\"News

News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties

\"News

News from around the 32 counties of Ireland

Antrim

There have been calls for a full investigation into the controversial no parking rules at Antrim Area Hospital after a Good Samaritan was forced to pay the penalty for helping her frail 86-year-old neighbor.


Mandy Mitchell was 'only too happy to help' when the OAP - who is battling skin cancer and problems associated with limited mobility - said she had an appointment at Antrim Hospital outpatients.

Offering her a lift, the kind-hearted local woman parked near to the entrance to A&E, though she was careful not to block the flow of traffic - particularly the ambulances.


Her passenger was 'a bit anxious', however, and implored the mum-of-two to stay with her until her appointment.

After receiving assurances that it would take 'just a few minutes' she agreed.


Her mercy mission complete, Mandy and her neighbor returned to the car - and this time it was Mandy who felt sick to the stomach.


In the short time since she had left the vehicle it had been clamped, and she was told 'in no uncertain terms' that it would remain that way until she stumped up £40 to release it.


She explained the reason for her short stay, and why she had to park close to the building, but neither the clamper nor his clamp would be moved.
(Source: Antrim Guardian)

Armagh

Four people arrested ahead of a suspected sham wedding in Newry Town Hall on Thursday have appeared in court.

A Latvian woman and three Indian men – all with addresses in the Republic of Ireland – appeared before Newry Magistrates Court on Friday.

Jaspreet Singh, 24, was charged with seeking and obtaining leave to remain in the UK by deception.  His would-be bride, Irina Kudinova, 23, was charged with assisting unlawful immigration.

Two Indian men, Jarmal Singh Minhas, 33, and Karamjit Singh, 32, were also charged with assisting unlawful immigration.

All the defendants were released on bail to appear again at Newry court on 28 September.
(Source: Crossexmainer.co.uk)

Carlow

Carlow gardaí are investigating the possibility that a hypnotic thief, who tricked a local lady into handing over her wedding ring, €2,000 and other valuables, may have done so before.



A 28-year-old woman who lives in the town last week reported being hypnotized and robbed by an “Eastern European gypsy” with green contact lenses and a stone in her upper right tooth. The incident, which occurred in broad daylight on Tullow Street on Tuesday 23 August, sparked disbelief among most of the community.



Speaking to The Nationalist Sgt John Foley said that a similar incident happened in Galway two years ago.



“They had a similar type incident – same details – two years ago.



They arrested a lady at the time and we are now investigating whether there may be a connection with this incident,” added Sgt Foley.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)

Cavan

A housing project that began a decade ago and which cost almost €2 million to complete was finally unveiled in the east Cavan town of Mullagh last Sunday despite a number of setbacks along the way.
The new Sonas social housing development consists of twelve homes, which are designed specially for older people. They were built under the Capital Assistance Scheme and there was 100% funding from the Department of the Environment and administered by Cavan County Council.
(Source: The Anglo Celt)

Clare

An Ennis priest has strongly defended the seal of the confessional, describing it as “sacrosanct” and that any question of breaking it would be “abhorrent” and “a serious attack, not only on the Church but on the very teachings of Christ Himself”.


Earlier this summer, the Government announced plans to introduce legislation making it mandatory for priests to reveal details of child abuse, even if they become known in confession, or face jail.


Speaking at mass in St Joseph’s Church last Sunday, Fr Michael O’Loughlin, said, “The idea that exposure of a penitent’s faults could be exposed to a public audience is abhorrent”, adding that the priest representing God in the confessional is “bound by conscience to protect the confidentiality of what was shared”.


He stated there has been a recent “unprecedented attack on the Vatican” because of its handling of claims of abuse by members of the clergy. 


Fr O’Loughlin went on to criticize recent statements by Government members saying, “Statements by the Minister for Education recommending the abolition of religious education in the curriculum and also from the previous Minister for the Environment that ‘I thought that the Church’s interference in the political affairs of the country was gone’; in some respects, these are tantamount to totalitarianism”.
(Source: The Clare Champion)

Cork

Crime rates in Cork city have dropped this year due to the fall-off in income since the boom years, according to Chief Superintendent Mick Finn.

Public order offences dropped from 751 to 570 in the space of one year, and Chief Supt Finn attributed this to the recession.

