A vicious racist attack on a group of foreign nationals in Antrim town center has been branded an “absolute disgrace” by Mayor Paul Michael.

Shortly after 2 am last Sunday (March 25) three Polish men were set upon by “a group of locals” on High Street.

“There was no aggression from our side, we were going home from the pub. It was just because we were speaking Polish," one of the men told the Antrim Guardian.
(Source: Antrim Guardian)


A vandal intent on sucking the air out of Portadown - or at least from its motorists’ tyres - has been on the rampage in the Co Armagh town.

The tyres of at least 34 vehicles have been slashed in recent months with a spate of 18 cars being targeted in recent days following an earlier one last November when the tyres of 16 cars were attacked.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


A petrified woman was treated for injuries after she was attacked on the Barrow Track by a knife-wielding thug.

The 21-year-old woman from Carlow town was approached by a lone man early Friday evening, March 23, as she walked down the track.

Gardaí are now on the hunt for the attacker who, armed with a knife, brutally set upon his innocent victim.

“He grabbed her and demanded money and her phone, but she had no property to give him,” revealed Sgt John Foley of Carlow Garda Station.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


Outraged residents of a dangerously unfinished estate in Ballyjamesduff cannot understand why they are liable for the household charge, with one resident saying he would rather go to jail than pay up.

The Woodland estate off the Virginia Road, at Kilyfinla, had originally planning permission for 72 houses but only 41 were ever completed and around ten of those now stand empty.

Owner-occupiers recently met with their local representative last weekend to "seek redress" over paying what they believe is an "unfair" tax.
(Source: The Anglo Celt)


Businesses in Clare are set to lose more than €2 million ($2.6m) in the next three years if a replacement organizer is not found for the Etape Hibernia cycle event, which was cancelled last week.

The Sky Ride Etape Hibernia, Ireland’s first closed-road mass-participation cycle event, was held in Clare in August 2010. It was held again last year, with further races due to take place this summer, in August 2013 and in August 2014. Over the last two years, it brought more than 3,000 participants and thousands more supporters to the area, as well as generating €2 million for the local economy.

However, IMG Challenger World last week pulled out of organizing the 84-mile event for the remainder of its projected five years, saying losses made continuing the event “unsustainable”.
(Source: The Clare Champion)


Vita Cortex workers have accepted an invitation from the Director of Concilliation Services at the Labour Relations Commission. This is the third time that the LRC has intervened in the dispute over redundancy payments between the workers and their former employer Jack Ronan. Kevin Foley issued the letter to see if the long running dispute can be resolved.
Source: (Cork Independent)


A self-employed mechanic is to stand trial for causing the death of a woman by dangerous driving.
Laurence Michael Conaghan, of Lisfannon Park, is charged with causing the death of Sarah Patricia Duffy on March 12, last year.

The fatal car accident occurred at a pedestrian crossing at Lecky Road flyover as the deceased walked home from Mass.
(Source: Derry Journal)


Two brothers from Ballyshannon were handed two year sentences last week for attacking a 37-year-old man.

Daniel Devanney (26) and Joseph Devanney (23) of St Benildus Avenue appeared before Donegal Circuit Court for sentencing. They both pleaded guilty to a Section 3 assault causing harm on Richard Matthews (37) of Ballyshannon on December 28, 2010.

The court heard that the injured party went to a chipper on Castle Street at around 1.20 am. He saw men, one of whom he knew, sitting on the window. He made a comment about the chipper being closed and a row ensued.

Mr Matthews told gardaí (police) in his statement: “At least two of them tore into me, throwing punches at me”.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)


Thousands of families have used the Shimna Valley respite facility in Newcastle, Co Down since it opened 16 years ago.

Operated by the Northern Ireland Children's Cancer Fund, it offers a relaxing 'home from home' experience for the whole family during or after completion a child's cancer treatment.

At present, Shimna Valley accommodates up to four families at a time - but in order to meet demand it’s about to get bigger and better, helping more people than ever before.

