More than 130 people failed to attend appointments at Antrim Health Centre last month, the Antrim Guardian has learned.

These figures equate to more than four missed appointments every day throughout the month of June.

And this has an inevitable knock on effect on locals keen to see the doctor – and it seems it does not matter who you are.

Deputy Mayor Brian Graham phoned the clinic at the end of June and was told that there were “no appointments in July.”

He said: "People want to see a doctor but they can't get an appointment. It's hard enough to get squeezed in without 134 people clogging up appointments that they never use.”

[Source: Antrim Guardian]


A man convicted for his part in the murder of a Garda (police officer) almost 30 years ago looks set for imminent release from Portlaoise Jail after winning the right to seek remission on his sentence.

Noel Callan (50) from Culloville, Castleblayney was convicted, along with Crossmaglen man Michael McHugh, of the capital murder of Sergeant Patrick Morrissey in June 1985.  The father-of-two was shot when he pursued the raiders following an armed robbery at an employment exchange in Ardee, County Louth.

Following their trial both men were sentenced to be hanged; however, this was later commuted to 40 years penal servitude.  They were the last two men to be sentenced to death in Ireland.

[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


Sixteen companies from Carlow are confident of receiving around $330,000 of orders during this year’s National Ploughing Championships, taking place from September 24-26 in Ratheniska, County Laois.

The companies, all supported by Carlow County Enterprise Board, will exhibit a range of goods and services across sectors including health, lifestyle, home and garden, tourism and fashion.

The Original Eye Spoon Company is exhibiting a revolutionary effective method of applying heat to areas of the eyelids to relieve irritation, redness, dryness and tired eyes using beech wood spoons.

[Source: Business & Leadership]


Over 30 jobs could be coming to the county next year after the government announced a regional water office will be located here for the roll-out of Irish Water.

The country will be divided into eight regional groups with Bord Gais taking over water services.

Cavan is to be in the North East metering region and Fine Gael’s Joe O’Reilly told Northern Sound radio the announcement is a positive one for the county.

[Source: The Anglo Celt]


In a scene more reminiscent of the streets of Thailand than Sixmilebridge, the ancient Buddhist tradition of “alms round” was carried out last week for the first time ever in the Clare village.

On Tuesday, July 23, Buddhist monk, Ven Ahimsako, who has been staying at the Sunyata Buddhist Centre, went to the village center in his robes to make himself available for offerings of food from locals.

Under the traditions of Theravada Buddhism monks and nuns cannot handle money and they cannot grow, buy or cook food. They can only eat or drink what is offered to them freely.

He explained, “This is part of the Buddhist monastic tradition, we live on the offerings of the lay community. We are not allowed to beg but we can receive things. Everything I have comes from offerings, my clothing, my glasses, everything. But we are not allowed to ask. This is an ancient tradition that even goes back to before the time of the Buddha, you just stand peacefully with your bowl and if people want to give, they can. I live only on what is freely offered, and if I don’t get food I don’t eat.”

[Source: Clare Champion]


"Go back to your own country." Russian woman Olga Fitzgerald was told this as she and her 14-year-old daughter tried to get off a bus in Cork City Centre on Tuesday, July 23.

Olga, who has been living in Cork for the past decade with her husband James, was getting off the bus with her daughter when she tried to get past a man standing at the front of the bus chatting to the bus driver.

"In this country, we say excuse me," the man told Olga as she left the bus. The man then proceeded to repeatedly shout at Olga and her daughter, "Go back to your own country".

[Source: Cork Independent]


A funeral took place in Creggan last Thursday morning of the Derry woman who drowned off the Donegal coast on Monday.

It is believed Lorraine Plummer, known to friends as Chris, had been taking photographs on a small island off Dunaff Bay when she became cut off from the mainland as the tide came in and covered a shale causeway.

Her body was found close to the shoreline in the Rockstown Harbour area on the Inishowen Peninsula at around 5:30 p.m. on Monday evening.

[Source: Derry Journal]


Laura Barry, the granddaughter of District Court Judge Jack Barry and daughter of solicitor Diarmuid Barry, has been welcomed as a new solicitor at Donegal District Court.