“The city centre is not as dangerous now as it was during the Celtic Tiger. People do not have as much money and are not getting as intoxicated or as often.” Offences relating to sale and supply of drugs were down by five per cent, he said, with middle-income users no longer able to afford 'recreational' narcotics.

Chief Supt Finn was speaking at the Cork City Council Joint Policing Committee meeting last Monday, when he revealed that drugs and weapon offences in the city are down eight per cent, with criminal damage down nine per cent.

His report, which tracked the 2011 second quarter figures and compared them the same period in 2010, from June to August, also outlined that crimes against the person were down five per cent. Property crimes had fallen by five per cent over the period.
Source: (Cork Independent)

Derry

Two Londonderry men have been charged with threatening and abusing an airline crew on a flight to Derry City Airport.

John Patrick Johnston, 32, from Carnhill, and Paul Daniel McIntyre, 31, from Ederowen Park, faced three charges at Londonderry Magistrates' Court last Wednesday.

They are alleged to have been drunk and abused cabin crew on a Ryanair flight from Stansted to Derry on 16 August.

Both men were released on their own bail to reappear in November.

A condition of the men's release is that they cannot fly on any commercial airline.

But Mr Johnston's solicitor said his client intended to appeal the restriction because he hopes to visit friends in London.

However, Paddy MacDermott stressed his client was not intending to fly with Ryanair.
(Source: BBC News)

Donegal

cconnection with the murder of Denis Donaldson in Co Donegal five years ago, is still being questioned at Monaghan Garda Station.

Gardaí are continuing to question a man in his 40s in connection with the murder of Denis Donaldson in Co Donegal five years ago.

Mr Donaldson, a former Sinn Féin official who had admitted being a British agent for more than 20 years, was shot dead just outside the town of Glenties in 2006.

The man is being detained at Monaghan Garda Station.

It is the third arrest in relation to the ongoing investigation.
(Source: RTE News)

Dublin

A distraught Dublin mum whose daughter was abducted by her Syrian dad has revealed she fears for her own safety.

Louise Monaghan (36), who comes from Swords, in north Co Dublin, has been forced to lock herself inside her home in southern Cyprus because she believes that she is being stalked by her ex-husband's friends.

Louise's six-year-old daughter, May Assad Monaghan, disappeared after going on a walk with her father Mostafa Assad last Wednesday.

Mostafa has since contacted his ex-wife and threatened her that she would never see their child again unless she sold her belongings in Cyprus and moved to Syria to live the life of a Muslim woman and be by his side.

Louise, who got divorced from Mostafa last November, now fears for her safety in Cyprus as she believes she is being watched by his friends.

Her sister, Mandy (34), flew out to support her last week.

She said that Louise was terrified for her child and wanted to go see her as soon as possible despite her family's concerns that they would never see her again if she flew to war-torn Syria.

"We're just absolutely devastated," Mandy said. "Louise just wants her baby back.

"But now we can't go anywhere. There are people watching the house and following us wherever we go.

"We will have to leave here.

"Louise has only lived here for eight years but Mostafa has been here for over 20 (years).
"He knows everybody.

"She's spoken to Mostafa on the phone.

"He seems to know everything she's done and everywhere she's gone.

"If we speak to the police he seems to know about it, anywhere we go he seems to know.
"We just want May back so we can go back to Ireland.

"Mostafa has said if she wants to see her again she has to come to Syria and live the life of a Muslim woman.

"She just wants to go because she will see her baby again," she added.
(Source: The Evening Herald)

Fermanagh

San Francisco police have arrested a man over an assault which left Fermanagh GAA player Mark McGovern in a coma.

Mr McGovern from Belcoo, was playing for Ulster San Francisco when he was injured during the game with San Francisco Celts on 25 June.

Celts player Patrick Power, 26, was arrested and booked into San Francisco County Jail last Thursday morning.

Mr Power, of Half Moon Bay, has been charged with felony assault.

Last month he was given a 96-week suspension by the San Francisco GAA Competition Control Committee.

Mr McGovern finally came out of a coma on 3 August and his family said he was recovering well.

Medical bills for the Fermanagh man, who was just in San Francisco for the summer, are running in excess of $1m. The Irish community in San Francisco have already begun fundraising efforts.

The Mark McGovern Rehabilitation Fundraising Committee was recently formed to raise funds.
(Source: BBC News)

Galway

A Bushypark man, who had undergone heart transplant surgery, was among the 2,321 competitors who successfully completed the gruelling Ironman 70.3 event in Galway at the weekend.

