We look at the latest news highlights from Ireland
Hundreds turn out to pay tribute to ‘The Memory Man’ Jimmy Magee
Ireland’s Sports Stars were among the mourners who turned out for the funeral of legendary sports commentator Jimmy Magee, who passed away last week at the age of 82.
Roy Keane, Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Marty Morrissey, John Delaney and Ireland’s Minister for Sport Shane Ross were among those who attended the service at the Church of St Laurence O’Toole in Kilmacud, Co Dublin.
The service was led by his close friend Fr Brian D’Arcy who spoke fondly of his memories of the man nicknamed the Memory Man due to his recollections of All-Ireland winning teams.
On hearing the news Aogán Ó Fearghail, GAA President said: “Jimmy’s sad passing represents the end of a golden era in Irish broadcasting and few – if any – will ever come close to reaching the standards he did across so many sports.
“He will be synonymous with RTÉ’s Olympic coverage but he had a deep interest in many sports – not least our own codes.
The ‘Jimmy Magee All-Stars’, which involved some of the top names in Gaelic games were keenly followed by so many with an interest in the GAA.
“He was with us recently in Croke Park on All-Ireland hurling final day and was a regular in our media centre where his presence always brought a smile to those who he encountered.
“Our thoughts are with his family and wide circle of friends and admirers at this difficult time.”
Ireland’s ‘Tidiest Town’ is in Birdhill, Co. Tipperary
The winner of this year’s Tidiest Town award in Ireland is Birdhill in Tipperary, which won double at the national competition.
It came first out of a record-breaking 870 towns that were entered into this year’s SuperValu National Tidy Towns competition, and also claimed the award for Ireland’s tidiest village.
Birdhill lies in west Tipperary, close to the River Shannon, and was joined by other winners Clonakilty in Cork for Ireland’s tidiest small town; Westport in Mayo for named Ireland’s tidiest large town and Ennis in Clare won Ireland’s tidiest large urban centre.
The winners were announced by Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring at a ceremony in Dublin’s Helix Centre on Monday.
“This is a fantastic achievement. Three other Tipperary villages have won this award, but it is the first time for Birdhill,” Mr Ring said.
“The village has consistently entered the competition since 1991 and in the intervening years have steadily concentrated on all aspects of the SuperValu TidyTowns competition and today, all that effort has paid off.”
Ring praised the Tidy Towns competition and declared it was one of the most ‘recognisable environmental initiatives in Ireland’.
“That is why I am delighted to see this competition continues to attract great interest after almost 60 years,” he said.
Three quarters of public want Michael D to serve a second term
A recent poll has shown that over three quarters of the Irish public would like President Michael D Higgins to serve a second term.
The Irish Daily Mail found that 76 per cent of the 1,000 respondents would back him, with 24 per cent opposed.
During the race for the 2011 presidential election President Higgins said that he would only stand for a single seven-year turn but has since refused to rule out the possibility of a second term.
Speaking to RTE Radio at last week’s Ploughing Championships he said that by next year’s event ‘you should have a very, very good idea’ about his intentions to run.
Concentrating on this term
“My concentration, as it is now, is on doing this term very well and that’s why I don’t answer the question now,” Higgins said.
“My concentration is on doing the job I’m doing and I’m getting great support from the Irish public.
“In the fullness of my time, it is just my decision, it doesn’t affect anyone else. I’m being dead straight about it, I haven’t ruled anyone out and therefore by the time of the ploughing next year the numbers will be up again.”
A presidential election is due to be held in October 2018. If no-one contests the election, current president Michael D Higgins could be given a free run at a second term.