Antrim Council has become embroiled in a police porn probe amid allegations that sexual images of children were accessed by a senior member of staff.

Detectives descended on the Civic Centre last Wednesday afternoon following reports that disturbing material had come to light.

A 59-year-old man was interviewed by officers and later left the building. Following last week's events, it is understood he is no longer employed by Antrim Council.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


After Jonesborough woman Joanne Aydemir passed away from cancer at 37, her cousin, Geraldine, was more determined than ever to fundraise in her memory – and followed through on a head-turning venture that has generated a whopping $22,745.87 for Friends of the Cancer Centre.

Geraldine, a 31-year-old qualified occupational therapist from Crossmaglen, has always been known for her glossy long red hair, but she decided to shave it all off in a bid to raise cash.

To a chorus of “oohs” and “aahs,” her locks were dramatically lopped off on stage at the event that took place in Clarnagh Maid on July 27, and the freshly-shorn Geraldine has set a whole new ethical fashion trend in her hometown.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


The brother of Environment Minister, Phil Hogan, admitted to a Garda (police officer) that he had drank around 15 pints during the day before crashing his jeep, injuring a passenger, a court has heard.

Gardaí attending the crash scene at Knocklow, just outside Tullow, County Carlow, on October 14 last year described how Paddy Hogan (51) was slurring his words, smelled of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet.

The publican was released from custody hours later after an Intoxilyzer delivered a reading of “mouth alcohol.”
[Source: Evening Herald]


The region’s tourism facilities got a boost with the completion of the $396,000 Ramor Sports Club marina on the shores of Lough Ramor just outside Virginia. Diving, fishing, windsurfing, kite surfing, sailing, skiing and all water-based activities will all be possible from the impressive new marina.

Located in front of the Lakeside Manor Hotel, it is the only one of its kind in the region.

“There is no other water facility of this nature on a closed water system in Cavan or Monaghan – so this is a very welcome tourism asset to the two counties,” said John Toland, development officer with Cavan-Monaghan Leader.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


While the rest of the county went saffron and blue, Lisdoonvarna turned pink last weekend.
History was made in the north Clare town when it hosted its first gay festival, The Outing.
As well as promising an economic boost to local businesses, the international media attention the festival is receiving, organizers believe, is highlighting the town and the county to a huge new audience.

“County Clare is the most scenic part of the country, so why not hit a new market across the world. There has been worldwide coverage of this festival. From the B.B.C., the top U.S. gay magazine, Out, there have stories about this. It takes a fresh new approach to the month-long matchmaking festival. It is the weekend at the beginning of it and it gives the whole thing a fresh new look and a facelift,” the event director, Eddie McGuinness told the Clare Champion.

The response to the festival in Lisdoonvarna, Mr. McGuinness said, has been broadly positive.
[Source: Clare Champion]


A quarter of Cork pupils are in “supersized” classes of 30 or more children and more than 90 percent are in classes of 20 or more, making Cork primary schools among the most overcrowded in the country.

New figures published today show 26 percent of primary pupils are in classes of 30 or more, 66 percent of pupils are in classes of 20 or more, which is greater than the E.U. average, and just eight percent of pupils are in classes under 20.

More than 14,000 pupils in Cork are in classes of 30 or more.

The I.N.T.O. said the figures showed the impact of increasing school numbers and government cutbacks on the ground in schools.
[Source: Cork Independent]


Experts from auction house Bonhams are on their way to Derry to unearth the North’s hidden art gems.

Charles O’Brien, a specialist in 19th century painting, and Matthew Bradbury, a modern British and Irish art expert, will hold two valuation days at the Beech Hill Country House Hotel on September 17 and 18.

A spokesman for Bonhams said the event has already attracted significant interest and Bonhams ask the public to book an appointment in advance to avoid disappointment.
[Source: Derry Journal]


The Gathering has been a real godsend but we need to plan now so that tourism in Donegal doesn’t fall flat next year, a councilor has warned.