It’s hard to believe that 12 years ago, Ernesto Antonio, was critically ill with heart failure in the coronary care unit of University Hospital Galway. He spent three weeks in intensive care before receiving a new heart after being transferred to the Mater Hospital in Dublin.

But last Sunday, he completed the Ironman triathlon in six hours 14 minutes and 10 seconds. He was the 1,146th athlete to pass the finish line. “Ah don’t talk to me about the time, I wanted to do it in six hours,” he laughed. “I’ll have to come back next year to break the six hour barrier.”

The 47-year-old who now lives in Brentwood, England had always wanted to do a triathlon before his transplant, and when he saw the Ironman was coming to his birth place, Galway, he jumped at the opportunity.
(Source: GalwayBay Fm)

Kerry

Kerry's live register dipped slightly last month with 19 people coming off the register in the county.
he minor drop saw the county's live register fall from 16,728 in July to stand at 16,709 in August.

Of Kerry's seven individual social welfare offices only two saw an increase last month, Cahersiveen and Tralee, which also deals with welfare claimants from Castleisland.

Tralee's Live Register increased by 40 in August and now stands at 7,244 accounting for almost half of all welfare claimants in the entire county.

In Cahersiveen the register increased marginally by 14 to stand at 756 at the end of last month.
All other social welfare offices in Kerry saw small drops in the live register tallies.

Killarney dropped by 37 to stand at 2,704. Listowel and Kenmare both fell by 11 and are now at 3,317 and 579 respectively. In Dingle the total fell by seven and is now 760. Killorglin also fell by seven and now stands at 1,349.

The number of people signing on is not truly indicative of the true levels of joblessness in the county and it's generally believed it would be significantly larger were it not for the large numbers of Kerry people who have emigrated in recent months to seek work overseas.
(Source: Irish Times)

Kildare

There has been “a dramatic increase in overcrowding” in hospital emergency departments, according to the Irish Nurses’ and Midwives’ Organisation. 



The organization has called for the opening of closed beds at all hospitals including Naas General, following the release of figures relating to patient numbers on trolleys during August. 



In all 221 patients were forced to wait on trolleys at Naas A&E during the month of August, owing to the lack of available beds. While this figure was down somewhat on the total for August 2010 (292) it was nevertheless dramatically up on the figures for earlier years, including a total of 68 for August 2007. 



Nationally, the INMO says there has been a 106% increase since August 2007. 

According to general secretary Liam Doran, the latest figures “confirm the worst fears” of the organization. He called for the opening of closed beds, saying that the trolley figures reflected the volume of bed closures nationwide, along with the reduction in continuing (long-term) care beds and the cutbacks in community-based services.

(Source: The Kildare Nationalist)

Kilkenny

Kilkenny City has been named Ireland’s Tidiest Large Urban Centre for the second year in a row in the annual Tidy Towns awards.

With a total of 308 points, Kilkenny took home one of the top prizes – including a trophy and e5,000 – as the results were announced last Monday. Its score was just two points shy of the 310 given to the overall National Award Winner, Killarney.

Inistioge meanwhile earned a Bronze Medal Award of e400, with a score of 298 points.

In the County Awards, Kilkenny City took the top honor in Co Kilkenny for e1,000, followed by an award of Highly Commended for Inistioge (e800) and Commended for Tullahought (e500), with 294 points.

The e500 Endeavour Award for Co Kilkenny went to Goresbridge, whose score rose to 219 points, an increase of 10.61% over its score from last year.

The adjudicator’s report for Kilkenny city singled out many estates and locations that looked especially picturesque, and it gave particular praise to the group Keep Kilkenny Beautiful.

It praised the “aggressive tree planting program”, the Linear Park wildlife walk and landscaping, and even “the singing birds”.

The report found that “litter control is a major challenge” and cited traffic as a problem: “Vehicular traffic seems to be at a standstill for ages in certain parts of the city centre. Even getting around on a bicycle is challenging for the adjudicator who senses an element of road rage from the impatient and frustrated car drivers who often react to being at a standstill by charging into the next available open space.”

On a positive note, the report praised the character of Kilkenny, calling it “a real hang out city ... (where) people wander about and chat, even in the rain.”
(Source: Kilkenny People)

Laois

Crime dropped by a quarter in Portlaoise this summer but drugs continue to be a major issue, according to a garda report just published.

