to conduct “downsized” weddings for couples who have been putting off taking the plunge because of the recession.

Lisdoonvarna priest, Father Conor Cunningham, has offered to open up traditional Sunday mass for weddings and has also offered his services free of charge if couples decide to partake in a private church ceremony involving the bride, groom and their witnesses. The offer comes as marriage rates continue to drop in many parts of the country. According to Fr. Cunningham, financial difficulties brought about by the recession should not prevent willing couples from getting married.
[Source: Clare People]


Cork's Central Library was a crime scene under investigation last Tuesday, when it was reported a grandmother and her two grandchildren walked in on a man “shooting up” in the toilet Monday evening.

The woman reported the incident to a library employee in an upset state and left without giving her name or contact details and when the employee went to check the toilet, there was no one there.

Manager of the Grand Parade Library Mr. Eamon Kirwan was not working Monday, but he said he understood someone walked in off the street and asked to use the toilet around 5 p.m.
[Source: Cork Independent]


Twenty-two “high end jobs” are being created at a pioneering new medical research center in Derry.

The Northern Ireland Centre for Stratified Medicine – the only one of its kind on the island of Ireland – is based at the Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Centre (C.-T.R.I.C.) at Altnagelvin Hospital.

The $18.4 million facility is a collaborative project between the University of Ulster’s Biomedical Sciences Research Institute, C.-T.R.I.C. and the Western Health and Social Care Trust.
[Source: Derry Journal]


The H.S.E. unveiled plans for a new $2.7 million community mental health center, which will be located at Rowanfield House, Donegal.

The state-of-the-art development will deliver a modern center for community mental health services in the south Donegal area.

Speaking at the unveiling of the plans, John Hayes, area manager, H.S.E., said, “As a former member of the mental health team I am committed to further development of services. This building here will be a one stop shop where people can visit without any stigma.”
[Source: Donegal Democrat]


S.D.L.P. Assembly Member for Newry and Armagh Dominic Bradley, M.L.A. has raised the issue of the underfunding of Arts in Newry in the Assembly. During question time at the assembly two weeks ago, the M.L.A. asked Culture, Arts and Leisure Minister Carál Ní Chuilín to review the capital funding for the Arts in Newry.

Mr Bradley said, “Newry City and the wider hinterlands of south Armagh and south Down are steeped in a rich heritage of culture, arts, drama, music and storytelling and yet we do not have the arts facilities to match it.

“Over recent weeks and months the Arts sector in Newry [has] come together to lobby for real and meaningful capital investment in the sector locally.  They want to see a modern facility provided in Newry to match the thriving arts and creative industry sector locally.”
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


A south Dublin businessman has been charged with  murdering Elaine O'Hara was in Garda (police) custody.

Detectives swooped on the married man at a house in Foxrock early that morning.

The 41-year-old father-of-two was being quizzed at Blackrock Garda Station in connection with Elaine's murder.

The 36-year-old went missing on August 22, 2012. Her remains were found over a year later by a woman walking in the Dublin Mountains.
[Source: Evening Herald]


A 32-year-old man who shouted “catch me if you can” at police after committing an assault has been sentenced to 80 hours of community service.

In the case heard at Enniskillen Magistrates Court the prosecutor explained that on August 28, 2013 at 1:30 a.m. police were called to an altercation in the Diamond area of Enniskillen outside the Crowes Nest pub.

The injured party had tried to stop the defendant Darren Comiskey, of Trasna Park, Enniskillen from assaulting another male. In doing so, Comiskey hit the injured party in the face and was subsequently arrested for common assault.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]


A city councilor is calling on businesses in Galway to get behind the council's free parking initiative next month by providing incentives to shoppers.

The City Council has announced it will provide free on-street parking between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Monday to Friday for the month of November.

Motorists parking in the city will not be required to “pay and display” between these times.

The initiative aims to help businesses in the city center during what is traditionally a quiet month.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]


Kerry legend Tomas O’Se believes it won’t be until the next year that his decision to retire hits him.

At 35, O’Se called time on his magnificent 15-year inter-county career a fortnight ago, having accumulated five All-Ireland and nine Munster titles in that period.

The An Gaeltacht veteran feels he’s ready to hang up the boots at club level too, given the time commitment needed to get from his Cork base to his home club.
[Source: Irish Mirror]


A building worth$€135,000 given to a Newbridge voluntary organization two years ago could be completely lost to the community unless Kildare County Council speeds up a move to relocate it onto council land.

The 6,500 sq. ft. structure, which is a high-quality pre-fabricated building in 12 sections, was donated by Pfizer to Newbridge Community Development (N.C.D.), to provide a multi-purpose youth facility.

