A Belfast solicitor who walked free after stealing nearly £500,000 in mortgage fraud is facing a new attempt to have him jailed for flouting a ban on moving assets. The Law Society is seeking to have Philip Krown sent to prison for contempt of court by drawing down an £83,000 pension fund in breach of an injunction. At a High Court hearing last week it was claimed that he either spent or “secreted” the money after first putting it in an Isle of Man bank account last year.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


A developer and shop owner with an address at a Co Armagh castle has received almost the longest possible ban from acting as a company director. Craig Bennett (38) who lives in converted flats at Gosford Castle near Markethill, was disqualified for 13 out of a maximum of 15 years by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment over his conduct as the head of Dreemore Developments. He accepted a litany of instances of unfit conduct, including misappropriating £400,000 in company money which had been forwarded by Northern Bank for buying property.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


Four men are being questioned after detectives smashed a suspected cannabis-growing operation. Nearly half a million euro-worth of the drug was seized during a raid on a "grow house" in Baltinglass, Co Wicklow, and a follow-up search in Dublin. Two men, aged 23 and 30, were arrested when gardai uncovered the makeshift cannabis factory and plants with an estimated street value of 144,000 euro around noon last Thursday. In follow-up searches, another two men, aged 25 and 36, were detained in Wicklow and west Dublin.
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)


The new fire station at Belturbet will enable the crew to meet the challenges of 100 call-outs a year, Minister Brendan Smith said when he performed the official opening last Monday. Monsignor Michael Cooke and Rev Steve Clarke blessed the new €700,000 station at Creeny, which incorporates a two-bay appliance room, lecture room, breathing apparatus room, watch room, muster area, drying room, kitchen, drill tower and drill yard – the facilities necessary to cater for a modern fire service, said Minister Smith.
(Source: The Angle Celt)


There are currently 70 vacant units in Ennis not paying commercial rates, it has emerged. Recent weeks have seen an increase in the numbers of retail outlets closed in the town. Among the outlets to close their doors have been the Mace on Station Road, Roxy Records and Petit Pois, while Little Silvermines has launched a closing-down sale. According to Ennis Chamber CEO Rita McInerney, businesses are “fighting for survival” in the current economic climate..
(Source: The Clare Champion)


Banking customers throughout Cork have been warned to be extra vigilant after a number of people had their accounts wiped out last week. David Nation (20) from Blackrock in Cork, awoke to a phonecall last Tuesday morning from Permanent TSB Bank (PTSB) informing him that his current account had been cleaned out by what’s thought to be a skimming device. Sergeant Ronan Kenneally of Douglas Gardaí also advised vigilance by customers. “New skimming devices have come to our attention and it is a growing problem both nationally and internationally. It can be very difficult to trace the devices and track who and how they did it but we would advise people to always be on the alert.
Source: (Cork Independent)


The murder of a woman for which the Yorkshire Ripper had been blamed was carried out by |a Londonderry man, it has emerged. Christopher Smith, who was born Alexander Smyth in Derry, was linked to the murder by DNA evidence. Joan Harrison was found battered and raped in a garage 35 years ago in Preston, Lancashire, in a killing linked to Peter |Sutcliffe. Detectives across the country are to investigate whether he may have been behind other unsolved serious crimes.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


A Donegal couple who had been given a present of a two week luxurious holiday in Egypt were evacuated from their resort last week as fears grew for the safety of Irish citizens there. Patricia and Vincent Callaghan had been holidaying in the Sharm El Sheikh resort and had booked their holiday last July. However, just days into their trip, they were caught up in the ongoing protests against the country’s president, Hosni Mubarak.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)


Family and friends of two soldiers killed in Afghanistan clutched flowers and wept as their loved ones were returned home. The bodies of Ranger David Dalzell, 20, of the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment, and Warrant Officer Class 2 (Company Sergeant Major) Colin Beckett, 36, of 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, were flown into RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire then passed through the nearby town of Wootton Bassett.  Ranger Dalzell, from Bangor in County Down, was killed recently in an "operational accident" in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


Motorists in Dun Laoghaire paid out a staggering €6.2m in parking fees and fines last year -- a 50pc increase on 2009. The 2010 figure of €6,225,334 was revealed in Dun Laoghaire/ Rathdown County Council documents obtained by Independent Cllr Victor Boyhan. Cllr Boyhan criticised the charges as "nothing but a stealth tax". "Almost all of this was collected in Dun Laoghaire. There has been aggressive targeting of motorists," said Mr Boyhan. "During the snow in December people who had to abandon their cars found tickets on their windscreens the next morning."
(Source: The Evening Hearld)


