South Antrim U.U.P. M.L.A., Danny Kinahan, has described changes to how individual school budgets are calculated each year as an “attack on schools.”

He said the latest announcement that huge numbers of schools would be receiving less money following a revision to the Common Funding Scheme would have a “devastating impact.”

He said: "Using this year's figures as a benchmark it is clear that when the changes are brought in from next April the cuts will be severe.”
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


Crossmaglen Councilor Terry Hearty has been appointed by his Sinn Fein colleagues on Newry, Mourne and Down District Councils to represent them on a finance working group that will oversee the amalgamation of the two councils’ finances as part of the Review of Public Administration (R.P.A.).

Following his appointment, Councilor Hearty said he intends make every effort to ensure the amalgamation puts as little burden on the ratepayer as possible.

“This is a huge task so there is a lot of work to be done to get a full picture of the finances of both councils,” he said.

“It’s imperative that this task is carried out with the greatest attention to detail, especially when you consider that issues like fixed assets, outstanding loans and the capital spend over the next few years will dictate future rates.”
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


Carlow’s classrooms are among the most overcrowded in the country.

According to figures released two weeks ago, a quarter of Carlow’s primary school pupils are squeezed into “supersized” classes of over 30 children or more, while a whopping 90 percent of Carlow pupils have to struggle in classes that are greater than the E.U. average.

The alarming figures have prompted the teachers’ union in County Carlow to call on the government to stop slashing funding for our schools.

“Teachers are not surprised at the figures; they have been working under those circumstances for a long time,” stated Joe McKeown, I.N.T.O. executive for Carlow/Kilkenny.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]


Killeshandra has a wonderful new home for community activities after a stunning new center opened two weekends ago. The town’s vibrant spirit was in evidence on Saturday evening, September 14, as hundreds of people rushed through the doors upon the cutting of the tape to take in the full glory of the fabulous hall.

The impressive $540,000 complex is testimony to the hard work put in by many people to ensure this new facility became a reality.

The official opening and cutting of the tape was performed by 92-year-old Francis Magarahan and four-year-old Lauren Nulty.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


Clare County Council is a finalist in the 10th annual Engineers Ireland Continuing Professional Development (C.P.D.) Employer of the Year Awards for 2013-14.

Clare County Council, which has a long and successful record of C.P.D., has been shortlisted for its achievements in using in-house expertise, local knowledge and innovation to develop the Clare County Flood Forecasting System (C.C.F.F.S.).
[Source: Clare Champion]


A Cork woman was overjoyed when she recently met the sister and brothers she never knew she had, bringing an end to a search for her parents she began in February 2011.

In August this year, Mary O’Callaghan-Hallissey finally met her siblings for the first time in Cork. The Macroom woman first spoke to her sister in January, revealing her existence to her family for the first time.

Mary was adopted by a couple in Macroom many years ago after her mother came back from London to put her up for adoption in Cork. Unfortunately she never got to meet her birth mother and father as they died in 2012, after Mary had started her search for them.

Due to confidentiality issues, she was not able to track them down before they died.
[Source: Cork Independent]


Darron Gibson insists he is ready to end his self-imposed international exile following the departure of former Republic of Ireland boss, Giovanni Trapattoni.

The Everton midfielder has claimed his year-long exile was solely down to his ongoing problems with the Italian who refused to play him during the Republic’s Euro 2012 campaign in Poland.

Gibson was an unused substitute for Ireland’s three group games, but the Hazelbank native claims that Trapattoni had an issue with him long before the European campaign got underway.

“I do regret not playing but I was so angry that I didn’t get on the pitch for even a second at the Euros,” said Gibson.
[Source: Derry Journal]


A new car-park for the Letterkenny Institute of Technology (L.Y.I.T.) was officially opened last Monday, providing more than 220 parking spaces for L.Y.I.T. students, faculty, staff and visitors.

Traffic lights, a pedestrian crossing and a new traffic management system for turning vehicles have been introduced at the busy Port Road location between the main entrance to L.Y.I.T., on one side of the road, and the new car park on the other.

Paul Hannigan, president of L.Y.I.T., said the traffic lights are being synchronized to allow for a proper traffic flow at all times, and for the safety of L.Y.I.T. staff and students.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]


The town of Newtownhamilton, considered to be one of the most deprived areas within Newry and Mourne, now faces what many residents claim is a further assault on their lives with proposals to build a huge wind turbine farm in the vicinity, involving up to 30 turbines in the radius of a few miles.