Initially unable to find any site on which to locate it, the organization was eventually forced to store it at the former Schloetter site in the industrial estate. Unfortunately, this land was owned by local businessman Tommy Tougher and it is now in the hands of N.A.M.A., which is seeking to dispose of it as soon as possible, meaning that the pre-fabricated building must be moved elsewhere.
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]


Hundreds of people paid their respects to the late Rory Brady at his funeral mass at St. Canice’s Church Saturday morning, October 12.

The 26-year-old, who lived at 36 Pearse Street with his mother Ber Clowry, was found dead at his home on Thursday morning, Oct. 10.

The young man had recently started a course training to be a fitness instructor in Bagenelstown.
[Source: Kilkenny People]


Laois has the highest rate of empty business properties in Leinster outside Dublin, according to a new report of vacancy rates.

The total number of vacant commercial units or premises recorded in Laois is 12.7 percent according to the third GeoView quarterly report on Commercial Vacancy Rates, published jointly by GeoDirectory and D.K.M. Economic Consultants. It examined commercial vacancy rates in 79 towns across the country.

A total of 2,782 addresses were surveyed in Laois. At 740 Portlaoise has the highest number of commercial addresses. Portarlington has 207 listed business premises while Mountmellick has 153 premises.
[Source: Leinster Express]


October is our big month of cheese! Over the month of October, a variety of events will take place in Leitrim that will allow farmhouse cheese consumers engage directly with the product and discover and taste farmhouse cheese, try new varieties, discover usage occasion, and pick up a host of top tips from seasonality to storage.

Last Thursday, October 17, at the Market Yard, Carrick-on-Shannon you could see and taste over 20 farmhouse cheeses. At The Bee Park Resource Centre Farmers Market, Manorhamilton last Friday, October 18, you could hear a talk on cheese including a little history and tasting.

The Discover Farmhouse Cheese program, a new E.U. co-funded campaign organized by Bord Bia, is a celebration of farmhouse cheese in Ireland. Bord Bia is encouraging the public to discover the unique character of the individual cheeses and how products are produced on the farm, the transparency of the supply chain, and the story of the makers behind the products.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]


Verdicts of death by multiple stab wounds have been recorded at an inquest into the deaths of two women and two children in Newcastle West in 2010.

A local jury made the findings at the inquest last Monday into the deaths of Sarah Hines (25), her children, Reece (3) and Amy (five months), and 20-year-old Alicia Brough on November 15, 2010.

All four were murdered at a house at 18 Hazelgrove, Newcastle West by 34-year-old John Geary, Ms. Hines’ ex-partner, in what was described by West Limerick coroner Brendan Nix as a “mindless, mind-numbing, inexplicable, vicious” crime.
[Source: Limerick Leader]


A creative Granard farmer has launched his new invention that takes the danger out of dosing cattle.

The KO Doser, which was warmly received at the recently held All-Ireland Ploughing Championships, came onto the market in recent weeks after its creator Vincent Kiernan became inundated with orders.

“This all started a few years ago when I sustained a hand injury during cattle dosing,” Mr. Kiernan explained, adding that it was his belief that there was a safer way to carry out the task.
[Source: Longford Leader]


Dundalk native Gavin McCumiskey decided to create his first comic book.

Two weeks ago, his masterpiece, “Innocent Tales,” hit book shelves around Dundalk.

Gavin moved to Tullamore nine years ago, but last week, he returned to his hometown to participate in workshops with the transition year students in the Marist.

“The workshops went great and I got great feedback off the students,” said Gavin in an interview with the Democrat last week.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]


Gardaí (police) are urging van owners and drivers to ensure their vehicles are securely locked after a total of seven vans were stolen in the county over the past three weeks.

On Wednesday, October 9, keys were taken from a building at Cedar Park on the Newport Road in Westport. A van was subsequently taken and Gardaí later stopped the van on the Castlebar Rd. The two occupants were arrested and brought to Westport Garda Station. One of the occupants was charged with burglary and the unlawful taking of the van. The man appeared at Westport District Court on Thursday, Oct. 17.

Three vans were stolen in the Ballinrobe area in the last three weeks. One van was recovered while a second was found burnt out.
[Source: The Mayo News]


Slane Castle was seen by over two million Italians when it features on reality T.V. show “X Factor Italia” last Thursday night for one of the judge’s “home visits.”

During the summer, one of the show’s judges, British singer-songwriter Mika, brought his group of singing hopefuls to Slane Castle for the “home visits” round of the popular reality T.V. show.

X Factor Italia’s Irish experience was broadcast that evening to an anticipated two million viewers across Italy.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]


A retired Fianna Fail senator has pleaded guilty to a charge of demanding $136,000 with menaces in County Monaghan. Francis O’Brien (70), a father-of-four, of Corwillan, Latton, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan has been remanded on continuing bail to the November 12 sitting of Carrick-on Shannon Circuit Court.

