July 2015
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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.

Criminals To Have Past Records Expunged

GardaThe Law Reform Commission, the Irish State’s independent legal watchdog, believe that certain criminals should now have their previous records permanently expunged, under new plans which are now only being currently considered by the present Government.

The Law Reform Commission first proposed this reform 8 years ago in 2007; where all offenders who serve a prison sentence of six months or less, or who receive a suspended sentence or fine, should have their records erased altogether, providing they can show a conviction-free period of some seven-year.

This Law Reform headline of yesterday reminded me of the case some years ago of local renowned, unemployed, Thurles pickpocket, Pajoe Damo O’Reilly-Browne.

Pajoe had been detained by a sharp eyed Thurles policeman and was appearing in Thurles Court, charged with certain pick pocketing offences committed, (or so arresting police officers claimed) on the streets of Thurles during a busy Cork V Tipperary GAA Hurling Munster Final.

Pajoe, through his appointed Free Legal Aid Solicitor, had argued that he was merely sticking his hands into strangers pockets just to keep them warm. His legal defence council had also argued that since, to quote the old proverb, “A fool and his money are easily parted”, his client, were he even to be found guilty, had merely just assisted in speeding up the future of things to come, and therefore no real crime had actually been committed. Pajoe’s defence solicitor had also been at pains to point out that Irish politicians pick the pockets of Irish citizens on a regular daily basis, yet same are never arrested and never dragged embarrassingly before a court of law, as was the case of his present client.

After much legal debate Justice Paddy McAlpine came to his own final conclusions. Addressing the accused, the Judge stated; “Mr O’Reilly, you sir are hereby found guilty of being involved in the theft of two mobile phones, nine wallets and forty two ecstasy tablets, all the property of ten law abiding individual. Since these stolen items have now all been returned safely to their rightful owners in tact, in your case I am suspending a custodial sentence.  However this court places a fine on you in the total sum of €150; same to be paid with immediate effect into the Court Poor Box and before leaving this Courtroom”.

Pajoe reached reluctantly for his wallet whispering as he did so into the willing ear of his Solicitor. The acting Solicitor was observed nodding to his client before standing up before Judge McAlpine stating, “Your Honour, my client is a little short of funds at this time. He has only €125 in his pocket, but if you would allow him a few minutes to move around the towns crowded Liberty Square, my client would quickly return to this court and make full financial restitution.”

Thank God for the Irish State’s independent legal watchdogs, where would we be without them?

Pastoral Statement On Upcoming Referenda


His Grace, Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly.

Marriage Referendum

A series of opinion polls published today indicate that while the ‘Yes’ side appear to be leading in the ‘Marriage Referendum” campaign, these polls also suggest a narrowing of the gap on the ‘No’ side within recent weeks; with more and more voters indicating that they are either truly undecided or are fully committed to voting ‘No’.

Eligibility for Election to the Office of President of Ireland Referendum

With regard to the Referendum on the eligibility for election to the office of President from 35 years to 21 years, recent polls taken appear to indicate an expected ‘No’ result.
Note: Both Referenda will take place on Friday 22nd May 2015.

Today, across a number of Roman Catholic Dioceses and Archdiocese (Archdiocese – Cashel & Emly, Dublin together with Dioceses – Galway, Killala, and Elphin), letters were being read out at Masses in which bishops are arguing against the proposed change to the definition of marriage in the constitution.

Here in the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emily, His Grace Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly has stated that while there is no desire on his part or that of other bishops to alienate or denigrate any one person or group within Irish society, many within the church believes that marriage between a male and female is an institution that is fundamental to human life and the overall well being of society.

In his letter His Grace, Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly states:-
“I write this letter – my first as bishop of the archdiocese of Cashel and Emly – at a moment of singular importance for our country. In a few days those eligible to vote will have the opportunity to express their preferences in two referendums on Marriage and the age for Presidential Candidates.

Earlier this year the Catholic Bishops issued a pastoral statement titled “The Meaning of Marriage“. As in all modern societies there are varying and different opinions about every important issue. Ireland is no different. However, to change a fundamental article of our constitution is a serious and significant event. For that reason we have urged that all people reflect carefully on how they vote.

Marriage, as understood by the great religious traditions of the world, is that of the union between a man and a woman. This is enshrined I believe in the natural order. As Catholics our understanding of marriage is taken from human experience but also from the Word of God as revealed in the Bible and the tradition of the Church.

There is no desire, on my part or that of the bishops, to alienate or denigrate any person or group of persons in our society. We uphold the dignity of each person. And we also hold faithfully to what we have received. We believe that marriage between a man and a woman is an institution that is fundamental to human life and the well-being of society.

This referendum on marriage is an opportunity for every person to reflect and perhaps to rediscover the richness and uniqueness of marriage based on the union of a man and a woman created to complement each other. It is an opportunity for catholic married couples to strengthen their witness to a life based on the sacrament of marriage. In the first chapter of the Book of Genesis we read that from the beginning, God created human beings in His own image – ‘male and female’ – and commissioned them to ‘be fruitful’.  Marriage is willed by God, and instituted and sanctified by God to be the way in which God’s work of creation continues in the world. The gift of life, which flows from the intimate union of a man and woman in marriage, is a gift from God Himself.

Pope Francis reminded us that marriage is a ‘noble vocation’ and he urged all of us to care for the ‘covenant’ of marriage between man and woman.

Should this amendment be passed it will be difficult to speak about marriage as it has been traditionally understood. This proposal, if it is incorporated into Art. 41 of the Constitution will introduce a profound change to our understanding of marriage, of the family and of parenthood. That is why it is important to reflect very carefully on what is the best response to the proposal of the referendum.

The referendum will be held just a few days before the Church celebrates the Feast of Pentecost. I ask those who are concerned about our country and the importance of her institutions to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as the people discern how they will vote.

The second Referendum – to reduce the age at which candidates are eligible for election to the office of President from 35 to 21 also merits careful consideration.

Our young people are our future. They are the generation that we look to for energy, initiative and ideas for our country. Young people contribute much to our society many are particularly concerned for the less well-off and for the care of the created world. They are called on to make important decisions from early on in their lives and show themselves very capable in many areas. They are an invaluable part of our society.

On 22nd May, I urge all those with the right to vote to exercise it. Both Referenda are important and I urge you to participate fully in the democratic process. Our right to vote in a constitutional referendum is at the heart of democracy and a right that we should cherish, guard and exercise.

May the Holy Spirit guide each one of us as we come to a decision on what way to vote”.

Prayer for Married Couples 

“We thank you, O God, for the love you have implanted in our hearts.
May it inspire us to be kind in our words and actions, considerate of feelings and concerned with each other’s feelings and wishes.
Help us to be understanding and forgiving of human weakness and failings.
Bless our marriage, O God, with peace and happiness and make our love fruitful for your glory and our joy both here and in eternity.”   (The Family Prayer Book)

Signed: Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly, (May 2015).

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