A man who stabbed his mother to death on Mother's Day last year has pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

John Charles Coburn (35), from Rossburn Manor in Connor, appeared at Antrim Crown Court last Thursday, where he entered the guilty plea.

He appeared in the dock wearing a white and yellow polo shirt, flanked by a psychiatric nurse.
Coburn stabbed his mother Lyn, a former Antrim High School student, on April 3, 2011 at her home in Connor.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


The news that the Narrow Water Bridge project, the first major infrastructure link between Ireland, North and South, has secured $22.6 million of European funding from the Cross Border INTERREG IVA Program, has been met with much delight from political representatives and involved agencies alike.

This major capital investment will see the development of a 640 meter single carriageway cable-stayed bridge across Carlingford Lough linking Counties Down and Louth and will be an opening bridge to enable tall ships, leisure craft and other marine vessels access to Victoria Lock and the Albert Basin in Newry.

Supporters of the bridge have long heralded its tourism and economic potential, citing it as a “gateway to the Mournes,” which will also open up greater trade links between North and South.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


A two-day search of the River Barrow was called off on Friday, October 26, when the body of an elderly man was found.

Seán Dowling (79) from Spahill, Borris was found in the river at 12:40 p.m., following extensive searches since early Thursday.

Gardaí (police) had begun a search of the area at 9 a.m. on Thursday after the popular Borris native was reported missing.

His car was found parked in Aldi in Bagenalstown and local groups, including the Civil Defence, were on hand to help search for Mr. Dowling.
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]


A four-man gang made off with a large haul of cigarettes from a supermarket in Kingscourt last Tuesday morning, and a high-speed chase ensued with Gardaí (police), during which the patrol car was struck, The Anglo-Celt can reveal.

The gang smashed a large window at the SuperValu premises on Church Street, and then proceeded inside and made their way to the strong room, and are understood to have cut it open with cutting equipment. They took the haul of cigarettes from that room.

They also damaged a cigarette vending machine on the shop floor and took the cigarettes from it. The Gardaí received an alarm call at 1 a.m. on Tuesday to go to the SuperValu.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


It is believed that Ryanair is to increase its traffic at Shannon significantly, with sources indicating that a deal will be announced following the separation of the airport from the Dublin Airport Authority (D.A.A.).

It’s understood Ryanair has made contact with local business people and indicated that as many as six planes could be based at Shannon, where currently there is only one. Having that many planes at Shannon would indicate a huge level of traffic and would give a massive boost to the airport and the regional economy. However, that number seems unlikely given the economic crisis gripping Ireland and Europe.

Ryanair have refused to comment on the matter and in a statement to The Clare Champion on Wednesday the company said, “Ryanair does not comment upon, or engage in, rumor or speculation.”
[Source: Clare Champion]


A Cork woman who suffered the tragic loss of her two young daughters after her husband took his own life and theirs revealed last Wednesday that the H.S.E. conducted an inquiry without telling her.

Almost two years ago in November 2010, John Butler killed Zoe (6) and Ella (2) and then himself in Ballycotton. Mr. Butler had been suffering from depression and had been receiving medical attention, until three months before his death.

In a statement released by a solicitor acting for Una Butler, it was revealed that she first became aware of the investigation only after meeting Minister of State with responsibility for mental health Kathleen Lynch in May.
[Source: Cork Independent]


Thousands took to the streets of Derry on October 31 for the annual Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival.

Upwards of 30,000 revellers descended on the city for the world’s biggest Halloween party.

From early afternoon families of all ages were putting the final touches to their costumes and soaking up the unique atmosphere in the city centre.

As the Carnival Parade meandered through the city centre, onlookers watched as spirits, creatures and beings of “the other world” joined them for their annual party through the streets of the city. The parade concluded with a stunning fireworks display over the River Foyle.
[Source: Derry Journal]


A baby who was given minutes to live over four years ago continues to thrive after being given a kidney by his father last Monday.

Christian McCullagh rushed into this world five weeks early and at birth was diagnosed with serious medical conditions which included under developed lungs, a leaking valve in his heart and was at the end stage of renal failure.

Christian McCullagh was born in Letterkenny General Hospital (L.G.H.) on February 6, 2008. His family bid goodbye to their little bundle of joy twice before they discovered the baby’s ability to fight for life.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]


For the politically-minded, there can be no more exciting event than the U.S. presidential election.

And so, when the idea was floated that our politics department should organize a trip to Washington this November, naturally a large number of boys leapt at the chance.

