Other News In Brief

FF Lend Support To NI SDLP Leader

Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin TD has offered his support to Northern Ireland SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood for the upcoming General Election in Westminster.

Deputy Martin was in L'Derry, where the Stormont party leader is contesting the Foyle seat, to join him on the campaign trail.

He described the poll as a "critical election for the future of Northern Ireland", at a time when public disillusionment with politics is high.

Mr Martin said the region has been "effectively denied a voice" since the last UK election, when ten DUP MPs, seven Sinn Fein and one independent were elected.

"Even worse, one minority view has been allowed to dominate and frankly distort discussions about the fundamental issue of Northern Ireland and Brexit," he said.

"And of course, for nearly three years the democratic institutions of the peace settlement have been suspended. With schools and hospitals left to cope with cutbacks, and all public services under pressure, the people of Northern Ireland have had no route available to them to argue or vote against these cuts."

The Foyle constituency has been identified as one of the key battlegrounds next week, as Mr Eastwood contests the seat held by Sinn Fein's Elisha McCallion.

Traffic Advice Issued Ahead Of Munster v Saracens In Limerick

An Garda Síochána has issued advice ahead of the Munster v Saracens match in Limerick on Saturday 07 December.

In order to maximise enjoyment of the match, spectators are urged to heed the following information with regards to traffic management and safety at the match in Thomond Park.

General Traffic News:

1. Thomond Bridge / Sarsfield Bridge and New Shannon Bridge will remain open to Two Way Traffic throughout the event.

2. Traffic travelling out bound (N7) on Sexton Street North towards Old Cratloe Road and past the stadium or intending to turn right at Hassetts Cross northbound along Kileely Road (R464) will not be restricted but due to volume, delays can be expected from as early as 10.30hrs. Similarly, traffic travelling outbound on N18 can expect to experience delays also.

3. No general parking spaces are available within the grounds and vehicle access to the grounds (this includes access for vehicles with special needs) is limited by Pass Only issued by Stadium Management. Parking restrictions will be put in place near the Stadium for local residents. Vehicles found in breach are liable to be impounded.

4. Pre match Road closures and diversions as set out below will come into effect at 15.00hrs and will remain in place until at least 17.30hrs. Where road closures / diversions apply all public services vehicles (including taxis / hackneys) buses / minibuses and specially adapted (disabled) vehicles and vehicles with Residents Permits will be allowed proceed beyond the road closures.

Road Closures will apply from 15.00hrs onwards at six different locations, with diversions in place. Further details are available here.

National Walks Scheme Expansion Launched

A national scheme aimed at creating high-quality walking trails across the country has begun its first phase of expansion.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD announced the addition of 10 new trails to the Walks Scheme as part of a phased expansion.

There are currently 39 trails covered by the Walks Scheme, involving 1,962 participant landowners and farmers. This number is expected to double to 80 by the time every phase of expansion is complete.

The Scheme calls on these landowners or nominees to undertake maintenance work on sections of National Waymarked Ways and other priority walks that traverse their lands.

Announcing the expansion of the scheme, Minister Ring said: "This expansion reflects the success of the Walks Scheme to-date in delivering high quality walking trails, and will help realise the Government's commitment to double the number of trails in the scheme over time. Up to 40 new trails will be added when all phases of the expansion are complete.

"This first phase of the expansion will see an additional 283 participants receive payments for maintaining 10 separate trails located across 8 counties. These trails run for a combined length of approximately 500km, with 174 km of this going through private lands."

He added: "This is good news for landowners and for the ever increasing number of people who want to get out and experience the beautiful outdoor areas that we have in such abundance. Investing in our trails also pays economic dividends. Thousands of tourists make walking, hiking, and other outdoor pursuits an important part of their stay in Ireland."

The first phase of the expansion will also include the appointment of an additional Rural Recreation Officer in County Leitrim to assist in delivering the Scheme.

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