News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties


“There are sixteen of our young people dead as a result of this scourge,” Mr. Blake told the Dail and Senate representatives.

Recalling the stance of T.D. Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, who has gone on record proposing the legalisation of cannabis and admitted to consuming the drug, he added: “He said he was giving it up in concern for his children but where’s his concern for other young people?”

On the confirmed closures of Garda Stations in Dunkineely and Culdaff, Mr. Blake said many stations were already shut in effect throughout the county.

“We’re a border county and it’s blatantly obvious that gangs are targeting border areas. But these gangs will be very encouraged to hear that more and more Garda Stations are being closed down in Donegal.

“These cuts are eating into resources. Even some of the vehicles the Gardai are driving around in are in atrocious condition. Where are all these cutbacks going to end? Everything will eventually be centred in the station in Letterkenny but if you ring the station about some problem or other they want to know more about you than the problem.”
(Source: Donegal Democrat)


A couple accused of attempted murder were acting at the behest of a 'shadowy figure', Newry Magistrates Court was told on Thursday.
Darren James Burns and Deborah Maria Heslip, both of Damolly Village, Newry, are charged with two counts of attempted murder each. The couple entered bail applications to the court, both of which were objected to by police.

Looking close to tears, 21-year-old Heslip shook her head and mouthed the word 'f**k' to friends in the public gallery after entering the dock alongside her 24-year-old boyfriend.

The pair then held hands as the court heard that the charges against them stem from February 16, when police were tasked to the Glen area of Newry regarding a report of a vehicle on fire.
When they arrived at around 11.30pm Fire Service was tackling a blaze at a house and a car. A window of the house had been smashed with a paint bomb and a petrol bomb had been lit at its front door and in the car. 
A woman and her three-year-old child who were in the house escaped physical injury but were so traumatized they have since left the country.

The court heard that the woman is of Kenyan descent and a known victim of repeated domestic abuse whose former partner had threatened in the past to petrol bomb her house as she slept.

Subsequent police investigations revealed that the vehicle used in the attack was sold on February 12.

The vendor told police it had been empty of petrol, prompting them to check CCTV footage of the nearest petrol station. 
It showed Burns and Heslip exit the car at the forecourt on February 12 and being followed into the forecourt by another vehicle, which checks showed was registered to Heslip.

The court was also told that Burns is a known associate of the injured party's former partner, who is no longer in the country and has no plans to return. 

(Source: Newry Democrat)


Struck-off solicitor Thomas Byrne is to appear in court again in February after being charged with stealing more than €2m from clients in connection with the purchase of an apartment building in Dublin.

Fraud squad officers detained the ex-solicitor at Irishtown Garda Station in south Dublin, on Thursday.

Mr Byrne (45), of Walkinstown Road, Dublin 12, but who also has an address at Aungier Street, in Dublin 2, was held in garda custody overnight.

Unshaven and dressed in a long brown suede overcoat, with fur collar and lapels, he was brought before Dublin District Court last week to face two counts under the Theft and Fraud Offences Act.

Byrne, who formerly had a solicitor's practice in Walkinstown, Dublin, was granted legal aid. He kept his head down and remained silent during the brief proceedings.

His first charge alleges that on a date unknown but subsequent to May 2, 2006, he "did dishonestly appropriate the sum of €1,887,415" which had been entrusted to him by Brian Whelan, Brian Maher and Enda Mulryan for the purpose of discharging a loan with Permanent TSB.

That charge also states that this was "with the intention of depriving them of same".

The second count alleges he took ¤198,742 which had been given to him for the purpose of paying stamp duty in the purchase of 75 Upper Dorset Street, Dublin 1.

There was no indication of how he intends to plead.
(Source: The Evening Herald)


As the second anniversary of the death of Fermanagh baby Millie Martin approaches, her mother Rachael and her former boyfriend appeared in court to face charges arising out of her murder.

Barry McCarney (32) was formally arraigned before Omagh Crown Court sittting in Belfast, accused of murdering the 15-month-old youngster on December 11, 2009.

McCarney, originally from Trillick in Co Tyrone, denied the murder and also sexually penetrating the youngster with his “body |or anything else”, and unlawfully and maliciously causing baby Millie grievous bodily harm with intent to do her grievous bodily harm.