A mortar bomb left on a roadside in Armagh has been blamed on “reckless” criminal dissidents intent on killing police officers. District Commander chief superintendent Alasdair Robinson said the device was found on Wednesday night last thanks to a member of the public who raised the alarm. It is understood a warning call was made to the city’s parochial house. Police were alerted and closed the road.

(Source: The Belfast Telegraph)


A prominent south Armagh Republican, whose home was raided and assets frozen by the Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA), claims the investigation is ‘politically motivated’ and that details published about his assets are ‘totally and utterly untrue.’ Investigators from the Agency swooped on Sean Hughes’ home on the Adavoyle Road in Dromintee on Tuesday last. A court order had been granted for the Agency to take control of assets and bank accounts, which it alleges were proceeds of tax, mortgage and benefit fraud. Bank accounts belonging to several members of Hughes’ extended family and neighbors have also been frozen.

(Source: The Cross Examiner)


A Bangladeshi man will arrive in County Carlow last Wednesday to try to inspire students at IT Carlow to speak their own language. Raj Khan, who has lived here now for seven years, has been adopted by the Irish-speaking community and his stop in Carlow is one of many he will make on his cycling trip around Ireland trip to promote our native tongue. “I’ve lived in Ireland for seven years now and I’m constantly taken aback at how few people speak Irish on a daily basis,” said Raj. “I’m trying to encourage Irish people to use their ‘cúpla focal’ whenever they get the chance. Language is central to our identity and fundamental to our uniqueness,” he added.

(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


We have great plans for 2010 and we will continue to provide the best service we can with our resources," Cavan County Museum's acting curator, Savina Donohoe has said. Ms. Donohoe was speaking in the light of recent reports that Cavan County Council's annual funding of €500,000 to the museum will be cut - reports that she feels have been misconstrued as heralding the end for the museum. "The council have been very good to us and they appreciate having the museum," said Ms. Donohoe.

(Source: The Anglo Celt)


Drivers last week were advised to postpone all journeys in Clare until further notice as weather conditions deteriorated. Those that had to travel experienced delays of up to three hours with severe tailbacks.

(Source: The Irish Times)


Gardai (police) in Fermoy are warning householders to beware of bogus officials calling to their homes looking for money after a local man was almost conned out of a "substantial" amount of cash. A smartly dressed man called to a pensioner's house in Kilworth within the past fortnight claiming to be a representative from the revenue commissioners. The caller told the man that he owed a sum of money to the taxman and that the deadline for payment was looming.

(Source: The Corkman)


Father Sean McKenna – who two weeks ago announced his decision to leave the priesthood after 24 years – said that the woman he is in a relationship with is not pregnant. He said that the "rumors" about his relationship with separated mother-of-two Elaine Curran are "completely untrue" and have caused "great distress".

(Source: The Derry Journal)


Former star player Martin McHugh is to challenge for a place on the Donegal GAA Executive and a place on the Central Council of the Association in Croke Park at next month's county convention. The All-Ireland winner and double All-Star is among a number of people who have received nominations for the position about to be vacated by Brian McEniff, who is giving up his position on the Association's governing body under rule having completed 16 years at Central Council.

(Source: Donegal Democrat)


Family members of the victims of a fatal car crash in Newry earlier this year have travelled from Portugal to campaign for safety improvements at the notorious stretch of road where the horror smash occurred. Four men died and another was seriously injured in the head-on collision with a truck on the main Tandragee Road in August. Now parents and relatives of the victims have come to Northern Ireland to push for changes to the junction where their loved ones died.

(Source: The Down Democrat)


They're the pure platinum celebrity couple famed for their bling parties and A-list status. So when Beyonce and Jay-Z jet into town and you just know that if they go out it will be to a very special bash. The soul diva and her rap-star hubby paid for a party at Lillie's Bordello on Sunday night. Beyonce performed at the O2 on Sunday and Monday night last. And in between she and Jay Z hosted Dublin's glitziest party-of-the- year for her lead dancer. Talented performer Khasan Brailsford booked out the club's exclusive VIP area for a bash on Sunday night after the concert.

(Source: The Evening Herald)


A draft report released to principals in the Fermanagh area has cast a major shadow over the future of seven of the nine post-primary Catholic schools in the area. The report, which has been compiled by the Commission for Catholic Education, states that schools in the future will have to be 'viable and sustainable' with a 'minimum number of 500 pupils' between the ages of 11 to 16 and a further 100 children enrolled at post-16 age level. Taking those figures into account, only St Michael's College and Mount Lourdes would be viable in their current state. This is a big blow for Catholic rural secondary schools in the county who now face an uncertain future with the real possibility that post-primary education in certain areas of the county will disappear completely.

