Vandals who damaged two school buses and a window at Riverside Special School caused disruption and upset to “some of the most vulnerable children in society,” the headmaster has told the Antrim Guardian.

The $6,400 worth of damage was discovered at the Fennel Road premises at around 7 a.m. Friday (September 7) and pupils, parents, and staff members looking forward to the end of the first week of the new term were quickly notified.

Children had to be brought to school by their parents or wait for replacement buses to collect them at around 10 a.m., meaning they missed out on a portion of the morning's lessons and activities.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


The controversy over the appointment of enforcement officers from a private security company by Newry and Mourne District Council continues to gather momentum, following the publication of an open letter, signed by five trade unions, which outlines the unions’ “grave concerns” at the potential impact on council employees.

The Examiner understands that a meeting took place on September 6 between council officials and trade union representatives, at which concerns were raised about the perceived “privatization” of public services and the consequent threat to jobs.

It has emerged that Protec Safe Door and Event Management Ltd., the company engaged to carry out certain enforcement duties related to dog fouling, littering and tobacco control – which were previously performed solely by council workers – is believed to be owned by Councilor Brendan Curran, a fact that has caused further consternation among union members.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


A Tullow publican was viciously set upon by a gang throwing bottles, glasses and even a hanging basket as he attempted to stop the angry mob entering his pub on Sunday night (September 9).

Paddy Hogan, brother of Minister Phil Hogan and owner of The Hogan Stand in Tullow, was subjected to a terrifying attack by up to a dozen men and women that left him covered in blood and his face cut extensively by flying glass.

The shocked publican was taken to St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny by ambulance on Sunday night, where he received treatment for his injuries.

“I am shocked … all I’m trying to do here is make a living and run a good house,” said Mr. Hogan, who was visibly shaken by the ordeal.

“There’s a lot of talk about travelers’ rights, but what about the publicans? If I refuse to serve someone, I’m in trouble, but what if I do serve someone and this happens – it’s a no-win situation,” Mr. Hogan told The Nationalist.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]


The 25 Kingscourt Brick former workers, who had been outside the plant for 272 days in a dispute over redundancy payments, can now look forward after accepting the latest redundancy offer from Lagan Brick management.

Following a two-hour meeting last Wednesday night in the Kingscourt Community Centre, the former Kingscourt Brick workers delivered their decision in favor of accepting the offer.

SIPTU Industrial Organizer John Regan explained that proposals had been presented to the workers in the previous two days and last Wednesday they balloted on the offer and close to unanimously accepted the package put before them.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


Primary schools in Clare are among the most overcrowded in the country and almost nine out of every 10 pupils in the county are in classes greater than the EU average.

New figures published last week show that almost 90 percent of pupils in Clare schools are in classes of 20 or more and over one quarter are in “super-size” classes with over 30 children.

The report shows that 27 percent of primary pupils are in classes of 30 or more which equates to 3,656 pupils. Fifty-eight percent of the primary school population is in classes of 20 or more and 15 percent of pupils are in classes under 20.

Clare INTO Representative Sean McMahon has claimed the figures show the impact of government cutbacks on the ground in schools and that Irish class sizes are back to where they were a decade ago and getting worse.
[Source: Clare Champion]


A profound effort is being made by Gardaí (police) to trace the origin of a brown, powdery substance that is believed to be the cause of the deaths of Liam Coffey and Michael Coleman in Kinsale two weekends ago.

The two young men died from suspected overdoses in the early hours of Sunday morning (September 9) at Mr. Coleman's house that he shared with his girlfriend in Kinsale. Post-mortems were subsequently carried out on both bodies and toxicology reports are expected to confirm that this substance was the cause of Mr. Coleman and Mr. Coffey's deaths.

The HSE is urging caution to drug users and they are focusing on a brown, powdery substance being distributed in the Cork area which known to contain Methyl amphetamine (MDMA Ecstasy) and Paramethoxymethamphetamine (PMMA).
[Source: Cork Independent]


Derry man Vincent Neff and his art-pop band Django Django were celebrating last Thursday, having been shortlisted for this year’s coveted 2012 Mercury Music Prize, reports Julieann Campbell.

Their self-titled album, which was released in January this year to critical acclaim, is among the 12 albums that will now compete for the 2012 prize, one of the most prestigious accolades in the music industry. The shortlist was announced last Wednesday.

