Antrim has been jointly crowned Northern Ireland's first 'Safe Town' by Justice Minister David Ford.
Antrim and Ballyclare both achieved the impressive status on November 30 for their commitment to tackling domestic violence.

At the launch of the initiative supported by Women's Aid, Mr Ford presented certificates to the mayors of both towns.

The South Antrim MLA commented: "Domestic violence is a horrendous crime that has a devastating impact on victims and their families.
“The efforts of both Antrim and Ballyclare in securing Safe Town status are to be applauded as this sends out a very clear signal that domestic violence will not be tolerated."

He added: "I am committed to ensuring that Government delivers a joined up approach to better protect victims of domestic violence and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions."
(Source: Antrim Guardian)


A Lithuanian man has been hailed a hero for rescuing three south Armagh men recently from the choppy waters around Sligo Harbour.

Two weeks ago the three men, who are part of a Concrete Repair Specialist team, were carrying out repairs at Sligo Harbour when a freak tidal wave engulfed the pontoon on which they were working. 

The men were thrown overboard and into the treacherous waters.

Although all three were wearing life jackets, they battled to stay afloat as conditions in the ocean were extremely rough at the time.  Only the quick thinking of their fellow colleague, Lithuanian born, Vetas Matkevicute saved the men from almost certain drowning.

Having been working on the same site as the local men, Mr Matkevicute saw them fall into the water from his position on the harbour.  Realising the imminent danger, he immediately ran to their aid and threw ropes down.  Single-handedly he managed to successfully pull all three from the freezing water.

Thankfully, none of the men were seriously hurt or required hospital treatment, but the outcome could have been very different, as the Atlantic waters around Sligo Harbour are known to contain sharks from time to time.

The team’s boss praised Vetas’s intervention and branded him a hero for saving the local lads.
“Thank God he saw what happened and realized they were struggling,” he said.


Masked thieves threatened an elderly couple with a hammer in a terrifying break-in at their Carlow home.

Last Thursday, the thieves broke into a house in Monacurragh, Carlow and threatened the couple in their 70s while trying to remove a large safe from their house.

They failed to get the safe out of the house and the couple were generally unharmed but left badly shaken by the ordeal.

Gardaí are searching for up to three culprits who may have been driving a dark-colored saloon car with a 05 TN registration.

In a separate case on Saturday, a man claiming to be a tradesman gained entrance to a pensioner’s house in Duggan Avenue.

He claimed he was in the process of repairing a neighbor’s washing machine. While the fake tradesman distracted the pensioner, a second man slipped into the house and ransacked the upstairs, making off with a “substantial” sum of money.

Gardaí are looking for a 5ft 6” male aged around 35 with dirty blond hair and a receding hairline.

He was wearing a white teeshirt with a red trim on the collar and a navy body warmer.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


The government is paying out over €120,000 per year on leasing a property for 15 staff in a Cavan town office. Figures obtained from the OPW show that the government rent three premises for a staff of 60 at a cost to the tax payer of €273,343.30. None of the leases are subject to 'upward only' rent review clauses.

A total of €122,200 per year is paid to landlords Noel and Katherine Elliot for offices at Newcourt Shopping Centre, Cavan town, used by the Revenue Commissioners and Department of Social Protection. In the office, measuring 648 sq mts, the Revenue has nine staff and the Department of Social Protection six.
(Source: The Anglo Celt)


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There was yet more bad news for employment in Shannon, as the closure of Sykes is set to see around another 130 jobs lost.

A spokesperson for the company, speaking from their HQ in Florida last week, refused to say when all the jobs at Shannon would be gone, but said their restructuring should be complete by the end of September. Sykes is also closing a plant in South Africa.

The spokesperson said the company is “exiting markets that are proving not to be strategic any longer, where we’re seeing lower client demand”.

It is believed that around 100 of the staff will be finished by April next, with the remainder likely to finish up in June. Sykes had a number of rounds of redundancies in recent years, including the announcement of 75 lay-offs in September.

Senator Tony Mulcahy provided catering services at the company for over 20 years. He said it is sad to see it closing.
“I’m sorry to see them going, they were a fantastic company to do business with and I was involved with them for 22 years. I couldn’t speak more highly of the local management.”

