A senior loyalist has demanded an investigation into how a live bullet was delivered to his Antrim home – in an envelope without a stamp.

Ken Wilkinson, the south Antrim chairman of the Progressive Unionist Party, has received hate mail and death threats in the past but he admits that he was “stunned” when the latest arrived on Friday morning, August 23.

The local man, an outspoken critic of the godfathers behind the local drugs trade, was out walking his dog shortly before 10 a.m. on Friday morning when he spotted his postman strolling along the lane – and he had a letter for the community leader.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


A young Crossmaglen woman can look forward to a rosy future in her chosen career of professional floristry after landing a job with a prestigious London florist.

Siobhan Hughes was made an offer “that was too good to refuse” when she was contacted by the prestigious Neill Strain Floral Couture, based in Belgravia, London.

Having won a silver medal in the Junior Florist of the Year contest at the Chelsea Flower Show earlier this year, Siobhan’s talent was recognized by Mr. Strain, one of the most influential florists in the business, and she was invited to visit his boutique.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


A dog that viciously attacked a Carlow woman so badly that Gardaí (police) applied to have it put down has just attacked another woman and bitten off her finger. The dog, an American Akita, is now in the care of the D.S.P.C.A. and was being walked by a handler recently when it went out of control.

“The dog was being exercised by a handler at the D.S.P.C.A. when it suddenly took off, dragging her along the ground,” Inspector Martin Walker told the Nationalist.

The American Akita savaged another dog, a Rottweiler, which was also being exercised at the time. In the course of its attack, the Akita bit the finger off the Rottweiler’s handler.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]


The family of a man missing from his home near Bailieborough, presumed murdered, has made a fresh appeal for vital information from locals they believe are keeping quiet.

In a statement, the family says that they believe locals in the county have information they are withholding from Gardaí (police) about the disappearance of Gerard Daly from his Cornaveagh home in June of 2011.

His disappearance was upgraded to murder earlier this year and is being investigated as part of the execution-style murder of his neighbor, ex-Garda John Kerins, with whom he was once friendly, in December of last year.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


Clare comic book creators have reached the top of the charts with their latest publication. Blackstar Book One, the collaboration between Clare writer Mike Lynch and artists Dwayne Moloney and Trystan Mitchell, recently reached number one in the Top Paid Comics chart on iTunes.

The digital comic, telling the story of an Irish-based superhero, has been receiving rave reviews and now it ranks among the biggest names in comic publishing worldwide with its ranking in the charts.

Mike said, “It was great to get the ranking. I think we’re number three now but we were at the number one spot, which was great. It’s our first time doing something digital and we said we’d just give it a try and see how we got on.

“It was great to see the response that we got. Marvel and D.C., all of the big ones like Spider-man, would be on that list so it was nice to be on the list with them.”
[Source: Clare Champion]


Cork teenager Shauna Sisk (18) was on Ireland A.M. last Wednesday morning speaking out about cyber-bullies and the dangers surrounding this kind of abuse.

Ms. Sisk, who was on the front page of the Irish Examiner, became a victim after winning a beauty queen title in her hometown, Cobh, last month.
[Source: Cork Independent]


Historically, they have been a symbol of division, but Derry’s ancient walls – the only such fortification in Ireland and Britain to remain intact – were the site for some late-summer fun and fundraising on Sunday, August 25.

To celebrate their 400-year anniversary, hundreds of volunteers performed a Mexican wave along the city walls, as part of the City of Culture festivities.

The charity event, which was filmed from the air, also raised money for Foyle Hospice.
[Source: Irish Times]


A number of people have escaped injury after a shooting at a house in County Down.

A shot was fired at the front door of a property in the Church Avenue area of Dundrum at around 2 a.m. last Tuesday.

No one was injured in the attack but those inside the house were left shaken.

Police have said a motive for the attack is being investigated.
[Source: Belfast Telegraph]


A female Garda (police officer) escaped with her life last Wednesday after being rammed by burglars.

