Up to 30 construction jobs will be created after a Co Antrim wind farm received planning approval, it was announced last Friday. Irish renewable energy company Gaelectric said there would be enough energy to power more than 8,000 houses annually from the £5m scheme at Carn Hill, Newtownabbey.
(Source: The Irish Examiner)   

A talented Leighlinbridge jockey was killed last Tuesday morning after an accident involving a horse in Fahy’s stud farm at Ballyellen.

The community of Leighlinbridge was stunned as news of the tragic death of a popular local man Ronan Lawlor spread through the quiet village.

 From High Street, Ronan was killed after the horse he was riding bolted and collided with a fence near the gallops.

 Gardaí (police) and medical staff were immediately called to the scene but Ronan was later pronounced dead from injuries sustained in the accident.

 The youngest son of Helena and John Lawlor, Ronan had just turned 21 recently and had enjoyed a night out with friends and family in the Estoria bar in Bagenalstown to celebrate the big occasion.

An accomplished jockey, he rode out regularly for local trainers and he had his sights set on a career in the racing industry. In a statement made by Pat Fahy hours after the accident he expressed his disbelief at what had happened and said that it was “devastating.”
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)

Hate crimes have rocketed by almost 300% in Derry, the latest PSNI figures reveal.
Foyle MP Mark Durkan last Thursday night said the shock statistics - contained in the PSNI's Hate Incidents and Crimes Quarterly Update - were deeply worrying. The PSNI figures show alarming rises in the number of incidents motivated by sectarian, racist or homophobic prejudice, with 20 incidents reported to police each week in the city. Mr. Durkan said hate crimes "run against every good instinct of the people of Derry".
 (Source: The Derry Journal)

A seemingly grassroots effort to bring the phenomenon known as Jedward to Dungloe appears to be drawing mixed reaction on Facebook. Using a mix of text-speak, emoticon and misspelling, the Facebook page is called "Jedward ta perform at Dungloe festival 2010!!! :D." By last Thursday, the page had already drawn 344 fans on the social networking site.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)

Hollywood wannabe and Dubliner Caroline Morahan turned to Amanda Byram for advice on life in Los Angeles before she jetted off to California last year. Before settling in London, Amanda had been living in LA for a number of years as she carved out an impressive presenting career o US television, hosting shows like The Swan and Paradise Hotel. Aspiring actress Caroline (33), who recently returned home to host a TV3 cosmetic surgery show, contacted the seasoned TV star for advice on how to make it Stateside ahead of her move there. "Caroline is out in LA at the moment. She emailed me before she left and asked me for advice," Amanda explained. "Obviously I gave her everything I could, but I told her I didn't go out there saying, 'I'm just going to pop into an agent and see if I can get work.' "I was just really lucky. I was in the right place at the right time," she added. She warned the former Off the Rails presenter that the industry is one of the toughest to crack and trying to land an agent, along with acting gigs, would be one of the hardest things she would ever do. " (Source: The Evening Herald)
The Chairman of CIÉ has indicated the company will ‘go it alone’ and push ahead with plans for the redevelopment of Ceannt Station rather than proceed with the project in conjunction with the Harbor Board’s planned revamp of the Docks. At a meeting last Wednesday, CIÉ Chairman John Lynch, indicated to the Galway West Oireachtas members present that it was his company’s preference to go it alone with the €1 billion regeneration of Ceannt Station rather than waiting for Galway Harbor to commence its €300-€400 million redevelopment. (Source: The Evening Herald)
Six-Time All-Ireland medal winner Darragh Ó Sé has retired from inter-county football after a career that spanned 16 years with Kerry. Ó Sé, 34, said he made up his mind to walk away from the Kerry team a couple of weeks ago but finalized his decision on Tuesday night last­ ending speculation about whether or not he would be back for a seventeenth year in the Green and Gold. Speaking to his former Kerry team mate Dara Ó Cinnéide on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Ó Sé said a number of factors went into making his decision ­ family, work commitments and the physical strain of the game.
(Source: The Kerryman)
A worker at the Green Isle Foods plant in Naas went on hunger strike last Wednesday in an effort to bring an end to the six-month long dispute at the company.

 Union shop steward Jim Wyse who is from Clane and has been working at Green Isle Foods for 13 years said that he started his hunger strike last Wednesday and that if staff are not reinstated by Green Isle Foods, he will be joined by another union member this week, and another the following week.

 The industrial dispute at the plant has been ongoing since last August, with 35 members of staff at the facility initially taking part in the strike. The dispute occurred after staff members were fired following what Green Isle termed “an investigation into the improper use of the company’s IT system”.
 (Source: The Kildare Nationalist)
One man's trash may be another man's treasure. The discovery of a toilet used by the abbots of Duiske Abbey, whose townhouse was located on the site where Rothe House now stands, has unearthed artefacts which paint a colorful (and odorous) picture of life there from the 14th to the 16th centuries. And it doesn't appear to match the image of austere Cistercians, an order that had been founded to recapture the original simplicity and purity of monastic life. This 'find' is located in the courtyard behind the Rothes' third house, which is due to reopen this summer as a cafe, with a library and Fás training centre in the upper storeys.
(Source: The Kilkenny People)

