A device exploded last Thursday outside the home of relatives of a policeman in Northern Ireland. The Real IRA claimed responsibility after the suspected bomb ignited outside the policeman's parents' home in Shantallow, Londonderry, early in the morning. A car was damaged but there were no injuries, police said.

(Source: The Belfast Telegraph)        


The time is right for Newry City to make a bid to host the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, according to Sinn Fein Councilor, Colman Burns. Mr. Burns made the comments as he extended his congratulations to everyone from the district that competed in this year’s Fleadh, held in Tullamore Co. Offaly recently. “I have been attending the All-Ireland Fleadh since 1987 but this year, I think, was very special in that there was a noticeable rise in the number of people from our district, both junior and senior, who were competing for All-Ireland honors”, he said.

(Source: The Examiner)


Explosive county council documents have confirmed that a quarry at the center of two proposed road closures in Carlow has not been registered under the Planning Act, 2000, and that the county council has been talking to Dan Morrissey Irl Ltd about the controversial road closures for at least two years. Since early 2006, the planning department of Carlow County Council has granted Dan Morrissey Irl Ltd a total of seven planning extensions in relation to a quarry it operates at Clonmelsh/Garryhundon. The documents confirm that Carlow County Council and Dan Morrissey Irl Ltd had been in talks about the proposed road closures from Garryhunden Cross to Ballybannon and a stretch of road from Garryhunden Cross to Clonmelch at least as far back as September 2007.

(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


Dampness in the school prefabs was not ruled out as a contributory factor in Laragh National school becoming one of the first 'hot spot schools' in the country for a swine flu outbreak. They have actively been campaigning for a new school building and highlighting the inadequate conditions in the school for at least two years now. Four cases of swine flu in the school have been confirmed with 18 children off sick. This prompted an information seminar at the school last Thursday to update parents as to measures to control the spread of the virus in the school any further.

(Source: The Anglo Celt)


Clare County Council is diverting funding from its disability budget to shore up spending on its roads this year, it has emerged. As a result of Government cuts, the local authority’s anticipated roads budget of €31.3 million was reduced by €5.2 million or 16 per cent to €26.1 million. In a report outlining the serious financial situation facing the council, acting head of finance Noeleen Fitzgerald has confirmed that disability funding has been diverted to the roads program. The scale of the disability funding diverted is to be made known at the next council meeting. Ms Fitzgerald also reveals that there has been an overspend of €500,000 on the €1.3 million budget on retirement gratuities as staff retire early.

(Source: The Irish Times)


Two women in their twenties were so drunk they couldn't remember hitting two other women on the head with bottles in two separate nightclub incidents. The incidents, one in Newmarket the other in Mallow, were detailed in separate court cases within the past two weeks. It emerged that neither women could recall the unprovoked attacks that left two other women needing stapling and stitching to their heads. A 24 year old Newmarket woman was said to be 'humiliated and embarrassed' by CCTV footage showing her attack another woman with a bottle at the Hi-Land Niteclub — an incident she had absolutely no recollection of.

(Source: The Corkman)


The family of a six year old Derry girl who died after falling from a tree has spoken of their heartache at losing their "beautiful little girl who was full of fun." Tia Nagurski was climbing a tree near electricity cables in a residential area of Ballymagroarty when she fell. It is understood she may have been electrocuted by a power line.

(Source: The Derry Journal)



A 61-year old woman narrowly avoided a potential critical injury after falling and being trapped on an isolated part of the steep cliffs at Glen Head near Glencolumbkille on Tuesday evening last. The woman, understood to be an English tourist, was an avid and experienced walker set off alone to climb the cliffs on Tuesday afternoon last and got into difficulties. Donegal Mountain Rescue Team said "We immediately brought her to the football pitch in Glencolumbkille where the helicopter airlifted her to Sligo General Hospital”. A spokesperson at Sligo General Hospital confirmed the victim's condition as "comfortable

(Source: Donegal Democrat)


The former Woolworths unit in Newry is set to be reopened as a leading discount retail store.

The familiar property on Hill Street will become a combined Ethel Austin and Au Naturale Store and is expected to be ready for reopening by the end of September. Ethel Austin is one of Britain’s top value clothing retailers with a portfolio of nearly 300 stores, while Au Naturale specializes in fun and funky interiors and home ware. Bronagh Digney of local Estate Agency Digney Boyd, which helped handle the Woolworths letting said it had generated significant interest “There were a few major retailers vying for the premises despite the prevailing economic climate,” she said. “Things are looking good for Newry, and for Hill Street in particular, and I would predict that we may well see some more major names heading this way in the near future.”