A Fermanagh man has appeared before the High Court in Dublin in connection with extradition proceedings brought by the Belgian authorities. Cyril McGuinness was convicted and sentenced to jail there in connection with the theft of a number of heavy vehicles and plant machinery subsequently brought to Ireland. Mr McGuinness (45), Teemore Road, Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, is wanted to serve a seven-year prison sentence imposed in Belgium for his role in the machinery theft.
(Source: Irish Times)


Soldiers at Renmore Barracks have been assured that there are no plans to transfer 160 of them to Athlone despite two Irish Army briefings over the past week which indicated a significant downgrading of the facility. Minister for Defence Éamon Ó Cuív told the Galway City Tribune recently that there were no plans in place for a mass transfer of troops from Dun Ui Mhaoiliosa to the Midlands, claiming that members of the Defence Forces may have “misunderstood” the briefings.
(Source: Galway City Tribune)


Priests in a Co. Kerry parish have erected giant banners in local church grounds encouraging parishioners to cast their vote on Election Day. Their move has drawn controversy from parishioners who believe they should stay out of politics. Eight-foot high banners have been put up in the grounds of St. Mary’s Cathedral, the Church of the Resurrection and the Church of the Holy Spirit in Muckross asking locals to exercise their democratic vote on February 25.
(Source: Irish Examiner)


A Co Kildare student has become the Irish winner of a European Union language competition, and is now due to travel to Brussles in April to collect his prize. Fintan McGrath, a student at Confey College in Leixlip in Co Kildare, won the Juvenes Translatores (young translators) contest for his translation of Irish into English. Around 3,000 17-year-old secondary school students participated in the competition last year – record number for the competition. Participants were required to translate a one-page text of the European language of their choice.


Three Kilkenny men died in the space of six days recently, from drug overdoses. Following the re-emergence of the killer drug heroin on the streets of the city, a community worker has called on addicts to stop injecting themselves. Pat Connaughton, a drugs out-reach worker with the South East Drugs Task Force and employed by St Vincent de Paul has said that if the addicts are going to use heroin, they should smoke it, a line at a time to gauge its strength.
(Source: Kilkenny People)


Gardai (police) are appealing for information, following a brazen robbery at a filling station in which a shop assistant was threatened with a blood-filled syringe. The incident happened at around 9.30pm on Saturday, February 5, when a man entered the Campus Filling Station on the Mountmellick Road in Portlaoise. After fixing himself a cup of tea at the dispenser, the man produced a syringe filled with blood and demanded cash and cigarettes from the female assistant behind the counter.
(Source: Leinster Express)


Drumkerrin’s Parish Priest Very Rev Gerard Alwill has come out publicly to state that he feels the new English translation of the liturgy, which is due to be introduced later this year, "could be disastrous." Fr Alwill spoke to the Leitrim Observer last week following the conference of the Association of Catholic Priests which received national attention.
(Source: Leitrim Observer)


Legendary philanthropist JP McManus has been named the 2010 Limerick Person of the Year for his outstanding contribution to charities in the Mid-West region. The announcement was made last week at a gala awards ceremony in the Clarion Hotel, Limerick. Thanks to the 2010 JP McManus Invitational Pro-Am in Adare last July a record breaking €40m was raised for deserving causes in the Mid-West.
(Source: Limerick Leader)


Almost 14 months on from the day of the fire that destroyed St Mel's Cathedral, the project has taken another important step with the appointment of architects to the design team overseeing the restoration of the cathedral. Having ironed out the finer details in relation to the architects, and thereby finalising the core design team, it was fitting therefore that Bishop Colm O'Reilly was able to announce the latest cathedral development on Sunday last during his homily at Mass on the feast day of St. Mel.
(Source: Longford Leader)


The same firm of architects that built a former Dundalk cigarette factory has now led a huge refurbishment programme to turn it into a modern, new facility at the Dundalk Institute of Technology.  Brian Cowen has officially opened the building, which formerly housed the PJ Carroll & Company factory has now been opened as the DKIT School of Informatics & Creative Arts. The transformation has involved an investment of €38m.


