* We are reporting from Ballycastle where locals are mounting a very concerted campaign to keep their garda station open. Ballycastle is one of six stations due to close for good this Thursday but locals say the station is vital because it is located in an isolated, coastal region where the community already feels vulnerable because of closures and cutbacks.
* We have a very unusual case from Castlebar Circuit Court where a Dublin man was charged with possession of drugs which he attempted to smuggle into the airport by vacuum-packing them into his runners. The man said he chose Knock Airport over Dublin because he thought security would be more lax but he found out otherwise and is now awaiting sentencing having been convicted of possessing drugs for supply.
* Fr Brendan Hoban is writing about the Fr Tony Flannery controversy – the Redemptorist priest who has been silenced by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome. In a very strong article, Fr Brendan says for the first time in his life he feels ashamed of the Church to which he has devoted his life.
* We’re looking back on the lives of two well-known Erris characters who passed away recently – Willie Healy and Una Greene.
* Amidst all the scandal about horse meat in low-price burgers, we have a feature on Quality Meats with focus on local butchers who are supplying the finest cuts to their customers.
* We have a motors feature in tomorrow’s paper, offering readers lots of ideas on the new or used car they may wish to purchase in 2013.
* For parents who are planning communions and confirmations, we have a feature that will offer plenty of ideas, as well as a special promotion on kids’ parties.
* What drama there was in Longford yesterday. Charlestown’s hopes of reaching Croke Park and the All-Ireland Intermediate football final went right down to the very last kick of extra-time… and unfortunately the Mayo men came up agonisingly short against Cookstown from Tyrone.
It was hard luck on Charlestown who never trailed in normal time and
conceded only point in extra-time.
Anthony Hennigan was there for us, and reports from a heartbroken dressingroom.
* On a brighter note, hopes are high that Mayo might build on another promising season under James Horan. And next Sunday it all gets underway for another year as the Green and Red prepare to host Kerry in the opening round of the National Football League.
We preview that match and Mayo goalkeeper and captain David Clarke talks to Michael Gallagher about his hopes for the season ahead.
* We hear how Sligo slipped up to Leitrim in yesterday’s FBD League final and we have reports from the best of the action in the Connacht Colleges senior football championships including wins for St Colman’s of Claremorris and Rice College from Westport.
* On the soccer front, we chart the progress of St Brendan’s Belmullet who have reached this week’s All-Ireland Ladies senior final, and Our Lady’s
Boys, also from Belmullet, who were crowned Connacht champions last week. We have reports and pictures from those matches and of the big clash between
Ballina and Castlebar in rugby’s Connacht U15 A League final last Saturday, where Ballina edged their rivals in a thriller.
* Plus we have boxing, golf, rallying…to mention just a fraction of what else is filling the pages of this week’s sports section.