The four-piece are in fine company, too, as they make the list alongside the likes of Plan B, previous nominee Richard Hawley, Jessie Ware, Alt-J, Field Music and the Maccabees.
[Source: Derry Journal]


Loreto, Letterkenny may be the only Donegal secondary school involved in Gaelic sports that won’t get any tickets to the Sept. 23rd All-Ireland final between Donegal and Mayo, a teacher said last Wednesday.

The other secondary and primary schools in Donegal all get an allocation of tickets through the Vocational Schools, Colleges and Cumann na mBunscol associations. It seems as if the all-girls Letterkenny school is the only one to lose out.

“We just feel like we’re being discriminated against because all the mixed schools and all the boys’ schools get them,” said Mary Bourne, who teaches at the school and works with the Gaelic teams.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]


Six “upmarket” shipping containers are to be placed on the site of a long-delayed $161 million redevelopment project in a County Down seaside town.

They will be erected on the vacant site of the planned Queen's Parade development in Bangor.

The containers will house 24 local artists over the next two years, in a $464,000 project.

The Queen's Parade project has been in the pipeline for 20 years but has suffered a series of setbacks.
[Source: BBC News]


One man is dead and two people were in a Dublin hospital after a knife attack last Thursday.

An early morning confrontation is believed to have led to the murder of Jason “Jasper” Flannery.

The altercation took place in the Poppintree area of Ballymun at around 4 a.m.

A man and a woman were taken to the Mater Hospital with minor injuries as a result.
[Source: Evening Herald]


The young man who died last Thursday morning in an industrial accident has been named by the Fermanagh County Board as Brian Og Maguire.

The accident occurred in the Ballyconnell Road area of Derrylin that morning (September 13) shortly after 11 a.m.

Fermanagh County Board has released a statement saying:
“Fermanagh GAA County Committee, County Senior Football Management Team and players are shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden death of our County Senior player and teammate Brian Og Maguire due to an accident at his work.”
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]


Hurling fans hoping to get their hands on precious tickets for the replayed All-Ireland Final on September 30 have been warned that Galway is unlikely to receive an increase on the allocation of just over 12,000 that the county received for the thrilling drawn game with Kilkenny.

Joe Canning’s superb last-gasp equalizer into the swirling wind at the Hill 16 end of Croke Park forced the first replayed All-Ireland Final since 1959, prompting another scramble for tickets among Galway supporters hoping to see the end of the county’s 24-year title famine.

With the minors of Dublin and Tipperary also poised to meet again on Sunday fortnight, the Galway Hurling Board has been informed by the GAA authorities that there will be no additional windfall in terms of the county’s allocation.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]


Up to 30 new jobs will be created when a new store moves into a retail park.

Electrical giants Currys and PC World are opening in Manor West Retail Park in Tralee, Co. Kerry, giving the center 100 percent occupancy for the first time ever.

Center manager Derek Rusk says he is thrilled with the achievement, which has bucked the trend.

"At a time when unemployment is at an all-time high, it is great to see new jobs being created in the Tralee area and a large multinational showing great confidence in the region," he said.
[Source: Irish Independent]


Twenty people took their own lives in Co. Kildare last year. Pieta House, the suicide and self-harm crisis center, has seen a 40 percent rise in calls this year.
Joan Freeman, CEO and founder of Pieta House, spoke to the Kildare Nationalist about the service it provides for suicidal people around Ireland, and the reasons behind the large numbers of suicides.

“Overall there has been a huge increase,” she said. “The numbers are only preliminary – I remember in 2008 when preliminary figures came out; there were an additional 100 people when final figures came out. These figures don’t include things like drownings or single car crashes. We should be very dubious about these figures. We are still seeing an increase and it is without a doubt [due to the] recession.”
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]


Kilkenny scored its highest-ever mark in the Tidy Towns competition this year, but this was still not enough to secure the coveted overall crown.

The competition’s results were announced at a ceremony in the Helix in Dublin last Monday afternoon. Kilkenny scored 309 out of a possible 400 – one mark more than last year. The winning town was Abbeyshrule in County Longford with a score of 312.
[Source: Kilkenny People]


The findings of the IBAL littler league that class Portlaoise as moderately littered and ranked 39 of 42 areas surveyed have been rubbished by a Laois County Council official.

