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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

200 medical jobs announced for Limerick

Cook Ireland, a medical manufacturing and distribution company, has announced that it is to invest €25m in its Limerick plant creating 200 jobs.

Tánaiste Mary Coughlan is at the company’s plant at the Plassey technological park today where the announcement will be made and has said it is a “fantastic development”. The jobs will be created over the next five years.

She said it would add further value and importance to the facility. The Government is also supporting the R&D linkages which the company has undertaken with the nearby University of Limerick and the Dublin Institute of Technology.

The investment will also establish the Limerick plant as the sole global manufacturing site for Cooks new drug eluting stent, ZILVER PTX.
Via RTE News
The company’s Vice President of European business, Bill Doherty said today,

“We have that confidence in the Limerick team. In addition, our experience in Limerick demonstrates Ireland’s ability to provide the right people - highly skilled and adaptable which are needed for the next phase of our development.”
Mayor John Gilligan described the jobs boost as “good news story for Limerick city”. The company already employs 480 people at the plant.

Monday, September 29, 2008

One injured in county Limerick crash

At least one person has been injured in a road traffic accident in county Limerick this evening.

The accident involving a truck and a tractor happened around 4pm, three miles north of Charleville near the village of Banogue on the main N20 road.

Fire services from Charleville and Kilmallock attend the scene. Gardai are continuing to direct traffic at the scene.

50 jobs created by waste management firm

50 new jobs were pledged today for the Limerick area after a waste treatment company announced an investment in its city facility.

The Re3 Group says it will invest €15m in their plant located in the Galvone Industrial Estate, which uses a steam technology as an alternative landfills and incinerators.

The company already employs 20 people at the facility with a further 30 new jobs being created by this time next year.

The company is investing €15m in sustainable waste technology known as autoclaving, which uses steam technology to recycle up to 85% of domestic waste which currently goes to landfill.

Meanwhile officials at the plant have had to reassure residents in the surrounding area that the plant will not produce any toxic or harmful fumes following reports from householders in the rosbrien area of ‘bad smells’.

Professor Debbie Boyd, Chief Executive of the company said the smells were a consequence of the testing of the system saying that their odour control procedures are now in place and the problem has been dealt with.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mayor lashes out at feud family meetings

The Mayor of Limerick has scathingly criticised reports that a series of secret meetings between feuding criminal families were being conducted.

John Gilligan described the attempt of Limerick feuding criminal gangs to hold a secret meeting at a top Limerick hotel this week in an effort to, in his words “regulate their trade” as “fucking unacceptable”.

The harsh comments came on the heels of a national newspaper report stating that representatives from The McCarthy Dundon and the Keane Collopy gangs were due to meet at the lavish Clarion hotel on Wednesday night, a meeting which was cancelled quiet hastily just two hours before it was due to begin.

Gardai became aware that the meeting would be taking place Wednesday evening and top Garda officials took the precaution of deploying members of the Emergency Response Unit and the new armed Regional Support Unit to the hotel for ‘surveillance’.

Reports say however the meeting was cancelled by the gangs after they became aware that journalists form local and national media had become aware of the gathering.

The Irish examiner article also reported that a figure linked to the Limerick regeneration agency has been mediating between the gangs in an effort to establish a meeting between them. This report has been strongly denied by Regeneration official Brendan Kenny.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Garda probe after shots fired near Childers Road

Gardai are investigating a shooting incident in the city this morning.

Residents alerted Gardai after shots were heard near the halting site on Childers road around 3.45am this morning. Upon their arrival at the scene, Gardai discovered spent shell casings in an open area of field. There were no reports of any injuries.

The shell casings will now be sent to Gardai headquarters for forensic examination. Gardai are appealing for any information in relation to the shooting and can be contacted at 061- 212400.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

5 injured in Knocklong road accident

Five people all believed to be members of the same family have been injured in a traffic accident in county Limerick overnight.

The Limerick Leader reports today the two men and three women were injured when the vehicle in which they were travelling left the road and struck a wall near Kilfrush around midnight.

All injured were taken to the regional hospital in Dooradoyle however none of their injuries are said to be serious.

Limerick students take to the streets in fees protest

“No way, we won’t pay”

Down with that sort of thing

(Picture courtesy of Neville Gawley)

There were reports of major traffic disruption in Limerick city centre today as up to a thousand college students took to the streets in protest of the possible reintroduction of third level fees.

