Opening the locks at a playground may not be the most taxing of jobs, but it seems that when Antrim Borough Council puts the key-holder on the payroll it becomes a whole new ballgame.

The job itself is child's play, but that has not stopped Antrim Council writing a check for $2,008 to the Inter-Estate Partnership in Parkhall for doing just that.

That was just one of scores of invoices silently agreed by the Resources Committee two weeks ago. In less than 10 minutes, unfazed councilors “signed off” payments totaling a cool $3,268,907.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


The family of Silverbridge woman Natasha McShane say they feel a sense of relief and justice after the man who attacked her and left her for dead on a Chicago street more than three years ago was unanimously convicted of the crime.

A statement written by Natasha’s brother, Conor, and read outside Cook County Criminal Court after the verdict was announced on Thursday, October 24, said his sister’s life has changed forever and the attack brought “great sadness and sorrow to our home.”

At the conclusion of a trial lasting five days, the jury took little over three hours to find Heriberto Viramontes (34) guilty on all counts against him, which included attempted first-degree murders of Natasha and her friend, Stacy Jurich, aggravated battery, and armed robbery.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


Carlow and Westmeath have drawn up an alternative National Hurling League proposal for consideration ahead of this month’s Central Council meeting.

Both counties are angry they have been left out of the recommended 12-team Division 1 and have drafted a different format to cater for the interests of all the Liam MacCarthy Cup teams in Ireland.

Carlow Chairman Michael Meaney has warned they and Westmeath will “do what we have to do to get recognition for the hard work being done in our counties.”
[Source: Irish Examiner]


Cavan goalie Alan O’Mara will speak candidly about his battle with depression on a TV3 program dealing with mental health this evening. The Cavan G.A.A. star is one of many Irish people in the public eye to speak out about their experiences with mental illness on the half-hour special show, “Time to Talk.”

Interviewed by Sinead Desmond, O’ Mara discusses how depression made him question everything.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


A woman and her two children had a lucky escape on Thursday when the care in which they were traveling left the road at a notorious corner on the main Ennis to Ennistymon Road.

The crash, just after midday, brought to seven, the number of accidents at Ballyknock, Kilnamona in the past 11 days according to Clare County Councilor James Breen.
[Source: Clare Champion]


The Cork Roma Community are said to be living in fear following the removal of two Roma children from their homes in Athlone and Dublin two weeks ago.

"Living in fear" is how the Cork Roma community has been described by the co-founder of the Roma Support Group, Bill Dunlea, after two children were removed from Roma homes two weeks ago.

The second child that was removed, in Athlone, was related to members of the Cork Roma community and the family was in regular contact with Cork Roma Support Group, who is working towards national support.
[Source: Cork Independent]


A scheme is being launched in Derry aiming to breathe new life into the city’s empty shops and office buildings.

The North’s Social Development Minister, Nelson McCausland, has announced his department is to fund the Vacant Spaces Project, developed in partnership with Ilex, which aims to match Derry’s empty commercial space with new tenants.

“The Vacant Spaces project will try to make use of vacant buildings in key locations in a way that can add value to the city center and stimulate local businesses and employment,” the minister said.
[Source: Derry Journal]


Over 200 children from the south of the county invaded Donegal last Thursday evening taking part in one of the biggest Trick-or-Treat festivals in the county.

The event was organized by Ashtree Garden Centre, who had a special pumpkin party, fashion show and disco for all the children and indeed many of the adults!
[Source: Donegal Democrat]


A businessman was told he would be shot dead if he did not hand over $16,000 to the Official I.R.A., the High Court heard last Wednesday.

Money was demanded from the Newry-based victim for registering on the organization’s “Richter scale” over the alleged selling of steroids, prosecutors said.

In phone calls, he was warned both he and his family were under surveillance and he would be left with nothing if he did not comply.
[Source: News Letter]


A marathon runner whose heart stopped at the finishing line in Monday's Dublin City Marathon has died.

Ricki Savage (27), from Ramsgate, Kent, was running the marathon to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation.

Mr. Savage had just finished the race when he suffered a suspected heart attack at Merrion Square after completing the 26.2 mile run in three hours and 10 minutes.
[Source: Evening Herald]


Speed cameras, on the Cornagrade Road at Enniskillen, are catching out on average just over nine speedsters a week. And, the number of detections is rising each year with, on average, a $9% fine dished out to the erring motorist each time.

The figures for Northern Ireland for the past 3 calendar years, obtained by the Belfast Telegraph, were released by the P.S.N.I. following a Freedom of Information request.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]


An Bord Pleanala has pushed out its decision date for a controversial superstore in the city.

The plans for the multi-million dollar project at the Seamus Quirke Road beside the Westside shopping center were the subject of an oral hearing last month.

The City Council gave the green light to T. O' Higgins and Co., ltd., for the development with 30 conditions attached.

