We hope you will enjoy these bits and bobs of news  from all over the country. As with the headlines and news on our web site, we purposely avoid murder and mayhem, opting instead for whatever we can find  in the way of Irish traditions, customs and culture. We also try to avoid repeating news we've already published in our daily updates. Here's the URL if you aren't familiar with that feature on the site:
We publish  links to seven stories gathered every morning from all the major Irish newspapers. These links are kept for two weeks just in case you can't visit the site every day.
Now - onwards with the county news:
Antrim: Poc Fada for Stormont
A Poc Fada competition is to take place at Stormont next month, with the winner taking home a trophy named after a most unlikely candidate. Competitors in the Poc ar an Cnoc (puck on the hill) contest will be vying for the Edward Carson Trophy, since Gerry Adams discovered that the Dublin-born barrister played hurling while attending Trinity College in Dublin. Competitors will hit sliotars up the Prince of Wales Avenue in Stormont to see who can hit the ball the furtherst, and the Sinn Féin MP is hoping that there will be representatives from the unionist community among those taking part.
Antrim: Broughshane takes Best Kept title
The village of Broughshane has been named as the country’s Best Kept Small Town, a nationwide competition organised by SuperValu. Competing for the title were last year’s winners of the Best Kept Awards and the Tidy Towns competition in the South. Broughshane was up against two Southern towns, Lismore in Co. Waterford and Listowel in County Kerry, and the announcement of the winner was made at the awards ceremony at Queen’s University. T
Antrim: Six medals for Clonard boy
Seán Irivine from the Clonard area of Belfast was celebrating last week after coming home from the Special Olympics in Limerick with a total of six medals. The twelve-year-old toured west Belfast in an open-topped bus to mark his achievement in gaining two gold, two silver and two bronze medals. Seán, who came top in his division in the games, was also named as Sports Person of the Year by his school, Glenveagh Special School. 
Armagh: Makem to be honoured in New Hampshire
The late musician Tommy Makem, who left his native Keady in 1955 to emigrate to the United States, is to be honoured by having a bridge named after him. Joining him in the honour is his late wife Mary and they will be remembered by the Tommy and Mary Makem Memorial Bridge in Dover, New Hampshire. The dedication is due to take place on July 30. While welcoming the dedication in the US, Tommy’s nephew Peter has questioned why no commemoration has taken place in Keady to honour the musician, who died three years ago. 
Armagh: Historic Poyntzpass feature to be restored
The handball alley in Poynzpass, which is believed to be at least four hundred years old, is to be vested by the City and District Council and leased to the Poyntzpass Community Regeneration Company. The handball has fallen into disrepair in recent years but now the residents of the village hope to transform it into a modern facility for a variety of sports including football, tennis and basketball. 
ms for those using the facility.  
Armagh: Iconic car on show at motor festival
The Mark II Ford Escort driven by the late rally driver Bertie Fisher was on show at the Festival of Motorsport in Loughgall last weekend. The car was bought by Malcolm Montgomery and he and his brother Ronald decided to restore the vehicle, which was one of three built for the Monte Carlo Rally in 1979. Malcolm and Ronald carried out the work in the garage in Augher and they included the names of Bertie and his co-driver, Austin Frazer, on the doors of the finished vehicle.   
Carlow: A taste from the past in Carlow
With the recession biting everywhere Peter McCalley, the proprietor of the Carlow Candy Company, looked around for something different to attract customers to his store. His research led him to the shopping centres in the US which, he discovered, were stocking lots of old fashioned sweets. So now his shop, Special Days on Tullow Street in Carlow, is the place to find all those sweets from childhood including pear drops, pineapple cubes, and clove drops. These are among sixty different types of traditional sweets now being stocked in the shop, and all are stored in the equally traditional large glass jars.
Carlow: Allotments for rent at Lisnavagh
For those wishing to grow their own fruit and vegetables, an opportunity has arisen to rent an allotment at Lisnavagh House in Rathvilly near Tullow. Owner of the house Emily Bunbury is arranging to rent out plots in the nineteenth century walled garden which has been producing fruit and vegetables for the past one hundred and eighty years. With two-metre high walls the sheltered garden has its own microclimate, making it eminently suitable for the job. The rent of the allotments will include free water, compost and storage as well as the use of a polytunnel.
Cavan: Name-change club celebrates anniversary
Kildallen GAA club changed its name in order to celebrate its one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary this year. Now known as Ballyconnell First Ulsters, the club was not only the first club in Cavan, but also the first club in the province. The very first match played by the club in 1885 took place in the same location as the present grounds. A celebratory programme was launched last week by anniversary committee chairman Damien Brady, who reported that a number of people are to be honoured during the celebrations including Colm Curry, John James Smyth and Patrick Early.
Cavan: Rededication of Cathedral
The rededication of St Fethlimidh’s Cathedral took place recently which also marked its one hundred and fiftieth anniversary. The foundation for the present building was laid by Lady Farnham in 1858 after the old cathedral had proved too small for the mid-nineteenth century congregation.  The ceremony was led by Bishop Ken Clarke and representing the other churches were Bishop Leo O’Reilly, Father Peter McPartland, and Rev. Stephen Foster. 
 Cavan: Cavan general’s medal found
A papal medal presented to a general from Cavan, which was believed to have been lost in a car crash some forty years ago, recently turned up in an HMV box of old records. Sir Oliver Nugent of Cullentragh, Mountnugent, received a silver medal from Pope Benedict XV for punishing men of the 36th (Ulster) Division when they ransacked Catholic churches in France during the First World War. This and the general’s other medals were found following the death of his daughter, Alison Hirschberg, and they have now been purchased by a group of military museums in the North.  
Cavan: Handballer notches another victory
Mullahoran man Paul Brady has returned home from Austin, Texas after winning his sixth successive US Nationals Open Singles title, the most prestigious title in the sport. And it was the second year running in which no opponent managed to reach a score in double digits against him. Now joint third in the nationals roll of honour behind David Champamn and Naty Alvarado snr, Paul already holds the most world titles, having held the crown since 2003. The thirty-year-old is now aiming to beat the record next year for the most Irish senior championship titles.
Cavan: Temporary art to welcome Fleadh
With the All-Ireland Fleadh due to come to Cavan town next month the town has been doing its bit towards making the venue as attractive as possible. In addition to a big clean-up and the introduction of floral displays, there are eleven temporary art installations spread around the town to catch the eye of the visitor.
