No Money, Less Crime
A LEADING Kerry Garda (police officer) has said that the drop in the number of assaults and public order offenses committed in Kerry could be directly linked to the downturn in the economy, as less people are out in pubs and nightclubs getting drunk.
Chief Superintendent Pat O'Sullivan told a meeting of the Kerry Division Joint Policing Committee that the number of drunk driving detections for the first nine months of this year is also down on the 2010 figure, which he again said could be linked to the fact that people don't have money to go out like they used to.
O'Sullivan said that 93 assaults were committed in Kerry between January and September this year compared to 109 for the same period in 2010. Public order offenses, he said, had dropped by 13%, from 1,237 to 1,079.
"Two or three years ago we were dealing with a lot more public order offenses, primarily outside pubs and night clubs late at night, but because of the downturn of the economy those businesses are quieter and that might be a factor in the drop in offenses," he said.
Drunk driving offenses are also down on last year, with 260 drivers being caught over the legal limit this year, compared to 319 for the same period last year.
Asked by Councilor Gillian Wharton Slattery if the decrease could also be attributed to less people going out, O'Sullivan said it could.
"There is no doubt that in the current environment people just cannot afford to go out and that is certainly a factor," he said.
The figures produced at the meeting highlighted an overall drop in crime in Kerry of 7%, a drop of 29% in crimes against the person, 8% in criminal damage and public order, 26% in drugs and weapons offenses and 15% in road traffic offenses.
Lotto Winner Won’t Move
MONEYMORE, or “More Money” as it has become known, will remain home to the town's latest Lotto millionaire.
Lily Gallagher, who scooped the €5.1 million bonanza on Saturday night, shares her rented home with husband Anthony, and says she has no intention of moving.
“I've lived here for 22 years, and I always said I wouldn't even move if I won the Lotto, and I still mean it,” she says with a smile.
“I'm going to buy this house, and my daughter Melissa is across the road, and my son Anthony, and I’ll clear the credit union, which has been brilliant to me over the years.”
The excitement began on Saturday night when Gallagher, who is originally from Yellowbatter, checked her regular numbers and thought she might have hit the jackpot.
“I rang Melissa and she came right over, and that's when we discovered we had all the right numbers, and it still hasn't really sunk in yet,” says Gallagher, whose son Anthony Junior emigrated to Perth just five months ago.
“The first thing I want to do is go and visit Anthony, who lost his job in Larry Fay's as a plumber and couldn't find work here.”
Sticking to the same lucky numbers may have also had something to do with the bumper win.
'My father James Leech died six years ago, and I have used his numbers ever since -- his birthday, his date of birth, the date he was married, which is also the date he and my mum died -- his front door number and the number of my old door.”
AN Oakhill man who broke the window of his ex-girlfriend's bedroom before dragging her through it told Gardai he was “still madly in love with her,” Carlow District Court heard last week.
Steward Timmons, 28, was charged with criminal damage and assault at Milford on March 28, 2011.
Inspector Martin Walker said Suzanne Kinsella made a complaint to Gardai that she had been assaulted by her ex-boyfriend, Timmons. She said after the relationship broke down Timmons had come to her home at 9:30 p.m. and started knocking loudly on her bedroom window. He knocked so hard he eventually broke the window.
He then leaned in, grabbed her and pulled her by the two arms through the broken window smashing ornaments. Walker said her father heard the commotion and went to investigate stopping the assault.
Walker said when Timmons was interviewed he indicated to Gardai he was “still madly in love with her.”
Acting for Timmons, solicitor Brendan O'Flaherty said his instructions were that Timmons had been asked to call to the house but Kinsella changed her mind. However, he said it didn't excuse what went on.
“He is a man of 28 years with no previous convictions, and it's fair to say that the breakdown in his relationship has had a very detrimental effect on his mental health and he does seem to have been put into an obsession.”
O’Flaherty said he had advised Timmons about counseling and changing his phone number to come to an acceptance that the relationship is over.
O'Flaherty said Timmons's father said his son’s mind is completely messed up.’
The court heard there had been €150 worth of damage caused in the incident which Timmons was willing to pay for.
Judge David Anderson adjourned the case until December 21 to allow Timmons pay compensation.
IT may not have the dramatic scale or numbers of Occupy Wall Street, but Occupy Galway in Eyre Square has become the subject of much interest, debate and curiosity, as well as expressions of good will and solidarity between public and protester.
Inspired by the events in New York, five Galwegians pitched tents in Eyre Square last Saturday afternoon. By Wednesday, the group had not only survived the howling winds and lashing rain of earlier in the week, but their numbers had grown. Now there are 10 tents with 30 people taking part in what has become Occupy Galway.
The group of protesters is made up of native Galwegians and foreign-born individuals who now live in the city.
“We come from all walks of life,” says Michael Jones, one of the members of the Eyre Square group. “There are people aged from 17 to the 60s, some are unemployed, some have jobs and go between here and their work.”
Along with their tents, the group set up a kind of marquee where they sit and eat, and there are posters on tents outlining their views on the current state of the Irish economy, the recession, and the government’s response to it.
People come by and ask the protesters how they are.
“Are ye not frozen out here?” asks one young man. “Yes, it’s cold,” replies Jones, “but the government is much colder.”
Why has the group felt it necessary to stage this kind of protest in the square?
“We are paying the government to pay off the banks which acted irresponsibly,” Michael replies. “Instead of money being used to plug the banks it needs to go into education, hospitals, and services for the public, which are being cut and cut. We have to take a stand against what is happening.”
The group endured a torrid time on Monday when wild winds and unrelenting rain threatened to blow their camp down. How did they manage to persevere under the circumstances?
“It made people band together,” says Gregory Greenawalt, another member of the group. “It forced us to work hard to make it better and build the campsite so that we would have better warmth and protection. It helped make it more of a community.”
The group says that the Galway public has been very supportive of them. “People have come with blankets and food and words of encouragement, others stay for a while in solidarity,” says Michael Lyndon. “Even people who are opposed to what we do, when we explain what we are about see what we are getting at.”
The group is determined to stay in Eyre Square and have no intention of giving up their protest. They say no one from the Galway City Council or the Gardai have requested them to move.
OFFICIAL figures show that a pick-up in the number of people traveling to Ireland continued in the summer months. The Central Statistics Office said the number of trips made by overseas visitors between June and August was up 6.1% compared with the same period last year.
The total number of trips in the period was just over 2.1 million, 123,500 more than in the same period last year. The last two sets of travel figures had shown bigger percentage increases, but they included comparisons with April and May 2010 when travel was disrupted by volcanic ash.
New figures show that trips from North America were up 7.6% from a year earlier, while visits from Britain, Ireland's biggest tourism market, were up 4.8%. Trips from other European countries rose 6.1%, while other areas increased 12.4%.
For the first eight months of the year, visits to Ireland are up 11% from a year earlier to just under 4.5 million. The British market is up 8.3%, North America up 12.6% and other European countries ahead by 13%.