We post major news stories on our web site daily - but we make it a point to avoid murder, mayhem and politics. There’s enough of that already without adding more. You’ll find two weeks worth of stories here:
With a special thanks to the Irish Emigrant, what follows is a selection of news items that probably won't make the national headlines. To read complete regional round-ups for the past several weeks, please click
Armagh: President to visit city for celebrations
President Mary McAleese will be in Armagh for the week-long St Patrick’s Day celebrations when she will deliver the inaugural Saint Patrick’s Lecture in the Navan Centre. The lecture is to be an annual event themed on St Patrick’s Confession and how it relates to modern day Ireland. The programme for the week was launched in Saint Patrick’s Trian and among those attending were Kathryn O’Neill and Ann-Marie McKeever of Beam Creative Network who are organising the parade this year. Among other events on offer is Music on the Square on the Saturday after the feast day, a free concert featuring Cara Dillon, the High Kings and Celtic Rhythm.
Armagh: Preservation notices on Dongaghcloney buildings
Some of the buildings in the former Liddell’s Mill at Donaghcloney have been granted protection status as they are deemed to be of 
special historical and architectural interest.  The linen mill dates from the eighteenth century and closed just a few years ago.   
Carlow: Knockananna fights to retain post office
Postmistress nn Tompkins has decided to retire rather thanndergo the upheaval caused by converting to an automated system, and this will leave the residents having to travel to Hacketstown to avail of the full range of post office services.  
Cavan: A first parade for Blacklion
For the first time in its history the border town of Blacklion will stage its own St Patrick’s Day parade. And there is a second reason that the parade will make history, for locals believe that it will be the first cross-border parade, linking up with neighbouring Belcoo in Co. Fermanagh. 
Cavan: New walk around convent grounds
The official unveiling took place recdently of a new walk around the grounds of the former convent of St Clare’s in Ballyjamesduff. The building is the location of the County Museum and the nuns’ walk circles the museum, the large convent gardens and the nuns’ graveyard. 
Clare: Where sheep may safely graze
County councillor Brian Meaney has proposed that the council employ sheep to keep the county’s green spaces looking clean and tidy, as opposed to more expensive and less environmentally friendly lawn mowers. 
Clare: Delegation calls on bishop to change rule
Father Denis Crosby, parish priest of Liscannor, last week led a delegation from the village to a meeting with Bishop Martin Drennan of Galway in a bid to have him reverse a decision concerning funeral practices. The bishop has ruled that the church in Liscannor may not be used as a funeral home by leaving coffins overnight in the church before the following day’s funeral Mass. F
Donegal: Streep  in search of her roots
Hollywood star Meryl Streep has said she is hoping to visit the 
county to research her Irish roots, of which she first became aware when she was in Ireland shooting the film of Brian Friel’s “Dancing at Lughnasa”. She returned to Donegal for a showing of the film and expressed an interest in finding information on her great-grandmother. Born in the Creeslough area of Donegal, Grace Strain emigrated to the United States in the mid-nineteenth century; Meryl Street named her own daughter Grace after her Irish ancestor.
Donegal: Malin Head station to close
Met Éireann has announced that it is to close the weather station at Malin Head, the oldest station in the country which is about to become automated. For the last one hundred and twenty-five years the weather station has been manned and has become a familiar name through weather forecasts. 
Down: Special brew from Killyleagh company
A brewing company in Killyleagh is launching two new beers on the US market ahead of the St Patrick’s Day celebrations. Strangford Lough Brewing company has produced St Patrick’s Best and Legbiter which will be available in twenty-six states. Founded six years ago, the company does not ship the finished product but prefers to export a concentrated form to the High Falls Brewing Company in Rochester, New York. There George Thompson, Strangford Lough’s master brewer, will be on hand to add the final ingredients which have also come from Ireland and to oversee the 
Down: Sisters of St Clare are on the move
The Sisters of St Clare have a new home in Ashgrove Avenue in Newry and, in addition to the members of the order based in the High Street, those based in Mayobridge will also be taking up residence. The Sisters of St Clare have been in Mayobridge for eighty-six years and the move has been necessitated by the discovery of structural faults in their convent. They will continue, however, to carry out their voluntary service in the village while the parish has undertaken to look after St Anne’s Shrine. The order has had a presence in Newry for one hundred and eighty years.
