Legislation Targeting Those Who Groom Children To Commit Crime Welcomed.

  • Up to five years imprisonment if found guilty on indictment.
  • One of a set of holistic measures under the Youth Justice Strategy 2021-2027.
  • Complemented by Greentown Programme which seeks to disrupt the influence of organised crime groups on young people.

The Minister for Justice Mrs Helen McEntee and the Minister of State with responsibility for Youth Justice Mr James Browne have welcomed the coming into effect of legislation criminalising adults who draw children into crime.

Minister McEntee has this morning commenced the Criminal Justice (Engagement of Children in Criminal Activity) Act 2024, which makes it an offence for an adult to either force or encourage children to engage in any criminal activity.

Those found guilty of the new offences may face imprisonment of up to 12 months on summary conviction and up to five years on indictment.

The legislation recognises the life-long impact and harm done to a child by drawing them into criminal activity, and is one of a set of holistic measures being progressed by the Department of Justice and Minister Browne under the Youth Justice Strategy 2021-2027 to address youth offending.

Under that Strategy, the Department has established an intensive intervention pilot called the Greentown Programme, which is specifically focused on disrupting organised crime groups who lure children into crime, and improving outcomes for children at risk or already engaged in criminal networks.

Minister McEntee recently extended that programme for a further three years so that the learnings for best practice can be formalised and disseminated to the entire network of youth justice initiatives.

Speaking today, Minister McEntee said: “This important legislation will criminalise adults who are ruining young people’s lives and blighting their communities by forcing or enticing them into criminal lifestyles. While offending might start small, it often snowballs into something more serious and suddenly there is no way out for a young person whose life can become plagued by debts, fear and intimidation.

It will be an important tool in the arsenal of Gardaí to disrupt criminal networks and pursue those who use vulnerable young people to keep their own hands clean, complementing the holistic intervention work already underway through the Greentown Programme.

We must pursue those who do the harm, but also work to undo the harm – the Greentown Programme provides intensive wraparound supports and interventions for young people either at risk of or already influenced by criminal networks. It provides intensive supports for the positive development and diversion of the affected children, as well as their family members.

I would like to thank my colleague Minister Browne for his work in developing this legislation and seeing it through the Houses. I look forward to seeing its impact.”

Welcoming the commencement of the Act, Minister Browne said:

“Seeing this legislation over the line has been a key priority for me given its centrality to the Youth Justice Strategy. To really change and reduce youth offending, we need a holistic approach – criminalising those who induce children into criminal activity, creating pro-social opportunities for young people at risk, and intensive interventions for those who are already involved in criminality to improve their long-term outcomes.

The reality is that some children are dealt a losing hand when they have people in their lives – it could be a parent, a cousin, a sibling, a neighbour – who actively exploit them. These people do immeasurable harm to the life of a young person and this legislation recognises that.

Young people may be coerced, forced or enticed by promises of wealth and social status, but what may seem like a quick way to make money or even as something glamourous or cool, very typically turns sour.

A criminal conviction can seriously affect young people’s opportunities to travel abroad, to gain access to education or work, all of which can set people onto worse paths.

This legislation will help to prevent the next generation from being used and abused by criminal gangs, and will contribute to the building of safer, stronger communities.”

This meets objectives contained in both the Programme for Government and the Youth Justice Strategy 2021-2027.

A key objective in handling youth crime is to try to keep young people out of the criminal justice system as far as possible. The provisions in this legislation limit liability for the offences to adults in order to avoid further consequences for children who are already victims of crime themselves and who may also have been groomed.

The Government is committed to supporting youth justice services in every way possible. In Budget 2024, a further €2.9 million in funding was allocated to youth justice services, increasing the total budget allocation for the youth diversion measures to over €33 million.

This new legislation has been informed by the Greentown Programme, which is being implemented by the University of Limerick in partnership with the Department of Justice and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, and was recognised at the 2020 European Crime Prevention Awards. The aim of the Programme is to investigate the involvement of children in criminality and to establish interventions to tackle the problem.

The Criminal Justice (Engagement of Children in Criminal Activity) Act 2024 can be found HERE.


New Rules & Regulations Regarding E-Scooters Now In Force.

Electric scooter (e-scooter).

