A local businessman has been left badly shaken after his vehicle was hijacked in Templepatrick two weekends ago.

Frank Courtney, who runs Rathmore Boarding Kennels in Dunadry, was watching television on September 1 when he received a “hysterical” phone call from his daughter Sinead.

The 22-year-old, her friend Ciara and Frank's 16-year-old son Frankie had travelled a short journey to the Twelfth Milestone filling station in the village around 9:30 p.m. to fill Sinead's Vauxhall Astra with fuel.

But a routine trip to get petrol quickly turned into a nightmare when the vehicle was hijacked by a man who claimed he had a knife.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


Three illegal fuel-laundering plants capable of producing over five million gallons of illegal fuel a year, at a cost of $14 million to the public purse, have been dismantled in Crossmaglen.

Customs and PSNI officers uncovered the three separate laundering plants during raids on a number of agricultural and private premises in south Armagh August 29 and 30.

Nearly 4,500 gallons of laundered fuel were seized at two of the plants as well as a large quantity of chemicals used to launder diesel, and six large capacity fuel tanks at premises in Concession Road, Crossmaglen.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


A Carlow Town school has been lambasted by parents after they were told their children cannot start the new term until all outstanding bills are paid.

A new policy implemented this year by Presentation College means that parents have been told to cough up for any outstanding bills or their children will not be let back to school. Letters sent to families told them that “monies due must be paid before your son/daughter may return to school for the next academic year.”
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]


Cavan County Council is in the process of drafting by-laws, which could lead to playgrounds and other such public areas becoming smoke-free zones.

While only at drafting stage at moment, the move follows several other local authorities around the country that have already put in place rules on lighting up in public places.

The areas to the forefront of the ban on smoking in public places include Donegal, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal in north Dublin, Carlow Town, neighbouring Meath, Clare and in Dublin City.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


A united demand across party political divides and the business community has been made for immediate action to be taken on the future of Shannon Airport.

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar and the Government are being asked to “urgently” implement the separation of Shannon Airport from the Dublin Airport Authority for the benefit of the county and the region, in a move backed by both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil councilors and the president of Ennis Chamber.

Ennis Fine Gael Councilor Johnny Flynn has put forward a notice of motion before both Clare County Council and Ennis Town Council urging that the minister and Government finalize the separation in September and implement new structures by the end of this year.
[Source: Clare Champion]


A man was taken to hospital in a serious condition following a crash last Wednesday morning in north Cork. The man, who is thought to be in his 70s, had to be cut from his car by fire services after he collided with a lorry and he was immediately taken to Cork University Hospital by ambulance.

Another male, who was the driver of the other vehicle, escaped from the crash with minor injuries. The incident happened on the Watergrasshill to Rathcormac Road at an area known locally as Dr. Barry's Bridge. At least two ambulances and two fire trucks attended the scene of the accident and that portion of the road will remain closed until further notice.
[Source: Cork Independent]


Charges against four people including former hunger striker Marian Price in relation to a dissident republican Easter commemoration in Derry last year have been reinstated by the Public Prosecution Service and they are due to appear at a preliminary enquiry at Derry Magistrate’s Court on September 27.

Ms. Price (57), who appeared in court under her married name of Marian McGlinchey, from Stockman’s Avenue in Belfast, was charged along with Paddy McDaid (42) of 15, Sackville Court, Frank Quigley (29) of 17, Elmwood Road and Marvin Canning (50) of 20 Glendara, all in Derry, in connection with managing and taking part in a meeting in support of a proscribed organization on April 25 last year.
[Source: Derry Journal]


Two days after he highlighted an illegal dumping issue at the Ross, Bundoran, a local councilor says he was hugely impressed with the speed of the response from Donegal County Council.