Clare: New visitor centre opens at Doolin
John and Helen Browne, the operators of the Doolin Cave which features the longest stalactite in the Northern Hemisphere, have remembered a literary friend in the opening last week of a new visitor centre. The centre and cafe, which was officially opened by broadcaster Marian Finucane, has been dedicated to the memory of the late Nuala O’Faolain, a friend of the Browne family. Ms O’Faolain, who died in 2008, had a holiday home in Lahinch and was a frequent visitor to the Browne household. She will share the dedication with Helen Browne’s brother, the late Father Michael McNamara, parish priest of Doora Barefield.
Clare: Killaloe to supersede Dublin for a day?
To mark the one thousandth anniversary of the death of Brian Boru, who ruled Ireland from his palace in The Green, Killaloe, the town is hoping to become the capital of Ireland for a day. A committee has been set up to organise a series of events for 2014, the year of the anniversary, which they hope will include the fireworks display known as Skyfest. There are also plans to unveil a monument to the former High King, to secure the commissioning of a commemorative coin, and to host the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in that year.
Clare: Winning Irish esign for Cadbury wrapper launched 
More than two thousand entries were received ina competition organised by Cadbury’s and a final shortlist of five designs were subject to a public vote. The winner was  Ennis man Peter Ruane whose design features the Cliffs of Moher. The design will appear on more than six hundred thousand of the Dairy Milk bars made in Ireland, a quantity expected to sell out over the next six to eight weeks. 
Clare: Diving boards return to Kilkee
The diving boards at the centre of a controversy in Kilkee have been returned to their usual location. The boards, which have served local residents and visitors alike for decades, were removed early last month by the council in response to health and safety regulations. The reinstallation of the boards was accompanied by the removal of the ‘No diving’ and No swimming’ signs. A campaign launched on Facebook which attracted three thousand supporters was led by local architect Tom Byrne, who was one of the first to dive from the boards when they opened again last week.
Cork: Civic reception for pilot’s daughter
Mariana Ocana was afforded a civic reception by Mayor Willie O’Regan when she visited Mallow last week, fulfilling her late father’s wish to pay another visit to the town. In 1983 Ruben Ocana was forced to land his plane, carrying four passengers, at Mallow racecourse when fog prevented him from refuelling at Shannon. He then spent six weeks in the town while a €150,000 airstrip was built to allow his jet to take off again. Mr Ocana did return to Mallow the following year, to thank the town for its hospitality, but had hoped to pay another visit; he died early last year and Mariana decided to come to Mallow in his stead.
Cork: Zak is on his way to Pinehurst
A young Ballincollig boy, who was given his first set of golf clubs at the age of two and a half, is to represent Ireland at the US Kids Golf World Championship at the beginning of August. Zak Collins is aged just six and is due to go into senior infants at Gaelscoil Uí Riordáin in September. He will be accompanied to America by his father, Denis, who will act as his caddy. Denis says he stopped playing golf with his son when the six-year-old beat him by six shots at the Lee Valley course. He has already won the Irish Wee Wonders Golf Competition in Cavan and came top in his age group and tenth overall in the European finals at St Andrews.
Cork: Cork to have Ireland’s first Buddhist temple
The country’s first Buddhist temple is to be erected at Garranes near Allihies in the west of the county after planning permission was granted by the county council. The Dzogchen Beara retreat centre is to oversee the project and director Matt Padwick said the temple will be modelled on traditional Tibetan designs. Fundraising is necessary before construction can begin on the €1m temple, which will take up to eighteen months to complete. Construction work is expected to begin next year on the copper-domed building.
Derry: Bridge saved from demolition
The iron pedestrian bridge over the River Faughan at Ardmore was threatened with demolition after Sam Condit acquired the lease five years ago and wanted to remove it. However a court has ruled that the bridge, built in 1920 to replace a wooden bridge which was put in place in the 1830s, is a right of way and cannot be removed. 
Derry: New museum opens in Magilligan
The Shackleton and Aviation Museum has leased from Limavady Borough Council the former ferry terminal building at Magilligan to house the exhibits comprising the history of aviation in the north west. The Museum group was begun by Norman and Sylvia Thorpe, with Dave and Kathleen Bishop, last year and members include the Eglinton Flying Club and the Ulster Gliding Club. The Museum records the notable people who have flown in to the county, including Amelia Earhart, who landed in Ballyarnett, a group of flying boats from the Italian Air Force which had a refuelling stop on Lough Foyle, and Richard Branson of Virgin who landed his hot air balloon outside Limavady.
Derry: Council agrees to honour golfer
A Facebook campaign has led to the members of Coleraine Borough Council agreeing to the erection of signs announcing that Portrush is the home of champion golfer Graeme McDowell. The campaign was launched by Portrush man Alan Simpson, a DJ with BBC Radio Ulster, and council staff are now drafting the layout of the sign which should be manufactured and mounted within the next few weeks. A spokesman for the council said they were proud to mark the historic achievements of the golfer, who became the first European in forty years to win the US Open, and the only Irishman ever to take the title. 
Donegal: Funding approved for cliffs development
Government funding to the value of €2m has been approved for the development of Slieve League in the south of the county, reputed to have the highest cliffs in Europe. Road access to the cliffs is to be improved, as will the car parks provided, transport will be provided to the site and walking routes will be laid out. The cliffs at present attract some one hundred and twenty thousand people each year and it is envisaged that this figure will more than double with the improved facilities. According to Brendan Byrne, chairman of the county council, Slieve League will eventually become a major tourist destination, in particular for hill-walkers.
Donegal: Novelist sells Carrickfin home
Novelist Edna O’Brien has sold her house in Carrickfin two years after first putting it on the market. The Pink House, designed by Ms O’Brien’s son Sasha Gebler, has its own private beach, jetty and boathouse but the writer found it difficult to concentrate on her writing while living there, drawn as she was by the beauty of the area. The original asking price for the four-bedroomed property, which stands on an acre of land, was €850,000. It was almost sold at the end of last year for €700,000 but that deal fell through and it has now been sold for €490,000.
Donegal: Change of fortune for Buncrana couple
Over a year ago Graham Doherty from Buncrana lost his job as a plasterer when the building industry collapsed, but hard times are at an end now that his wife has scooped €2.6m on the National Lotto. Stephanie Ferguson, an optician’s receptionist, checked her ticket when she heard that it had been purchased at Mac’s newsagents on Main Street in the town and was thrilled to discover that she had the winning numbers.  cheque.
