Ireland's Eye, A roundup of top Irish news stories
A look at news from around Ireland
No Free Aid
A SOUTHILL man who traveled to Kilkee on holidays had his legal aid revoked after a judge said taxpayers should not have to subsidize his vacation.
At Limerick Court, Anthony Casey sought to have his bail conditions varied so he could go on a family holiday to the West Clare coastal resort.
Casey, 25, is accused of stealing a safe, which contained €850 cash from the Cost Plus Sofas premises at Eastway Business Park shortly before midnight on June 6.
He was previously granted bail subject to a number of strict conditions including a curfew.
Solicitor Darach McCarthy said his client had rented a house in Kilkee for two weeks, and he asked that his bail conditions be changed to allow him travel.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly noted that Casey, who was granted legal aid in June, stated in his application that he had no money to pay for his legal representation.
However, in his evidence, the father-of-one said he had been saving €20 per week since March for his holiday.
Being questioned by the judge, he also agreed that he had stated he was married when, in fact, he is not due to get married until next year.
O’Kelly he was not “one bit impressed” and that the accused had not been truthful in his application for free legal aid. The judge said in the circumstances he was revoking the legal aid.
“You are not entitled to hide your savings from the court when you are asking taxpayers to pay your legal expenses,” he said, adding that there are “many taxpayers who are badly in need of a holiday but cannot afford to go on a two week holiday in Kilkee.”
The judge ordered that during his holidays, Casey must sign on twice a day at Kilrush Garda (police) station. He must also obey a curfew between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. each day.
Gardai in Clare will be monitoring the defendant.
Watch Mass Cars
PARISHES should organize volunteers to keep a watch over cars during major events such as Graveyard Sunday Mass.
This is the view of a town councilor and some priests following two thefts in Letterkenny.
In both cases, money and items were taken from cars as the owners were attending Mass, in one case, in Conwal at Graveyard Sunday Mass.
Sinn Fein’s Gerry McMonagle said parishioners should keep watch over cars during big events. “It would be prudent to have volunteers. We normally have Gardai but they cannot be everywhere,” he said.
In Donegal Town, Father William Peoples backed the call.
“I would totally agree with that. People’s property should be protected. We would usually have volunteer stewards keeping watch on cars during any big events,” he said.
Fr Eddie Gallagher also agreed that more needs to be done to “protect vulnerable people and property in rural Ireland.”
He said, “The old style of community policing seems to have faded away and that leaves a lot of people vulnerable. In the 1980s, the Gardai knew everyone. Now, the criminals can pick out the vulnerable people to target, as we’ve seen in recent burglaries.”
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