From yesterday, Monday 20th May, e-scooters will be legal to use and operate on a public road, under the Road Traffic and Roads Act 2023, however, it should be noted that the following rules and restrictions will apply.

E-scooters can only be used:

  • by people over 16 years of age.
  • on cycle and bus lanes.
  • on local, regional and national roads.

E-scooters are not permitted:

  • to be used by people under 16 years-of-age.
  • to carry goods or passengers.
  • to be used on footpaths, pedestrianised areas or on motorways.
  • to exceed a speed limit of 20 km/h.

Note: An Garda Síochána will be enforcing the new rules and regulations with regards same vehicles.

Q. What is an e-scooter?
A. An electric scooter (e-scooter) is a vehicle with a small standing platform and no seat, for use by one person only, with two or more wheels, propelled by an electric motor. The rider may also propel the e-scooter forward by pushing.

Q. When do the new laws for e-scooters come into force?
A. The regulations for e-scooters came into force yesterday, Monday May 20th 2024.

Q. Are e-scooters legal in Ireland?
A. From May 20th 2024, e-scooters are legal to use on public roads under the Road Traffic and Roads Act 2023.

Q. What is the minimum age limit for e-scooter users?
A. E-scooter users must be aged 16 years or older. Gardai will have the power to seize an e-scooter if it’s being used by anyone under the age of 16 years.

Q. Do I need to register, tax, or insure my e-scooter?
A. No.

Q. Do I need a licence to use my e-scooter in a public place?
A. No.

Q. What are the rules for using e-scooters in Ireland?
A. From May 20th 2024, e-scooter users must:

  1. Drive on the left, including in cycle and bus lanes.
  2. Be 16 or older.
  3. Obey the rules of the road, particularly for traffic lights, pedestrian crossings, pelican crossings and zebra crossings.
  4. Obey signals given by a Garda or school warden.
  5. Obey all traffic lights, including bicycle traffic lights.
  6. Obey all traffic signs in the same way that they apply to cyclists.
  7. Not carry passengers or goods.
  8. Not use the footpath.
  9. Obey a speed limit of 20km/h.
  10. Not hold or use a mobile phone.

Q. What are the technical specifications for e-scooters?
A. E-scooters must:

  1. Have a maximum power output of 400 watts or less.
  2. Have a maximum weight of 25 kg (including batteries).
  3. Have a maximum design speed of 20 km/h or less.
  4. Have wheels with a minimum diameter of 200mm.
  5. Be fitted with front and rear lights, reflectors, brakes and a bell.
  6. Be fitted with a manufacturer’s plate certifying the power output, weight and design speed.

Q. What if my e-scooter doesn’t meet the technical requirements in the regulations?
A. If your e-scooter doesn’t meet the current legislative requirements, it will remain illegal for you to use it in a public place. Same will be subject to enforcement by An Garda Síochana and may be seized.

Q. Can I carry a passenger on an e-scooter?
A. No. It’s illegal and unsafe for you to carry a passenger on an e-scooter and a fixed charge notice will apply if you’re caught.

Q. What rules apply for e-scooters for alcohol/drugs?
A. An e-scooter may not be used while under the influence of an intoxicant. An e-scooter user charged with this offence will face a court appearance and can be fined up to €2,000.

Q. What are the rules governing the use of e-scooters in public places?
A. From 20 May, E-scooters can be used:
• by people over 16.
• on cycle and bus lanes.
• on local, regional and national roads.

E-scooters are not permitted:
• to be used by people under 16.
• to carry goods or passengers.
• to have a seat.
• to be used on footpaths, pedestrianised areas or on motorways.

In addition, where a bicycle is not permitted, e-scooters are not permitted either.

Rules that govern bicycle use, also now apply to the use of e-scooters.


Auschwitz Album – Surviving Visual Evidence Of Mass Murder Of Jews.

The current Anti-Semitism continues a centuries-long phenomenon in Europe, having possibly reached its zenith during the Nazi era (1933–1945) in Germany.
‘The Holocaust’ was Nazi Germany’s deliberate, organized, state-sponsored persecution and genocide of European Jews. During WWII, the existing Nazi regime systematically murdered about six million of the Jewish population.