Paudge Dorrian introduced the 30-year-old Donegal native and welcomed her on behalf of the Donegal Bar Association.

Ms. Barry obtained an honors degree at N.U.I. Galway and her professional qualification at the Law Society. She then practiced in both England and with one of the biggest law firms in Australia.

[Source: Donegal Democrat]


A Newry man and an accomplice convicted recently of smuggling over 9 million counterfeit cigarettes into Ireland have had €30,305 confiscated by Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Niall Trainor (43) of Beamish Avenue, Newry, and Stephen Watters (45) of Kilcurry, Dundalk, County Louth, each received a 30-month suspended sentence at Belfast Crown Court  last June for knowingly being concerned with the fraudulent evasion or attempted evasion of excise duty on the cigarettes.

They, and four other people, had been arrested and caught with 9.1 million counterfeit cigarettes in January 2011 on the Forkhill Road in Newry.  Trainor was later convicted after he denied the charges.  Watters pleaded guilty to this offense and a similar offense in relation to the evasion of duty on 100,000 cigarettes for which he received an 18-month suspended sentence.

[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


Dublin’s oldest department store was forced to close its doors last Thursday after part of its roof collapsed. 

Clery's on O'Connell Street remained closed for the next 24 hours and it was not yet known when it will re-open.

The damage to the building was caused by a violent thunderstorm that hit the city around midnight.

[Source: Evening Herald]


A local unionist councilor has condemned those responsible for vandalizing an I.R.A. memorial in Brookeborough after it was spray-painted. D.U.P. Councilor Paul Robinson appealed to those who attacked the monument last Monday night to cease all sectarian-motivated attacks. 

The I.R.A. memorial commemorates two I.R.A. men, Sean South and Fergal O’Hanlon, who were killed on an attack on Brookeborough barracks in 1957. 

[Source: Fermanagh Herald]


A city official has dismissed any concern that there is a policy of segregation involving the grave locations for the Traveler community within city cemeteries.

Director of Services Ciaran Hayes says both the Traveler community and the settled community have a choice as to where they wish to be buried.

He explained any groupings are usually as a result of requests from family members to have plots located near other deceased family members or relatives.

Speaking on Galway Talks, Mr. Hayes says grave plots are provided according to family wishes and where space is available.

[Source: Galway Bay FM]


Father Ray Browne was ordained  as Bishop of Kerry in Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Killarney.

The 56-year-old is a graduate of St. Patrick’s College Maynooth and of the Gregorian University in Rome where he studied canon law.

He was appointed by Pope Francis to succeed the serving Bishop of Kerry Dr. Bill Murphy, who has served almost two years beyond his retirement.

[Source: Irish Times]


Labour Party councilors in Athy have remained largely tight-lipped following claims of dirty tricks within the party locally.

The dirty tricks claim was made in The Phoenix magazine and centers on a letter, written by a local member of the party, which was sent to local councilors Mark Wall, Aoife Breslin and James Mahon, ahead of the election of their Labour Party colleague, Thomas Redmond, as cathaoirleach (chairperson) of the Athy Town Council.

[Source: Kildare Nationalist]


Kilkenny woman Aoife Gowen, a lecturer at Dublin Institute of Technology, has received a prestigious European Research Council (E.R.C.) Starting Grant worth up to $2.7 million. The grants are awarded to pursue cutting-edge research in the fields of physical sciences and engineering.

Aoife, from Shandon Park in the city, will begin her research on chemical imaging techniques, which allow scientists to learn more about biodegradation, the compatibility of materials for use in the human body and also how to limit fouling of marine equipment.

[Source: Kilkenny People]


Heartless thieves are targeting a holy shrine to Our Lady, at the front of Portlaoise Parish Church.

The unknown culprits have repeatedly stolen containers of flowers that had been carefully grown and tended by a pair of local volunteer ladies.

The grotto was erected by the Medugorje group eight years ago. The statue was moved from the Presentation Covent. Since then Sadie Coughlin and Ellie Foran have voluntarily kept it surrounded with containers of fresh flowers, grown from seed and carefully watered daily to keep the grotto looking at its best.

