Ambitious plans for a new £180 million housing development on the hills above Belfast were unveiled last Friday. Work to build more than 1,000 homes on the 96 acre Millmount site in Dundonald is set to begin by the end of this month. Developers Lagan Homes will create around 150 jobs in the construction phase. The first 150 properties are due to be completed by next summer. The planning application is at an advanced stage and is expected to be rubber-stamped by Castlereagh council next week. Stormont First Minister and East Belfast MP Peter Robinson said the project would provide a much needed economic lift.

(Source: The Belfast Telegraph)        


Forkhill was plunged into mourning at the weekend with the sad passing of the village’s oldest and one of its most esteemed citizens. Popular and respected businessman, John Toner, from Main Street, died peacefully in Daisy Hill Hospital early on Sunday morning last. He was 85. Having suffered failing health for the past two years, his passing leaves a void in this small, close-knit community where he was held in the highest esteem.

(Source: The Examiner)


A Carlow hostel has allegedly been housing a convicted pedophile since his release from the Midlands Prison earlier last month. It is also being alleged that the man has yet to register on the sex offenders list at Carlow Garda Station, despite being released from prison three weeks ago.

 He is said to be staying at a hostel located near to two schools, one a primary school and the other a secondary school.

 A senior garda (policeman) has said that there are “quite a number of convicted sex offenders living the county” since their release from prison.
. A concerned local resident said he found it disturbing that a convicted child abuser was now residing close to two schools.

 “It’s like dangling a carrot in front of him,” he added.

(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


Gardaí from Granard along with members of the Longford/Roscommon Divisional Drugs Unit seized cannabis with a street value of about €30,000 when they searched an area on the outskirts of the North Longford town on Monday evening last. Following a search of a house in the area, the Gardai proceeded to comb a nearby woodland and in a secluded, sheltered area they found 130 cannabis plants. According to the gardaí, 80 of the plants were still growing while the other 50 were described as being ready for use. No arrests have so far been made but gardaí say their investigations are part of a wider campaign against drugs, DVD piracy and counterfeit cigarettes in the area.

(Source: The Anglo Celt)


A proposed €60 million retail park for Shannon that was expected to create 600 jobs is no longer viable, according to one of the planning applicants after Clare County Council refused permission for one element of the scheme. The council last Thursday gave the go-ahead to Greenband Investments and Seán Halpin to build four retail warehouse units, a discount store, a motor showroom, a business centre and a medical centre at Smithstown, Shannon. However, it refused permission for the “neighborhood center” element of the development, saying it would have an adverse impact on the vitality and viability of Shannon town.

(Source: The Irish Times)


IRD Duhallow should consider using some of its €10m EU funding to help out cash-strapped county council projects, according to at least one local councilor. The county council is "starved" of money and, meanwhile, IRD Duhallow has bag loads of it, was the sentiment of Millstreet based county councilor last week. "IRD Duhallow has lots of money," Cllr Noel Buckley suggested. "They really have lots of money and the council has no money. It does not seem to be very fair to me.”

(Source: The Corkman)


The priest at the funeral of a Strabane Republican who died in police custody at Strand Road PSNI Station has said that "nothing less than a full disclosure" of the facts surrounding his death is required. Fr Declan Boland was addressing mourners during the Requiem Mass for John Brady at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Strabane last Thursday. Mr. Brady's body was found in a consultation room at the police station after he was arrested in connection with an alleged assault the previous evening. His family says they don't accept reports that he took his own life.

(Source: The Derry Journal)



More than 150 sheep died when a container fell off a lorry on the N15 at Cashelard in the early hours of Tuesday morning last. The incident occurred around 2am on the southbound carriage and did not involve any other vehicles. It is understood that the driver was not injured. Gardaí and fire services from Bundoran and Ballyshannon attended the scene, where they were assisted by a number of local men. Witnesses said that, while more than 200 sheep were unharmed, 155 sheep died from suffocation or injury. "It was a terrible scene, with hundreds of sheep everywhere," one local said.

(Source: Donegal Democrat)


Cunningham Stone in Kilkeel has made the bulk of its workforce redundant. Twenty staff were reportedly told on Friday last that there wasn’t the work to sustain their jobs and cutbacks would have to be made. All lost their jobs with the exception of three who will work on fulfilling remaining contracts.

(Source: The Down Democrat)



RTE is expected to confirm that Pat Kenny earns four times more than US President Barack Obama. Figures to be released by the cash-starved broadcaster are likely to confirm that the current-affairs presenter earns more than €1m a year. It is believed that RTE might bring out figures for 2007, 2008 and 2009, as it wants to show the public what cuts have been made. Station bosses were last week preparing themselves for a massive backlash as a result of its pay policy.