Why are Jews Targeted? The Origins of Antisemitism

Today the “Auschwitz Album,” containing some 193 photographs; compiled between May or June of 1944, either by Ernst Hofmann or by Bernhard Walter, remain the only surviving known visual evidence of the process of the mass murder of Jews at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Both above named individuals were SS men, who had been tasked with taking ID photos and fingerprints of inmates.

In November 1938, German Jews faced deliberate and orchestrated violence, showing many Jews that their very existence was in danger, if they stayed within the country.
In a Nazi-provoked riot, known as Kristallnacht [Night of Broken Glass, or the November Pogrom* ] staged on November 9th, 1938, more than 250 synagogues were destroyed, and 91 people were murdered. Countless Jewish businesses and homes were vandalized and destroyed, and some 30,000 Jewish men were sent to Dachau, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen and other concentration camps, where they were coerced into promising to emigrate, when they were released several weeks later.

* ‘Pogrom’ meaning the organized massacre of a particular ethnic group.

It became difficult for Jews to leave Germany because few countries, were willing to take them in, even though it was widely known that they were suffering under the then Nazi regime.

It was Ms Lilly Jacob-Zelmanovic Meier who donated the album, in the video shown above, to Yad Vashem (The World Holocaust Remembrance Centre) in 1980. When originally assembled, the album was likely not for use as Nazi propaganda, but was most likely prepared as an official document for future German reference.

The Irish Constitution of 1937 specifically gave constitutional protection to Jews. This was considered to be a necessary component to the constitution by Éamon de Valera because of the treatment of Jews elsewhere in Europe at the time. The reference to the Jewish Congregations in the Irish Constitution was removed in 1973 with the Fifth Amendment. This same amendment removed the ‘special position’ of the Catholic Church, as well as references to the Church of Ireland, the Presbyterian Church, the Methodist Church, and the Religious Society of Friends, the Quakers.

Anti-Israeli protests by some 100 students in Trinity College, Dublin, has now resulted in an agreement by college management to the divestment from investments in Israeli companies that have activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and appear on a UN blacklist.
However, It is worthy of note that a one former graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, a Cork woman and a Quaker (Society of Friends) named Mary Elmes used her skills having crossed the border into France working as head of the Quaker delegation in Perpignan, France. Her presence saved the lives of hundreds of Jewish children bound for Auschwitz-Birkenau, via Rivesaltes Camp in the north eastern suburb of Paris, latter the major transit camp for the deportations of French Jews. She is known to have “spirited away” children in the boot of her car, to children’s homes she had previously set up in the Pyrenees.
In 1943 she was arrested by the Gestapo and spent six months in jail. On release she continued her mission to save the lives of Jewish children. She refused all suggestion of accolades during her lifetime, but 11 years ago, in 2013 she was named “Righteous Among the Nations” at Yad Vashem (The World Holocaust Remembrance Centre). She is the only Irish person to hold this distinction, given to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jewish people during World War II. On July 9th 2019, the then Cork City Council, in a display of true wisdom, opened a new pedestrian bridge, same now named in honour of Ms Mary Elmes.

A former professor of Hebrew at the same Trinity College, between 1939 and 1979, Mr Jacob (Jack) Weingreen and his wife Bertha must surely have turned in their Dublin graves following the demands by the same students. Both the Weingreen’s were members of the Dublin Jewish community and both were active in education and youth movements, serving for a time with the Jewish Relief Unit, following the end of WWII.

Bertha Weingreen was Chief Welfare Officer responsible for all Jewish Displaced Persons in the British zone and stationed at the former military barracks at the Bergen Belsen, concentration camp.

Jacob was Director of Education for all Displaced Persons, before setting up a successful Trade School at Belsen which was later transformed into a top-grade technical college. Professor Weingreen was the author of ‘A Practical Grammar for Classical Hebrew’, latter a textbook that is still recognized as the standard teaching work on the subject.
The couple received desperately needed supplies sent from Dublin’s JYRO (Jewish Youth Relief Organisation) and the Linen Mills in Northern Ireland, which were used for the kindergarten Bertha set up for hidden children Bertha Weingreen encountered in Berlin. The Weingreens eventually returned to Dublin in 1947 where they played prominent roles in the Irish Jewish community until their deaths in 1995 and 1999, respectively.