Donegal: Ballyshannon sportsman off to New York
Simon Gillespie from Ballyshannon has been appointed as the first ever Games Development Officer by the GAA in New York and will be involved in coaching the New York players. A graduate of the University of Limerick, he has worked as a coaching officer in Derry for the past two years. While undertaking a Masters degree Simon wrote a dissertation on the Clerical Association with the GAA, and he has now been approached by the New York Board to work on the history of the New York GAA, which will celebrate its centenary in four years’ time.
Down: Blooming delight at Rowallane
A tree that was first brought to the county almost one hundred years ago has bloomed this year for the first time. The rare goat horn tree, brought from China in the early years of the last century, was originally bought by Donard Nursery in Newcastle in 1912 and was subsequently bought by the former owner of Rowallane Garden in Saintfield seven years later. And now, after ninety years, the rare tree has bloomed after first showing signs of flowering last month. 
Down: Naoimh is overall dance champion
Naoimh Morgan from Newry, having reached the semi-finals of the “Move Like Michael Jackson” television series earlier this year, has now done even better at the World Cup of Dance. The seventeen-year-old was representing the UK at the competition in Sardinia, taking part in the tap and modern dance categories. Having been placed first in both competitions she then joined her fellow-contestants in a gala performance, after which she was named as the overall winner, Champion of Champions. Her arrival home in Newry was greeted by balloons and banners, followed by a surprise party at the Phoenix.
Down: Red Arrows to mark Ferguson centenary
The Red Arrows are to be the highlight of the Harry Ferguson Festival of Flight, marking the centenary of the flight over Newcastle sands in 1910 by Harry Ferguson. The festival will take place over the August Bank Holiday weekend and the Irish Air Corps have also been invited to the event. The festival marking the achievement of the Dromore engineer and inventor, better known as the inventor of the modern tractor, will include vintage tractors, street theatre, an open air concert featuring Peter Corry, and a Pageant of Flight Carnival Float Parade.
Dublin: Papal honour for Dublin woman
Dr Margaret Downes has been honoured with the title of Dame Commander of the Order of St Gregory in recognition of her work for St Mary’s Church in Haddington Road and for the Dublin diocese over the past forty years. Dr Downes, who is chairwoman of St Mary’s parish pastoral council, was conferred with the papal honour at the church last week by Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin.
Dublin: Fashion award for Malahide designer
Amanda Grogan from Malahide, a fashion graduate of the National College of Art and Design, has been named the winner of this year’s Mittelmoda prize in Gorizia, Italy. Amanda, whose mother taught her to sew, was one of twenty-four finalists from an initial entry of more than six hundred colleges all over the world. The twenty-three-year old, who collects €10,000 as her prize, is the first Irish person to win the award since it was inaugurated in 1993. Having undertaken an internship with Irish designer Eilis Boyle last summer, Amanda has decided to launch her own label in Ireland next year.
Fermanagh: Open Day on Inish Rath
The Hare Krishna community based on Inish Rath on Upper Lough Erne held an open day last week which attracted family groups to the spiritual retreat where they were welcomed by the members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Among those enjoying the amenities and the ceremonies were David and Rosemary Bland and their sons James and Christopher from Enniskillen. David said he found particularly interesting the ceremony of the blessing of babies, and the chanting in Sanskrit. Next year marks the twenty-fifty anniversary of the installation of the deities in the island’s temple and a major festival is planned.
Fermanagh: Rachel is Lady of the Lake
She had to keep it a secret for three weeks, but last weekend Rachel Gibson from Irvinestown was at last revealed as the 2010 “Lady of the Lake” at the festival of the same name. The twenty-year-old told only her parents, although many people were already convinced she was the chosen one, but Rachel tried to put them off the scent by marching with her band, the Drumharvey Pipe Band, during the festival parade. When the parade was over she just about had time to don her finery and make her grand entrance, after which she made her way through the town on a bright yellow three-wheeled tricycle.
Fermanagh: Roisin joins Couch Surfing
Inveterate traveller Roisin McManus is one of six people in Enniskillen who have joined a website, Couch Surfing, which sees her host visitors from all over the world to her home town. The idea is for couch surfers to be able to avail of the eponymous couch, a spare bed or even floor space for free in the host’s home, as well as being given a tour of the locality. Roisin’s top sites for her visitors are Claddagh Glen, Lough Navar Viewpoint and the Marble Arch Caves, and she also offers a waterside pub crawl which finishes at Blakes in the Hollow.
Galway: Tuam man chosen for major Olympic role
Neil Carney from Tuam, who has wide experience in organising international events including the Galway leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, has been chosen to oversee the venue planning for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Working with the Tuam man will be some thirty experts on an immediate basis, but he will have thousands operating under his direction at some points during the run-up to the games. Ten days after the Olympics finish the Paralympics will take place at the same venue, and Neil will also be in charge of ensuring that these run smoothly.
Galway: West side to be pedestrianised
For the first time Dominick Street on the west side of the city is to be pedestrianised during part of Race Week, at the request of a group of publicans in the area known as the West End Traders. The move will allow on-street entertainment and a stage is to be set up outside Monroe’s Tavern at the bottom of Dominick Street as a platform for musical entertainment. The road will be closed to traffic from Friday to Monday of the coming week, taking in the Bank Holiday, from 7pm to 2am, while a glass exclusion zone will be put in force to cover Lower Dominick Street and Henry Street. 
Galway: Last two students leave Kylemore
As the Leaving Certificate drew to a close recently,  so also did the history of Kylemore Abbey as a school. Olivia Corbett-Joyce and Lea Pecorari were two of the school’s last ten students, all sitting their Leaving Certificate, and after eighty-nine years the school will now close due to a fall in vocations. Run by the Benedictine Order of nuns after they left France at the outbreak of the First World War, the school included boarders until two years ago. 
Galway: Moycullen family takes in orphans
Noel Thomas and his family are undertaking the task of raising four baby hedgehogs which Noel brought home to Moycullen after they were discovered in a wood near Oughterard. The four-week-old hedgehogs are being kept in a garden shed and are being kept warm with a heat-lamp, while they are being fed lamb’s colostrums through a syringe, as well as vitamin drops. Landscape gardener Noel is being helped in his task of caring for the baby hedgehogs by his four children, Ciara aged ten, eight-year-old Emma, and twins Noel and Cian, aged seven. 
