News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties


A second murder investigation has begun in West Cork after the post-mortem of a 43 year old Englishman, taken from the River Bandon last Tuesday, determined that he died in violent circumstances.

In a tumultuous few days in Bandon, the body of John ‘Johnny English’ Forrester was the second to be taken from the river by Gardaí following the earlier discovery of murdered Jonathan Duke (27) around midnight last Sunday night.

Two people, Catherine O’Connor (35) from Bandon and Ciprian Grozavu (37) from Romania were formally charged with the murder of Mr Duke at Bandon Court House only hours after a joint Gardaí and civil defense team found Mr Forrester’s body downstream of Bandon town bridge.

The double murder has shaken the town of Bandon to its core, leading to a protest of around 200 people outside the courthouse last Tuesday night. “People feel that the guards haven’t done enough to stop random acts of violence around the town,” said one local resident who asked not to be named.

“It has been building up to this for a long time now. It's common knowledge around town who the people are committing these acts of violence, but there hasn’t really been anything done about it. The protest is about this non-action by the Gardaí, people don’t feel safe.”

Both Mr Duke and Mr Forrester were residents of Bridge House (also known as O’Callaghan Flats), Bandon, which is also the address of Ms O’Connor and Mr Grozavu.
Source: (Cork Independent)


A man who gave four teenage girls alcohol, cigarettes and money before engaging in sexual activity with them has been warned he will get a “significant custodial sentence.”

Martin Edward Coyle, of 55 Bridge Street, has pleaded guilty to a total of eighteen sex offences between September 1, 2007, and May 1, 2008. They include unlawful carnal knowledge, indecent assault and gross indecency.

Derry Crown Court heard the girls, who were aged between 14 and 16 at the time, were “voluntary visitors” to the 52 year-old’s home and alcohol and cigarettes were “made available to them”.

Adjourning sentencing until this week, Judge Piers Grant said he wanted some time to reflect on the case, which involved “outrageous offences against vulnerable girls”.

The court was told Coyle kept a large bottle of vodka on an optic and the victims had “free access to it” during their time in his home.

It was also alleged that on occasions Coyle gave them money. However he claims this was for the girls to pay for taxis.

Coyle had sexual intercourse with three of the victims, with one stating it happened up to ten times and another telling police that Coyle engaged in various sex acts with her.

The youngest of the victims, who was just 14 at the time, reported being “touched and groped” by Coyle in the bedroom of his city centre home.
(Source: Derry Journal)


A top Co. Council official told members of the Donegal Electoral Area last week that the sewerage system in the resort town of Bundoran was both “overloaded and outdated”

Responding to a question from the Mayor of Bundoran, Cllr. Michael McMahon, Paul Lyons of Donegal Co. Council said that the system was overloaded and outdated and needed constant maintenance to ensure that there was no leakages to sensitive areas.

Mr. Lyons confirmed that there was an alarm system which alerted the people on the ground but he also warned that the pumping station is a cause of concern and is not a sustainable solution.

Cllr. McMahon stressed that they did not want another situation similar to what happened just a few days prior to the European Surfing Championships which was highlighted in the local newspapers.

“The eyes of the world were on us during the European event and I would like to pay tribute to everybody in the council who were on the scene as soon as they were made aware of the burst pipe on the beach.

“Had they not have taken such rapid action the championships could have been in sever danger.

“We will still keep lobbying for the new sewerage system but in the meantime it is important that the council continue with their maintenance work,” he said.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)


Police suspect that a Newry man shot dead in 2005 was murdered over a woman.

The revelation came as 35-year-old Bernard Joseph Higgins of Donagh Grove, Warrenpoint, appeared at the city's Magistrates Court last Wednesday charged with murdering Jonathan Graham as he sat in his car outside his Ardcarne Park home in April 2005.
As well as murder, Higgins is accused of possession of a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

After connecting him to the charges, an investigating officer outlined the prosecution's case.

The court heard that the killing of Mr Graham was the second of four shootings that took place within minutes of each other in Newry at around 1am on April 21, 2005. 
It was told that Mr Graham was first shot at through the front passenger window of his car before the gunman went round to the driver's side, opened the door, and shot him again.