Students from Limerick Institute of Technology, University of Limerick and Mary immaculate college were taking part in the march which began at the Limerick school of Art and Design and made its way into the city.

AA Roadwatch reports,

The students will march from Clare St to a meeting at Arthurs Quay. The route will be down the Dublin Rd, O Connell St, O Connell Ave, Wolfe Tone St, Gerard St and Henry St.
The protest began around 12.15pm. Similar protests are also taking place in Dublin.

Friday, September 19, 2008

False statement gets man 3 month suspended sentence

A Thomondgate man has been given a three month suspended sentence after he was convicted of lying to Gardai in relation to an incident involving Limerick minister Willie O Dea last year.

35 year old Mr. Larkin of Altimira Court, Thomondgate told Gardai in a statement that he was punched "three or four times" by Willie O' Dea in an altercation at the Bank Bar on the 27th of September 2007.

O’ Dea was one of a number of witnesses in court for yesterdays hearing and denied ever attacking Mr Larkin that night. CCTV images from the bar were also shown in court.

Having reviewed the evidence and the DVD overnight, Judge Tom O'Donnell said he paid particular attention to the body language of the accused and the Minister. He said he does not accept that Mr O'Dea grabbed Larkin by the throat in a vicious manner or that he was thumped in the stomach as alleged in the statement.

He said it was quite clear Larkin had a vexed agenda and wanted to let the Minster know, in no uncertain terms, how he felt about a number of matters, including Shannon Airport, the Corrib gas field, the Mahon Tribunal and Bertie Ahern.
Via RTE News
Judge O'Donnell also said it was one of the most bizarre cases he had ever presided over and released Mr. Larkin on bail pending an appeal.

Following the ruling Larkin told news a tv3 reporter that he was going to appeal the decision and go all the way to the European court if necessary.

Dell ‘right-hand man’ to visit Limerick plant

The Global head of operations at Dell, Michael Cannon is reported to be planning a visit to the company’s Limerick plant in the near future as the county braces itself for the possible devastating news that the pant is closing.

The news comes this morning a along with reports that Taiwanese contract design manufacturer Wistron Corporation is considering purchasing some of Dells factories around the world which are “up for sale”.

CNN Money reports,
Wistron public relations officer Joyce Chou said quoting the company's Chairman Simon Lin as saying that the company will consider a purchase if the U.S. computer maker makes an offer. She declined to elaborate further.

A person familiar with the situation had told Dow Jones Newswires earlier Friday that Wistron's decision will depend on the location of the factories for sale and whether Dell's offer is attractive.

Dell spokesman Francis Huan declined to comment on the matter only to say: “Dell is constantly looking at its supply chain management to make the process more cost-effective."
Trading Markets also reports the details.

Meanwhile the 3,000 workers at Dells manufacturing plant in Raheen are expecting the visit from Michael Cannon which the Irish Independent has learned will take place in the “very near future”

It’s expected that Mr. Cannon will use the visit to either quash rumours of the plants closure or indeed be the bearer of the bad news. He is responsible for Dell’s manufacturing, procurement and supply chain activities worldwide and has a reputation “for slashing costs and for his enthusiastic embrace of outsourcing”

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Limerick man rescued after Clare fishing tragedy

A man has been rescued and another man missing presumed dead following an accident off the coast of Clare today.

The Kilkee coastguard boat along with the Shannon based rescue helicopter were mobilised following reports that a small fishing vessel overturned near the diamond rocks near Kilkee around 3.45pm.

Following a search of the area a man in his 50's, believed to be from Limerick, was rescued from the water. Radio reports say he was trapped in Lobster pot netting near the boat. He was flown to Tralee general hospital where is condition is described as serious but stable.

A search is continuing at the scene for a second man, believed to be a 78 year old from Clare. He has not been seen since the accident.

O' Dea evidence delayed due to fire alarm

A court case at Limerick district court in which Minister for Defence Willie O' Dea was due to take the stand was disrupted and delayed today by a fire alarm.

O' Dea is among a number of witnesses due to give evidence in the case of Matt Larkin who is accused of giving a false statement to Gardai in relation to an incident at the Bank Bar last year.

35 year old Mr. Larkin of Altimira Court, Thomondgate told Gardai that he was punched "three or four times" by Willie O' Dea in an altercation at the public house on the 27th of September 2007.

