A CASTLEBAR councilor has called on the local council to examine the possibility of banning hoodies in the town.
Michael Kilcoyne made the comment at a Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting last week. He said that a number of crimes, including the theft of a bread van, have been committed by hoodie-wearing culprits.
Kilcoyne said that the garment makes it difficult to identify criminals on CCTV.
Superintendent Joe McKenna said that hoodies often make CCTV identification difficult, but the same applies to hats and scarves.
Meanwhile, the JPC was told that in 50 percent of juvenile crimes committed in the Castlebar area, alcohol is a factor.
Last year there were 108 juvenile referrals to Garda (police officer) Mick Fahy. Court action was involved in 36 percent of cases.
Fahy said that one individual was responsible for a quarter of the offenses that came before the court, and a total of five teenagers were responsible for all the young offenders cases which came before the courts in 2012. Fahy said that the juvenile crime figures in Castlebar are improving.
“A very small handful are responsible for most of the stuff that goes on,” he said.
In 2012 there was a decrease in all crime, apart from robbery. The Gardai asked for young people to come forward if they themselves are a victim of crime.
No Easter Meals
EASTER was the “last straw” for the Canal View Restaurant in Keshcarrigan which closed its premises last week.
Despite advertising locally, ordering food and having staff waiting “we didn’t get one phone call over Easter,” owner Steve Taylor said.
Taylor, who took over the restaurant 18 months ago, said they “lost a fortune” over the Easter holidays, and they had no other option but to close the restaurant located on the Fenagh side of Keshcarrigan.
Taylor said they enjoyed their time in Keshcarrigan over the past year and a half. They had a great year in 2012 but this year was a bit of a no show.
“Christmas was okay, we were closed for January and February, and March opened well but Easter let us down,” Taylor said.
He said he even checked the phone line to see if it had been working because they were so shocked at the lack of phone calls.
He said in Keshcarrigan they have no “passing trade” if people are going to dine, they usually plan ahead and book.
Following on from Easter, Taylor said they could not see any future. “It is a losing battle” he sighed.
A LONGFORD father of two who scooped over €1 million in Saturday night’s national lottery only purchased his winning ticket because of a last minute decision to visit his local butcher.
Ger Hand only made his way into Lanesboro with the view of picking up a few items from the south Longford village’s sole meat specialist, Terry McLoughlin.
But it was also an apparent lack of car parking availability on what was a typically busy Saturday that ultimately convinced the Newtowncashel man to try his luck in the national lotto.
“I was on my way into Lanesboro and just said to myself I’d go into the butcher. I remember pulling out €15 from my pocket, getting a mineral and about to do a €10 quick pick. Whatever came over me I changed my mind and said, Ah sure I’ll do a €12 one instead,’” he recalled less than 48 hours after his €1.25 million win.
As it turned out, that late change of heart had little affect as Hand’s winning numbers appeared on the ticket’s penultimate line, allowing him to scoop one half of the Saturday, April 13 €2.5 million jackpot.
The Bord Na Mona employee said the trip to butcher McLoughlin led to his good fortune.
“There’s no doubt about it. If Terry wasn’t there I wouldn’t have done it,” Hand said.
And in a further twist, Hand revealed he didn’t actually check his ticket until the following morning.
“We were at a function in the Peer Inn in Newtowncashel when Margaret Gillen, our local hairdresser, mentioned that Joe O’Brien had sold the winning ticket,” he said.
A quick visit down to O’Brien’s confirmed what Ger had suspected all along, paving the way for widespread celebrations.
Asked how he intended spending the money, Ger confided both he and his family were still weighing their options.
One decision he has made his mind up about, however, is his day to day work with Bord Na Mona.
“Oh be God, I’ll keep working,” was his frank and sprightly reply.
“Nothing is decided yet, but I’m not going to go around and start leaping around the place.”
The one bonus, he said, was the fact he could now give his two daughters, Ann-Marie and Laura the future he had always longed for.
“At least I have their education secured. That, to tell you the truth, is a weight off my mind especially with the way the economy is going,” he added.
I’ll Tell Mommy!
A 24-YEAR-old man told police, “If you touch me I will tell my ma,” a court has heard.
Gary Deehan, of Swift Court, Ballymagroarty, pleaded guilty to disorderly behavior on February 3.
Derry Magistrate’s Court heard that Deehan went into the enquiry office of Strand Road PSNI station and told staff there, “I don’t give a f***.”
He was asked why he was there but wouldn’t say and repeated again, “I don’t give a f***.”
There were other people present in the enquiry office and Deehan was arrested because he wouldn’t calm down and called an officer a “p****.”
Defense solicitor Paddy MacDermott told the court his client was highly intoxicated at the time and doesn’t know why he went into the police station.
Imposing a £100 fine, District Judge Barney McElholm said Deehan’s comment to police about his mother “was my favorite remark.”
Stop the Concerts
LOCAL residents are calling on minister of state at the Office of Public Works Brian Hayes to use his position to refuse permission for up to three proposed outdoor concerts in the Phoenix Park this summer.
Up to 40,000 fans are expected to attend each of the gigs for the Killers, Mumford and Sons and possibly another unconfirmed act in mid-July.
Despite reassurances from officials and event organizers, many residents who live around the park fear a repeat of the violence and anti-social behavior that blighted their communities following concerts in the park last year.
Castleknock councilor Eithne Loftus was attacked in her car by a group of young thugs following one of those gigs, and said she wasn’t convinced there wouldn’t be trouble this year.
Loftus attended a recent information meeting about the gigs at Phoenix Park Visitors Center where up to 100 locals voiced their concerns to event organizers and officials.
She said some residents in Castleknock were angry that they hadn’t been invited to the meeting, given that they lived next door to the park.
“There’s just too many people attracted to these events. Many turn up without tickets and they won’t be let into the park with drink,” said Loftus.
“Last year those who couldn’t get into the park ended up in local housing estates and there were gangs of them. People shouldn’t have to put up with that.”
Pat Allison from Navan Road Community Council said the national park should not be used for expensive private functions such as concerts that have the potential to cause lasting damage. She called on Hayes to intervene to ensure that licenses are not granted for the events.
“The park was left in an awful state last year,” she added.
Residents also fear that the number of concerts could be increased and that eventually the park could host a weekend-long festival.
The Office of Public Works said new measures will be put in place for this year’s concerts, should the license application be successful.
“Despite the very unsatisfactory outcomes [of last year’s events], there is broad agreement that outdoor concerts per se in Dublin in the summer months do have benefits for the city's economy,” said a spokesperson.