A war of words has broken out between the DUP and Sinn Fein just days after a new group was established to deal with contentious parades. Upper Bann MLA Stephen Moutray has hit out at Gerry Adams after the republican leader said there would be no Orange feet on disputed routes without the residents’ consent. The DUP member of the new parading body also accused Mr. Adams of misrepresenting his own party’s sentiments during an interview published last week. “The comment from Gerry Adams about ‘never’ having a parade down Garvaghy Road so long as the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition is opposed to it is distinctly unhelpful,” Mr. Moutray said. “Indeed, it would seem that Mr. Adams is off-message from his own colleagues.”
(Source: The Belfast Telegraph)   

A Bagenalstown councilor was allegedly struck in the face by a council rival before a recent town council meeting. The incident is alleged to have taken place after the councilor made derogatory personal remarks about his rival’s family. According to several witnesses to the incident, Cllr Arthur McDonald was chatting with cllr Denis Foley, the cathaoirleach of the Bagenalstown Town Council, in the council chambers at McGrath Hall, when pensioner and Fine Gael councilor Tommy Bambrick was said to have made the insulting comments.
Cllr McDonald took serious offence at the remarks and he rose to his feet, pushed aside a number of chairs between him and Cllr Bambrick and lashed out with his fist, striking the councilor in the face. It is alleged that Cllr McDonald then verbally berated Cllr Bambrick for making the comments, before order and calm was restored to the council chamber.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)

Derry's Mayor says he is " deeply concerned" after a security alert caused major disruption in the city last Friday. There was heavy traffic congestion on many of the city's main routes after a suspicious object was discovered on the top deck of Craigavon Bridge shortly before 10am.
The bridge remained closed until 3.50pm. The city's mayor Paul Fleming said any "activity or event which unnecessarily hinders, hampers or obstructs citizens from carrying out their daily business must be opposed." "The closure of Craigavon Bridge - as we have already witnessed in recent times - inevitably leads to serious disruption and serves no purpose whatsoever," he said.
(Source: The Derry Journal)

Donegal South West TD Dinny McGinley has said no comparisons could be made between Fine Gael's media related candidates Dublin South TD George Lee and Donegal South-West by election hopeful, Cllr Barry O'Neill - both of whom work for RTÉ. On Raidíó na Gaeltachta.
 (Source: Donegal Democrat)

Hollywood legends Samuel L Jackson and Dionne Warwick took time out of their charity preparations for dinner at one of Dublin's best-known restaurants. The pair, who are in town for a Valentine's fundraising ball for Keith Duffy's Irish Autism Action, joined celebrity chef Richard Corrigan at his Bentley's restaurant in Stephen's Green to taste some of the Michelin-star chef's best dishes. And the Pulp Fiction star (61) was obviously impressed with the top chef -- as he was grinning from ear to ear. As Jackson left to return to his hotel, he shook hands with Corrigan, who looked deservedly chuffed at pleasing one of Hollywood's best-known actors. Both he and Warwick brought their old-school Hollywood glamour to the capital as the 70-year-old singer showed how she earned her reputation as one of the industry's undeniable queens of glam - fighting the sub-zero temperatures in a long, black fur coat. Keith Duffy was promoting the launch of Ireland's First One Stop website for Autism Information. The fundraiser has been organized in conjunction with the actor's Samuel L Jackson Foundation.
(Source: The Evening Herald)

Galway is mourning the loss of one of its most remarkable citizens after former army captain and NUIG lecturer Alasdar MacCana passed away two weeks ago. He would have been 102 years old last Tuesday. The Oughterard centenarian earned acclaim last year when completed a Certificate in Computing at Moycullen VEC at the age of 101 with a view to starting his own business. He had previously participated in the 100-mile Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage in Northern Spain at the age of 97 and recently turned his attention to studying Ancient Greek before he died at his home in Portacarron, Oughterard last Monday. Alasdar was born in Glasgow in 1908 and embarked on a teaching career in 1931 that was to span 59 years. He developed an interest in the Irish language and came to Spiddal to study the native tongue in 1938 when he met his wife, Magdalene Conlon.
(Source: The Evening Herald)

Objections have been lodged against plans to develop a wind farm near the site of the massive bog slide that hit Lyrecrompane in 2008. Golden Vale Co-op Mart (GVM Wind Energy) has applied for at least 12 new turbines in the Knocknagoum and Maghanknockane townloads of the Stacks Mountains. This follows a company announcement, late last year, of their intention to apply for a 17-turbine wind farm in the area.
(Source: The Kerryman)

Athy lost one of its most popular and longstanding public figures at the weekend, with the passing of former Councilor Frank English, who died at Tallaght hospital on Saturday morning last, after a short illness. First elected to Athy Town Council in 1967, his consistent popularity and dedicated service ensured that he was re-elected on seven subsequent occasions. Two years ago, he celebrated his 40th anniversary as an elected member of the town council, amid many tributes from fellow public representatives and officials.
He decided not to stand in last June’s local elections and is understood to have been ill for several months.
(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)

Mayor of Kilkenny, Cllr Malcolm Noonan has said claims by a Kilkenny business man that he and the Green Party have kidnapped the St Patrick's Day Parade are unfortunate, unnecessary, and potentially damaging at a time when the City needs everyone to come on board and make the St Patrick's Day Parade a success.
Referring to Mr. James Walsh, who runs the Toyota car franchise in the city, the Mayor said it would appear that Mr. Walsh has a particular grievance with the Green Party over changes brought in to the Vehicle Registration Tax in 2008
 (Source: The Kilkenny People)