Speaking in response to the swift action taken by Donegal County Council to tackle the illegal dumping at the Ross road in Bundoran, Sinn Féin Bundoran Town Councilor Diarmaid Doherty commented: “I would like to commend Donegal County Council for the quick response to this issue. Just two days after I called for action [two weeks ago], council workmen removed the illegal dumped materials and erected no dumping signage and CCTV cameras.”
[Source: Donegal Democrat]


Individuals and groups have voiced their opposition to proposals to designate the Mournes as a national park during a public meeting in Newcastle, County Down.

It is one of a number of areas under consideration by the Environment Minister Alex Attwood.

More than 1,000 people attended the event at the Slieve Donard Hotel.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK without a national park and the minister wants two to be created.
[Source: BBC News]


A woman was so shocked to dig up a grenade she threw it to the ground in fright.

Claire Love (48) was using a garden fork to dig around a tree stump behind her home in Dublin when she made her surprising discovery.

"I must have hit it with the fork a few times. I thought it was a stone but it was very heavy when I picked it up," she said last Wednesday.
[Source: Evening Herald]


A man was given a suspended jail sentence for a smash and grab attack on a car belonging to a Sinn Fein MLA.

Brian Cassidy (33), of Main Street in Irvinestown, admitted breaking a window in Fermanagh politician Phil Flanagan’s Citroen Xsara and stealing $6.

He was sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay Mr. Flanagan $80 compensation.
[Source: Belfast Telegraph]


Students are being advised on the official NUI Galway website that if they are going to use cannabis, they should “do it discreetly” and “preferably in their own home.”

The NUI Galway Student Counseling Service has warned students that if convicted of cannabis possession, they can face a substantial fine and a criminal conviction that could affect their future careers and travel plans.

Under the heading of “cannabis and the law,” the NUI Galway Counseling Service advises students that are going to use cannabis, to be “cautious” about where and when they use the drug.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]


A Belgian man living in Kerry has vowed to continue his hunger and thirst strike until he gets a response from the government to his claim for social welfare.

Jan De Neuborg, who has lived in Ireland for 14 years, said that he applied four months ago to the Department of Social Protection for welfare payments.

However the 56-year-old, who suffers from severe depression and high blood pressure, has never received a response, despite repeated written requests.

He said that he is in serious financial difficulties since his pension from the Belgian authorities was cut off last May.
[Source: Irish Examiner]


The mother and grandmother of a six-year-old autistic child say they are “frustrated and distressed” after applications for care allowances by both women were turned down.

Athy grandmother Geraldine Fitpatrick looks after her granddaughter, Clodagh Bolger, while Clodagh's mother, Pamela, is at work. Clodagh, who is a pupil in the special unit of Scoil Mhicil Naofa in Athy, is autistic and requires a high level of care.

As a result, Geraldine, who lives at the Moat of Ardskull, just outside Athy, spends most of the week staying at Pamela's home in Ballitore.

“Clodagh is a lovely child but she is very hyperactive. If she doesn't wake until 7 a.m., that's a lie-in. Sometimes she is awake and alert at three or four in the morning. She climbs, puts things into her mouth and constantly repeats words and phrases. Up until about two years ago, she didn't have any speech. Now she is starting to put sentences together and call us by name but you have to watch her all the time, for safety's sake.”
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]


It’s that time of year again.

The sun was out, and the county was truly starting to buzz again with All-Ireland fever. Sunday was fast approaching, and Kilkenny was a sea of black and amber – as it should be every September.

Jerseys, hoodies and Kilkenny kits were selling like hot cakes, and neighborhoods around the city and county were brightening up their own communities.
[Source: Kilkenny People]


“Conservation experts” will have to be engaged to monitor all stages of a proposed development at Killenard.

Despite receiving three submissions, Laois County Council has approved conditional planning permission for the ambitious project which will feature an archive store and exhibition space at Mount Saint Anne’s Retreat & Conference Centre.

There are 13 conditions attached and the Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, An Taisce and the Heritage Council have the right of an appeal to An Bord Pleanala against the council’s decision and this must be lodged within four weeks.
[Source: Leinster Express]


Carrick-on-Shannon native Marie Lowe is one of 21 e-car ambassadors, from all over Ireland, who take part in the ESB’s Great Electric Drive.