Clr. Barry O’Neill (F.G.) was speaking in his capacity as both county councilor and head of the Rory Gallagher Festival.

Talking to the Donegal Democrat, he said funding agencies must “broaden their thinking, work together and act sooner.”

Otherwise, he warned, a number of high profile festivals could “go to the wall.”
[Source: Donegal Democrat]


The trial of the two men accused of killing County Down women, Marion Graham and Cathy Dinsmore, in August 2011 has been adjourned.

Recep Cetin (22) and his father, Eyup, are being tried for the murders in a series of hearings that have been held over a number of months in Izmir. Recep, who was the boyfriend of Marion Graham’s daughter, Shannon, at the time of the killings, has admitted stabbing the women, but claims his father had nothing to do with the murders, despite a key witness placing both men at the scene.

Relatives of the two women had traveled to Turkey for the final stages of the trial in Izmir believing a verdict might have been reached by Thursday, August 29, but the trial was adjourned until September 9 after a defense lawyer objected to a medical report for Recep Cetin, which declared him sane.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


Columnist John Waters was jailed over a $53 parking fine.

The writer spent two hours in a cell in Dublin's Wheatfield prison over his refusal to pay a parking fine dating back two years.

Mr. Waters handed himself in at Dun Laoghaire Garda (Police) Station last Tuesday before he was whisked away in a patrol car, flanked by two Gardaí.

He later described his experience as "frightening," but said he would not pay the money "on a point of principle."
[Source: Evening Herald]


The literary world, and indeed the wider world, has mourned the passing of Nobel Prize-winning poet, Seamus Heaney. The 74-year-old died on August 30, amid an array of tributes from across the globe.

Lisa Hulme, former head of English at Portora Royal, was among those who offered tributes to the writer, whom she first met back in the 1960s when he lectured at Queen’s University, Belfast.

“I was doing English and German at Queen’s, so that was when I first got to know him. He had published his first works ‘Death of a Naturalist’ and that was back in the 1960s,” Lisa told the Fermanagh Herald last week.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]


The Irish Patients Association is calling on the minister for health to hold H.S.E. hospital management to account for breaches in hygiene standards.

Reports published last Wednesday by the health watchdog, H.I.Q.A., show a number of failings in hospitals around the country, including Merlin Park Hospital in the city and Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe.

The areas assessed at Merlin Park were the elective orthopedic ward and ward 4 – for rehabilitation.

They found that patients with communicable infections, who should have been in isolation, shared communal toilets.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]


It is never easy for the manager of a defeated team to face the media after a match in the knowledge that his every phrase will be clinically dissected.

Yet when Kerry boss Eamon Fitzmaurice entered the media room at Croke Park on Sunday, September 1, to put himself in the line of fire from the assembled journalists, he did so with a quiet dignity and inherent sense of politeness.

And in dealing with the volley of queries directed his way he revealed honesty and openness, qualities that saw his stature rise in the eyes of those observers.
[Source: Belfast Telegraph]


A large group of protesters representing a controversial trust, which takes over properties in danger of repossession, were involved in an angry scuffle two weekends ago as they tried to force entry to a stud farm at Brannockstown, near Kilcullen.

Around 150 people took part in the protest, but the vast majority is understood not to have been locals but to have come from elsewhere in the country.
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]


An African ostrich has been born in Kilkenny for the first time ever.

The hen-sized chick was hatched at Nore Valley Park Open Farm in Bennettsbridge, following weeks of hard work by staff. The two resident African ostriches at the park, Oggy and Olivia, have become proud parents for the first time.

Ostriches are notoriously difficult to breed successfully, particularly in a country such as Ireland where the climate is a far cry from their native sub-Saharan Africa. The ostriches have laid fertile eggs before in their eight years here, but unfortunately none of the eggs hatched despite the mother’s best effort.
[Source: Kilkenny People]


It has been a busy first four months for Portarlington First Responders, who are on 24-hour call for 999 emergencies.

