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Fennelly Commission: Secretary General’s Visit Caused Retirement

The awaited November 2014 Fennelly Commission’s report has just been published this evening. The Commission was charged with investigating matters of public concern which had been brought to the attention of the current Government.

These matters of public concern included:-
(A) Recording of non-999 telephone calls in certain Garda Stations over a 30 year period.
(B) Recordings to and from Bandon Garda Station which might indicate unlawful or improper conduct by Gardaí in investigations into the death of the dreadful murder of M/s Sophia Toscan Du Plantier in 1996.
(C) Investigate and report on the furnishing to the Minister for Justice of a letter dated March 10th 2013, sent by the then Garda Commissioner Mr Martin Callinan, to the Secretary General of the Dept. of Justice & Equality.
(D) Investigate and report on the sequence of events leading up to the sudden and unexpected retirement of Garda Commissioner Mr Martin Callinan on March 24th 2014.

However it is the investigation and report on the sequence of events which lead up to the sudden and unexpected retirement of Garda Commissioner Mr Martin Callinan on March 24th 2014, which has gained the most attention from our national press.

GardaFrom this published report we learn that Garda Commissioner Mr Martin Callinan told the Fennelly Commission that the “direct cause of his decision to retire, was the visit from Mr Purcell, (Latter Secretary General of the Department of Justice and who visited Commissioner’s Home at 11.00pm) and the message conveyed by the Taoiseach during that visit”.

The former commissioner had expressed a wish to retire in three months, however the Taoiseach had then considered the issue overnight and later informed the Garda Commissioner that his retirement would have to take place with “immediate effect”;  maintaining it was Garda Commissioner Callinan’s own personal decision.

The Commission has stated in this report “it must add” the decision to retire “cannot be seen in complete isolation from other contemporary events concerning An Garda Siochana and the Commissioner personally”.

However An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny has stated that the then charge made against him; that he sacked former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, now “doesn’t stand up”. “The report is clear and unambiguous in its findings that not only was there no dismissal or sacking of the Garda Commissioner, it was never even mentioned at the meeting,” Mr Kenny stated.

This newly published report has now concluded that the visit by the then Secretary General, Mr Brian Purcell, to the home of Garda Commissioner Mr Martin Callinan, was the immediate catalyst for his decision to retire.

Readers are invited to read sections 35.17 (Page 220) to 35.22 (Page 221) of this Fennelly Commission Report, which can be viewed in its entirety here at http://www.taoiseach.gov.ie/eng/News/Taoiseach’s_Press_Releases/Interim_report_of_the_Fennelly_Commission.pdf.

Lar Corbett “€5,000 Reward For Thief”

WantedHurling left corner-forward and three All-Star award GAA winner Lar Corbett is this morning offering a €5,000 reward, following the theft, during last night of takings from the office of his pub, situated on O’Donovan Rossa Street, here in Thurles.

The Tipperary five championship medal holder offered the reward on Twitter, posting CCTV footage of the alleged thief.

Do you recognise this man?

“I need help from the public, I have proper (CCTV) footage, that I will put up here, the reward is €5,000 in cash”, an understandably angry Mr Corbett stated following the discovery on opening his premises this morning.

“By Monday I will have the car and reg that appears to have dropped him, and I will have proper footage of him, this is happening all over the country”, the GAA legend continued.

Lar has now posted CCTV footage captured from outside his premises, which shows a male, wearing a large rucksack or hold-all on his shoulder, walking up to the front door of his premises, before entering.  Note vehicle in this footage appears to travel the wrong way up this one way street.

Thurles Town is one urban area now with CCTV cameras covering its streets on a 24 hour basis and this burglary will now most certainly test this recently installed systems usefulness and the ability to identify crimes committed at night.

Persons with any information on this latest of a long line of Thurles burglaries are being asked to contact Thurles Garda station on Tel: 0504-25100, or the Garda Confidential Line on Tel: 1800-666-111, or indeed any Garda station.

Meanwhile also today the outspoken Kerry politician Michael Healy-Rae has also defended homeowners’ rights to use “reasonable force” against intruders, stating that rural crime had reached “crisis” levels.