Det Sgt McHugh told the court today that he took the statement from Mr Larkin with these allegations in October of 2007 however when McHugh re interviewed Larkin in January of this year putting it to him that the incident never happened, Larkin replied “That statement is true”.
The case is continuing this evening.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Woman stabbed for her handbag

A woman in her 20’s is recovering following a knife attack in the city centre last night.

Radio reports this morning say the woman was assaulted and robbed by two women on Roches street around midnight. It’s understood the woman received severe knife wounds two her hands as she tried in vain to stop her attackers from taking her handbag.

Gardai managed to arrest the two women shortly after the attack and brought them to Henry Street Garda station for questioning.

One of the women was released with out charge this morning, the other, a 21 year old, will appear in court later today.

12 year old steals van, taunts Gardai into giving chase

A 12 year old girl is due to appear before a sitting of the District court on Merchants Quay this morning charged in connection with the theft of a van which led to a city centre Garda chase.

The girl is understood to have stolen the van from the Garryowen area at 3am Monday morning and drove it to Henry Street Garda station where she beeped the horn in an effort to taunt Gardai into chasing her.

Gardai then gave chase to the girl back out of the city centre before cornering the van in the Garryowen area. It is then alleged the 12 year old driver rammed a Garda car before she was pulled from the van and arrested however only minor damage was caused to the garda unit.

The girl was released into the custody of her parents following questioning and is expected to face numerous charges in court this afternoon.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dell on verge of Limerick pull-out

‘Meltdown Monday’

On a day which saw Americas 4th largest bank file for chapter 11 bankruptcy, Dell is teetering on the verge of pulling operations out of Limerick tonight with a newspaper report in the U.S stating the company has been discussing ceasing operations at its Raheen plant for nearly two years now. Reports say Dell has approached contract computer manufacturers with offers to sell most of its factories around the world.
“Dell executives have privately discussed closing the plant for two years, said two people with knowledge of those discussions. One of those people said Dell executives early last year decided to close the factory, though they didn't establish a firm timeline.

This person said the goal is to move production capacity from Ireland to Poland, where Dell opened a factory early last year -- though the company is moving cautiously to limit any disruption of manufacturing and defections of sales and operations staff Dell wants to retain. In addition to factory workers, Dell has more than 1,000 office workers who will likely remain in Ireland, that person said.”
Via Wall street Journal.
Thousands of people, businesses and families would be affected by the move which Mayor John Gilligan said would be ‘dreadful news’. 3000 people work in the Raheen factory.

The report indicates that if Dell were to cease its Limerick operations, production would be moved to its plant in Lodz, Poland where its production costs would be far less. It is clear that Poland would offer a cheaper workforce and would allow the company to easily access new markets in Russia along with Eastern European bloc countries and the middle east.

One report states the pull out could begin in 18 months.

Meanwhile Hewlett-Packard says it will slash 24,600 jobs which amounts to around 7.5% of the combined workforce of HP and its recently acquired company, EDS.

Friday, September 12, 2008

New TV channel for the Limerick area

The City Television network has been given the go ahead to broadcast in the south of the country.

It’s expected the media company, who already operate one cable television channel The City Channel Dublin and other affiliates in Galway and Waterford, will begin a service for the south of the country named “Channel South” in November after the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland awarded the company a new south license yesterday.

The service is expected to cater for Cork, Limerick, Kerry, Waterford, Clare and south Tipperary. The channel is expected to broadcast 24 hours a day and will provide local programming along with regional news, sport and weather.

Currents City Channels broadcast on the NTL digital platform as well as on cable and MMDS in Waterford and Galway.

City Television network Official Site.
Jazz Biscuits view on the current Dublin Channel.

Students held at knifepoint in city centre

A teenager is due before Limerick district court this Friday morning charged in connection with robbing three students in the city centre.

The 18 year old approached the students on Roches street Thursday night and held them at knifepoint, demanding money and mobile phones to be handed over. Gardai were quickly on the scene and arrested the man a short time later. On him they found three phones, money and a wallet.

In a separate incident Gardai are investigating an arson attack on a viewing platform at the wetlands on Thursday morning. Over 3,000 worth of damage was caused to the platform just off the condell road when it was set on fire during the night.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

5 detained in Richard Kelly murder investigation

Gardai investigating the murder of Limerick teenager Richard Kelly have arrested 5 people in relation to the death this morning.

Four men and one woman were arrested a different addresses around Limerick city this morning. Their ages range from 20 to 36 and are all being detained in Clare Garda stations.

