The mother of an Antrim woman who flew the nest to pursue a high-flying career in a top London law firm has bravely spoken of her “complete and utter devastation” following her daughter's sudden death.

Tracey McGuckin was enjoying a night out with friends in one of the capital's karaoke bars two weekends ago, but it all ended in tragedy when she stepped out into the street – and into the path of a car which was hurtling past.

The ambitious 29-year-old, who had dreamed of becoming a lawyer from her early days at Antrim Primary School, quietly slipped away on that busy city street. Her family, so many miles away, had no idea that their lives were about to change forever.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


Historic Killeavy Castle and estate, nestled in an area of outstanding beauty, has been put on the market for almost $1.6 million.

The 200-year-old castle has lately been the focus of a restoration campaign, spearheaded by local art student, Deaglan Mulgrew. Deaglan had spoken to The Examiner in recent months about his concerns for the building and set up a series of meetings to discuss restoring the castle to its former glory.

Bell’s Castle, as it is also known, has been part of south Armagh’s heritage since the first half of the 19th century, having been built by the Foxall family and subsequently owned by the Bell family until the death of Maureen Bell in 2000.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


A long-lost letter has sparked an American man to track down his Carlow pen-pal from days of yore.

Mark Lobes, a teacher from Lockport, Illinois stumbled across an old letter written in the 1980s by a girl named Karen from Carlow Town while cleaning his house, and now he hopes to track her down.

His quest to discover his pen-pal, to whom he wrote while he was in first grade and attending St. Joseph’s School in Downers Grove, Illinois, began after he found an old letter and picture of her in a previously forgotten-about box.

Curiosity getting the better of him, Mark set about e-mailing Scoil Mhuire gan Smál – where Karen went to school – in the hope that they could provide him with more information.

His aim, he says, is to respond to the final letter she sent on February 28, 1985.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]


An Oireachtas committee has vowed to visit the earmarked frack-zones in the Lough Allen basin after a “thought-provoking and insightful” discussion of the potential environmental implications at a meeting last Wednesday.

The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications heard from policymakers, experts and a campaigning group on the possible environmental implications of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as a means of exploration in Ireland.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


Further developing Clare’s gastronomic potential will see more money coming into and staying in the county, according to one of Ireland’s top food writers.

The Irish Food Guide was published last week and more than 50 Clare businesses feature in the 2012 publication, compiled by John and Sally McKenna.

Clare is “right up there with the best” and is the “template” for other counties to follow, John McKenna told The Clare Champion.

“Clare is right up there with the best. It is as simple as that. This is the 10th edition of the book. When you look back and see the development of Clare, it is very interesting. It is the perfect example of what you need for a good food jigsaw. It has strength and depth. What you have in Connemara, for example, is lots of excellent destinations but no infrastructure. It has a few salmon smokers and a few people doing seaweed but it has no growers, no cheese makers, no strong artisan brands. It is a busy tourist destination but it is ultimately, as a tourist destination, a failure. What happens in Connemara is that the money comes in and goes right out again. The money is not spent on Connemara food, because it doesn’t exist.”
[Source: Clare Champion]


Providence Resources said last Wednesday that the amount of oil that can be recovered from a huge oil field off the Cork coast is much greater than was previously thought.

The company announced that two new technical studies found that about 280 million barrels could be recovered from the Barryroe field, 30 miles off the Cork coast. At the moment Ireland imports all of its oil.

The amount of money generated by the find will depend on the market value at the time of extraction and on licensing arrangements.

Providence Chief Executive Tony O'Reilly, Jr. hailed it as the beginning of an Irish oil industry. He described the find as a huge success story, after decades of exploration around the Irish coast.
[Source: Cork Independent]


Derry’s North West Regional College (N.W.R.C.) is to be a key venue when the city hosts the All-Ireland Fleadh next year, it has been announced.

The Derry college will host the festival’s competitions throughout its August 12-18 run.

N.W.R.C.’s Principal Seamus Murphy says the college is honored to be the competition host.
[Source: Derry Journal]


A Donegal woman has been selected to join an elite group of people to take part in an expedition to Antarctica.

