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Varadkar to bring in 'special notice' of broken lights before points are given

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar is planning to modify proposals where motorists found with broken headlights incur a penalty point and a €60 fine.

Under the new proposals, motorists caught with defective headlights will be given "a special notice" requiring the motorist to replace the blown bulb and present themselves and the vehicle at a garda station within 24 hours. The penalty points and the €60 fine would only be imposed if the driver fails to rectify the problem within a day.

Two winners will share €11.5m Lotto

THERE were two winners of last night's €11,526,011 Lotto jackpot. The numbers were 6, 11, 19, 23, 32, 41 (bonus 16) and the tickets were sold in the east and the north-east.

There were four Match 5+bonus winners who each receive €25,000; 108 Match 5s (€1,242 each); 241 Match 4+bonus (€140); 4,329 Match 4s (€48); 5,944 Match 3+bonus (€23); and 69,883 match 3s (€5). The Lotto Plus 1 numbers were 6, 10, 19, 23, 35, 37 (bonus 29) and the Lotto Plus 2 numbers were 2, 17, 19, 21, 38, 45 (bonus 36).

And in the UK draw for £4.1m, the numbers were 2, 5, 18, 40, 47, 49 (bonus 19).

Cars stolen after murder conviction

Vehicles were hijacked in the Craigavon area of Armagh on Friday evening following the conviction of two republicans for the murder of a PSNI officer.

Brendan McConville, 40, and John Paul Wootton, 20, were sentenced to life imprisonment on Friday by Lord Justice Girvan for the murder of Constable Stephen Carroll, who was shot dead in Lurgan in March 2009.

Constable Carroll, 48, was the first PSNI officer to be murdered in a terrorism attack. His murder came just two days after two British soldiers were shot dead outside the Massereene Barracks in Co Antrim.

Barry wins lucrative short story prize

Irish author Kevin Barry has won the £30,000 (€35, 989) EFG Private Bank Short Story Award 2012. The prize is the most valuable in the world for a single short story.

Mr Barry's story, Beer Trip to Llandudno, is about a group of middle-aged men from Liverpool and their passion for real ale. The prize was presented to the Irish writer on Friday by novelist and judge Joanna Trollope at a ceremony at the Oxford Literary Festival.

Former anchor is new UK party leader

Former TV news anchorman Mike Nesbitt, 54, is the new leader of the British Unionist Party. He has enjoyed a meteoric rise since he joined the party in February 2010.

He failed to win the Strangford Westminster seat in the British general election in May of that year but 12 months later secured an assembly seat in the Stormont Assembly in the same constituency.

Secretive Asian bird visits Wexford

A highly secretive Asian bird, the Baillon's Crake, has set bird circles twittering after touching down in the Great Saltee island off Wexford for the first time in 150 years.

The starling-sized mystery bird is just one of a string of over-enthusiastic migratory birds over-shooting their destination in recent days to become accidental tourists in this country.

Niall Hatch of Birdwatch Ireland, said: "It's exciting. It is the first sighting of the very rare Baillon's Crake since 1856. It's hard to track down and the areas it breeds are very water-logged so not a lot is known about them.

Partnership cuts Irish troop numbers

IRELAND is to cut the number of soldiers in its UN mission in Lebanon after a new Irish-Finnish battalion is formed next month.

Ireland currently has 453 soldiers serving in a mechanised infantry battalion in south Lebanon with Unifil since June last year. But Finland is due to send 170 soldiers including an infantry company to form an Irish-Finnish battalion. The move will see the number of Irish soldiers reduced from 453 to 332.

Dreamliner touching down in Shannon

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is expected in Shannon early today for a series of scheduled maintenance activities before it continues onto Azerbaijan tomorrow.

The jet began the fifth segment of its '787 Dream Tour' last Monday when it arrived in Santiago, Chile. The jet first visited Shannon in July 2010, making Shannon the first commercial airport the aircraft visited outside of the US. The plane visited Shannon three times last year before it even entered commercial service.

Clare Prize Bond holder wins €1m

A Clare resident won €1m yesterday in March's Prize Bonds Millionaire draw.

In addition to the €1m winner, over 8,000 other Prize Bond holders across the country won prizes, bringing the grand total to €1.6m. The winning bond number for the €1m prize is MZ 386837 and it was purchased in 2010.

Leading Galway arts figure dies

MIKE Diskin, director of the Town Hall Theatre in Galway and former chief executive of the Lyric Theatre in Belfast, passed away yesterday following a long illness.

Pat Moylan, chair of the Arts Council, said: "Michael Diskin brought a formidable intellect and an exceptional breadth of knowledge to bear on his work as a key arts administrator." He is survived by his wife and daughter.

Retired farmer leaves over €2m in will

Arthur Collier, a retired farmer of Ballybannon, Milford, Co Donegal, who died on May 11, 2010, has left €2,096,283.

Other wills: Gabriel McCall Locke, homemaker, North Street, Arlington, Virginia, USA, €1,476,496; Kathleen O'Malley, Belfield Court, Dollymount, Dublin, housewife, €1,275,569; Maria Kavanagh, teacher, Devon Court, Salthill, Galway, €1,073,295; and Josef Gunter Erich Bannert, merchant, Munich, Germany, €1,052,333.

The value of wills include property, including the family home and should not be regarded as cash amounts.

Sunday Independent