The applicant later appealed a condition relating to the construction of a public road, while local residents appealed on the grounds of intrusion and traffic congestion.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]


The Road Safety Authority has written to R.T.É. and other media production companies asking them to desist from interviewing people while they are driving because it is a potential distraction.

The authority said it had done so even before concerns aired about the Kerry South T.D. Michael Healy-Rae who was filmed driving while he appeared to be taking notes and talking on a hand free mobile phone during an R.T.É. documentary.
[Source: Irish Times]


Water restrictions came into force in the Dublin region at 8 p.m. last Wednesday night and were expected to continue for several days.

The move, a result of an as yet unidentified problem at a water treatment facility in County Kildare, has been widely criticized.

Dublin City Council engineer, Michael Phillips, said many people would have no water between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. for the next five days.
[Source: Irish Times]


An elderly woman, living off Patrick Street, Kilkenny City, had her life’s savings taken in a daylight robbery last week. She was brushing leaves from outside her front door at around 2 p.m. on Tuesday when a female thief, unknown to her, slipped in behind her as she swept the leaves on the road to make sure it was safe for pedestrians to pass.

The blonde-haired criminal managed, within a few minutes, to find where the widow had hidden her money. In her 80s, she only noticed the woman after she left the house and walked towards the corner of the lane and on to Patrick Street where her accomplice, a man on a mobile phone, gestured to her from the other side of the street. It’s just another crime statistic but the impact on the woman and her neighbors has been devastating.
[Source: Kilkenny People]


A Dublin man, who was charged with possession of drugs at Electric Picnic six years ago, was before Portlaoise District Court two weeks ago.

The court heard that Daniel Haughton, with an address at 2 Laburnham Lodge, Newtown, Celbridge, County Kildare, was found with $27 of cannabis and ecstasy at Electric Picnic in 2007.

His solicitor said the case had been before the courts in 2008, but Haughton had misunderstood what he had been told. He was unaware that there was any warrant out for his arrest, until he attended his local Garda (Police) Station on family law matters.
[Source: Leinster Express]


Leitrim County Council is investigating the dumping of raw meat and offal at the E.S.B. Weir at Mahanagh, Ballintra, Drumshanbo, two weeks ago.

A local resident walking her dog discovered the meat carcasses hanging off the sluice gate bridge on Wednesday, October 23. She observed, “It looks like a mass of carcasses, dumped into the river, and some getting left behind on the ledge.”

On hearing the complaint, council officials inspected the site that evening. They found a quantity of Animal By-Product (A.B.P.) of lamb and beef originon the concrete pad of the bridge.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]


Rathkeale’s Seamus Cawley is the real deal. He is Limerick’s premier Marathon Man. And that’s official.

On Monday, October 28, Seamus became the first Limerick runner to clock up the astonishing record of 34 consecutive Dublin Marathons. He has been there every year since the event began in 1980.

“Come hell or high water, I wasn’t going to miss Monday,” Seamus told the Limerick Leader.
[Source: Limerick Leader]


Since 2006, the Attic Youth Café in the Temperance Hall has been a popular social outlet for local teenagers. Now it’s set to move to a new location as part of an ambitious expansion project.

“With more young people joining the Attic, some of whom need wheelchair access, it soon became evident a new premises was needed,” explained Siobhan Flanagan, P.R.O. for the Attic. “When the chance arose to purchase a [premise] on the Ballinalee Road, the Attic saw an opportunity and grabbed it with both hands.”

The Attic House, which will be located just before the turn into Ardnacassa Avenue, will ensure that all young people in Longford are given the opportunity to access all activities run by the café.
[Source: Longford Leader]


The trial of a 41-year-old man accused of the manslaughter of a 25-year-old Clogherhead fisherman opened before a jury of nine men and three women with Judge Donagh McDonagh presiding at Dundalk Circuit Court last Wednesday.

Kevin McKernan (41) of Black Island View, Castleblayney, pleaded not guilty to the unlawful killing on March 9, 2010 of Errol Dunne, of Grangebellew and formerly O’Donnell Park, Clogherhead.

Prosecuting counsel, Mr. Kilfeather, told the jury, which was reduced to 11 members, that it was the state’s case that Kevin McKernan assaulted Errol Dunne and that he died as a result of the injuries he sustained.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]


The community of Castlebar was still coming to terms last Monday night with the death of popular local man, Gerry Deane, who got into difficulty whilst diving in Killary Harbour on Sunday, October 27.

The alarm was raised early in the afternoon when Mr. Deane failed to surface sometime around 1:30 p.m. He had been diving with two others and was pulled from the water shortly afterwards and airlifted to Galway University Hospital, but attempts to save his life were in vain.
[Source: The Mayo News]


An elderly couple was assaulted in their home at Station Road, Duleek on Tuesday night, October 29, when three men forced their way into their home around 7 p.m.

The elderly man was watching television when the men broke in a back window and three men entered the house. A fourth is believed to have kept watch outside.

