Former SDLP councilor on Antrim council, Oran Keenan, has joined the Alliance Party.
Alliance leader David Ford, who also sits on the local council, made the announcement last Friday saying he was delighted to welcome Cllr. Keenan to the party. Cllr. Keenan has represented Antrim Town electoral area since 1985 and was elected deputy mayor in 2007 and mayor in 2008.
(Source: The Antrim Times)   

Police have recovered stolen vehicles during a search in south Armagh. A PSNI spokesperson said that following a search last Wednesday and a previous one in November, they have now recovered 34 vehicles in Cullyhanna. Officers believe that at least 13 of the vehicles were stolen during creeper burglaries in Northern Ireland and the Republic. Many of the vehicles had been disassembled. One man has been arrested.
(Source: BBC News)

Over 7,000 Facebook users have signed up to a site demanding that convicted rapist Larry Murphy be kept in jail and never allowed to prey on women again.

The Baltinglass native is due for early release in August this year, having served ten years of a 14-year sentence for the kidnap, rape and attempted murder of a Carlow woman.

 The site Don’t Let Larry Murphy Out has attracted 7,483 members, who fear that the man described as “Ireland’s biggest threat to the safety of women” will be back living in this area within a matter of months.

 (Source: The Carlow Nationalist)

The Reserve Defense Forces (RDF) plays an important role in supporting the regular army in this country and there is almost a full company of 120 men and women in the force in Cavan. The percentage of women joining the Reserve in Cavan is very high at close to 30%.
Brigadier General, Gerry Hegarty, GOC of the 4th Western Brigade who was visiting the 4th Company, 56th Batallion at Dun Ui Neil Barracks in Cavan last Wednesday, was most impressed with the dedication and commitment of the RDF volunteers in Cavan.
(Source: The Anglo Celt)

Fáilte Ireland has announced plans for its biggest ever advertising campaign in a bid to encourage more people to holiday at home this year. The €4 million campaign with the slogan “The Fun Starts Here” will continue throughout the year, concentrating on different markets and activities at different times of the year. The broadcast advertising will be accompanied by a song ‘Remember When’ by The Heathers, a young Clare band.

A planned search of houses in Kanturk and Mallow on Tuesday night last netted Gardai "a substantial seizure" of what is understood to be cocaine. Inspector Senan Ryan of Mallow Garda Station said the haul, which is believed to be worth in the region of €100,000, has not yet been tested for its purity and will be sent to Dublin for technical examination.
(Source: The Corkman)

(Source: The Irish Times)

The Real IRA has said it murdered Kieran Doherty on the outside of the city on Wednesday night last. In a statement to a local journalist, the organization said it had killed 31-year-old Kieran Doherty who was from the Brandywell area of Derry city.
(Source: The Derry Journal)

A Donegal and Letterkenny Town Councilor says local authorities should work with gardaí (police) to "eradicate" head shops from the town. Councilor Dessie Larkin, Chairman of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC) for Letterkenny Town Council, says they will meet with representatives from An Garda Siochana to discuss what role they can play in closing the shops and also tackle antisocial behavior issues.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)

A candlelit peace vigil was held near the site of a car bomb blast in Northern Ireland. Around 100 people are attended the event last Friday, to express their opposition to violence. The gates of Newry courthouse and a nearby Presbyterian church were damaged in the explosion on Monday night last. Seamus Larkin, a trade unionist who will be at the vigil, said they planned to send out a strong message.
(Source: The Belfast Telegraph)

A young Irishman based in Belgium has become the biggest supplier of drugs and credit to Dublin's gangs. The 25-year-old, who works out of five star hotels in the capital, is acting as trafficker Christy Kinahan's eyes and ears here as he serves a prison sentence in mainland Europe. All of the city's main gangs, including deadly rivals are dealing with the young associate of Kinahan. Gardai also have intelligence that Kinahan is working closely to end the feuds between the gangs and create one major drugs organization in Dublin. Kinahan is the main drug supplier to the 'Fat' Freddie Thompson gang and a revered figure among all members of Ireland's criminal underworld.
(Source: The Evening Herald)
Police have appealed to landlords to be vigilant about who they rent their properties to following the uncovering of a busy brothel in a quiet upmarket residential area of Enniskillen. The owner of the property in the Old Rossory area told police he was 'appalled' to find out what was going on at his detached property in one of the most sought-after districts of the county town. It is now thought that the brothel may have been one of a 'chain' operated by criminals based in the South East.
Galway Born architect Conor Sreenan has won an international design competition for innovative ideas and skill on only the second occasion that Ireland has participated in the event. Conor emerged victorious from an entry of almost 2,500 in EUROPAN, an open international design competition for young Architects, with his master plan and design of the development of a peripheral site at Ballyburke at the edge of Galway, a common challenge of urbanization in Ireland today. The competition site, identified by Galway City Council for EUROPAN, is 36 hectares of land located between rural and residential areas at Ballyburke/ Mincloon on the northwest fringes of the city.
(Source: The Evening Herald)
Human remains are lying exposed in many of the county's cemeteries because graves and tombs are being left in a state of disrepair. The deterioration of old tombs, particularly in Kerry's older graveyards, has resulted in human remains being left completely exposed to the public and vulnerable to animals and birds. The situation came to a head last week when Milltown councilor, Michael O'Shea, highlighted what he called the appalling situation at the Abbey Cemetery in the village, where human remains are lying openly visible in unmaintained old tombs. He said that the seals on a number of tombs in the mid-Kerry burial ground have become worn and disintegrated and that human remains are lying in full view.
(Source: The Kerryman)