Senior gardai revealed the figures to Portlaoise Town Councillors at the Joint Policing Meeting in County Hall. And local law and order appears to be so well maintained, one councillor even joked that perhaps the gardaí can afford to go on holiday.

Superintendent Philip Lyons reported an overall 26 percent reduction for the period of June - August from the same period last year, and also a general drop in crime figures from the period March - May of this year, with only burglaries showing an increase.

The gardaí report a total of 54 public order offences detected in Portlaoise over the last quarter, which represents a reduction of 20 incidents from the previous three months. The nature of these offences were drunkenness and threatening or abusive behaviour. There were also five incidents of trespassing on private property.

Although there were 40 burglaries, which stands at an increase of 14 crimes on the previous quarter, Supt Lyons said this figure is down 16 percent from last year. On theft, there has been an 11 percent decrease, with 10 thefts of vehicles, two from the person, 49 from shops and 65 other types of theft, including the theft of heating oil, diesel, tools and items stolen from cars.

There were also 43 offences of criminal damage reported, one less than the last three months. The superintendent also said that drugs continue to be a major issue for the guards, with 18 detections for the sale or supply and 23 offences recorded for possession. The gardaí also report a 20 percent decrease in drink driving offences, which the superintendent ascribed to the increased number of mandatory alcohol tests.
(Source: Leinster Express)

Leitrim

Children as young as nine are being treated for self harm in the North West and figures for those seeking help from suicide awareness groups in Co Leitrim are rising dramatically according to STOP spokesperson, Mary McTernan.

Speaking with the Leitrim Observer at the start of World Suicide Prevention Week, Mrs McTernan said that mental health and, in particular, suicide prevention was still woefully underfunded.

Referring to a recent study by UCD Professor of psychiatry, Kevin Malone, Mrs McTernan said that it was clear the numbers of people self harming was increasing at an alarming rate.

The study compared data from 1993-1998 and 2003 to 2008 and found that the suicide rates for children and teenagers has doubled in Ireland since 1993.

The study also found there was a 40 percent increase in the rate of suicide among boys aged 15 to 17 since 1993, with the number of girls under 18 taking their own lives doubling during the same period.

Other studies have shown that members of the travelling community were six times more likely to take their lives than the settled population and members of the gay community were a staggering seven times more likely to self harm.

While nearly 500 deaths last year were attributed to suicide a further 193 deaths returned an undetermined verdict and Mrs McTernan said that it was clear that well in excess of 700 people were taking their lives in Ireland each year – far higher than the number dying on our roads.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)

Limerick

Limerick County Council has started boarding up a 13th century church ruin that underisables have been using to drink and take drugs in.

Last year an article in the Leader highlighted how the adjoining graveyard in Caherconlish had become so overgrown that it resembled a ‘jungle’, according to locals.

Volunteers have cleaned up the graveyard and it has gone from being one of the worst cemeteries in East Limerick to being one of the best said Cllr Eddie Wade.

“The council under archaeologist Sarah McCutcheon are boarding up the windows and putting in a door so the undesirables can’t go in. It’s sad that it has to be done. However, gardai in Caherconlish have kept a close eye on the church and the messing in there has been curtailed. Now it’s up to us as a council to help them,” said Cllr Eddie Wade.

Due to the dilapidated state of the ruin the councillor said safety was a big concern due to the number of people now visiting their cemetery.

“It’s a danger with falling stones. Since the volunteers have cleaned it up there is an amount of people who have come back to visit their own graves and are taking care of their graves, which wasn’t done for years,” said Cllr Eddie Wade, who called for additional funding to reinstate the building to make it safe.
(Source: Limerick Leader)

Longford

Meanwhile Gardai last week were investigating over half dozen burglaries in the Longford town area after a crime fuelled past seven days.

The first incident took place at around 11am at Dobson Jewelers on Longford town’s Dublin Street. According to officers heading up the inquiry, a man walked into the store before distracting a member of staff and making off with a €400 chain.

A man was later arrested in connection with the incident and a file is likely to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) as part of the probe.

Gardai meanwhile, said last Monday they were hopeful of making significant progress into the circumstances surrounding three separate shoplifting offences in Longford town over the course of the previous Friday and Saturday.