He said up until now, there had been hope that the company would land a new contract and that the loss of jobs is heartbreaking for those involved.

Mayor of Shannon Mary Brennan said the news is disappointing, both for the workers and the town.
“At this stage every job is so important for Shannon and for families the future is looking bleak.”

Councillor Patricia McCarthy said when a company lays off some of its workforce, there is still hope that it may take on more people in the future, but when it closes completely it is particularly disappointing.

Fine Gael Town and County Councillor Sean McLoughlin said it is a serious blow for Shannon.
“It’s a huge loss to the town. They have been here for years and it comes at a time when we need to attract jobs.”
(Source: The Clare Champion)


A Cork mother has claimed last week that she no longer feels safe in her Glanmire home and that her son now lives in fear, having been the victim of two racially motivated attacks in as many years.

The woman, who moved to Cork from Cameroon over ten years ago, told the Cork Independent last week that her son has been attacked twice in two years at the same Cork city school.

She says that in February 2009, he was the victim of an assault on his school grounds which left him with loose teeth and mild injuries after being punched in the mouth.

Just four weeks ago, on November 11, she received a phone call from her son who has special needs, telling her that he had been assaulted again.

He explained that while he was playing soccer, a group of young boys started calling him "nigger".

“He told the teacher but the boys denied it," she said. She claimed the youths then shouted more insults at him, such as, 'Show off nigger, why don’t you go and bring more black people with you?'

According to her son, one of the three boys punched him repeatedly in the head leaving him with a fractured jaw which was later operated on at CUH.

The assault has left her son isolated and living in fear.

“He loves soccer. He’s very good at it. But now, he is too afraid to play. He’s too afraid to go out. I’m so angry.”

“My son has special needs. He is a slow learner, he just needs some extra help in understanding things and he has never been confident. The only thing he cares about is football.

“Now he doesn’t go out any more. He doesn’t want to go to school. He’s afraid. Of course he is,” she said.

“I am an Irish citizen and so are my children. I have been in Cork since 2001.”
Source: (Cork Independent)


A former mayor of Derry has described a suspected arson attack on a car belonging to a woman recovering from a serious illness as “a despicable act.”

Sinn Féin councilor Lynn Fleming made the comment after the car was set on fire at Mimosa Court in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

“This is a despicable act. The owner of the car, a local woman, is just recovering from a serious illness and the last thing she needs is for the stress of this incident. The fact that the car was parked up close to local houses could not have been lost on the perpetrators who set fire to the car without any regard for the occupants of adjacent homes.”
(Source: Derry Journal)


As fears grow over the future of the Garda Drugs unit in Donegal, local campaigner, P.J. Blake has cited the drug related deaths of sixteen young people in the county in the last decade and a half.

Claiming that families were still “suffering and grieving” over their respective losses, he maintained: “I’ve been at some of these funerals and I’ve seen the grief of these poor people. I’ve also seen the crocodile tears shed by some other people at these funerals. A week later these scum are out selling the drugs on the streets again - that’s how much they care.”

The Letterkenny based anti-drugs activist has written to local public representatives within the past couple of weeks calling for their support against the feared downgrading of the drugs unit in the county. “Sadly the demand is there and our young people are suffering.

“There are sixteen of our young people dead as a result of this scourge,” Mr. Blake told the Dail and Senate representatives.

Recalling the stance of T.D. Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, who has gone on record proposing the legalisation of cannabis and admitted to consuming the drug, he added: “He said he was giving it up in concern for his children but where’s his concern for other young people?”

On the confirmed closures of Garda Stations in Dunkineely and Culdaff, Mr. Blake said many stations were already shut in effect throughout the county.

“We’re a border county and it’s blatantly obvious that gangs are targeting border areas. But these gangs will be very encouraged to hear that more and more Garda Stations are being closed down in Donegal.

“These cuts are eating into resources. Even some of the vehicles the Gardai are driving around in are in atrocious condition. Where are all these cutbacks going to end? Everything will eventually be centred in the station in Letterkenny but if you ring the station about some problem or other they want to know more about you than the problem.”
(Source: Donegal Democrat)


A couple accused of attempted murder were acting at the behest of a 'shadowy figure', Newry Magistrates Court was told on Thursday.
Darren James Burns and Deborah Maria Heslip, both of Damolly Village, Newry, are charged with two counts of attempted murder each. The couple entered bail applications to the court, both of which were objected to by police.

