News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties



These are the amazing scanner images of the abdomen of a young Irishman caught smuggling cocaine at an airport in Brazil.

The man, identified only as P.B.B., was stopped as he tried to board a flight from Sao Paolo to Lisbon in Portugal and then connecting to Brussels in Belgium.

He was carrying 72 bags containing almost a kilo of cocaine inside his intestines.

The 20-year-old man, who was caught last Monday at Congonhas Airport, was taken to the Santa Misericordia Hospital where the capsules, containing 830g of cocaine, were removed from his body.

Police said it was his nervous behavior that tipped off the authorities.

The drugs would be worth approximately €150,000, police sources said.

He has now been charged with international drug trafficking which carries a sentence of up to 15 years.
Last week a Colombian woman, who flew from Argentina, died in a New Zealand hospital after a bag of cocaine burst in her body.

Sorlinda Vega (37) arrived from Buenos Aires carrying 26 packages weighing 1oz each.

More than 70,000 people a day are estimated to pass through San Paolo international airport and approximately five a day are arrested for drug smuggling.

The airport, which has connections to 53 countries, is known as the main exit point for drug mules bringing cocaine from South America to the rest of the world.

Drug mules are paid anything from €1,000 to €6,000 per trip.

The largest contingent of those arrested are from South Africa, where poverty makes the lure of easy money even more attractive, but San Paolo’s jails contain smugglers from all over the world.

Brazil’s penal system is notoriously slow and it can take up to six months after arrest for the first court hearing or 12 months for a sentence to be passed.

Prisoners are allowed parole after two-thirds of their sentences have been served, but have to stay in the country which can be particularly difficult for foreigners with no jobs or family support.
(Source: RTE News)


A young woman who claimed she was raped in a County Armagh wood in front of her children has appeared in court.

Natasha Louise Doherty, 24, of College Square West in Bessbrook faced charges of wasting police time and perverting the course of justice.

She claimed she had been raped while out walking with her two children in March.

In a short appearance at Newry Court, Ms Doherty shook her head and denied the charges.

Her defense solicitor said her client had given a full account of what had happened and regarded herself as a victim of rape. Her request for anonymity for Ms Doherty was rejected by the magistrate.

A police constable said he could connect the accused to the charges as Ms Doherty had given several different accounts of what had allegedly happened.

The magistrate released the accused on bail. She is due to appear again on 12 October.
(Source: BBC News)


The Irish Times' angling correspondent Derek Evans has good things to say about the new Southern County Fishing Resort in Bagenalstown, Co Carlow.

"Bowled over" by the "45 acres of beautifully landscaped surrounds", Evans was particularly taken by the resort's three lakes, "all stocked with high quality rainbow trout grown from the hatchery on site".

Big catches are plentiful for anglers of all ages and levels of experience. Novices are particularly welcome as bait and rod hire are available.

Speaking at the launch, Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan said: "This type of development is what we need in rural areas to develop a natural product, to love nature and to understand the value of our water resource."
(Source: Afloat News)


The four-year-old twins of a woman who died after a dance festival last weekend had started primary school just days before their mother's tragic death.

Siobhan Kennefick-Aherne (23), from Cootehill, Co Cavan, died on the way home from Planetlove in Antrim last Saturday week. Ms Kennefick-Aherne was the mother of three children under the age of seven. She had four-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, and a six-year-old daughter.

The Cavan woman took ill on her way home from Planetlove at Shane's Castle, where her boyfriend Noel was a security guard. Ms Kennefick-Aherne left the festival at 9pm after her boyfriend's security shift ended. She was traveling home in a car with him when she took ill.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said Ms Kennefick-Aherne was taken to Antrim Area Hospital where she was later pronounced dead. The PSNI said a post-mortem examination had been carried out, but the cause of death was undetermined.

They said further tests would be carried out.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


A librarian was ordered to pay a €400 fine after an air-rage incident last weekend during which three passengers had to restrain him intermittently over 90 minutes.

Ennis District Court in Co Clare was told last week that that, at one stage, Harald Albrecht (32) made a lunge for a female flight attendant, but did not make contact.