Winner of the Arts Award for Laois People of the Year, Portlaoise native Pat Boran has long been making waves in the world of literature, and is among the best known of Ireland's contemporary poets. His latest work, 'The Invisible Prison: Scenes from an Irish Childhood', was published to great acclaim last year. A memoir of his Portlaoise childhood, 'The Invisible Prison' has struck a resonant chord beyond his hometown. It is set for release in the UK next month, and is already in its second edition at home.
(Source: The Leinster Express)

Gardai (police) in the Sligo/ Leitrim division received an average of 11 days paid sick leave and nearly €2 million in overtime in 2007, according to a recent report by the Garda Síochána Inspectorate. The Garda Síochána Inspectorate is an independent statutory body established to promote excellence and accountability.
It's latest publication, the Resource Allocation Report revealed that the average officer in the Sligo/ Leitrim division took over eight days through sick leave, over two days from long term sickness and less than a day through injury in 2007 - compared to a national average of six days.
(Source: The Leitrim Observer)

Billionaire philanthropist Chuck Feeney has donated more than €46m to Limerick in the past nine years, new figures reveal. However, that figure does not include the estimated €2m given by Mr., Feeney towards to construction of UL president Prof Don Barry's new on-campus residence. The University of Limerick, Milford Care Centre, and the local support agency for migrants, Doras Luimni, were the top three recipients in Limerick from the so-called "secret billionaire". The bulk of that funding has been directed to educational and construction projects at the University of Limerick, which Mr. Feeney has had a close association with since it was established as the National Institute of Higher Education in the 1970s.

(Source: The Limerick Leader)

A 'blazing ball of fire' was seen falling through the sky in County Longford Wednesday evening before last.  The unusual sight was caused by a collision between a meteor and the earth's atmosphere and now the hunt is on by Longfordians to find a piece of this giant meteorite, which is valued at an astounding $500 (€360) per gram.
(Source: The Longford Leader)

Mayor of Drogheda Michael O'Dowd says he is extremely disappointed with the portrayal of the town on a TV3 program aired on Monday night last. 'Crime Capitals', with investigative reporter Donal MacIntyre, staged 'a reconstruction' of the alleged events that took place in March 2009 at Townley Hall, from the point of view of the two girls who say 'they were attacked and one raped'. In another section, Clogherhead is. 'I watched the program and I found it to be sensationalized, and very fast and loose with the full facts,' says Cllr O'Dowd.
(Source: The Drogheda Independent)

A leading Shell to Sea campaigner was sentenced to seven months imprisonment at last Wednesday’s sitting of Castlebar Circuit Court. Judge Raymond Groarke branded Pat O’Donnell of Porturlin Shore, Ballina a ‘thug’ and a ‘bully’ who had no respect for Gardaí before he sentenced him to seven months imprisonment for incidents involving members of An Garda Siochana.
Mr. O’Donnell, known locally as ‘The Chief’, received a three month sentence for threatening and abusive behavior towards Sergeant Cathal O’Malley at Glengad on September 13, 2008 and four months for willful obstruction of a peace officer on September 14, 2008 at Doologh, Geesala. Both sentences are to run consecutively.
(Source: Mayo News)

There was a buzz of excitement around Boyle the week before last after it emerged that an animated film produced by local man Paul Young had received a nomination for an Oscar. The Boyle filmmaker and his Kilkenny-based animation company, Cartoon Saloon, were catapulted into the national and international limelight as ‘The Secret of Kells’ was announced as one of five nominations in the Best Animated Feature category.  Paul is the son of Sean and Ann Young. He grew up in the Warren area of Boyle.
(Source: The Roscommon Champion)
A €65,000 surgical skills training laboratory will be added to the facilities at Waterford Regional Hospital this year, while upgrading of the Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Centre (CPR) / Advanced Cardiac Life Support (APLS) training facilities are also in the pipeline. Speaking about the lab, which will be used to train undergraduate and postgraduate students, and also the upgrading of current facilities, General Manager of WRH, Patricia Sullivan, said the developments are “testament to WRH staff and management’s commitment to ensuring excellence in health care delivery and staff training in the South East to assure the provision of the highest standards of healthcare services to benefit local communities.”
(Source: Waterford News & Star)

There are growing concerns that the long-planned Athlone Primary Care unit is set for further delays. Although, the project is ready to go to tender, confusion remains as to whether funding will be provided this year or next, for the project to start. Athlone Town Council has now requested a meeting with the local HSE manager to get an update on what stage the primary care unit is at, and whether any work will start this year. However, sources close to the project have indicated that work will not start until at least 2011. Although the primary care project is not specifically included in the HSE's service plan for 20101 published recently, a spokesperson for the organization said the project, if it's to proceed, would need to be included in the as-yet unpublished HSE's National Capital Development Plan 2010,
(Source: The Westmeath Independent)

Whale Watchers have continued to gather in huge numbers around the headlands of Hook Head last week hoping to spot 'Hooky' the humpback and the fin whales. 'Hooky' has remained in the same area during the past two weeks, between one to two miles off the coast between Carnivan Bay and Baginbun Head. He has been delighting onlookers as he breached clear of the water several times in spectacular style. 'Hooky' stunned whale watchers on board the charter vessel Rebecca C as thousands of fish jumped out of water trying to escape the humpback, before he surfaced just at the edge of the huge herring ball.
(Source: The Wexford People)


Firefighters battled a blaze in Russborough House for three hours on Sunday night last as flames threatened to the engulf one of the country's most famous stately homes. While the west wing of the house was badly damaged, Lady Beit's jewelry and other expensive valuables had been removed because of film and renovation work that was taking place there. Cllr. Jim Ruttle rushed to the scene when he first heard of the outbreak and was 'shocked' to see flames licking out of the west wing's roof and smoke billowing into the night sky.
(Source: The Wicklow People)