(Source: The Fermanagh Herald)


The triumvirate behind the hugely successful Galway Volvo Ocean Race stopover this year were honored at the Rehab Galway People of the Year awards on Saturday night last in the wake of a Deloitte report that found that the event netted a cool €55.8 million for the city. John Killeen, Enda O'Coinneen and Eamonn Connelly received a standing ovation as the received the Special Achievement Award from Fáilte Ireland CEO Fiona Monaghan in recognition of 'Let's Do It Galway's' role in bringing the VOR to Galway. Meanwhile, according to a report commissioned by auditing giant Deloitte, the VOR stopover brought a massive €55.8 million to the West of Ireland this year - almost 30 per cent above expectations - with 650,000 visitors to the Race Village during the two-week stopover.

(Source: Galway Independent)


An insurance services operation is to open in Dingle in January, initially offering five jobs but with the promise that this will increase to 33 full time jobs over the next three years. McGivern Flynn & Co and the Irish division of IFG Group plc are both involved in the venture, which will see the establishment of a back-office support and services contact centre offering a range of insurance packages to customers throughout Ireland. The business, which was first announced in June of this year by former Ceann Comhairle John O'Donoghue, is being supported by Údarás na Gaeltachta and will be located in the Údarás business park in Milltown, Dingle.

(Source: The Kerryman)


An Athy town councilor has called for the Athy Town Development plan to be amended to ensure that head shops, which sell legal highs, are prohibited. A head shop is a retail outlet specializing in drug paraphernalia related to consumption of cannabis, other recreational drugs, and New Age herbs, as well as counterculture art, magazines, music, clothing, and home decor. Cllr Mark Dalton has also questioned why head shops can open up where they like overnight while businesses like restaurants and shops selling food have copious amounts of red tape to deal with before opening their doors.

(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)


Kilkenny student Karen Reidy has been shortlisted for the final of the European Commission Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) 'Crisis Correspondent – Reporting from Uganda' competition. Karen, who spent ten months in Nigeria during the summer work in a HIV clinic penned a series of articles for the Kilkenny People documenting her experiences of aid work in a Third World country. The prestigious competition was open to over 135,000 third level students in Ireland and Karen, who is completing an MA in Development Studies at Dublin City University, has secured one of nine places in the shortlist.

(Source: The Kilkenny People)


Cuckooing is the label being given to people who go out under the cover of darkness and dispose of their household rubbish in other people’s wheelie bins and it’s happening “all over the county.” That’s according to one resident from the 15-apartment complex at Dunamaise Court in Portlaoise, who says the problem has escalated in his area over the past few months. The resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “It’s happening with us here between 7.30pm and the next morning. We installed CCTVs and have got the people who are carrying on this type of nocturnal activity on camera. The problem we’re faced with is that we don’t know what the legal situation is now”.

(Source: The Laois Nationalist)


Figures released by Experian®, the global information services company, show that the retail vacancy rate for County Leitrim is currently 8.6% which is 6.1% lower than the all Ireland county average of 14.7%. Ireland's county average vacancy rate of 14.7% is two per cent higher than the UK average rate, which stands at 12.5% and is over one per cent higher than the Northern Irish figure which is 13.5%. Jonathan De Mello, Director of Retail and Property at Experian explains, "Indications are we will see a better Christmas this year although we are unlikely to see a return to pre-recession expenditure levels for some time.

(Source: The Leitrim Observer)


Mayor of Limerick Kevin Kiely and Defense Minister Willie O'Dea have persuaded one of Limerick's top gardai not to take early retirement from his job. Detective Inspector Jim Browne, 53, has confirmed to Minister O'Dea and Mayor Kiely that he has changed his mind following calls by them on him not to leave his post. Det Insp Browne, a leading figure in the fight against gangland crime, had announced his impending departure and retirement parties were being organized by his colleagues.

(Source: The Limerick Leader)



Longford Town Council spent over €100,000 sending councilors on conference trips to hotels and establishments at home and abroad in 2008, new figures reveal. The figures also show that the Town Council is already €9,000 over preliminary budget expectations for 2009 for conference fees. Amongst the conferences attended included fact finding assignments covering topics from the environment and local government to training and tourism seminars.

(Source: The Longford Leader)


A major illegal cigarette haul was seized from a lorry on the MI outside Dundalk on Monday last. Officers from Customs and Excise backed up by Dundalk gardaí stopped the 45 - foot vehicle in the northbound lane close to junction 16 on the motorway. The vehicle had been under surveillance after it arrived at Dublin Port last week from Barcelona. Between five and six million cigarettes were found in the lorry's container when it was searched at Newtownbalregan as part of 'Operation Phoenix.' Revenue officers confirmed that they uncovered 'Regal' brand cigarettes, which had been smuggled into the country described on a ship manifest as 'hair extensions'. The lorry had travelled two weeks ago from Spain, and was reportedly making 'suspicious movements' when it came to the attention of Customs officers.

(Source: The Argus)


The plight facing small rural towns like Kiltimagh was touched upon by local man and well known GAA official Mick Higgins at the launch of “Kiltimagh Remembered” by Basil Burke in the Town Hall last Friday. It came the day before the Irish Independent published a similar style feature on the demise of the once booming Cork coastal town of Youghal. Reflecting on the amount of advertisements for local businesses from back the years which are reproduced and included in the new publication, Mr. Higgins said the current situation in the town was very challenging and that the days when one could hope to attract a large industry to the region were probably gone forever.