The officer, who is aged in her 20s, was undergoing surgery after she sustained serious head injuries.

The incident happened as Gardaí were responding to a report of suspicious activity in the Cian Lea Estate in Swords at 3:25 a.m.

Two Gardaí were alerted to a report of a white Nissan Micra acting suspiciously.
[Source: Evening Herald]


Hundreds of “Directioners” were expected to descend on Enniskillen Omniplex cinema last Thursday evening as the world’s biggest boy-band makes their big screen debut.

As posters of the new One Direction movie adorned the walls of the cinema just over a month ago,  its website was inundated with ticket bookings from, undoubtedly, teenage girls, in a bid to secure their coveted seat for the premiere night.

Dubbed the Directioners, hundreds of fans from across Fermanagh flocked to claim their bit of the huge box office smash, putting the film on a par with the likes of Harry Potter and Twilight.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]


A Galway disability-rights group is calling on local T.D.s to fight for services for school-leavers with intellectual disability.

Almost nine percent of the 880 special needs school-leavers nationwide are living in County Galway.

This year, the county was allocated $280,000 and it's estimated that $1.1 million is needed to provide an adequate service.

As a result, 77 school-leavers across the county have been left without a full-time support service.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]


Gangs of New York in Kenmare, must rank as one of the more unusual gatherings in 2013.
Designed to attract the Kerry town’s diaspora, it centers on the emigration of 5,000 people from the Lansdowne Estate in the late 1840s after the famine.

W.S. Trench, the land agent for the third Marquess of Lansdowne, forgave rent arrears and donated £4 to every tenant who wanted to leave for America and Canada.

With £12 being the annual cost of feeding an inmate of the poorhouse, Trench’s offer was based on long-term cost savings for the estate.

“I plainly proved that it would be cheaper for the estate, and better for them, to pay for their emigration than to continue to support them at home,” he said of the plan.

Many of the destitute Lansdowne tenants drawn from the areas of Bonane, Tuosist, Lauragh, Kilgarvan and Templenoe, who took up the offer, ended up living in the infamous Five Points area on Manhattan’s lower east side. Taking its name from an intersection of streets that formed five corners, the notorious area was home to a number of criminal outfits, which had names like the Dead Rabbits and the Plug Uglies — many of them were immortalized in author Herbert Asbury’s 1928 book, Gangs of New York, and loosely adapted by director Martin Scorsese in his 2002 film of the same name, which starred Leo DiCaprio and Daniel Day Lewis.
[Source: Irish Examiner]


Work on the new $67 million Kildare Village expansion, which is set to bring 500 jobs, is due to begin late next year.

The plans, which will see the retail outlet almost double its size, are expected to yield 190 full-time and 190 part-time jobs, as well as 120 construction posts.

The extension will also result in an extra $7.3 million being injected into the economy in wages.

Kildare Village was granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanala two weeks ago for the extension.
[Source: Leinster Leader]


A man who was convicted of robbing a pensioner, who died in hospital two months after the attack, is roaming the streets of Kilkenny.

Mariusz Chelstowski (36) was sentenced to two years in prison in February for robbery with the final six months suspended. He was ordered to leave the country and return to Poland on his release. The sentence was backdated to when he was initially arrested after the crime. Chelstowski admitted robbing 86-year-old Mary Nolan of her purse in broad daylight on Walkin Street as she made her way home from Mass on July 10, 2012.
[Source: Kilkenny People]


Laois G.A.A. Chairman Gerry Kavanagh wants the next manager of the Laois senior football team to take the county to “the next level.”

Speaking to the Leinster Express last Monday, Kavanagh confirmed that the process to replace McNulty is underway, and he is clear on what he wants from the Armagh man’s successor.

