As the dust settles after the tumultuous South Antrim election battle, the DUP's William McCrea gets back to work as the constituency's MP, while the area's Ulster Unionists must pick up the pieces and go back to the drawing board.
 (Source: The Antrim Guardian)   

The owner of a taxi business who sustained serious brain injuries after a large tree fell and crushed the school minibus he was driving has secured €1.25 million damages. At the High Court last week, Justice John Quirke awarded the sum to John McKenna, who requires permanent care as a result of injuries suffered when the tree struck the minibus containing himself and seven secondary school children. The vehicle was crushed and its occupants trapped for a time.
(Source: The Irish Times)

Two of Carlow’s most talented squash players had their dreams of winning a European title ruined the week before last thanks to the Icelandic ash cloud.

Elaine Ware and Shaun Hennessy, were due to fly to Prague as part of the Irish team for the European Championships, having spent the last year preparing for what would have been the biggest squash event of their young careers. However fresh eruptions of ash from the Icelandic volcano destroyed their travel plans, leaving them stranded in Carlow.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)

Knowing that when jobs come and go, we still have our essence of who we are as a people, our heritage, community and belonging; Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, Mary Hanafin, has firmly backed All Ireland Fleadh 2010, which is to be held in Cavan from August 16 to 22.
(Source: The Anglo Celt)

Pubs in Clare have experienced a drop of 60% in business in the past two years and are struggling to stay trading, according to Gerry Collins, chairman of the Clare branch of the Vintners Federation of Ireland.
He said there are a combination of factors for the fall in business, citing commercial rates, drink-driving laws, the recession, the existence of head shops and low drink prices in supermarkets among the challenges publicans face. Collins has been the proprietor of Charlie Stewart’s on Parnell Street, Ennis, for more than seven years.
(Source: The Clare Champion)

A trucker who was caught using a magnet to distort the reading on his 'spy in the cab' tachograph has been fined €7,000 and disqualified from driving for two years in the first case of this kind to come before an Irish court.
(Source: The Corkman)

Inishowen could soon be taking the first major steps to economic recovery - thanks, believe it or not, to David Cameron and Nick Clegg.
With Britain's new leadership duo already indicating the UK's VAT rate will rise to around 20 per cent in addition to a number of other harsh cost-saving initiatives there could be tough times ahead in the North - and that could turn the tide in Inishowen's favor.
(Source: The Derry Journal)

Hotels and bed and breakfast providers in Donegal are losing out on potential business because 'out of town' wedding parties can't find a church or priests here for their big day.
One hotel has claimed prospective brides and grooms are wanting to come to Donegal from the larger urban areas of Dublin and Belfast to celebrate their wedding - but many are being put off because they can't book a suitable church or available priest in this county.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)

One-in-three Irish language schools in Northern Ireland are failing to provide satisfactory education for their pupils, it can be revealed.
Calls have now been made for an inquiry into the provision of Irish language education after it emerged that seven schools were forced to put urgent action plans in place after being rated unsatisfactory by inspectors are in the Irish medium (IM) sector.
(Source: The Belfast Telegraph)

Ryan Tubridy has broken his silence on reports that he's due to step into his late pal Gerry Ryan's shoes on his radio show.
The RTE star told the Herald it was still 'too soon' since his friend's tragic death on April 30 to become involved in any speculation regarding the 9am to 12pm slot on 2FM.
(Source: The Evening Herald)

Police in Fermanagh last week acknowledged that the overall crime rate for Fermanagh for the year ending March 31st last is up on the previous year, with drugs trafficking and fraud and forgery leading the way.
The number of crimes reported to police in the Fermanagh area in the 2009/2010 financial year increased by 5.1 per cent, up from 2,808 to 2,952.
(Source: The Fermanagh Herald)

An area of Zambia, which has the highest level of recorded violence against young girls traveling to and from school, can now offer 40 of them a safe house thanks to money raised in Loughrea.
Emma Gilchreest (30), from the Coorheen area of the town, spent a year working voluntarily in the country for FAWEZA (Forum for African Women Educationalists of Zambia).
(Source: Galway News)

Fossa based Kerry Biomass — a division of Kerry Die Products Ltd — last week celebrated the culmination of six years of hard work when they shipped the world's first integrated wood pellet system to a client in Sweden.
(Source: The Kerryman)

Kildare Co Council and residents of Athy are poles apart when it comes to the town’s latest controversial landmark.

 The erection of a CCTV mast in Athy’s Emily Square has also been sharply criticized across the political divide.

 Cllr Mark Dalton said the fact that the local council had not been consulted was arrogance on the part of Kildare Co Council; Cllr Richard Daly called the new structure ‘corporate vandalism’ and Cllr Thomas Redmond called it ‘grotesque’.

 Cllr Daly said the structure is distasteful and clashes with the tree lined, cobbled square.