Department store Heaton’s, located along the town’s busy Ballymahon Street was first to be hit.

ardai have so far, managed to identify three suspected shoplifters who walked out of the premises with three pairs of trousers during the raid which lasted only a couple of minutes last Friday afternoon at around 3:15pm.

Around two hours later, British retailer Halford’s also fell foul to a case of shoplifting after a 55 piece tool set was snatched from its shelves.

The following morning at around 11:15am, a number of items were likewise taken from Ward’s Pharmacy in Longford town.

Meanwhile, a number of domestic goods were taken from two private households in the Ardnacassa Avenue area over the course of last Saturday and Sunday.

It’s believed the incidents, which occurred at around midday, may be linked with the total haul stolen from both houses rumored to be in the region of €900.
(Source: Longford Leader)

Louth

A man has been arrested by gardaí investigating a murder in Co Louth last year.

Séamus McMahon (41) was shot dead at a property at Bóthar Chroinn, Dundalk, Co Louth, on March 21st.

He died over what was believed to be a personal matter but his death was at the time linked to dissident activity. He was previously charged with being a member of the IRA although he was later acquitted at the Special Criminal Court.

A 30-year-old man was arrested in Drogheda and is being detained at Drogheda Garda Station under the provisions of section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2007.

He is the third person to be arrested in connection with the investigation.
(Source: Irish Times)

Mayo

A Mayo company which distributes storage technology and have annual sales of €145 million have just acquired Yorkshire based, CCI Distribution.

The landmark deal has ensured that CMS Peripherals in Kiltimagh are now the biggest independent data storage distributor in Britain and Ireland. Despite the recession founder and managing director Frank Salmon said the firm have enjoyed consistent revenue growth of between 9 and 10 per cent over the last three years.

Mr Salmon said he believes it is a ‘fairly resilient sector’ and he said he believes the fact that people are now more likely to be at home due to the difficult economic climate meant there was a greater chance that they would be ‘downloading more stuff’.

“We saw a great opportunity to buy a like-minded, successful distribution business that would offer our customers a broader range of storage solutions”. He added. “The acquisition will also support our three-year business objective of 20 per cent annual growth that would take us to turnover of €250 million.”

CMS Peripherals distribute a wide range of products in the consumer storage and business market. Large retailers and resellers are prominent buyers of their products.
(Source: The Mayo News)

Meath

The red hot issue of a possible charge for the inspection of septic tanks in rural areas of Meath will hit more than 18,000 households in Meath, it has emerged this week as voices of opposition are raised against the proposal.

A total of 18,231 households with septic tanks out of a total of 53,575 homes throughout Meath would be in the front line for the charge if it goes ahead, based on figures from the 2006 Census of Population, the most recent figures available.

The Minister for the Environment & Local Government, Phil Hogan confirmed last Tuesday that a registration charge of €100 will have to be paid by septic tank owners. A higher annual fee of €300 had been feared.

The Minister said that legislation providing for the septic tank registration and inspection system was necessary to prevent the State facing a substantial fine for failure to comply with an EU directive on waste water.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)

Monaghan

A dispute has arisen as to whether the medical chart of a patient who later died of cancer was left lying in her consultant's tray for three months before he looked at it.

Sharon McEneaney (31), from Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, suffered continuous abdominal pain for a nine-month period while receiving treatment at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, Co Louth, before a crucial biopsy was carried out, which revealed a tumour in her abdomen was malignant.
The creche manager died eight months later in April 2009.

The consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist who treated her, Dr Etop Sampson Akpan, is before a Medical Council fitness-to-practise committee facing 38 allegations of professional misconduct following a complaint by Ms McEneaney's younger sister, Tanya.

Ms McEneaney was admitted to the hospital in October 2007 with abdominal pain but her cancer was not discovered until July 2008.

She had previously been treated at the hospital for neurofibromatosis, a genetically inherited condition that can lead nerve tissues to grow tumours.

The hearing heard how Ms McEneaney underwent exploratory laparoscopic surgery at the hospital on December 20, 2007, at which point a tumour was found.

She was then to undergo a CT scan in a matter of days to provide guidance as to whether it would be safe to conduct a biopsy on this tumour, but this did not occur until January 24.