“We want to get the person that is best placed to do the job. Some people will say we have to keep up this level, but I want to go to the next level. Justin McNulty brought great discipline and structures to Laois, and that was a culture change for some, but we have to move on, and we want to move on to the next level, at all grades.”
[Source: Leinster Express]


Gardaí (police) are checking C.C.T.V. footage taken in the early hours of Sunday morning, August 25, in Bundoran in a bid to identify the hit-and-run driver who struck and fatally injured Alan McSherry.

Mr. McSherry (48) , of Boynagh, County Leitrim, had been walking home from a night out in the Bridge Bar in Bundoran when he was struck and left on the road side. His wife, Joanne, drove out to find him and discovered her husband shortly after 5 a.m. on the Newtown Road, just 10 minutes from their home in North Leitrim.

She immediately called emergency services and tried to revive her husband but he died at the scene.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]


A locked and disused burial ground in Abbeyfeale is expected to be reopened to the public “in the next couple of months” once repair works arising from a legal action are completed, Limerick County Council has said.

The centuries-old Church of Ireland graveyard near Mountmahon has been subject to a legal action between the council and a nearby property owner since June 2012, after a boundary wall there was damaged and trees uprooted without permission.

However, a local resident has complained that while this matter has been ongoing, the “derelict” graveyard has been locked and members of the public have been prevented from entering.
[Source: Limerick Leader]


Fears over a possible rise in crime levels on the back of government cuts to Garda (police) overtime, has been roundly dismissed by the county’s most senior officer.

Supt. Denis Shields said, while he could not comment on what may or may not be coming down the line, there were no issues about the Gardaí’s ability to manage with day-to-day crime.

“Gardaí in Longford are adequately resourced in being able to deal with most policing issues,” he said.
[Source: Longford Leader]


Louth County Hospital suffered another knock last week with a leaked internal memo flagging new week-on-week off times for the operating theatres.

Sinn Fein Councillor Tomás Sharkey, who obtained the internal memo on the matter, has strongly condemned the move.

“We have two theatres in our local hospital,” Clr. Sharkey said, “yet the new plan will see both of them close every second week. I have seen the memo to staff and also the timetable which clearly shows the cuts to service.”
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]


In the newly established Mayo Recovery College, recovery is measured in terms of hope, control and opportunity. The first of its kind in Ireland, Mayo Recovery College in Castlebar is offering focused education for people who have dealt with mental health issues, their family members and members of the public who wish to enroll in a course.

An open event took place last Wednesday evening from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., in the Large Lecture Theatre, G.M.I.T., Castlebar.

The course offers a different educational approach to mental health recovery, with all the courses conceived, written and presented by professionals and people who have themselves, experienced mental health problems.
[Source: The Mayo News]


There was outrage in the Longwood and Rathmolyon areas last week at the desecration of the shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes in Tobertynan Wood.

The popular shrine, which is a place of pilgrimage for local people, was attacked by vandals last week, for the second time in just over a month.

The most recent attack on the shrine, which is on the Tobertynan Estate, was discovered on Monday morning, August 26, at around noon.

The glass on the shrine was smashed and a two-foot high statue of Our Lady of Lourdes was stolen and graffiti-sprayed around the place.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]


Comedy satirist and mimic Oliver Callan came to Róisín Dubh last Saturday.

The Monaghan comedian, who has his own radio show entitled Callan's Kicks on Fridays on R.T.É. Radio One, was the creator of Nob Nation, the award-winning sketch series that came to prominence on The Gerry Ryan Show and Tubridy on R.T.É. 2FM.

The controversial mimic returned with a brand new show, satirizing the hot topics of Irish politics, sports, and entertainment.
[Source: Galway Advertiser]


Gardaí (police) in Offaly are investigating a fatal road traffic collision on the Bracknagh to Monasterevin Road (L1002) on Friday, August 23.

A man in his 50s was fatally injured when the articulated truck he was driving left the road shortly after 8 a.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene. There was no other vehicle involved in the collision.

The road was closed and Garda Forensic Collision Investigators carried out an examination at the scene.
[Source: Offaly Express]


A County Galway community is campaigning for a reversal of a decision by the H.S.E. to close a $3.7 million mental health unit.

