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More Arrests Expected Following Sexual Abuse Investigations

Gardaí investigating, what has been described by some as being the most degenerate paedophile ring yet uncovered in the history of the Irish State, are now expected to make further arrests in the weeks ahead and possibly outside the Mid West region.

We reported on March 5th last that six women and five men had been arrested as part of this investigation, before being released without charge, with files being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The eleven individuals arrested had been questioned over a 24 hour period; detained under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, at Garda Stations in Tipperary, Limerick, Clare, and Cork and were understood to be members of an extended family, ranging age-wise from 20 to 70 years.

Following information understood to have been gleaned by Gardaí in the past over less than a one year period, from some 20 alleged young victims; same have lead investigators to believe that a paedophile ring may have operated beyond the Mid West region of Ireland. We also understand that some of the young victims have claimed that they were groomed from a young age and raped by known family members.


Stolen Jewellery Recovered From Golden Island Robbery

Gardaí from Co. Tipperary, together with their colleagues from counties Laois /Offaly are understood to have recovered a substantial amount of jewellery and watches, which was stolen from a shopping centre in the midland town of Athlone, during last week’s ‘Snow Emma’.

The operation which led to the arrest of three males, was carried out by Gardaí and Detectives at a house in Ballaghmore, Lackey, Co Laois, close to the R445 on the Laois / Tipperary border, less than 7.9 kilometres (4.9 miles) from Roscrea, in Co. Tipperary.

Rings, bracelets, watches and chains, worth around €250,000, were stolen from the Golden Island Shopping Centre in Athlone, when thieves broke in through a roof into Park Jewellers in the early hours of last Saturday morning, March 3rd, when the centre was vacant following an earlier snow blizzard.

Described as a “sophisticated robbery”; the gang involved managed to deactivated all alarms at the centre and inside the shop, before stealing the jewellery and watches. They also removed the hard-drive from the centre’s CCTV system, before exiting the building through the roof area.

The robbery was not detected until Golden Island security staff opened the centre on Saturday morning last. The nature of the theft was seen as similar to other robberies around Ireland and abroad in recent times and Gardaí had suspected the involvement of an international gang.

The suspects remain held at stations in Portlaoise, Tullamore and Nenagh, where they are being questioned in relation to their suspected involvement.

Athlone Garda station are continuing to seek for information from those who might have observed unusual activity in the Golden Island area or who may have noticed anything suspicious between the hours 9.00pm on Friday and 7.00am on Saturday; to contact them at Tel: (090)6498550 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666111.


Arrests In Tipperary As Part Of Sexual Abuse Investigations

Six women and five men (11 people in total), have been arrested in counties Tipperary, Limerick and Kerry this afternoon, as part of an ongoing child sexual abuse investigation.

Gardaí from Roxboro Road, Newcastle West, Bruff, Henry Street, and Mayorstone Park, combined with the Limerick Divisional Protective Services Unit to made the arrests.

This follows on from an investigation into alleged sexual exploitation of children who were resident in the Newcastle West Garda District.

The ages of those arrested range from 20 to 70 years, and currently are being detained at Garda stations in Limerick, Cork and Clare under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984, on suspicion of the sexual exploitation of children.


Businesses Urged To Instigate Policy On Invoice Redirect Fraud

Det. Chief Supt. Patrick Lordan.

Gardaí continue to warn businesses regarding online scams, that has allowed fraudsters to attempt to embezzle more than €1.3m in “invoice redirect fraud”, over a mere two-month period.

On February 28th last, we posted news of the arrest of three men and two women, following a total of four searches; three in Co. Tipperary and one in Co. Dublin.

Detective Chief Superintendent Mr Patrick Lordan, Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) and a former Garda Superintendent here at Thurles Garda Station (2010 -2013), has highlighted the need for businesses to urgently instigate more “robust policies and procedures”, with regard to “Invoice Redirect Fraud”. This can be easily undertaken by making “direct contact” with a trusted individual within any organisation with which business is being conducted.

What is Invoice Redirect Fraud?

In crimes of this nature, criminals send emails to businesses purporting to be one of their legitimate suppliers. These emails contain an instruction to change the suppliers bank account details, that the business currently use. Payments then arrive to new bank accounts that ultimately benefit the criminals, and in the majority of instances, the business does not become aware it has been a victim of such crime, until the legitimate supplier sends a reminder invoice, seeking payment.

These requests from criminals can also come via written correspondence or by a phone call, so caution should attach to any such request of this nature, and business owners are urged to remind employees to treat any request to change supplier bank account details, with extreme caution.

