News in brief Special needs schools get £1.25m boost EDUCATION Minister Micheal Woods has announced a £1.25m initiative to speed up access to educational and psychological assessment services for children with special needs.
Under the initiative, primary schools not yet having access to the service provided by the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) will be able to commission psychological assessments from private practitioners.
NEPS will also commission assessments on behalf of primary and post-primary schools with access to its service where there is a backlog of urgent referrals for special needs.
Senator has bypass surgery
CORK based senator, Mairin Quill, is recuperating in hospital after having a quadruple heart bypass operation.
The 64-year-old member of the Progressive Democrats underwent surgery at Cork University Hospital last week.
Senator Quill is originally from Kilgarvan, Co Kerry but has been a member of Cork Corporation since the late 1970s.
The former school teacher was a TD for Cork North Central and was first elected to the Dail in 1987. She lost her seat in the last general election in 1997.
Man (50) dies in house blaze
GARDAI have preserved the scene of a house fire in Tuam where a man in his 50s lost his life yesterday.
Neighbours saw smoke coming from the house at Old Racecourse Road shortly after midday and raised the alarm. Tuam Fire Brigade quickly brought the blaze under control.
The man's body was recovered from a couch in the living room.
Gardai, who are not releasing the victim's name until relatives have been informed, say foul play is not suspected.
Man charged with assaults on gardai
A NIGERIAN asylum seeker was remanded in custody at a special sitting of Limerick District Court yesterday on ten charges, including six assaults on gardai.
Johnbull Ukonmwan (31), with an address at Waterville Crescent, Ashbrook, Dundalk, Co Louth is facing charges of assaulting six gardai at the Roxboro station in Limerick on June 30.
Candidates for election chosen
MINISTER for the Environment and Local Government, Noel Dempsey, was one of three Meath TDs unanimously selected to contest the next general election for Fianna Fail at a selection convention in Navan O'Mahony's Centre last night.
The other TDs who will contest are Junior Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mary Wallace, and John Brady. Mr Richie Healy, is to be director of elections for Meath.
Man killed in car accident
A FATHER of six children was killed after his car overturned at the weekend.
Richard Conway of Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, died instantly after his Volkswagen Passat overturned in Castlerea about 15 miles from his home at 12.20am on Saturday.
Air show spectacular
THOUSANDS of holidaymakers and aviation enthusiasts lined the promenade in Salthill yesterday afternoon for the annual Salthill Air Show.
US, German, French and Irish aircraft kept the massive crowds entertained during the free three-hour spectacular over Galway Bay. Top attractions included a giant US Chinook helicopter, German Navy Tornados, French jets, as well as Apache and Blackhawk helicopters.
Airstrips report due
A MAJOR study to investigate the feasibility of providing airstrips for four islands off the Donegal coast is currently underway.
Junior Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and Islands Minister Mary Coughlan TD confirmed a UK company is currently researching the likelihood of airstrips and helipads on Tory, Arranmore, Gola and Inishbofin islands.
Top tourist attraction
A CROSS-border waterway is becoming the Republic's biggest tourism money spinner.
It was revealed at the weekend that more than 105,000 tourists had spent in excess of £63m visiting the Shannon/Erne waterway since it opened five years ago. The project is also reckoned to have kept more than 300 people in jobs.