(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)
Kilkenny's controversial head shops were closed last Tuesday evening following a ban on a large number of products sold in the shops.
A number of customers remarked to each other that they were ‘stocking up’ after hearing news of the ban. Staff at the shop had ‘no comment to make’ when asked if they were aware that they were selling banned substances.
(Source: The Kilkenny People)

Minister of State John Moloney spoke publically about his experience with depression at a public meeting in Portlaoise last week.
The TD was among a number of speakers invited by the Laois Community Forum to the special public meeting in Portlaoise Parish Centre on Monday.
Sheelagh Coyle, Forum PRO, said the Mountmellick TD would speak about his experience of depression. While the TD spoke about illness earlier this year at a national level he has not spoken in public about his illness.
(Source: The Leinster Express)

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O'Keeffe has announced 50 new jobs in Manorhamilton company, Mirror Controls International.
The company is set to transfer its European manufacturing business to its plant in the north Leitrim town.
(Source: The Leitrim Observer)

Hundreds of people attended the unveiling of a bust of the late Frank McCourt outside his former school on Hartstonge Street last week.
His widow Ellen McCourt, who was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after Frank's death, told the crowd: "I cannot thank you all enough for this wonderful tribute to Frank."
(Source: The Limerick Leader)

It's not often that County Longford can boast an All-Ireland accolade, but last week the honor is well and truly cemented following on from the success of two members of the Longford Town Macra Club at the organization's National Talent Competition which was held in the National Concert Hall, Dublin the previous weekend.
Michael Keogh and James Lennon were bestowed with the All-Ireland title after their winning sketch 'Trip to the Options' was awarded first place, following stiff competition from a number of other Macra Clubs throughout the country.
 (Source: The Longford Leader)

Drogheda's new €11.5m Accident and Emergency department is to remain closed up for the foreseeable future. The HSE has confirmed that it doesn't know when the facility will be opened. In a statement last week, a spokesperson stated that 'no new date' had been set for the unit, which was formally handed over at the end of 2009.
(Source: The Drogheda Independent)

Mayo’s biggest outdoor music festival hit a bum note last week as local Westport residents formally complained about the late-night disruption it causes on the streets of the tourist haven and heritage town.
The annual Westport Music Festival is scheduled to take place at the height of the tourist season, from August 5 to 8 next, and the launch of the festival was expected to take place this week.
However, in a damning objection, longtime resident of the Mall, James Reidy reveals that the four-day on-street Westport Music Festival, in his view, is blighted by a litany of such anti-social behavioral activities as vomiting, urinating and street brawls.
(Source: Mayo News)

The cost of renting an alternative building for the Department of Agriculture and the Probation and Welfare Service staff who were moved out of their former offices in a building at Kells Road, Navan, because of a health hazard, is €573,000 a year, the Dail has been told.
There is also an additional cost of €50,000 for maintaining the old building, which is no longer in use.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)

American Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney will attend the Midlands Gateway Chamber Ambassadors Ball on Friday, May 21.
Ambassador Rooney was sworn in as US Ambassador to Ireland on July 1 2009. Well known in Ireland as one of the founders of the American Ireland Funds, Ambassador Rooney has also funded the annual Rooney Prize for Irish Literature to highlight the work of the Irish writers under the age of 40.
(Source The Offaly Express)

A major €1.5m project is set to transform Cloontakilla Castle at Rockingham, Boyle from a ruin into a state-of-the art recording studio and guesthouse.
The brainchild of Boyle businessman Sean Simon, the project has already caught the imagination of the British TV program ‘Grand Designs’ and initial filming has already taken place.
(Source: The Roscommon Champion)

A spokesman for the Sligo building company against whom a summary judgment for €37.3 million has been entered at the Commercial Court has criticized the 'dogmatic attitude' of the bank involved.
(Source: The Sligo Champion)

A Roscrea photographer has become a local champion of patients' rights after bringing in his own sleeping bag to Limerick Regional hospital, just so he could finally get the treatment he was forced to wait three months for.
PJ Wright, well known around Roscrea in his role as a photographer, became so fed up with having his operation postponed due to the chronic lack of bed spaces, that he had to resort to telling sympathetic ward nurses he was bedding down for the night in his own sleeping bag.
(Source: The Tipperary Star)

A former BBC Northern Ireland sports presenter was 100% responsible for his sacking at the corporation, an industrial tribunal has been told.
Co Tyrone man Jerome Quinn, at one time the self-styled face of GAA coverage at BBC NI, has brought claims of unfair dismissal and direct and indirect discrimination following his sacking in March last year on the grounds that he is an Irish Catholic.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

Tramore academic, Dr Louise Richardson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of St Andrew’s, was conferred with the honorary fellowship of Waterford Institute of Technology last Monday.
From Priest Road, in Tramore, Dr Richardson, a former student of St. Angela’s Secondary School and a graduate of Trinity College, has been leading St Andrew’s, Scotland’s first university and the third oldest in the English-speaking world, since early 2009.
(Source: Waterford News & Star)

The South Westmeath Hospice will open on September 6, Health Minister Mary Harney told members of the fundraising committee at a meeting in the hospice on Sunday morning, which was also attended by Deputy Mary O'Rourke and Mayor of Athlone  Cllr Mark Cooney.
Chairman of the South Westmeath Hospice committee Dr Tony Lowry thanked the Minister for meeting with them and asked for an up to date position on the hospice.
(Source: The Westmeath Independent)

One of Wexford's best athletes was laid to rest last Tuesday after a tragic accident at his home at Ashfield Drive. Ger Clancy's remains were discovered there last Friday. The 32-year-old had been dead for a number of days.
(Source: The Wexford People)

Wicklow's County Manager Eddie Sheehy was taken into Garda custody last week as part of the investigation into the deaths of Bray firemen Brian Murray and Mark O'Shaughnessy. The two fire fighters lost their lives in a blaze at Adelaide Villas in Bray in September 2007. Mr. Sheehy was taken into custody at Bray Garda Station for questioning.
(Source: The Wicklow People)