Local residents looked on in horror as eight animals were killed when a cargo of 100 pigs overturned causing carnage in Cullybackey.

The distressing scenes unfolded on a recent Friday morning after the lorry carrying the pigs hit an electrical pole and flipped over on to its side on the Main Street.

Some of the pigs died instantly while others had to be destroyed after getting trapped beneath of the vehicle. Others scattered around neighboring gardens and were eventually rounded up.

Fortunately the incident happened at half-term, otherwise many children are likely to have witnessed the scenes.

Local resident Maureen Blaney said: “My friend said there was a terrible mess in the Main Street, and I felt that sorry for the wee pigs, if I thought they were going to be slaughtered, I could of brought one up home on a wee chain."

(Source: Ballymena Guardian)


Residents in Armagh are being urged to put a spring in their step and avail of various initiatives that have been organized during March by Armagh City and District Council to improve health.

As part of a new project, everyone living in the district is being offered an exciting opportunity to get involved in a groundbreaking healthy living initiative called “Give it a Go!”

The aim is to encourage everyone living in the area to get active, eat well and ultimately feel good at every age.

Among the activities planned are supermarket tours to help understand food labels, walks and kids' hip-hop classes, as well as sessions on how to grow your own salad bowl.

All of these specially organized activities are free and will take place throughout the area.

Gerry Bleakney, head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement with the PHA in the Southern Area, said, “Around three in five adults in Northern Ireland weigh more than is good for their health.”

(Source: Ulster Gazette)


A shocking statement from Gardaí in the Carlow/Kilkenny division revealed that they receive almost one call a day in relation to domestic violence, with alcohol believed to be a big factor in most cases.

Supt. Mick Nevin told a public meeting of the Kilkenny Joint Policing Committee that 311 reports of domestic violence had been received last year. Not all calls resulted in prosecution, but Nevin was quick to point out that each one represented a person who felt the need to contact Garda in relation to an incident.

Various women's refuges in the area, such as Carlow Women's Aid and The Amber Women's refuge in Kilkenny have also experienced a large demand for their services.

A spokesperson for the Amber Refuge said that the refuge is full a lot of the time, but a woman in need will never be turned away and through the Safe Ireland Network, they will find them a bed in a refuge somewhere.

(Source: Carlow People)


GAA clubs in west Cavan have been ravaged by emigration, with four unlikely to field a second team this season, “The Anglo-Celt” can reveal.

Shannon Gaels, Kildallan, Templeport and Corlough will all be confined to one team, having lost a huge number of players to emigration.

Most of those leaving are in the 18-25 year old bracket, with Australia the most common destination.
"The team sheet has got very miserable looking, we're not able to field two teams this year," stated Shannon Gaels chairman John Paul Feeley.

(Source: The Anglo-Celt)


Herding with a modern twist is being applied in North Clare, with a farmer able to check his herd from anywhere in the world.

No more will Albert Moylan from Tubber have to rely on a telephone call or a farm-check by a neighbor as he can now be notified by text if there’s a problem back home. He can then log on to his account to check on the animals.

Distance is no problem due to the ground-breaking technology developed by Albert, a small farmer and software engineer from Cloonselherne, Tubber.

The system allows a farmer to be notified via text message of physiological events of each cow in the herd, such as heat detection, calving or mastitis among other problems. It is already attracting global attention.

(Source: The Clare Champion)


The ISPCA in North Cork has launched an investigation after “The Corkman” handed them over disgusting photos of dogs, at what could be a puppy farm, savaging the carcass of a dead animal.
The photos, which are believed to have been taken in recent weeks in the North Cork area, were given to the newspaper by a horrified member of the public.

The first picture clearly shows the carcass of a sheep, which appears burned down one side, that had been left in a pen with the dogs. The second picture shows two dogs, believed to be Bernese Mountain puppies, gorging off the remains of what appears to be the same sheep.

Lisa O'Donovan, ISPCA regional inspector, said that she was "absolutely disgusted" when she saw the photographs.

(Source: The Corkman)


The Catholic Church in Derry has proposed a radical shake up of post-primary education in the city which could signal the end of academic selection, single sex schools, and the creation of two new sixth-form colleges.

The ambitious proposals are contained in a new document, “Together Towards Tomorrow,” written by Diocesan Administrator Monsignor Eamon Martin.

Martin is proposing a “family” of Catholic post-primary schools across the city working together in a new partnership towards a phased transition from academic selection. The proposals also include a “substantive change” to the shape of post-16 education in the city with the possible establishment of one or two new sixth form colleges catering for 1,800 students.

The initiative is designed to improve education provision, tackle disadvantage, and strengthen links between schools.