[Source: Leinster Express]


A Kildare man has been jailed for three-and-a-half years for the manslaughter of a student in Mullingar over 18 months ago.

Patrick Farrell (21) of Cornamuckla, Broadford, pleaded guilty at Mullingar Circuit Criminal Court to the unlawful killing of 20-year-old Andrew Dolan on Pearse Street, Mullingar on January 1, 2012.

Mr. Dolan, a biomedical student from Carrick-on-Shannon in Leitrim, died in Beaumount Hospital following the assault.

[Source: Leitrim Observer]


A man who stole $2,800 from his friend after taking his bank card has been sentenced to nearly two years in prison after failing to repay him in three years, writes Anne Sheridan.

Limerick District Court heard that Adrian Anglim (36), of Castlepark, Dooradoyle, was given the bank card of a close friend, David Corbett, with whom he was living rent-free at the time.

He was charged with nine counts of theft between October 30, 2010 and November 1 of that year.

[Source: Limerick Leader]


A local council is to write to Environment Minister Phil Hogan amid concerns department officials may have breached planning laws.

Members of Granard Town Council are concerned about the presence of a mobile telecommunications mast in a built-up residential area in the north Longford town.

The council wants answers as to how a near 20-meter high structure was given the go-ahead to be constructed within yards of homeowners from nearby housing estate, Denniston Park.

[Source: Longford Leader]


The ending of the one-hour daily free parking and a free half-day on Saturdays in Ardee is a real blow for local traders.

Just when business was picking up the Louth County Council for the Ardee area, Mr. Joe McGuinness dropped a bombshell at the Ardee Town Council meeting two weeks ago when he announced that the scheme, which has been operating for the past year, is to be scrapped.

Mr. McGuinness told members of the council that pay-parking revenue for the town is down by $28,000 so far this year and is set to reach $53,000 by the end of the year.

[Source: Dundalk Democrat]


Events surrounding the assault of two men on each other on July 17, 2011, as a result of a lengthy exchange of texts and Facebook private messages between one of the men’s girlfriend and the other man, took a dramatic twist two weeks ago. 

At the Castlebar sitting of Westport District Court, James Prendergast of Rockfort, Irishtown, was allegedly assaulted a number of times outside the courtroom by another male.

Speaking after the alleged assault, solicitor John Dillon-Leech said his client, James Prendergast, was assaulted in the hall outside the court while sitting with his father.

[Source: The Mayo News]


Firefighters from across the county were tackling a significant fire at a premise just off the Trim Road in Navan last Wednesday afternoon.

The blaze in what is believed to be a disused factory unit at the old Navan Steel yard at the rear of Connolly Avenue broke out shortly after 2 p.m. and at least three units of the Navan fire service, one of them a water tanker, raced to the scene.

Two units from Trim fire service were also at the scene, and Navan fire service had brought in a high-platform ladder to fight the flames from above roof level.

[Source: Meath Chronicle]


He may be on the cusp of even greater things with his rejuvenated Monaghan side, but manager Malachy O'Rourke needs no reminding as to where the credit should lie for the county's renaissance.

While O'Rourke himself has been quite rightly showered with plaudits for his shrewd tactical planning that jettisoned Donegal's ambitions of landing three Ulster titles on the trot on Sunday, July 21, the Enniskillen-based schoolteacher believes that the foundations for Monaghan's overdue success were actually laid by others.

And in this respect O'Rourke delivers garlands of his own to the county's most recent managers, Eamonn McEnaney and Seamus McEnaney.

[Source: Belfast Telegraph]


Residents and visitors to Birr over the past few weeks will have noticed a column appearing at Woodlands, on the Tullamore Road into Birr. This is the first phase of a new sculpture being erected, which will be completed during Vintage Week.

Last year, under the Birr Public Realm Plan, Offaly County Council ran a competition for a new “gateway” sculpture for Birr, one which would reflect Birr’s rich history and vibrant cultural life. Shortlisted models were put on public display which exercised much discussion, interest and enthusiasm for the idea. The most popular submission and the one the selection panel felt responded to the brief most innovatively, was by artist Ann Meldon-Hugh (from Kells) entitled “Looking to the Future.”

