A policeman's girlfriend was injured last Friday when a bomb exploded under her car as she left his Belfast home. The 38-year-old woman was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital for minor injuries and was later discharged. She was reversing a red MX5 sports car out of the drive of the semi-detached house at Kings dale Park in east Belfast when there was an explosion under the front of the car. The blast, at 7.30am, sent shockwaves through the quiet residential area less than half a mile from police headquarters. A major security operation was mounted in the area, with army bomb disposal experts examining the car that was abandoned half in the drive of the house and half in the road.

(Source: The Belfast Telegraph)


James Doyle from Whitecross is a newly crowned World champion having captured the World Men’s Handball Singles One Wall B title. The tri-annually World Handball Championships took place over a nine-day period and the cream of the world’s handball crop fought it out for success at Portland, Oregon, USA with James emulating the feat of his wife Máighréad Ní Riabhaigh-Dúill.The Irish handball history books were re-written three years ago when Máighréad captured Ireland’s first adult One Wall World title in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

This time round it was the turn of husband and fitness specialist James, to reach the highest accolade in the sport, elevation to World champion. Fittingly one of the oldest and most prestigious clubs in the United States and indeed the world, Oregon Hanball Club was the perfect venue for James, who recently captured the National Open title in Abbeylara, to add a World title to his many sporting achievements.

(Source: The Examiner)


Carlow is benefiting from the presence of US firm Unum in more ways than one. 35 staff in the company raised €13,000 for two local charities, the Delta Center and Saplings Carlow, by participating in a ten kilometer walk. Each of these worthy causes received €6,400 as a result of the fantastic fundraising effort, after Unum matched the sums collected by the team at its software development centre in Carlow. Now, the town’s new Visual arts centre and George Bernard Shaw Theatre has gained too, after the US multinational decided to present it with a grant for $10,000 (around €7,000). The money will be spent on a hearing aid loop to allow those with a hearing impairment to switch their hearing aids to a channel through which they will hear the venue’s sound system directly.

 (Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


Cavan maybe bereft of All-Ireland glory on the football field but a young Killeshandra precision engineer has brought national acclaim to the county by scooping the top award this year. Michael Sweeney from Drumcartagh, who has been an apprentice with TDF Engineering in Killeshandra for the last four years, beat competition from every county in Ireland to become the young Irish Precision Engineer of the year. The MD of TDF Engineering, Tommy Maguire, said it was recognition for Michael's skill. He is the 12th apprentice to progress to great heights in the Killeshandra firm. "A lot of our fitter/turners have emigrated and are in places such as America, Australia and New Zealand and doing well for themselves," said Tommy.

(Source: The Anglo Celt)


A businessman last week revealed that he and his business partners are paying €20,000 in bank interest each month on a project that a county council has rendered no longer viable. Last Thursday, Clare County Council gave the go-ahead for a €60 million retail park at Smithstown, Shannon. But it refused planning permission for the neighborhood component of the application with the result that no aspect of the retail park will commence. The application was made by Greenband Investments and Seán Halpin. Mr. Halpin criticized the council, saying: “I have never encountered the kind of stone-walling, trip-wires, impediments that was put in the way of this development here.”

(Source: The Irish Times)


Pepper spray will be in use by all gardai on the streets of North Cork by next month, prompting at least one local sargeant to say it will help combat crime in the area. Sgt Gary Kirwan, currently training Millstreet gardai in the use of the spray, welcomed the initiative, which is also being rolled out nationally. It is anticipated that next month every garda in North Cork will be issued with a canister of pepper spray. Already there have been four incidences in Dublin where pepper spray has been used. Pepper spray is a chemical compound that with one spray causes eyes to shut and leads to a piercing pain. Sgt Kirwan, who got sprayed with the chemical as part of the training process, said that the effects could last for up to two hours. In fact, by the end of this month most Gardai in north Cork will have had a personal dose of the spray to help them appreciate the debilitative affects. Up to now gardai could only use batons as an additional defense measure.

(Source: The Corkman)


Derry City FC marksman Mark Farren has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and will undergo a brain scan next month. The Greencastle man (27) - who was joint top goal scorer in last year's league campaign - was diagnosed with a "low grade benign tumor" on Christmas Eve last year. Farren - who will marry girlfriend, Terri, in December - says he's giving football a rest while he prepares himself for another visit to hospital. However, he's keen to stress that, in no way, is his future in football over.

