Category: Archive

Around Ireland: an ant attack, and other stories

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter


Irvinestown in County Fermanagh has had a long history of something that rarely makes the news in Northern Ireland: good relations between the two communities.

One man, Douglas Hudson, has largely been credited with tireless efforts to build bridges, and the achievements of this modest man, says the Impartial Reporter, were finally recognized by an Individual Lifetime Achievement Award at the Northern Ireland Community Co-operative Initiative Awards at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast last week.

Tourism in particular benefited from Hudson’s work: his involvement with the Fairs and Markets Trustees and with the Lady of the Lake Festival earned him much respect in his community.

Accepting his award, Hudson said that his many colleagues, both Catholic and Protestant, were more deserving than he.


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Ants! A northside mother in Dublin has pleaded with Dublin City Council to do something about an unstoppable ant invasion of her home.

Sharon McMenamy moved into her home on Marigold Park, Darndale, nine months ago with her three young children, aged between 4 and 9.

Ants soon appeared and became an infestation, and even the city pest controller has so far failed to stop them.

“The spraying job didn’t really work and the situation just got worse and worse. Every day there seemed to be more and more ants appearing in the front room,” McMenamy said.

“The kids started to get frightened and it got so bad that they wouldn’t stay in the room.”

Then she pulled up the carpet in one of her rooms: “There was a big hole in the floor with hundreds of ants around that area, a huge nest of them,” she said. “I’m five months’ pregnant and have enough on my plate without all this hassle. I’m trying to keep down a part-time job to pay for new furniture for the house. Now I’ve got all this on top of me too.”

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council told the Northside People newspaper, “There will always be a certain amount of bugs in every home,” but he promised that everything would be done to stop the invasion.


In Clonasee, Co. Laois, artist Maura Shanahan was celebrated with a surprise party in recognition for her 50-year career teaching Irish music, song and dancing.

Beginning her career at 4 years old, Shanahan has taught all over the world, has recently set up classes in Slovakia. Attending the celebration were her sisters Agnes and Bunty, her brother Sean and his wife, Marion, and her aunt Kitty. A special surprise for Maura on the evening was the arrival of her son and daughter, Edmond and Valerie, both of whom live in England.


Terry O’Doherty from Epworth Street in Derry city, woke to find a garden gnome sitting in the driver’s seat of his car last weekend.

The unfortunate gnome had been used to smash the car window, after which he had been placed upright in front of the steering wheel.

Doherty was able to see the funny side in the incident.

“A month ago as I was driving through the country I cut down a fairy tree and the passenger along with me told me that meant I now had a curse on me. Maybe this is the revenge of the fairies,” he joked.

O’Doherty added, “he had two cups in his hands so I presume he has been at the drink. I told the police: ‘I don’t gnome.'”

There were no witnesses to the attack, and police have not found any reports of missing gnomes in the area. O’Doherty said he would keep the garden gnome, except that he has no garden at his house, either front or back.


Whether they like it or not, residents of Tyrone now have “Orange vision.”

At this year’s Twelfth of July celebrations, local Orangemen were asked to fill out a questionnaire about the future of the Orange institution in County Tyrone.

Secretary of Tyrone Orange Vision is Derek Reaney, who told the Tyrone Courier that the committee wanted to create a positive image of Orangeism in the county.

“This is a real effort by the Orange Order in Tyrone to think about the future and to set the agenda instead of always reacting to those who oppose us,” he said.


The men of the Kingdom took a back seat last week as a hail of knickers flew on to the Fitzgerald Stadium stage to greet — who else? — Tom Jones, Welsh rock legend (some might say rock dinosaur).

What The Kingdom newspaper called “a predominantly female audience” danced in the aisles to such hits as “It’s Not Unusual,” which sent them wild.

A crowd of 12,500 attended, but this was no sell-out performance: tickets were on sale at two-for-the-price-of-one in the weeks before the show.

Jones performed for and hour and a half wearing his trademark black suit, open-necked shirt and gold medallion.


Tears flowed in New Ross recently when Tony Corry, 74, uncovered the truth about his past, which has haunted him for all of his life.

Corry discovered that he is not an orphan with no living relatives, but that he has three brothers and a sister.

The New Ross man confesses to being “shattered but overjoyed” by what has happened to him in the last few months.

The first meeting was with his brother John, 70, who lives in Cork. Now the two brothers are planning a trip to England to meet the sister they never knew.

The Corrys’ mother gave up each of her children for adoption at their birth because they were conceived out of wedlock. Tony was raised by a family in County Kildare, after which he spent some of his childhood in the notorious Artane.

It was brother John who over the years sought to track down his family.

“I and my brothers and sister were put up for adoption as soon as we were born. As babies, and as a family unit, we were never together, and until now we never knew about one another,” Tony told the New Ross Echo. “It is the one thing, above all, that I am very, very sorry for in my life.”

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