Richard "Happy" Kelly was last seen in the Daly's Cross area on the outskirts of Limerick City on April 24th 2006. He had left his own house in O'Malley Park to baby-sit his then six-month old child at his former girlfriend's house. His body was found on November 28th 2007 in a lake near Bodyke, Co. Clare.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Report: Galway explosives bound for Limerick gang

The seizure of 17.5kgs of industrial explosives in Galway over the weekend may have a Limerick connection.

A report Monday says that one of the theories being investigated by Gardai in relation to the seizure on Saturday is that a gang of criminals based in the North West of the country were intending to sell the ‘Gelignite’ to a south side Limerick gang.

Following 5 arrests in relation to the discovery, a 30 year old, Oliver Mannion from Oranmore, has been charged under Section 4 of the Explosive Substances Act.

The Garda operation involved members from the national support unit and is part of an ongoing investigation into organised crime both in Ireland and abroad.

Mr. Mannion applied for bail at a hearing today but his request was refused by Judge Mary Fahy due to the seriousness of the charge against him. He will appear again at a Roscommon court on Friday.

Limerick man held over sex attack

A 32 year old Limerick man is in the custody of Spanish police following an alleged sex attack in Costa del Sol town of Malaga last week.

The Independent reported Saturday that a Limerick man was arrested after a local woman told police that a man tried to strangle her after sexually assaulting her in a lift.

The 45-year-old Spaniard was on her way to work when the alleged attack happened, on Wednesday morning, in Malaga, on the Costa del Sol.

She told police a man followed her into the lift as she headed to the legal firm
where she works.

He grabbed her by the neck and indecently assaulted her. Colleagues heard her cries as the lift reached the third floor of the city centre building -- and raced out to find a man trying to strangle her with one hand and stifling her screams with the other.

A police patrol arrived minutes later, and took an Irishman away in handcuffs. The alleged victim told investigators she had never seen her attacker before. He was in custody last night pending a court appearance.
Via Independent.
At the hearing, which was closed to the public and the media, the man, named as Jeffrey Michael O’Shaughnessy was remanded in custody to appear again at a Malaga court on a later date.

A police official told the media,
”A 32-year-old Irishman is currently being held in custody on suspicion of indecent assault and attempted murder."

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Man killed in county Limerick crash

A man has been killed and another man injured in a road traffic accident in county Limerick Saturday morning.

The single vehicle collision happened on the Galbally to Tipperary road around 4.30am when a car with two occupants left the road and struck a tree.

The 56 year old passenger was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency services. A 29 year old, reported to be the driver, was rushed to Tipperary general hospital with his injuries.

Gardai will carry out technical examinations at the scene later today.

The victim has been named as 56 year old Jim Kinsella from Glenbrohane.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Limerick Quick Hits

This and that from here and there.

::Much in the media in relation to the deployment of the new Garda armed support units throughout the country. Limerick will receive 20 armed Gardai and detectives for its unit which hit the streets today. More Here.

::The ELGORDO lottery scam has struck yet another elderly person. This time a woman in Limerick lost €3,000 to the bogus Spanish lottery scam. More Here.

::“I don’t want him to come here to glorify violence - he and his team have nothing to offer this city but pain and I reject his claim that the Gardai here are afraid to take on the Limerick gangsters,” The words of Mayor John Gilligan to Donal McIntyre after the “investigative journalist” said he wanted to come to Limerick to talk with Limerick gangs. Leader article.

:: The Newcastle West Flood Serverity and Impact Report has been published on the Limerick County Council Website, get it here.

::"Limerick, Ireland, noise at night”. A disgruntled resident has posted a video on Youtube of what he/she has to put up with at 1am in the city centre. Video Here. Seems to be Kennedy O'Brien's pub on Hartstonge Street.

::The Limerick Animal Welfare raised €2,261.20 to get the construction of their sanctuary off the ground. The funds were raised in a Sponsored Dog Walk. More from the Law here.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Newcastle West flooding report to be published tonight

(new details, report published)

The findings of a Severity and Impact report into the devestating flooding of Newcastle West and surrounding areas on August 1st will be revealed a public meeting this evening.

At the event a joint meeting of the County Council and the local Business Association will hear the results of a Severity and Impact Report, which is being prepared by JBA Consulting.

The publication of the report follows on from a public meeting that took place in the aftermath of the flash floods that occurred in the town.

