An Antrim woman has spoken of how the birth of her new baby girl has given her a ‘reason to live again’ following the death of her desperately ill daughter three years ago.

Paula Woods lost Billie-Jo at the tender age of eight months after the brave little girl had battled against all the odds when doctors warned her terrified mother that she had 'no chance of survival'.

She suffered from a condition called VACTERL which meant that many of her internal organs were missing or jumbled up and there were problems with some of her limbs.

Paula told the Antrim Guardian how three-month-old Angelica has helped to heal the gaping hole Billie-Jo's death left in her heart.

“No child is ever sent to you to replace one that you've lost," Paula explained.

“But I truly believe Billie-Jo has sent Angelica to give me a reason to carry on and to learn to live again."
(Source: Antrim Guardian)


Following months of extensive restoration work, Creggan Church of Ireland welcomed the return of its’ congregation on Sunday to a special Service of Re-dedication.

Dozens of parishioners joined worshippers from further afield and members of the local community in a special weekend of praise and thanksgiving as the historic Church re-opened its doors to showcase the completion of thousands of pounds worth of restoration work.


The three men who attempted to steal thousands of euro worth of jewelery from Bramleys Jewellers two weeks ago are believed to have flown into the country especially to carry out the crime.

The Lithuanian nationals had great plans to make their escape out of the country the day after the robbery but were thwarted by gardaí (police), who arrested them a short time after the incident.

It is believed the trio, who are all aged in their 20s, got away with $13,000 worth of jewels but were later caught by police.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


Three inmates have been recaptured after escaping from Loughan House open prison in Co Cavan last night.

Three inmates were recaptured after escaping from Loughan House open prison in Co. Cavan on Wednesday night last.

All three were detained Wednesday night by gardaí. The alarm was raised at 6.30 pm that evening.
It is understood dog handlers and a PSNI helicopter were used in the search operation.

Two of the men gave themselves up within two hours of the escape.

The third escapee was pursued on the northern side of the border, but was eventually arrested in the Republic by gardaí.
(Source: RTE News)


There were emotional scenes in Ballynacally on Tuesday as the three-year-old girl who was viciously attacked by a dog at the weekend returned home to her family.

Little Abi O’Donoghue suffered horrific injuries in the unprovoked attack by the Siberian Husky on Saturday with the toddler spending nearly two hours in the operating theatre and receiving 60 stitches.

But the little girl, whose dad described her as “tough as nails” has recovered well from the attack with doctors at University Hospital Galway releasing her on Tuesday morning.
(Source: The Clare Champion)


A Cork toddler suffering from a serious heart condition is currently on the waiting list for a life-saving heart transplant.

Ryan Hourihane Gregan, who will be three in June, underwent his first heart operation when he was just six weeks old. His mother, Charlotte Hourihane, says that at the moment they are playing a waiting game until Ryan’s next surgery.

“We’re not really sure when his next operation will be but it should be in the next six months. We get seven days notice before an operation so whenever he does have surgery, we never have that much time to prepare for it, we just have to go with it.”

Charlotte and her partner Darren Gregan live together in Crosshaven and it was at a 24 week pregnancy scan where they were told that Ryan may not survive, such was the enormity of his heart problems.
Source: (Cork Independent)


Mystery continues to surround the unidentified vessel lying in the depths of the Foyle. Work is being carried out to try and determine the identity of the vessel discovered by divers working on the river bed earlier this month.

Last week the North’s environment minister Alex Attwood chaired a multi agency meeting in Derry to determine how to proceed with identifying the vessel.

Earlier this month archivist George A Malcolmson of the Royal Navy Museum dismissed a theory that the vessel could be a British World War II X-Craft, saying that it is more likely to be a German submarine.
(Source: Derry Journal)


A 53-year-old Donegal businessman was spared a prison sentence or fine last Thursday after admitting stealing more than 28,000 litres of diesel from a fuel company.

Donal Quinn, of Trummon West, appeared at Donegal Circuit Court to face 24 counts of theft from E & J Oil, Ballymagroarty Hill, Ballintra between May 1 and May 4, 2010. He pleaded guilty to four representative counts.

