Antrim residents and business owners breathed a sigh of relief late on Sunday, November 18, when a “gas leak” in the town center was declared safe.

But relief quickly turned to anger when Northern Ireland Electricity confirmed that the loud bangs heard by locals and revelers were in fact caused by “heavy rain hitting live wires” at an excavation site on High Street.

The three “explosions” occurred at around 9 p.m. and were clearly audible above the music and general chatter in nearby Madden's Bar.
[Source: Antrim Guardian]


A van fitted with a hydraulic ejector pad, believed to be of use in the diesel laundering process, was discovered alongside another van containing a storage tank with 265 gallons of illegal fuel, following a H.M. Revenue & Customs operation in Crossmaglen last week.

John Whiting, assistant director of criminal investigation at H.M.R.C., said both vehicles had been adapted for the purpose of diesel fraud, with one van adapted to transport the laundered diesel whilst the other was fitted with what he described as “a James Bond-style ejector system, whereby waste product could be ejected from the back of a vehicle very quickly and fly-tipped at the side of the road.”

“Both vehicles are unsafe for use on our roads and show a total disregard for the safety of other motorists. This indiscriminate dumping of waste is a very real threat to the environment and costs the tax and rate payers thousands of pounds in clean-up costs,” he said.
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


Members of the public have reacted angrily to “state-sponsored vandalism” along the River Barrow. Two weeks ago, Waterways Ireland began cutting trees along the Barrow Track that, locals say, has left it “looking like The Somme.”

Local man Michael Whelan from Springfield Drive, who describes himself as “an avid walker,” claims the cut trees have been left “like spears” and voiced his concerns about the effect the chopped trees will have on the local wildlife. “We condemn the young fellas who did this in John Sweeney Park,” said Mr. Whelan, referring to trees that were chopped down at the entrance to the Carlow Town estate recently. “Now we have a state body doing it.”
[Source: Carlow Nationalist]


The High Court was told last Thursday that Seán Quinn, Sr., who is serving a nine-week prison sentence for contempt of court, has dismissed his lawyer and that his son, Sean Quinn, Jr. has also moved to appoint a new legal team.

Presiding Miss Justice Elizabeth Dunne was told the bankrupt Ballyconnell businessman had informed his lawyer of the decision to remove them during a professional visit while in prison.

A formal application for the lawyers to come off record will be made on Monday, November 26. The court also heard the rest of the Quinn family, with the exception of Peter Darragh Quinn, who is currently residing outside the jurisdiction, have hired new lawyers and that both the family and their newly-appointed legal team need time to review the contempt case.
[Source: The Anglo Celt]


It is very much a case of Donegal’s loss is Clare’s gain following the appointment of Dr. Austin Stack as Professor of Medicine at the University of Limerick.

Dr. Stack has joined existing nephrologists Dr. Casserly and Dr. Cronin at the dialysis unit in the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick and at the Fresenius unit on the Dock Road.

He was consultant nephrologist at Letterkenny General Hospital in Donegal where he was highly-respected.

The Clare branch of the Irish Kidney Association (I.K.A.) has welcomed his appointment to the Mid-West area, while he has been enquiring about the kidney association in Clare, as he was familiar with the work of the Donegal branch.
[Source: Clare Champion]


The Jack Lynch Tunnel fully reopened last Friday, two weeks ahead of schedule to facilitate the free flow of traffic in the run-up to Christmas.

The tunnel has been closed nightly from 9:15 p.m. to 7 a.m. with the exception of Fridays, as part of an E.U. directive for additional fire protection. The work, which commenced in September, was originally scheduled to take six months but later reduced to three months.

“We’re delighted to announce that the work, which was originally scheduled to take six months, has been practically completed in less than three," said a spokesperson for the Jack Lynch Tunnel management team.
[Source: Cork Independent]


He’s best known for playing tough guys with a penchant for violence but movie star Ray Winstone was anything but when his latest film, “Ashes,” enjoyed its Irish premiere at the Foyle Film Festival last Wednesday evening.

The London-born movie star was in Derry along with “Ashes” director Mat Whitecross to promote the film, which was screened at the Brunswick Moviebowl. He started off by telling the Journal that City of Derry Airport is one of the nicest airports he’s ever been to.