[Source: Offaly Express]


A property tycoon, who vanished for eight months, has appeared in court charged with making false allegations he had been kidnapped and held hostage.

Kevin McGeever was brought before Strokestown District Court, County Roscommon, after being arrested at an address in north Dublin last Tuesday.

He has been remanded in custody after being charged with wasting police time.

[Source: Roscommon Herald]


Ireland tends to celebrate its literary heritage in a parish-pump-priming way. The starting point is not words, but locality. There is certain logic to this, to Bloomsday wandering around Dublin, or Kavanagh pilgrimages to Inniskeen. 

Even Samuel Beckett, who, unlike those other two greats of Irish literary modernism — Joyce and Yeats — is not readily amenable to tourist-board oversimplification involving period dress, now has a festival in his honor in Enniskillen, where he attended the Portora Royal School. 

This approach is followed by the Tread Softly festival in Sligo, now in its second year of celebrating the region’s ties not just to W.B. Yeats, but to his painter brother Jack, too. For a first impression of Tread Softly’s populism, you only have to go to YouTube to see people in Edwardian costume reciting “The Lake Isle of Innisfree.” But further investigation soon belies this twee packaging. Driven by the local arts community, the festival mixes in a good deal of artistic and intellectual rigor. 

[Source: Irish Examiner]


A lady from America had her own “gathering” in Ballingarry recently. Ursula Dwyer Akey paid a visit to the parish in May to trace her ancestral roots and was overwhelmed by the reception she received.

Ursula was welcomed into homes all over the parish as she traced her roots and is so grateful to all the people who helped her and gave her endless cups of tea. Ursula’s roots can be traced back to the Dwyer and Cormack families.

[Source: Tipperary Star]


Detectives are investigating the separate discovery of a man's body in Sixmilecross and, also, a woman's body in the Drumquin area, both on Sunday, July 21.

Detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a male in the Sixmilecross area on Sunday evening. It is believed the man, who is thought to be in his 60s, was found in a house in Kerr Villas in the village. 

No further details were available at the time of going to press.

Meanwhile in a separate incident, it is understood the woman's body is that of 44-year-old Lisa McGowan who was last seen at her Drumquin home on July 9, although at the time of going to press, formal identification of the remains had not been carried out.

[Source: Tyrone Courier]


K.R.M., the owners of the New Street houses and also the old De La Salle Centre, have been issued with dereliction notices by Waterford City Council, which has kick-started the demolition of the buildings.

The sites have been cordoned off by workers and the demolition is currently underway.

Acting director of services at Waterford City Council, Richie Walsh, said the demolition did not mean that work was beginning on the long planned for shopping center at the site.

[Source: Waterford News & Star]


Mullingar has been named as one of the locations for the eight regional offices of Irish Water.

Between 18 and 32 staff-members will be employed at each office, and customers will begin receiving water bills from January 2015, the minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government, Phil Hogan T.D., has announced.

“They don’t know yet if it will be a new building or if the offices will be located in an existing premises,” a spokesperson for the department told the Westmeath Examiner.

[Source: Westmeath Examiner]


Slaney Search-and-Rescue has warned against the perils of diving into Enniscorthy Town’s river after a 20-year-old received 50 stitches in his head, from cracking it open upon a rock when resurfacing from his jump.

Ian Sinnott, of Gimont Avenue, was recently enjoying the incredible weather by gathering with friends at a local makeshift diving board along the banks of the river Slaney.

Mr. Sinnott told the Echo that he followed his usual procedure at the popular diving spot by removing his shoes and jumping into the cooling waters.

[Source: Wexford Echo]


Renault has announced changes in structure and personnel in Wicklow.

Patrick Magee, a native of Wicklow and its current sales director, becomes country operations manager for Ireland.

From September 1, he will report directly to Ken Ramirez, M.D., at Renault U.K. That means Renault Ireland and Renault U.K. will now be managed under what they describe as "a common direction."

[Source: Irish Independent]