(Source: The Down Democrat)



Kidnapped charity worker Sharon Commins has made contact with her family. The 32-year-old Clontarf woman, who was kidnapped in Sudan, spoke to her mother in Dublin by telephone. Ms Commins, who was working as a GOAL aid-worker at the time of her kidnap, has been held by her abductors since July. She was abducted when a gang armed with semi-automatic weapons burst into a compound of the Irish aid agency in the northern Darfur town of Kutum, 10 weeks ago. She was kidnapped along with her colleague Hilda Kawuki (42), from Uganda, on July 3. Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin has returned from a trip to Sudan where he met his Sudanese counterparts and told them he did not want an intervention by force "under any circumstances". Mr. Martin said the two women were in good physical health according to assurances he had received from contacts in Sudan.

(Source: The Evening Herald)


Six people associated with the Northern Ireland conflict in Fermanagh are to sit on a new forum established by the Commission for Victims and Survivors. In all, the new body will have 38 members, two of whom are still to be confirmed. The members come from widely contrasting backgrounds, from a former IRA man who was convicted of killing a police officer to a recently retired female police superintendent, who was born in Clogher and served in Enniskillen. Others are direct relatives of people killed or maimed in the course of the 'Troubles' or who themselves were injured.

 (Source: The Fermanagh Herald)


The Galway family that won almost €10 million in the Lotto the week before last have yet to claim their prize. The winners of the lotto have been named locally as Siobhan and Noel Greaney from Carnmore in Co. Galway. However, their whereabouts are still unknown after the family went to ground after their windfall two weeks ago. A spokeswoman for the National Lottery confirmed that the winners of the jackpot had not yet come forward to claim their prize. Instead, the winners are prepared to sit on their priceless ticket until attention dies down. 

(Source: Galway Independent)


A young North Kerry man conquered the English Channel last week in an epic swim for charity that saw him battling heavy swells and treacherous, changing tides for over 12 hours.

It may have been the fact that Diarmuid Boyle grew up beside the Shannon Estuary that ensured his refusal to be intimidated by the daunting channel crossing but, whatever the case, the Beale native conquered it in style. One of the first Kerry people to complete the swim, the 28-year-old set off in the dead of night from Samphire Hoe south of Devon on Sunday morning last and swam straight into rough seas that created difficulties for his support boat.

 (Source: The Kerryman)


There was outrage and anger in Kildare last week at plans to close a ward in St Vincent’s Hospital in Athy. The planned closure of the ward has been described as “appalling” and “shameful” by advocates for the aged and local councilors. The Irish Nurses Organization (INO) has also hit out at the closing of the 26-bed ward for elderly patients at the hospital, saying that it demonstrates that the State “neglects its duty to our elderly citizens”. St Vincent’s Hospital has 199 beds and serves the Kildare/ West Wicklow area. The INO believe the closure of the ward is due to the refusal by the HSE to allow the hospital to recruit staff. The closure brings the number of beds closed in Co Kildare to 50, due to the ban on recruitment imposed by the Government

 (Source: The Kildare Nationalist)


Brian Cody is the most successful manager in modern times in the GAA having claimed seven All-Ireland Championship titles with his native Kilkenny over the last 11 years, including the recent epic 'four in-a-row' in a thrilling late finish against a powerful Tipperary challenge. On September 28, Brian Cody will release his autobiography, 'Cody', which will bring sports fans into the hearts and minds of the most successful team in Ireland. In addition to recapturing the highs and lows of his playing career and managerial career, 'Cody' also includes a personal diary of Kilkenny's momentuous 2009 All-Ireland success.

(Source: The Kilkenny People)



Laois was hit with a double jobs blow the week before last with both An Post and a telecommunications operator announcing dozens of job cuts in their Portlaoise operations. The bulk of 60 jobs are expected to go at Portlaoise Mail Center following the loss of a major contract with Littlewoods, a UK catalogue retailer. Sixteen jobs are also to be shed at Morrison Utilities, a telecommunications operator based at Cappakeel, following a loss of a contract with Eircom. Representatives of the Communications Workers Union are currently discussing the job losses with An Post management. It is understood the number of jobs to be shed at the centre has not been finalized. Possible redundancy packages are still being discussed but the meetings are understood to be amicable.

