A former mayor of Antrim, whose first-born son tragically died at birth, has blasted a decision by the Northern Trust which will see parents banned from leaving mementoes on the graves of their children.

UUP councilor Paul Michael lost his baby son after his wife Angela began to experience difficulties during labor. Unfortunately, baby Paul did not survive.

Currently, the tiny baby graves in Belmont cemetery are covered with tributes to much loved and missed children. However, the decision will mean that parents will only be permitted to leave floral tributes.

[Source: Antrim Guardian]

The visit by former Irish President Mary Robinson to the 25th John Hewitt International Summer School (JHISS) is proving to be one of the most popular events at the Market Place Theatre, Armagh, in recent years say organizers.

Robinson, one of Ireland’s most internationally prominent public figures in recent times, will give a talk on the opening morning of the Hewitt Summer School on Monday, July 23.

[Source: Portadown Times]


Sweeping changes across the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin were announced last week, with several high-profile priests moving on to pastures new.

Significantly, diocesan administrator Msgr. Brendan Byrne has retired as parish priest of Tullow, a role he has held for the past 23 years.

Noted as a hardworking and dedicated priest within the parish, the decision is a disappointment to the people of Tullow.

Msgr. Byrne admitted to The Nationalist last Monday that working in both roles – diocesan administrator and PP in Tullow – had gone on longer than he had anticipated.

[Source: Carlow Nationalist]

A jury has been sworn in for the Central Criminal Court trial of a Leitrim teenager accused of killing a Cavan pensioner at his Killeshandra home almost two years ago.

Brendan McGovern of Killahurk, Carrigallen has pleaded not guilty to the murder of 73-year-old Johnny Golden at Nedd, Doogarry, Killeshandra on September 7, 2010.

The pensioner was not married and lived alone. Mr. Golden was found unconscious by neighbors in his home and the alarm was raised. However, he never woke from a coma and died in Cavan General Hospital some four weeks later, on October 6, 2010.

[Source: The Anglo Celt]

Shannon Airport had its largest ever number of business aviation jets in a single month in June, it was confirmed last week.

There were a total of 460 business aviation jet movements at the airport, an average of more than 15 a day. This was the largest number of such movements in and out of Shannon ever in a single month and a 26% increase on the figure of 367 that was recorded in June of last year.

While there was a spike in June, it is understood this comes on top of an upward trend seen in recent months. Business aviation jets travelling to the US can avail of Customs and Border Protection pre-clearance at Shannon and it is understood this has been a factor in the up-turn.

[Source: Clare Champion]

A key Cork County Council engineer has expressed his disappointment that funding will not be coming for the M20 Cork-Limerick road where 23 people have lost their lives over the last seven-and-a-half years.

Tom Stritch, Director of Services for Roads for Cork County Council, expressed his disappointment at the decision to fund road other road projects and said he was “disappointed but not surprised” at the decision of Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar.

[Source: Cork Independent]

A man has died in a road traffic collision in Moville.
It is understood the man, aged in his 20s, died after a car collided with a telegraph pole on the Greencastle Road. The collision happened at around 4:25 a.m. last Thursday morning.

[Source: Derry Journal]

A total of 10 people took their lives in Donegal last year, the vast majority of whom were men.

The Central Statistics Office released a new report last week, which reveals that eight men and two women died at their own hands in the county in 2011. This is very much in line with figures from across the country, which shows a total of 525 deaths by suicide, 439 among males and 86 among females.

[Source: Donegal Democrat]

A company controlled by the County Down property developer John Miskelly has been linked to the Irish government's National Asset Management Agency (Nama) for the first time.

In June, Nama registered a charge on a bank account of one of his main companies, Applecroft Investments.

This is a standard way of operating by Nama, giving the agency a degree of control over the account.
Nama has taken over most of the land loans made by Irish banks.

[Source: BBC News]

A Dublin City Councilor has spent a few nights in jail after failing to pay a $1,840 fine for throwing red paint over former Health Minister Mary Harney.

Republican party Eirigi member Louise Minihan (30) was arrested in her Ballyfermot constituency shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday and taken to the Dochas Centre at Mountjoy Prison.

It is believed she can be held for up to seven days, but many people imprisoned for fines are released early because of prison pressures on space.

[Source: Evening Herald]

The father of Eryn Kirkpatrick, the little blind baby from Brookeborough who recently had a revolutionary new form of surgery in China, is still hopeful that his daughter will see for the very first time.

Eryn, her mom Evanna Shiels and father Maurice Kirkpatrick headed off to China a month ago for stem cell treatment. Twice a day for two weeks the treatment was administered, but even after four weeks Maurice is still unclear whether the process has been successful.

“Treatment went very well, but whether or not it was successful I don’t honestly know. We received the best treatment and care possible and thought it went well, but we will not know for a couple of months.”

[Source: Fermanagh Herald]

The Departments of Finance and Transport and the National Roads Authority (NRA) will re-enter negotiations with the preferred bidder for the Gort to Tuam motorway, with a view to building work commencing on the project early next year – it is estimated up to 3,000 jobs will be created over the three and a half year construction period.