A spokesperson for concerned residents stated that the turbines were being positioned in an area that would totally affect the life and character of the town.  Among the windmill proposals is one forwarded by Newry and Mourne District Council to be placed at the Newtownhamilton Recycling Centre on the Newry Road.

Residents claim that the proposals will adversely affect the long tradition of agriculture in this area as well as the abundance of wildlife.  It may also affect people of the area who seek planning permission and mortgages, and will create health risks including noise pollution and sound frequency, which can have dramatic effects on the more vulnerable people within the community.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


Organizers of a contentious U.S.-themed child beauty pageant revealed the secret identity of the venue for their first-ever Irish event.

The four-star Bracken Court hotel in Balbriggan, north County Dublin, hosted the Universal Royalty competition, which featured “babies, toddlers and teens,” last Saturday.

Despite the controversy surrounding the contest, the hotel's general manager Rory Keogh said he saw "absolutely no problem" with staging the competition, which over 50 Irish youngsters signed up to compete in.
[Source: Evening Herald]


The flags in the Gaol Square area of Enniskillen town center are now gone and both sides of the community are happy with the recent development. The flags, which had previously been the subject of criticism from local nationalists, were removed late Monday night, September 9.

They had been up for at least six months, with consternation first expressed back before the G8 came to town in June. Speaking to the Herald, U.U.P. local M.L.A. Tom Elliott had not been aware the flags had been removed, but when told was pleased to hear the news.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]


Negotiations are still underway with landowners regarding the proposed Connemara greenway.

Up to 45 landowners have already signed permissive access agreements to allow the project to go through their lands.

However, talks are still ongoing with around 40 landowners, and it's hoped this part of the process will be complete by next month.

The cycle route between Oughterard and Clifden will follow the line of the now dismantled Galway to Clifden railway.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]


Teenager Donal Walsh, who was posthumously named Rehab Young Person of the Year and has been hailed a hero for his grit, determination and love of life, was directly responsible for the drop in suicide rates in south Kerry in the past six months, south Kerry coroner Terence Casey has said.

Donal's parents, Fionnbar and Elma, who collected the award on Donal's behalf, told the Sunday Independent that Mr. Casey said that between Donal talking to Brendan O'Connor on R.T.É.'s “Saturday Night Show” last March until three weeks ago, there were no suicides in south Kerry.

In the past three weeks, there have been three suicides in the region, said Mr. Walsh, adding "and it's about time we put Donal's message back out there."
[Source: Irish Independent]


Athy councillor Thomas Redmind is refusing to resign his position as cathaoirleach (chairperson) of the town council following his decision to leave the Labour Party and join Sinn Féin.

He was one of two councillors in County Kildare to resign their Labour Party membership two weeks ago. Clr. Damien Molyneaux, a member of Newbridge Town Council, also tendered his resignation but has indicated he will not be joining any other party.

Both men cited their anger and disappointment at the performance of Labour in government as their reason for opting out.
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]


A Kilkenny city building contractor died after a nail gun he was trying to fix in his workshop triggered itself and killed him, accidentally.

Joe Brennan, of 24 Stephen Street, Kilkenny, received a nail into the chest after the machine went off on Saturday afternoon, September 14, at his home. He had placed the machine on his chest to try to restart it. He died later from his injuries at St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny.
[Source: Kilkenny People]


Laois County Council will cater for 50,000 public sector workers when it operates the Shared Payroll and Superannuation Services Centre in 2014.

Following a bidding process, Laois Co. Council was awarded the contract, which is to be staffed by 72 full-time workers when fully operational.

County manager Peter Carey said that the development represented a “significant achievement” for the council.
[Source: Laois Nationalist]


Two weeks ago, the angling championship was a true success, but only for two stewards could it have taken a different complexion.

The quick-thinking of two Inland Waterway stewards, who provided first aid after one of the competitors suffered a heart attack, prevented the tournament being overshadowed by tragedy.

The five-day Lakelands and Inland Waterways World Pairs Angling Championship saw fishermen from Ireland, Britain and further afield treated to “phenomenal” angling.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]


Councilors have criticized city engineering officials after plans to erect traffic lights in Thomondgate were shelved.

At the northside area meeting two weeks ago, Clr. Tom Shortt requested an update on the progress made concerning the installation of traffic and pedestrian lights at the end of Thomond Bridge.