Kerry: Restoration begins on Killarney House
Restoration work has at last begun on Killarney House, which was given to the State by the McShain family to be developed as a cultural and tourist attraction. Two years ago the daughter of the former owners, Sister Pauline McShain, expressed concern that the house was being allowed to become derelict. Now, however, work on damp proofing, drainage has been carried out and a security system installed. Further repair work will continue in the autumn while plans have also been prepared to restore the nineteenth century gardens to the west of the house. The long-term goal is for the house to become a visitor centre for the National Park.    
Kerry: Charlie’s cane is recovered
The latest act of vandalism on the statue of Charlie Chaplin in Waterville involved the removal of his walking cane, but fortunately the gardaí received a tip-off and were able to retrieve it. Now sculptor Alan Ryan Hall from Valentia Island will carry out repairs to the famous statue, ensuring that it is strong enough to resist future vandalism. The life-sized sculpture, marking Chaplin’s many holidays spent in the seaside town attracts as many as fifty coach loads of sightseers a day in the summer months. The comedian stayed with his family at the Butler Arms Hotel and also purchased a house in the town.
Kerry: Increase in dolphin numbers spotted off coast
Reports have been logged of a 53% increase in sightings of the Rosso’s dolphin off the coast, with a pod of twenty spotted on one occasion. A group of five of the pale-coloured or white dolphins were spotted east of Fahan before heading for Slea Head where they foraged along the seabed close to the shore. Sometimes mistaken for killer whales due to their bulbous heads and large dorsal fins, the Rossi’s dolphins can grow up to fur metres in length but, unlike the whales, do not have any teeth in their upper jaws. The most recent sighting was recorded near Puffin Island in St Finan’s Bay.
Kerry: Book launched on Kerry’s dancing priest
Recebtly, at the East Avenue Hotel in Killarney, the launch took place of “Dancing Priest” by journalist Aidan O’Connor. For the first time in fourteen years Scartaglin native Neil Horan returned home for the launch, and even danced to the accompaniment of accordionist Liam O’Connor. Speaking at the launch Neil’s brother Dan cautioned people not to judge his brother on his “three minutes of madness” but to remember all the good work he had done as a priest. 
Kerry: Cyclists by the thousand on the Ring
Up to six thousand cyclists took part in the twenty-seventh annual Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle, setting out from Killarney racecourse for the one hundred and eighty kilometre challenge. Among those taking part was Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, who has been able to practise on the road from Killarney to Kenmare since his wife is from the area. Footballer John O’Keeffe and politician Jimmy Deenihan were among the men taking part, though there were more women than men completing the race this year.
Kildare: Peter and Helen renew vows
Peter and Helen ‘Nellie’ Finnan have recreated their wedding day after fifty years by renewing their vows in the same church and holding a reception at the same hotel. The couple were married in St Mary’s Church in Leixlip, Helen’s home town, and had their reception at the Springfield Hotel. Fifty years later they were joined by family and friends including their children, Donal, Paul, Des, Hilary, Anne and Helen, as well as their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 
Kildare: Rare equine birth in Athy
For a horse to give birth to two surviving foals is a rare occurrence, with odds of 10,000 to one. For twin foals to be born to a thoroughbred is even rarer, so celebrations were certainly underway in Athy last week. Part-time horse breeder Theresa Lawler discovered that her mare, Molly, had given birth to a filly and a colt and both were healthy. Usually if twins are born only one survives or they are born with abnormalities. The foals, named Lucky and Angel, are a cross between their six-year-old thoroughbred mother and a Clydesdale stallion.
Kildare: Castledermot priest celebrates golden jubilee
Father Brendan Cantwell was joined on the altar at the Church of the Assumption in Castledermot recently by some of his classmates from his days at the seminary of St Peter’s in Wexford. The occasion was a special Mass to celebrate the golden jubilee of his ordination and also in attendance was Bishop Eamon Walsh.  
Kilkenny: Golden jubilee celebrated at St Kieran’s
Members of the class of 1955-60 at St Kieran’s College in Kilkenny were welcomed back to the college recently by the President, Monsignor Kieron Kennedy, and the principal, John Curtis. After a golf outing earlier in the day, won by Johnny Dowling from Glenmore, Mass was celebrated in the college chapel by three members of the class, Father Denis Purcell, Father Tom Coyle, and Father Jim Crotty. During the Mass prayers were said for the eleven deceased members of the class. The former classmates were then given a tour of the college before gathering in the Club House Hotel for a meal.
Kilkenny: Walls to be focus of attention in August
A number of events will be focusing on Kilkenny city’s walls on August 22, which has been designated Irish Walled Towns Day. In the seventeenth century Rothe House, which is bordered by the city wall, the Dreamstuff Youth Theatre will be presenting a performance of “Shakespeare in the House”. On the same day Janice Fuller will be leading a guided walk of the City Walls, starting off from Canal Square. The final event is an opportunity to visit a display of the archaeological excavation of Talbot’s Tower, including a Charles II coin, musket balls and an iron key.
Kilkenny: Most of house contents go at auction
An auction held at Kilmurry House near Thomastown during the week saw some ninety-five per cent of the lots on offer being sold. The sale was held on behalf of John and Margaret Casey, who recently sold the Georgian house and its twenty acres of land. Persian rugs, chandeliers, furniture and pictures were on offer, including one of the house and gardens by Mildred Anne Butler, a former resident. One of the lots, however, had to remain outside; the 1966 Sunbeam Alpine Series II was an exact replica of the car used by Sean Connery in the first James Bond film. It was bought by an anonymous bidder for more than €10k.
Kilkenny: Most of house contents go at auction
An auction held at Kilmurry House near Thomastown during the week saw some ninety-five per cent of the lots on offer being sold. The sale was held on behalf of John and Margaret Casey, who recently sold the Georgian house and its twenty acres of land. Persian rugs, chandeliers, furniture and pictures were on offer, including one of the house and gardens by Mildred Anne Butler, a former resident. One of the lots, however, had to remain outside; the 1966 Sunbeam Alpine Series II was an exact replica of the car used by Sean Connery in the first James Bond film. It was bought by an anonymous bidder for more than €10k.