Eimear Carlin, from Milltown, Raphoe, is the only Irish representative on the 2041 Antarctic Youth Ambassador Program and has been formally invited by Robert Swan O.B.E. to take part in the three-week International Antarctic Expedition (I.A.E.), which begins next February.

The group seek to preserve the continent’s unique landscape and wildlife as well as learning how to mitigate the effects of climate change.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]


Licenses have been granted for three renewable energy projects off the coast of Northern Ireland.

The Crown Estate has signed deals with First Flight Wind Ltd., Tidal Ventures and D.P. Marine Energy Ltd. of Ireland, and D.E.M.E., of Belgium.

The deals will see the creation of a 600 MW wind farm off Ardglass, County Down, and two 100 MW tidal turbines off Fair Head and Torr Head, Co. Antrim.

Work on the projects is expected to start from 2016.
[Source: BBC News]


A gang of reckless hooligans targeted a bus with fireworks last week as fears about the use of illegal explosives in Dublin escalate in the run up to Halloween.

The youths were witnessed launching fireworks at a public bus in south Dublin.

Horrified onlookers and motorists watched on as the gang threw a firework under a bus in Clondalkin last Monday evening in what could have been a potentially deadly act.
[Source: Evening Herald]


Two workmates of Barry McCarney have told the Crown Court he was “not settled in himself” and it appeared that something was bothering him, the day he rushed into the Erne Hospital carrying 15-month-old Millie Martin.

McCarney, who is charged with murdering the baby he took to the A&E department on the night of December 10, 2009, left work at 10 a.m. after telling his workmates he was sick.

Subcontractor Tony McHugh recalled arriving at work on the site of the new hospital that morning at 8 a.m. and said at that time McCarney was “fine.”
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]


We don’t often have it within our remit to give the gift of life – but one Oranmore woman has come closer than most because she has just become the first female in the west of Ireland to donate 100 pints of blood.

Mary Hynes Walsh began donating blood back in the 1970s at Downhill Hotel in Ballina, and she has donated three times a year ever since to top the 100 mark last May. And last Friday she was honored at an awards ceremony in the McWilliam Park Hotel in Claremorris.

On Friday, October 5, Mary, along with three other Galway men, was awarded for her outstanding achievement of donating 100 pints of blood, which took her 30 years to complete.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]


Kerry Group is one of corporate Ireland's great success stories. Set up by a group of Kerry farmers in a muddy caravan in a field in Listowel in 1972, it has become a food behemoth worth more than $9 billion and employing 25,000 people.

Today, the company makes much of its money supplying ingredients and seasoning but back in the early-1970s products like this were unheard of.

The farmers' smartest move was to entice Denis Brosnan back from London where he was an accountant to run what was then called Kerry Foods at the age of 27.
[Source: Irish Independent]


The mother of missing Welsh girl April Jones has expressed her thanks to the Athy residents who turned out for a candlelit vigil in the town on Friday night.

The vigil, organized as a gesture of solidarity with five-year-old April’s family, drew more than a hundred people and included prayers from local clergy, Fr. Morty O’Shea and Rev. Cliff Jeffers.

Pink balloons were released as part of the ceremony, which took place in Emily Square. It was organized by three local women, Tracey Foley, Sarah O’Connor and Natalie Daly.

Tracey, who is the mother of three young children, aged seven, three and two, told the Kildare Nationalist: “We decided to do it because we are all mothers and we know that this is every parent’s worst nightmare to have your child taken when she was just playing outside the house. It can happen so quickly and it is just terrible.”
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]


In the last academic year, the State paid teachers at Kilkenny College $3.4 million and Special Needs Assistants at the fee paying school on the city’s Castlecomer road received $40,602 from the Department of Education.

In all, $112.1 million in State funding went towards paying the wages of teachers in 56 private schools throughout the country. The information was provided by the Irish Examiner newspaper.
[Source: Kilkenny People]


Laois T.D. Sean Fleming has absolutely no regrets over his decision to storm out of the Dáil Public Accounts Committee meeting on Tuesday, October 9, where he labelled health officials as “a disgrace and not fit for office.”

Speaking to the Leinster Express Deputy Fleming fumed that it was “outrageous” for the Department of Health Secretary General Dr. Ambrose McLoughlin and new H.S.E. Chief Executive Tony O’Brien to attempt to “stonewall the P.A.C. and the people of Ireland” by refusing to answer questions on their 2012 budget overspend.