Already the trained volunteers have responded to 28 calls, saved a life, and given essential treatment and comfort to patients and families in the area.

“We didn’t know what to expect, it has been quite challenging and interesting,” said Tomás McGuinness.

Now the team of 20-plus volunteers has a vital new piece of equipment, with the installation of a public defibrillator on the wall of the Square Garage in Market Square.
[Source: Leinster Express]


Two Romanian nationals have been given custodial sentences after Gardaí (police) raided a brothel in Carrick-on-Shannon on Saturday night, August 31.

As part of an ongoing operation, Gardaí set up surveillance of an apartment in the town center area, monitoring those individuals entering and leaving the property.

After obtaining a search warrant, Gardaí entered Apartment 10, Courthouse View, Carrick-on-Shannon shortly after 8 p.m.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]


Limerick’s youngest multi-millionaire brothers came back home from Silicon Valley last week to launch their online payment services business, Stripe, in Ireland.

Valued at $500 million by technology analysts in the U.S., Stripe is backed by Peter Thiel, the first investor in Facebook and a founder of PayPal.

However, the former Castletroy College students, who shot to prominence in their teenage years, said last week that they have no plans to sell the company, which currently employs over 60 people, and want to focus on expanding their international operations.
[Source: Limerick Leader]


Longford is among the counties with the lowest suicide rate, according to reports released by junior health minister, Kathleen Lynch, ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day, which takes place on September 10.

Three reports around the subjects of suicide and self-harm were published last Thursday, including the National Office of Suicide Prevention Annual Report for 2012 and the N.R.S.F. National Deliberate Self Harm Report for 2012.

The reports reveal that 495 people died by suicide in 2010 – 405 males and 90 females.
[Source: Longford Leader]


A senior executive officer of Louth County Council’s housing section represented the council while it was in the course of purchasing his own property for the provision of social housing, documents obtained by the Dundalk Democrat reveal.

In 2011, two houses belonging to senior members of Louth County Council’s Housing Department were purchased by the department.

One of those houses, Tullagee, Knockbridge was purchased from Donal Clarke, a senior executive in Louth County Council’s Housing Department.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]


Crossmolina native, solicitor Michael Lynn, who fled Ireland in 2007 with debts of $105 million, is set to be extradited from his adopted home of Brazil.

The 44-year-old, who was struck off as a solicitor, fled the country after it emerged that he was involved in a suspected $105 million mortgage fraud. He and his Clare-born wife, Bríd, lived in Portugal and Hungary for a time, before setting up their new life in Brazil, where they were granted permanent residency last year after the birth of their son three years ago.

Lynn was found teaching English in a college in the coastal city of Jaboatao dos Guararapes, where he was said to be earning a modest $197 per week. It is reported that he was also in the process of setting up a real-estate business.
[Source: The Mayo News]


In this, the 50th anniversary of what is now a cornerstone of the Irish educational calendar, secondary school students from Meath are being called upon to enter the B.T. Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition by Wednesday, October 2.

Building on the positive momentum in S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) seen during this year’s Leaving Certificate where the numbers of students sitting Chemistry, Physics, Math, Applied Math, Technology and Biology have increased, B.T. Ireland is calling on students to submit ideas and inventions they have for creating a better future.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]


The oldest soccer club in Ireland, Clones Town F.C. now has the newest pitches in the land having transformed a 4.7-acre site at Carn.

The fantastic facilities include a full international sized senior pitch with perimeter fencing and a complimentary standard juvenile pitch. Named Clones Town F.C. John Delaney Park, the F.A.I. chief was delighted to attend the launch on Friday evening, September 30, and present medals to some of the players. The pitches – laid by contractor Tom McManus – will be playable from April.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


A mental health facility in the Midlands was evacuated two weeks ago when a rat emerged from the ceiling, was deemed “fit for purpose” by the H.S.E. last Tuesday.

