Antrim councilors have voiced their shock as it was revealed that a spate of recent bin thefts might be linked to a new craze in which they are burnt to provide fumes that create a high. Councilor Oran Keenan said that recycling bins contained a high petroleum content, which when burnt gave off fumes that created a high. Speaking at last week's Environment and Borough Services committee meeting at Antrim council, Councilor Keenan said that in light of this startling trend, the council should consider its policy on issuing replacement recycling bins free of charge.

(Source: The Antrim Times)   



The body of a young man, believed to be in his late teens, has been recovered from the River Bann in County Armagh, police have said. A report that someone had entered the water beside Derrycarne Road in Portadown was made on Saturday morning two weeks ago. After a search a body was recovered. Police are investigating the death, and have warned the public about the dangers of rivers that have swollen because of heavy rain.

(Source: The Examiner)


A major fundraising drive to help raise the €1 million needed to help build a new hospice in the county has gotten underway in Carlow. The new five-bed hospice will be located on the grounds of the district hospital in Carlow town and will provide hospice care for terminally ill patients in the county.

(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


Cavan Institute may be forced to turn away students in a couple of weeks if the Department of Education does not increase the number of full-time places it has allocated to the further education (FE) college, which is now one of the biggest and most successful in the country.

The director of the Institute confirmed last week that demand for college places in Cavan is at an all time high with close to 3,000 applicants this year. However, the college has been allocated just 1,160 full-time places by the department, an increase of 60 on last year.

(Source: The Anglo Celt)


The Troubled Shannon-based industrial diamond company Element Six made a loss of €48 million last year, including exceptional items. Element Six general manager Ken Sullivan said last Thursday that the financial position of the company was “in dire straits”. The losses will be set out in accounts to be filed shortly. Last month, management at Element Six announced that 370 of the plant’s 450 staff would be let go, and production ended at the Clare facility.

(Source: The Irish Times)


Trees are growing through the remains of bodies buried in a Mallow graveyard and Cork County Council can't afford to do anything about it. Mallow man Frank O'Connor said last week that the roots of trees are growing through the remains of members of his family who are buried in St Gobhnait's Cemetary and he demanded that Cork County Council take action immediately to remedy the problem. "The roots of the trees are going through the bodies of my mother and brother. I want my family to be respected. The trees will have to be removed," said Mr. O'Connor, a resident of O'Sullivan's Place.

(Source: The Corkman)


A former police officer accused of being a central figure in a Chinese vice ring operating in Derry and Belfast has been banned from leaving Northern Ireland. Simon Dempsey (39) was also ordered to surrender his passport and lodge a cash surety as part of conditions under which he was granted bail. Dempsey, of East Street, Newtownards, who worked in Iraq for a Dubai-based security firm after quitting the force in 2004, was arrested as part of a UK-wide offensive targeting those bringing in foreign women to work within the sex trade.

(Source: The Derry Journal)



A proposal by the Mayor of Donegal County Council to erect a memorial to Lord Louis Mountbatten and the victims of the Mullaghmore tragedy is set to be opposed by Sinn Fein in Donegal. The controversy has arisen on this, the 30th anniversary of the atrocity. Mayor of Donegal Brendan Byrne, who has the backing of fellow Fianna Fail councilor, Sean McEniff, wants a memorial erected overlooking Donegal Bay. However, his plan has been met with opposition within local Sinn Fein ranks.

(Source: Donegal Democrat)


An Irish language school in Co Down was largely wrecked in what is believed to be an arson attack last Friday. "This is a downright disgusting act," said local SDLP councilor Eamonn O'Neill after three classrooms at Bunscoil Bheanna Boirche on Castlewellan's Circular Road went up in smoke at around 4.00am. Mr. O'Neill said it looked like arsonists took a shopping trolley from a local supermarket, filled it with newspaper, pushed it against one of the classrooms and set it on fire in what he called "a cowardly attack".

(Source: The Down Democrat)



Concerns about revised proposals for Arnotts' €1bn Northern Quarter retail scheme have been raised by Dublin city planners. Arnotts got the go-ahead last year for the massive redevelopment, which will be located in an area bounded by Henry Street, O'Connell Street, Abbey Street and Liffey Street. However, An Bord Pleanala ruled the project could only proceed if a planned 16-storey tower in the original design was omitted. In total, the board tagged on 26 separate conditions to its grant of permission, including the preservation of several protected buildings in the area. Arnotts Properties Ltd then submitted its revised plans and the city council have now expressed reservations about the new blueprint.

(Source: The Evening Herald)


Some 10 new jobs have been created with the announcement that the McElwaine Group in Lisnaskea have secured a contract at the new hospital development. McElwaine Security, which is part of the McElwaine Group, have been awarded a three-year security contract at the £267million development just outside Enniskillen. McElwaine's are the first Northern Ireland company to secure work on the development, providing site security access and specialist support through CCTV supply and monitoring.