(Source: The Irish Times)


Almost 22% of the 3,389 pupils in Leitrim primary schools last year were taught in large classes of over 30 students, while nearly half of the county's smaller schools are under threat of being amalgamated. The Department of Education released figures two weeks ago, showing the number of pupils in large classes for each school in the country. The figures released showed that over 700 pupils in the county were taught in classes of over 30 students while 41 pupils had to compete in classes of over 40 students. This is in direct contrast to An Bord Snip Nua's recommendation, which suggests that schools with less that 50 pupils be considered for amalgamation with other schools in order to increase the pupil to teacher ratio.

(Source: The Leitrim Observer)



Shannon Airport has suffered yet another blow after CityJet announced it is to terminate its service to Paris Charles de Gaulle next month. CityJet, which is Air France's Irish arm, will cease flying from Shannon to the French capital's main airport from Saturday, October 24. The company has blamed the economic downturn on its decision to cease its service to Paris, which was launched in February 2008.

(Source: The Limerick Leader)


Fine Gael TD James Bannon last week called for action to be taken over comments made by party vice-president Alan Dukes in relation to NAMA. Mr. Dukes has voiced his support for the NAMA project, in opposition to his party's stance on the matter. Speaking at the party's "think-in" in Cavan, Deputy Bannon said that Mr. Dukes "should be shown the door sooner rather than later" by Fine Gael. Mr. Bannon said that, as a government appointee to the board of Anglo Irish Bank, Mr. Dukes was "in no position to make an impartial public statement on NAMA." He also called Mr. Dukes' party loyalty into question.

 (Source: The Longford Leader)


Nearly three times as many people applied for courses in DIFE (Drogheda Institute of Further Education) this September than there were places available. Over 3,000 applications were received this year to the Moneymore college, but with only 800 places available, two thirds were left disappointed. 'We were very upset that we had to turn away such able candidates this year, but we simply don't have the places for the number of people who were seeking them,' says principal Davy McDonnell. 'The current economic climate has a lot to do with it, and lots are choosing to stay in college or retrain if they can't find a job. However, there is also the fact that our courses really stand on their own merit and our excellent facilities and staff are attracting more applicants every year anyway.'

(Source: The Drogheda Independent)


A Westport Education and Outdoor school, run by Horizon Ireland, is the subject of numerous complaints, some of which have been already brought to the attention of government ministers and President Mary McAleese. Since early July, there has been a series of complaints from former host families, participants, former trainee instructors and parents regarding a broad range of issues concerning Horizon, which is based in Killawalla. Mr. Frank Noone,vigorously denied the allegations, but marked the replies ‘not for publication’.

(Source: Mayo News)


Trim Gardai (police) are investigating reports of assaults on a number of staff members and almost €3,000 of criminal damage at a local hotel where a debs ball held on Tuesday before last. Gardai were called to the Castle Arch Hotel at around 3.30am to deal with the incident. While it is understood a number of staff members were assaulted, none required hospitalization. It is believed the groups of school-leavers was from a school in the Dublin area, and were attending a debs dance in the hotel. Glass panes in a stairwell in the hotel were broken, DJ equipment was damaged and the glass in a fridge behind a bar counter was also smashed. Gardai have confirmed that 10-12 staff members have been interviewed and that CCTV footage from inside the ballroom is being examined.

(Source: The Meath Chronicle)


There was great excitement in Glaslough last week after it was announced that the North Monaghan village was county award winner in the national Tidy Towns Awards. The last time the picturesque village that scooped €900 by winning the award were deemed the top spot in the county was over twenty years ago. The announcement was made at the National Tidy Towns Awards Ceremony, which was hosted by Minister for the Environment, Heritage, and Local Government John Gormley on Monday afternoon last in the Old Kilmainham Hospital in Dublin. There was further joy for Glaslough when it was also announced on the day that the Integrated Constructed Wetlands in the Castle Leslie Estate was one of only three projects nationally to receive a highly commended award in the Tidy Towns Sustainable Development Category.

(Source: The Monaghan Post)


Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen last week lauded the contribution of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to the Irish economy, when he presented awards to Offaly entrepreneurs. He was speaking at a function organized by Offaly County Enterprise Board at the Tullamore Court Hotel. Mr. Cowen also launched a DVD entitled "Conversations with Doers", a joint initiative between the Board and the O Máille Group, a leading Galway-based management training company. Among those featured on it is Mr. Stephen Grant, of Birr-based Grant Engineering    

(Source: The Offaly Express)



Drugs with a street value of between €60,000-80,000 were seized at a house near Tulsk two weeks ago as part of an on going investigation into the sale and supply of illegal drugs in the Roscommon/Longford area. Gardai (police) swooped on the house at Clashaganny near Tulsk having secured a warrant to search the property. Gardai from the Roscommon/ Longford Divisional Drug Unit, assisted by Gardai from Boyle, seized cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy with an estimated value of between €60,000-80,000 along with around €6,000 in cash.

