News from around the 32 counties of Ireland



A Belfast solicitor who walked free after stealing nearly £500,000 in mortgage fraud is facing a new attempt to have him jailed for flouting a ban on moving assets. The Law Society is seeking to have Philip Krown sent to prison for contempt of court by drawing down an £83,000 pension fund in breach of an injunction. At a High Court hearing last week it was claimed that he either spent or “secreted” the money after first putting it in an Isle of Man bank account last year.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


A developer and shop owner with an address at a Co Armagh castle has received almost the longest possible ban from acting as a company director. Craig Bennett (38) who lives in converted flats at Gosford Castle near Markethill, was disqualified for 13 out of a maximum of 15 years by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment over his conduct as the head of Dreemore Developments. He accepted a litany of instances of unfit conduct, including misappropriating £400,000 in company money which had been forwarded by Northern Bank for buying property.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


Four men are being questioned after detectives smashed a suspected cannabis-growing operation. Nearly half a million euro-worth of the drug was seized during a raid on a "grow house" in Baltinglass, Co Wicklow, and a follow-up search in Dublin. Two men, aged 23 and 30, were arrested when gardai uncovered the makeshift cannabis factory and plants with an estimated street value of 144,000 euro around noon last Thursday. In follow-up searches, another two men, aged 25 and 36, were detained in Wicklow and west Dublin.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


The new fire station at Belturbet will enable the crew to meet the challenges of 100 call-outs a year, Minister Brendan Smith said when he performed the official opening last Monday. Monsignor Michael Cooke and Rev Steve Clarke blessed the new €700,000 station at Creeny, which incorporates a two-bay appliance room, lecture room, breathing apparatus room, watch room, muster area, drying room, kitchen, drill tower and drill yard – the facilities necessary to cater for a modern fire service, said Minister Smith.
(Source: The Angle Celt)


There are currently 70 vacant units in Ennis not paying commercial rates, it has emerged. Recent weeks have seen an increase in the numbers of retail outlets closed in the town. Among the outlets to close their doors have been the Mace on Station Road, Roxy Records and Petit Pois, while Little Silvermines has launched a closing-down sale. According to Ennis Chamber CEO Rita McInerney, businesses are “fighting for survival” in the current economic climate..
(Source: The Clare Champion)


Banking customers throughout Cork have been warned to be extra vigilant after a number of people had their accounts wiped out last week. David Nation (20) from Blackrock in Cork, awoke to a phonecall last Tuesday morning from Permanent TSB Bank (PTSB) informing him that his current account had been cleaned out by what’s thought to be a skimming device. Sergeant Ronan Kenneally of Douglas Gardaí also advised vigilance by customers. “New skimming devices have come to our attention and it is a growing problem both nationally and internationally. It can be very difficult to trace the devices and track who and how they did it but we would advise people to always be on the alert.
Source: (Cork Independent)


The murder of a woman for which the Yorkshire Ripper had been blamed was carried out by |a Londonderry man, it has emerged. Christopher Smith, who was born Alexander Smyth in Derry, was linked to the murder by DNA evidence. Joan Harrison was found battered and raped in a garage 35 years ago in Preston, Lancashire, in a killing linked to Peter |Sutcliffe. Detectives across the country are to investigate whether he may have been behind other unsolved serious crimes.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


A Donegal couple who had been given a present of a two week luxurious holiday in Egypt were evacuated from their resort last week as fears grew for the safety of Irish citizens there. Patricia and Vincent Callaghan had been holidaying in the Sharm El Sheikh resort and had booked their holiday last July. However, just days into their trip, they were caught up in the ongoing protests against the country’s president, Hosni Mubarak.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)


Family and friends of two soldiers killed in Afghanistan clutched flowers and wept as their loved ones were returned home. The bodies of Ranger David Dalzell, 20, of the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment, and Warrant Officer Class 2 (Company Sergeant Major) Colin Beckett, 36, of 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, were flown into RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire then passed through the nearby town of Wootton Bassett.  Ranger Dalzell, from Bangor in County Down, was killed recently in an "operational accident" in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)