(Source: The Evening Herald)


A security clampdown aimed at dissident republicans has resulted in a high number of drink drivers being detected across Fermanagh with eight motorists arrested in the past five days alone. While PSNI checkpoints have been set up ostensibly to deal with the increased security threat, the ongoing operation provides shocking evidence that drink driving is still a serious problem in the county.

(Source: The Fermanagh Herald)


The great success of the Volvo Ocean Race stopover has lead to calls for organizers 'Let's Do It Galway' to stay intact and organize an annual event for the city. City Councilor Daniel Callanan led the calls last week, commending the team for their "outstanding success". "John Killeen, the 'Let's Do It Galway' team and all those behind bringing the Volvo Ocean Stopover to Galway deserve all the plaudits they have received. It would be a shame to lose all this talent and I therefore believe they should try to build on their success in the future.”

(Source: Galway Independent)


John O’Donoghue has been fighting for his political life last week as opposition party leaders begin to turn the screw over the expenses saga that has dogged the South Kerry TD for several weeks. Pressure is mounting on the Caherciveen politician to resign from the position of Ceann Comhairle following revelations that the bills incurred for perks and privileges since he was appointed to the post in June 2007 totted up to a whopping €230,000.

Fine Gael’s Enda Kenny and Labor’s Eamon Gilmore have summoned a meeting of party leaders to discuss the situation and it is understood that Fine Gael is to demand that Mr. O’Donoghue should consider paying back some of the expenses or consider his position.

(Source: The Kingdom)


A special incident room has been established at Newbridge Garda Station as the investigation continues into the fatal arson attack in the town. Sergeant Seamus Rothwell said last Tuesday that house-to-house investigations in Páirc Mhuire and surrounding areas would continue over the next few days. He added that forensic results were still awaited in relation to what flammable substance, if any, was used to trigger the blaze.

(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)


Hard-pressed motorists and the residents of a number of Kilkenny towns and villages are to receive an early Christmas present with news that the new dual carriageway from the edge of Waterford city to Kilkenny will open in late December. The new 31-kilometer stretch will herald a new era with faster destination times and less traffic back logs with up to 30 minutes cut off times from the south of the county to Dublin.

(Source: The Kilkenny People)



Laois will be host its first-ever gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender mardi gras next month.

 The event is the brainchild of Portlaoise man Alan Lawless and the popular former proprietor of Barmonday’s, Michaela Fitzpatrick, in association with Athy native David Delaney. Mr Delaney said the event will be a social night aimed at launching the first gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community group in Portlaoise.

 He said that, on the night, there will be a great line up of acts, including a tribute to international pop star Pink.

 (Source: The Laois Nationalist)


Leitrim County Councilors have expressed their anger at Government moves that they say are undermining the vital role played by local authorities. Councilors slammed the recent announcement of the transfer of responsibility for local and regional roads to the NRA as "further evidence of an erosion of powers from local authorities" and said that the McCarthy report's proposals to amalgamate County Councils and VECs would be devastating for the people of Co Leitrim.

(Source: The Leitrim Observer)



Dell is looking to recruit more than 200 temporary workers - and this number may grow even more. On Thursday last, bosses from the computer giant were in the city to recruit the workers through the Manpower temping agency, based in Michael Street. According to an advert on the website, Dell is seeking "general operatives" for the region, with an "immediate start" on a "short term assignment."

(Source: The Limerick Leader)


If there was ever an example that lives up to the familiar phrase: 'local boy makes good' then Michael Quinn is it. The best part of a year into his flourishing Australian Rules career, things couldn't be going much better for the Killoe man. Having made his AFL appearance in the famous black and red colors of club side Essendon, for whom he scored his first goal, Quinn has already managed to nail down a first team place in the upper tier of Aussie Rules Football, all at the tender age of just 19. After every year you have weigh up where you are at and whether you are happy or not but I am pretty happy with the way things are going” he said.

(Source: The Longford Leader)


County Louth Golf Club in Baltray is favorite to land the Irish Open Championship for at least another year, according to reports. European Tour officials paid a visit to the famous links within the last two weeks and are said to have been impressed with the course, which played host to this year's tournament and prior to that in 2004. The Tour are thought to be considering a July date for the 2010 Irish Open, scheduled just before the British Open, which runs from the 15th to the 18th.

