Numerous Thurles individuals have received ‘Scam’ telephone calls today, appearing to emanate from a telephone number – (01) 254 8323).
A recorded voice message was received by these individuals when they answered. This (01) 254 8323 number tried to convince call recipients that they were ringing on behalf of the Revenue Commissioners and requested that they should ring them back. If you receive one of these call – DO NOT phone back.
This recorded message also threatens to take legal proceedings against you should you, the recipient, fail to respond by not phoning them back.
This is the very same ‘Voice Phishing’ or ‘Vishing’ scam we warned you about on September 25th last.
Remember this scam is made possible because of telephone “clear down time”, where if the person making the call doesn’t hang up, the line remains active for up to 60 seconds. In other words when you, the customer, hang up your phone and assume that you are ringing the Revenue Commissioners, your Bank or your local Garda Station, the real person you are speaking to will be either an accomplice or the original scam artist / criminal themselves, who will then requests private data. You believing that you are speaking to your Bank (for example) will possibly pass on information, e.g. account accessing information.
Please everyone, do keep in mind that no truly genuine person or business representative, from any financial business organisation or the Public Service will ever call and seek personal, private details or any other data, either over the phone or by email contact.
Do warn elderly parents and friends about this scam, as already many people have lost thousands of Euros after being asked to provide privileged data.
Despite the much anticipated Ireland V Germany soccer match being shown live on TV last night, almost 2000 people choose to leave their television sets and gather instead in the Anner Hotel Thurles to issue a sharp rebuke to politicians and perpetrators of crime.
Standing-room only at Thurles meeting on rural crime.
The message gleaned from this large attendance last night further confirmed, (if any confirmation was needed) that rural Co. Tipperary has been virtually turned into a detention centre for the victims of crime; latter victims in many cases now being forced to barricade themselves into their own homes on a nightly basis.
Those who addressed the meeting spoke of the increasing rise in burglaries and constant break-ins, which currently leaves Tipperary farmers, small businesses and home owners terrorised.
Loughmore native and Widow, Mrs Mary Morris, was just one of many who took to the floor at last night’s meeting to share her experiences and fears, after becoming the victim of such crime. Since 2011 Mrs Morrissey spoke of the effect this incident has had on her personally; informing those present that she now goes to bed every night with a loaded shotgun.
Other victims whose businesses had been targeted by criminals on multiple occasions spoke not just of their huge financial losses, but also of the mental and emotional consequences of their experiences, together with the vast financial costs of being forced to install extra security.
Vowing that last night’s meeting would not be the end of their campaign, numerous proposals were put forward to try and tackle the problem of repeated burglaries. These including:- the immediate removal of free legal aid for career criminals, the upgrading of trespass laws, the tagging of criminals and an immediate reform of our current Bail Laws which, despite Garda objections in many cases, allows for career criminals to continue reigns of terror on rural communities.
Speaking after the meeting, small groups of Tipperary residents argued for other measures:-
(A) Police work attempting to subdue crime gangs in Limerick city had been supported by the army. “This is not a case of limited government resources, rather a case of this governments failure to use resources already available”, stated one individual. “We can send our troops to endanger themselves on the Golan Heights and not so long ago we used them as armed security on cash-in-transit vans. Remember the use of the army against gangs in Limerick City! Time now to use them, under police supervision, to halt the movement of criminal gangs in Tipperary”, he continued.
(B) “Punishments do not always fit the crime; jail time is to easy”, stated another. “Offenders should be tagged and put publicly to work on rural social schemes, instead of further burdening the taxpayer”, he continued.
New ‘Save Our Local Community’ Committee.
The meeting which lasted for almost three hours last night was chaired by crime journalist Paul Williams. A large Garda presence also attended at last night’s Thurles meeting; these included the Chief Superintendent of the Tipperary Garda Division Mrs Catherine Keogh, Assistant Commissioner Jack Nolan and Crime Prevention Officer Tom O’Dwyer, all who informed those present that they were limited in what they could truly achieve, due to limited resources.
Locals have now set up a new organisation in conjunction with the Gardaí, called ‘Save Our Local Community’ which it hopes will network to combat rural crime.
Mr Francis Burke (Organising Secretary of “Save Our Local Community”), reports.
A new organisation, made up of members of the farming community, various businesses and householders, have recently come together to form a new organisation entitled “Save Our Local Community”. This organisation have now called a public meeting for Thursday evening next; with crime investigative journalist Mr Paul Williams as acting Chairperson.
This meeting is expected to discuss in detail criminal acts and their possible solutions to an unprecedented wave of rural crime which has hit the communities in and around the Thurles area and indeed the county of Tipperary as a whole, particularly over the past year.
Time and Place of Meeting
Note: As already stated this meeting will take place on Thursday next, October 8th, in the Anner Hotel, Dublin Road, Thurles, beginning at 8:00pm sharp. While everyone is invited to attend, the actual victims of recent crimes are particularly welcome and will be given a voice, and; while Councillors and Politicians are also welcome to attend; same are being asked to take on the role as that of ‘listener’, rather than ‘speaker’.
Organising Secretary of “Save Our Local Community”, Mr Francis Burke stated that both he and his colleagues are adamant that this summoned public meeting should in no way be mistaken as a criticism of our valued, dedicated local police force, rather it should be observed as a failure by authorities to provide the necessary resources to protect our rural communities.