It's set to be replaced with a new therapeutic and respite facility - double the size of the existing building - which will take 18 months to complete.

Over half of the £3million ($5.7m) cost has been raised so far and it's hoped work will start in the autumn.
(Source: UTV News)


Police in Dublin are examining if the savage murder a 60-year-old man was ordered by someone who had a deep personal grudge against him.

Officers have renewed their appeal about the violent murder of Michael Gallagher, who was stabbed to death at his home in Tymonville Road, Tallaght, shortly after 10 pm on January 18, 2007.

His daughter Orla said: "That your own flesh and blood could be killed the way he was killed. It's just horrific, you know, to think of that every day, of somebody being killed like that."

Investigations into the murder are very much active and a number of lines are enquiry are being pursued.
(Source: The Evening Herald)


A purpose-built facility in County Fermanagh for people with dementia is currently half empty.

Gnangara in Enniskillen opened in January 2011. It offers 15 supported-living cottages but only two of those are occupied. It also has 15 rooms but two are empty.

The situation was revealed by the investigative news website the detail.

Twenty thousand people in NI are living with dementia and that figure is expected to rise. (Source: UTV News)


Two Galway city suburbs ,each with a population equivalent to that of some of the major towns around the county , are to lose their community Gardaí (police).

The community Gardaí based in Mervue and in Ballinfoile are to be withdrawn at the end of this month, with their areas of responsibility to be covered by community Gardaí in adjoining areas.

The decision has led to local uproar, and an impassioned plea has been made to Garda chiefs in Galway to have it reversed.

The withdrawal of the local Garda from Mervue,  who also covered areas like Wellpark and Ballybane, and Ballinfoile (which includes the huge estates like Tirellan Heights and Castlelawn Heights) leaves both of these areas in a vulnerable position, according to Independent Galway City East Councillor Declan McDonnell.
(Source: GalwayBay Fm)


A rundown presbytery in the tiny village of Kilgarvan, Co Kerry and about 15 acres of grazing has been sold by the church for more than the asking price to a person other than the GAA.

The announcement was made at the 6.30 pm Mass in Kilgarvan on Saturday last by parish priest Fr Donal O’Neill who acknowledged that some people would be disappointed.

The local GAA had asked the Catholic Church to allow them to buy enough of the land to allow them redevelop its adjoining pitch and create a second one. Failing that it offered €205,000 – but this was below the asking price of €230,000. The property has been sold for €258,000, it has been announced.
(Source: Irish Times)


A fraudster who dressed up as a priest and proceeded to prey on local residents, telling them that he was collecting funds for the parish, was finally picked up by the garda (police) after visiting hundreds of homes in the Newbridge area.

The man, who obtained cash from a large number of people in various housing areas, was in the locality Tuesday and Thursday last  but may also have been around on earlier dates.  According to local garda sergeant Seamus Rothwell, it appears the man also visited some homes in the Kilcullen area.

Dressed as a priest, Rothwell noted that the man was carrying “some kind of headed paper” which bore the name of St Conleth's parish and also produced what he claimed was “some type of Papal certificate” when trying to persuade people to hand over their cash.
(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)


A Kilkenny father of four has been sentenced to five years in prison for bringing a stolen shotgun to Waterford, as part of an ongoing Traveller feud in the city.

Mark O’ Grady (38), from Hebron Park in Kilkenny City, had pleaded not guilty to possession of the stolen Bereta sawn-off shotgun in Waterford on August 16, 2008. He was found guilty of the offence after a trial and was given a five-year prison sentence with the final two years suspended.
(Source: Kilkenny People)


Brave baby Ellen Barron McGee flew out to the Domincan Republic on Wednesday, March 28 to receive the first round of stem cell treatment which will hopefully save her life.

Ellen and her parents Tom Barron and Lisa McGee, who live in Esker Hills in Portlaoise are making the long journey for the life saving treatment three weeks early thanks to a generous anonymous donation of €30,000 ($40,000).