(Source: The Roscommon Herald)


Sligo's O'Connell Street could be re-opened to traffic before Christmas, three years after it was controversially pedestrianized. The re-opening of the town's main thoroughfare is likely to be rubberstamped at a planning meeting of Sligo Borough Council on Monday week, with December 9th penciled in as the start-up date. Effectively, all that remains to be ironed out is the cost of the reopening, estimated by officials to be €171,000 but calculated by councilors to be much less, and maybe even half that amount. The significance of the cost factor is that if the work can be done for less than €125,000, it can be carried out immediately --but if it's more than that, as estimated by officials, then the council would have to go through a lengthy planning process which could delay the re-opening by months if not years.

(Source: The Sligo Champion)


Thurles has received a significant jobs boost with the announcement from local company OMC Engineering of Ballycurrane that they have been contracted to develop and manufacture a revolutionary new heat and power system that generates a clean alternative source of energy while eliminating the necessity for landfill and other forms of organic waste.

The project is expected to yield up to 150 jobs in the locality in the coming months with construction of the plant currently six weeks into a nine month build.

(Source: The Tipperary Star)


Dungannon has become a repossession hotspot, with auctioned houses now going for as little as £30,000, a local debt expert has claimed. The Dungannon-based debt advisor, who has been working in the field for more than fifteen years, said he had witnessed a fifty percent increase in the number of clients seeking help over repossession orders. "There has been a massive jump in the number of local families on the brink of being repossessed, as well as property developers who had hoped to make their fortunes by buying houses and renting them out. "By the time they come in to see me they are in the last chance saloon before being evicted or made bankrupt”.

(Source: The Tyrone Times)


The workers in Waterford’s largest manufacturing plant, Bausch and Lomb, were given some reassurance for the future with the announcement of a worldwide consolidation of the contact lens manufacturing by the company. Although the news won’t lead to additional jobs in the Waterford factory it will mean the existing positions are somewhat safer. The company proposes to begin migrating most of its global contact lens production to its existing sites in Waterford, Ireland and Rochester, N.Y. As a result, the company is proposing a phased withdrawal from its production facility in Livingston, Scotland, during 2010 and early 2011.

(Source: Waterford News & Star)


The Department of Finance has recommended merging Athlone Institute of Technology with Limerick IT, it was revealed Friday before last when the Department published submissions it had made to An Bord Snip Nua. As part of its cost saving recommendations to Colm McCarthy's Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programs (An Bord Snip Nua) the Department recommended a number of mergers in the IT sector, with the amalgamation of Athlone and Limerick institutes of technology proposed. President of AIT Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin said there was no logic at all in merging the two institutes in terms of their geographic location and said Colm McCarthy had obviously taken no credence of the recommendation.

(Source: The Westmeath Examiner)


The bishop of Ferns is hoping that the power of prayer can bring fine weather for beleaguered farmers in Co. Wexford. Bishop Denis Brennan has asked that prayers for fine weather be offered at all Masses in the Diocese of Ferns during the month of September. In making the appeal, the Bishop said he was 'conscious of the difficulties being faced by many involved in agriculture generally'. 'This current spell of very bad weather is causing added pain and anxiety to people already under pressure and it constitutes a real threat to the livelihoods and well being of many in rural areas,' said Bishop Brennan. Met Eireann recently revealed that, according to their records, more than twice the average amount of rain fell on Johnstown Castle this summer.

(Source: The Wexford People)


Current and multiple European and World champion, Julie McHale joined members of the independent, non-political 'Wicklow for Europe' team to announce campaign details for Wicklow recently. Wicklow For Europe is a new independent group in Co. Wicklow formed to lobby for a YES vote in October. Over the coming weeks the group will travel across the county on a roadshow promoting the benefits of a YES victory. Group Chairperson Dermod Dwyer said that the outcome of the Lisbon Treaty is crucial to the future of the country. 'Everyone in the 'Wicklow for Europe' campaign is looking forward to meeting the voters of Wicklow over the coming weeks as we travel the county to campaign for the YES vote we need on October 2 to secure jobs and our economic recovery. Every YES vote to Europe has been good for Ireland and good for Wicklow, and this upcoming vote will help to further secure our future.”

(Source: The Wicklow People)