John O’ Donoghue, Senior Engineer Environment and Roads, said the Council “are very disappointed that Portlaoise Town did not receive litter free status.”

He outlined that it was two privately-owned sites – one on Station Road and one adjacent to Bruach na hAbhainn housing estate – that were classified as Grade D by IBAL (Irish Business Against Litter) which “prevented Portlaoise from obtaining litter free status.”
[Source: Leinster Express]


Gardaí (police) in Carrick-on-Shannon are seeking the help of the public after a 16-year-old from east Galway was seriously injured when he was hit by a car on the R280 outside Cartown last Wednesday. Gardaí would particularly like to hear from two people who contacted them in relation to people walking on the road – one of those callers was a woman from Leitrim Village.

The youth was transferred to Sligo General Hospital and his injuries were described as “not life threatening.”
[Source: Leitrim Observer]


The mother of two children who suffered horrific injuries in a petrol bomb attack six years ago last week has said the attack will haunt her for the rest of her life.

Speaking at her home, Shelia Murray said her daughter Millie (12), and ten-year-old son Gavin, would need treatment for their burns for the rest of their lives.

On the sixth anniversary of the petrol bombing, the father of murdered Robert Sheehan – who had acted as a lookout for two older teenagers who petrol bombed Ms. Murray’s car – said his son had been haunted by the incident and had “never got over it.”

Robert Sheehan, who was jailed for two years in 2007 for his role in the unprovoked attack, was murdered earlier this month.

He had been shot several times in the head and body while attending a family wedding party in Co. Clare. Both events are unconnected, according to Gardaí (police).
[Source: Limerick Leader]


The detection of burglaries has doubled in the Longford Roscommon district in comparison to this time last year.

The stark figures were revealed by Inspector Fran Nicholson at the Joint Policing Committee meeting of Longford Town Council last Wednesday.

Inspector Nicholson also said public order offenses had risen significantly for the same period. Although unable to give exact figures, Insp. Nicholson estimated it was a rise of 15 to 20 percent. The introduction of new Garda (police) rosters earlier this year, which has led to an increase of Gardaí on-duty at hours normally associated with antisocial behaviour, may have had a bearing on the increase, Insp. Nicholson said.
[Source: Longford Leader]


The threat of more Garda (police) stations closing and the changing economic times has increased the need for more alert groups.

A survey has shown that one third of farmers do not feel safe and 11 percent have been victims of crime.

The huge rise in fuel costs means that thieves are targeting items such as diesel tanks on lands.

A current problem is bogus callers targeting older people living on their own.

And this is where the alert groups are proving to be of enormous value.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]


Over 10,000 householders in Mayo have been warned to register and pay the $130 household charge – or face the prospect of legal action in the next month.

A special meeting of Mayo County Council revealed that 10,600 properties have been identified as having not paid the household charge, and that final warnings are to be delivered to them in coming days. Mayo County Manager Peter Hynes and his Head of Finance, Peter Duggan, both reiterated that the only way to avoid reductions in public funding was to pursue those who have not yet paid the charge.
[Source: The Mayo News]


A call for a seven-day rota system for Meath County Council street-cleaning staff has been made following heavy littering in Market Square in Navan two weekends ago.

Clr. Tommy Reilly said the state of Market Square on Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday and into Monday morning could no longer be tolerated.

Fast food wrappers, cans and other litter remained scattered over the grass and paved areas at the Bull sculpture, and on the ground near a litter bin at the former ACC building.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]


Malachy O’Rourke has been ratified as the new Monaghan football manager.

The Farney’s county board confirmed on their website that a committee meeting last Monday night had supported the installation of the former Fermanagh boss.

The Derrylin man was in charge of his native Fermanagh from 2007 to 2010.
[Source: RTÉ News]


Ireland’s disastrous “summer” has been a boon for a select group of Irish agricultural machinery manufacturers – namely, those selling zero-grazing machines to farmers aiming to beat the conditions and keep a fresh supply of grass in front of their stock.

“A bad summer, believe it or not, is good for us,” said Michael Gavin of Belmac Engineering, near Ferbane, Co. Offaly. Mr. Gavin and his son David have seen sales of their zero-grazing wagons quadruple this year, as a combination of poor grazing conditions and expansionary pressures on fragmented units forced many farmers to invest in the concept.