“It’s quiet unbelievable, it’s mind-blowing for somebody to do this. We’ve no phone number or e-mail address even to send him a thank you letter, but how would you even thank someone who has done that. He just wanted to make sure that Ellen was on the plane,” Ellen’s dad, Tom said.

Ellen, who suffers from an extremely rare mintochondrial disorder, has touched the hearts of people up and down the country and due to generous donations in Laois, Tom’s home town in Dublin and Lisa’s family in Dundalk, the family have raised enough money for the first round of stem cell treatment.
(Source: Leinster Express)


It was certainly welcome news to hear on Wednesday last that 250 of the 650 jobs at Bank of America’s headquarters in Carrick-on-Shannon were saved “for the foreseeable future”, however there are serious concerns over the long-term future of the vast majority of jobs in the facility.

Shortly before lunch on March 21, Apollo Global Management made the announcement that it was officially beginning the process of acquiring the Irish loan book of Bank of America/MBNA. The loan books service some 200,000 customers in Ireland..
(Source: Leitrim Observer)


The lucky winner of nearly €500,000 ($620,000) in the EuroMillions Lottery has yet to come forward to claim their winnings.

The lucky €3 Quick Pick ticket was sold in Gleeson’s Spar on Henry Street, with the winner set to profit to the tune of €468,877 from last Tuesday week’s draw.

However, a spokesperson for the National Lottery in Dublin confirmed to the Limerick Leader that the ticket remains unclaimed.

“It is still unclaimed, which is very unusual because it is a substantial prize,” said a Lotto spokesperson.
(Source: Limerick Leader)


The state-of-the-art new fire station was officially opened in Edgeworthstown last week by Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan in front of a large crowd of local people and elected representatives

Declan Kilcline, Chief Fire Officer, said the new fire station with its modern fire appliances will help secure a continued commitment by the Fire Service to the community of Edgeworthstown and its neighbouring parishes both in Longford and Westmeath.
(Source: Longford Leader)


Shocked employees at the Vodafone Ireland call center in Dundalk are still being kept in the dark over their futures following the company’s announcement to close the center within the next six months and outsource jobs to a new provider in Newry.

Staff at the centre on the Ramparts Road were informed of the closure last Thursday afternoon at a brief meeting and a six week consultation process began last Monday.

However, there has been no clear indication of the full impact the announcement will have on the employees future working conditions at this stage.
(Source: Dundalk Democrat)

Former Mayo TD and EU Commissioner, Padraig Flynn, has resigned from the Fianna Fáil party following the release of the Mahon Tribunal report which found he “wrongly and corruptly” sought a IR£50,000 donation from developer Tom Gilmartin.
Fianna Fáil headquarters confirmed  that they received a letter of resignation submitted by Flynn just a few days before he was faced expulsion from the party.
(Source: The Mayo News)


The death of one of the county's most prominent businessmen, Phonsie McEntagart, Navan, in a road collision in his native Dunshaughlin last Friday week, was the cause of widespread shock and sadness, Fr Stephen Kelly, CC, Navan, told mourners in the town's St Mary's Church last Monday morning.

The collision involving McEntagart's vehicle and a second car took place at the entrance to the Dunshaughlin Industrial Park on Friday afternoon, March 23 at around 12.20 pm. McEntagart was subsequently pronounced dead at Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)


The Special Criminal Court has ordered the forfeiture of €20,000 ($27,000) offered as an independent surety for the bail of a man charged with IRA membership and firearms offences.

Eamon Lennon (35), Inniskeen, Co Monaghan, was charged with the possession of a firearm and membership of an unlawful organization on August 8th, 2010. His bail conditions forbid him to leave the jurisdiction but he was arrested in Northern Ireland and failed to appear before a scheduled court sitting in Dublin.
(Source: Irish Times)


A District Court judge gave Garda (police) ten minutes last Monday to shut down a ‘shebeen’ and threatened to make a report to the Garda Ombudsman if it wasn’t done immediately.