“It’s a great airport – don’t ever change it. I couldn’t believe it when we arrived on Wednesday because we walked off the plane, walked through a door and we were there – it was great.”
[Source: Derry Journal]


A Kilcar man, who had spent all his working life living one mile from his workplace in Lanesborough, lost his life in a workplace accident in the early hours of Wednesday, November 21.

John O’Donnell (59), a native of Shalway in Kilcar, was working at the E.S.B. power station in Lanesborough, County Longford, where it is believed he got trapped in machinery in the plant.

Gardaí (police) were alerted to the incident at the E.S.B. power station in Lanesborough shortly before 1 a.m. on Wednesday and the late Mr. O’Donnell was taken to Mullingar General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
[Source: Donegal Democrat]


Police have arrested two men in connection with a huge blaze which tore through coal storage sheds in Newry’s Albert Basin on Friday night, November 16. The Albert Basin site is situated between Newry Canal and the Clanrye River, and contains a number of disused storage sheds.

Three fire engines from Newry Fire Station tackled the fire, which broke out around 10 p.m., eventually bringing it under control by the early hours of Saturday.

S.D.L.P. Newry and Armagh M.L.A. Dominic Bradley commended the Fire and Rescue Service for their effort
[Source: Examiner Newspaper]


A grandmother was tied up and held at knife point as she returned home from the school run. Two raiders lay in wait for the woman, in her 50s, as she dropped a child off.

When she returned to her home in Sutton, Dublin at 8:20 a.m., the raiders pounced and told her they “had” her grandchildren.

Her ordeal ended when the thieves – believed to be in their 20s – found up to $65,000 in cash and fled in a gray BMW 5 series.
[Source: Evening Herald]


Rachael Martin sobbed in the dock at Dungannon Crown Court and said the murder of her 15-month-old daughter has wrecked her whole life and she will never hear the word “mummy” from her again.

The 27-year-old mother accused of allowing Barry McCarney to abuse and murder her daughter, described her former lover as a “monster.”

Martin, from Kesh, was living with her daughter in Glebe Park in Enniskillen when 33-year-old McCarney, from Trillick, moved into their home in September 2009. He is accused of murdering Baby Millie a few months later on December 11. He is alleged to have carried out a campaign of abuse on the toddler before killing her with a blow to the back of the head.
[Source: Fermanagh Herald]


Former Galway billionaire brothers Luke and Brian Comer have gone on a multi-million dollar spending spree in the city, buying up to 100 properties at knock-down prices, the Galway City Tribune understands.

It’s believed the brothers have been using their Leixlip-based property investment vehicle Grundy Property Company to make the purchases in Knocknacarra and on the east side of the city.

They have already purchased Kingston Hall in Knocknacarra, a development of more than 30 luxury apartments, and a number of commercial units opposite Joyce’s Supermarket.
[Source: Galway Bay FM]


Kerry Group is to make significant acquisitions in emerging economies in 2013, and predicts a stronger milk price in global markets.

Challenged by farmers attending Teagasc’s national dairy conference in the Brandon Hotel in Tralee last Tuesday, Kerry Group C.E.O. Stan McCarthy also defended the company’s decision to locate its global technology innovation center in County Kildare.

Responding to Kerry I.F.A. Dairy Chairman Ken Jones’s view that milk suppliers felt "let down" by the group’s low milk price in 2012, he defended the group’s milk supplier agreement, which delivers an end-of-year bonus rather than competing on a monthly basis with changing markets.
[Source: Irish Examiner]


Athy has been dealt yet another blow with news that Tegral is to shed a further 16 jobs.

The job cuts are to come into effect from January 2013. There are also to be pay cuts, mainly at senior management level. The news follows a meeting two weeks ago between local management and representatives of the Belgian company Etex, which is Tegral’s parent company.

It’s understood that this meeting was an annual meeting, which had been planned irrespective of the job loss announcement. Workers at Tegral were briefed on the up to date position of the company last Wednesday afternoon, November 14.
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]


There was a light-hearted exchange between senators in the Seanad (Senate) during a discussion on the new killer ash dieback disease.

Galway Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh suggested as a pre-budget submission that the government put a levy on hurleys in Kilkenny to balance the competition across the country. Senator Ó Clochartaigh also thanked Kilkenny Senator Pat O’Neill for stopping the rumor going around Galway that Brian Cody and his team had something to do with the spread of the disease in Galway, Tipperary, Meath and Leitrim.
[Source: Kilkenny People]


Laois road users can expect disruption when work begins on the upgrading of nine miles of raw water-main between Clonaslee and Tullamore early next year.

