News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties


So it emerged last week at the Portlaoise Credit Union AGM where members were given some details on why they had taken a hit of 58 per cent on investment income.

When a member questioned the directors on the loss at the AGM, the Chairman Philip Coonan said a loss of €600,000 had been suffered on guaranteed bank bonds worth €1million. He said this was caused by a Government removal on a guarantee.

More details were provided after the meeting. Mr Sean Dunne, Portlaoise CU’s manager, told the Leinster Express that the loss was the result of a “burning of bondholders or haircut” facilitated by the Credit Stability Act which came into law in 2011.

The bonds were guaranteed to yield a €1million return from two banks, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB until the Act became law. Once enacted it gave the former Minister for Fianance Brian Lenihan the power to burn bondholders such as the Portlaoise CU as part of the process of bailing out the commercial banks.

When the bonds during the boom were secured they were deemed a wise investments because of the spectacular success of the Irish banks.

Trudy Nealon’s treasurer’s report put the loss down to global problems. The loss contributed to a 27% loss in income to €2.24 m.

“Our investments suffered due to the impact of the global financial turmoil has had on Ireland with investment income decreasing by 58 per cent to €346,253,” said her report.
(Source: Leinster Express)


Although Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Brian Hayes, confirmed the approval of w15,000 in flood relief funding for the Manorhamilton area during his visit to Co Leitrim last Monday, he acknowledged that finding a solution to the ongoing flooding of the Shannon River Basin is a complex issue which will require substantial study and co-operation between all interested groups.

Speaking during his visit to the county, Minister Hayes addressed businesses and residents affected by flooding in Carrick-on-Shannon and Leitrim Village in 2009. He also spokes with local councillors, senators and deputies Frank Feighan and Tony McLoughlin and Senator Michael Comiskey before traveling to Dromahair to speak with local councilors on ongoing flooding concerns in the north of the county.

With water levels on the Shannon River already significantly higher than usual it was obvious that more measures were needed to protect homes and businesses in the area. Issues such as ESB control over water levels and keeping levels high during the closed boating season as well as the need for greater co-operation between the vested bodies along the Shannon were all raised with the Minister. Councilors also noted the impact of silt levels in the Shannon and stressed the devastating impact recent flooding had on communities living along the Shannon in particular.

Director of Services with Leitrim County Council, John McGuinness acknowledged that over w200,000 in minor flood relief funding had been allocated to projects in parts of the county already but said there was a clear need for further investment to prevent further flooding in the future.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)


Solicitor Ted McCarthy, who represented a number of men who were charged last week with soliciting the services of prostitutes, says that naming the men has had a huge effect on their families.

Mr McCarthy, who has more than 30 years experience as a solicitor, has also claimed that some of the men are close to suicide.

“My impression before the cases came to court was that they would not be named and this is what should have happened,” Mr McCarthy said when contacted by the Limerick Leader.

“The people that are really suffering are the families and especially the children with the run up to Christmas, they could have done without this,” he added.

Mr McCarthy - a former president of the BAR Association in Limerick - was critical of newspaper editors who decided to use the names of those who came before the courts. “It was selfish of the papers to name the men, just to sell a few extra copies,” he said.

“This whole episode has had a huge effect on some of the men, some who may even be suicidal,” he added.

Last weeks operation in which 27 men appeared before the local courts after they were arrested by undercover female gardai as part of a major new crackdown on prostitution and sex trafficking.

Outside of Dublin Limerick has recorded the highest number of detections of prostitution and brothel keeping in Ireland.
(Source: Limerick Leader)


Around €3,000 worth of cannabis herb was recovered by drugs officers in north Longford last Tuesday following a planned raid on a house in Granard.

A man in his early 20s was arrested at the scene and brought to Longford Garda Station for questioning.

He has since been released without charge as gardai now begin to prepare a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).