(Source: The Fermanagh Herald)


Galway West TD Deputy Michael D Higgins has refused to rule out a run in the Irish Presidential elections of 2011. However, Deputy Higgins said that his current focus was on solving the problems facing the country, rather than making plans for an election two years away. "I would not rule out a run, but, to be honest, I have yet to give it any significant thought. I am spending my time trying to suggest alternative strategies for the country to get itself out of this current state.

(Source: Galway Independent)


Astar footballer from Listowel and an indigenous Australian artist and former government advisor of Tralee descent have joined the elite of Irish to leave their mark on Australia, having been named among the Top 100 Irish-Australians. Aussie Rules star Tadhg Kennelly is among the sporting greats to make the 20th anniversary edition of the Irish Echo newspaper's prestigious list, having become the first Irish man ever to claim an AFL championship title and the first AFL player to represent Ireland against Australia in International Rules Series.

(Source: The Kerryman)


The shocking story of what happened in Ireland’s infamous Magdalene Laundries has been explored in a brand new documentary that was filmed by a Kildare man. Prosperous local Ger Boland was the cameraman on the film The Forgotten Maggies, which takes a harrowing look at the lives of women who lived in the laundries in Ireland. The film was three years in the making and was the original brainchild of Cork man Stephen O’Riordan.

(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)


Two children have been removed from their home and 18 skilled workers have lost their jobs in the latest round of funding cuts to hit Kilkenny. The Holy Family Center on the Callan Road, Kilkenny, which provides full-time residential care to up to 14 children with learning disabilities, has been shut down after the Health Service Executive (HSE) slashed its funding.

(Source: The Kilkenny People)



Another world champion has emerged in Laois. 16-year old David Delaney from Ratheniska was part of a four-man martial arts team from the Portlaoise Kenpo Karate Club who represented Ireland in the recent World Kenpo competition in Madrid.
He took home gold and gained the world title in the under-16 up to black belt division by beating off 45 other competitors from around the world.

(Source: The Irish Times)


The escalation of violence in Carrick-on-Shannon recently was highlighted the weekend before last when a fight between two young men in the early hours of that Saturday morning ended with one man having the top of his ear bitten off. The incident occurred on Main Street, Carrick-on-Shannon when two young local men in their early twenties got into an altercation. The fight involving just the two of them continued on the ground and ended with one man biting the other man's ear and taking off the top section.

(Source: The Leitrim Observer)



Limerick rock band The Cranberries have announced their intention to reform after months of speculation. Singer Dolores O'Riordan cancelled her North American tour in lieu of a "special announcement", which was made last week by Noel Hogan. "Over the last few years, each member of the band has had time to work on different projects and learn so much from their experience," Noel is reported as saying in a statement.

(Source: The Limerick Leader)


A 26-year-old Longford man jetted off to Australia two weeks ago as a member of the Irish team at the World Transplant Games – where, in their own eyes, all 19 team members are winners already by just getting to the starting line. James Hannon, Edgeworthstown, was looking forward to competing in the life-affirming games, where, between them, the Irish team members have 13 new kidneys, five new livers and one new kidney-pancreas. The squad traveled to the Gold Coast of Australia, on Tuesday last.

(Source: The Longford Leader)


Four members of her family hailed brave Holly Mawhood a hero last week after her quick thinking saved them from their burning home last Friday. The fearless five-year old didn't hesitate to get her mother, brother and elderly grandparents who were visiting from England out of the house when she realized that a fire was quickly taking hold in the sitting room downstairs at the family's semi-detached home in Townley Manor, Tullyallen. Holly's mum, Heather, 35 said, 'But for Holly's calm and efficient way of dealing with it, we could all be dead.'

(Source: The Drogheda Independent)


Paul Stack and Amanda McNally from Ballinrobe Road, Westport were star struck on their first day as a married couple Saturday before last when they bumped into none other than U2 front man Bono as they relaxed after their wedding in the Castlecourt Hotel. Bono was in the middle of a flying visit to Westport when he took time out to pose with the newly-weds. Joe Corcoran from the Castlecourt Hotel said the world famous star mingled with guests as he popped in for lunch and a pint of Guinness. “He was really down to earth, he chatted away to people and was clearly in a relaxed mood,” said Joe.

(Source: The Mayo News)



Staff at the Kells Heritage Center could be balloted for strike action over the proposed closure of the facility unless there are meaningful talks with Kells Town Council on the issue, the SIPTU trade union has warned. The union has warned that its members who work there would be given the option to take strike action. Workers at the centre were informed on Thursday last week that the center would close on Sunday last.

(Source: The Meath Chronicle)


Smithboro based business Grove Turkeys has confirmed that it planned to make 40 employees redundant last Friday. This news follows a number of lay off periods at the food processing company earlier this year. A spokesperson for the company described the decision as “regrettable” and said it was necessary to ensure that the business remains viable.