It isn't the first time Bangor Grammar has visited the political capital of the free world – we were there back in 2008 to watch the election of the first African-American president, Barack Obama.

And while there hasn't been quite as much hype surrounding the Democrat campaign this time round, it promises to be a much closer and equally exciting race.
[Source: BBC News]


A man accused of raping a woman after breaking into her Dublin home threatened to bury her in the back garden, she told a court last Wednesday.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to raping the woman on two occasions, falsely imprisoning her and making a threat to kill or cause her serious harm at her Dublin home on June 17, 2011.

He also has pleaded not guilty to entering the woman's home as a trespasser with intent to commit theft and carrying a screwdriver and hammer on the same occasion.

Paul Burns, prosecuting, in opening the case to the jury, said the woman normally had a roommate, but on this night she was alone in her apartment and had fallen asleep in bed after a phone-call from her sister.
[Source: Evening Herald]


Urgent action is needed if the recent spike in suicides is to be addressed within the county.

The call comes from Caroline Teague, originally from Lisnaskea, who now works for the Public Institute for the Prevention of Suicide and Self Harm.

Six people within the county, between the ages of 15 and 69, have taken their own lives in the last three weeks.

This dramatic increase makes for stark reading when set against the 15 suicides that have occurred in Belfast in the last four months.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]


Galway’s most renowned sports horse breeder has been left paralyzed after sustaining a broken neck and severe spinal injuries following a horrific accident at a horse show.

Deirdre Bourns, who runs Bourns Sport Horses on Lisbeg Farms in Eyrecourt outside Ballinasloe, was working in the warm-up area of the Cavan Equestrian Centre during the indoor championships on September 19 with her horse and rider when a young horse bolted across the ring.

Deirdre was in a line of people when she and another woman were knocked down by the out-of-control horse which had a rider on top.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]


Kerry Group has reported year-on-year revenue growth of 10.9 percent for the first nine months of this year, to $5.7 billion, with trading profit up by 12.1 percent.

In its latest interim management statement, the Tralee-headquartered food group last Wednesday said that the third quarter of the year saw the business continue to achieve "good organic growth.”

"Performance was solid across all regions, notwithstanding the challenging market conditions in Europe and the continuing competitive consumer foods market situation in Ireland and the U.K."
[Source: Irish Examiner]


Fears that the people of Athy and south Kildare will have to wait longer for an ambulance in an emergency due to changes at the local ambulance base were expressed last week.

However the H.S.E. has moved to allay the fears and say the cost saving changes will not impact on front-line services.

Speaking at the recent meeting of Athy Town Council, Clr. Mary O’Sullivan called on the H.S.E. to provide reassurance that the present ambulance service in Athy would not be curtailed or withdrawn.
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]


Kilkenny City is to benefit from a €5.5 million investment for the “Medieval Mile” tourism project, as was announced last Tuesday morning by Failte Ireland and Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan.

The Medieval Mile will stretch from Kilkenny Castle to St. Canice’s Cathedral, with the first phase of the plan – three specific projects – set to come about from this funding. A museum at St. Mary’s Church, a “Great Garden” along the River Nore, and the upgrading of the visitor experience, are part of an overall $19.5 million scheme to make the city a “must-see” destination for overseas visitors to Ireland.
[Source: Kilkenny People]


In the on-going search for missing Laois woman Aoife Phelan, Gardaí (police) have again spoken to a number of her friends and family, one week after her disappearance.

To date, searches in and around Portlaoise and Mountmellick have yielded nothing, while an examination of her phone records, bank account and Facebook account show no activity since Thursday, October 25.

Gardaí conducted inquires in housing estates around the Colliers Lane area of the town last Tuesday evening, October 30 where the missing woman was last seen five days previous.
[Source: Leinster Express]


A new Irish documentary about movie-going in Ireland throughout the decades, called ”See You at the Pictures,” will film in Carrick-on-Shannon on November 14.

The documentary for R.T.É., expected to be 90 minutes in length, received $136,000 from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland earlier this year.

Planet Korda Pictures is a Temple Bar-based production company who see this project “as a social history project as well as an entertaining film and hope that the stories we collect will form part of a nationwide historical resource on Irish cinema going.”
[Source: Leitrim Observer]


A Polish woman who is dying from leukaemia received her final wish last week, after donations from the public allowed her to fly home to Poland.