Quinn had been making deliveries for Kilbarron Products T/A O’Donnell’s Bakery for eighteen months and that company had built up a debt of more then €51,000 with him over that period. He had tried to recoup the monies by various means but to no avail.

On Friday, May 1, he called to collect a cheque for €3,000 but the money was not there and the director was out of the country, uncontactable until the following Tuesday. Quinn told the court: “At that stage, to be honest, I just couldn’t take any more. I couldn’t even give my wife anything to help out a bit at home. “My thought was that I could use the O’Donnell’s key/card to take out fuel from E & J Oil in the amount that they owed me.”

Mr Quinn said he consulted a solicitor who advised him that the oil could be used as ‘a lien’ on the money he was owed.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)


A blind adventurer who was paralyzed in a freak accident is to embark on another challenge.
Mark Pollock, 36, who lost his sight 14 years ago, almost lost his life in 2010 when he fell out of a two storey window while sleep walking.

Before breaking his spine the Co Down man had already overcome adversity to win two Commonwealth rowing medals, complete six back-to-back marathons in the Gobi desert and become the first blind person to trek to the South Pole.

Determined not to let paralysis hold him back any more than he has let his blindness limit his ambitions, he is now aiming to sail across the Irish Sea.
(Source: Evening Herald)


A mother-of-one Emmie Pereira whose little boy fell to his death in Dublin is devastated. The mother only discovered 21-month-old Sebastian had fallen when paramedics called at her door.

The loving mum had put her adorable little boy to bed, totally unaware the toddler had opened his bedroom window.

Emmie is inconsolable after the terrible tragedy.

"She doted on Sebastian. He was the light of her life. She is devastated beyond belief," said a friend.

"What's happened to this family in just unimaginable. A tragedy of horrendous proportions. We all feel for them."

The toddler toppled 60ft to his death.
(Source: The Evening Herald)


High-profile priest and broadcaster Brian D'Arcy has become the latest Irish cleric to be censured by the Vatican.

The popular television presenter, author and newspaper columnist was disciplined after concerns were raised about some of his published work.

It is understood the action by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) means the Co Fermanagh priest, regarded as liberal within the Catholic church, must now submit his writings and broadcasts to an official censor.

The 67-year-old member of the Passionist Order has spoken out against mandatory celibacy for priests and has been a fierce critic of the church's handling of child abuse scandals in Ireland.
(Source: Evening Herald)


The Connemara fisherman who died at sea last week risked his life to save others from a capsized gleoiteog over two years ago.

Gearóid Ó Cualáin, whose body was discovered in the water near Mace Head last Tuesday, had been praised for his bravery when he and three other crewmen saved one man from drowning after a tragic incident in which a gleoiteog capsized leaving Kinvara in September 2009.

The body of Gerry Folan, a 43-year-old father of four, from Moyrus, Carna was recovered off the shore of Macdara Island on Tuesday.
(Source: GalwayBay Fm)


Gardaí (police) in Co Kerry begun a murder inquiry last week following the death of a man who was initially thought to have died as a result of smoke inhalation in a house fire.

Gardaí had initially thought James Cahillane (58) died of injuries suffered when a fire broke out at his home at Ardraw, Beaufort, between Killarney and Killorglin.

However, a postmortem by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster revealed he had received head injuries. Gardaí now believe the injuries were consistent with a violent assault.
(Source: Irish Times)


A ‘drink-fueled’ incident in the early hours of last Sunday morning led to substantial damage to the fencing around the all-weather pitch at Kilcullen Community Centre.

A blue Volkswagen car, which had apparently been driven at speed around and around the car park adjacent to the pitch, ended up out of control and crashed through the fence, crumpling a substantial metal upright in the process.

The extent of the impact was also clear from the debris of the car itself, which left bumper and grille components, as well as bits from its underside, at the location.
(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)


Kilkenny City Vocational School principal, Cathy McSorley has won her High Court challenge against Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn and County Kilkenny VEC.

The Minister had attempted to remove her from her position after a Department enquiry into her running of the school. Ms McSorley went to the High Court to vindicate her good name and was successful.
(Source: Kilkenny People)


Eight and a half million euros worth of flour is expected to be milled at Odlum’s Portarlington plant this year.