Looking close to tears, 21-year-old Heslip shook her head and mouthed the word 'f**k' to friends in the public gallery after entering the dock alongside her 24-year-old boyfriend.

The pair then held hands as the court heard that the charges against them stem from February 16, when police were tasked to the Glen area of Newry regarding a report of a vehicle on fire.
When they arrived at around 11.30pm Fire Service was tackling a blaze at a house and a car. A window of the house had been smashed with a paint bomb and a petrol bomb had been lit at its front door and in the car.
A woman and her three-year-old child who were in the house escaped physical injury but were so traumatized they have since left the country.

The court heard that the woman is of Kenyan descent and a known victim of repeated domestic abuse whose former partner had threatened in the past to petrol bomb her house as she slept.

Subsequent police investigations revealed that the vehicle used in the attack was sold on February 12.

The vendor told police it had been empty of petrol, prompting them to check CCTV footage of the nearest petrol station.
It showed Burns and Heslip exit the car at the forecourt on February 12 and being followed into the forecourt by another vehicle, which checks showed was registered to Heslip.

The court was also told that Burns is a known associate of the injured party's former partner, who is no longer in the country and has no plans to return.

(Source: Newry Democrat)


Struck-off solicitor Thomas Byrne is to appear in court again in February after being charged with stealing more than €2m from clients in connection with the purchase of an apartment building in Dublin.

Fraud squad officers detained the ex-solicitor at Irishtown Garda Station in south Dublin, on Thursday.

Mr Byrne (45), of Walkinstown Road, Dublin 12, but who also has an address at Aungier Street, in Dublin 2, was held in garda custody overnight.

Unshaven and dressed in a long brown suede overcoat, with fur collar and lapels, he was brought before Dublin District Court last week to face two counts under the Theft and Fraud Offences Act.

Byrne, who formerly had a solicitor's practice in Walkinstown, Dublin, was granted legal aid. He kept his head down and remained silent during the brief proceedings.

His first charge alleges that on a date unknown but subsequent to May 2, 2006, he "did dishonestly appropriate the sum of €1,887,415" which had been entrusted to him by Brian Whelan, Brian Maher and Enda Mulryan for the purpose of discharging a loan with Permanent TSB.

That charge also states that this was "with the intention of depriving them of same".

The second count alleges he took ¤198,742 which had been given to him for the purpose of paying stamp duty in the purchase of 75 Upper Dorset Street, Dublin 1.

There was no indication of how he intends to plead.
(Source: The Evening Herald)


As the second anniversary of the death of Fermanagh baby Millie Martin approaches, her mother Rachael and her former boyfriend appeared in court to face charges arising out of her murder.

Barry McCarney (32) was formally arraigned before Omagh Crown Court sittting in Belfast, accused of murdering the 15-month-old youngster on December 11, 2009.

McCarney, originally from Trillick in Co Tyrone, denied the murder and also sexually penetrating the youngster with his “body |or anything else”, and unlawfully and maliciously causing baby Millie grievous bodily harm with intent to do her grievous bodily harm.

Her 27-year-old mother, now with an address in Main Street, Kesh, who gave birth to a baby son in April, denied allowing the death of Millie by failing to prevent it, and causing her cruelty by wilfully neglecting her “in a manner likely to cause her unnecessary suffering or injury to her health”.

A date for their trial, in Dungannon courthouse, has been provisionally fixed for after Easter next year, although, if arrangements can be made, it could take place as early as February.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


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Winter brings many ailments and difficulties, with none more serious than the spread of the ‘man flu’, which seems to strike large parts of the male population each year.

Now a Galway man has made a hugely successful video to help raise awareness of the ‘deadly’ sickness. Galway director and stand-up comedian Kenny Gaughan is the man behind the ‘Manflu – The Truth’ video, which has been viewed more than 133,000 times since it was posted on YouTube on November 17.

The video is a satirical sketch on the phenomenon of the ‘man flu’, which is an illness that appears to affect attention-starved males only, particularly during winter months.

“We’ve had a great response to the video, which we hope will continue to spread the message about the dangers of the man-flu,” said Kenny, who explained that the idea for the sketch first came when he was invited to discuss the phenomenon on Tom Dunne’s show on Newstalk radio three years ago.