Marta Salacka (27), a mother of a four year-old son, needed $26,000 to fly home to Poland on an air ambulance, as she was not permitted to travel on routine flights because of her condition.

The young woman, who hails from Gorzow Wielkopolski, near the German border, wanted to be at home with all her family in her final days.

There were emotional scenes in Limerick as she and her family bid farewell to their close friends, whom they have known for the past seven years.
[Source: Limerick Leader]


The death of a 58-year-old Longford man on New Year’s Eve 2009 was caused by the enlargement of his heart after he suffered a heart attack brought on by an unprovoked assault, the Coroner’s Court in Longford has heard.

Mr. Noel Keegan of 31 Farnagh, County Longford died shortly after he was attacked by Martin McDonagh of 55 Mostrim Oaks, Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford at Park Road, Co. Longford on December 31, 2009. Mr. McDonagh was subsequently sentenced to five-year imprisonment.

Mr. Keegan, who was accompanied by his wife Marie on the evening of his death, was on his way to PVs on Ballymahon Street to meet with friends. The couple were followed by Mr. McDonagh and a female friend and the inquest heard that the Keegans tried to “lose” Mr. McDonagh and the woman by heading in a different direction.
[Source: Longford Leader]


Ardee Baroque, Ireland’s only festival of orchestral baroque music, will take place over the weekend of November 16-18 in Ardee.

“It’s going to be a fabulous three days of Handel, Bach and other composers,” said Ardee Baroque chairman John Rountree.

“We will have concerts by the Irish Baroque Orchestra, soprano Deirdre Moynihan, baroque guitarist Eamon Sweeney, as well as other events. The sheer quality of the music will be exceptional.”

Ardee Baroque is now in its ninth year and has established a reputation for exceptional music in atmospheric venues.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]


Fifteen men who are accused of various charges relating to violent scenes at a Confirmation mass in St. Mary’s Church in Ballinrobe last February have indicated that they will be pleading not guilty.

Sixteen men appeared before Castlebar District Court on Friday, October 26 in relation to incidents in Ballinrobe on December 25, 2011 and February 18, 2012.

Four men were charged with affray on December 25, 2011, while fifteen men were charged with incidents at St. Mary’s Church in Ballinrobe on February 28, 2012. Four of them were charged on two counts – that of possession of an article and of threatening and abusive behaviour – while eleven other men are charged with violent disorder at the same location.
[Source: The Mayo News]


Thirteen students, three teachers and two parents from Eureka Secondary School in Kells, who were stranded in New York because of “Superstorm Sandy,” have made it home to Ireland.

The Eureka students had travelled to New York to take part in the world finals of the Empire Mock Courtroom Trials competition along with their teachers Principal Caroline O'Reilly, Gabrielle Moran and Ronan Fahy, and parents Eileen Cunniffe and Lorraine Parry.

The group was due to depart from Newark Airport on October 29, but the arrival of Superstorm Sandy saw their flight cancelled.

At that stage, they were told that they would not be able to get another flight until November 9, and this was then revised to November 6. After spending many hours on the phone making frantic calls to seek alternative flights, Ms. O'Reilly got the good news that they were booked on a flight last Wednesday evening with their original airline and they arrived back in Dublin early on Thursday morning.
[Source: Meath Chronicle]


A man has pleaded guilty to the possession of a sawn-off shotgun and two cartridges.

Eamon Lennon (36), of Iniskeen, County Monaghan, pleaded guilty at the Special Criminal Court to the unlawful possession of a sawn-off 12-gauge side-by-side shotgun and possession of two 12-gauge Eley shotgun cartridges at Ecco Road, Dundalk, Co. Louth on August 8, 2010.

Presiding judge Mr. Justice Paul Butler, sitting with Judge Margaret Heneghan and Judge William Hamill, remanded the accused man in custody, to appear before the non-jury court on December 6.
[Source: Evening Herald]


Police in Wales searching for missing Offaly woman Catherine Gowing have discovered human remains.

Search Teams and the Regional Underwater Search Team deployed in Sealand, Flintshire discovered the remains in a shallow pool within the field known locally as the “Lum.”

The search targeted the area following information received from members of the public.

Senior Investigating Officer D.C.I. Mark Pierce commented, “At this time those remains have yet to be formally identified as this will require medical as well as forensic examination. A post-mortem is planned for later today (Thursday, November 1). At this time we are not able to comment further however Catherine Gowing’s family have been informed of this distressing development and clearly our thoughts are with them at this very difficult time. I would ask that they be allowed privacy to come to terms with this news.”
[Source: Offaly Express]


The alleged “inappropriate use” of monies from a fund held by prison officers at Castlerea Prison is being referred to the Garda (police) commissioner, the Herald can reveal.