Laois: Robert wins British Open in Scotland
South African golfer Louis Oosthuizen was not the only person to win a British Open in Scotland recently, since a man from Stradbally took a similar title. Robert Carter was in Falkirk for the British Open Championship in Clay Pigeon Shooting and was hoping to do well in the junior section of the competition, but didn’t quite make the prizes. However since for the first time juniors were eligible to have their scores counted in the senior section it was the in this section that he took first place to be declared British Open Champion. This was one of four trophies brought home to Laois by the twenty-one-year-old.
Laois: Weed holds up repair of bridge
Repair work to a bridge which collapsed during the bad weather in January has been held up due to the discovery of a rare weed. One plant of the starved wood sedge Carex strigosa was found during an ecological survey of the site at Ballykillen Bridge in Killeshin, leading to a ban on the introduction of topsoil to the area. Initially it had been the intention to construct an embankment but now plans have been submitted to use an alternative method to reconstruct the boundary wall, near the Mall. It is anticipated that work will begin on the reconstruction on Wednesday of next week.
Laois: Triple dances at the crossroads
Last year eighteen-year-old Mary-Ellen Knowles underwent cardiac surgery in St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin and wanted to give something back for the treatment she received. So she and her sister Sandra organised a triple dancing at the crossroads in Crettyard, starting off at Fleming’s pub at Newtown Cross at mid-morning, where they danced for two hours. The group they had gathered then moved on to Pedigree Corner for another two hours of dancing before finishing up in the early evening at the Swan Inn. At this venue they were joined by a group of women celebrating a hen party and the day produced a total of €1,500 which will be donated to St Vincent’s and the cardiac rehabilitation unit at Tallaght Hospital.
Leitrim: President opens Boat Rally
President Mary McAleese was in Carrick-on-Shannon last weekend to perform the official opening of the Shannon Boat Rally. Jointly organised by the Athlone and Carrick-on-Shannon branches of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland, the rally is now in its fiftieth year. Up to one hundred boats and four hundred people are expected over the ten days of the rally, in comparison with the seventy-one boats which took part in the first rally in 1961. At the opening ceremony Commodore Donal O’Síocháin stressed that the rally aims to bring boaters together for ten days of fun for all the family.
Leitrim: Mass to be celebrated at Mass Rock
At the beginning of August, for the first time since the Penal Times, a Mass is to be celebrated at Leckanarainey Mass Rock in Mullies. The area has been tidied recently by a local group in preparation for the celebration of the centenary of the building of the Church of the Annunciation next year. As part of the celebrations the Mullies Church Book is to be published which will include a photograph of current parishioners. Everyone from the parish has been asked to attend Mass in the church next Sunday as it is intended to take the photograph in front of the church after Mass.
Leitrim: Public artwork launched in Mohill
Frank Dolan, new Cathaoirleach of the county council, last week performed the official launch of Keystones, a new public artwork which links Hyde Terrace and Knocklongford in Mohill. The new piece is the work of glass artist Louise Rice, who chose the symbol of the key in creating the installation. Louise enlisted the help of the residents of both areas in the early stages of the creative process and the final result comprises two cast-glass pieces integrated into the pavement at the entrance to the two estates with glass paving stones linking the two. The launch was followed by a family fun day enjoyed by all the residents.
Leitrim: Axe head found on Mohill farm
Earlier this month Bernie Reynolds was checking cattle on his farm at Cloonboney, Mohill when he noticed an unusual stone lying in the mud under a tree. He went straight to the internet to check if he could find anything similar, and found that he was in possession of what was almost certainly an axe head dating from the Neolithic period some two thousand years ago. Mr Reynolds contacted the National Museum for their advice, sending them images of the stone, and they provisionally confirmed his discovery, though it has to be confirmed by a geologist. It is only the eighteenth such find in the county.
Limerick: One road opens as another closes
Last week saw the official opening of the new Limerick Tunnel, performed by Taoiseach Brian Cowen, an event which will see up to twenty thousand cars diverted from the city centre streets each day. The new road under the Shannon is also to create one hundred new jobs for the area. Meanwhile Sarsfield Street, in the centre of Limerick, is to be closed to traffic for up to four weeks while civil engineering works are carried out. 
Limerick: Terry to be filmed in his native city
Veteran broadcaster Terry Wogan is this week being filmed in his native Limerick as part of a documentary entitled “Terry Wogan’s Ireland”. Filming is expected to take place at O’Connell Street, The Crescent, O’Callaghan’s Strand, the Treaty Stone and Elm Park, the latter being the area where he was born and raised. Limerick has already bestowed a number of honours on the seventy-one-year-old including being given the Freedom of the city by the then Mayor Joe Leddin. He was also presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award and was conferred with an honorary doctorate at the University of Limerick.
Limerick: Limerick man’s hurley turns up at G20
It is a mystery waiting to be solved how a hurley belonging to a Limerick man was included in a group of items seized during the protests at the recent G20 conference in Toronto. A photograph appeared in a Canadian newspaper showing the hurley with the name P. Kelleher, Fedamore written on the side of it. Padraig Kelleher is from Fedamore and played hurling with the local club for some years before going to Canada last August. However he wasn’t in Toronto at the time of the summit, having travelled to Banff, but he had left his hurleys and other gear with friends.
Longford: Longford’s Olympian takes bronze in Russia
Derek Burnett from Kenagh, who has represented Ireland at the Olympic Games on three occasions, took part in the Olympic Trap shooting event at the European Olympic Shooting Championships in Kasan, Russia recently and finished with a bronze medal. After the first day of the two-day competition he was in fourth place, moving up to joint third going into the final. He had the second best score in the final and moved up to third place, giving him the bronze medal. Now he is preparing for the World Championships in Munich at the end of the month, where he will be vying for a place at the London Olympics.
Longford: Recording remembers bells
Local band The Busy Fingers have recorded a single which, they believe, reflects optimism that the bells of St Mel’s Cathedral, damaged in the fire last Christmas morning, will ring once again. The single, “The Bells of Old St Mel’s”, was written by Mel Crowe and James Gorham after the title was suggested by local artist Pauric Farrell, and it was recorded at Paul Gurney’s studios. Also featured on the recording are children from St Mary’s National School in Drumlish and from Stonepark National School. Proceeds from the sale of the single will go towards the St Mel’s Restoration Reserve fund.