Laois has received over €200,000 from the Arts Council to support theatre, dance, music and other performances across the county. The grant allocations, which total €211,000, will support the multidisciplinary arts program of the Dunamaise Arts Centre, the work of the Association of Irish Stage Technicians, and Laois County Council's arts office.
 (Source: The Leinster Express)

With Minister for Education, Batt O'Keeffe, expected to make an announcement on the amalgamation of several smaller County VECs before the end of February, fears have once again been raised that Co Leitrim will be one of the first to fall victim to such a proposal.
The idea of merging smaller VECs together first arose in the An Bord Snip Nua report.
(Source: The Leitrim Observer)

Fine Gael Deputy Michael Noonan expressed his sympathies to former Defense Minister Willie O'Dea over his shock resignation, acknowledging that this is a very difficult time for the people of Limerick. "At a personal level, I sympathize with him and I feel very sorry for him. It is regrettable that Limerick will be without a Cabinet minister for the foreseeable future," Deputy Noonan said.
(Source: The Limerick Leader)

A county councilor has claimed Longford's housing crisis could take half a century to resolve after a joint meeting of town and county councils two weeks ago showed there are over 1,800 applicants on waiting lists throughout the region. Fine Gael County Councilor Alan Mitchell warned of the grave consequences that awaited housing officials following the disclosure that around 1,000 applications have still to be processed at county council level with a further 870 cases in Longford Town Council
 (Source: The Longford Leader)

Local Green Party councilor Mark Dearey is being widely tipped as a favorite to take a Seanad seat following Déirdre de Búrca's announcement the weekend before last that she is resigning from the party. Having lost out in the last round of appointments to the Seanad by Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen, which saw fellow Louth councilor James Carroll take a seat last November, the Dundalk councilor is now believed to be in prime position for a Seanad nomination. 'It's a Green seat so obviously it will have to go to someone from among our diminished numbers,' said Cllr Dearey. He said that he hadn't spoken to the party leader John Gormley since Déirdre de Búrca's shock resignation.
(Source: The Drogheda Independent)
A man who started his business career in Manchester with three shovels and a wheelbarrow and who went on to become a multi-millionaire was crowned Mayo Person of the Year in City West in Dublin last Friday night. For Joe Kennedy and his family, it was a night to cherish, the further cementing of his close ties with the county and the land that has always had the fondest of places in his heart. Joe spoke of his young days in Doocastle picking spuds and milking cows before leaving for England. He recalled early days over yonder and singing in a band at the Round Tower in Holbury before launching into a rousing rendition of “Moonlight in Mayo” to the delight of the gathering in City West. Around 700 people attended the annual celebration night.
(Source: Mayo News)

Boyle will be represented in style at this year's Academy Awards.
Paul Young, from Carrick Road, Boyle, is the producer of 'The Secret of Kells', which is one of the films nominated in the Best Animated Film Category for this year's Oscars, which will take place in Los Angeles on Sunday, 7th March.
Paul (36) will be joined on the trip to LA by his parents Sean - the former Roscommon football team manager - and Ann. Paul has five siblings and is the youngest of the four boys in the Young family.
 Ann is justifiably proud of her son and is looking forward to the awards ceremony. "We are very, very proud of Paul. I used to give out to him when he was young because he was always jotting and scribbling in his copybooks.
(Source: The Roscommon Champion)

Four members of the traveling community have been targeted by a pipe bomb attack in Co Tyrone. The man and three women escaped injury when the device exploded at the back of the house in Coalisland last Thursday morning. They were treated for shock after the incident at Gortgonis Terrace. A number of nearby homes were evacuated as Army bomb disposal officers ensured the area was safe.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)
Half-a-million visitors, from home and abroad, generating a spend of €35m for Waterford and the region in four days, is the expectation from the return of the Tall Ships Race to the city in June of next year. The city will host up to 70 of the world’s most majestic vessels, and a crew of 2,000, in advance of the start of the 2011 race. Already the sailing eyes of the world are on Waterford through a Tall Ships Races website which was formally launched in the city last week with the promise that the event, from June 30 to July 3, 2011, will match and surpass the 2005 event.
(Source: Waterford News & Star)

Elan's future in this area has been given a boost with news that the pharmaceutical company is to increase investment in its Athlone operation by approximately 20% this year. The company also expects Ampyra - a new multiple sclerosis drug which is to be manufactured in Athlone - to be one of its main income-generators during the course of 2010.
(Source: The Westmeath Independent)

A Two-Bed ground floor apartment, with own entrance, spacious living room, kitchen, and two bathrooms, in a recent development, within walking distance of town centre, sold for €65,000. This has been one of the most dramatic examples yet of crumbling property prices in Wexford. The knockdown price of €65,000 is almost half what you would have paid three years ago, confirms auctioneer Dolores Power.
(Source: The Wexford People)
A host of stars carried the Olympic torch to mark Vancouver's Hosting of the Winter Games, and among their ranks was Wicklow town's Claire Byrne. Claire's name mightn't roll of the tongue quite as quickly as some of the other torch bearers, including Michael Buble, Wayne Gretzky and Arnold Schwarzenegger, but she actually played a bigger part in organizing the games than any of those high profile celebrities. Claire is the daughter of Marie and Patrick Byrne originally from Wicklow town but now living in Canada. She was handed the honor of carrying the torch for part of its journey in recognition of her contribution to the Olympic Games as she has been working on the sponsorship of the event for the past three years.
(Source: The Wicklow People)