A bomb threat was made against the offices of the Environment Minister, Mr Alan Kelly, here in Tipperary this morning.
Minister Kelly is tasked with overseeing ‘Irish Water,’ yet another mismanaged “banana skin to slip on” left behind by the exit of Fine Gael Minister Phil Hogan to Europe.
It is understood that the bomb threat was made to Mr Kelly’s constituency office, latter situated in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, earlier this morning.
Through a spokesperson for Mr Kelly, Labour’s Junior Minister Aodhan O’Riordain, has confirmed that a member of staff in Mr Kelly’s Nenagh office was extremely upset, having receiving this anonymous telephone communication. It is understood Gardaí have been notified with regard to this rather unsavoury communication.
Meanwhile, protesters have gathered in neighbouring Limerick at an event involving the Minister for Finance, Mr Michael Noonan. The crowd have been chanting anti-water charge slogans and Gardaí and plain clothes detectives have been drafted into the area to ensure that the protest remains peaceful.
In another incident, Gardaí in West Cork are forensically investigating the burning of two Irish Water vans over the weekend. The believed malicious incident happened in the early hours of yesterday morning. Gardaí in Bantry confirm that both Renault vans were the property of a contractor working for Irish Water.
A new Garda Inspector, named as Mr Oliver Henry, has just been appointed to the town of Roscrea, Co Tipperary.
This initiative by Garda authorities follows a huge public demonstration in the town back in July, when hundreds of frustrated local people took to the streets to protest over what they saw was a weak concern over drug problems and anti-social behaviour within the town and its immediate environs.
A devastating effects of drugs and anti-social behaviour had prompted a major community response, expressing fears of an emerging drugs culture which was claiming many young lives in a town, like so many in Tipperary hit by large scale unemployment in recent years.
This new appointment of Mr Oliver Henry to the rank of Inspector also follows claims in recent months that the local Roscrea Garda Station was being considered for possible future downgrading.
News of this latest appointment was detailed by local resident and founder of the “Roscrea Stands Up” group, Mr Derek Russell, at the annual general meeting of the Roscrea Community Development Council (RCDC) following their most recent meeting in the Abbey Hall, in Roscrea.
A previous heated meeting held on the night of Monday July 28th last, in the Abbey Hall in Roscrea, had escalated into an impromptu march to the local Garda station, bringing the town to a standstill for over an hour.
An ongoing spate of burglaries here in Thurles over the past few months and highlighted by Thurles.Info, continues with no sign to date of the criminals responsible being detected.
Recently two houses in Thurles; one in the Borroway area and another in the Kennedy park area have been broken into twice, within a short space of time. In the Collins Park area, within the past few days, we have received news that one house; vacated for less than half an hour; the occupants returned to discover serious damage caused to the exterior of their property, in an attempted break-in.
The situation has now become even more serious with the manifestation of a new Face Book Page being opened, entitled ‘Thurles Equalizer,‘ which threatens to assert the need for a type of vigilante justice; threatening to punish Thurles lawbreakers personally rather than relying on our legal authorities. Many people locally will indeed sympathise with their promised convictions; “Any information about these scumbags breaking into elderly people’s houses and terrorising them, will be never be shared with anyone not even the Gardaí. We are not interested in a court date or slaps on wrists. PM us pls.”
While many locals are calling for a public meeting on the lines of action recently taken by Roscrea residents; local active Fianna Fáil Councillor Seamus Hanafin has been speaking to some of our other councillors in town and they have now agreed to come together in a cross party alliance on this issue. We understand that contact with the Gardaí has been arranged and a meeting between the local Councillors, Senior Garda, Crime Prevention Officers and Community Gardaí is now imminent.
Increases in rural crime, especially by out of town criminals, plus the reduction in our rural Garda force, has severely hampered investigations into local crime detection countrywide despite the best efforts of Gardaí particularly in rural areas.
The reluctance recently by many of our residents to attend local ‘Neighbourhood Watch,’ meetings, despite the strong invitation by Thurles Gardaí to do so, has given further encouragement to these criminals now operating within our midst.
Three men, believed to be in their early 20’s, have been arrested following a drugs haul in Roscrea, Co Tipperary. While Gardaí refused to comment on the arrests, all three men detained are understood to be natives of the area.
We understand that the haul was discovered at approximately 11.50pm on Friday evening last, (Sept 19th), in the area of the Grove Motors car park on the Birr road leading out of the town. We understand that an alert member of the Garda force, on routine patrol, observed two cars parked in what were described as ‘suspiciously circumstances.’
On approaching the vehicles, the Garda is understood to have observed packages being discarded from a passenger window of one of the parked vehicles. On examination an estimated €4,500 worth of cannabis was discovered to be contained in the abandoned packages.