Louth: New world record set at Prawn Festival
This year’s Prawn Festival in Carlingford was the setting for a successful attempt at beating the world record for the number of people buried to the neck in the sand at one time. People gathered on Little Strand Beach, with up to two people allowed to use the plastic spades provided to bury an entrant. Thirty minutes was allowed for the ‘burial’ and more than five hundred people turned up to take part. There was no Guinness Book of Records representative at the event but plenty photographs were taken, including some from a helicopter, and these will now be sent off for verification. The previous record, set in France, was three hundred and forty-two.
Louth: Drogheda celebrates canonisation anniversary
A procession to mark the ninetieth anniversary of the canonisation of St Oliver Plunkett took place through the streets of Drogheda last weekend. Some five hundred people took part in the event which completed a festival of prayer in the town running for the previous two weeks. Among those taking part were Cardinal Seán Brady and auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor Bishop Donal McKeown. The glass reliquary containing a relic of the saint was carried from the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes to St Peter’s Church, where it permanently resides. Music was supplied by members of the Carlingford Pipe Band.
 Mayo: War declared on rampant plant
A team of volunteers under Achill Grateway Group, working with county council heritage officer Deirdre Cunningham, began this week clearing large areas of wild rhubarb. The plant, Gunneria Tinctoria, is so prevalent on Achill that indigenous plants cannot survive under its ten-foot wide canopy. The ‘war’ started at Kildownet on the west side of the island with volunteers chopping the leaves before weedkiller was poured on the roots. An earlier attempt to eradicate the plant using machinery failed as seeds which lodged in the machine tracks spread the plant on a wider basis. Wild rhubarb was introduced to the island by a landlord in the nineteenth century.
Meath: Reprieve for iconic store
McElhinney’s of Athboy, the Mecca for countless brides and mothers of the bride and groom, is to reopen.  Two families heavily involved in the fashion business in Ireland, the Barrons and the Sweeneys, have reached a concession agreement which will see all fifty-six staff members return to work. The store went into liquidation last month but now the Barrons’ Flairline Group will supply support and retail expertise to McElhinneys. The store was founded seventy-three years ago by Molly McElhinney, whose daughter Mary and grandson Neal Sweeney are now at the helm.
Meath: Geophysical survey for Tara
Conor Newman, senior lecturer in archaeology at NUI, Galway, is heading a major geophysical survey of Tara and its environs. Mr Newman has been working at Tara for eighteen years and is convinced that work will continue for generations to come as the site and its monuments are of great importance. The survey will not confine itself to the summit of the hill but will also take in privately-owned lands close to the monument. The work is being carried out under the Discovery programme which is funded by the Heritage Council and Mr Newman is also calling for the site to be named as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Meath: Navan bar is the best local in the country
Michael and Nancy Ryan, accompanied by manager Damien Clarke, were in the Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin recently  to accept the Molson Coors Local Bar Award. They received the award at the National Licensing World Bar Awards after their pub, Ryan’s Bar in Navan, was named as Ireland’s best local pub.  As an entrant in the awards it was visited by an expert panel of judges in April and May, and it won  for its welcoming service, its homemade food and its ability to respond to the needs of customers. 
Meath: Kells centre closed for market
As part of Kells Heritage Festival the old market day in Kells was recreated with the closing off of Farrell Street, Cross Street, Market Street, Newmarket Street and Church Street. The event was officially opened by Conor Ferguson, cathaoirleach of the Town Council, and Jess Olohan, president of the local Chamber of Commerce, and the day began with a pageant on the life of St Colmcille performed by the Kells Musical and Dramatic Society. Among the attractions were pig racing, and the creation of a sculpture from half a tree by artist Patrick Morris.
Meath: Navan school outing retraced 45 years on
A group of men who attended the De La Salle Boys’ Primary School in Navan forty five years ago, and who enjoyed an excursion to Dublin while in third class, recreated the expedition last week. Twenty-two members of the class, which had been rewarded with the outing for having a good attendance record, set out for Dublin and made the same first stop, at Dublin Zoo, followed by a visit to Dáil Éireann and the sampling of a pint of Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse; this last was, of course, a departure from the original itinerary. At Portmarnock Strand six yellow roses were cast upon the sea to remember former classmates Frank Ro
Offaly: Killeigh celebrity to be commemorated
The village of Killeigh is to see a native immortalised in bronze when a new sculpture takes its place on the village green later this year. Local man Brendan Berry chairs the Mick the Miller Commemoration Committee which has commissioned a bronze sculpture of the famous greyhound from Ballymena artist Liz O’Kane. She is at present working on a clay statue of Mick the Miller in her Dublin studio before casting it in bronze. The greyhound was bred by Father Martin Brophy, parish priest of Killeigh in the 1920s, and trained by his neighbour, Tullamore man Michael Greene. 
Offaly: Statue doubles guide price
One of the statues discovered at Annaghmore House in Tullamore has been sold for double its guide price at auction in London. The marble statue, Die Spinnerin by Rudolf Schadow, was expected to fetch between £120,000 and £180,000 at Sotheby’s in London. In the event it was sold to a private collector in Britain for £241,250. The other two marble statues found at Annaghmore, Venus Italica and Hebe, were put up for auction as a set with a guide price of between £60,000 and £80,000 but failed to sell. It is possible that they will now be sold privately.
Offaly: Unusual installation at the sculpture park
The newest installation at the Lough Boora sculpture park comprises twenty-four light units with a total length of almost one hundred feet, designed to attract insects. Environmental artist Brandon Ballengee uses black ultraviolet lights to attract insects at night which leave what are best described as “pheromone paintings” on the canvas; these can then be studied. To view the installation, “Love Motel for Insects”, the artist has been conducting night-time tours of the sculpture park for the general public. The work, which has also been exhibited in Venice, Germany and the Scottish Highlands, has attracted myriad flies, moths and beetles once the canvas is illuminated.
Offaly: Singers take medals at Leinster Fleadh
Two young brothers from Shinrone scored a double at the Leinster Fleadh in Dunleer, Co. Louth last weekend when they both came home with gold medals after taking first place in the Men’s Traditional English Singing, Irish singing and lilting in their respective age categories. Fifteen-year-old Cian Hanamy took part in the under-eighteen competition while his younger brother Conal, aged thirteen, was in the under-fifteen category. The two brothers also took third place in their respective age groups in the slow air whistle competition. Both boys are members of the County Offaly Mol An Oige.