The follow-up biopsy, which later revealed the malignancy, was not carried out until six months later on July 14 after an intervention by Ms McEneaney's local GP Dr Shane Corr and former TD Dr Rory O'Hanlon.
(Source: Irish Times)

Offaly

Offaly local Development Company is bringing a Local One Stop Shop for Employment support to Daingean and Edenderry. This is for anyone out of work over 12 months, regardless of whether you are getting a Social Welfare payment or not. If you are in receipt of a Social Welfare payment this or any other benefits will not be affected in any way.

This local employment support offers you: free one to one advice on what supports & schemes are now available for the unemployed, free job seeking advice, and free computer training to assist in job seeking.
(Source: Offaly Express)

Roscommon

Thieves have stolen seven gates from railway level crossings in the northwest.

The 4.3m by 1.5m steel barriers were taken from junctions at Clonloo, near Boyle, Co Roscommon and Culfadda, near Ballymote, Co Sligo.



They were noticed missing early last Sunday morning and Iarnród Éireann workers moved quickly to secure the unprotected openings.

Iarnród Éireann spokeswoman Jane Cregan said the removal posed a big threat to lives.



“Obviously it‘s a very serious matter to have a live railway with no barriers for pedestrians or livestock,” she said. “This is something that we are taking very seriously, and indeed the gardai are investigating it.



“It could have caused a very serious incident and we are just happy that nothing happened.”



Ms Cregan said the thieves would have needed a trailer because of the size of the gates, and the operation would have taken some planning. “It would have been quite a big job to remove these,” she said.



While Iarnród Éireann has been targeted before for copper cabling, they have not had steel gates, which would be much less valuable, stolen.



The company said it was possible thieves wanted the gates for their own use or to sell on for use again or as scrap metal.

Gardaí in Boyle and Ballymote are investigating the thefts.
(Source: The Roscommon Champion)

Sligo

A number of towns and villages throughout the county will share in a €25,000 pay out by Sligo County Council for their efforts in the county Tidy Towns competition.

The local competiton results are as follows: Best Kept Housing Estate A 1-30 Houses in Estate Overall Winner (€500): Hill Crest Park, Strandhill

Runner Up (€250): Culfadda Housing Association, Culfadda B 31-60 Houses in Estate

Overall Winner (€600): Gort na Sí, Coolaney

Runner Up (€350): Kiernan Ave, Collooney C 61+ Houses in Estate Overall Winner (€700): Ard Aisling, Tubbercurry

Runner Up (€450): Woodbrook Heights, Ballisodare

Best Kept National School Overall Winner (€300): Holy Family N.S., Tubbercurry

Joint Runner Up (€ 200): Mary Immaculate Girls N.S., Collooney. Joint Runner Up (€ 200): Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal, Ballymote

Best Kept Shop Front/Business

Overall Winner ( Plaque): Kennedy's Picture Framing, Tubbercurry

1st Runner Up (Plaque): Gormely's Corner House, Ballymote Best Kept Village/Town Overall Winner - Small Town (€1000): Tubbercurry, Overall Winner - Village (€900) Culfadda Joint Runners-Up (€ 800): Mullaghmore & Coolaney

A Special Merit Award was awarded to Hillview Drive, Ballymote Residents Association. A similr award went to St. Patrick's N.S, Calry, in recognition of their organic gardening project:

Special Merit Awards were given to Enniscrone Tidy Towns Committee and Ballinafad Tidy Towns Committee.

Tidy Towns grant scheme awards went to committees in Ballintogher, Ballisodare, Ballymote, Banada, Collooney, Coney Island, Coolaney, Culfadda, Easkey , Enniscrone, Grange, Keash, Mullaghmore, Rathcormac and Tubbercurry.
(Source: The Sligo Champion)

Tipperary

The body of a man has been recovered from the sea in Co Clare.

The body is that of a man in his early 30s from Co Tipperary. A woman walking along the cliff at Chimney Bay, just north of Kilkee Bay, spotted the body floating face down in the water.

The alarm was raised and the Irish Coast Guard centre at Valentia Island in Co Kerry quickly mounted a search and recovery operation.

Kilkee Marine Rescue Service was alerted and sent crews by land and sea to the scene. Their volunteers quickly located the body, with the assistance of people on the cliffs, and removed the remains to their own base at Kilkee Pier.

A local doctor pronounced the victim dead before the body was removed to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick.

It is understood the incident is being treated as a personal tragedy.
(Source: Irish Times)

Tyrone

A convicted cigarette fraudster from Co Tyrone in Northern Ireland has been jailed for three years for failing to pay a £500,000 confiscation order.