Galway husband and wife and dramatic duo Johnny and Deirdre Graham are the stars of the video, Joe and Mary Soap, which chronicles Joe’s ‘traumatic’ battle with a bout of the man flu. Mary feels lucky to still have her husband after he was “rushed to A&E” after displaying all the symptoms of the sickness – including a red nose, a tickly throat and watery eyes.
(Source: GalwayBay Fm)


Two pupils from Pobalscoil Inbhear Sceine in Kenmare Co. Kerry, used their powers of persuasion on the Colombian government, to release a human rights activist from prison.

16-year-old students Ellie Gudgeon and Annie Cooper embarked on a letter-writing campaign to force the Colombian regime to release Rosalba Gaviria Toro from prison.

Last week, Ms Gaviria Toro travelled to the Co. Kerry school to personally thank the girls for their hard work and determination.

Trade Unionist Ms Gaviria Toro faced up to 40 years in jail on charges of ‘rebellion’ and ‘serious conspiracy to commit a crime’.

She spent 27 months in a Colombian prison because of her involvement with an agricultural workers’ union before her release in June 2011.

Ellie and Annie began sending letters on her behalf in January, to the Colombian Embassy in London, demanding her release.

Ms Gaviria Toro heard about the girls’ campaign in her cell at Villa Cristina women’s prison in Quindio, Colombia and wrote to them.

“I look forward to meeting you and thanking you in person,” she said.

“We never thought she actually meant she would come to Ireland but it’s lovely,” said Annie.

Over 3,000 trade unionists are currently imprisoned in Colombia, while 23 have been executed this year alone.
(Source: Inside Ireland)


Extensive damage was done to a car parked outside a house in Orchard Park, Curragh, in the early hours of Friday morning after a corrosive substance was poured over the bonnet.

The incident occurred between 1am and 9am on Friday last 2 December and Newbridge gardaí are investigating.

In another incident, a double-barrelled shotgun was stolen from a house at Scarlettstown, Milltown Road, Newbridge, between 7.30 and 8pm on Friday evening.

A short while earlier, in what may have been a related burglary, a safe was taken from a house at Ryan’s Field, Newbridge, between 6.30 and 7pm. The safe contained documents, some of which were found on the following morning by a farmer in a field at Punchesgrange, on the Milltown-Rathangan road.

Sergeant Seamus Rothwell said Newbridge gardaí would like to hear from anyone who may have noticed anything unusual, including suspicious vehicles, in either the Milltown or Ryan’s Field areas on Friday evening.

A shopper coming out of the Tesco store in Newbridge was the victim of a handbag snatch on Saturday evening 3 December at around 7.55pm. While putting her shopping into the boot of her car, the woman left her handbag in the trolley and was taken completely by surprise when a man cycled past on a bicycle and grabbed the bag. Described as a tan leather handbag, it contained a small amount of cash, bank cards and reading glasses.
(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)


Kilkenny LEADER Partnership has launched a new program to help get Kilkenny’s long-term unemployed people back into the workforce.

The program called TÚS, which means ‘beginning’ in Irish, the program will provide 80 long-term unemployed people with a 12 month work placement in community and voluntary organizations across Kilkenny. The TÚS program will match each participant to a work placement best suited to their skills and areas of professional interest with the aim of helping participant’s upskill and gain work experience with the long-term goal of employment.

The program also includes training and programs will be personalized to best suit each participant. Courses provided by the TÚS programme include CV preparation; ICT and ECDL training; interview preparation and much more.

“This program is the first of its kind in the country, aiming to get 80 long-term unemployed people back into employment through training and work placements, tailored to best suit each participant. As part of our Employability Strategy, we are always working towards helping Kilkenny’s unemployed get back into the work force and this program is a continuation of this work,” said Declan Rice, CEO of Kilkenny LEADER Partnership.
(Source: Kilkenny People)


The Government ban on hiring public service staff, coupled with a rash of retirements and tight budgets is set to hit Laois County Council employees, and services provided by the council.

With a 30 per cent drop in staff numbers, workers are taking on additional jobs in order to maintain standards, County Manager Peter Carey told the Leinster Express.