(Source: The Derry Journal)



Former Minister for Tourism, Transport and Communications, Máire Geoghegan Quinn is now the red-hot favorite to become Ireland's next EU Commissioner with Donegal MEP, Pat 'the Cope' Gallagher emerging as a dark horse in the race. Bookies Paddy Power last week slashed the odds on the Galway native from 10/3 to 11/8 after bets continued to pour in on her landing the plum job in Brussels. Geoghegan Quinn, who currently lives in Luxembourg had been as big as 7/1 with the bookmakers before a gamble emerged at the weekend. Former European Parliament President Pat Cox is now the second favorite at 13/8 with Pat ‘the Cope Gallagher at a credible 7/1.

(Source: Donegal Democrat)


A Newry family was subjected to a terrifying ordeal when a gang of masked men, thought to be armed with handguns, threatened them during a robbery in their home. Shortly after 9.00pm on Thursday evening last, three men wearing balaclavas forced their way into the family’s Lisdrumgullion Drive home in the Armagh Road area of the city. The gang ransacked the property and threatened family members before making off with two mobile phones.  The men made their escape in a silver car, which headed in the direction of Tandragee. Police have appealed for anyone with information about the robbery to contact them. Sinn Féin councilor and deputy mayor of Newry and Mourne, Charlie Casey, lives nearby.  Condemning the robbery he said the Newry community is ‘totally horrified’ at the incident.

(Source: The Down Democrat)


Cecelia Ahern has already seen her debut book PS I Love You made into a movie, starring Hollywood big-hitters Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler. And now three other novels, Where Rainbows End, If You Could See Me Now and Thanks For The Memories look like they could also be given the Tinseltown treatment. The 27-year-old mum-to-be said her winning formula was a combination of a happy ending and a hopeful future. "Where Rainbows End is going into production. The screenplay has been written and now it's just a case of finding a director," she said. "If I Could See You Now and Thanks For The Memories have both been optioned (when a producer obtains the right to buy a screenplay), so it's all very exciting. "From what I've been told, my books translate well into film because they tend to be very visual”.

(Source: The Evening Herald)


The construction of the new, state of the art £270m acute hospital near Enniskillen, is estimated to sustain as many as 850 jobs on site of which 200 will be 'new' by the time it opens in 2012. While many of those employees come with the main contractor, FCC Elliott Healthcare, many more have been sourced from locally-based sub-contracting firms, six of whom have been awarded substantial sub-contracts. As many more local firms are engaged on site in servicing sub-contractors. Among the main sub-contractors is Tracey Concrete Ltd, which employs 92 people at its plant at Old Rossorry, Enniskillen. Those jobs have now been safeguarded by the hospital contract. The managing director, Patsy Tracey told the 'Herald' that the new hospital contract was, 'the most substantial project to come to Fermanagh in the last 25 years'

(Source: The Fermanagh Herald)


Galway will be "one big bonfire" this Halloween if the city council does not have people on the ground trying to prevent illegal bonfires. That was the claim of one city councilor at the Galway City Council meeting last week, while another said parts of the city are already under siege from illegal fireworks that are making some people's lives miserable. Raising the issue in the chamber, Independent Councilor Terry O'Flaherty said that while she had been campaigning on the issue for ten years, it was actually getting worse. However, City Manager, Joe MacGrath said he could not give any guarantees that anything could be done about the raft of illegal bonfires expected this year, as the council did not have the money to prevent them.

(Source: Galway Independent)


Kerry businesses are over-coming the doom and gloom of the last 12 months and now believe that the recession has bottomed out. A new survey carried out amongst members of the Kerry Business and Tourism Network, an online networking group for companies, found that a staggering seven in every 10 businesses in Kerry were confident about the future.

(Source: The Kingdom)


People suffering from arthritis in Co Kildare have to wait up to three years for an appointment to see their nearest consultant rheumatologist in Tallaght Hospital. With arthritis being the single biggest cause of disability in Ireland, affecting one in every three people at some time in their lives, this long waiting time is having a serious impact on the quality of life of many Kildare people. Yet Naas Hospital is without the services of a full-time consultant rheumatologist. Dr Tony Kane is the consultant rheumatologist currently serving both Tallaght and Naas Hospitals. He pointed out last week that all the Dublin hospitals have more that one full-time consultant working in this field, some have as many as three.

(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)


Farmers who took part in 438 long and strong tractor protest through the center of the city on Monday last were pleasantly surprised by the reaction they received from city dwellers. Many cheered them, gave then the thumbs up and in a few cases clapped as they went past. Led by the county chairman of the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) John Bryan, it was a dignified show of solidarity against Government cuts on a sector that has experienced huge drops in prices and subsidies over the last year. The fact that agriculture and agri-based businesses is still the main employer in Kilkenny was not lost on those watching on the streets or on business people who know that without the hard earned cash from the farming community they might as well shut their doors.