Last week Odlum’s hosted a special supplier event at the Portarlington mill with over 60 Irish wheat growers and a number of merchant suppliers to celebrate the Irish suppliers’ longstanding partnership with the company.
(Source: Leinster Express)


Three Community Text Alert Schemes were launched in the last week across south Leitrim and there are hopes that the initiative will spread into north Leitrim in the coming months.

Community Alert Schemes have been organized in Cloone/Aughavas, Hartley and Dromod in the last few days and local residents have already rowed in behind the initiative.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)


A Limerick criminal and his brother have been arrested after police surrounded their Bulgarian hideout.

Vincent (33) and Jonathan (25) Collopy, from St Mary's Park, Limerick, were arrested by police in Bulgaria at a resort complex on the Black Sea.

Police said a cache of drugs, cash and ammunition was recovered.

Vincent Collopy has been on the run from gardai (police) in Limerick since 2010 after two of his brothers threatened to kill a former associate.

Police in Bulgaria surrounded the brothers' hideout at Sunny Beach -- the biggest sea resort in the country -- where the pair were cornered and arrested. The Herald understands that a European Arrest Warrant had been issued for Vincent as part of a garda investigation and it is expected that he will be extradited to Ireland.
(Source: Evening Herald)


St Patrick’s National School, Drumshanbo has been given the green light to replace rented pre-fabs with permanent classrooms as part of national €35m initiative. The school will now proceed with plans to construct two resource teaching/learning support rooms.
(Source: Longford Leader)


Disgraced doctor Michael Neary was struck in the head with a firearm during an armed raid on his home.

The controversial doctor was brought to hospital for treatment after the terrifying incident.

Sources say there is nothing to suggest that there is any link between his home being targeted and his past as a doctor at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

Dr Neary (70) was struck off the medical register in 2003 having wrongfully removed the wombs of his patients at the Louth hospital where he began working in 1974.

Raiders escaped with a small amount of cash.
(Source: Evening Herald)


Two 19-year-old men arrested following a police chase in the Knockmore/Pontoon area appeared in Castlebar District Court  last week. They were remanded in custody after they were charged with up to 13 offences, including burglaries and the theft of a car containing a shotgun.

Luke Wall (19) of Gurteenamuck, Knockmore, and John McDonagh (19) of 27 Muredach’s Terrace, Ballina, were apprehended last Sunday morning after landowners in the Knockmore/Pontoon area blocked off roads forcing the two men to abandon their car. The two men were quickly arrested and questioned in relation to a wave of burglaries in the Mayo/Galway region.
(Source: The Mayo News)


An armed robbery at the Bank of Ireland branch in Navan last Friday week and a second raid on a pharmacy in Johntown village the next day are believed to be linked.

At around 3.55pm on Friday 20th April, a lone male entered the Bank of Ireland at Market Square, brandishing what appeared to be a handgun. He was wearing a hoodie and ski mask to conceal his identity.

A man wearing a ski mask got away with about $400 from the Bank of Ireland at Market Square on Friday, April 20.

A second armed robbery, which occurred the next day in Johnstown village, is also being investigated. At around 4.55pm, a lone male entered Staunton's Pharmacy in Johnstown, and pointed what appeared to be a handgun at staff and customers. He demanded cash and drugs but appears to have been spooked and fled the scene empty-handed.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)


The forensic scientist leading the search in Co Monaghan for the remains of one of the Disappeared, Columba McVeigh, has appealed for anyone with even the most “trivial” information to come forward.

Geoff Knupfer, who in the 1980s was involved in the search for two of the victims of Moors murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, last week began overseeing “painstaking work” to find the remains of Mr McVeigh, who was abducted, murdered and secretly buried by the IRA in 1975.

Forestry workers last week cut down and cleared away trees at Bragan, Co Monaghan, where Mr McVeigh, who was 17 when he disappeared, may have been buried
(Source: Irish Times)


Changes to laws relating to drunk drivers involved in fatal accidents will save lives, says one Birr native, who tragically lost her son after he was killed by a drunk driver three years ago.

The Birr native’s son, Brendan was killed aged 24 along with his 26 year old friend Lee Salkeld on October 26 2009 as they travelled to Cork airport for a holiday and would have been 27 on May 20 next.

