Ireland’s Eye - a round of top Irish news stories


“The intervention of the Gardai seems to have brought the defendant to his senses,” said Ruane, who told the court O’Sullivan contacted the injured party after he stole her dog.

“He threatened that he would cut off the dog’s head if she didn’t speak to him” he said.

Solicitor John Herbert disputed this allegation. “To the best of my knowledge that was not done, there was no threat,” he said.

Herbert agreed the incident was bizarre and he said his client had been under a lot of pressure around the time of the offenses.

“He wasn’t able for it [the break-up]. It was serious and it should never have happened,” he said.
The court was told O’Sullivan, who has no previous convictions, had cooperated with Gardai and that he had made admissions following his arrest.

He added that there was “an ownership issue” in relation to the dog as it had been given to his ex-girlfriend by members of his client’s family.

Judge Eugene O’Kelly said he was willing to adjourn the case for review in six months time.
- Limerick Leader

Debt Increases

The average consumer debt in Co. Clare has increased five-fold over the last four years, with judgment claims filed against Clare debtors jumping from €920,026 in 2008 to a current figure of €5.661 million.

An indication of the hardship Clare people are experiencing is also reflected in the dramatic rise of credit unions taking defaulters to court.

According to debt defaulters magazine Stubbs Gazette, the dramatic rise in Clare’s debt levels has resulted in a drop of 13 places in a nationwide league table, from 15th place in 2008 to now being the most second indebted county behind Cork.

Unemployment is one of the main reasons behind the explosion of consumer debt in the Midwest, which has been one of the hardest hit areas.

The Stubbs figures track debts that have been chased through the courts after an individual was unable to pay telephone, fuel and tax bills, as well as repayments on unsecured loans such as credit cards, personal loans and credit union loans. The figures do not include mortgage debt.
- Clare Champion

Shopping Center Anger

A well-known Longford developer has come under intense fire over contentious attempts to build a shopping center close to a key 1916 Easter Rising battleground.

Dromard builder Joe O’Reilly owns a parcel of land along Moore Street, one of the last remaining stomping grounds linked to the infamous 20th century rebellion.

The notoriously media-shy developer, who shot to prominence with his development of Dundrum Town Center, Ireland’s largest shopping precinct, has planning permission for another 800,000 square foot development that also takes in part of O’Connell Street.

Over the past seven days, however, O’Reilly has attracted renewed criticism from a well established parliamentary watchdog over the plans.

In his capacity as chairman of the Joint Committee on the Environment, Transport, Culture and the Gaeltacht, Labor TD (member of Parliament) Michael McCarthy lashed out at O’Reilly’s Chartered Land company for failing to engage with the Oireachtas (government) supervisory group.

“The committee and myself... made every reasonable attempt to bring them in,” he said.

McCarthy said numerous attempts had been made to support the now Dublin-based developer, but branded demands for details to be heard away from the media spotlight as “unacceptable.”

Relatives of those most deeply associated with the Moore Street site were just as outspoken.

James Connolly Heron, great-grandson of 1916 leader James Connolly, urged Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan to step in by refusing consent for works on a stretch of land that only five years ago was deemed a national monument.
- Longford Leader