(Source: The Kilkenny People)



The Irish Prison Service has strenuously denied rumors that its training center in Portlaoise is to close when its current batch of recruits finish their training by the end of this year, due to the public sector recruitment embargo.
Beladd House, which is adjacent to the Midlands Prison, at one stage was used to accommodate trainee prison officers before it was renovated into the Irish Prison Service Training and Development Center. The renovations saw classrooms constructed as well as two landings built within the center. Each of these landings contains 20 mini-cells that are used for training new prison officer recruits in search, riot and problem handling techniques within an actual prison setting.

(Source: The Laois Nationalist)


Over €900,000 was allocated to neighboring local authorities last week in additional funding for the Housing Adaptation Grant Schemes for Older People and People with a Disability, but Leitrim County Council didn't see a penny of this extra and much needed money because they couldn't come up with the required match funding. A spokesperson for Leitrim County Council said "We have already reached the maximum level of payments which we are in a position to fund under the Housing Grant Schemes in 2009 and we are not in a position to seek an additional allocation under the Scheme at this time."

(Source: The Leitrim Observer)



American superstar singer Pink is to play in Thomond Park in June of next year. The American singer will bring her theatrical 'Funhouse Summer Carnival' show to Limerick's Thomond Park on Saturday, June 20, 2010. The news was revealed by the singer herself at her sold-out show in the O2 in Dublin last Thursday night.

(Source: The Limerick Leader)


The Department of Defense has confirmed that Longford's Connolly Barracks will be put on the market next year. Just this time last year, it was announced by the Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan that the Government had decided to reduce the number of army barracks in the country to bring it more into line with operational requirements of the defense forces and to permit economies of scale. In January the final soldiers left Connolly Barracks in an emotional closing ceremony. It has been widely rumored that both the gardai and the VEC are interested in renting or buying some of the premises at Connolly Barracks and the Department of Defense has confirmed this.

(Source: The Longford Leader)


Workers in Irish Flavors and Fragrances (IFF) have put together a cost-cutting package of € 5m in the hope of salvaging their jobs. Employees at the plant, which announced last month it was to close with the loss of almost 100 jobs, have vowed to fight to save the company and have put together a comprehensive package of savings. The proposals encompass a significant offer to cut their wages and benefits which would deliver savings in excess of € 5 million in the next three years. Cost-cutting measures already implemented this year will deliver a further € 2 million in savings in the next three years, they said. Substantive but less readily identifiable changes to work practices are also being examined. These will yield significant reductions in the cost of running the Drogheda operation in the coming years. The workers have put their proposals to management at the plant in the hopes of avoiding the total closure of the facility planned for next September. They have met with both the company and IDA Ireland and are now awaiting a response to their proposals from management of IFF.

(Source: The Drogheda Independent)


Tributes have been paid to the late Cathal Duffy, a well-known Mayo businessman and former chairman of Knock Airport, who died on Sunday last. The late Mr. Duffy ran a successful car dealership at Spencer Park in Castlebar but it is for his work with Knock Airport that he will be best remembered. Mr. Duffy was one of the founding members of Knock Airport (now Ireland West Airport Knock) in 1981 and served on the board for 21 years, the final ten of which were as Chairman. Current Chairman of the airport, Liam Scollan, paid tribute to Cathal Duffy. “He was a hands-on Chairman, he devoted a huge amount of his personal time and energy to the affairs of the airport. All of us at the airport are deeply grateful for this watchful care and concern over the years.” It was his involvement at the airport when Ireland was in financial turmoil in the period up to the arrival of the Celtic Tiger that the deceased exerted the most important influence.

(Source: Mayo News)


The legendary Brazilian soccer star, Pele, is to visit Dunboyne on 26th November next, where he will pay courtesy calls to St Peter's College and Dunboyne AFC. Students from Dunboyne have been supporting Pelé's 'Goals for Life' campaign and, at the Ireland v Italy match in Croke Park on Saturday last, 40 students from Dunboyne, all wearing yellow bibs with an image of Pelé, were collecting donations. The proceeds of the collection will be equally divided between Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin and the Pelé Little Prince Children's Hospital, Brazil.

(Source: The Meath Chronicle)


A contract for €20m for the new Tullamore wastewater treatment plant will be signed in the next few weeks. Mr. Tom Shanahan, the engineer in charge of sanitary services, reported that the contractor would commence operation of the existing plant in January next. Tullamore Area Committee heard last week that Stage 5 of the improvements to the local water supply were awaiting approval from the Department to proceed with contract documents.