Sales of many pieces of zero-graving machines have doubled over the past year.
A zero-grazing machine capable of feeding at least 50 cows starts at $26,000 but can range up to $76,000 for a unit designed to cater for 250-cow herds.
[Source: Offaly Express]


The equivalent of seven teams, 105 male GAA players, has emigrated from County Roscommon in the last 12 months, a special Herald survey can reveal. The survey highlights the devastating impact the economic crisis is having on communities and clubs throughout the county.

As the economic crisis, which began in 2008, continues to bite, the impact is being felt among GAA clubs throughout the county, with North West Roscommon the area hardest hit.
[Source: Roscommon Herald]


Councils across the country are running out of money while continuing to pay former members tens of thousands of dollars in generous retirement packages.

The latest council to hit a cash crisis is Sligo, which was forced to ask for a government grant early because it ran out of money, the Irish Independent has learned.

And more than half our city and county councils are being forced to rely on borrowings to pay day-to-day expenses.

But new figures show that former councilors elected to the Dail (Irish parliament) and Seanad (Senate) will be paid as much as $1.4 million in "retirement gratuity" payments before the next general election.
[Source: Sligo Champion]


Tipperary motorists are now faced with the highest fuel prices ever. Some fuel stations are charging an average of $2.20 per liter of petrol and $2.07 per liter of diesel. These are expected to rise by another 10 cent in the coming weeks. Government taxes are the main reason for the high prices followed closely by uncertainty in the market and also the weak euro against the dollar.

Tipperary Energy Agency states that now is the best time for people to change their car to a more fuel efficient model in the tax A or B bands. The Agency is taking part in an EU funded project called CleanDrive ( which is focused on the promotion of more fuel efficient vehicles and electric cars.
[Source: Tipperary News & Star]


More needs to be done to stop continuing vandalism at a play park in Donaghmore.

That's according to locals who are fed up with antisocial behavior at the play area at Ivybank Park.

Callers to the Courier complained that the park was constantly being damaged and was being used for antisocial behavior.
Locals said complaints had been made to Dungannon Borough Council and also to the police, but to no avail, with incidents still continuing.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]


A car drove the wrong way down a one way street in Ballybricken and struck four cars resulting in two women being cut free from one of the cars. The incident happened just before lunch time when the blue Daewoo, which also contained a female passenger, struck a car containing four people head-on, as well as three parked cars.

In a separate incident, an elderly person was struck by a car at a nearby pedestrian crossing, within minutes of the crash occurring.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]


Judge Seamus Hughes had hit back at calls on him to resign last week, saying he made the exact same comments about Travelers last year and was actually praised by Pavee Point on that occasion.

At the court sitting in Athlone last Wednesday, the judge briefly addressed the controversy in which the Traveler lobby group had called for his resignation over remarks he made during a case the previous week involving Martin Stokes (21) of 5 Corkhill, Kinnegad, who admitted threatening to set fire to the home of a former neighbour of his.

During that case two weeks ago, the judge said he suspected the defendant came from a certain ethnic background that would give him even more form given the type of behaviour in which some of them engage.
[Source: Westmeath Independent]


Gardaí (police) and two units of Enniscorthy Fire Brigade rushed to Ballynastraw, Glenbrien on Saturday evening (September 8) after receiving a call about a fire breaking out in a cottage in the area.

The fire was called in by a local farmer and the emergency services attended the scene shortly after 5:30 p.m. The cottage was in an isolated area, down a laneway and could not be seen from the road.

The house, which had a thatched roof, was uninhabited and the fire took a number of hours to get under control but was eventually extinguished with the main damage affecting the thatched roof of the house. The building structure was left relatively unscathed.
[Source: Wexford Echo]


"I had a dream that I was talking to the Irish Sea," says Fionn Regan. "And in the dream, the Irish Sea told me to find my spirit. The Irish Sea said that everybody has to find their spirit or they're going under."

That dream was the spark for Regan's new album, The Bunkhouse Vol. I: Anchor Black Tattoo. It's a striped back acoustic affair of a mere 23 minutes in duration and the Irish Sea is not the only guest star. The Sugarloaf, the landmark mountain Regan grew up in the shadow of, makes a brief appearance, as does the Wicklow village of Enniskerry and other locations around Regan's home county.
[Source: RTÉ News]

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