Dublin: Ballyfermot man to play on Caribbean island
Martin Healy from Ballyfermot will once again be heading to the Caribbean island of Montserrat for St Patrick’s Day, where he has been adding to the celebrations on St Patrick’s Day for the past three years. Martin will be travelling with his son Andy and their traditional band to this most Irish of outposts, the only other place in the world where St Patrick’s Day is a national holiday. According to Martin one of the special aspects of arriving on the island is that passports are stamped with a shamrock. The celebrations will continue for a week with parades and music.
Fermanagh: Novena drawing huge crowds
Father Brian D’Arcy, rector of The Graan outside Enniskillen, has reported huge numbers of people attending this year’s Novena of Hope, which began at the monastery last weekend. An hour before evening Mass is due to start Jimmy Magee has reported the chapel half full, while on Sunday there were two hundred at the early morning Mass and a thousand at the midday Mass on Monday. According to Father D’Arcy people are travelling from all over Ireland for the Novena and one woman has taken three days holiday and come over from England. In addition to the crowds turning up for Mass, the number of letters received at the monastery has risen from the normal three to four thousand to at least ten thousand.
Kerry: Archaeology puts paid to broadband hopes
An Bord Pleanála has upheld the decision by the county council to refuse permission for the erection of a mast near Glenbeigh that would provide broadband to the area. Hutchinson 3G had hoped to erect the twelve-metre mast at Coomasaharn but the Bord’s inspector Robert Ryan ruled that it would be an “alien intrusion” in a beautiful landscape. According to the County Council the area has more than one hundred examples of rock art dating from the Bronze Age, the greatest concentration in the country, and the mast was refused on archaeological grounds.
Leitrim: Annaduff to mark connection with High King
The village of Annaduff is to mark its connection with High King Brian Boru who, according to The Annals of Ulster, sailed up the Shannon from Killaloe and stayed for one night in the Abbey of Annaduff in the year 1010. The site of the abbey lies to the left of the St Anne’s Church of Ireland in the village and the millennium of the visit will be celebrated in a number of ways including a special float featuring musicians and children for the Carrick-on-Shannon St Patrick’s Day Parade.
Longford: Ballinalee festival to be reinstated
ermentation and eventual bottling of the beer.
The raising of funds for the development and maintenance of Maguire Park in Ballinalee has led to plans to reinstate the Ballinalee Carnival after an absence of forty years. Although years ago the carnival would run for up to three weeks, this year it will take place over the last weekend in April and already has Mike Denver and Big Generator lined up. Also coming to Ballinalee for the weekend 
Mayo: The Quiet Man revisited
The village of Cong is set to be thrust into the limelight once again with the decision by Sir Roger Moore to produce a fictional account of the making of “The Quiet Man” in 1952. “Connemara Days” will focus on the impact of the arrival of director John Ford to an area where electricity had only just been installed. The story concerns an eighteen-year-old girl who falls for one of John Ford’s assistants and, in addition to Sir Roger Moore, the film will also feature Aidan Quinn and Geraldine Chaplin. The film, which has the support of Fáilte Ireland, will be directed by Kevin Connor.
Tyrone: Memorial to Dungannon poet in Spain
Last week Councillor Barry Monteith, a former Mayor of Dungannon, attended a ceremony in Jarama, near Madrid, at which a memorial was unveiled to a Tyrone poet and solider who died in action seventy-three years ago. Charlie Donnelly was born in Killybrackey and fought with the International Brigade during the Spanish Civil War; he was killed in action at Jarama. Also attending the ceremony, which included a tribute march, was historian Eddie O’Neill from Derrytresk and the memorial stone was sponsored by the group “Friends of Charlie Donnelly”, of which he is a member.
Offaly: Hurlers to lead parade
Hurling stars Kevin Martin and Damien Fox will be leading the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Tullamore this year and together they will cut the ribbon to start the parade, which will also feature the County Cup being carried by the Tullamore club. 
Waterford: Differing views over shrine mementoes
There are differing views over the thousands of mementoes left over the years in a shelter adjacent to a grotto at Mount Melleray near Cappoquin. Some believe that the personal items, which include relics, statues, key rings and children’s toys, should be left in place as representing the prayers of the thousands of pilgrims who have visited the grotto over the past twenty-five years. However the local grotto committee feels that the contents of the shelter, built to protect visitors from bad weather, are detracting from the shrine itself, which has a statue of the Blessed Virgin and St Bernadette.
Washington DC: Boxer Katie Taylor on White House guest list
Thanks to First Lady Michelle Obama, the champion boxer will be part of the  pfficial White House St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Apparently  Mrs. Obama was involved in boxing when she was younger and she is keen to have the Wicklow woman in the irish delegation.