The men threatened the couple and assaulted them before getting away with a number of items.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]


A man in his mid-20s died following a road crash in County Monaghan last Wednesday morning.

The two-vehicle collision happened on the N2 Dublin-Monaghan road, south of Carrickmacross at the Dundalk exit.

The man who died had been driving one of the vehicles involved the crash.
[Source: RTE News]


The Offaly Wind Energy Information group has hit back at Bord Na Mona’s plans to build between 600 and 700 wind turbines in bogs of West Kildare and East Offaly.

At the project launch [October 24], Minister Rabbitte told the attendance that “cutaway bogs far away from concentrations of people are suitable places for wind power generation.”

Unfortunately, as the Irish countryside is littered with once-off housing (even in bog land areas) what protection will be afforded to those people who live in proximity to Bord na Móna’s lands? This statement by the Minister also implies that other sites, such as those selected by Mainstream and Element, ltd. (some of which are in fertile agricultural land, some close to Special Areas of Conservation and some close to higher densities of housing) are not suitable.
[Source: Offaly Express]


On the foot of a highly-successful South Roscommon Singers Festival over the Bank Holiday Weekend, the Singers Circle were back in Murray’s Lounge, Knockcroghery, last Saturday for its regular monthly session.

Special guest on the night was one of Scotland’s best singers currently on the scene, Heather Heywood.

She is well-known among traditional singers in Scotland and has earned the respect of many of the U.K.’s top performers, with most regarding her as among the very best of the current generation of Scotland’s traditional singers.
[Source: Westmeath Independent]


A distributor in El Salvador of medical products that are manufactured in Sligo is aiming to achieve a 20-fold increase in sales of the products in Central America and the Caribbean.

The San Salvador subsidiary of B Braun, a large German medical and pharmaceutical company, sells bandages and other products used to treat wounds. The products are developed and manufactured at Collooney in County Sligo.
[Source: Irish Times]


The majority of residents living in St. Joseph’s Park, Nenagh, wants extra speed ramps in their estate to combat speeding and protect children, according to a survey conducted by local Fine Gael Councilor Conor Delaney.

“During a recent canvass of St. Joseph’s Park for the Seanad [Senate] referendum, a lot of people were asking me about the possibility of installing extra speed ramps in the estate due to concerns regarding speeding vehicles and children safety. One woman cited an incident when a speeding van nearly hit a three-year-old child who had been playing in a front garden and somehow managed to open to outside gate,” he said.
[Source: Tipperary Star]


A Cookstown company has won a $1.6 million contract on an island in the South Atlantic.
And that means more jobs for the town!

T.E.S. (N.I.), which specializes in water and wastewater treatment solutions, has won business worth $1.6 million on the island of St. Helena, with assistance from Invest Northern Ireland.

The company, based in the Kilcronagh business Park, Sandholes Road, will work on the upgrading of St. Helena's existing four water treatment plants to raise drinking water quality levels for 4,000 residents on the remote volcanic island located in the South Atlantic.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]


A 56-year-old man was cycling home from Waterford City when about 100 meters from the Holycross pub, a young man jumped out of the ditch and knocked him to the ground.

During the incident, which happened at around 4 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, October 24, a struggle between both men ensued.

The youth, who was described as being was five feet, nine inches and of a stocky build, attempted to take money from injured party’s pocket during the struggle.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]


Leave your cigarettes and lighters behind you if you plan on entering the grounds of the Midland Regional Hospital from last Friday on: the entire campus is going smoke-free.

You can't even smoke in your car while on the grounds of the hospital, as nowhere on the hospital grounds will cigarettes be allowed – "i.e., entrances, doorways, walkways, internal roads, bus shelters, car parks, cars, bicycle shelters, etc.", the H.S.E. has announced.

Hospital manager, Trevor O'Callaghan, said this new policy is in keeping with the hospital's status as a health-promoting hospital.
[Source: Westmeath Examiner]


An Enniscorthy man who was described as a “puppet on a string” for a $1.6 million drugs operation has escaped jail.

Des Ryan (64), of Belfield Springs, and Edward Rooney (54), of Ballinacorribeg, Roundwood, County Wicklow, were both given 10-year suspended sentences after they pleaded guilty to possessing heroin and cocaine for sale or supply on April 5, 2012.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that the men had been under severe financial pressure when they agreed to transport and collect a bag containing drugs from the U.K. to Ireland.
[Source: Wexford Echo]


Wicklow county manager Eddie Sheehy is expected to reject calls for his resignation over the deaths of two Bray firefighters by arguing a report, commissioned by the county council into the fire in which they died, shows a lack of training did not cause the loss of life.

The report, written by Michael Slattery Associates (M.S.A.), a U.K. and Dublin-based fire safety consultancy, asserts the incorrect use of a compressed air foam system (Cafs) by the firefighters who went to the blaze in Bray on September 26, 2007, was not linked to the men’s deaths. The firefighters had not been trained in the new equipment, which was used incorrectly on the day.
[Source: Irish Times]