“There will be disruption and works will impact on traffic for a short period,” explained Tom Shanahan from Offaly County Council, Environment & Water Services section, which has overall responsibility for the project.

He added, “We will liaise with our Laois County Council counterparts when the project begins. But water mains works by their nature are not deep so therefore we wouldn’t envisage any significant road closures or major disruption or diversions.”
[Source: Leinster Express]


Jamestown’s acclaimed restaurant, The Cottage, has added yet another string to its bow, winning category honors for the Best Casual Dining section of the recent National Hospitality Awards.

The awards night was held in the Four Seasons Hotel, Dublin last month and is considered one of the leading events in the industry.

The Cottage restaurant has earned many accolades since opening its doors under the guidance of head chef and proprietor, Shamzuri Hanifa.

It has become a favored dining location for locals and visitors alike and this latest awards shows that The Cottage has more than earned its reputation as one of the premier restaurants in the country.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]


A glass jar full of drugged food was thrown into a back garden in Castletroy, Limerick Animal Welfare has learned.

A German Shepherd dog severed an artery in her foot and suffered a lot of blood loss from the broken glass.

The charity received a number of reports of a white van containing a man and a woman in the Oakwood and Castletroy View Estates last Tuesday afternoon.

Fenella Samways, Limerick Animal Welfare volunteer, quickly put the warning on their popular Facebook page and it has received almost 40 comments.

“A jar of drugged food was thrown over the wall. They were trying to get over the wall in to the garden. There are huge numbers of dogs being stolen at the moment.”
[Source: Limerick Leader]


St. Bernard’s Church in Abbeylara hosted the Relic of St. Peregrine last Saturday night in the picturesque north Longford parish.

The relic is regarded, the world over, as one that holds great healing powers, and had been brought from Rome to north Longford for the occasion.

The night centered around healing, because St. Peregrine is the patron saint of cancer sufferers. The event kicked off at 7:30 p.m. with mass. This was followed by adoration, and healing prayers then commenced with Fr. Campbell and local men, Pat Clarke and Tommy Doyle, who blessed those in attendance with the relic and prayed with them.
[Source: Longford Leader]


The Dundalk wing of a multinational company is at the forefront of a ground-breaking new software program that is set to make waves in the testing industry.

Prometric, who set up in the Finnabair Technolgy Park just six months ago, can already boast that their Dundalk office is already to achieve goals that have been set for it.

Prometric launched their MyItemWrite software, which can be downloaded for free at their website, which they believe will change how industries go about the business of creating tests for their specific needs.
[Source: Dundalk Democrat]


Achill Island R.N.L.I. came to the rescue of two yachtsmen aboard a 29-foot yacht Thursday, November 15, after their boat was damaged by a school of dolphins.

After receiving a call to its station, the Achill Island R.N.L.I. launched to assist the yacht, which was 14 miles away and unable to steer due to a damaged rudder.

The two crewmen on board were approximately four miles southwest of Achill Head when they called for assistance.

According to the two crewmen, their boat’s rudder was damaged after it was surrounded by a school of dolphins.
[Source: The Mayo News]


Fine Gael Meath East T.D., Regina Doherty, last Friday said that she is looking forward to playing her part on the Constitutional Convention. Deputy Doherty was speaking after the Fine Gael delegation on the convention was announced last Thursday evening.

"It is very exciting to be included in our first ever Constitutional Convention, which will bring together politicians and citizens to consider possible changes to the Constitution like never before. It is a great privilege to be asked by An Taoiseach (Prime Minister) to serve as one of the Fine Gael members on the convention.”
[Source: Meath Chronicle]


A man from County Monaghan has pleaded guilty at a Dublin court to possessing an improvised explosive device in Northern Ireland two years ago.

Paul Maguire (26) with a last address at Drumleek South, Castleblayney, appeared at the Special Criminal Court.

He admitted unlawful possession of a device with intent to endanger life at Culloville in Co. Armagh in 2010.

He was charged under a law which allows suspects to be charged in the Republic or Northern Ireland.
[Source: BBC News]


An Offaly man and a British woman have been imprisoned in Dubai after being convicted of committing an “indecent act.”