(Source: Derry Journal)


One of Ireland’s top discount retailers, Lidl, recently gave a selection of its loyal and lucky Facebook followers the chance to shop for free in any of the chain’s large number of stores as part of a nationwide online competition.

Last month the discounter celebrated the milestone of becoming the first Irish supermarket to reach 100,000 Facebook fans and lucky Maeve Thomas from Ballyshannon was one of the winners selected who got the chance to load up her trolley in the one-minute Supermarket Sweep which took place at the Lidl Bundoran store.

Whether it be food and treats, alcohol, home essentials or DIY goods, the lucky winner had the chance to pick up hundreds of euro worth of top quality shopping without spending a single cent. Maeve happily took off for the non-food aisle where she picked up some of the latest quality specials on offer at Lidl.

(Source: Donegal Democrat)


Two businesses at the heart of Newry have been helping fund an ambulance in Mangadu, India, for the Sisters of Saint Ann of Providence who work from their convent near Chennai in Tamil Nadu.

Newry Credit Union supplied the loan in November 2010 to Newry broadcaster Rowan Hand to bring the ambulance to the people.

This week the special collection tubes located at the Good Food Shop and at the Meat Boutique were brought just across the road, and further money was deposited on account in the Credit Union against the loan.

Rowan said he took the loan out in complete confidence that it would be repaid through the kindness of the Newry people.

(Source: Newry Democrat)


Ever wondered where the phrase a “dead ringer” comes from, why we wear black to a funeral or who was the first person to be killed in the Easter Rising?

A new book titled “Dead Interesting” by author, historian and proud Northsider Shane MacThomais has all the answers.

The fascinating book was launched by Senator David Norris in Glasnevin Cemetery Museum where Shane has worked as historian and tour guide since 1998.

Shane’s latest work features quirky and easy to digest facts about the origins of our burial traditions, phrases and a whole host of interesting stories about the ordinary and well-known figures buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

The 48 chapters of “Dead Interesting” is the culmination of 18 months of painstaking work trawling through the archives of Glasnevin Cemetery, old newspapers and museums both in Ireland and abroad.

(Source: Dublin People)


Criminals have stooped to a new low -- stealing donated clothes from the Salvation Army.

The police in Enniskillen say that the thieves used hydraulic rams, of the type seen in real life police raids on suspected drug dens, to break open the metal skips where members of the public drop off unwanted clothes.

The first incident occurred at the Salvation Army’s clothes bank at Dunnes Stores carpark.
Police believe that, in this case, an hydraulic ram was used to open the shute (the mouth of the skip).
It is not known how much clothing was actually taken. However, police estimate the damage to the skip to be up to £240.

(Source: Fermanagh Herald)


Protesters at the Occupy Galway camp say they have no intention of leaving Eyre Square as they begin their 130th day of demonstrating against austerity cutbacks and the bailout of the bankers.

Some members of Galway City Council might prefer if they would vanish into thin air, but the committed group of activists who have camped out for over 18 weeks said they are not going anywhere.

The activists have had little or no contact with city officials since they began their protest in October, and only learned that the Council intends to take legal action in order to move them on through local media reports last week.

The protesters said that Gardai on the beat have been “really brilliant” since they set up the encampment and, apart from the odd exception, even the late night drunks have been supportive of Occupy Galway.

(Source: Connacht Sentinel)


A 20-year-old Firies man involved in the "scandalous, wanton destruction" of a Killorglin graveyard last May, has agreed to pay compensation totaling ****3,500 to relatives of the deceased whose graves were damaged.

Aaron O'Loughlin appeared before Killorglin District Court to face a charge of criminal damage at Dromavalla Cemetery on May 5. The court heard how three people were involved in the incident as O'Loughlin had been accompanied by two minors, both born in 1995, and he made a full admission following his arrest.

(Source: The Kerryman)


A three year rebranding program aimed to change the negative perceptions of Athy to positive, was presented to members of Athy Town Council at their February meeting.

The councilors heard that the Brand Athy project, which began in October 2009 and runs until September 2012, is 75% funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), while Kildare County Council funds the remainder. Athy is one of four towns in Ireland and Wales availing of the project along with Rhyl, Holyhead and Dún Laoghaire.

The presentation on the project was delivered by Brand Athy coordinator Patricia Berry, who explained why Athy was chosen for the project.

“The four towns chosen all had one thing in common and that was an issue of perception. There are five different groups whose perception of a town is important and these are local residents, local businesses, the tourism and hospitality sector and external opinion formers. The project aims to develop and test a method of place rebranding.”
(Source: Kildare Nationalist)


A 50-member marching band from the University of Notre Dame, complete with cheerleaders, is set to participate in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Kilkenny city.