In June 2012, ESB e-cars launched a campaign to recruit members of the general public and organizations to apply to join a team of e-car ambassadors and drive an electric car for up to a year. In total 11 men and eight women with a wide range of interests and lifestyles have been selected to share their experiences on TV, radio and online as well as through surveys and questionnaires.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]


The mother of a young boy who was found dead at his home in Charleville earlier last week has appeared in court charged with his murder.

Diane Ward (43) of Harrisson Place, Charleville, is accused of killing eight-year-old Anthony Ward at her home on Monday.

During a special sitting of Limerick District Court, Det. Sgt. Michael Corbett said he arrested the defendant at Cork University Hospital at 5:25 p.m. last Tuesday.
[Source: Limerick Leader]


Tributes were being made last Wednesday to the renowned businessman John Frank O’Reilly, who passed away September 4.

The popular 87-year-old was arguably one of the midlands’ best known figures, thanks largely to his involvement in the success of the family’s long-standing insurance business which he founded along Longford Town’s Dublin Street.

A regular attendee at county social gatherings overseas, typified by the likes of the New York and London Dinner Dance Association functions, John Frank was deeply immersed in locally-based charity organizations.

A member of St. Vincent De Paul, the keen GAA follower made Lourdes an almost annual choice of destination over the years.
[Source: Longford Leader]


Dundalk-born rider Eilish Byrne finished fifth in the individual Paralympic dressage in the London Paralympic Games.

Eilish, who is based in Armagh, had a further chance to medal when she partook in the freestyle competition, which started last Monday and concluded Tuesday, with every rider starting on a zero score.

Despite being born with spina bifida, she competed in show jumping when she was 12-years-old, but later decided to focus on dressage.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]


Disability campaigners have promised they will not lie down in the face of cutbacks to their services and have warned government TDs they will experience an “autumn of discontent” if the proposed $164 million health budget cuts are introduced.

Cuts to be made to the health budget for the remainder of the year will see some 600,000 home-help hours being cut, while $13 million will be cut through a reduction in personal-assistant hours for people with disabilities.
[Source: The Mayo News]


Local hotels received a very welcome boost to the tune of some 700 bed nights two weeks ago as Trim and Navan played host to two visiting American football teams and their followers for the GIFT clash at Pairc Tailteann.

Knightsbrook Hotel in Trim hosted the Notre Dame Prep side, while Navan's Newgrange Hotel was host to Canadian side, Villanova. Their visit came at a particularly welcome time for local hotels as the summer season was winding down, helping to lengthen the season.

It wasn't just the hotels that benefitted, however, with many local pubs, restaurants and shops also reporting an increase in business, thanks to the American and Canadian visitors who travelled to Ireland to support their respective sides.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]


Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar accepted an invitation to get "down and dirty" in Co. Monaghan last Saturday when participants from all over the world took part in this year’s annual Irish Bog Snorkeling Championships.

The event was being staged for the fourth successive year at a bog in Doohamlet, near Castleblayney.

Cavan/Monaghan Fine Gael Dáil deputy Sean Conlan revealed that Mr. Varadkar had accepted his invitation to attend the quirky event.

"He has also indicated that he will be likely to take part in the event — the first government minister ever to do so," Mr. Conlan said.
[Source: Irish Examiner]


Offaly Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen has expressed serious concern for the future of jobs at Bord na Mona following a poor harvest and the unseasonably wet weather over the past few months.

Deputy Cowen has written to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte on two occasions requesting an urgent meeting with the Minister and Chief Executive of Bord na Mona Gabriel Darcy. The Minister failed to respond to the first request and merely acknowledged the latest one, without making any commitment to prioritize this issue.
[Source: Offaly Express]


A Roscommon family is appealing to the HSE to give them the home support they need to allow them to care for their four-year-old son.

