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If you've ever purchased a Lotto ticket at the Kilmoon Service Station in Ashbourne, Co Meath, you may want to stop reading right here.

According to an appeal issued by the Lotto Headquarters yesterday, time has officially run out for the person who purchased a winning Euromillions ticket at the Meath service station earlier this year.

On September 25, a €7 Quickpick was bought and subsequently netted a staggering €500,000 in the following night's draw, but unfortunately the 'lucky' person failed to come forward and claim their prize in the three months that followed.

Yesterday, National Lottery Chief Executive, Dermot Griffin, issued an urgent appeal to the public to check any old tickets they may have.

"There are just hours left to claim on this EuroMillions Plus ticket worth €500,000 and we are once again appealing to our players to check their tickets carefully."

"The deadline for this prize is today. We are open after the Christmas break and we would love to see the winner or winners make contact.”

We have no idea if this is a case that somebody is not aware of their good fortune, or if they are waiting until the last minute to make their claim," he continued. "We urge anybody who bought a EuroMillions Plus ticket in Meath three months ago to check their numbers just in case.

Ladies, if you can stomach rooting through your belongings, the winning numbers were 17, 31, 37, 40, 46.
 

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The Simon Community, a housing and homeless charity, saw a 33 percent rise in the number of people using its services. 

The charity helps those who are homeless in Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow, and Meath. 

According to their Annual Report for 2016, this increase includes more than 11,000 people total, who were either homeless or at risk of losing the roof over their heads.

Simon helped 1,400 families and nearly 3,000 children last year as well.

The number of families facing homelessness has soared by over 50 percent and the number of homeless children by 49 percent. 

Many of these families must live in hotel rooms, with limited space for children to play and no proper kitchen to cook in. 

"These trends are flesh and blood, people’s lives and childhoods potentially lost," Padraig McKeon, Chairperson of Simon Community, said in a statement. 

He also noted that the charity plans on building 400 more accommodation units in the four counties they serve, which will be both supported housing and independent living units.

Padraig thanked all of the charity's clients and residents whose 'continued determination and perseverance to move forward with their lives' are utterly inspiring.

"Every day we are inspired by what you have overcome," the Chairperson wrote, "Your experience and insights ensure our services continue to adapt and improve."

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A fire which broke out in a house in Co Meath claimed the life of one man earlier today.

Emergency services rushed to the scene of blaze which broke out in a house in Archdeaconry Glebe in Kells at approximately 08.15.

According to The Irish Times, two men and a woman were rushed to Our Lady's Hospital in Navan, where one of the men was later pronounced dead.

The other individuals received medical attention, but aren't believed to have sustained serious injuries.

It is understood that children were also in the house at the time, but were uninjured.

The scene of the fire has been sealed off for examination, but initial inspection points to an accidental cause.
 

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Gardaí in Ashbourne are investigating the discovery of a body of a man in his 20s in Co. Meath.

The man’s body was discovery this morning in a field at Walterstown, Dunboyne near the Meath / Kildare border. 

According to RTE, the man sustained gunshot wounds. 

Gardaí are however treating the death as suspicious

The body of the man remains at the scene and has yet to be formally identified, however according to RTE, Gardaí believe him to be an individual who was reported missing yesterday who is involved in organised crime. 

The scene is preserved for a forensic and technical examination.

The office of the state pathologist and local Coroner have been notified.

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Gardaí in Co Meath have issued an appeal to the public following the disappearance of a 29-year-old woman in recent days.

Martina Cranitch was last seen on Saturday morning on Ashbourne's High Street, and concerns for her safety are currently intensifying.

It has been established that Martina was carrying a black leather handbag and wearing a navy blue top with red and white flowers on it, a black leather coat, blue jeans and brown ankle boots when she was last seen at 8am on September 23.

Martina is five foot eight inches in height, and has brown hair and brown eyes.

