More than 60 Gardaí, employed in the South Eastern region, have arrested six men as part of their ongoing operational set up to target, disrupt and eventually dismantle the illegal manufacturing and trafficking of medicines and other controlled drugs.
The searches began before dawn at some 20 locations; targeting the gangs and seizing six tablet-making machines, latter which had the capacity to make hundreds of thousands of controlled and illegal drugs.
All six men, believed to be from Kilkenny city, were detained as a result of a number of searches over the past year in which facilities used to manufacture medicines were discovered at locations here in Tipperary and also in Limerick, Kilkenny, Galway and Roscommon.
A number of searches were conducted in Kilkenny, Carlow, Glenmore, Bennettsbridge, Lismore and Waterford this morning, (16th December 2014). These planned searches involving Gardaí from the Kilkenny/ Carlow, Tipperary, Waterford and Roscommon backed up by members of the Regional Support Units and the Garda Dog Unit.
The six men, all ranging in ages from their mid 20’s to mid 40’s are now being detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 at various Garda Stations in the South Eastern Region.
Police Officers from all countries across Europe, including Ireland, are to begin a week-long campaign on Monday next, December 8th 2014 to raise awareness of the dangers of drunk and drug driving. The campaign is co-ordinated by TISPOL (the European Traffic Police Network), and involves officers conducting alcohol and drug checks at any time of the day and night.
TISPOL President Garda Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid says: “Driving after consuming any alcohol is dangerous. Driving while over the drink drive limit is against the law. Drivers will experience slower reactions, poor judgement of speed, reduced co-ordination and concentration with much lower levels of alcohol in their system. “That’s why our message this year is simple: your ability to drive safely is impaired by even a small amount of alcohol. So if you have had a drink, do not drive. If you need to drive, then do not drink.”
Drivers can expect highly visible and widespread enforcement of alcohol and drug laws during the operation, at any location and at any time of day or night.
Chief Superintendent Reid says it’s also important to be aware of the continuing effects of alcohol the day after an evening of drinking. “Your body takes time to remove alcohol from your system. If it is still present in your body, then it will be identified during a breath test. That’s why a night’s sleep is no guarantee that you’re safe and legal to drive the next morning,” he warned.
“If you have used recreational drugs, then do not drive. If you are taking medicine, whether prescribed or purchased over the counter, then read the notes of advice that go with it. If these tell you not to drive after taking the medicine, then do not drive. The advice is there for a reason, to keep you and others safe.”
“If you are in any doubt about medicines and driving, then our advice is to consult a healthcare professional before you get behind the wheel.”
During a similar week-long operation in December 2013, 1.1 million drivers were checked in 31 European countries. Officers reported 15,305 alcohol offences and 2,133 drug offences, as well as more than 2,500 other crimes.
The results of this co-ordinated operation are expected to be made available by mid January 2015, don’t be part of their statistics.
Some 62 new recruits from the Garda Reserve; made up of 21 women and 41 men successfully graduated today from the Garda training centre at Templemore, Co Tipperary, all having completed their training.
The new graduates included three members, natives of Co. Tipperary and also members with French, Polish, Latvian and Lithuanian nationalities.
In addressing these graduating Garda Reservists, the newly appointed Garda Commissioner Ms Noirin O’Sullivan confirmed that 100 new recruits will enter the college on December 8th next, bringing the number of trainees presently in the college to 200. One hundred more recruits are also expected to enter training in January 2015.
New Circuit Court Judge Mr G. O’Brien
Thurles residents wish to join in congratulating the State Solicitor for North Tipperary, Mr Gerard O’Brien on his recent appointment as a Judge of the Circuit Court.
The Thurles native, who recently celebrated his 50th birthday, has also publicly confirmed his new appointment and it is understood that he will possibly take up his new post beginning in the Dublin District Court area.
Mr O’Brien who worked initially as a schoolteacher in Dublin, also served successfully as a Fianna Fáil member of Thurles Town Council for a brief period before retiring.
Having qualified with a law degree, he has worked for some years as a solicitor in his Thurles based firm of Gerard O’Brien Solicitors, latter which he established in 2006.
Six years later, in 2012, Mr O’Brien was appointed State Solicitor for North Tipperary, prior to this, his most recent appointment as a Judge of the Circuit Court.
Despite being the victim of a handicap caused by the drug Thalidomide, which resulted with him being born with no upper limbs and one lower limb, his always cheerful witty disposition, integrity, compassion, understanding, unquestionable ability and his total outright rejection of his very own personal physical handicap, leaves his many friends and those of his acquaintance, truly humbled by his numerous outstanding achievements to date.
Widely travelled, a lover of almost all music genre and a director of the Cathedral of The Assumption Youth Choir, Mr O’Brien was also the founder of the current and very successful youth musical theatre group Phoenix Productions, latter both based here in Thurles, Co Tipperary.
Very few, if any, Thurles residents are therefore surprised by Mr O’Brien’s latest elevation and he is sincerely wished every continued success in this his most recent appointment.
To adults and their offspring’s seeking a suitable roll-model, congratulations your search is now complete.
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.