(Source: The Monaghan Post)


The long-awaited new school building at Coláiste Choilm, Tullamore, looks set to become a reality, after the Town Council issued the Board of Management last week with notice of its intention to grant planning permission, subject to there being no appeal to An Bord Pleanála.

If all goes to plan, the development will mark the end of an era that has spanned a half-century, with the demolition of all but one of the existing school buildings, prefabricated buildings and outhouses and the construction of a new 575 pupil (5,550 square meter) secondary school building over three storey and part two storey and single storey.

(Source: The Offaly Express)


The planned introduction of drug rehabilitation programs at Castlerea prison, and more specifically a methadone program, sparked concerns last week that such programs will only attract “hard drugs” into the town. The Irish Prison Service confirmed last week that drug rehabilitation programs, including methadone maintenance programs, are on the way for the Castlerea facility.

(Source: The Roscommon Herald)


The Garda's (police) new CCTV system in Sligo City and its environs is now fully operational, and has been described by Supt. Michael Barrett as "a welcome addition to our policing strategy." He said personnel at Sligo Garda Station who were trained to a strict code of practice monitored the system on a 24-hour basis. "The system is beneficial in relation to the investigation of various crimes," said the Superintendent, who added that it was also helpful in traffic control and diversions as well as identifying and controlling public order hot spots. As well as help solve crime, the presence of the system also acts as a deterrent. In addition, he said it helped generate a sense of security among the local community.

(Source: The Sligo Champion)


South Tipperary Fianna Fail T.D., Mr. Mattie McGrath has called for further clarification and discussion on the establishment of the State's new "bad bank" before indicating whether he will support its enactment. The Newcastle man last week stated that the last thing he wanted was that developers would get their hands on property taken over by the National Management Asset Agency for knock down prices. Mr. McGrath stated that he was not happy to support the NAMA and wanted public clarification.

(Source: The Tipperary Star)


A family have been held hostage overnight by a gang plotting an armed robbery, it was disclosed last Friday. They were held for more than 12 hours by the gang before it failed in a bid to rob a cash in transit van on the Annagher Road in Coalisland, on Thursday afternoon last. The previous night the gang members who forced their way into their home held the family of three living near the scene. They were kept hostage until just before 12.30 on Thursday afternoon when the armed and masked gang approached the cash van but failed to gain access. The gang made off empty handed in the family's black Mazda 6 - with a GHZ registration - which has not yet been located.

(Source: The Belfast Telegraph)


Fears are mounting that a peace brokered between travelers in the city may be hanging in the balance following the shooting of a young man and the burning out of caravans in recent days. Twenty-three-year-old Martin Burke, originally from the city, suffered facial injuries during a shooting in Shandon Halting site in Dungarvan two weeks ago. He underwent surgery at Waterford Regional Hospital and has since been discharged. Unconfirmed reports claim that his eyesight will be affected by his injuries. No arrests have yet been made and the investigation is ongoing according to a Garda (police) spokesperson.

(Source: Waterford News & Star)


Talented musicians in Westmeath and surrounding Midland counties are being sought to play key roles in a proposed new concert orchestra for the region, it emerged last week. Kinnegad-based conductor and cellist Vincent Hunt, who is the chairperson of the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras and director of the Midlands Youth Orchestra, is leading the charge to create an amateur/professional symphony orchestra to represent the region. Mr. Hunt maintains that the Irish Midlands Concert Orchestra - the working title for the project - would produce such a musical ensemble for an area of the country "largely deprived of instrumental music tuition, and symphonic orchestra playing".

(Source: The Westmeath Examiner)


Wexford was left reeling last week following the death on Saturday last of 33-year-old local sportsman, Ollie Walsh who collapsed suddenly in his Spanish apartment. Boxing champion Ollie, a brother of Olympic boxing coach, Billy Walsh died on Saturday morning after complaining of ill health just moments before to his Romanian-born girlfriend, Dina. The couple had spent last Friday night socializing with friends in Marbella in Spain, where Ollie has resided for the last 18 months. The son of Liam and Kathleen Walsh from Wolfe Tone Villas, Ollie had been in 'peak physical health' and was employed as an instructor in a gym in Spain.

(Source: The Wexford People)


Cycling legend Lance Armstrong was amongst the 109 riders who saddled up at Enniskerry for the three-day Tour of Ireland race to Cork two weeks ago. Seven-time Tour de France winner Armstrong as well as English sprinter Mark Cavendish, the pair two of cycling's finest athletes, were at the Ritz Carlton for the start of the race. That day's stage saw the cyclists make the 196km trip to Waterford with Armstrong's presence a huge boost for the Tour of Ireland, which was reduced to three days this year due to financial factors. It was Russell Downing from Britain, however, who won overall victory in the challenge, Texan Armstrong having pulled out of the Tour before the final race due to back problems. It wasn't my day,' Armstrong said on his decision to quit.

(Source: The Wicklow People)