A number of patients were awaiting treatment when the rat came through the ceiling of the day care center on Wilmer Road in Birr, County Offaly on Thursday, September 29.

One person, who didn’t want to be named, said “a rat came through the ceiling ... it wasn’t a small one, it was quite a big rat.”
[Source: Irish Times]


Up to $365,000 worth of cannabis plants have been seized by Gardaí (police) in Roscommon.

The drugs were discovered when officers carried out a planned search of a house in Athleague.

A man in his late 20s was arrested at the scene.
[Source: Roscommon Herald]


Taoiseach Enda Kenny's coming to dinner in Sligo.

He has accepted an invitation to the annual dinner of Sligo Chamber in November.

The Fine Gael leader is following in the tradition of former Taoisigh, Bertie and Brian Cowen in attending.

This year's dinner will be held at the Clarion Hotel on Saturday, November 9.
[Source: Irish Independent]


Three hours free in morning time for car parks

Thurles Town Council will not be charging motorists who park in the car parks on Saturday mornings between the hours of 9 a.m. and  noon from now on, the Tipperary Star can reveal.

The long-running and, at times, contentious saga came to an end on Monday evening, September 2, when the deal was finally brokered with the help of Councilor Gerard Fogarty and Town Manager Matt Shortt.
[Source: Tipperary Star]


A campaign to see the historic clock in Fivemiletown restored is gathering pace.

The clock has been a popular landmark in the village for over 100 years but, although time has ticked away – alas – the clock has not. In fact, it has fallen into a state of disrepair over the past number of years.

It was erected in 1903 in the center of the town to commemorate the coronation of King Edward VII. Its copper casing was designed and created by craftsmen in a local copper-class which operated successfully in the town in the early 20th century.

Now the Fivemiletown Chamber of Commerce, which is spearheading the campaign, is planning to lodge an application with the Heritage Lottery Fund for finance to turn back the clock and restore it to its former glory.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]


Waterford City has been crowned one of the cleanest cities in Ireland, according to the latest Irish Business Against Litter (I.B.A.L.) Anti-Litter League results.

Over all, the results released last Monday revealed that the city has moved from 20th place last year to third place in the ranking of 42 towns and cities across Ireland. The city was narrowly beaten to the top spot by Kilkenny in second place and Cavan in first. Tramore has also ranked at 10th position, up two places from last year.

According to Waterford City Council, huge efforts have been made over the last number of years to better present the city to locals, visitors and to potential investors.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]


After a number of years soaked to the skin, Kilbeggan Races patrons enjoyed sunshine, heat, and above all a great time this summer.

Paddy Dunican, racecourse manager, says: “The attendance for the last three meetings in particular was well up on previous years and it brought back the old Kilbeggan atmosphere that people were taking for granted. Evenings of great racing, music, family entertainment, beautifully dressed ladies, and fancied favorites winning, all made it a season of joy and pleasure.”

The racing for this year concluded last Friday, which started at the earlier time of 4:35 p.m.
[Source: Westmeath Examiner]


More than 200 business owners in Wexford are getting ready to operate without one- and two-cent coins for a nine-week trial period.

The town has been selected to operate the so called "rounding trial" by the Central Bank.

From September 16, all prices will be either rounded up or down to the nearest five-cent in an effort to remove the number of small coins in circulation.

"It's very good for the Wexford people to have a say in what could be rolled out nationally," said Madeline Quirke, chief executive of Wexford Chamber of Commerce.
[Source: Breaking News]


An innovative health initiative will be launched in Wicklow last Tuesday evening.

Healthy Town, a collaboration between the Irish Times and Pfizer Healthcare, aims to harness local community spirit and expert knowledge to show how making simple, practical changes can lead to a healthier life.

The program, which will run for more than two months, will feature talks on health and wellbeing by experts, including chef Catherine Fulvio and Irish Times columnist, Dr. Tony Bates.
[Source: Irish Times]