“Staff numbers have been significantly reduced mainly due to funding constraints and the moratorium. Obviously this will impact on service levels and result in staff taking on additional duties.

“We are currently undergoing a re-structuring process in order to deal with the changes but Laois County Council is committed to maintaining a high standard of customer services in so far as possible,” he said.

The council are finalizing their 2012 budget, which will be smaller than last year.

“The draft has not been completed as yet and, accordingly, the overall reduction has not been finalized,” Mr Carey said.

Overall employee numbers have dropped from 500 to 367, according to Director of Services Anna Marie Delaney.

The reduction in public service pensions has prompted a number of council staff to opt for early retirement, further putting pressure on resources. The county manager said it was too early to be sure of how many staff will leave the service in 2012.

“However, the situation is being monitored and I will be in discussions with the Dept of the Environment, Community and Local Government to address any issues that arise,” Mr Carey said.
(Source: Leinster Express)


Budget 2012 proposals to shut two of North Leitrim’s garda stations, have been met with disgust at Leitrim County Council monthly meeting.

Just hours after the first day of cuts were announced by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, Councillors angrily denounced the closure of stations in Kiltyclogher and Drumkeerin as “simply unbelievable”. Stations in Co Roscommon have also been impacted with closures also impacting nearby stations in Cootehall and Tarmonbarry.

Cllr Mary Bohan acknowledged there had been talk before the Budget of the possible closure of the county’s so called one-man stations but she told fellow councillors she was completely flabbergasted by the Government’s decision to close Drumkeerin’s station, which acts as a base for a Sergeant and two other gardai.

“Drumkeerin has been refurbished in recent years and it is a garda barracks which includes a residence for gardai stationed there. This is a totally shocking announcement for the community,” she said.

“I understood it was the one-man garda stations that were being reviewed not the bigger garda stations. At a time when there is an increase in crime and a need for even greater garda resources this is a terrible decision,” she added calling on Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter, to reverse this decision.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)


Mungret residents are seeking an urgent meeting with Limerick County Council over what they maintain has been a 20-year record of neglect of their village.

Mungret Community Alert, a group formed two months ago, is highlighting traffic dangers, flooding, a lack of footpaths, poor lighting and other issues.

And the local group is also looking for assurances that the upgrade of sewerage and foul water scheme - for which over €2 million was allocated by John Gormley last year - will go ahead. Over 90 people attended the inaugural meeting of Mungret Community Alert a few weeks ago.

Nigel Mercier, chairman, said residents had looked on enviously at the vast resources invested by the County Council in neighboring Raheen over the years.

“We had been told during the boom that a comprehensive local area plan was in place for Mungret and while that looked very good it was contingent on money from private builders,” Mr Mercier said, explaining that infrastructural deficits in the village were meant to have been paid for through development levies applied as a condition of planning permission.

“Now that is obviously not going to be done until we have the next boom, if we ever have one. A lot of work has been done in Dooradoyle and Raheen but nothing has been done in Mungret for 20 years,” he said.

Over €2 million was allocated by the Department of the Environment to upgrade the sewerage system in Mungret, where most people rely on septic tanks.
(Source: Limerick Leader)


With a 25 percent increase in the rise of copper thefts in Co Longford over the past 12 months and a noted increase in the stealing of livestock and machinery from farms, gardaí in Longford have issued a warning this week for people to exercise extra vigilance on their properties, to report any “suspicious activity” to gardaí and to ensure that locks on gates, sheds, homes and commercial buildings are secure at all times.

Superintendent Denis Shields, Longford Garda Station, said that the rise in rural thefts was widespread across the county and he advised members of the public to avoid business dealings with people “whom they did not know” as there is currently a scam in operation which encourages deposit paying for goods or services and when the money is handed over the dealer subsequently “disappears”.

Outlining the rise in rural crime, Supt Shields said suspicious activity should be reported to gardaí immediately. CCTV has also assisted gardaí with their inquires over the past number of months, so if it is possible to install CCTV, then it should be installed.”
(Source: Longford Leader)


Dundalk Town Council have won the Sustainable Environment award at the recent Chambers Ireland Excellance in Local Government Awards.

Sponsored by The European Recycling Platform Dundalk Town Council were joint winners for their work through the Navvy Bank Biodiversity and Awareness Project.