Robbery Ely’s Centra Kickham Street Thurles Tipperary

DSC_5925The ever popular one-stop-shop known as Ely’s Centra Supermarket, situated on the corner of Ikerrin Road and Kickham Street, Thurles, Co Tipperary, was the subject of a burglary in the early hours of this morning, (Thursday 23rd July 2015).

A thief or thieves entered the popular busy retail store by breaking through a roof at the rear of the main building, at around 1:30am this morning, before breaking through an inner ceiling, to dismantle security cameras.

The robbery of these premises, which operates daily from 7:00am to 10:00pm, was first discovered by staff who arrived for their early morning work shift today.

While the store are still counting the cost of this morning’s break-in, it is generally accepted that several thousand Euros of saleable goods were removed from the building, together with several thousand Euro’s of structural damage caused to internally placed dispensing machinery and actual roofing fabric at the rear of the building’s structure.

It should be noted that despite this mornings upset, the premises still continue to remains open and trading continues as usual.

Local Thurles Gardaí are urgently seeking information from any person who may have been in the vicinity of the store between 1:30am and 3:00am this morning and who may have noticed any unusual behaviour taking place in this immediate area.

Anyone with information can contact Thurles Garda Divisional HQ at Slievenamon Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary by calling in person or Telephoning (0504)25100. Persons with information may also contact the Garda Confidential Telephone Line on Tel: 1800 666 111 or indeed any Garda Station.

This morning’s robbery is the latest in a series of such criminal activities carried out in the Thurles, Two-Mile-Borris and Littleton area in the past few weeks and Gardaí are warning businesses to remain alert.

Hospice Fund Raiser Convicted Of Drug Possession

Cannabis SativaMr William Gleeson, with an address at Lisdoon Cottage, Ballycraggan, Puckane, Co Tipperary, was given a five-month suspended jail sentence at Nenagh District Court yesterday on drug charges.

Mr Gleeson, aged 27 years, was charged with seven counts under the Drugs Trafficking Act, including possession of cannabis, possession of the drug cannabis for sale or supply, together with possession of drug associated paraphernalia including a weighing scales.

Mr Gleeson pleaded guilty to possession of an estimated €900 worth of cannabis, latter discovered by Gardai during the search of a bedroom at his address at Ballycraggan, Puckane, Nenagh, on March 3rd 2015 last. He also pleaded guilty to possession of €230 worth of cannabis for sale or supply, following the search of a car in Nenagh Co. Tipperary on June 26th, 2014. Latter search made by Gardaí who also located a weighing scales during this search.

Mr Gleeson, together with two friends recently announced plans to drive 13,000km to Beijing in China for a friend’s wedding while also raising funds for a children’s hospice and claim they had already secured €3,500.

Judge Elizabeth McGrath fined Mr Gleeson €900 and granted liberty to re enter the suspended sentence should he be found to re-offend over the next two years.

Reduced Sentence For Convicted Tipperary Thief

LawA convicted bank robber, Mr Alan Freeman aged 34 years, who stole 42 guns from an arms dealer here in Co Tipperary, will now spend less time in prison following his legal appeal today.

Mr Freeman, who previously resided at Deansrath Grove, Clondalkin, Co. Dublin, failed to have his conviction quashed; however, following his appeal today, he will now be released two years earlier.

His original conviction followed a break-in during the early hours of Jan 9th, 2009, when, in the company of other masked men, he broke into the residence of a licensed firearms dealer living close to Carrick-On-Suir in Co. Tipperary. Having threatened gun dealer Mr Thomas Keevan, his partner, their daughter and a close friend with a sawn-off shotgun, the men locked the latter into a gun safe for several hours; making off with the 42 weapons.

Three weeks into his trial Mr Freeman admitted stealing the guns and was, for his part, jailed for seven years. This sentence was later increased to further incarceration of 13-year, after a previously suspended sentence for involvement in a bank robbery in Abbeyleix, Co Laois, had been taken into consideration.

His lawyers today appealed the conviction for the gun theft, but same was dismissed. However his lawyers also argued that Mr Freeman’s combined sentence was excessive and did not give full consideration to the principle of totality, which is normally applied when multiple sentences are similarly imposed.

It was to this legal argument that the sitting three-judge panel agreed and thus suspended the final two years of Mr Freeman’s overall sentence.

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