In response, Rory McDermott told him the provision of lights is “not warranted.”

Instead, he said funding for a zebra crossing there would be sought next year.

Councilor Cormac Hurley (Fine Gael) said he has “always been an admirer of Rory’s . . . but I do not go along with this.”
[Source: Limerick Leader]


A butcher based in Drumlish competed in the R.D.S. in Dublin last week, as his products qualified for the final of the national Sausage and Pudding Competition.

Gavin Mitchell of Mitchell Meats, Drumlish, looked forward to the competition, which took place last Wednesday, September 18. A native of Gortletteragh, County Leitrim, Gavin has qualified for the competition, run by the Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland, in the traditional sausage category with sausages he makes himself.

Speaking to the Leader last week, Gavin admitted that he was “delighted” to be in the competition, particularly as it was his first time to enter. Speaking about the sausages, which were awarded runner-up status in the Northern region in the regional heats of the competition, Gavin was proud to say that the meat is locally sourced and freshly prepared. Gavin explained that he gets his pork from Vincent Conefrey from Ballinalee. It is then slaughtered in Green Pasture Meats in Drumlish, and in Mitchell Meats the next day, where Gavin prepares it. As for beef and lamb, Gavin sources it from his own farm. He felt that this is very important, as the customers know exactly what they’re buying. It is this transparency and the quality of his fresh local products that entices customers to the store, as Gavin points out: “you’ll only sell a bad product once!”
[Source: Longford Leader]


Two weeks ago, motorists using parking spaces along the shop front of the Desmesne were hit with new clamping restrictions.

Yet, the clamping has been brought in privately, in a bid to stop the apparent practice of people leaving cars in the space all day.

There is now a two-hour limit to the free parking along the shop side of the street, and people who have parked there have been issued with warning notices, while some have been clamped..
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]


A man wanted over a plot to kill police officers in a mortar-bomb attack in Northern Ireland was arrested in the village of Cross two weeks ago. Ryan McKenna, originally from Northern Ireland, had been living in the area for the past number of years. He had been under surveillance by a covert military unit for six months.

Northern Ireland authorities have requested the extradition of Mr. McKenna from the Republic. He is said to have been arrested in relation to the April 5, 2007 discovery of a live mortar, complete with launching tube near the Cornakinnegar Road outside Lurgan, County Armagh.

Known locally as “Spider,” the 24-year-old was living in Cross village and was working with a local food-delivery business.
[Source: The Mayo News]


After a nationwide vote, Ashbourne-based Tayto, one of Ireland’s most popular Irish brands, has launched two new limited edition flavors, bringing a total of six mouth-watering choices to its offering.

A shout out was made by Mr. Tayto on Facebook, for people to volunteer to become a “Tayto Top Secret Taste Tester,” and over 6,000 people applied to take part. An elite group of 500 were chosen and sent out a Tayto Tester parcel and when the votes came in, the result was crisp and clear.

Two new flavor-filled packets of Tayto are about to burst onto the market. Bringing home the bacon is the sizzling Tayto Bacon Melt and a real rib-tickler is the sensational Tayto Spare Rib. Citing films such as Babe, The Quiet Ham and Lord of the Ribs as favorite movies, and Michael “Saucebender,” “Rack” Nicholson and Kevin Bacon as favorite actors, the two new flavors look set to add some sizzle to the Irish crisp market!
[Source: Meath Chronicle]


A man from Northern Ireland has appeared in court in the Republic of Ireland on charges related to fuel laundering.

Columba Mackle (27), from County Armagh, was arrested last Monday after an Irish Customs raid in County Monaghan.

He was charged with attempting to remove a marker dye from fuel.

Two fuel laundering plants were uncovered during a raid at a private yard and a commercial premise.
[Source: BBC News]


The driver of the car involved in a collision outside Tullamore that killed both him and three young brothers from Portarlington, had a blood alcohol level more than six times the legal limit.

Three brothers, Darren Doyle (27), David Doyle (24) and Ryan Doyle (17), and their friend and driver, Lee Bryan (24), were killed instantly when their Honda Civic crashed into a town-link bus on the Tullamore to Geashill road on the evening of Friday, August 10, 2012.