(Source: Mayo News)


The Government's abolition of Christmas bonus payments for 36,000 social welfare recipients in Meath will mean a loss of up to €9 million in shopping power to the county in the run-up to the Christmas period, it was claimed last week. Mayor of Navan, Cllr Joe Reilly, said that "the most vulnerable" people would be hit by the absence of the traditional double payment and a retailers' leader said that the scrapping of the bonus would make the situation "even more difficult" for shopkeepers who were already under strain. Navan stands to lose €1 million to €1.5 million and Meath up to €9 million as the welfare money is taken out of the economy, Councilor Reilly claimed.

(Source: The Meath Chronicle)


Taoiseach Brian Cowen was back on home soil on Monday last to launch Bord na Móna's "Heartland" exhibition to mark the 75th anniversary of the company and its predecessor, the Turf Development Board.

(Source: The Offaly Express)


The newly aligned Roscommon/ Longford Division of An Garda Siochana has one of the lowest levels of staffing among Garda Divisions across the country. According to figures furnished by Minister of Justice Dermot Ahern in the Dail two weeks ago, there were 299 Garda personnel in the newly aligned division of Roscommon/Longford as of September 30th last.

(Source: The Roscommon Herald)


Sligo County Council has refused planning permission for a proposed major development around the historic Hazelwood House and the former Saehan Media factory on the shore of Lough Gill. Foresthaze Developments Ltd had applied for 10-year planning permission for development that included the demolition of the former Saehan Media factory; the restoration of Hazelwood House, the development of five retail units, and the construction of 158 detached houses, 54 apartments in four blocks, 13 berths, a crèche and two ESB substations/switch rooms. However, two weeks ago, Sligo County Council decided to refuse the application.

(Source: The Sligo Champion)


Four years of hard study and exams were rewarded at a conferring ceremony in St Patrick's College in Thurles two weeks ago. President Rev Thomas Fogarty presented 40 students with their parchment scrolls in front of families and invited dignitaries. Ten Bachelor of Arts (Theology) Degrees, and 30 Degrees in Education, Business Studies and Religious Studies were awarded.

(Source: The Tipperary Star)


On Thursday night last 145 people tumbled to the ground at the Oaks Centre to set a new ‘Human Mattress Domino” World Record. There was incredible excitement and tension. Eight weeks ago, when Barry Mc Guinness from HFS decided to make an attempt at breaking the world record, it stood at 80. During this time, the record got broke 3 times. Blue Peter held the record at 100, and then it went to 121 in Australia, and the most recent one was 130, set 10 days ago in New Zealand. Not deterred by the rising numbers, Barry just kept adding mattresses and got the assistance of Sainsbury’s to use their main aisle to start the record breaking attempt.

(Source: The Tyrone Times)



The opening of the new multi-million euro Penneys store in the city centre at the end of the month will give a much-needed boost to shopping and jobs in Waterford. A massive 1,319 applications were received for 60 additional fulltime and 70 part-time positions at the shop, of which 378 candidates were interviewed. “The caliber of the staff recruited is of a high standard,” explained Lynn Dunlop spokesperson. The additional recruitment brings to 120 the number of permanent positions.

 (Source: Waterford News & Star)



A strong contingent from Westmeath is among the group of 950 volunteers who are currently in Africa with the Niall Mellon Township Trust. The group had their first day on site at Wallacedene last week, and as they arrived onsite, kitted out in their colored team t-shirts, hard hats and with tools, the volunteers were greeted enthusiastically by hundreds of delighted local residents. Since their arrival, the 950 volunteers have been flat out, in their bid to construct over 200 houses at Wallacadene before their return to Ireland.

 (Source: The Westmeath Examiner)


Eight-year-old Ben McGuinness from Barntown was the envy of young rugby players around the country on Sunday two weeks ago as he accompanied his heroes onto the field at Croke Park. Ben was the Irish rugby team's mascot for their test match against Australia, which finished in a 20-20 draw thanks to a late try from Irish star Brian O'Driscoll. Decked out in the full Irish kit, Ben, who plays rugby with the Wexford Wanders, accompanied O'Driscoll onto the pitch at the start of the game and stood with the team for the national anthems. As he lined up with the Irish squad, O'Driscoll turned to him and asked: 'Have you ever stood in front of 80,000 people before?'

(Source: The Wexford People)



A five-year-old child who was savaged by a dog at the Hillview playground required 200 staples to the top and back of his head to treat his injuries. He will now require further plastic surgery in an effort to try and prevent the wounds from scarring him for the rest of his young life. Two alsatian dogs were loose at the time from a household in the estate, though gardai believe only one of the animals was involved in the horrific attack. Both dogs were seized by Wicklow gardai and destroyed by a vet. A garda spokesperson said, 'both the boy and his family are very distressed by the whole incident. He was left with serious facial injuries which required immediate treatment.'

(Source: The Wicklow People)