Liam Hall suffers from a severe neurological disorder and constant seizures.

As last Tuesday was his fourth birthday, the 12-hours-per-week homecare that he received from the Jack and Jill Foundation will end.

His mother Áine said that the HSE must aid her family in their hour of need.

"It can't go on, it's not fair. It's people like Liam who are suffering and it's the [caretakers] who are suffering," she said.
[Source: Irish Examiner]


When Leaving Certificate students Rhona Togher and Eimear O’Carroll lost out on winning the 2009 Young Scientist competition, they were devastated. But coming second was actually a godsend for the pair who developed a therapy to alleviate temporary tinnitus, as it gave them the opportunity to expand their project into a business.

Most music fans will know the ringing sensation experienced after a night spent clubbing or at a concert. The loud ringing in the ears is a common occurrence caused by exposure to loud environments, for example listening to music on .mp3 players or from operating machinery.

As part of their Young Scientist project, Togher and O’Carroll, along with fellow Ursuline College Sligo student Niamh Chapman, developed a one-minute web-based therapy to clear the ears of the ringing sensation.
[Source: Irish Times]


A 23-year-old man with an address in Toomevara, Co. Tipperary, was charged with the manslaughter of Johnstown native James Tynan, at Thurles District Court last Tuesday.

Jason Morrissey, whose address according to the court record is 2 Church Street, Toomevara was remanded in custody to appear in Nenagh District Court September 7 and will be sent forward for indictment for trial at the Circuit Court.
[Source: Tipperary Star]


The village of Castlecaulfield and the motorcycling fraternity were in deep shock last week following the sad news that local racer Trevor Ferguson had been killed during a race accident at the Manx Grand Prix on the Isle of Man.

Local Minister the Rev. David Brown said there was deep devastation and shock as the news came through of Mr. Ferguson's death.

The 48-year-old lost his life after he crashed while competing in the Supertwin race at the Manx Grand Prix in the Isle of Man.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]


Bogus callers have been targeting elderly members of the community in Ferrybank and Gardaí (police) are urging members of the public to be on alert after reports of two men calling to houses on the pretense of carrying out work.

Incidents occurred September 3 and 4 in which men called to houses of the elderly and offered to clean up the fascia and soffits for various amounts of money. The men give the impression that they have done the work, and on inspection homeowners have discovered later that it has not been done. If a person calls and you are unsure who they are you should call your local Garda Station who will be able to check out the person.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]


Construction work on the realignment of Garrycastle Bridge is to begin by the end of the year, it was revealed last week.

Fine Gael Clr. Alan Shaw raised the issue at the September meeting of the council, asking the executive for an update regarding the tendering process for the long-awaited realignment and a date for commencement of construction. The council informed councilors that it is hoped the realignment of the bridge can begin before the end of the year.

The executive advised that the second phase of procurement is underway and the closing date for the submission of tenders is September 22. After this date, the tenders will be assessed and approval from the Department of Transport to appoint a contractor will be sought.
[Source: Westmeath Independent]


Billy Walsh is to be made a Freeman of Wexford town in a major ceremony in November.

The announcement was made at a meeting of Wexford Borough Council, where councilors voted unanimously in favor of awarding Mr. Walsh the prestigious status of Freeman of Wexford; something which has only been done a handful of times in the history of the town.

A major event in Wexford town is planned for November for Ireland’s High Performance Director, following his team’s great achievements at the London 2012 Olympics, bringing back gold, silver and two bronze medals.
[Source: Wexford Echo]


Helen Kearney won the silver medal in the Grade 1a individual competition at Greenwich Park September 2 when riding her Irish sport horse gelding Mister Cool to a personal best score of 76.700 percent.

The 23-year-old from Dunlavin has been competing in para-dressage since 2004 and last year claimed bronze at the European Championships on Mister Cool, a 12-year-old grey by Coolcorran Cool Diamond.
[Source: Irish Times]

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