Work on the 35-mile stretch of the M17/M18 motorway was supposed to start in late 2010 but was stalled due to the country’s financial crisis.

[Source: Galway Bay FM]

Kerry farmers are among the most active buyers of farmland in the nearby counties of Limerick, Cork and Tipperary.

It will be interesting to watch the level of Kingdom interest that is generated by the sale of a 204ac residential dairy farm located near Dingle that comes with 159ac of commonage, a newly-built house and a fully-equipped farmyard. The private treaty sale is being guided by Eddie McQuinn of McQuinn Consulting at $12,250/ac, with the house being guided at $390,000 giving a price tag on the entire of $2.8m.

[Source: Irish Independent]

A Castledermot man has defied all the odds to make world swimming history last week.
Steve Redmond (47), originally from Castledermot and now living in Ballydehob, west Cork, has become the first person to complete the world’s seven most grueling ocean swims, following an epic crossing of the Tsugaru Strait off Japan.

Steve completed the 12-mile Tsugaru Strait in a time of 14 hours and 24 minutes on Saturday. Following the historic swim, Steve said: “The water had a mind of its own. At times, swimming against the current was like walking on an airport-moving-walkway.”

[Source: Kildare Nationalist]

A Callan man is looking for a suitable home for a collection of World War II memorabilia.
Edward Heron, who inherited the photographs from his uncle-in-law, has told national media that his intention is to donate them to an institution in Ireland or abroad where they can be properly displayed.

His memorabilia includes photographs of the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald that were brought to an antiques valuation day hosted recently by Sheppards auctioneers in Durrow.

Mr. Heron has explained that he was given the 10 photographs by his relative, who had received them from a US soldier after the war’s end.

[Source: Kilkenny People]

The Special Criminal Court trial of four men accused of having equipment for printing counterfeit currency has collapsed following revelations that information on a fifth suspect was deliberately kept from the defense.

The prosecution this morning entered a “Nolle Prosequi,” meaning it will not pursue the charges against Kevin Flanagan (43), of Borris-in-Ossory, Co. Laois, Liam Delaney (42), with addresses at Mountrath and Borris-in-Ossory, Anthony Sloan (57), a native of Belfast with an address at Ard na Mara, Dundalk, Co. Louth and Andrew Poole (43), of Portlaoise, Co. Laois.

The men had all pleaded not guilty to possession of equipment, including printers and cutting machines, to manufacture counterfeit currency at Ballybrophy, Borris-in-Ossory on May 31, 2010.

[Source: Leinster Express]

Gardaí (police) are investigating the brazen theft of a digger from a building site in Rooskey two weeks ago.

Thieves stole the digger from the site sometime between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. on July 12.

The digger weighs in at over 13 tons and Gardaí say that a truck and specialized trailer would have to be used to move it as it is on tracks.

[Source: Leitrim Observer]

Prescriptions for erectile dysfunction drugs are not been handed out willy-nilly by Limerick doctors, according to the regional IMO spokesperson.

It comes after Clare county councilor Brian Meaney asserted there was “no real medical need” for many of the Viagra prescriptions being filled out for medical card holders.

Clr. Meaney was commenting on figures which showed the bill for such drugs in the HSE West had climbed from $1.53 million to $1.74 million between 2009 and 2010. Limerick accounted for the highest bill in the region in 2010, at $397,000.

[Source: Limerick Leader]

Longford Fine Gael TD James Bannon has hit out at the Minister for State for Disability, Equality and Mental Health, Roisin Shortall, over her apparent refusal to debate the issue of funding for St. Christopher’s Services in Longford.

The Legan TD claims he has tabled a Topical Interest Motion on funding for St. Christopher’s no fewer than 27 times and on each occasion the topic has not been selected for debate. Deputy Bannon has resubmitted the motion once more last Thursday in a final attempt to get the issue debated before the summer break.

[Source: Longford Leader]

Local musician David O’Dowda recently had a piece of music he composed and sang on accompany the trailer for new Jessica Biel film “The Tall Man.”

David is originally from Ravensdale but moved to Manchester in 1999 to study music in Manchester College which is where he now lives with his wife and son.

Since then he has done his fair share of gigging, has led Manchester-based six-piece band Table who released an album entitled “Songs You Can Sing” in 2009 and has toured with Peter Gabriel on his 2004 “Still Growing Up Tour.”

[Source: Dundalk Democrat]

Owners of caravan campsites in Mayo say their business is on its knees due to the number of camper vans who park overnight along the side of the road and refuse to pay for their facilities.

The caravan park owners are particularly annoyed about the growing number of camper vans that park just outside their premises and use the campsite’s facilities without paying. They have called for Mayo County Council to put an end to the practice and are seeking the introduction of bye-laws to stop overnight parking of caravans, camper vans and tents on the roadsides in the county.

[Source: The Mayo News]

Parents of deaf children last Tuesday complained that the problem was "almost a hidden disability" in Irish society.

The comments were made as a “hero” award to recognize contributions from the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities was launched July 17.

Jimmy Geraghty, father of Noel Geraghty (8) from Navan, Co. Meath, who attends St Joseph's School for Deaf Boys in Cabra, Dublin, said the deaf in Ireland faced barriers.