If you have any information pertaining to the disappearance of Martina, you are urged to contact Ashbourne Garda Station on 01 – 8010600, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

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A huge lump of butter has just been found in Ireland – and it dates back nearly 2000 years.

The prehistoric 10kg 'bog butter' was found by turf-cutter Jack Conway, while working on Emlagh bog in Co Meath last week.

The 'bog butter' has now been given to the National Museum, where the Irish Antiques Division said it was a significant discovery as it was found in the ancient Drakerath area.

The Drakerath area was where 11 townlands and three boundaries of ancient baronies met.

“These bogs in those times were inaccessible, mysterious places,” he said.

“It is at the juncture of three separate kingdoms, and politically it was like a no-man’s-land – that is where it all hangs together," said Andy Halpin of the National Museum.

But most surprising, is the fact that the butter is STILL edible. Top chef, Kevin Thorton has admitted that he tasted the butter already, because bogs used to be the place that farmers would store there food to preserve it.

“Theoretically the stuff is still edible – but we wouldn’t say it’s advisable."

Yep, we think we'll pass on eating it.

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We didn't quite know what to make of Tayto Park when it first opened its doors back in 2010, but it's since grown to be a pretty exciting attraction.

What started as a small Tayto-themed adventure park in Ashbourne, Co Meath has grown into an expansive theme park housing Europe's largest wooden rollercoaster, The Cú Chullainn, a massive 30m high construction, which had its 'maiden voyage' last summer.

Now Tayto Park is back for 2016 – it re-opens this Friday March 18 – and it has a whole host of new attractions that have us thinking we're going to need to find an excuse to get out to Ashbourne very soon indeed. Though we may need to kidnap our nieces and nephews for the day first,

First up is the park's new Ferris Wheel, plus a "vintage style" carousel and the Rockin' Tug; a boat ride allowing you to "experience the motions of being in the deep blue sea from the very different surroundings of Ashbourne, Co. Meath." Nice.

That's in addition to Tayto Park's current Adventure Zone which features a climbing wall, zip-lining area, the eye-wateringly high Sky Walk bridge, and the stomach-churning rotator and air race rides.

The park's animatronic Dinosaurs Alive experience is also expanding to include Ice Valley, including life-size Ice Age mammals like mammoths, cave bears, saber-toothed cats and giant Irish deer.

If you're heading to Tayto Park on Easter Sunday, kids can sign up for the annual Easter Scavenger Hunt, and Mr. Tayto will be making his usual appearances each day.

More information on opening times and ticket prices can be found on the Tayto Park website here.

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Following two of the nation's most talked about televised competition, the 2015 Rose of Tralee was finally crowned in The Dome to much applause and sparkle. That crown though… amazing. 

Congratulations are in order for Elysha Brennan from Bettystown in Co. Meath.

The 22-year old managed to scoop the title from the 31 other roses gathered in Tralee to become the first ever Meath rose to have claimed the crown. 

An avid Late Late Show fan, Elysha told the audience on Monday night that her friends know by now not to try and invite her to any social events on a Friday evening because she will be otherwise engaged. Such dedication. 

Not only does she make sure she has her television watching down to a fine art, Elysha has also made plenty of time to get some studying in. She is currently a medical student at the Royal College of Surgeons. While being interviewed by Daithí on Monday, Elysha spoke candidly about her journey to medical school.

When she was just weeks away from sitting her Leaving Cert exams, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. She opted to continue with her exams and following that underwent chemotherapy and radiation therapy. 

Thankfully she has been in remission for two years. She said upon winning, "I suppose I’ve experienced the lowest of lows and this is just the highest of highs." She also thanked her fellow roses saying she had never before been surrounded by such "spectacular" women.

Oh yes, and we couldn't forget about that talent. For her party piece the student opted to give us a fabulous rendition of Mary Black's The Bright Blue Rose.

There were hardly any dry eyes left in The Dome, or around the country for that matter. 

Congratulations Elysha!

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