True pro-treaty Irish Republicans will be aware of the fact that on a Friday afternoon in 1920, Black and Tans descended on Longwood Avenue, South Circular Road, Portobello, Dublin 8, blocking off the area between Leonard’s Corner and Kelly’s corner, using a lorry and an armoured car. Same raid came accompanied by a strict curfew.

The Sabbath day observed by Jews begins from sunset on Friday evening to sunset the following day. However, on this same Sabbath day in 1920, the Jewish community made the decision that Tans or no Tans, they were going to visit their local synagogue. When it was time to go to pray, the men were the first to emerge from their homes, followed by wives and children.
Rabbi Gudansky followed last, accompanied by his family, while he supported an elderly gentleman, who could barely walk. The old crippled man swore at the Tans in Yiddish, which sounded like nonsense gibberish to the Black and Tan soldiers.
It appeared that residents from Longwood Avenue’s Jewish community had somehow lost the ability to speak English that evening, as Tan soldiers were bombarded with Yiddish, Russian, Lithuanian, and Polish dialects. The Black and Tans, in an effort to rid themselves of this now gathering angry crowd, decided to step aside and allow the Jewish community to continue to attend at their place of worship.
On reaching Walworth Road, Portobello, Dublin, Rabbi Gudansky and his aged companion, halted briefly before shaking hands. The man removed his hat and boomed: “Thank you! Thank you!” in his strong Cork accent. The ‘cripple’ was none other than Michael Collins (1890 – 1922) in disguise. He winked stating: “I will send for the bicycle later”, before quickly moving on alone.
It was learned later that Collins first entered Joseph Kervon’s house, on Longwood Avenue, before he jumped over a wall into Rabbi Gudansky’s back garden, latter situated next door. He entered the residence, unnoticed by the Tans, before borrowing traditional Jewish garb, courtsey of Rabbi Gudansky.

Sadly, to my mind, the current Irish Taoiseach Mr Simon Harris (A former Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science) has informed Israeli President Mr Isaac Herzog of Ireland’s plan to recognise the state of Palestine and has reiterated that the overarching goal should be a two-state solution; latter which Hamas terrorists themselves have denounced, calling instead for the full and complete liberation of Palestine, “from the river (Jordan) to the sea”; an area that includes what is now Israel, and in the context of the current wishes of Hamas can only mean the total destruction of the State of Israel.

In return the Israeli President has warned Mr Simon Harris that any such unilateral recognition of Palestine, as a State, will totally jeopardise any hope of Hamas releasing the hostages it continues to hold in Gaza, and will no doubt encourage further missile and other attacks on the State of Israel.

History will record the outcome of this interference by the present Irish government.


Reminder – Cashel Library Service Present May Bealtaine Festival Events.

Ms Maura Barrett, (Cashel Library) Reports:-

Every May Bealtaine is presented as a nationwide festival celebrating age and creativity.

Tipperary County Library Service, in conjunction with Tipperary Arts Office, are delighted to present a full and varied programme across all the libraries.

Continuing from tomorrow:

Tuesday 14th May at 1:15pm – Wellness with Sarah Covey ETB.

Tuesday 14th May, at 6:15pm – Movie Night ‘Thelma & Louise’.

Wednesday 15th May at 2:30pm “Hello How are You- Afternoon Tea.”

Friday 17th May at 11:30pm – Line Dancing with Bernie Corbett.

You can locate the Cashel Library building, situated on Friar Street, Lady’s Well, Cashel, Co. Tipperary, HERE. (G487+RX)

Note: All events are free, however, booking is essential please – Tel: 062-63825.


Order Of Malta – Thurles Cadets Regional Competition Results.

On Saturday last, May 11th, 2024, the Regional Order of Malta Cadet Competitions for the Southern Region were hosted here in Thurles.

Pictured Above: The Thomas Bourke Order of Malta cadets and leaders with their trophies and medals following a successful day of competitions.

Cadets from all over the region travelled to the Tipperary town, to take part in a wide range of competitions, including First Aid, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), Home Nursing and Foot-Drill.
The Thurles cadets had been training diligently over the past number of months in preparation for these competitions.

All this hard work paid off, as the Thurles cadets were successful in all the categories that they entered, coming in first place in all of them.

Training is now underway for the All-Ireland Competitions, which will be held in Fermanagh in July of this year.