Updated: 02/05/12 : 09:53:09
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National News Briefs

Exports growth 'slowing down'

Irish export growth will slow down significantly this year, according to the Irish Exporters Association.

The deceleration is being blamed on economic turmoil and a return to recession in the Eurozone.

According to the IEA, export of goods and services grew by just 3.6% in the first quarter of the year, well below the level required to generate job growth.

IEA chief executive John Whelan said there was opportunity for exporters to expand the market for our goods and services in other continents. He said we should "drive a lot more exports into Asia and Africa…We're looking at 6% to 8% growth in those markets."

He said those markets were "difficult to get into".

"The State needs to support exporters to get into those markets," he said.


Man shot in punishment-style attack in Donegal

A man in his late 20s has been shot in a punishment-style attack in Donegal.

Two armed and masked men entered the man's home in St Johnston, close to the Derry border, and shot him in the legs and arms.

It is understood the man was originally from Derry, and had been living in the rented house for a number of months.

Gardaí are appealing for information, and have confirmed they are liaising with the PSNI in Derry.

Superintendent Vincent O'Brien told Highland Radio: "At this point in time, nobody has claimed responsibility (for the attack)…I would be too early to speculate at this stage as to what the cause of the shooting was."


Cork's 'bionic boy' Calum to hear for first time

A three-year-old boy from Cork will today hear for the first time.

Calum Geary from Ballyhooly was born without hearing nerves in his ears. He has been dubbed "bionic boy" after a special microchip was fitted in his head.

Only 144 children in the world have undergone the intricate procedure.

Surgeons in the UK will today switch on the computerised hearing system.

If the implant works as intended, it will pave the way for Calum to travel to the US for specialist audio-verbal therapy later in the year.


Phoenix Park bomb discovery 'may have been intended for elsewhere'

Investigations are continuing into the discovery of a bomb in the Phoenix Park in Dublin yesterday.

The viable device had been built into a milk churn and weighed about 20 kilos.

Gardaí are said to be investigating the possibility that the bomb was left on an island in Quarry Lake and was supposed to be moved elsewhere.


People Before Profit to launch anti-Treaty campaign

The People Before Profit Alliance will launch its campaign against the Fiscal Treaty today.

The Alliance will challenge the arguments being put forward by the Government and others on the Yes side.

The group says it will counter a number of myths being promoted by treaty supporters on issues such as future funding for the State and the consequences of adhering to the treaty's requirements.


Quinn evidence to resume after tears at takeover hearing

Bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn is to resume giving evidence in the High Court this morning.

The one-time billionaire is fighting a contempt action by the former Anglo Irish Bank that could lead to his imprisonment.

Sean Quinn fought back tears in court yesterday evening as he described IBRC's takeover of the Quinn group.

He said it was "underhand" and that management at Derrylin were "treated like dogs".

He said he was very angry and upset and signed documents in April last year to move multi-million euro assets beyond the reach of Anglo which is chasing Quinn debts of over €2bn.

The bankrupt businessman denies as "totally untrue" allegations that he breached court orders from last summer restraining the Quinns from stripping assets from their International Property Group.

His evidence will resume this morning.