The Mayor of Antrim has called for calm after a series of sectarian incidents over the last number of weeks. Councilor Adrian Watson said efforts by "idiots" from both sides of the community to stir up trouble had to stop before someone was seriously hurt or killed. The most serious incident happened in the early hours of Friday morning last, when a pipe bomb exploded at the home of a Catholic family in Brantwood Gardens.

Source: The Antrim Times


Sinn Fein has again emerged as Northern Ireland's wealthiest party - earning and spending more than its political opponents - the Electoral Commission said last Thursday. The party registered an income of £1,115,391 and spent £1,148,992, though the figures do not include its earnings and expenditure in the Republic. In its latest financial figures for 2008, Sinn Fein reported it earned a further 1,367,117 euro (£1,183,000) in the south.

Source: The Belfast Telegraph


Gordon Molloy has been sentenced to life in prison. Ciara Campbell’s parents have been sentenced to a life without their daughter. Over the past two weeks Micheál and Patricia Campbell have sat in the Central Criminal Court in Dublin as details of their daughter’s horrific murder at the hands of Molloy unfolded during a five-day trial. Ciara was stabbed nearly 30 times by Molloy in a frenzied attack induced by wild jealousy and drink on the morning of 12 November, 2007 at her home in Ardmore Gardens, Carlow. Molloy killed Ciara because she had ended their relationship and he became enraged after she told him she was seeing someone else.

Source: The Carlow Nationalist


Some 600 people employed by Cavan County Council have reached agreed with management to waive payment for overtime in an effort to secure their jobs. The move has meant that no permanent council staff will lose their jobs or be put on three-day weeks. The revelation by the County Manager, Jack Keyes follows reports that Cavan County Council has one of the lowest debt levels of local authorities throughout the country at just €23m.

Source: The Anglo Celt


The actions of dozens of US troops who ‘gate-crashed’ a wedding in Clare two weeks ago, have been criticized by a leading anti-war campaigner who has described the matter as another clear breach of Irish neutrality. The incident occurred at the Clare Inn Hotel near Newmarket-on-Fergus where almost 300 troops stayed for two nights after the aircraft on which they were traveling to Iraq was grounded at Shannon Airport by technical problems. After wandering into the function room where the wedding reception was being hosted, they were allowed to stay and enjoy the festivities despite the best efforts of their commanding officer to remove them from the hall.

Source: The Clare People


A well-established Mallow businessman has been accused of not paying into staff pensions along with a number of other complaints. The former staff at Barry's Menswear in Mallow town are claiming that Tom Barry did not make recent payments into his staff's pension scheme. The disgruntled former staff of the clothes shop brought their grievances onto the streets when they mounted a picket outside the now closed Barry's Menswear on Davis Street recently Aside from the issue regarding pensions, the staff also claim that Mr Barry has not given them their final week's wages or an RP50 form necessary to claim redundancy entitlements.

Source: The Corkman


A court was told last week that £2,000 worth of cocaine and cannabis was found in a flat after a cup of coffee was thrown at members of a police vehicle checkpoint. The cup of coffee was thrown from a second floor flat in Meadowbank Court at police officers on checkpoint at Strand Road. As a result of the incident, 23 years old Jonathan Coup, of Meadownbank Court, appeared in court last week. He denies possessing cocaine and cannabis and denies possessing the drugs with intent to supply them. He told police that the white powder found in his flat was not cocaine but a substance used in bodybuilding.

 Source: The Derry Journal


Plans for a one hundred million housing developments and a new high quality country style hotel on a 40-acre site adjoining Letterkenny Town Park has been lodged with the local planning authority. The development will transform the grounds of Gortlee House in the heart of Letterkenny to accommodate an extension to the town park and to provide for new townhouses, apartments, hotel, restaurant and public house. The project is the vision of the Robinson family who have owned and managed Gortlee House since the 1880's.

Source: Donegal News


The family of a young Newry man who remains on a life support machine in a Crete hospital after being critically injured in a road accident has made a heartfelt appeal for help in bringing him home. Glenn McFerran, 25, suffered serious head and chest injuries when the moped he was sharing with a young Belfast woman was struck by a car on the Greek holiday island on July 17. The woman, who was riding the bike, was also badly injured in the collision.

Source: The Down Democrat


Former crime boss John Gilligan was brought to court under heavy armed guard over allegations that he was caught with a mobile phone in jail. The center of Portlaoise was brought to a standstill as a motorcade of troops and gardai escorted the convicted drug dealer half a mile up the road from the prison to the local courthouse. Gilligan, who is serving a sentence for drug smuggling, is facing an extra five years behind bars if he is found guilty of having the phone.

