A further eight people have now been arrested here in Thurles, following yesterdays series of early morning raids by Thurles Gardaí. This brings to twelve the total number of persons arrested yesterday.
Drugs with an estimated value in excess of some €2,000 were also seized, together with items of stolen property. We understand that the drugs seized consisted of the Class B drug Amphetamine Sulphate, (latter which bears the street name ‘Speed’) and a quantity of MDMA, short for Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, (latter the psychoactive drug more commonly known under a variety of names such as ‘Ecstasy’, ‘Molly’, ‘E’, ‘XTC’, ‘X’, ‘Adam’, ‘Hug’, ‘Beans’ and ‘Clarity’).
Of the 12 people taken into custody, the reasons for their detention, we understand, included ‘Serious Assaults’; ‘Arson’; ‘Outstanding Warrants’; ‘Possession of Illegal Substances’ and ‘Burglary’.
Of those detained, four are presently in Limerick jail; while another man appeared yesterday before a Judge in Nenagh District Court, charged with robbery and other theft offences in the Templemore area. The remainder of those detained were released without charge; however we understand files are expected to be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
All arrests were made as a result of clever research, co-ordination and detection, undertaken by members of the Thurles Garda force.
This work yesterday, undertaken by Thurles Gardaí, further highlights the incredible service and commitment by our local police force, despite being totally under-resourced and with the failure of our present government to provide the necessary ring-fenced finance to fight current unprecedented rural crime.
There was a massive, high profile Garda presence here in Thurles town yesterday morning.
As part of ongoing ‘Operation Thor’, members of Thurles Gardaí in collaboration with the Garda Drugs Unit, the Regional Support Unit, the Traffic Corps and the Garda Dog Unit were all involved in a series of targeted raids.
During these raids local Gardaí detained and arrested four people, who are presently believed to be held in Thurles Garda Station.
It is also understood that during these early morning searches targeting burglaries across the country, certain items of property were seized.
Gardaí were also highly visible at local Supermarkets, Shopping Centres and the Cattle Mart in the town, offering advice on best security practices for homes and businesses in the area, particularly coming up to Christmas.
Local reports state that the raids were as a direct result of a burglary which took place at Ahearn’s Service Station Abbey road, Thurles, in the last few days.
A stepfather, who sexually abused both his stepdaughters has been jailed for 6.5 years, with 18 months of his original 8 year sentence suspended. Mr John Joe Patterson, originally from Cashel in Co Tipperary, stood accused of the sexual abuse of his stepdaughters, over a 10-year period.
Emma and Vanessa Witherow both bravely waived their right to anonymity to allow that their stepfather, aged 55, a former bus driver, milk man, who also ran a Christmas hamper delivery business, be named publicly in the media.
With a current address at Kilclooney, Moyne, Templetuohy, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, Mr Patterson had previously denied some 39 counts of sexual assault on his stepdaughter Emma, which it was claimed began when she was aged just nine years.
Mr Patterson did plead guilty to one of three counts of sexually abusing her sister Vanessa, who was also nine years old when she claimed her abuse began. In an attempt to evade her stepfather’s advances, Emma Witherow felt the need to leave the family home at the age of 18, taking her sister Vanessa, then aged just 13 years, with her.
Today in Nenagh Circuit Court, Judge John Hannan stated that the Patterson case represented “the dark underbelly of Irish family life”. He stated that Mr Patterson had “destroyed” both his stepdaughters childhoods and any future ongoing relationship held between their brothers, and their birth mother.
Mrs Francis Patterson, who is the girls’ birth mother, sat through five weeks of evidence at Mr Patterson trial and continues to stand by her husband.
Earlier this year a jury of his peers unanimously found Mr Patterson guilty on 39 counts of sexual assault. His name will now be added to the Register of Sexual Offenders.
A series of Garda led Animal Health and Welfare raids were carried out across Co. Tipperary earlier today, resulting in the arrest of some nine individuals.
These Garda raids follow on from intense investigations into reports of illegal hunting and the killing of hares, together with intelligence gathered supporting evidence of illegal hare coursing, latter taking place on private lands at night in a number of locations in the districts of Thurles, Cahir and Tipperary town.
Earlier reports from the farming community appear to indicate that such activities on private lands usually led to the theft of valuable equipment on subsequent nights following on from such activity, which involved the use of high powered lamps. Currently and particularly rural communities in Co. Tipperary are under siege by criminals following the failure by the present Fine Gael / Labour led government to provide the necessary resources to Gardaí to enable them to carry out their basic day to day work.
This joint operation, undertaken by Gardaí from stations in Thurles, Cahir, Tipperary Town and Clonmel, we understand also involved the support of members of the Irish National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Those arrested are presently being held at Thurles, Cahir, Tipperary town, Templemore and Clonmel Garda Stations. We also understand that a juvenile was also amongst those arrested, together with the seizure of a number of ‘Lurcher’ breed dogs (Lurcher – herding dog mated to a greyhound that primarily hunt by sight and speed, instead of by scent and endurance.), together with equipment ordinarily used in illegal coursing events.
All nine individuals have been detained under the Provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984; as amended for offences under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, latter which carries a penalty of up to 5 years imprisonment upon conviction.
Persons with further information to contribute regarding these raids can contact Thurles Garda Station Tel: (0504) 25100, or the Garda Confidential Line Tel: 1800 666 111.
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.