Mr. O’Brien was an Oireachtas Senator from 1989 to 2011.

He is charged with attempting to make gain for himself or others, by making an unwarranted demand for $136,000 from Michael Heelan, with menaces, at Tullyvaragh Lower, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan on April 13, 2012.
[Source: Irish Times]


Offaly Deputy Barry Cowen has accused the government of betraying older people in budget 2014.

According to Deputy Cowen, the government have singled out pensioners for the worst of the cuts next year, with a dramatic reduction in medical cards, a hike in prescription charges, the abolition of the telephone allowance, increased tax on savings and the scrapping of the bereavement grant.

“This amounts to a disgraceful attack on older people. These are people who have worked for decades, paid their taxes and made a significant contribution to society and the economy. And now in their older years they are seeing vital supports taken from them,” said Deputy Cowen.
[Source: Offaly Express]


Former Roscommon goalkeeper Shane Curran has warned that the black-card regulation due to come into force next year will wreak havoc on club football across the country.

The St. Brigid's stopper, who was part of the side that brought the All-Ireland club title back to Kiltoom last year, believes smaller clubs simply won't have the numbers to replace players sent off on a black card.

"For the weaker clubs, it's difficult," he said. "A lot of people hedge their bets, but the black card is a ridiculous rule, it's going to be proven that way.”
[Source: Irish Independent]


An Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny, T.D., visited I.T. Sligo two weeks ago and witnessed progress underway in a $48 million capital development program.

The final stage of the five-year building program, which is changing the face of I.T. Sligo, is culminating with the new $25 million three story (4,300 sq. meters) science facility that is currently under construction and is due to be completed next June.

The transformation of the original 1970s building on the campus, which has undergone radical expansion in the last number of years, also includes a modern 600-seat restaurant facility for staff and students.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]


Billy Noble (39), from Ballybeg in Littleton, has won the Natural Bodybuilding Federation of Ireland championship final in the over-80 kg. class and now goes forward to represent Ireland at the U.I.B.B.N. World Championships in Paris on November 16. There, Billy will be joined by the winners of the other weight classes following the championship finals in Carrigtwohill, Cork on October 5.

Billy started weight training at the Powerhouse gym at the age of 27 and it was only in the past year when he took it really seriously, with the thought of entering a bodybuilding competition lingering in his mind.

A friend who completed a personal training course with Billy sent him a link of an up-coming event, which was to be the first-ever natural competition in Ireland run by the N.B.F.I. (Natural Bodybuilding Federation of Ireland).
[Source: Tipperary Star]


A stretch of road in Dungannon has been branded the area's "worst accident black-spot" after five accidents in the last 18 months.

In one of the worst incidents, a car traveled some distance on its roof before coming to rest in a resident's garden, it has been claimed.

According to Fermanagh and South Tyrone M.L.A., Lord Maurice Morrow, it is only by "pure good fortune" that no one has been killed on the stretch of Bush Road at Lisnaclin.

Speaking to the Courier, he said: "There have been five accidents in the last 18 months on the same stretch of Bush Road at Lisnaclin, two of which were just few weeks apart.

“A householder had just replaced his front fence following a previous collision when it was again destroyed by the second crash.”
[Source: Tyrone Courier]


A Waterford man has avoided jail after he stole more than $11,000 from his former employers.

John Kiely (48) was given a two-year suspended sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court after he admitted overpaying himself while working as a project manager at Dolphin House Community Development Association.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]


“If you are unemployed, now is the time to consider setting up your own business following the positive supports announced in the budget.”

That is the advice Dan Grehan, manager of the Westmeath Community Development Business Development Programme, is offering.

The Start Your Own Business Scheme (S.Y.O.B.) is a measure being introduced to encourage individuals who are long-term unemployed to start their own unincorporated businesses. A two-year exemption from income tax to a maximum of $55,000 per annum is being provided for individuals who have been unemployed for at least 15 months prior to starting their own businesses.
[Source: Westmeath Examiner]


Enough was enough at Wexford General Hospital last Tuesday, October 15, when a number of junior doctors joined their 3,000 colleagues nationwide by walking out on strike.

Following failed negotiations with the H.S.E. in the Labour Relations Court, a group of non-consultant hospital doctors formed a picket outside the grounds of the hospital.

The union representing the group, the Irish Medical Organisation, organized the day of action against the H.S.E. in protest at the “dangerously long hours,” which these doctors are expected to work.
[Source: Wexford Echo]


A woman in her 40s has died in a house fire in Enniskerry, County Wicklow, last Monday morning.

The fire was reported at the house in Monastery Grove shortly before 5 a.m.

Two children in their early teens escaped the fire. They are understood to be the children of the dead woman.

They have been taken to Crumlin Children’s Hospital.
[Source: Irish Times]