It is understood that two men were arrested at the scene and a third man was arrested the following day, in relation to this offence. We also understand that all three have now been charged under the possession of drugs and possession of drugs for the purposes of sale and supply.
Note: Anyone found guilty of this offence is liable to a Class C fine on summary conviction in a District Court. If the court decides, he or she could be subject to a fine and a prison term not exceeding 12 months. On conviction on indictment for this offence, the court can decide on an appropriate fine. The court can also impose a life sentence for this offence if it decides it is necessary. However, lesser sentences can also be imposed, either with a fine or alone.
Where the market value of the drugs is €13,000 or more, the person convicted is liable for a minimum sentence of 10 years. Similar penalties apply to someone convicted of importing drugs with a value of €13,000 or more.
Meanwhile Naval Service, Customs and the Gardaí have foiled a major drug smuggling operation when they detained a yacht with up to €80 million worth of cocaine off the south west coast of Ireland in the early hours of this morning.
The Joint Task Force operation involved the LÉ Roisin and the LÉ Niamh detaining an 18.9 metre yacht ‘Makayabella’, carrying an estimated one tonne of cocaine on board, at around 3.00am this morning some 250 miles off Ireland’s Mizen Head in West Cork.
The ‘Mayakabella’ is expected to arrive at 9.00pm at the Naval Base at Haulbowline in Cork Harbour, where it will be forensically examined.
UPDATE #1: Another house was burgled last night in the nearby Collins park area. According to reports the house was broken into around 9.00pm on Thursday evening. If anyone saw anything suspicious around that time please report it to Thurles Gardaí.
UPDATE #2: A house in Kennedy Park was broken into and ransacked for the second time on Tuesday evening, 7th Oct 2014. If anyone saw anything suspicious please report it to Thurles Gardaí.
Over the past few weeks some five private residences situated in the Kennedy Park area of Thurles have been burgled. According to statements passed to us by local residents some four of these private properties targeted had little or nothing of value removed, while the fifth home a sum of money, reported to be in the region of €5,000, was stolen.
The sad news however is that in all these five cases the burglar badly ‘trashed’ the interiors of their targeted dwellings; breaking clocks, ornaments and furniture in their efforts to locate any possible hidden valuables.
All of these reported burglaries appear to have taken place in broad daylight, with some of the homes attacked with the knowledge that these houses had been left unattended or unoccupied over a few days. Thurles Gardaí are currently investigating all five robberies.
This situation leaves residents to believe that these robberies are being perpetuated by a person or persons living in this immediate area of Thurles, latter who carry out the robberies themselves or indeed pass on known information to other criminals outside the area.
Ten Tips To Avoid Household Burglaries
- Don’t boast in public places regarding your plans to visit ‘Aunty Mary’ next weekend. After all “The Only Secret Is the One Never Told,” and “A Careless Word, A Needless Loss,” still remains sound advice, to quote the text shown on posters displayed during the war years 1941-1945.
- Give your spare key to a trusted neighbour or friend who lives nearby and ask them to keep an eye on your property while you are away.
- Important: Check if a Neighbourhood Watch Group exists in your area and get involved. I am aware that recent attempts by local Gardaí in Thurles, to get people to become more involved in Community Neighbourhood Watch Groups, received little response from the local public. Maybe now is the time to reflect on this decision.
- When away use automatic timers for your lights and keep a radio or television playing in your absence, but only loud enough to be heard from your dwelling thus not offending your next door neighbours.
- Keep your blinds / curtains at their normal daytime position and where possible leave a car in your driveway.
- Invest in pry-proof locks for your windows and install deadbolts on exterior doors, while also noting second story windows are also potential targets, particularly at the rear of your house.
- Trim back overgrown shrubs and bushes that may obscure a public view of your home to the degree that all windows and doors are visible from your street or estate. You may enjoy privacy but so do burglars.
- Should you make a major purchase, like a 42 inch flat screen TV, a PC or Laptop computer, don’t leave the box outside, jutting out in plain view of your bin. Cut it up into very small pieces and place it in a black plastic bag to dispose of in your dry recycling.
- Of course a good idea, (if finances permit), is to have an alarm system installed. Even the fact that it looks like you have an alarm, is always a major deterrent to most would-be thieves. But if a thief chooses to ignore your alarm and grants himself access, the ear blasting siren will most likely ensure visits are cut short and neighbours are alerted.
- Finally; a well-lit exterior is a wise move especially at the rear of your home, preferably fitted with a motion sensor.
In the words of Sergeant Phil Esterhaus from the once famous 80’s TV series “Hill Street Blues”: “Hey, let’s be careful out there.”