The T.D. claimed his actions worked and forced answers from the H.S.E. bosses.
[Source: Leinster Express]


Tributes have been pouring in since the passing of “Lovely Leitrim” singer, Larry Cunningham, on September 28 in St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin.

He was the first Irish-based artist to break into the British pop charts in the 1960s and is best known for his rendition of “Lovely Leitrim.”

Mr. Cunningham was born in February 1938, in Clooneen, Granard, Co. Longford, one of seven children born into a small farm of 50 acres.

He left school at 16 and had planned to be a woodwork teacher, but family commitments meant he need to start working so he left to work in Britain.

He worked with a construction company by day, but by night he played traditional music in local venues and played football with the local Gaelic team.

From such humble beginnings he went on to have an international career spanning over 50 years.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]


Former Shannon and Munster player John Lacey has been appointed to referee his first full international match next month when he takes charge of France vs. Samoa clash at the Stade de France on Saturday, November 24.

John Lacey retired from playing rugby in 2007 and has since made rapid progress as a referee, from local level onto the international stage.

Limerick-based Lacey began refereeing in the Munster Schools Cup competitions but he is now a regular match official in the RaboDirect PRO12 and European competitions.
[Source: Limerick Leader]


A host of paintings and artifacts from Carriglass Manor, located close to Longford Town, went under the hammer during last Tuesday’s Adam’s Country House Collections auction that took place at Slane Castle.

Over 200 items went under the hammer including a portrait of Thomas Langlois Lefroy, once High Sheriff of County Longford, which featured in last week’s Longford Leader. The painting fetched $414 despite having a reserve price of between $515 and $1,030. A similar portrait, which also featured in last week’s paper, was one of Anthony Lefroy, once M.P. for Co. Longford, which sold for $5,180 after demanding a reserve price of between $4,000 and $6,500.
[Source: Longford Leader]


Things “turned nasty” when a woman who was being helped by Gardaí (police) to get a taxi in Dundalk became abusive to them, Inspector Martin Beggy told Dundalk Court last Wednesday.

Geraldine Sherry (54), of Cherry Gardens, Twinbrook, Belfast, was charged with public disorder on August 25.

The court was told that the woman and her son were outside a bar in the town. Things were “amicable enough” at the start when Gardaí were trying to help them get a taxi.

However, the scene turned nasty and Ms. Sherry had become abusive when the Gardaí went to arrest her son. Solicitor Conor MacGuill said that his client did not enjoy good health. The incident was something she very much regretted and he asked for leniency for her. Judge Alan Mitchell bound her over to keep the peace for six months and applied the Probation of Offenders Act.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]


The family of Fr. Vincent Kelly (86) is claiming that Mary McLoughlin, of Corragaun, Kilmeena, Westport, last year befriended him and then fraudulently misappropriated over $165,000 of his money.

The family has brought a High Court action against Ms. McLoughlin, saying she “preyed on” Fr. Kelly, and that the cleric has suffered great financial loss and damage due to her “deception, fraud, deceit and theft.”

At the High Court, Mr. Justice Roderick Murphy made a number of orders, including one prohibiting Ms. McLoughlin, from reducing her assets below $66,913.08.
[Source: The Mayo News]


Life slows down. This is a feeling many people today would love to experience as they struggle to meet financial demands, keep jobs and generally survive in austerity Ireland.

That's the concept behind “A Grand Experience,” to have life slow down, and to take into account the simple beauty that surrounds us and in effect embrace.

“A Grand Experience,” a new television documentary, directed by Meath native Garret Daly, charts a journey of three artists, a writer, a photographer and a musician – along the Grand Canal in Co. Offaly on board the historic Canal Boat.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]


One of the Ireland's best-known meat processing plants has been forced to close with the loss of 160 jobs.

Sausage maker Olhausen – which had been in business for more than 126 years – ceased trading at its plants in Blanchardstown and Coolock in Dublin and in County Monaghan.

Shocked workers will now have to wait until next Monday or Tuesday to find out what their entitlements are.