Source: The Dublin People


Amid continuing concerns about the state of roads in the county, good news awaits at the capital spend end with confirmation last week of a completion date for the Enniskillen (Southern by-pass) by March 2018, and, also, a March 2011 date for the Cherrymount Link scheme on the outskirts of Enniskillen. This £11.5m diversion will take through traffic going towards Enniskillen from the Irvinestown direction across to the Tempo Road and on to the main Enniskillen-Belfast (A4) road instead of having to go into the county town.

Source: The Fermanagh Herald


Bookmakers at this year's Galway Race Festival felt the chill wind of Ballybrit on Monday last, with takings down by more than 25 per cent on last year on day one of the festival. A total of €1,749,259 was bet with the on course bookies last Monday, down from €2,362, 286 on the same day last year, a decline in takings of €613,027. There was bad news for the Tote also, with €785,633 bet on day one, down from €945,312, a 17 per cent decrease. Attendance figures were also down on last year's opening day. A total of 17,342 people went through the turnstiles of the racecourse on the opening day of festivities, 3,000 less than day one in 2008. 

Source: Galway Independent


The elite Garda armed Regional Response Unit was deployed in Tralee after the ongoing feud between two Traveler families erupted into violence on Sunday last. Two groups from the Cork based Regional Response Unit ( RRU) were called into action after violence involving up to 50 people broke out in the St Martin's Park estate in the Mitchel's area of Tralee. Four men who are connected with the feuding families have appeared in court following the disturbances which saw eight cars and a number of houses in the estate damaged.

Source: The Kerryman


Sexual offenses are on the increase in Kildare, according to a report issued last week.

The figures announced in the Courts Service annual report for 2008 show that while the number of drugs, road traffic and firearm offence cases heard in Kildare’s courts have all gone down in the last year, the number of sexual offences has risen slightly. It revealed that in 2007, there were 22 drugs cases heard in the Naas Circuit Criminal Court. This dropped to 14 in 2008. The number of sexual offences cases brought to Naas Criminal Court rose from 12 in 2007 to 13 in 2008.

Source: The Kildare Nationalist


The country's oldest living All-Ireland senior hurling medal winner celebrated his 100th birthday last weekend. Martin White is still in good health, and manages to drive his car around the capital and loves to work in his garden. His memories of the three senior All-Ireland medals he won are as clear in his mind today as when he won them 70 years ago.

Source: The Kilkenny People


People in the Slí na Mona estate in Portarlington are living in a “hell-hole” according to a local councilor. Councilor Paul Mitchell (Ind) made his comments at the monthly council meeting when residents picketed County Hall on Monday morning last, in protest about issues to do with safety.

Source: The Laois Nationalist


Hundreds of mourners gathered in Carrick-on-Shannon last Tuesday to mourn the passing of popular retired Detective Garda Peter O'Donnell who tragically passed away on July 25 in the town's Garda station. Shocked mourners from all over the country visited the family's home on Sunday and Monday last to pay their respects to Peter as the town struggled to come to terms with the news of his tragic death.

 Source: The Leitrim Observer


Gardai (police) have named the two victims of last Tuesday’s fatal road traffic collision between Askeaton and Rathkeale. They were Maurice (Moss) Hartnett, 61, and his wife Margaret, 59, from Gurteen, Ballingarry. The driver and passenger of the other vehicle involved in the accident were seriously injured and one is understood to be critical. The two men have not been named but they are understood to be from Rathkeale.

Source: The Limerick Leader


A mobile telecommunications giant has pulled out of controversial plans to extend a mast in one of County Longford's most densely populated areas. Top officials with Telefonica O2 Ireland opted against following up planning submissions lodged with Longford County Council last year to extend an existing 18 meter high structure by a further six meters citing the additional height to be unnecessary.

 Source: The Longford Leader


Drogheda Borough Council (DBC) is owed €4m in levies from developers, it has been revealed. Responding to a query from Councilor Frank Gallagher, Town Clerk Des Foley told councilors at last Monday night's meeting the debts owed by developers were being 'vigorously pursued' and legal action would be used if it was necessary to pursue the monies owed through the courts. Rates received are also down and the council has had to increase its bad debts provision to € 1.7m because of the number of business closures in the town. The bad debt for rates was increased from the original budget figure of € 800,000.

