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Drugs Destined for Addresses In Tipperary Seized by Revenue Officers.

Cannabis Sativa

Revenue officers have seized parcels containing drugs with an estimated street value of €450,000, in the area Dublin and Athlone.

The parcels were destined for addresses in counties Tipperary, Dublin, Galway, Cork, Meath, Waterford, Kildare, Clare, Louth, Leitrim and Cavan, but were halted as part of Revenue’s ongoing operations targeting the importation of illegal drugs.

In the Dublin area, routine operations at two premises saw illegal drugs seized, with an estimated value of over €370,000.
The drugs seized included small quantities of butane honey oil, cannabis resin, MDMA, ecstasy tablets, cocaine, synthetic cannabinoids and 18kgs of herbal cannabis.

In Athlone on Monday last, using the assistance of detector dogs ‘Bailey’ and ‘Sam’, Revenue officers discovered illegal drugs, while examining parcels, leading to the seizure of almost 4kgs of herbal cannabis with an estimated street value of €80,000.

Latter were concealed in various parcels labelled as ‘board games’, ‘car organisers’, ‘tuxedos’, ‘tea’, ‘jeans’ and ‘pet blanket’.

The parcels are understood to have initially originated in North America, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Investigations into both Dublin and Athlone seizures remain ongoing.


Death Of Seamus Shortall, Formerly Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

It was with a great sadness that we learned of the death, on Sunday, 1st May, 2022, of Mr Seamus Shortall, Greenford, London, and formerly of Rathmanna, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

The passing of Mr Shortall, is most deeply regretted by his sister Bridget, brother Paddy and brother-in-law Dan, nieces, nephews, extended relatives, neighbours and friends.

Requiescat in Pace.

Funeral Arrangements.

The earthly remains of Mr Shortall will repose for Requiem Mass at the Church of Our Lady of the Visitation, Greenford, London, before being repatriated to his home town of Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

His body will further repose in Kennedy’s Funeral Home, Dublin Road, Thurles on Thursday evening next from 6:00pm to 7:00pm, followed by interment on Friday morning May at 10:30am in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Moyne Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

[NB: Due to C-19 virus fears; those attending will continue to observe strict adherence to social distancing, face covering, with no hand shaking.]

The extended Shortall family wish to express their appreciation for your understanding at this difficult time and have made arrangements for those wishing to send messages of condolence, to use the link shown HERE.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.


Release Of CSO Crime Statistics On Victims & Suspected Offenders.

The Minister for Justice Helen McEntee TD has noted today’s publication of the latest statistics on victims and suspected offenders of serious crimes recorded by An Garda Síochána.

The latest release from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) covers Recorded Crime Victims 2021 and Suspected Offenders 2020, and includes statistics showing a rise since 2018 in the proportion of victims who are women in crimes including attempts/threats to murder, assaults, and harassment offences.

Minister McEntee said, “The new national strategy on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence – which I will bring to Government in the coming weeks – will have a particular focus on prevention, and on ensuring victims are better supported.
It will set an overall goal of zero tolerance for domestic, sexual and gender-based violence and will ensure that people, particularly women and vulnerable people, feel safe and are safe in our communities.
I am also focused on strengthening legislation in this area. Last week I secured Government approval to draft legislation to make stalking and non-fatal strangulation standalone offences, and I will publish a new Hate Crime Bill which will introduce new, specific aggravated offences with enhanced penalties for crimes motivated by prejudice against certain characteristics, including gender”.

The CSO report shows that four out of five victims in sexual violence cases in 2021 were women, and the Minister also noted the drop in the proportion of sexual violence incidents that were reported within a year of them occurring – and urged people to report these heinous crimes as quickly as possible to assist An Garda Síochana in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Minister McEntee added, “We know that these statistics do not paint the full picture of sexual violence in this country, as it only relates to people who have come forward to report what has happened to them. We know that it a sad reality that there are many more victims of sexual violence out there.
We need to know the true extent of this problem and that is why we agreed to the development and delivery of a significant new national survey on the prevalence of sexual violence in Ireland by the CSO. The survey will look in detail at the experience of sexual violence and abuse for both women and men in Ireland.
The No Excuses campaign that my Department ran from 2019 until the end of 2021 underpins the message that sexual harassment and sexual violence will not be tolerated. It highlights that, as a society, we all have a role to play in preventing sexual harassment and sexual violence.
We are currently in the process of developing a further campaign to raise awareness of the meaning and importance of consent.
Also, through the Justice Plan and Supporting a Victim’s Journey, I am working to reform the criminal justice system at every point in which a victim comes into contact with it, and to help victims and vulnerable witnesses in sexual violence cases”.

To date, a number of key actions have been delivered as part of implementing Supporting a Victim’s Journey including:

  • The introduction of preliminary trial hearings;
  • The nationwide rollout of Divisional Protective Services Units (DPSU);
  • The first cohort of staff at a new sexual offences unit in the Director of Public Prosecutions office formally took up their roles last year;
  • Work to advance the training for all personnel who come into contact with vulnerable victims is underway

The Department has also agreed to the development and delivery of a significant new national survey on the prevalence of sexual violence in Ireland by the CSO. It will look in detail at the experience of sexual violence and abuse for both women and men in Ireland.

