Ireland's Eye: What's going on in the old sod this week
A look at news from around Ireland
He told the court he drank the illegal alcohol in his home and told the court he could not remember anything after drinking it. He was transferred to Mayo General Hospital, but the ambulance personnel would only bring him if they were accompanied by four Gardai for safety reasons.
Garda Ciaran Brett told the court that he was called to the A&E of the hospital at 3:15 a.m. after staff reported difficulty with a patient. Brett said Traynor was highly intoxicated and when he was dealing with him, the defendant said, “You’ll be sorry, you’ll regret this, I promise you.”
Traynor said he was “totally ashamed” of what happened and explained that he did not know it was poitín he was drinking at the time as it was in a clear bottle.
“I didn’t know what I was drinking at the time. I was brought by two ambulance men but I don’t remember anything after that. It is a blank,” he told the court.
He explained he later discovered the drink was for a sick dog. When he was asked by Judge Mary Devins if he rubbed it into the dog, he replied, “The dog wasn’t drunk, he doesn’t drink it.”
The matter was met with laughter in the court, and defending solicitor Peter Loftus said his client had a serious reaction to the poitín.
Brett told the court that after the incident the defendant was cooperative and was not aggressive to the Gardai. He said he apologized when he was sober and added that that does not always happen.
Devins said if Traynor wrote an apology letter to the A&E staff and donated €300 to the Ann Sullivan Center for the Deaf and Blind, she would give him the benefit of the Probation Act.
Illegal Ciggie Haul
THIRTY eight million cigarettes worth €14.7 million on the black market were found hidden in containers described as “wood briquettes” at Dublin Port last week.
The seizure is the third biggest ever of illegal cigarettes in Ireland.
Retailers, who welcomed the seizure, warned it represents only a fraction of the illegal trade in Ireland.
Revenue officer Denis Twohig said the level of untaxed cigarettes in Ireland is around 20%.
"Six percent of that would be normal cross-border trade, so it would be legal," he said.
"So you're talking about 14% illegal, untaxed cigarettes in the country. The loss to the Exchequer for that would be about €250 million," he added.
Twohig said that investigations are at an early stage, and it could be a number of months before there is significant progress.
No arrests have yet been made, but several individuals were interviewed, documents were seized, and a premise was searched.
Twohig said the brand of cigarettes seized, Golden Eagiie, was not one they were familiar with.
The containers originated in Vietnam and arrived into Dublin Port via Rotterdam.
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