Boy Escapes Bomb
A FIVE-year-old boy from Finglas escaped death by inches when a petrol bomb was thrown through his bedroom window in the latest development of a long-running violent, local feud.
The boy was fast asleep when the homemade device flung by a gang of men smashed through his window and exploded beside his bed.
The child, who miraculously slept through the blast, was rescued from the smoke-filled bedroom shortly afterwards. A second petrol bomb was also thrown through another bedroom window on the ground floor, but the room was empty at the time.
His two sisters were watching TV in the sitting room and escaped unharmed.
A relative of the family said the whole attack was over in seconds.
“There were a number of witnesses who saw a black Lexus pull up outside the house at 10:50 p.m. on August 28,” he said.
“Four men in their early 30s, who live locally and would be known in the area, got out of the car. They threw two bottles filled with petrol into each of the kids’ windows.
“It was a clear case of attempted murder and the children are very lucky to be alive.”
The children’s mother was in the back of the house at the time of the incident, while their father was visiting friends two doors up.
Witnesses said when neighbors came out to confront the gang, the men fired two shots from what appeared to be a shotgun and drove off.
Two units of the local fire brigade were called to the scene and managed to contain the fire which had broken out in the empty bedroom.
The boy’s father went into his son’s bedroom a number of times, but could not see him due to the smoke. The child’s uncle finally managed to enter the room, scoop up a blanket containing the sleeping five-year-old and carry him to safety.
The boy was taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and is understood to be doing well, although is very upset by the ordeal.
“The three kids are terrified,” said his uncle. “They were supposed to start back to school last week but they haven’t gone yet; they’re getting a bit of counseling.
It’s not the first incident in which the family has been targeted by thugs. Last year the child’s mother was attacked by a gang during a routine shopping trip to with her children.
It’s understood the feud between the family and the local gang began in a drunken argument in a pub three years ago. Local Gardai (police) are now pursuing the case.
A 60-YEAR-old Sneem resident caught growing over ****140,000 worth of cannabis in his garden has argued that the drugs were merely for medicinal purposes to be shared only with close friends at his home.
A Garda search at the home of father of two Tom Scott on June 3, 2010, resulted in 354 plants being found with a potential street value of ***141,600.
Appearing before Kenmare District Court earlier this month, Scott admitted to growing the plants from seed but he argued that he was not guilty of sale or supply of the drug as it was not a commercial operation.
"I'm prepared to admit I shared joints with pals for medicinal purposes," he told the court.
Asked by Inspector Barry O'Rourke what the difference between share and supply was, the defendant replied, "I wouldn't be asking you for money if I shared a cigarette."
O'Rourke labeled the amount of cannabis "enormous," adding that it was far beyond that needed for immediate use.
"No one ever left my house with a bag of cannabis, whether sold or given away... Is that any different from sharing a glass of poitin which is also controlled," Scott quipped.
Scott then claimed that just 20% of the plants were usable with the remainder fit only for compost, but Garda Richard Naughton said that while the operation was primitive, this figure was an underestimation.
The defendant, a former town planning technician, said he suffered sleeplessness but could not use prescribed sleeping tablets as these left him with a hangover.
Judge James O'Connor said he took issue with a defendant contesting a charge of sale or supply charge over a technicality, particularly as he had been warned prior to the hearing that that the amount of cannabis alone pushed the charges into the remit of sale or supply.
"Sharing smokes with friends to any degree is no doubt supply, that is the law and it is the spirit of the law," the judge remarked before stating that a custodial sentence would be handed down.
A number of testimonials were given to the court, including one from a peace commissioner who stated that the defendant was helpful and trustworthy.
Scott was remanded in custody where he was told he would have two raise "a couple of grand" by Kenmare Court on October 7.
O'Connor added that Scott would be on a tight regime for two years following that and there would be a Section 15 conviction.
A 70-YARD drive to a blessing of the graves ceremony, just three days after his mother died, earned a man a 12-year driving ban and a three-month prison sentence when he came before the courts last week.
Thomas Connors, 35, of Clonard, Wexford, was caught driving without insurance or a license at Garden City, Gorey, on September 21 last year. He initially told Gardai he was from Dublin and gave a different date of birth.
When Gardai established his identity it emerged he had 29 previous convictions, including two for driving without insurance.
Solicitor John O'Donovan told Judge William Early that the defendant's mother died three days previously, and he drove 70 yards from his sister's house to a blessing of the graves.
“He gave the wrong date of birth and but then corrected himself there and then,” he said. “He knows he was wrong to take the car. All members of his family had already gone ahead.”
He also told the court the defendant is currently serving a four-year sentence and has around four months left to serve. “He's been in custody since this time, as there was a warrant out for his arrest,” he said.
Early imposed a three month sentence to run concurrent to the present sentence, and banned him from driving for 12 years.
AS a new year of junior infants turned out for their first day of school last week, there was one remarkable story among them.
Liam, a five-year-old Rushall NS pupil, was the only junior infant to enroll in the two teacher school this year.
The youngster was not fazed at all, however, and quickly took to his new surrounds and new friends in the senior infants class.
School principal Catherine Lorigan said Liam had taken to school life like a duck to water.
“He’s a great fellow. He was brilliant when he came in. He has a sister in first class and when he was here the first time, he was wondering why he wasn’t getting any homework.”
Lorigan said as a small school, they had previous experience in dealing with just a lone pupil in certain classes.
“We’ve had a number of times when we’ve had one child. In fourth class, we have just the one pupil as well. It’s actually no problem,” said Lorigan.
There are 22 pupils on the school roll, the lowest number for over a decade in the school, which has been open since 1881.
“There are no children in the vicinity at the moment. There are new houses built, so in the future there will be the students but not at the moment. We had six leaving us in sixth class last year and with just one in,” Lorigan said.
STUDENTS at university in Northern Ireland will escape the major increase in fees planned for third level institutions in the U.K.
The Stormont Executive has agreed to cap the fees at below £3,500 a year despite pressure to follow moves in England and Wales where from next year many universities will be charging up to £9,000 a year.
Fees for students in Northern Ireland will now rise only marginally in line with inflation over the next four years.
Pegging the fees at the lower rate will cost £40 million, money which will be raised by reducing budgets at other Stormont departments.