Ireland's Eye: What's going on in the old sod
First blood was drawn in the 2011 general election campaign in the Dublin South constituency last week after an enthusiastic candidate had to be hospitalized after she got a nasty surprise when she called to one resident’s doorstep.
People Before Profit member and United Left Alliance candidate Nicola Curry was leafleting for her launch meeting in Ballyogan when a dog took a chunk out of her middle finger as she was trying to put a leaflet through one letter box.
"It wasn't pleasant. I got quite a fright and one of my fingers is in quite a mess,” said Curry.
“I was well taken care of in Loughlinstown Hospital though. I even got the chance to pass around a few leaflets in there, so it wasn't all in vain!
“All joking aside though, this is a bit of a warning to canvassers to be very careful when leafleting. This dog didn't make a sound, so I got no warning.
“I'd hate to see anyone else get this kind of fright so I'd like to just alert candidates and their canvassing teams to be careful.”
Curry is a working mother from Ballyogan and has been active in local and national campaigns to protect the environment and defend the rights of ordinary working people.
Gardai (police) in south Meath are warning home owners of the increase in thefts of gold jewelry from houses, and believe that thieves may be selling stolen goods on to “cash for gold” stores.
They have also asked the cash for gold outlets to make sure they are aware of the origin of pieces that are being sold to them.
Garda authorities in Navan say they have already visited all the cash for gold outlets in the town and asked them to be conscious of the problem.
Superintendent Mick Devine said they had checked documentation and receipts in the stores and have warned the storekeepers they will be keeping a watchful eye on the situation.
In the Dunshaughlin area, Sergeant Paul Tennanty said there has been a noticeable increase in gold being stolen from houses. He says that other valuable items in homes are being left behind, and that the jewelry and gold are being specifically targeted.
The Garda warning comes in the wake of former Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern asking Gardai to investigate whether some businesses buying gold jewelry for cash are being run by organized crime gangs.
The move follows concerns that the exponential growth in cash for gold outlets, where gold is sold over the counter by people walking in off the streets, has made it easier for thieves to sell stolen property.
Ahern said it was clear there had been a “significant increase” in the number of cash-for-gold outlets across a large number of Irish towns and cities.
Senior Gardai expressed concern that the ease with which criminals can now sell gold jewelry and other items for high prices to legitimate businesses may be feeding the increase in burglaries taking place across the Republic.
While the informal sale or purchase of jewelry is not specifically regulated here, anybody who buys or sells items that they know to be stolen could be prosecuted, and on conviction would face up to 10 years in prison.
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