A month's worth of rain fell in just five hours causing the River Arra to burst its banks for the first time in living memory. Millions of euro worth of damage was believed to have been caused.

The meeting, being held the Ballintemple Inn at Newcastle West will begin at 8.45pm.

NEW DETAILS (8.48pm)
The report has been published and recommends that analysis should be undertaken, in conjunction with the Office of Public Works, to assess the capacities of the River Arra and its tributaries along with individual structures along the channel to identify flooding risks in the future.

Particular areas of concern include in the report include Cullenagh Bridge, the Bridge Street crossing, the culvert below the Bedding Store, Mill Falls Apartments, Courtenay Bridge and the Bridge of Tears.

The report stated that "Water flowed through the town, both via the channel and the roads, inundating many properties and moving debris and vehicles in its path. Water depths of up to 1.8m above road level were recorded in the town".

The report also concluded that the flooding event was was a one in a 650 year occurrence.

Some key conclusions of the report into the flooding found the following,

The Arra catchments are very steep with a dense river network upstream of the town. Newcastle West sits at the confluence of three main rivers; the Dooally, the Arra and the Mash;

- July was an exceptionally wet month which resulted in fully saturated ground conditions prior to the storm;

- During the storm, 10% of the expected annual rainfall fell in 5-6 hours giving a rainfall return period of up to 1 in 650 years;

- Water sheeted off the upper slopes, over-whelming field drains and ditches and forming overland flow routes upstream of Newcastle West town Some properties were flooded as a result of water returning to the channel;

- In the town itself, the river channel and structures were also overwhelmed. In response to public concern, it is noted that Mill Falls Apartment and the new Bridge of Tears have greater capacity to pass flow than other structures on the channel.

The reports also outlined the following recommendations,

- Available data on the channel and structures should be supplemented with additional channel topographic survey and structure survey as required;

- Further detailed hydraulic analysis should be undertaken, in conjunction with the OPW, to assess the capacities of the channel and individual structures in order to identify actual risk associated with each of them. This includes in particular Cullenagh Bridge, the Bridge Street crossing, the culvert below the Bedding Store, Mill Falls Apartments, Courtenay Bridge and the Bridge of Tears (both structures);

- JBA Consulting visually recorded wrack marks throughout the whole town. It is recommended that these marks be surveyed at a later date to give a more detailed analysis of flood levels;

- Flood outlines for planning should be produced for the 1% AEP and 0.1% AEP events to align with forthcoming Government Flood Planning Policy;

- Development of a detailed Digital Elevation Model (DEM), ideally using LiDAR, to produce a detailed flood event outline;

- Compilation and analysis of questionnaires, including further interviews should they be deemed necessary.
The report has been published this evening at the public meeting and is available from from tomorrow morning.

Three arrested in Limerick on Euro warrants

Two European nationals who were arrested last night on foot of a European arrest warrant are due before the high court in Dublin Wednesday afternoon for an extradition hearing.

Local Gardai from Roxboro assisted by National Bureau of Criminal Investigation members from Dublin arrested the two men, a 43 year old and a 31 year old in the city centre around 10.30pm.

Another man, in his 40’s, tried to escape arrest by jumping from an upstairs window of the house. He was apprehended and in a stable condition at the mid western regional hospital under a Garda watch.

Limerick Gardai were today refusing to revel any details surrounding the international operation saying,
"We cannot divulge details of their nationality, but it's safe to assume that in this type of operation the men would be non-Irish nationals. With European warrants, Interpol would typically liase with national police forces in securing arrests.”
The third man will appear before a later extradition hearing once he is discharged from hospital.

Reports say all three men were understood to be living in Limerick for some time prior to their arrest.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Hilton hotel group pull out of Limerick

Hotel chain Hilton has reportedly pulled out of Limerick only 18 months after arriving in the city.

The Limerick Leader is reporting that management made the decision over the weekend and have reached an agreement to hand the management of their hotel, located near Sarsfield Bridge, onto the Strand Hotel group.

All the staff were informed of the takeover over the weekend, and it was confirmed that no jobs will be lost.

Businessman John Lally purchased the former Jury's Hotel in 2004, and continued to operate it as a going concern under the Strand Hotel name until its redevelopment commenced in the summer of 2005.
Via Limerick Leader

The Hilton logo of the building is expected to be removed and replaced with a strand hotel logo by tomorrow.