At Monday’s (September 16) inquest, the pathologist in Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore, Dr. Margaret Lynch, warned family members that the evidence was “quite upsetting.”
[Source: Offaly Express]


Actor Chris O'Dowd broke his leg in a "very Irish accident," according to his wife.

Writer Dawn O'Porter mischievously revealed how O'Dowd was injured while out partying in Dublin two weekends ago.

T.V. presenter Dawn revealed how the Moone Boy star, who is currently filming his home-grown sitcom with Hollywood actor Paul Rudd in Dublin, got injured in a "very Irish accident."

And Dawn told I.T.V.'s Lorraine Kelly that the Bridesmaids star is unable to walk their dog due to the injury.

She said: "He broke his foot in a bit of an Irish accident on Friday night in Dublin. He can't walk the dog."

When Lorraine inquired if "drink had been taken," his wife giggled and said: "Well, that's the Irish part of it. Yes."
[Source: Irish Independent]


A headland on the west coast of Ireland has been named by a travel bible as one of the best surfing spots in the world.

Mullaghmore Head in County Sligo has been listed by the Lonely Planet in a new book of top 10s for adventurers, while walking across the country is also said to be one of the best coast-to-coast missions.

The two holiday ideas are among four locations named by the guide book which also said climbing Croagh Patrick is an ultimate pilgrimage and the Castle Leslie estate a top 10 for horse-riding enthusiasts.
[Source: Irish Independent]


Deputy Noel Coonan has received further information from his colleague and Justice Minister Alan Shatter that the formal commencement of the recruitment process is expected to get underway in September, with the first students entering the Garda (Police) College in Templemore in mid-2014.

“This announcement has been widely welcomed by the people of Templemore and we hope it is the start of an upturn in the economy for the town and its environs. I want to compliment the entire management and staff of the Garda College and Superintendent Pat McCabe for their enterprise and for keeping the college alive during the lean periods in the last number of years. I hope it is the first of a number of positive developments for the Garda College as it prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its opening on February 14, 1964,” said Deputy Coonan.
[Source: Tipperary Star]


Police are to tackle the impact of the "excessive drink problem" in both Dungannon and Cookstown as part of a U.K.-wide Alcohol Harm Initiative looking at violent crime.

The P.S.N.I. will be working with partner agencies to highlight and tackle the growing drink culture in both towns.

Commenting on the plans, Superintendent Simon Walls told the Courier: "Nearly 50 percent of all violent crime is alcohol related. Statistics also indicate that in incidents of domestic abuse, offenders are thought to be under the influence of alcohol in nearly half of all incidents.

“Clearly, this is a cause for concern."
[Source: Tyrone Courier]


Congratulations to Ardkeen Superstores on the Dunmore Road in Waterford City. The lucky store sold the $17.3 million EuroMillions jackpot winning ticket for Friday's (September 13) draw. The winner, a young Southeast man who shared the $34.6 million jackpot with a player in Spain, claimed his prize last Monday in National Lottery H.Q.

The winning ticket was an $8 play and the winner picked his own numbers. It almost didn't happen as a slip of his pen ticked number 32 on his play-slip by mistake. But that mistake scooped him the multi million Euros jackpot.
[Source: Waterford Today]


An elderly pedestrian has died in a road traffic collision in Mullingar last Thursday afternoon.

It is understood he was struck at a pedestrian crossing on the Castlepollard Road near the Midland Regional Hospital.
[Source: Westmeath Examiner]


Tributes have poured in for a nine-year-old girl and her elderly babysitter who lost their lives in a tragic house fire just outside Enniscorthy two weekends ago.

Gabriela Glorija Gruznova (9) was being looked after by Philomena O’Rourke (84) when a blaze ripped through the woman’s Clohass home in the early hours of Saturday morning, September 14.

The little girl had been staying at the house, which she paid regular visits to, while her mother Zane Sutra went for a meal with Mrs. Rourke’s son, Aidan, in Mick Wallace’s restaurant in Enniscorthy on Friday night.
[Source: Wexford Echo]


Gardaí (police) investigating the suspected murder of Elaine O’Hara have sealed off a section of the Vartry reservoir near Roundwood in County Wicklow as a crime scene after a bag of items linked to her was found there.

While members of the Garda water unit could be seen taking items from the drained waterway last Tuesday afternoon, The Irish Times understands a bag containing clothes and other personal items belonging to the 37-year-old from Killiney, south Dublin, was found two weeks ago.
[Source: Irish Times]