(Source: The Drogheda Independent)


Westport’s ‘unique beauty’ and ‘wonderful community spirit’ has yet again ensured the heritage town’s place as a prizewinner in a prestigious competition. In Canada last weekend it received the maximum accolade of Five Blooms when the County Mayo tourist haven experienced the singular honor of representing the country in the prestigious international competition, Communities in Bloom, held in Vaughan, Toronto.

(Source: Mayo News)


There has been a furious reaction in Nobber to claims by College Proteins that residents of the area have a low rate of educational achievement. The comments were made in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) drawn up on behalf of the company, which was submitted as part of its planning application for a meat and bone meal incinerator in the village. Deputy Thomas Byrne was strongly critical of the statement that, he said, misrepresented the educational attainments of local people. He accused College Proteins of insulting the residents of Nobber.

(Source: The Meath Chronicle)


The Nigerian Community in Edenderry celebrated their national Independence Day on October 1, when over 100 people gathered together for food, conversation and sharing of culture with local Edenderry people. Nigerians from the town and as far away as Mullingar and Newbridge joined in the celebrations marking 49 years since Nigeria gained independence from British rule. The local Edenderry people were then invited to sample home-cooked Nigerian food including chicken, fish and lamb dishes.

(Source: The Offaly Express)



A war of words appears to have broken out between turf cutters and Government ministers on the raised bogs issue. Two weeks ago Éamon Ó Cuív, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and Michael Finneran, Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government said that a meeting was held on September 16th between turf cutting interests and the interdepartmental group that was established to advise Minister Gormley on turf-cutting in raised bog Special Areas of Conservation and Natural Heritage Areas.

(Source: The Roscommon Herald)


Five journalists from the Gulf State of Dubai were on a recent visit to the Yeats County where they met with the Fáilte Ireland team in Sligo town, as part of a familiarization trip to the region, organized by Fáilte Ireland in conjunction with Tourism Ireland. The journalists enjoyed the landscapes, excellent seafood and friendly people that typify the North West of Ireland, which make it the perfect spot to get away from it all, sit back, slow down and admire the view.

(Source: The Sligo Champion)


A live grenade apparently found in a schoolboy's bag on Tuesday morning last, was later successfully detonated by an Army bomb disposal unit on waste ground in Cahir. A garda investigation is ongoing in relation to how the grenade, believed to date from World War II, came to be in the possession of the youngster. Two children were involved in the incident, confirmed a garda spokesperson. A statement by the Army Press Office confirmed that the device was exploded in a area of waste ground once it was found."

(Source: The Tipperary Star)


Dungannon is turning back the clock thanks to its migrant population and quite a few babies, it has emerged. The district has the youngest population for a rural area in the UK, a study by the Office for National Statistics has revealed. Furthermore, the average age of local people is set to drop over the next five years, a trend which runs counter to most other parts of the UK where the population is steadily ageing.

(Source: The Tyrone Times)


There has been some much-needed good news on the jobs front with the announcement that a €3.3m expansion at EirGen Pharma will create 20 new positions. The jobs will be created at the plant over the next two years, as a result of pan European approval of their early stage breast cancer drug. “This product will be commercially launched in selected European territories this month and represents a significant milestone for EirGen as it is our first pharmaceutical product to receive pan European approval,” said co-founder Tom Brennan.

(Source: Waterford News & Star)


Pupils at St. Baoithín NS in Loughnavalley received a very special delivery in the form of Rose of Tralee 2009, Charmaine Kenny. She arrived via the post, which was delivered by Rose Escort and local postman Gordon Ward. Charmaine, who took the Rose crown in August and is originally from Kildare, has seven cousins attending the school, who said they were all very proud of Charmaine.

(Source: The Westmeath Examiner)


Wexford soccer star Kevin Doyle has applied for planning permission to build a house in his native county. Kevin, who turned 26 last month, and his girlfriend Jenny Harney, from Wellingtonbridge, lodged an application with Wexford County Council on September 21 last for a house at 'Reddina, Ballyhogue'. The couple have applied for the erection of a fully serviced dwelling with attaching carport and all associated site works. The Adamstown native is currently impressing with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League.

(Source: The Wexford People)


Convicted murderer Catherine Nevin has been acquitted of possessing a mobile phone in prison after a prison guard couldn't confirm if a phone in court was the same one the 58-year-old was found with at the Dochas centre in Mountjoy Prison. If convicted on the mobile phone charge, Nevin could have faced fines of up to €5,000 or she could have had her life sentence extended by up to five years.

(Source: The Wicklow People)