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Our Lady's Choral Society members led choruses of “Hallelujah” ringing through Temple Bar on Friday as hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the 270th anniversary of Handel's Messiah. Photo by: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Ireland's Eye: What's going on in the old sod this week

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Our Lady's Choral Society members led choruses of “Hallelujah” ringing through Temple Bar on Friday as hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the 270th anniversary of Handel's Messiah. Photo by: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Needed to Steal Car
A MAN who crept into a Listowel family's home through an open kitchen window in the middle of the night before taking car keys and driving off in the family's Honda Accord has been jailed for nine months.

James Bailey of Limerick appeared before Judge Mary O'Halloran at Listowel District Court, charged with burglary and the unauthorized taking of a car on July 4/5 of last year.  He pled guilty to both charges.

Inspector Fearghal Pattwell said Bailey got into the home of Sean and Louise Moriarty through an open kitchen window and took the keys to the couple's black Honda Accord. He then drove off in the car, which was later recovered, undamaged, in Limerick.

The court heard Bailey had 10 previous convictions.

His solicitor told the court that Bailey, 23, had traveled to Listowel from Limerick earlier in the day with a friend who was seeing a local woman.  In Listowel, Bailey received news that a family member had been assaulted and was in Limerick Regional Hospital.

Bailey asked his friend to take him back to Limerick but the friend was unable to drive as he had drink taken. Unable to secure a lift, Bailey decided to break into the Moriarty home when he saw the kitchen window open.

His solicitor said the crime was in no way pre-planned and added that Gardai (police) had actually discovered the car parked outside his client's home. No damage was caused to the car, nor was any damage caused to the home, he said, adding that Bailey regretted the incident and had cooperated fully with Gardai.

Bailey was sentenced to nine months on the charge of burglary and four months, to be served concurrently, on the charge of taking a car without authorization.

The Kerryman

Ratty Bread Dump
LOCAL residents have condemned the dumping of tons of bread just outside Drogheda, which has led to a rat infestation in the area.

Those responsible for the dumping, which has become an ongoing issue, have yet to be identified, but Louth County Council said it is investigating the issue.

Tons of unwrapped bread has been dumped in the ditches on the side of the road at areas including Blackhall, Beaulieu, Sandpit and Banktown.

“It is absolutely disgusting because it turns to mulch and it attracts a huge amount of rats,” said local resident Sarah Finegan.

“You can actually see the holes where the rats have burrowed through. The smell from it is absolutely disgusting and a real blight on the landscape.”

The area around the Blackhall Road in Termonfeckin has become infested with rats after the bread was dumped along the side of the road.

Finegan said the dumping has been ongoing for a number of months, since last Christmas, with more bread dumped once the previous lot has turned rotten.

“The dumping itself occurs every two to three weeks, so just as the bread has turned into sludge a fresh batch is left. It started late November/early December of last year so the community is fed up at this stage,” she said.

‘Both sides of the road are destroyed with it. I don't drive so I walk down the village and pass by it all the time. The amount of rats it is attracting is just horrible.”

Paddy Donnelly of Louth County Council confirmed the litter warden had attended the site and was investigating the matter.

“The procedure in cases like this is that the litter warden would respond to it and then when we would have a team available in the area we would send them in to clear it away,” said Donnelly. “Obviously there will be an investigation to see where this is coming from, but it is very difficult to know because people travel from far and wide so it is very hard to establish whether it is local or someone coming from outside the area, but certainly investigations will be carried out.”

Drogheda Independent

Nice Robber
A POLITE robber told a shop worker “thanks and God bless you” as he stole her purse, Judge Flann Brennan heard.

Mervyn Doyle, 36, of Dundalk, walked into Costcutters on Clanbrassil Street on December 17 shortly before it closed. The shop gave out leftover food to people at the end of the night and Doyle went into the premises looking for it.

When he was told there was no more left, Doyle went behind the counter and stole a woman's purse. 

The woman suffered a panic attack and froze, and it later emerged that Doyle had said, “thank you, God bless you” as he committed the crime.

The victim was physically uninjured in the incident and Doyle took cash out of the purse, which he threw away nearby.

Dundalk District Court also heard about an incident nine days before that when Doyle wandered into the kitchens of the China Kitchen on Park Street and stood around until Gardai arrived and arrested him.

Brennan was told Doyle has 55 previous convictions, mostly for theft and traffic offenses.

Solicitor Frank McDonnell said his client, a father, had been battling his addiction to alcohol for a while and during that eight-day period in December, he “fell foul of the drink again.”

McDonnell said Costcutters does “great work late at night where they make food available to people who are down on their luck,” and Doyle had gone in looking for some.

The solicitor said there was no violence whatsoever involved in either incident, and the woman whose purse was stolen had been reimbursed.

Doyle is now back on an addiction course and is trying to deal with his problem, though “he continues to struggle with alcohol from time to time.”

He has previously completed community service, and Brennan adjourned the case to June 20 so the probation service can assess whether he is still suitable to do 100 hours.

The Argus

Crazy on Dog Poitín
A CROSSMOLINA man was rushed to Mayo General Hospital after he drank some poitín which was meant for a sick dog, a sitting of Castlebar District Court heard.

Alan Traynor appeared before the court after he was arrested for intoxication in a public place and threatening and abusive behavior in the A&E department of Mayo General Hospital on April 2.

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.

Mayo News

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.

RTE News

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