The group representing the Indiana university known as “The Fighting Irish” will give a public performance on the Parade Plaza on March 16.

With 50 band members, plus cheerleaders, managers and team, the blue-and-gold clad performers are sure to put on a show the city won’t soon forget.

A presentation will be made to them by Mayor David Fitzgerald and St. Patrick’s Day festival committee chairman Malcolm Noonan, and the group will then travel to Dublin to perform on “The Late Late Show” that night.

(Source: Kilkenny People)


The home of an elderly man was broken into for the second time in recent weeks.

The home in Maganey was broken into several weeks ago and a quantity of old coins were among the items taken.

The 83-year-old homeowner was understood to be away from home when raiders broke in again some time between last Saturday night and Sunday morning.

The front door was smashed in half as the burglars gained entry. It’s not clear whether anything was taken.

(Source: Laois Nationalist)


There were two big wins for Leitrim at the Weddings Online Awards held on February 20.

The Landmark Hotel walked away with Connaught Wedding Venue of the Year and Niall Megahey’s Complete Weddings from Ballinamore took home the Wedding Videographer of the year.

The third annual awards were held in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dublin and the glitterati of the Irish wedding industry attended. Over 17,000 brides and grooms nationwide voted for their Top 100 Wedding Suppliers and Top 50 Venues, who were then judged by an expert panel based on quality of work and a real wedding experience.

(Source: Leitrim Observer)


Local rockers the Cranberries are set for a massive outdoor home-town show in Thomond Park in July.
The band is being lined up to play in the stadium along with another high profile international act, the “Limerick Leader” has learned.

Stadium boss John Cantwell confirmed that Thomond Park management have met with the Cranberries and “are working hard to make sure that they play here this year.”

(Source: Limerick Leader)


The south Longford village of Abbeyshrule is to represent Ireland in a major environmental competition for towns and villages across Europe.

Details of the multi-Tidy Towns award-winning village’s inclusion in the 2012 Entente Florale Competition was disclosed at a meeting of Longford County Council.

Director of Services Frank Sheridan said the Department of Environment had chosen the Longford village from a long list of potential entrants.

Fronted by not for profit organization the European Association for Flowers and Landscape, the competition currently has 12 member countries on its books.

(Source: Longford Leader)


Drogheda is to get a new mental health hospital, with work to start on it before the end of this year.
It will be a 33-bed facility, and contracts are expected to be finalized on the project shortly.

Deputy Gerald Nash has been working with Minister of State Kathleen Lynch and Councilor Paul Bell to forward the facility without delay.

“I have been assured that the HSE expects contracts for the development of the substantial 33-bed unit on the HSE owned land at Crosslanes to be signed off in the next few weeks with work to commence well before the end of 2012,” Nash stated.

(Source: Drogheda Independent)


The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group confirmed the sighting of a humpback whale off the Achill coast.

The giant whale was spotted by a group of surfers off Keel Beach on February 11. They observed a large whale, 30- to 60-feet long, surface on at least four occasions. The whale was creating a lot of disturbance and then several of the surfers saw it clearly lift its tail fluke vertically out of the water, before diving.

The IWDG, which monitors the movement of whales and dolphins around the Irish coast, said that from conversations with the surfers, they believed that it was too large for a minke whale and were confident it was a humpback.

The humpback whale is regularly spotted off the south and south west coast but is rarely spotted this far north.

(Source: Mayo News)


A Navan newsagent targeted in a robbery for the second time in as many months has now closed its doors.

On a recent Wednesday morning, two raiders entered Lynch's shop at Flower Hill, threatened the owner, Michael Lynch, and stole the contents of the till, despite Lynch's best efforts to trap them in the shop.

The latest incident comes just two months after an attempted robbery at the newsagents where the brave shop-owner confronted the would-be raider, who then fled the scene empty-handed.

(Source: Meath Chronicle)


Ireland and Leinster rugby star Gordon D'arcy will marry model Aoife Cogan in what will be the sporting wedding of the year this July at Castle Leslie, Glaslough.

Castle Leslie boasts a magnificent 1,000 acre Monaghan estate, beside the picturesque cut-stone village of Glaslough, which has converted its Hunting Lodge into a luxury hotel with an organic spa and an equestrian center.

The castle is the jewel in the crown of one of the few remaining Irish castles still home to the original family, home to the Leslies for over 300 years. It is an enchanted place steeped in history yet gently refurbished to offer modern comforts and luxury. The castle is an oasis of calm with no television or telephones.

(Source: Monaghan Life)


Two lesbian or gay couples entered into civil partnerships in Offaly in 2011 according to gay and lesbian equality network GLEN, while a total of four couples signaled their intent to live in Offaly after entering into partnerships.