A former Offaly GAA star will become the second man to go on hunger strike at the Green Isle Foods plant. 48-year-old grandfather John Guinan was a member of the Offaly team which denied Kerry an historic five-in-a-row back in 1982. John joined striking colleague Jim Wyse last Wednesday, in an escalation of the protest against the sacking of three TEEU union members last summer. A series of intensive talks between the union and Green Isle management aimed at settling the dispute broke down last Monday.
(Source: The Leinster Leader)
Kilkenny Station staff, led by Station Manager John Delaney, are celebrating having been named Best Leinster Station at the Iarnród Éireann's 2010 Best Station Awards. Emulating the standards of the county's hurlers, the busy station at the heart of our tourist city held off strong competition from Arklow and Connolly Stations, who were highly commended in the Leinster category, and narrowly missed out to Killarney in the Overall national award. The award winners were announced at a ceremony in Iarnród Éireann's Inchicore Works last week.
(Source: The Kilkenny People)

The Ireland women's bobsleigh team has finished a very creditable 17th at the Winter Olympic games in Vancouver, beating their Australian rivals in the process. Laois native and Irish bobsleigh pilot Aoife Hoey safely negotiated her Winter Olympic debut and said her and Claire Bergin's performances at the Whistler Sliding Centre had served as a major boost for winter sports in Ireland.
(Source: The Leinster Express)

The town of Manorhamilton was plunged into sadness on Friday morning before last when a nine-year-old schoolboy was killed in a tragic road accident while being driven to school by his mother. Simon Land, a pupil at St Clare's National School was a rear seat passenger, being driven to school by his mother when the car collided with a lorry.
(Source: The Leitrim Observer)

The Mid-West united last week with a delegation who met Transport Minister Noel Dempsey demanding that some of the estimated €90 million generated by the €10 air tax in Shannon Airport be used to develop a cargo hub at the airport. The high-powered group urged Minister Dempsey to invest some of the millions of euro in revenue generated by the €10 tax into the development of an international cargo hub at Shannon Airport. The Authority believes the Government has received at least €90 million from the tax from Shannon passengers.
(Source: The Limerick Leader)

A film starring five Ballymahon women and several other ladies from Co Longford won the prestigious George Morrison Feature Documentary Award at the recent IFTA Awards in the Burlington Hotel, Dublin. Agie Natton, Mary Hanrahan, Mary Heneghan, Catherine Rattigan and Celia McGarry from Ballymahon played very special roles in Ken Wardrop's short film 'His & Hers' along with Longford women Sheena O'Loughlin and Mary Harton and Mullahoran native Eilish Beglin. Their acting talents and Ken's visionary film making style were honored. Celia McGarry said that it was one of the most exciting weekends of her life. 'His & Hers' is an 80 minute documentary film that presents interviews with 70 women from across the midlands of Ireland, chronicling a ninety-year-old love story through their collective voices.
(Source: The Longford Leader)

A Drogheda-based film director has had two short films snapped up by Channel 4 television in the UK. 'Whatever Turns You On' is an Irish Film Board funded tale of a homeless man on a quest and has charmed audiences at over 50 festivals worldwide since it's premiere in 2008. It qualified for Oscar consideration this year when it won the prestigious Aspen Shortsfest in the USA but failed to make the final 10. The film has sold to television stations in Belgium, Poland, France, Australia and Irish audiences will soon have a chance to see it on RTE 2. ' The second film that Channel 4 bought was quite a surprise,' revealed multi award winning Cassidy, who recently made Drogheda his home.
(Source: The Drogheda Independent)

Mayo’s celebrity Moos, Blonde bovines, Mona, Mina and Minx were born in Ballintubber in the early hours of last Monday. Cow and calves are all doing well, according to proud owners ‘the Bulls’ Heneghan. Although the popular and well-known farmers, Sean Snr and Sean Jnr from Tonbawn are still a little shocked at the fact that their doe-eyed Charolais Cross cow has created a record with her triple birth.  She can now chew the cud over the fact that her multiple delivery means she is among the one in 105,000 cows from around the globe that deliver triplets.
(Source: Mayo News)