Aiden Francis Grew (55) from Benburb Street in Blackwatertown had pleaded guilty in 2008 to evading duty on almost five million cigarettes.

He was sentenced to three years imprisonment suspended for two years. He was also ordered to pay £500,000 with a default sentence of a further three years if payment was not made within 12 months.

John Whiting, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation for HMRC, said: "Grew failed to pay the confiscation amount and will now serve the three year default sentence. We are determined that this money will be restored to the public's finances and we will continue to pursue this debt to reclaim the proceeds of crime.

"Confiscation proceedings show that our work doesn't stop once someone is convicted. Failure to pay a confiscation order often results in a prison sentence. HMRC will seek to recover any financial gain from those involved in excise fraud and will work with our partners in the Organised Crime Task Force (OCTF) to stamp out the illegal trade in smuggled tobacco."
(Source: 4Rfv News)

Waterford

On Friday night two masked men struck a woman with a stick and attempted to tie her up after they broke into her home in Templars Hall.

Waterford Gardaí are appealing for witnesses after the men, one of whom was armed with what is believed to be an imitation gun, fled the property after ransacking her house and leaving with money.

The woman, aged in her mid 20s, was asleep in her bedroom situated on the ground floor of the property in Briot Grove at approximately 11.45pm when she heard a noise. Suddenly the door to her bedroom, which was locked from the inside, was kicked in and two masked men entered.

One of the men was holding a stick and the other what is believed to be an imitation gun. She was struck with the stick as the other male ransacked the room taking euros and dollars while she was sitting on the bed. The men then attempted to tie up the terrified woman but she struggled and they fled the property in the direction of the Lacken Road.
(Source: Waterford News & Star)

Westmeath

Three wards at a psychiatric hospital in Co Westmeath are to be closed by next March, the Mental Health Commission has said.

A report on St Loman’s Hospital in Mullingar, published last week following an inspection last March, said said some toilets at the hospital had open drains, peeling paint and falling tiles.

It said St Edna’s, St Brigid’s and St Marie Goretti’s wards should have been refurbished by May this year and should be closed next spring.

The 95-bed hospital was non-compliant in three of the 30 areas under which it was examined by the commission.

The building itself came in for most criticism.

St Edna’s ward, opened in 1847, was “unsuitable as accommodation for residents”, the report found.

“The bedrooms were cell-like and stuffy. The toilets were in very poor state with open drains and the floor was stained and marked. The shower was in poor condition,” it said.
(Source: Westmeath Independent)

Wexford

The High Court has frozen the assets of and suspended a solicitor whom it is alleged has €900,000 missing from his firm’s client accounts.

Mr Justice Peter Charleton made various orders against solicitor Declan J McEvoy after being informed the Law Society’s Fitness to Practise Committee had formed the view the solicitor had acted dishonestly.



The Law Society sought freezing orders against Mr McEvoy after its investigating accountants discovered a deficit of €900,000 in the client accounts of the two firms of which he is principal -William Early Solicitors Haymarket, Carlow and JM McEvoy & Co,  the Avenue, Gorey, Co Wexford.



The judge granted orders suspending Mr McEvoy from practising as a solicitor. He further ordered Mr McEvoy not to dispose of any assets in his possession and that no bank should make a payment out of any account in his or his firm’s name.



Solicitor Kevin O’Doherty, for Mr McEvoy, a solicitor for almost 20 years, said his client was not opposing the proceedings.
(Source: The Irish Times)

Wicklow

Historic Glenart Castle came under serious threat of fire in recent days when a blaze, believed to have been started maliciously engulfed nearby ditches and trees.

The fire started in a field adjacent to Glenart Estate last Sunday evening when bales were set on fire which quickly spread to surrounding trees.

Two units of Arklow Fire Brigade spend two hours getting the inferno under control.

' It must have been malicious. It spread quickly and wasn't too far from Glenart Castle. Thankfully nobody was hurt,' a Fire Brigade spokesperson explained.

Just over 24 hours later officers were at full capacity again when they were called to a suspicious fire which broke out at Arklow Rock last Monday night.

The blaze was inaccessible, however due to dangerous conditions so officers and Gardaí were forced to watch it burn out of the course of a couple of hours ensuring that there was no threat to nearby property.
(Source: The Wicklow People)

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