The Navvy Bank Biodiversity and Awareness Project seeks to augment, support and promote the Navvy Bank Walk as an interactive learning experience on Dundalk Bay and the Castletown River Estuary, while supporting wildlife in the vicinity.
(Source: Dundalk Democrat)


A trip to a Christmas disco has to tragedy after a mother and her young daughter were killed and three others injured in a horror crash.

Dedicated mum Sandra Herbert (40) and her daughter Rachel (14) were killed when their car left the road and overturned into a stream at the weekend around 9pm.

Three other girls, believed to be pals of Rachel's, were also injured in the crash.

Sandra Herbert was dropping Rachel and her young pals to a disco in Ardmore Community Centre when her car, an 03 Toyota Avensis, crashed off the road at Rathbaun in the townland of Cloghans, Ballina, Co Mayo.

No other vehicle was involved in the crash. Five people have now died on Irish roads in the last 48 hours.

Sandra and Rachel from Knockmore, Ballina, were traveling in the front of the car which ended up on its roof in a stream after the crash.

Speaking to the Herald Sandra's devastated husband James said there was "a touch of frost" at the time, but said he didn't know if it was a factor.

"They were driving to a disco in Ardmore Community Centre around 20 minutes away when the car left the road," he told the Herald.

Sandra was married to James and the couple have two sons, Daryl and Ryan.

Some of the young passengers in the back were able to free themselves from the wreckage of the car and raise the alarm.
(Source: Evening Herald)


The IDA came under fire at a meeting of Meath County Council last week, following a reported decision by the US global e-commerce company company, PayPal, not to locate in Navan.

One councillor said the PayPal decision raised serious questions about the IDA's commitment to Meath and Navan, in particular.

"Had PayPal come to Navan and created those 1,000 jobs in the vacant Quinn building, it would have been the biggest economic injection in this county since the opening of Tara Mines," said Fianna Fail councilor Shane Cassells. The company is now said to be looking at Dundalk or Limerick for a new base.

"Instead, they have passed us by - and passed us by they have. What are our TDs - especially the two located in this town who spoke so eloquently of job creation last February - doing? Did they even know PayPal was looking at Navan as a base to create 1,000 jobs?" he said.

It was reported in national media last week that PayPal had considered locating in the former Quinn building at Johnstown but had rejected it because of what was termed the absence of a large skilled workforce and Navan's proximity to Blanchardstown, where its parent company, eBay, already employs 1,600 people.

However, a spokesperson for PayPal said the company "does not comment on rumor or speculation".
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)


A couple with five children who had an order for possession granted against them last week were offered €225,000 for their home, which was valued at almost €700,000 in 2007.

The Co Monaghan couple had remortgaged their home with Stepstone Mortgage Funding Ltd four years ago when difficulties with the husband’s business meant they needed extra funds.

They borrowed €675,000, cleared the business debts and met their mortgage payments until July 2008 when the husband’s work “dried up completely”, according to the couple’s affidavit to the court.

An income and expenditure form for the couple, also filed in court, showed they had a joint income of €3,127 a month, to support themselves and their five school-going children and to meet the €3,882 monthly mortgage payments.

The income included unemployment benefit and disability allowance for the wife, who was unable to work after suffering from cancer.

“We have very little disposable income to live on,” the couple said.

They had attempted to sell the property, which was on two acres of land, but had only one genuine offer of €225,000. They had also offered to make payments of €400 a month to the lender, but this was rejected.

Counsel for the lender said they had arrears of almost €165,000 on their mortgage and the debt now owed was €840,000.
(Source: Irish Times)


A man in his 20s has died in hospital following an accident on the N52 on the Birr side of Kilcormac on Friday morning.

The accident occurred approximately two kilometres outside the town at 5.35am and conditions were reportedly slippery at the time.

A second man was brought to Tullamore Hospital where he was treated for his injuries.

The road remained closed throughout the day as Gardai carried out an examination of the scene with traffic diverted via Rath.
(Source: Offaly Express)


A 20-year old man who stole items from ladies' handbags in a nightclub had his case adjourned at Sligo District Court by Judge Kevin Kilrane who said he wanted more information on the defendant in order to "know what I'm dealing with."