Amongst those expected to attend this event will be Assistant Garda Commissioner Mr Jack Nolan, Chief Superintendent Catherine Kehoe and other available members of An Garda Síochána.
Jail terms, ranging from 12 to 20 years, were imposed today on seven Dublin men. All the accused admitted to carrying out an aggravated burglary some two years ago, in November 2013, at the home of Emma and Mark Corcoran and their three young daughters, at Burnchurch, near Killenaule in Co Tipperary.
The seven convictions were handed down today at Clonmel Circuit Court shortly before 12 noon, by Mr Justice Thomas Teehan, who described the effects of the burglary on the Corcoran family as “catastrophic”.
All defendants were in receipt of free legal aid and despite their admission of guilt previously, these men each were represented by a Senior Counsel, a Junior Counsel and a Solicitor representing their cases; all paid for by the Irish State, with costs ultimately being passed on to the Irish taxpayer.
The seven men, who had previously admitted carrying out this aggravated burglary; together with their individual sentences passed down by Mr Justice Thomas Teehan, are named hereunder:-
Michael McDonagh, aged 23, of Tara Lawns, Belcamp Lane, Coolock, Dublin 17, (who was the only defendant with no previous convictions), was sentenced to 12 years, with seven of those years suspended.
Donal O’Hara, aged 22, of Glin Park, Coolock, Dublin 17, who received a sentenced of 12 years, with seven suspended.
Patrick Joyce, aged 23, of Beaumont Hall, Beaumont Woods, Dublin 9, who was given a sentence of 14 years, with four years suspended.
Thomas Flynn, aged 21, of Moatview Avenue, Coolock, Dublin 17, who was sentenced to 12 years, with three years suspended.
John Joyce, aged 21, of Lentisk Lawn, Donaghmede, Dublin, was sentenced to 15 years, with four years suspended.
Patrick Gately, aged 28, of Primrose Grove, Darndale, Dublin 17, was also sentenced to 20 years, with four years suspended for 10 years.
Dean Byrne, aged 22, of Cabra Park, Dublin 17, who was given a sentence of 20 years, with four years suspended, backdated from November 21st 2013.
Also deployed at Clonmel Courthouse were two sections of the Garda Armed Response Unit; together with a number of other Gardaí, all present as an extra security measure.
Following sentencing the seven male defendants were led from the court in handcuffs; showing little remorse, but rather joking and smiling, while one blew kisses at the waiting media.
A statement read on behalf of Mr and Mrs Corcoran, following today’s sentencing, thanked their local community of Burnchurch and Killenaule, Judge Teehan and the efforts of Thurles Gardaí, both during and after the committed aggravated burglary.
The question must now surely be asked “Should known / recognised career criminals be granted full, free Legal Aid; particularly in cases where the offence has been previously admitted?”
Tipperary Independent TD Deputy Michael Lowry has this week criticised the long delayed Government initiative on a stimulus package to regenerate Rural Ireland.
“Labour Minister Ann Phelan has been Minister with specific responsibility for Rural Development for almost 5 years. We hardly knew she existed, but hey presto a couple of months before an election she comes out of her slumber with a whopper of an empty promise”, stated the Deputy.
“Since this Government was elected, all we have heard is aspirational statements and hot air. This most recent announcement is a paltry €30m pre-election gimmick.
Minister Ann Phelan has the audacity to allocate €4m of this same fund to her own constituency of Carlow/Kilkenny; leaving just €26m for the rest of the country. The kind of schemes covered under the new proposal, such as renovation of old buildings and improving local amenities are already covered under the terms of Leader Group and National Lottery Funding. The real issue faced our rural communities is that funding available to Leader in Tipperary has been cut by €15 m. It’s ironic that the person who presided over that €15m cut is one and same Minister Allen Kelly,” Mr Lowry continued.
“The root cause of the crisis in rural Ireland is the lack of job opportunity for young people. Thousands of our young people have had to emigrate, forced to leave home, leave their families, friends and community. Parents are denied the privilege of being close to their loved ones, denied the gift of seeing them mature into adulthood. There are many issues as a consequence of this emigration. Fewer houses being built, no work for builders and tradesmen, fewer children being born, schools losing numbers; putting teachers jobs at risk, with small rural schools facing closure. We then have small shops, post offices and Garda Stations being shut down. We also face the prospect, due to a shortage of priests; of parish clustering with major implications for our rural churches and hence reduced social contact”, stated Mr Lowry.
“Emigration has had a massive impact on local communities and in particular sports clubs. Many GAA soccer and Rugby teams have been decimated by the flight of its younger members. The government and the national agencies have done nothing to correct the imbalance between city and rural regeneration. Access to a proper broadband service and information technology is a huge disadvantage. It is impossible for country towns to attract industry as it has little prospect of competing against the city locations that have the entire necessary infrastructure already in place. The IDA should immediately construct advance factories in places like Tipperary. It is inevitable that when a Company decides to set up business it will make a decision on the location based on a ready to go turnkey facility”, continued Mr Lowry.
Deputy Lowry also stated, “We now have a two speed economy – one for Dublin and one for the rest, operating in a fast and slow lane. The closure of Garda Stations has left older people in particular, feeling vulnerable at a time when city crime gangs are roaming rural communities causing fear and anxiety. This feeling of isolation is made worse by no local transport, which makes it impossible for people to socialise”.