At Edenderry District Court Judge John Coughlan said it was an absolute disgrace that The Long Bar, Edenderry had been trading without a license and continued to trade while its owner stood before him.
(Source: Offaly Express)


On the back of a mild winter damage to vehicles in Ireland as a result of potholes is down on last year according to the results of an AA Membership poll of over 20,000 people.

During the AA’s online poll conducted at the end of January just gone 11 per cent of respondents said that they have sustained damage to their vehicle since the start of the year having hit a pothole. This is compared to a figure of 16 per cent during the same period last year the AA reports.

Last year counties Wexford and Roscommon appeared to be worst afflicted with 23 per cent of respondents from each county saying their car had necessitated repairs as a result of a pothole.
(Source: HGV Ireland)


Tuesday night parties where up to 200 students descend on houses are causing havoc in northside housing estates and increased Garda (police) patrols are now monitoring these areas after disturbances at the latest gathering.

Gardai say there will be an increased presence in Ballinode after what has been described as late-night "lawlessness" during these alcohol-fuelled parties. In one case more than 200 people, most of them students, congregated at a house in the Glencarrig Estate last week where they proceeded to have an all-night party much to the annoyance of neighbors. A wheelie-bin was set on fire during the revelry.
(Source: The Sligo Champion)


Three second year students of Our Lady’s Secondary School in Templemore were “propositioned” by a grown man while on their lunch break in the middle of Templemore, heard a meeting of the local Joint Policing Committee (JPC).

The JPC brings together Gardai (police), town councilors, and community representatives regarding crime in the locality. On Monday evening last, community representative Mary Quinlan told councilors and Garda DJ O’Dwyer that three local girls had told her they were “propositioned” with money by a man outside the local Spar shop. “They were scared. He threw money on the ground and encouraged them with money.”
(Source: Tipperary Star)


One hundred and sixty four jobs are being created in Cookstown.

Vion Food UK is investing £11.5m ($21m) in the company's plant in the County Tyrone town. Invest Northern Ireland have invested almost £1m.

The money will go towards installing new equipment and improved technology at the facility, which is the largest pig processing plant on the island of Ireland.

The Cookstown plant currently employs more than 700 people and produces pork, sausages, bacon and cooked meats.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


Joggers and walkers who are hitting the streets for their exercise have been left annoyed with the amount of dog fouling on the roads according to Cllr Gary Wyse, who said the footpaths have become like an obstacle course.

Cllr Wyse has called for action and said people must be named and shamed if they fail to scoop up that poop, leaving the public open to health risks.
(Source: Waterford News & Star)


Some 151 additional troops arrived at Custume Barracks in Athlone  last Wednesday bringing the strength of the barracks to 911, following the closure of Dún Uí Neill Barracks in Cavan and Columb Barracks in Mullingar.

A total of 126 troops from the 4th Field Artillery Regiment (FAR), who had previously been based in Mullingar, arrived at Custume Barracks.
(Source: Westmeath Independent)


Cigeratte smugglers are undercutting respectable shop prices by more than 50 per cent, traders were told at a meeting in Enniscorthy on Monday night.

More than 20 shop proprietors from around the district attended the meeting called by 'Retailers Against Smuggling(RAS) at the Riverside Park hotel.

They called for higher fines and greater enforcement of the laws against the illicit tobacco sellers operating door to door and out of vans.
(Source: Wexford People)


A father and daughter have been reunited 38 years after she was snatched out of his care.

Christy Cox and Wendy Parle (christened Suzanne by Christy) spent close to four decades separated from one another after a priest called to the Cox family home in 1973 and forcibly removed a three-month-old Wendy in order to put her up for adoption.

The pair finally managed to track one another down with the help of the website and now Christy looks forward to walking his long-lost daughter down the aisle during the summer.
They also only live a short distance apart from one another with Christy setting up home in Dunlavin and Wendy residing in Rathdrum.
(Source: The Wicklow People)

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