(Source: The Offaly Express)



The threatened cutbacks to Rural Transport Program have been staved off following agreement on the new Program for Government last weekend. Minister Michael Finneran said he was “delighted” with the news and believed it was “a clear commitment from Government to the continuation and expansion of this valuable scheme”. “The Government has made a commitment to explore the provision of a full-scale transport system in rural areas using the network expertise of Bus Éireann, the physical infrastructure and personal resources of the school transport system and the financial resources currently being spent on transport by the HSE and the Department of Education and Science,” the Fianna Fail TD said.

(Source: The Roscommon Herald)


Senator Marc MacSharry and a group of concerned Sligo citizens have submitted their proposals to the Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan on methods to prevent against the repossession of family homes. "The repossession of family homes by financial institutions creates tremendous social, psychological and economic issues for families and places further financial pressures on the state. With the ESRI conservatively predicting that 35,000 families will fall into arrears next year action is urgently required," said Senator MacSharry. Senator MacSharry continued: "Our objective is that the repossession of a family home due to mortgage arrears should not be allowed to happen without a detailed independent analysis of repayment capacity, an examination of the quality of the original mortgage application and consideration of a range of alternative actions.

(Source: The Sligo Champion)


Thurles Waste management company, Acorn Recycling Ltd. celebrated the 'turning of the sod' on the construction of the most advanced composting facility which will be located in Littleton at a cost of €7 million - the only one of it's kind in Ireland. A member of the Arlo Group with head quarters in Archerstown, Acorn recycling's state-of-the-art facility - agri-environmental business- will create over 30 jobs with significant spin offs to the local economy and will provide opportunities for local tradesmen, farmers, transport businesses and logistics providers.

(Source: The Tipperary Star)


Police will issue on-the-spot fines to offenders caught committing low level crime in a new scheme being piloted in the South Tyrone area. The PSNI will be given the authority to issue spot fines and cautions for lesser offences including shoplifting, disorderly behavior and vandalism. It is hoped the initiative will reduce the amount of paperwork that police have to produce, taking officers from behind desks and putting them back on the street.

(Source: The Tyrone Times)


Crystal manufacture will be rekindled in the city with the name of Waterford proudly hanging over the door of a new purpose built iconic facility on the quayside. Plans were unveiled last Monday night for what City Manager, Michael Walsh said would be a “substantial attractive centre” which would define the city center and the quays. A deal is expected to be concluded in the coming days between the City Council and the new owners of Waterford Crystal - KPS Capital Partnership, for the new facility which will be built and come with 600 underground car parking spaces.

(Source: Waterford News & Star)


Offaly may have staked its claim to Obama but Rathowen can now proudly declare that it is the home of the world's other Boss - or at least that of his great, great grandmother. Authors of a new book on Bruce Springsteen have traced the legendary rocker's ancestor, Ann Garrity back to the Westmeath village of Rathowen where she was baptized in 1830. Records show that she then lived in Mullingar, before emigrating to America during the famine years and made her home on the now famous Leopold Street in New Jersey where her super-star great, great grandson Bruce was born some 70 years later. Ann's sister Elizabeth also moved to New Jersey from Mullingar around the same.

(Source: The Westmeath Examiner)


Stunned silence descended on the streets of Wexford last Tuesday night as the funeral cortege of murdered mother-of-two Rebecca French made its way to Bride Street Church. The hearse carrying her coffin moved slowly from Kearney's funeral home in Selskar, followed by shocked family members and friends, including her mother Nancy (74) and her five sisters and three brothers. Rebecca was the mother of two daughters Tia (10) and Kayah (5). The young woman was savagely murdered Friday before last in a crime which has shocked the town where she grew up. As the Garda (police) investigation into her brutal killing continues, four men have appeared in court charged in connection with her death.

(Source: The Wexford People)


Anti-Social behavior in a number of county council estates dotted across the county is spiraling out of control. Councilor. John Snell is calling on Wicklow County Council and the gardaí to clamp down on troublesome tenants in local authority estates. In particular he refers to instances in Rathdrum, Newtownmountkennedy, Bray and Greystones, including threats and intimidation, criminal damage and actual assaults. One family living in an estate in Newtownmountkennedy has been so troublesome that there have been 22 official requests from neighbors for transfers. There have also been allegations of vicious assaults in an estate in Rathdrum.

(Source: The Wicklow People)