Just one of the examples of such fraud being attempted was Meath Co. Council, who were deceived into handing over €4.3m to an online fraudster. Having acted quickly and made contact with Gardaí when this slip-up was realized, it became possible to recover all losses involved.

The five arrests we recently reported on, were made following a probe into a similar scam, which involved Dublin Zoo. Current NECB boss, Det. Chief Supt. Mr Pat Lordan has stated: “Invoice redirect fraud is a major problem around the world and we are also targeting the crime gangs who are sending money to Ireland.”

The scam is being targeted by the Money Laundering Investigation Unit (MLIU) of the Garda Economic Crime Bureau, who work very closely with financial institution in this regard.


Should Capital Punishment Be Reintroduced?

—— The Ballad of Reading Gaol ——

“They stripped him of his canvas clothes, and gave him to the flies.
They mocked the swollen purple throat and the stark and staring eyes.
And with laughter loud they heaped the shroud in which their convict lies.

The Chaplain would not kneel to pray by his dishonoured grave,
Nor mark it with that blessed Cross that Christ for sinners gave,
Because the man was one of those whom Christ came down to save.”

[An extract taken from Oscar Wilde’s last work, before his destitute death in Paris at the age of 46, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”, latter published in 1898, under the name C.3.3 (Oscar Wilde’s own prison cell number). ]

Hanging, for the purposes of execution, is the suspension of a person by a ligature tied around their neck, and was a common method of capital punishment since medieval times, while still remaining the official execution method in some countries.

Oliver Cromwell’s Head

In Ireland today, due to a rise in criminal behaviour, media outlets often report on calls by individuals to reintroduce hanging. Indeed, in recent weeks one elected representative and one legal expert in Co. Tipperary, have both supported the idea that gun possession for rural dwellers is now essential, intimating the ridiculous notion that each person in their own right, is entitled to become judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one.

Oscar Wilde’s famous poem, (extract above) when read in full, demonstrates the effect on prisoners of a condemned man waiting in their midst.

Prior to the early 1800’s, the crimes of:-  Robbery; Arson; Burglary; Coining; Highway Robbery; Attempted Murder; High Treason; Horse Stealing; Murder; Rape; Sheep Stealing; Sodomy; Theft (including from letter post, boats and dwelling houses); Uttering (latter the crime of passing forgeries, e.g. counterfeit coins and notes)  were all punishable by hanging.

Legislation under the ‘Chalking Act’ of 1778, permitted the hanged body of a person who killed or maimed with intent, to be handed over to surgeons for anatomization (separating into fine particles)  or basic dissection.

In 1823, British Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850) influenced by Quakers Elizabeth Fry (née Gurney, “the angel of prisons”) and her brother Joseph John Gurney; reduced the number of offences for which convicts could be executed, by over 100 previously prescribed offences.  Robert Peel who helped to create the modern-day police force, introducing ‘Bobbies’ in England and ‘Peelers’ in Ireland, later served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, first elected MP for the Irish rotten borough of Cashel, in Co. Tipperary, when he was just 21.  Seven years later in 1830, his replacement, Lord John Russell, abolished the death sentence for horse stealing and housebreaking.

On Friday 3rd September 1658, Oliver Cromwell then aged 59, died of septicaemia at Whitehall, in central London. On the 30th January 1661, after the restoration of the monarchy and on the 12th anniversary of the execution of Charles I, his supposed body was exhumed from Westminster Abbey, and subjected to a posthumous execution by being hanged at Tyburn. Later taken down from the scaffold and decapitated, his body was thrown into a pit beneath his gallows. What remained of his head was set on a spike above Westminster Hall. This pole with spike attached on which the head was impaled, broke off during a storm, falling into the grounds of Westminster Hall.

It is understood that a sentry found it and hid it in the chimney of his house, ignoring a considerable reward for its whereabouts. In the meanwhile, it reappeared in 1710 on public display in the ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ owned by Claudius Du Puy, a French-Swiss calico printer who also ran a museum of freaks and curiosities. On Du Puy’s death in 1738 the head passed through various hands; including the Hughes Brothers, who put it on public display in Bond Street, charging two shillings and sixpence to view it.

It took until the 25th March 1960, before the head was finally reburied in Sidney Sussex College Chapel in Cambridge, inside an airtight container with just a few witnesses present.

Capital punishment in Ireland was prohibited in statute law in 1990, having been first abolished in 1964 for most offences, including ordinary murder.

Two questions remain for debate; (1) Do we really wish to return to those dark uncivilised days of yore? or (2) Do we feel that those elected to form our laws have let us down with regard to the punishing of those committed to continuous criminal behaviour?