GAA fans caught in crossfire as finals threatened by transport disruption
THOUSANDS of GAA fans are to be caught in a crossfire between Irish Rail and their staff after they confirmed that they are to strike on All-Ireland weekends.
The strike action has been threatened by National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) members for the days of the All-Ireland hurling and football finals on September 7 and September 21.
It could cause chaos for the 160,000 fans descending on Croke Park for both events, when many travel on trains put on specifically for the games.
The NRBU members are also due to begin a 48-hour work stoppage on Sunday, August 24.
This will clash with the All-Ireland football semi-final. At the same time there will be a work to rule, overtime and rest day working ban by the company's SIPTU members.
This precedes a 24-hour work stoppage by the SIPTU members the following day, Monday, August 25, when commuters using rail services will face disruption.
Two young boys killed in accidents
TWO young boys have died after separate accidents involving a van in Tipperary and a JCB digger in Cork.
Three-year-old Fionn Mulhall died after being crushed by a digger in a farmyard in a rural area near Drimoleague in west Cork.
Meanwhile, two-year-old Thomas Ryan was killed in Tipperary when he was struck by a van that was moving off after the toddler left his bed and walked into a yard.
The Health and Safety Authority are investigating the death in Cork while both incidents are also being looked at by the gardai.
In Co Antrim, two young men, aged 24 and 21, died in a road crash when the car that they were travelling in collided with a tractor.
Both men were visiting from England. They are believed to have died at the scene.
The driver of the tractor received medical treatment at the scene.
JD Wetherspoon eyes up city church
BRITISH pub chain JD Wetherspoon has set its sights on establishing its first pub in Dublin city centre by acquiring an old church.
Saint Mary's Church on the corner of Mary Street and Jervis Street currently operates as The Church bar and restaurant after it was deconsecrated in the 1980s and the chain are looking at the site as after opening their first pub in Ireland in Blackrock, Co Dublin, last month.
Famous parishioners of the old church include the playwright Sean O'Casey and Irish revolutionary figure Wolfe Tone.
Arthur Guinness was married in the church in 1761 but Wetherspoon does not serve the Dubliner's famous stout in Ireland because of a dispute with Diageo in this country.
Planners approve big Tipp wind farm
AN Bord Pleanala has overruled its own planning inspector to allow the construction of an €80m wind farm in Co Tipperary that will be higher than Dublin's Spire.
The inspector recommended refusal of the development as it "would interfere with the striking skylines and detract from the wilderness at Keeper Hill" near the M7 between Limerick and Dublin.
The 16 wind turbines in the ESB Wind Development have a height of 145 metres (475ft) and are 25 metres (81ft) higher than the Spire on O'Connell Street.
An Taisce also raised concerns over the proposal stating that 28 wind turbines have already been granted planning permission in the SPA, and that planning should not be granted until a comprehensive assessment has been made of the ability of the hen harrier to forage in the vicinity of the wind farm.
BOD has a big wad, accounts show
ACCOUNTS filed by a company owned by Brian O'Driscoll saw profits increase last year by almost €340,000 to €3.5m.
Separate figures show that O'Driscoll's former teammate Johnny Sexton also faired well financially last year after his company's profits doubled to €430,000.
Rugby ace bans Israeli produce
IRELAND rugby international Gordon D'Arcy's restaurant has chosen to no longer buy Israeli goods.
The Exchequer restaurant made the announcement on Facebook, saying they were boycotting the goods to show "disdain and disgust at the genocide that is being currently committed by Israel on the people of Gaza".
Cork man dies in Alpine tragedy
A MAN from Cork became the third Irish person to die this week in foreign climbing accidents after being struck by an avalanche in the Italian Alps.
Shay Casey (40), from Rochestown in Cork City, was climbing with 11 other mountaineers when the avalanche struck.
Two other Irish men died after falling 200 metres in the French Alps earlier this week.
Floods hit homeless hard in Dublin
TWICE as many people slept rough on the Dublin's streets on Friday night, in the worst weather conditions seen in the city for months, as phones in Dublin City Council's homeless office remained unanswered, a leading charity worker has claimed.
After an orange weather warning issued by Met Eireann and floods swept through Dublin on Friday night, Brother Kevin Crowley of the Capuchin Day Centre said that their service was inundated with double the normal level of requests for assistance yesterday from people who had slept rough.
The centre provides breakfasts for 250 people and showers for 30 people every morning, but extra demand was put on this service yesterday as people began queuing two hours before the service was due to start.
They said that this extra demand was down to the fact that many were unable to secure accommodation on Friday night.
Dublin City Council's homeless office was unavailable to comment yesterday.