Conor McRedmond from Tullamore and Rebecca Blake from Surrey in England were both sentenced to three months in prison and then deportation after being charged with “breach of honor with consent” and committing “an indecent act in a taxi.” Both denied the charges and are expected to appeal.

They had pleaded guilty to a further charge related to consumption of alcohol in public.
[Source: Offaly Express]


A 49-year-old man has appeared in court charged with perverting the course of justice in tampering with a urine drink driving sample.

Kevin Rogers of Mote Demesne, Roscommon is charged with carrying out the offence on March 5.

An application was made for C.C.T.V. footage from a post office to be released by Gardaí (police) and provided to the accused’s solicitor.

Garda Inspector Paul Cuttle confirmed to Roscommon District Court that this would be done.
[Source: RTÉ News]


Sligo Regional Hospital continues to spend $1.1 million per month over its approved budget, according to the most recent figures by the H.S.E. two weeks ago.

Statistics from the H.S.E. showed that Sligo Regional Hospital is already $9.6 million over its allocated budget for the first nine months of the year. Cavan General Hospital was also found to be spending over budget; it is $6.1 million in surplus of the budget for the nine months of the year to September 30.

The local health office of Sligo/Leitrim is $2.6 million over its budget also, the performance report showed that the local health offices are spending over $250,000 a month more than their budget allows.
[Source: Leitrim Observer]


The Junior Minister for Transport, Alan Kelly, has dismissed as “laughable” comments made by Nenagh Town Councilor Tom Mulqueen on the Labour Party and the downgrading of Nenagh Hospital.

“I generally don’t respond to attacks from opposition councilors in the local press, given the fact that many of them seem to have little else to do except attack me, but given the level of hypocrisy that Clr. Mulqueen was spouting about me, the Labour Party and the Friends of Nenagh Hospital in [the] edition of your newspaper [two weeks ago], I felt obliged to on this occasion,” Deputy Kelly said in a statement.
[Source: Tipperary Star]


Two men have appeared at Dungannon Magistrate's Court over a serious stabbing incident in Cookstown two weeks ago.

Steven Dean Patrick McCloskey (22) and Liam Patrick James Campbell (30) both from Molesworth Street, Cookstown, have been charged with the attempted murder of a male on Monday, November 12.
Police have said the victim, a 33-year-old male, was stabbed in a house in the Killymoon Street
area, sustaining wounds which are serious but not life threatening.

It is understood that he is a foreign national.
[Source: Tyrone Courier]


Three Waterford properties are up for grabs in the Allsop Space Property Auction including a former city restaurant, which is likely attract strong interest when the auction takes place on Tuesday, December 4.

The property on 21 William Street, which extends to 8,000 square feet and contains office space on the upper floors, was previously on the market for $626,000. It was then reduced to $500,000 and now Allsop Space is offering the property for just $284,000.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]


A new community initiative, which aims to rejuvenate the Kilbeggan area, held a fundraising four-mile fun run and walk last weekend.

Renew Kilbeggan is a new group established by a group of locals during the summer, with the intention of giving the town a bit of a facelift and a general spruce-up over the next few months.

Among the projects they hope to tackle include resurrecting some old shop fronts, cleaning up derelict buildings and also encouraging the set-up of new businesses in the area. However, first on the group's to-do list is a clean-up of the old Protestant cemetery and church yard, set to take place over the next few weeks.
[Source: Westmeath Independent]


Well-known Wexford barman Manus O’Donnell, who was missing for one month, was laid to rest last Thursday.

Mr. O’Donnell’s remains were found by a walker at Curracloe beach on Monday morning at approximately 10 a.m.

Aged 42, he is survived by his parents, Brona and Michael; and brothers, Tim, Eoin and Dara.

Mr. O’Donnell worked at the Sky & The Ground pub, South Main Street.
[Source: Wexford Echo]


A Wicklow man serving a life sentence for murder has been handed down a 10-year sentence for possessing the gun he used to murder a Dublin man in front of his partner and son.

Garrett O'Brien (34) of Clover Hill in Bray was jailed for life earlier this month for murdering father-of-two Séamus O'Byrne on March 13, 2009.

Mr. O'Byrne was shot five times in the driveway of his home at Tymon Park North in Tallaght, before his partner Sharon Rattigan managed to wrestle the weapon from a hooded gunman, getting shot in her own leg in the process.
[Source: Irish Examiner]