Roscommon: Prayers and playtime at Brideswell
There was a mixture of prayers and playtime in Brideswell last weekend when the annual Pattern of St Brigid took place. An open air Mass was celebrated by Father Hugh Lee of Curraghboy and Father John Coughlan of St Peter’s in Athlone, and the Stations of the Cross were recited. After that the revelry began with a number of tug-o-war competitions, with the Stapletons of Galway being awarded the Aidan Grehan Memorial trophy. Other wins on the day included the Kiloughey team and the ladies’ team representing Doyle’s Corner Bar in Ballygar. Sheep racing and rodeo bull riding also featured on the day.
Roscommon: Clooneygrasson man makes academic history
John Bosco Conama from Clooneygrasson has made history by becoming the first deaf person to complete a PhD in Ireland. John completed the doctorate research in Equality Studies at University College Dublin, focusing on the policies and effects of Finnish and Irish sign languages. He is now the co-ordinator of the Bachelor in Deaf Studies degree programme in Trinity College Dublin and has sat on a number of committees monitoring the progress of deaf people in society. He also lectures at the Centre for Deaf Studies.
Roscommon: Memorial plaque for Roscommon footballer
A memorial plaque to Roscommon footballer Ger Michael Grogan, who died in a car accident eight years ago, was unveiled by county football manager Fergal O’Donnell last week. The plaque has been erected outside the house of Joe Treacy on The Walk, where the accident occurred, and Ger’s father, Chris Grogan, thanked Joe Treacy for allowing the plaque to be placed outside his house. He also thanked the organiser, John Scally from Curraghboy, who set up the Rossies, a charitable organisation dedicated to projects within the county. The marble memorial plaque was constructed and erected by O’Connor Monumental Works of Knockcroghery.
Roscommon: Bad weather doesn’t deter Massgoers
There might have been wind and rain last weekend but it did not deter the large numbers of people who gathered for the annual Mass at Ogulla Holy Well near Tulsk. The site of the well is believed to be that at which St Patrick baptised the daughters of King Laoghaire of Tara, St Eithne and St Fidelma, who gave their names to the Tulsk Parish Church. The chief celebrant at the Mass was Bishop of Elphin Christopher Jones, who was joined on the altar by parish priest Father Austin KcKeon, Father Peter Gillooly from Kilmurray, Father Raymond Browne from Four-Mile-House, who delivered the homily, and Father Jim Tighe from Elphin.
Sligo: County is skinny-dipping venue again
Following last year’s event at Lissadell private beach, the venue for this year’s “Dip in the Nip” was also a Sligo beach. More than two hundred people took to the sea at Dunmoran Strand last Sunday and this year the women were joined by some forty men although they were dispatched further down the beach to prepare for their swim. The event is a fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society and the venue is kept a closely guarded secret to discourage voyeurs. However this year the organisers allowed photographers to film the scene from a helicopter. It is expected that last year’s total of €75,000 will be exceeded this year.
Sligo: Unemployed man scoops €1m at the Curragh
Trevor Cawley, a victim of the downturn in the construction industry, is now €1m better off  after drawing the winning horse in the first ever National Lottery Sweepstakes Race. One of the twenty-five winners to draw a horse, Trevor’s Invincible Ash won the race and landed the father of four with the top prize.  H and his wife Catoline are oping that the win will not mean that their lives are changed to any great extent, though it will certainly relieve much of the stress.
Sligo: Thousands due at Lissadell
Up to thirty-thousand music fans are expected at Lissadell House this weekend for three concerts featuring Westlife and Leonard Cohen. The stage for the event arrived at the site in five forty-ton lorries and was assembled by a crew of thirty men. Included was a massive lighting rig and six cameras to beam the performances onto screens on either side of the stage. Westlife are due to perform on Friday while Leonard Cohen’s two concerts will take place on Saturday and Sunday. 
Sligo: International win for Cormac and his dog
Cormac Kearins from Dromard was awarded the title of Young Handler when he took part in the recent sheepdog trials near Bristol in England. Cormac, competing against dog handlers from England, Scotland and Wales, scored 89.5 out of a possible one hundred marks in the competition, which features on the BBC programme “One Man and his Dog”; it is due to be shown close to Christmas. Cormac, who was one of a three-man Irish team, has been involved in sheepdog trials since he was twelve; his father Tony has also represented Ireland at international events.
Tipperary: Landmark anniversary for Ballina business
One hundred and fifty years ago this year James McKeogh from Ballyea Boher opened his shop in Ballina, and the fifth generation of his family are now being trained to take over. James was succeeded by his son James, whose son Patrick rebuilt the premises when it was burnt down in 1936. The store was subsequently run by Jim McKeogh, Fergus McKeogh and Moyra McKeogh, Patrick’s widow. The family also had a dairy farm at one time which supplied milk to the Ballina/Killaloe area. Now the business is run by Noel McKeogh, his wife Rosmarie and his brother Gerard, and Noel’s daughter Chiara and Gerard’s son Aaron are waiting in the wings to take over.
Tipperary: New walk opened in Upperchurch
Minister for Tourism Mary Hanafin was joined in Upperchurch last week by John Bryan of the Irish Farmers’ Association to launch an initiative for the further development of rural tourism. The recent creation of the nine-kilometre Eamonn a Chnoic walking trail in Upperchurch as part of the Walkways scheme has already increased tourist activity in the area and, according to Mr Bryan, has the potential to provide employment and boost the local economy. The Upperchurch trail is one of two hundred looped walks introduced under the Walkways scheme over the past two years.
Tipperary: Kilmoyler post box  hit by snail mail
The village of Kilmoyler has one of the oldest post boxes in the State, with the initials VR (Victoria Tegina) either side of a crown, in use for more than a century. Now, however, it has had to be taken out of service on a temporary basis since it has been discovered that snails have found their way into the box and have been eating the envelopes. The box, located opposite the Lady Gregory pub, has been removed to see if it can be rendered snail proof. I An Post hopes to be able to restore the box to its original position as soon as possible.
Tyrone: Strabane store closes reluctantly
Trevor Linton, managing director of Linton and Robinson department store in Strabane, spoke of the difficulty of making the decision when he announced that the store on Abercorn Square is to close later this year. Selling giftware, electrical, nursery and home furnishings for more than fifty years, the store has suffered from increased town centre rates as well as the general effects of the recession. However Linton and Robinson will continue to trade, but all of its business will be transacted on line and will be run from its premises on Dock Street.