"We need a lot more awareness especially in relation to sign language interpreters, access for the deaf community. People seem to know more about other disabilities in Ireland but always seem to forget about the deaf community," said Mr. Geraghty, whose son donned a Batman costume. "It is almost like we are a hidden disability, of sorts."

[Source: Irish Independent]

Experian, a global information services company, has released its Business Health Index for the first six months of the year in the Republic of Ireland. Monaghan is number one with an index score of 118 while Wicklow is at the bottom with a score of 96. An index higher than 100 indicates that a county has a lower percentage of companies at risk than the average. Dublin is ranked 20th with a score of 98. Fifteen of the 26 counties have a Positive Business Health Index Score.

[Source: Irish Times]

Two men stole a historic artifact and dumped it in a bog because it was of no financial value to them, a court heard last Wednesday.

At Tullamore District Court both were sentenced to 240 hours’ community service in lieu of 10 months in prison for theft of the Precious Shrine of St. Manchan from St. Manchan’s Church, Boher,

Ballycumber, Co. Offaly, on June 1. Thomas Roche (39), Boyne Meadows, Edenderry, Co. Offaly, and Bernard McCarthy (37), Foxdene Gardens, Clondalkin, Dublin, examined the shrine after stealing it and dumped it because they thought it was worthless. Insp. Kieran Keyes said no decision has been made about whether the shrine, currently with Gardaí (police), will be returned to the church or go to the National Museum of Ireland for safekeeping.

[Source: Irish Times]


The Ambulance Service has apologized to the family of a 19-year-old girl, who died after she was taken to hospital via an indirect route.

Elaine Curley from Creggs in Co. Roscommon died on the two-hour journey from the scene of a car crash which should have taken around an hour and 20 minutes.

A local person directed the ambulance down a bog road and it was also diverted from Portiuncula Hospital in Galway to UCHG, which added extra time.

[Source: Irish Examiner]

The appeal by the owners of the Lissadell estate in Co. Sligo against the rejection of their claim that no public rights of way exist across certain routes in the estate may be heard at the Supreme Court early next year.

Mr. Justice John MacMenamin indicated last Monday he was aiming for a hearing in January 2013. The appeal could take up to 10 days, he was told.

[Source: Irish Times]

Thurles is to get a state-of-the-art primary care center under a stimulus package announced by the Government last Tuesday afternoon. The announcement by Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny, Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Eamon Gilmore, and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform,Brendan Howlin, was welcomed by Junior Minister Alan Kelly, and Deputy Noel Coonan.

Deputy Kelly described it as a “major investment” by the government in this area. He had been working with Junior Health Minister Roisin Shortall on the initiative and was delighted that Thurles had been chosen as a center.

[Source: Tipperary Star]

The publication of photographs of the body of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey by a Mauritian newspaper has sparked revulsion and disgust across the Co. Tyrone community.

Just days after the two men accused of murdering Mrs. McAreavey were found not guilty amid scenes of jubilation in the public gallery, the grief of the McAreavey and Harte families has been further compounded by the publication of a series of pictures taken in the hotel room where she died.

[Source: Tyrone Courier]

Two doctors, a father and son who hail from Waterford, narrowly avoided death in the catastrophic avalanche in the Alps that claimed the lives of nine experienced climbers on Thursday last.

Paul MacMahon, a pediatrician in Waterford Regional Hospital, and his son Peter, a radiologist in the Mater Hospital, Dublin were on Mount Maudit in the Alps, which is also known as the Cursed Mountain, when the huge avalanche struck at 5:25 a.m.

The two from Blenheim Heights, the only doctors on the climb, treated the 14 people who had been injured in what was later called one of the worst mountaineering accidents in the Alps.

[Source: Waterford News & Star]

It was heart-warming, and indeed a proud occasion last Monday to see Moate man Paddy Kelly honored with a top military award after he gave his life in the name of peace and in the service of his country almost 29 years ago.

Pt. Paddy Kelly was killed along alongside Garda (police) recruit Gary Sheehan on December 16, 1983, while involved in the rescue of supermarket boss Don Tidey, who was being held by the Provisional IRA in Derrada Woods, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim.

Last Monday he was posthumously presented with a Military Star award by Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Alan Shatter at a ceremony in Kelly Square, which was named in his honor, in Custume Barracks.

[Source: Westmeath Independent]

Nicola Furlong’s father Andrew was waiting for confirmation last week as to whether he can attend the first court appearance of the man who is accused of killing his daughter.

Nineteen-year-old Richard Hinds is charged with strangling Ms. Furlong (21) in a Tokyo hotel in May.
Mr. Furlong plans to travel with his ex-wife Angie and sister Andrea for the preliminary hearing on July 26 and 27 where they would come face to face with her killer.

[Source: Wexford Echo]

Raves are regularly taking place on the outskirts of the capital, it has emerged. The illegal parties in remote rural and wooded areas in Wicklow have become commonplace despite efforts by Gardaí (police) to stop them.

The raves have been held in areas such as Devil's Glen and Mahermore Beach since 2001 and there have been several already this summer according to one organizer, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

[Source: Evening Herald]

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