The figures for last year run from April 5, when same sex civil partnerships first became available, to year end and include 1,072 people in total.

GLEN Chair Kieran Rose said same sex civil partnerships are taking place every day across Ireland. "They are wonderful demonstrations of the love and commitment that lesbian and gay people have for each other, and of the support of their families, friends, neighbors and colleagues," he said.

(Source: Offaly Independent)


There were 477 cases of cancer diagnosed in Roscommon last year, the gathering at the launch of the Irish Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day 2012 heard.

The Irish Cancer Society and Dell are now asking Roscommon for help to reach this year’s Daffodil Day target set at ***3.5million to help fund free patient care services

At the launch of the 25th Daffodil Day, the Irish Cancer Society revealed how demand for its free patient care services increased significantly during 2011.

The Irish Cancer Society’s 25th Daffodil Day will take place across the country on Friday, March 23.

(Source: Roscommon Herald)


A Sligo-based chef will lead the Irish team competing at the Culinary Olympics in Germany which take place in October, 2012.

Alan Fitzmaurice, who is the heat chef at Source Sligo in John Street, was announced as the Irish Culinary Team Captain for 2012.

As well as leading his team to the Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany, he will also be taking them to La Parade de Chefs in London at the end of this month.

“The National Culinary Team has the same ethos as Source Sligo,” said Alan.  “The Team uses local source, organic where possible and Irish produce and we hope to showcase Irish Food as being world class through the competitions we take part in.”

(Source: Sligo Weekender)


The family and friends of a 25 year old Johnstown man are  in mourning following a fatal assault in Liberty Square, Thurles.

James Tynan, a well known and popular butcher, who worked in the family business, Tynan Meats, was left in a critical condition after an allegedly unprovoked assault resulted in him sustaining severe head injuries having fallen to the ground.

He was rushed to South Tipperary General Hospital where his family kept a bedside vigil until he passed away on Monday evening, as a result of his injuries. The night out socializing in Thurles turned to tragedy after the assault. It is believed that he was punched in the face by a man unknown to him and fell to the ground, suffering severe injuries.

(Source: Tipperary Star)


“I shouldn’t be scared but I am.” Those were the words of a 74-year-old man, who claims his privately rented home in Killen, just outside Castlederg, has been rat-infested for a month.

William Coulter, who has been living in the house in the Main Street area of the village for just under a year, claims he has been bitten on the hands and legs by the rodents.

Aided by a walking stick, which he uses since he suffered a stroke, Coulter said he has laid his house with rat poison in order to kill the rodents after repeated calls to his landlord to help sort the problem failed. There is also a burst water pipe from the bathroom leaking water into the kitchen.

Coulter said he has been "sleep deprived" since the problem began and can't eat in his own home.

(Source: Tyrone Constitution)


Tramore is set to get a tourism and industry boost as the plans for the National Surf Lifeguard Training Center on the lower Promenade were met with unanimous support by Waterford County Council.

The proposed building will have four areas with a wet zone, training area and lifeguard headquarters incorporating national facilities in the local Tramore area.

Fine Gael Councilor Ann Marie Power said that this would be a huge vote of confidence in Tramore and it would bring an economy boost with it.

(Source: Waterford News & Star)


Up to 300 people packed the Shamrock Lodge Hotel to protest against the controversial Household Charge.

A litany of angry contributions from locals served to underline popular anger with the charge.
The Say No to Household Tax campaign rolled into Athlone last week and if the large numbers who attended the public meeting are anything to go by, the government has a major battle on its hands as the momentum of opposition against the controversial charge grows.

(Source: Westmeath Examiner)


A young mother who drove in the wrong direction on a dual carriageway before crashing into another car killing herself and the other driver, a young Wexford student, had been drinking earlier in the night.
Mother-of-one Aoife Callanan, 25, of Coolroe Heights, Ballincollig, Cork, and John Joe Galvin, 17, from Wexford, died instantly in the head-on collision just after midnight on March 18, 2011, a double inquest has heard.

A post-mortem toxicology screening found Callanan had a level of alcohol in her blood that was almost two times the legal limit for driving, Cork County Coroner's Court heard. Her blood alcohol level was 157 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millitres of blood.

(Source: Wexford People)


A new TV series, “Vikings,” is expected to be filmed in Ardmore Studios and around Wicklow this summer.

The major 10-part series is to be produced by Morgan O’Sullivan (“The Tudors,” “Camelot”) and has been planned for the past two years.

The series will be about the arrival of the Norsemen in the 800s, and their ferocious leader Ragnar Lodbork.

(Source: Wicklow People)

News from around the 32 counties of Ireland