The employees had turned up for work last Wednesday morning as normal, but within an hour, were told their jobs had gone.
[Source: Belfast Telegraph]


Multi-colored hot air balloons rose majestically into the air above Birr Castle Demesne two weeks ago before drifting slowly over the town and away through the sky, floating on a light wind towards the Slieve Bloom Mountains.

This was the 42nd Irish Ballooning Championships (otherwise known as the “Irish Meet”), sponsored by Shannon Development, Fáilte Ireland, and Offaly Local Development Company.

The Irish Meet is the longest running balloon championship in the world, and was first held in 1971 at Newcastle House in Ballymahon, County Longford.
[Source: Offaly Express]


Gardaí (police) in Boyle are appealing for witnesses to a fatal road accident, which took place in the town on Sunday evening, October 7.

A pedestrian, aged in his 60s, was killed after it is believed he was hit by a jeep at around 7:30 p.m.

The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene and was due to interviewed by Gardaí last Monday afternoon. The victim has been named locally as Paddy McKenzie.

The accident took place when the man was crossing the Carrick Road outside of St. Joseph’s Church. It is thought that the victim may have been attending a funeral. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
[Source: Roscommon Herald]


In an unprecedented court ruling, the family of a man “ruthlessly and gratuitously” gunned down outside his home has been awarded about $970,000 damages by the High Court.

Most of the award, some $930,000, will go to Margaret Madden, whose husband Terence Madden (52) – a father of three – bled to death after an artery in his leg was severed when he was shot twice in the early morning ambush outside his home in Ballaghaderreen, County Sligo, on January 28, 1999.

Ms. Madden, Lough Gara View House, Monasteraden, Ballaghaderreen, Co. Sligo, had sued the four men involved in the incident, in what is believed to be the first action of its kind where damages were sought by the family of the victim of a contract killing.
[Source: Irish Times]


A Templemore ornithologist, who thinks he may have a world record on his hands, was disappointed last week to be told there was no such category in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most ducklings born to one mallard duck.

Francis Cummins took a photo showing some 27 ducklings swimming with their mother on the lake in Templemore. Francis said the mallard duck had 28 in her clutch the previous day, but he did not have his camera with him at the time to record this amazing feat of abundance. While there is such a record in the U.S.A., the “duck authorities” across the pond only accept records set in America.
[Source: Tipperary Star]


A missionary from Cookstown has vowed not to be held back from her work, despite having her passport, permanent resident visa and a sizeable sum of donations stolen.

Maud Kells, who has worked in the Congo for 44 years, was due to fly out on October 21, but her house on Moneymore Road was broken into while she was out at a meeting discussing her work, and now her trip to Africa is in doubt.

But she has stated she is determined to get out to Congo no matter what, and says the item stolen which she needed the most was her permanent resident visa.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]


A campaign was launched on Monday to highlight the extent of the pummeling Waterford has received from the government in recent years, with members of the public asked to give the shirt of their back as a symbol that the city has nothing left to give in these economically harsh times.

Waterford Gives a Shirt was launched in response to plans by Minister Phil Hogan to merge the city and county, with rumors that the managerial headquarters would be in Dungarvan. It was expected that the amalgamation would be announced at a Cabinet meeting last Tuesday.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]


Gardaí (police) in Athlone are looking for witnesses to a handbag snatch on Thursday morning, in which a young woman received minor injuries.

The incident happened in the Valleycourt Estate, just off the Dublin Road as the woman in her early 20s was walking home alone.

It's thought the man came up behind the victim and swiped the handbag from her as she made her way to her house around 2 a.m. The young woman received minor injuries in the ensuing struggle and was brought to Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe. She was released a short time later.
[Source: Westmeath Independent]


A public protest against the closure of an operating theater at Wexford General Hospital was held outside the hospital last Saturday afternoon.

Councilor Anthony Kelly of Sinn Fein is calling on Wexford’s Oireachtas members to come out immediately and call for this decision to be reversed.
[Source: Wexford Echo]


A truck driver died following a road collision on the N11 in Wicklow.

A man in his 60s was fatally injured last week when the truck he was driving left the road and hit a ditch at Scratenagh, about one mile south of Jack White's Pub.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. Forensic collision investigators are present and diversions are in place.
[Source: Irish Times]

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