The alleged “inappropriate use” of what is believed to be a significant amount of money was raised for discussion at a recent Oireachtas committee meeting.

At a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee earlier last month the committee confirmed receiving information from an anonymous source regarding the alleged “inappropriate use” of funds.
[Source: Roscommon Herald]


A 27-year-old man carried out two unprovoked assaults on two other men in quick succession, Sligo Circuit Court heard.

As a result, Eriks Melnis, Abbot's Close, Seapark, Dungarvan, County Waterford, was given a three-year suspended sentence on one charge.

He was ordered to carry out 240 hours of community service, in lieu of two-year imprisonment, on the other.

Judge Hunt was told the incidents in July 2011, were "totally out of character" for Melnis.
[Source: Sligo Champion]


Patients and medical staff in Cashel are “gravely disturbed” that an x-ray machine in Our Lady’s Hospital is out of action due to a mechanical defect, according to a local medical doctor and county councilor.

Mayor of Cashel Dr. Séan McCarthy also said passengers travelling through Thurles Railway Station could not use the car park without fear of being fined, or having their cars clamped, as the ticket vending machines are out of order.

Dr. McCarthy told the Tipperary Star the x-ray machine on the grounds of Our Lady’s has been out of order for the week or so, and there is mounting concern.
[Source: Tipperary Star]


Police and Fire Service personnel are investigating the circumstances surrounding a fatal incident on Friday evening, October 26 at a farm in the Killybracken Road area of Dungannon, which claimed the life of a popular local farmer.

Mr. Jackie McCoey (76) died in an incident involving a piece of cattle-feeding equipment.

A very well-known man who farmed in the area for most of his life, Mr. McCoey is survived by a wife and seven children to whom sincere sympathy is extended.

He is the 24th person in Northern Ireland to die in a farming accident in the past 20 months.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]


A meeting took place last Thursday evening between the Master of the City and County Infirmary Trust, Mr. Gordon Watson, and elected representatives from the city and county to discuss growing gears that hospital services in Waterford and the region could be seriously eroded.

The meeting at Waterford Institute of Technology had been called amid fears that approval is to be given for a recommendation for the complete break-up of the regional hospital network.

That would mean a downgrade of W.R.H. and Waterford networking with Cork and Clonmel while people from Wexford and Kilkenny requiring hospital care would have to travel to Dublin.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]


The Minister for Agriculture Marine and Food Simon Coveney has officially launched Moate-based Irish Rural Link's new Farm Safety Mentor Program.

The initiative is a new and innovative approach in the communication of the farm safety message according to Seamus Boland, C.E.O. of Irish Rural Link, who expressed his delight at Minister Coveney's endorsement of the campaign.

"Sadly fatalities and injuries remain way too high on Irish farms and part of the solution is to actively involve farmers themselves in the change process," he commented. This new and innovative approach to saving lives will engage farmers to become change makers, supporting safer farms and the development of farm to farm advice and mentoring systems.
[Source: Westmeath Independent]


New Ross Town Council has been asked to consider reviewing its existing bye-laws with regard to drinking in public places.

Town Clerk, Ger Mackey, made the suggestion during a recent local authority meeting in the Brandon House Hotel.

Speaking to councilors, Mr. Mackey said, “There is a need for a review in light of the enhanced town park facilities and quayside plan.”

“These particular bye-laws are useful in combating anti-social behavior and allows for the full enjoyment of the town’s amenities,” added Mr. Mackey.
[Source: Wexford Echo]


A 34-year-old Wicklow man charged with murdering a young father told his arresting detective that the Gardaí (police) had made “a catastrophic error,” his trial has heard.

Father-of-two Séamus O'Byrne was shot five times in front of his girlfriend and baby son outside their home at Tymon Park North, Tallaght in Dublin.

Garrett O’Brien, of Clover Hill in Bray, has pleaded not guilty to murdering the 27-year-old and to possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life on March 13, 2009.

Detective Garda Camon Ryan gave evidence to the Central Criminal Court last Wednesday of arresting Garrett O’Brien for the murder.

“Yous made a catastrophic error,” said the defendant in reply to his arrest on March 4, 2010.
[Source: Irish Independent]

News from around the Emerald Isle