The full statistics can be accessed at: www.cso.ie


5,688 New Virus Cases On Irish Mainland Today.

To date world-wide, the Covid -19 virus is known to have infected 499,748,065 people, while vaccine doses have been administered to at least 11,110,770,965 persons. Sadly, also at least 6,181,560 people have lost their lives; deaths caused solely by this killer virus.

Today, the Department of Health here in the Irish Republic has confirmed a further 4,761 new cases of Covid-19, within the past 24 hours. Same figure includes 1,749 PCR-confirmed cases of the virus and 3,012 positive antigen tests registered through the HSE portal.

Today, also there are 1,004 patients with the disease in our Republic’s hospitals, a reduction of 77 patients on yesterday’s figure. Of these 53 people are being treated in intensive care units.
Sadly, a further 19 deaths have been recorded today within the Irish Republic, same bringing the total number of Covid-19-related deaths, since the start of the pandemic, to 6,884; shown as the figure published up to yesterday.

Meanwhile; the Department of Health in Northern Ireland has also confirmed another 927 positive cases of the virus within the previous 24-hour period, up from 632 notified on yesterday.

As of this morning, there were 440 Covid-positive patients in northern hospitals, of whom 3 remain in intensive care units.

Also in Northern Ireland, sadly, 2 patients, who had previously tested positive for Covid-19, have been reported dead, bringing the total number of deaths linked to Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic to 3,369.


New Bill Will Implement Biggest Reform To Judicial Appointments In Decades.

Minister Mrs Helen McEntee publishes Bill to implement biggest reform to judicial appointments in decades.

  • Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2022 provides clear process for appointing judges.
  • New measures mean all candidates, including serving judges, will undergo new application and interview procedures.
  • Candidates will be required to undergo judicial training or continuous professional development.

The Minister for Justice, Mrs Helen McEntee, T.D., has today announced that the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2022, was approved by Government earlier this week and will be published shortly.
This represents an important step forward in the reform of the judicial appointments process as committed to by the Minister, most recently in Justice Plan 2022.

This Bill, when enacted, will lead to the biggest reform in the way judges are chosen for appointment in a quarter of a century.

A number of key changes have been made to the Bill from the General Scheme as published by Minister McEntee in December 2020.

The changes include:

* Number of recommendations – 3 persons to be recommended instead of 5 recommendations as provided for in the General Scheme and an additional 2 recommendations for a second and additional vacancies. For example, this would mean seven recommendations for three vacancies

* Only persons recommended by the Judicial Appointments Commission to be recommend by the Government for appointment by the President

* Interviews – Any person – new applicants and serving judges seeking promotion to higher courts – who is to be recommended to the Minister for Justice for appointment should have been interviewed by the Judicial Appointments Commission

* Diversity – The Commission will be required to publish a diversity statement committing to the objective that membership of the judiciary should reflect the diversity of the population as a whole.

* Continuous Professional Development – Candidates will be required to show they have undertaken judicial training or continuous professional development

Minister McEntee said:
“In the hundred years since the foundation of the state, our judges and our judiciary have served us extremely well. In proposing this legislation, I hope that it will enable the continued appointment of excellence judges which are a cornerstone of a strong, independent judiciary.
It is vital that we have a very clear process for judicial appointments, one that people understand and have full confidence in.

The Bill I am publishing today allows for the establishment of a Judicial Appointments Commission of nine members, chaired by the Chief Justice, to replace the current Judicial Appointments Advisory Board.
All 4 lay members of the Commission will be selected and recommended by the Public Appointments Service.
The current JAAB process only concerns first-time judicial appointments, with no statutory advisory role in place relating to appointments from the ranks of serving judges.

This Bill will ensure that anyone who wishes to be considered for appointment to judicial office, including serving judges, will apply to the Commission and undergo the same application and interview processes.
Membership of the judiciary should also reflect the diversity of the population as a whole and a new diversity statement will commit the Judicial Appointments Commission to that objective.

I look forward to working with all members of the Houses of the Oireachtas to bring this legislation to enactment as soon as possible.”

The approval of this Bill follows a substantial process of consultations, in particular with the Attorney General, the European Commission and the Chief Justice.

Commenting on the changes made in the Bill to the General Scheme, Minister McEntee stated:
“In a change from the previously published General Scheme, three persons are to be recommended instead of five, with an additional two recommendations for a second and additional vacancies. This will ensure that we are meeting all of our necessary obligations under EU law.
I am strongly of the view that a candidate should be recommended only after being interviewed, so I have made this a requirement in the Bill.
Additionally, I have included a requirement that judicial appointments will reflect the need for candidates to undergo judicial training or continuous professional development.
I am committed to improving training and continuous professional development right across the justice sector. This is crucial to providing a better service to people who need to engage with our justice system and those who work within it – from our Gardaí to our judges – and I am pleased the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill reflects this priority.”

The Judicial Appointments Commission will set out best practice selection procedures including interviews and the knowledge, skills and attributes required of judges.