Before the court was Shane Farrell, 8 Rockwood Court, Sligo who admitted four counts of theft at Pure Nightclub, Teeling Street on September 27th last.

Inspector Donal Sweeney said Gardai received a call from the nightclub at 1.50 a.m. stating that the defendant was going through the ladies handbags in the smoking area. He had taken three items from three different bags.

The defendant told the court he hadn't been drinking for several months before that night. His parents were aware of the matter but were not in court.
(Source: The Sligo Champion)


North Tipperary County Councillor John Hogan has called for action to be taken on the vacant and derelict Munster Hotel in Thurles which, he says, is dragging down the tone of the Cathedral Town.

The newest hotel in the area has been closed down for a number of years now and has been the subject of much local debate with the basement area having been under some eight feet of water at one stage, making it an environmental hazard of the worst kind. Indeed, there have also been reports of vermin in the building.

Located on Cathedral Street, right opposite the magnificent Cathedral of the Assumption, the Munster Hotel, built at enormous expense during the height of the Celtic Tiger has been discussed time and time again at Thurles Town Council level with members becoming increasingly frustrated that the building is having a very negative impact on the locality. It also gives a very bad impression of the town, especially to those who may be visiting the impressive Cathedral for weddings, funerals or other religious services, they claim.
(Source: Tipperary Star)


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Tyrone GAA secretary Dominic McCaughey has revealed that funding has been secured to complete the county's new gaelic games headquarters in Garvaghey.

The Tyrone board have been waging a campaign to secure government funding for the £6.7m project but those efforts have so far proved unsuccessful.

In his annual report, McCaughey says this is "unfair and unreasonable".

However, he adds that the county has all the "necessary finances in place" to complete the Garvaghey project.
(Source: BBC News)


Just five job announcements were made for Waterford over the three-year period from 2008 to 2011 by the IDA. It also emerged in a report ordered by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation that in 2008 just 39% of graduates, in the county, were able to secure work in the county, according to the Employment Action Plan for the South East which was released last Friday.

The plan, ordered following the decision by Talk Talk to move its call centre from the city with a loss of 575 jobs details the struggle that Waterford and the whole South East Region is currently facing, with unemployment at a staggering 18.2% compared with the national average of 14.5%.

While no new jobs announcement came with the report, the plan revealed that the IDA would assign a “clear priority” to the region with a view to attracting additional investment to the area particularly in sectors like Life Sciences, Financial Services and new areas like Clean Tech.
(Source: Waterford News &Star)


The controversial closure of the westbound carriageway on the M6 motorway between Athlone and Ballinasloe, which was due to start on Monday, has now been postponed until the spring.

Local traders had strongly criticized the pre-Christmas closure of the road to facilitate drainage improvements on its surface.

And it's understood that, following discussions between Roscommon County Council and the National Roads Authority, it has now been agreed to delay the work until after the winter.

The posponment was welcomed by Athlone councillor Kevin 'Boxer' Moran.

"I think this is wonderful news for traders throughout Athlone because the closure would have had a huge impact, particularly in the lead up to Christmas," said Cllr Moran.

"This work still needs to be done but the money to do it has not been lost and it will now take place in the spring."
(Source: Westmeath Independent)


A Dublin woman who told a judge she had to leave the scene of an accident because of "a pressing engagement", has been ordered to pay €22,500 in personal injury damages and €30,000 in legal costs.

Catherine O'Halloran said in the Circuit Civil Court that her Lexus jeep had "nudged" the bumper of a car at a round-about in Ferns, Co Wexford, in May 2009 but had "obviously not caused any damage."

O'Halloran, of Springmount, Ferndale, Shankill, Co Dublin, old Circuit Court President, said she had exchanged insurance details, but left before gardai arrived.

The driver and two passengers were awarded €7,500 each plus legal costs.
(Source: The Irish Independent)


A teenager who went missing from Ashford for over a week has been found safe and well.

On Tuesday (November 29) the Gardai issued an appeal seeking assistance from the public in the search for missing 16-year-old Sean Lennon. He had last been seen wearing a grey hooded top, jeans and white runners on Tuesday November 22.

Gardai believed he may have been located in Dublin city centre as it's an area he was known to frequent.

He was found in Dublin later in the evening of November 29 and the HSE is now caring for him.
(Source: The Wicklow People)


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