Trade unions, politicians and families of service users have all expressed their shock at the decision to close the recently renovated 22-bed unit at St. Brigid’s Hospital in Ballinasloe. The H.S.E. has decided to keep an older unit in Roscommon open instead.

Senior mental health service managers in Co. Galway have appealed directly to the National Director of Mental Health Services in Dublin to review the controversial decision as a matter of urgency.
[Source: Irish Times]


Ben Bulben, the mountain immortalized by W.B. Yeats, is at the center of yet another row about access.

Sligo County Council has been asked to declare that a public right of way exists on a 50-meter stretch of road described by some campaigners as the safest and most popular route to the mountain.

More than 50 people have completed a questionnaire circulated by the council to determine whether and for how long the public has used this route “without hindrance” and the file is due to be passed to the local authority’s legal department early this month.
[Source: Irish Times]


Bridget Browne from Littleton shares the amazing experience of her climb to the summit of Mont Blanc. Bridget has climbed a number of mountains in her time, including Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis. This is her story from Mont Blanc.

Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps and the European Union. It rises to 4,810-meters above sea level.

It was first climbed in 1786 by Jacques Balmat and Michel Paccard. The first woman to reach the summit was Marie Paradis in 1808.
[Source: Tipperary Star]


The funeral has taken place of Cookstown girl Charly-Jean Thompson who died in hospital from her injuries following a two-vehicle crash on the main Cookstown to Omagh Road on Wednesday, August 14.

Charly-Jean (15) was a passenger in a B.M.W. car that was involved in an accident on the Drum Road, near Kildress, shortly after 9:40 p.m.

Three men were also seriously injured and two are being treated in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast for their injuries. They include Charly-Jean's boyfriend, Ryan McCracken, who was seriously injured.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]


An urgent meeting has been sought with the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) by Deputy John Halligan to discuss the city’s retail and unemployment crisis.

The independent T.D. for Waterford has written to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny to seek a meeting with him and the minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, ahead of the new Dáil term.

Deputy Halligan has labeled the South East Employment Action Plan as ineffective and told the Waterford News & Star that austerity was severely affecting spending power.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]


Jason Ryan has ruled himself out of the running for the position of county senior football manager.

The former Wexford boss, who joined Kieran McGeeney’s coaching staff in Kildare this season, told the Westmeath Examiner that while it “remains to be seen” if he will stay with the Lilywhites next season, he won’t be managing a team of his own “in any county next year.”

Former Westmeath manager Luke Dempsey has also ruled himself out of contention for the Westmeath job.
[Source: Westmeath Examiner]


Former All-Ireland winning hurling captain, Martin Storey, has been nominated to sit on Wexford Country Council for Labour, the party announced last Wednesday.

The former Wexford hurler and three-time all-star recipient was nominated for co-option onto the council last Tuesday night by the party’s Enniscorthy branch.

The 48-year-old was chosen to fill the vacancy left following death of Councilor Pat Cody last month.
[Source: Irish Times]


Three injured climbers have been rescued from a County Wicklow mountain cliff-face by abseiling rescue teams and a helicopter in a major operation involving around 40 rescuers.

The Glen of Imaal Red Cross and Dublin Wicklow mountain rescue teams were scrambled following a 999 call that a group of climbers at a cliff at Luggala were in difficulty when one of them fell with two others injured.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter flew mountain rescue teams, H.S.E. and Mountain Rescue advanced paramedics to the top of the main face of the cliff.

A male climber was airlifted to hospital at around 8 p.m. as light was fading on Saturday night, August 24, while another was walked off the mountain. 

Rescuers abseiled to the third-most critically injured climber in worsening weather and darkness.

The man was lowered down the cliff-face by stretcher before being taken to a waiting ambulance.

He is recovering in hospital with multiple fractures.
[Source: RTE News]

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