30/06/2010

Other NI News In Brief

Rally Ready For Action

The NI Tourism Minister Arlene Foster has launched the Ulster Rally and praised the event for the positive contribution it makes to the local economy. Addressing guests and competitors at Junction One in Antrim on Tuesday, Arlene Foster said: "Events like the Ulster Rally really help to build the reputation of NI as an excellent location for regional and international events, which provide the opportunity to showcase the region as a top class tourist destination. This in turn brings considerable economic benefits. Evaluation of last year's event indicated an injection of over £1m to the Antrim area, and double of that to the economy as a whole." The Ulster Rally will take place from 20 to 21 August, with competitive stages on closed roads in county Antrim. For the first time, this year's event will include a 'Historic Rally', featuring cars from the early 1960s through to 1981. Pictured at the launch are, from left: Drew Wylie, who will take part in the Historic Rally, Tourism Minister Arlene Foster, Mayor of Antrim Cllr Pam Lewis and Ulster Rally competitor Robert Barrable.

Cars Burnt In Fernagh

In the second such incident in the area inside a few weeks, two cars have been burnt out in an arson attack at Kings Gardens in Newtownabbey. It happened in the early hours of Wednesday morning just before 1.45am when two cars were set alight. Fire and smoke damage was also caused to two nearby flats which were occupied at the time of the incident. There are no reports of any injuries.

Kildare 'Gun Man' Sentenced

A 36-year-old Kildare man has been sentence to 21 years by a Belfast court, in connection with a smuggling plot. During Tuesday's sentencing, Paul Edward Meehan was branded a "violent criminal-commodities trader dealing in death" by Crown Court judge Mr Justice Stephens. The sentence was handed down for plotting to smuggle guns and bullets into Northern Ireland in September 2008. The judge told Meehan, from the Crescent, Sallins, in Co Kildare that he was devoid of insight and remorse and would readily re-engage in supplying guns to criminal gangs.

Nursery Approved
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NI Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, has approved the establishment of a nursery unit at St Colman's Primary School, Annaclone. The unit will provide twenty-six places for children in their immediate pre-school year. Research shows that children who have a high-quality pre-school experience are better prepared for primary school, are more sociable and independent and learn more quickly than those who have not. Ms Ruane highlighted that the decision was made in order to fulfil the objective of providing a year of good quality pre-school education for every child whose parents wish it.

Trader Fined Over 'Aggression'

A Belfast doorstep money lender was this week fined a total of £200 at Belfast Magistrates' Court. In a case brought by the Trading Standards Service of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Skyline Superstore Limited, Belfast pleaded guilty to a charge of engaging in an aggressive commercial practice under the The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. In March 2009, a collections agent made an unsolicited visited to a debtor's workplace to collect a repayment on a loan. As the agent was unable to make contact he left a business card with a supervisor, which gave details of the reason for the visit on the reverse of the card. Visiting debtors at inappropriate locations such as a workplace or hospital, and acting in a way likely to be publicly embarrassing to a debtor, are cited as examples of unfair practices in the Debt Collection Guidance issued by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

Dog Order Shows Its Teeth

Three dog owners were fined at Belfast Magistrates Court this week for offences under the Dogs (NI) Order. Alison Woodside, from Lyndhurst Row in north Belfast, was fined £20 for allowing her West Highland terrier to stray at Gresham Street in the city centre on January 16, 2010. She was also ordered to pay costs of £66. Elizabeth Blundell, from McIvors Place in west Belfast, was fined a total of £50 for failing to have a licence for her two dogs. She was also ordered to pay costs of £66. Joanne McClarnon, from Bearnagh Drive in west Belfast, was fined £20 for allowing her Shih Tzu dog to stray at Slievegallion Drive on March 8, 2010. She was also fined £10 for failing to have a licence for the dog and was ordered to pay costs of £66.

'Rip Off Ireland' underlined

Ireland is still one of the most expensive places to live in Europe, as figures reveal the cost of filling a shopping basket is almost 30% higher than the EU average. The latest Eurostat research, whose price comparisons take into account differing incomes throughout the EU 27, shows the Irish Republic's consumers are paying way over the odds, despite the fact that much of what we consume is produced in this country. Dairy products are the most expensive in the EU, at 37% above average. The price of bread and cereals was second only to Denmark, while meat costs 20% more than the EU average. Smokers are also being badly hit, with Ireland recording the highest tobacco prices in the EU, more than double the average. Irish alcohol prices were 67% above average, second only to Finland.

(BMcC/GK)

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11 August 2010
Street Drinkers Pay The Cost
Five people have been fined at Belfast Magistrates Court for drinking alcohol in public. Tyrone McCann, from Richmond Avenue in Newtownabbey, was fined £50 and ordered to pay costs of £66 after he was detected drinking alcohol at Suffolk Road in west Belfast on January 16.
20 September 2011
Dog Attack Man Faces Court Fine
A 'Staffie' dog attack has landed a Belfast man in court. He was fined £200 and ordered to pay £300 compensation after his dog attacked and injured a man last December. Robert Gary Bradshaw, from Orkney Street in west Belfast, was convicted of the offence at Belfast Magistrates Court today and was also ordered to pay costs of £69.
10 August 2011
Dogs & Cigarette Sales Lead To Court
Belfast City Council has been busy enforcing legislation on a variety of matters, ranging from shopkeepers selling tobacco to underage customers to dog owners running foul of the law.
12 March 2013
Belfast Council Moves Dog Fouling Campaign North
Belfast City Council is moving its dog fouling campaign to the north of the city, in a bid to crack down on dog litter. The 'Your dog, your job' campaign was launched in west Belfast last month. The Council says it resulted in a reduction of dog litter in the area by just over a quarter (26%).
03 August 2009
Hero Army Dog Handlers Honoured
Murdered soldiers who worked with specialist 'sniffer' dogs during the Northern Ireland Troubles have been remembered. The 'Red Paw' and its work across Northern Ireland was the subject of a special memorial service held in England at the weekend. It was in honour of the six dog handlers and two sniffer dogs killed in Northern Ireland.