As part of the cause, ‘Brendan’s Law’ seeks mandatory sentences of a minimum of six years for drunk drivers convicted in relation to fatal accidents along with mandatory disqualifications from driving from between 20 and 25 years.
(Source: Offaly Express)


A jury at a coroner’s court has called for the introduction of CCTV and new monitoring arrangements for patients at Roscommon County Hospital.

The call came after a 52-year-old woman died five days after a fall down stairs in her wheelchair.
Special-needs patient Anne Macklin from Four Roads was due to be released from the hospital on 15 February 2010 when she fell. She was discovered by medical staff under the wheelchair outside a laboratory.
(Source: The Roscommon Champion)


The Sligo Lions Club charity fundraiser 'Jigs and Reels' has raised $600,000 for thirteen local charities and organizations.

The event, which was held in the Radisson Blu Hotel featured 26 dancers representing the charities.
(Source: Sligo Champion)


Thurles Chamber of Commerce President,PJ Shanahan has announced that the proposed closed circuit television (CCTV) system for Thurles has been given the green light by An Pobal and the installation of the cameras and system can begin immediately.

It is hoped that the system will be fully operational by July 2012.

The project, which has taken over five years of hard work to deliver, was a Thurles Chamber initiative that would never have been possible without the help of the Town Clerk Michael Ryan, Sgt Sean Sherlock and Superintendent Pat Lordan.
 (Source: Tipperary Star)


Detectives investigating an arson attack that killed a mother and daughter said they are looking for two unidentified men seen close to the scene of the blaze.

The police made the appeal after funerals were held last week for Betty McGirr, (71) and 38-year-old Deirdre McGirr.

The pensioner was visiting her daughter when the inferno started at the back of the house in Dunlea Vale, Dungannon, Co Tyrone, earlier this month and ripped through her top-floor flat.

A third person, a Portuguese man understood to be Deirdre's partner, escaped unhurt and is not suspected of involvement with the fire.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


A talented photographer and artist who could see beauty in things others could not is how one Dunmore native, who died suddenly on Saturday last was described.

Sadness, shock and utter devastation enveloped the entire community of the small seaside village when they learned of the passing of Derek Kennedy – a life long friend to many and one of the village’s most treasured residents.

The son of Paul and Marion Kennedy of Ard na Coille, Dunmore East was just 25 years old when he passed away after a short ill-ness.

Derek attended his doctor last week complaining of pains in his leg. By Saturday he was not felling any better and he was brought to the emergency doctor where it is said he passed away.
(Source: Waterford News & Star)


About 40 houses in the Monksland area were evacuated last Tuesday morning when a suspect device was found in the area. It was later confirmed that the device, most likely a pipe bomb, was viable.

Gardai (police) were dealing with an incident in the Sli an Coiste estate on the old Tuam Road Tuesday morning when they became aware of a suspect device in the area and moved to evacuate the houses in the vicinity.

Shortly after 9 am residents in the area became aware of the situation when gardai asked them to leave their houses for an hour or two for their own safety. Two rows of houses in the estate were evacuated and a cordon was established preventing people from entering this section of the housing estate.
(Source: Westmeath Independent)


The trial of a man accused of murdering his ex-fiancée's baby at their Gorey home continued last week after the prosecution outlined that injuries alleged that the infant died of shaken baby syndrome.

Philip Doyle (34) of Tinakilly, Aughrim, Co. Wicklow has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering three-and-a-halfmonthRoss Murphy at 3 Creagh Demesne, Gorey, Co. Wexford on April 5, 2005.

Evidence has been given by Leona Murphy, mother of Ross that she returned home to find her baby lying lifeless on a coffee table after leaving her ex-fiancé minding him.

'Ross was lying on the table and he wasn't moving', she said.

He was rushed to Wexford General Hospital by ambulance crew and was suffering a cardiac arrest. The baby died two days later in Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin where he had been transferred the day before.
(Source: Wexford People)


The Warrens on Kilmantin Hill is to be turned into temporary accommodation for homeless men and women.

Wicklow County Council and the Simon Community made the announcement last Monday, confirming rumors that started a number of weeks ago after the council purchased the property, which is located opposite Wicklow's Historic Gaol.
(Source: The Wicklow People)

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