Twenty new jobs are to be created in Westport after the Allergan facility in the town was chosen to manufacture its newest medical technology, SeriScaffold. The preparation for the transfer of the manufacturing process will commence in 2011 and represents a $10 million investment in the Westport site. Full commercial production will relocated to Ireland from Boston in late 2013 with the creation of approximately 20 new jobs.
(Source: The Mayo News)


A total of nine councillors from Meath County Council will be leaving the country for St Patrick’s Day to take part in festivities in New York and London. The council Cathaoirleach, Cllr Ann Dillon Gallagher, will lead a delegation of four councillors to New York, while four other councillors will attend the St Patrick’s Day Parade in London.
(Source: The Meath Chronicle)


A publican from County Monaghan has been fined €1,000 for not complying with the smoking ban. Paul Finnegan, Main Street, Castleblayney, pleaded guilty at Carrickmacross District Court to breaching the smoking ban at his pub “The Shenanigans Bar” on November 8th last year. The court heard that following complaints from gardai,  a Health Service Executive (HSE) inspector visited the premises. During the inspection, he witnessed 2 customers smoking close to a pool table.


A group called ‘Stand Together’ will hold a meeting in the Bridge House next week to garner support to reverse the Government decision in relation to bog cutting. The meeting will centre around the right to cut turf with guest speaker on the night Michael Fitzmaurice, a life long campaigner for turf cutting rights. “A lot of people are angry and sick of nothing being done,” said a spokesperson for Stand Together. A recent meeting held by the organisation in Athlone saw over 7,500 people in attendance.
(Source: Offaly Express)


The average rent achieved for a house in County Roscommon has fallen by €160 from the market peak to €550 per month, according to a new report published last week. The report by suggests that there are some signs that the rental market is stabilising following dramatic declines in rents in the last three years.
(Source: The Roscommon Herald)


A county Sligo mother has been keeping a 24-hour watch on her family’s land to prevent electricity pylons being erected on it. And the mother of three has vowed to go to jail if necessary to “protect my children and their future”. Sharon Mullen has been living and sleeping in a container on the land since last Tuesday. A stand-off between the family and semi-state electricity transmission company Eirgrid began the previous Tuesday when the company’s workers entered the land.
(Source: The Sligo Weekender)


As workers in Lisheen Mine continue to try to come to terms with the tragic death, after an explosion, of colleague Mr Joe Fallon, last week, investigations are on-going into the cause of the fatal blast which left another worker with serious facial injuries. 47-year-old Mr Fallon, a separated father of three, who hails from Two-Mile Borris, was working 190 metres underground when the fatal explosion occurred at about 6:30pm last Wednesday (February 2nd).
(Source: Tipperary Star)


A Co Tyrone cheesemaker is stepping up in the world after winning a contract to supply its range to a luxury department store in England. Shoppers at the Harvey Nichols' store in Leeds, the first branch to open outside the London base in 1996 - will stock Fivemiletown Creamery's brie, oakwood smoked, goat's cheese and marinated cheese. The deal with Harvey Nichols is the latest high-profile success for Fivemiletown cheese in Great Britain, with new business also being secured at Harrods, John Lewis and Sainsbury's.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph)


It has been confirmed that as part of the 1848 Tricolour Celebration, a replica of Thomas Francis Meagher’s Club ’82 jacket to will be presented to representatives travelling to the Waterford event from New York City’s 69th Infantry Regiment. The original jacket was worn by Thomas Francis Meagher during his lifetime, and is currently on display at the Museum of Treasures.
(Source: Waterford News $ Star)


As candidates for the 31st Dail step up their campaigns, the key issues will be jobs, the economy, dealing with the banks and renegotiating the EU/IMF interest rate on Ireland’s €85bn debt, all of which are priority issues for voters. While the emphasis will centre on these crucial issues nationally, undoubtedly a myriad of local problems will also crop up on the doorstep for election candidates to state their respective positions on.
(Source: Westmeath Independent)


A large crowd of elderly Clonard residents attended a talk recently warning them to be vigilant about conmen and burglars. Superintendent Kevin Gralton spoke at the event at Clonard Community Centre, along with Wexford town’s Community Gardaí Michael and Neil Murphy. Inspector Pat McDonald also attended the event. All agreed that the first line in defence against the growing threat of burglars and conmen was a good home security system.
(Source: Wexford Echo)


A Co Wicklow landowner has begun a High Court action aimed at securing a declaration that no public right of way exists over his 140-acre property at Enniskerry. Joseph Walker, Annacrievy, Enniskerry, has brought the case against Niall Lenoach, Monastery Grove, Enniskerry, and Noel Barry, Monastery, Enniskerry, chairman and secretary respectively of the Enniskerry Walkers Association.
(Source: The Wicklow People)