Source: The Drogheda Independent


It was the yellow and red of giant oil company Shell, and not the green and red of Mayo, that greeted Minister Dara Calleary when he traveled to north Mayo last Monday. Protestors who blocked the Glenamoy crossroads in protest against the controversial Corrib gas project sprayed his Audi. The Ballina based junior minister was traveling from Belmullet to officiate, on behalf of Minister Éamon Ó Cuív, at the social services center, Ionad Lae – Pobal Ghreannaí in remote Rossport. Up to 30 protestors gathered at the crossroads, which is situated near the Bellanaboy refinery site. Some members of the group carried placards stating: “Gan Cead An Phobail” and “Ó’Cuív Minister for Community Destruction”.

Source: The Mayo News


Uncertainty hangs over the future of Dunshaughlin Courthouse as the last scheduled court sittings for an indefinite period took place there last Tuesday. The Courts Service said that the present poor condition of the court venue in Dunshaughlin makes it unsuitable for court business. The court sittings held at Dunshaughlin - three each month - are to be moved to Navan when the legal diary resumes on 1st September after the courts' summer recess during August.

Source: The Meath Chronicle


The top bosses in Offaly County Council are refusing to take a voluntary pay cut of 10%, as suggested by Finance Minister Brian Lenihan and a local councilor, because they say the pension and income levies already amount to more than that. The call for a pay cut came as it was revealed this week that Offaly County Council need to make savings of €4.1 million during the remainder of this year otherwise they will start next year with a huge deficit.

Source: The Offaly Independent


Local TD Denis Naughten has claimed that many low-income families will have to wait until the middle of September to receive help with the cost of uniforms due to a lack of staff to process applications. “Families are facing a huge struggle this year to meet the cost of shoes and uniforms, along with the additional cost of books, due to Government cuts. Now, due to a lack of staffing within the HSE, families will have to wait until the middle of September to get a decision on the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance,” explained Denis Naughten.

Source: The Roscommon People


Sligo's first swine flu victim has criticized the way she was treated at the General Hospital claiming staff there were ill equipped to deal with the disease. Retired US teacher, Catherine Davey was hospitalized from June 26th to July 7th at the hospital but has alleged only two doctors in Accident and Emergency took her suspected case of swine flu seriously and that after four days she still hadn't been given Tamiflu.

Source: The Sligo Champion


At a time when severe cuts in public expenditure are forecast in this country, the town of Templemore received welcome news last week that it may be in line for twenty new houses under a new national leasing scheme. At the July meeting of the Town Council, Town Clerk Mr Tom McGrath informed members that the authority has submitted plans to the Department for an initiative under a new leasing scheme.

Source: The Tipperary Star


Races of a Neolithic worship site near Ballygawley that could be Tyrone's version of Stonehenge have been discovered by archaeologists working on the site of the A4 dual carriageway. The three-year long excavation project, which was carried out by Headland Group, a Scottish based firm, is one of the largest in Northern Ireland to date.

Scientists uncovered a roughly 5,000 year-old circular site in the townland of Armaghlughey which contains graves, evidence of timber buildings and burnt pits that bear a strong resemblance to Stonehenge and the Giant's Ring near Belfast, both of which are prehistoric stone circle sites.

Source: The Tyrone Times


Waterford County Council has nominated the lovely village of Rathgormack as its sole entrant into this year’s Pride of Place competition. The small village situated in north Waterford, in the foothills of the Comeragh Mountains, will play host to the contest’s judges in the Hiking Centre, which is the showcase project of the village’s bid for recognition.

Source: Waterford News & Star


Johnny Owens, whose concrete company is one of the largest in Westmeath, has confirmed that he was forced to reduce his staff from 60 to 15 last Friday echoing lay-offs in the building trade during last year's holiday fortnight. It is another enormous blow to the company founded in 1982 and which employed 130 staff at the height of the building boom. Mr Owens had already been forced to downsize his staff last year after the building trade went belly-up and demands for materials waned.

Source: The Westmeath Independent


There was a large turnout last Wednesday for the funeral of popular Wexfordman Pat Cullen whose unexpected death caused widespread shock and sadness. Pat (50) of Glena Terrace who ran Cullen's Childrenswear in North Main Street with his sister Marian Keane, died at Wexford General Hospital the Saturday before last following a brief illness. He was receiving treatment for an illness diagnosed some weeks ago but his death was completely unexpected and has left his devastated family and friends coping with an unbearable sense of loss.

Source: The Wexford People


Wicklow County Council has granted planning permission for the expansion of the Ballylusk Quarry even though the local authority still has enforcement proceedings against owners O'Reilly Brothers due before court. The council has approved an application from O'Reilly Brothers to expand the quarry situated near Ashford, including increasing the rate of extraction and processing up to 60,000 tons per year.

Source: The Wicklow People