It has been confirmed that the proposed deepwater container port at Bremore in north Co Dublin could be placed north of the site to Gormanston, Co Meath, for archaeological reasons. A spokesman for Treasury Holdings, the company developing the new facility in conjunction with Drogheda Port, said one of the options now being looked at was to 'shift it off Bremore headland' to avoid encroaching on a Neolithic complex of passage tombs. No final decision has been made, however, the spokesman said it had become clear early on in the process that the Neolithic complex at Bremore was 'very significant', and the developers would exam alternative locations, such as Gormanston.
(Source: The Drogheda Independent)

A new Central Statistics Office (CSO) analysis of crime trends reveals that the highest rate per capita in 2008 for drink driving was recorded in the Garda's Cavan-Monaghan division, at 736 offences per 100,000 people.
(Source: The Irish Times)

A Nigerian king living in Edenderry has been awarded €10,000 by the Employment Appeals Tribunal after taking an unfair dismissal case against Tesco Ireland. Edward Agbaje, of 250 The Sycamores, Edenderry, took the case against the grocery chain after being dismissed in November 2008 when he failed to return to work from holidays at the specified time.
(Source: The Offaly Independent)

The news that the World Rally Championship will not return to Ireland in 2011 has been regarded as a "major blow to Boyle" by a Roscommon/South Leitrim TD. Deputy Frank Feighan said that the news was a massive disappointment to the Boyle rally committee who had worked tirelessly over the past two years.
(Source: The Roscommon Champion)

In the wake of the loss of the World Rally Championship, a concerted effort is to be made to replace it with a major international event in Sligo. Rally Ireland founder, Mr. Sean O'Connor has backed calls by Senator Marc MacSharry, one of the pioneers behind the staging of the event in the North West, for a 'Big Event Task Force' to ensure that Sligo finds an early replacement for the money spinning World Rally.
(Source: The Sligo Champion)

The marriage of the Tipperary Institute and the Limerick Institute of Technology has taken a significant step forward following agreement by the governing body of LIT and the Board of Directors of TI on the scoping document which will now be presented to the Minister for Education and Science Mr. Batt O'Keeffe, and departmental officials. The process, which has been underway since before Christmas, has been viewed with much skepticism locally, but has been put forward as the only means of preserving third level status for the Tipperary Institute following the report from An Bord Snip Nua and Dr Colm McCarthy which recommended the closure of the Thurles and Clonmel campus.
(Source: The Tipperary Star)

A couple were jailed last Friday after admitting a £4.6 million tax fraud. Patrick Small, 56, and his wife Mary, 50, stashed millions of pounds in offshore bank accounts and failed to declare tax worth £4.6 million over a period dating back to 1995. Belfast Crown Court Judge Anthony Hart jailed Small for three-and-a-half years and Mary Small for two-and-a-half. The judge said of Small: "He was prepared in a dishonest and unedifying fashion to shift as much of the blame on to his wife as he could." The judge said the couple built at least 20 new houses with the money - originally gained from their builders' merchants in Dungannon, Co Tyrone - and lived in a sprawling 12,000 square foot mansion.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)
Jedward fever hit Waterford on Thursday last with diehard fans queuing outside the Forum from 3.30am in order to secure much wanted tickets. The tickets sold out within minutes when they went up for grabs at 9am. Ciaran O’Neill, proprietor of Forum Waterford, said they were overwhelmed at the amount of phone calls they received about X-Factor stars, John and Edward Grimes, aka Jedward.
(Source: Waterford News & Star)

Westmeath County Council has received a €4 million boost for work on the Clonmore and Robinstown Link Roads, and further funding for road and footpath repairs following the cold snap, as part of €12 million in regional and local roads grants announced by the Department of Transport last week. Transport Minister Noel Dempsey said that the priority of the 2010 Regional and Local Roads Program is the protection of investment, and the provision of resources for repairs due to severe weather.
(Source: The Westmeath Independent)

The Arts Council has announced allocations totaling over €1.8 million to arts organizations in County Wexford for 2010. The biggest recipient of the Council's largesse is Wexford Festival Opera which will receive €1,389,100 this year. Arts Council chairman Pat Moylan said the Council tried to ensure that organizations continue to bring the best of the arts to audiences around Ireland.
(Source: The Wexford People)

Gardai seized documents, files and computer records during a raid of the offices of Wicklow County Council last Tuesday as part of the investigation into the deaths of Bray firemen Brian Murray and Mark O'Shaughnessy. Superintendent Michael Lernihan confirmed that a warrant had been issued for the search of premises in Wicklow Town. The search warrant was issued at Bray District Court to Superintendent Lernihan. '
(Source: The Wicklow People)