Waterford: New youth centre opens in Kilmacthomas
The old courthouse in the village of Kilmacthomas now houses An Croch Amach (the Hangout), a cafe and meeting place for adolescents. At the official opening, by Waterford’s mayor, live music was provided for the secondary school children. 
Waterford: Three new gardens to be developed
Garden designer Diarmuid Gavin has been contracted to develop three new gardens in Waterford city as part of the Viking Triangle city centre project. A formal eighteenth century garden is to be created beside the Bishop’s Palace on The Mall. The second garden, to be located between the Bishop’s Palace and the Theatre Royal, will have a Spanish theme and will include a memorial to those who fought in the Spanish Civil War. Finally, a more contemporary garden will be developed close to Christ Church Cathedral and Colbeck Street, and this will include a Waterford flower to reflect the city’s crystal heritage.
Westmeath: Unanimous vote on name for bridge
A new bridge which will join parts of the orbital road at Mullingar is to be named the Joe Dolan Bridge, following a unanimous decision by the members of the county council. The bridge, one of the largest in the country, has nineteen spans and includes a two-lane carriageway and cycle paths; it was built at a total cost of €12. The singer’s brother, Ben Dolan, expressed the family’s delight at the honour paid to his brother. The bridge is due to be officially opened in the first week in September and is expected to be included in the locations visited by fans of the late singer.
Westmeath: Vintage Day for Streete on Sunday
Recently, the village of Streete played  host to the eighth annual Vintage Day which  included a special area for all cars dating from before 1930, and a Museum Tent organised by Eamon and Gabriel Creamer from Granard. A vintage steam engine supplied by Peter Wrafter from Kilbeggan was on display, as was a selection of horse-drawn machinery and a number of vintage bicycles. This year the event h was chosen to host the 720kg All-Ireland Tug O War, the winners of which will progress to the World Finals.  
Westmeath: Annual commemoration at Robinstown
The annual commemoration at the Famine Graveyard in Robinstown, Mullingar took place recently, with those gathered there being led in the recitation of the rosary by Father Colm Browne. Music for the service was provided by Aodán Moynihan on the accordion. Up to seven thousand victims of the Famine are buried in Robinstown and following the service local historian Seamus O’Brien urged that the uneven field of the cemetery should never be landscaped, as it would no longer be a famine graveyard. Mr O’Brien made his remarks while giving a talk on famine landscapes.
Wexford: Mass for the forgotten held in Cherryorchard
Almost thirty years ago a group of residents in Cherryorchard near Enniscorthy carried out a major clean-up of the old graveyard, and the inaugural Mass of Remembrance was celebrated by local curate Father Bobby Nolan. The graveyard was the final resting place of former inmates of the old County Home in Enniscorthy from the mid-nineteenth century, and there is not one headstone erected, only an inscription on a depiction of the Crucifixion bearing the words “The Unknown Dead”. The Mass of Remembrance has been celebrated for the forgotten people every year since 1982, and this year is was curate Father Lawless who led the congregation.
Wexford: Castlebridge house at knock down price
Noonan Construction had promised to build a running track for the Rosslare Community Development Association but the downturn in the economy meant they couldn’t keep their promise. Now however they have donated a house in Castlebridge which is being offered for less than €1,000. Tenders for the house will require a donation of more than €100 to the RCDA and offers, from one cent to €999.99, will be accepted at the office of Corish Auctioneers. The bargain house will go to the highest bidder, with proceeds going towards the provision of the running track.
Wexford: Two golds for Cillian
Having qualified for the All-Ireland Juvenile Athletics Championships by virtue of finishing in the top three in Leinster, Cillian Larkin from Ballinlow, Kilmuckridge, came home from the championships in Templemore with two gold medals. He had already won three golds at the Leinster championships and the first win in Templemore was in the under nine sixty metres pairs competition. The second gold came in the under nine 4x100m relay, while in the under ten relay his team came in in fourth place. Cillian is a member of the Menapions Athletic Club in Wexford.
Wicklow: Air spectacular for Bray
This year marks the centenary of aviation in Ireland and last Sunday the occasion is was celebrated in Bray with the largest free air spectacular to be held in this country. The event included the Red Bull Matadors and Twister Duo from Britain as well as the Black Knights, the Irish Army Parachute Display Team. There was also a demonstration from the Coastguard Rescue Service. Aviation in Irelandy began on the last day of 1909 when Harry Ferguson from Co. Down invited fellow members of the Royal Irish Automibile Club to Hillsborough where his aircraft took to the air for a total of one hundred and thirty yards.
Wicklow: Baltinglass children set new record
The children of Scoil Naomh Iosaf in Baltinglass easily overtook a record held by a city in China when they created the world’s largest bead mosaic. Their 410,000 beads covered an area of one hundred and twelve square feet and the mosaic features faces of famous sports stars including Declan Kidney, Brian O’Driscoll, Shane Lowry and Shane Long. The work, by the sixth-class students at the school under the direction of teacher Brian Flood, was immediately recognised as a record by Guinness adjudicator Daniel Sharkey, and each child will receive a certificate as the holder of a Guinness World Record.
Wicklow: Tinahely Show to mark anniversary
This year’s Tinahely Agricultural Show, which takes place on Bank Holiday Monday, will mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of the annual event. Taking place at Fairwood Park in Tinahely, highlights of the show will include the Freestyle stunt team overseen by Jamie Squibb and a vintage display comprising cars and tractors. World and European Sheaf Tossing Champion Michael O’Brien will be attempting to set a new world record, while other sheaf-tossing competitions will also be taking place. Competitions include bloodstock, poultry, cookery, arts and crafts, and farm and garden.
Wicklow: Civic reception for Padraic
Padraic Moran from Bray was last week accorded a Civic Reception at Bray Town Hall and received an award from Cathaoirleach of the council David Grant. Padraic was honoured for his achievement in winning the Gold Medal in the BC1 Class at the World Boccia Championships in Lisbon. He is now looking forward to next year’s World Cup which is to be held in Belfast, and is also hoping to qualify for a place at the Paralympics which will take place immediately after the Olympic Games in London in 2012. Padraic also led the Irish team which finished fourth in the combined team competition.

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Slan agus beannacht,
Bridget & Russ