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Monday, March 30, 2009

Limerick NewsWire has moved

The NewsWire has finally moved to a new domain and a new blogging platform after nearly 3 years on Blogger.

The new blog is located at It’s all there, archives too. If you’re an RSS feed subscriber, our feed for the blog remains the same at so no need to worry.

If you have this page bookmarked as a favourite you need to update your bookmark to the new address.

There will be no more posts on this old Blogger blog however it will stay up as an archive.

So join us now at the new

Saturday, March 28, 2009

One taken to hospital following river rescue

One person has been rescued from the river Shannon by emergency services this evening.

Two fire service units, Gardai and the Marine Search and Rescue were all called to an area close to Thomond Bridge around 6.45pm following reports of a person in the river.

A fire service spokesperson told the Limerick NewsWire the casualty was removed form the river a short time after and taken to the Mid Western Regional Hospital.

The victims condition was not known.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Flextronics workers to hear their fate

Meetings between staff and management are underway at Flextronics in Raheen this afternoon as an announcement on the fate of workers is to be made.

Close to 140 people are expected to be let go in the coming months at the company which provides logistical operations for companies including Dell, implements its restructuring plans. The company also makes cables for Dell.

It’s expected a general staff meeting will be held around 2pm today where an announcement could be made. SIPTU officials have already been negotiating redundancy packages with management.

118 jobs were lost at the plant last November. The company is just one of many who were devastated by the news that Dell is cutting its manufacturing operations here in favour of a move to Poland.

A SIPTU official said today the company is phasing out the jobs beginning in May and will be completed by the end of the year, possibly around September.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Heroin seized at house in O‘Malley Park

Gardai at Roxboro have made their second drug seizure this week, this time in Southill.

Drugs officers carried out searches of derelict houses in O’Malley Park around 11am this morning where they recovered around €18,000 worth of heroin. Nobody has been arrested in relation to the discovery.

A Garda spokesperson told local radio the find is “significant” due to the “nature and quantity” of the drug recovered.

It comes on the heels of Mondays recovery of amphetamine and heroin with a value of nearly €250,000 in Rathbane.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Shots fired in tribute at Collopy funeral

The funeral of Philip Collopy takes place this morning in Limerick under the watchful eye of armed Regional Support Gardai.

Last night the body of the 29 year old, who had shot himself by accident at his home over the weekend was taken to St Mary’s Church in a horse drawn carriage.

His body was dressed in army camouflage and his coffin draped in an Irish flag. One report states he was wearing a bullet proof vest.

At least 12 shots were fired from the back of the Island Field in tribute to the known gang member as his cortage travelled through the area on the way to the church.

There has been a heavy Gardai presence in the Island Field area this week as extended family congregated at the family home.

Burial takes place in Castle-mungret cemetery this morning.


City Centre traffic was brought to a halt around midday Wednesday as the cortage made it’s long and winding way through Limerick City to castle-mungret. Patrick Street, O Connell Street Shannon Street were all shut down for a time.

White doves and pigeons were released by mourners at the grave site.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

One arrested in Rathbane drugs raid

Gardai have arrested one person following a drug seizure in the city Monday.

A male in his late teens was arrested in the planned operation at a house in Elm Place, Rathbane around 7pm.

Gardai at Roxboro say amphetamine with an estimated street value of €113,000 and heroin with an estimated street value of €130,000 was found during the search.

The arrested man is currently being held at Roxboro Road Garda Station under Section 2 of the Drug Trafficking Act.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Two charged over Vysochan murder

Two men have appeared in court today charged with the murder of teenager in the city last May.

20 year old John O'Loughlin with an address at Cecil Street along with a 17 year old male teenager who cannot be named, appeared in court today charged with the murder of Roman Vysochan. They were remanded in custody to appear again on Thursday. Both were granted free legal aid.

16 year old Ukrainian national Roman Vysochan was stabbed to death during an altercation at the Carraig Midhe Housing estate in Corbally on May 10th 2008. Another teenager was badly injured in the incident.

The two were arrested by Gardai overnight following instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions

Roman Vysochan , known to his many friends as Ruben, was a 5th year student at St. Munchins College in Corbally at the time of his death.

Man dies in hospital following accidental shooting

A gangland figure who accidentally shot himself in the head on Friday night has died in hospital.

29 year old Philip Collopy accidentally shot himself as he was showing off his Glock semi automatic handgun to people at his house in St. Mary’s Park.

He had brought the Glock pistol to a house party and while joking around with friends erroneously thought there was no bullets in the gun when he pulled the trigger.

He remained on life support following the incident and it’s understood he died around 9pm last night.

Mr. Collopy had numerous previous convictions including assault. He was jailed for two years for feud related violent disorder in 2003.

Gardai say they are treating the death as accidental and are not seeking anybody else in relation to the incident.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Motorcyclist dies in late night crash

A 37 year old motorcyclist has died following a crash in Lisnagry overnight

It’s understood the man was thrown from the bike after he collided with a curb on the road at Garraun in Lisnagry around 1.15am.

Emergency services responded to the scene and the man was taken to the Regional Hospital however he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Technical examinations of the scene have been carried out and the road has fully reopened.

Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact Gardaí at Castleconnell on 061 377105.

The victim has been named locally as Mike O’Connell of Clyduff, Lisnagry.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Lee wins on points in Dublin

Limerick boxer Andy Lee has won his first fight back since last Julys win at the University of Limerick against Willie Gibbs.

Tonight the 24 year old had to go all the way to points to beat German fighter Alex Sipos at the O2 arena in Dublin. The fight was on the undercard of Dubliner Bernard Dunnes world title fight with Ricardo Cordoba.

Lee showed the ring rust and worried his corner when he sustained a cut above his right eye in Round 1. Lee did recover and was able to floor Sipos in Round 6. The Castleconnell man was taken all the way to points where he won 91 – 99.

Man critical following accidental shooting

A leading Limerick gang member is in a critical condition in hospital this morning following an accidental shooting at his home in St Mary's Park overnight.

The victim, 29 year old Phillip Collopy was rushed to the Regional Hospital suffering a serious head wound.

Garda Regional Response units were in the area around 2am and rushed to the scene immediately following the incident. He remains on a life support machine this morning.

One report says the well know gang member was playing ‘Russian roulette’ when he “accidentally shot himself in the head.”

The house on Munchins Street is sealed off this morning and a technical examination is due to be carried out at the scene today.

A Glock handgun and ammunition has been recovered at the scene and Gardai say they are they are "not looking for anyone else in connection with the investigation."

The 29 year old a senior member of the Collopy gang based in St. Mary’s Park.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Dell announces more jobs cuts

Dell has announced it is to cut up to 230 jobs in Ireland saying further cuts were required as part of a new $4 billion restructuring plan.

The news means a further 100 jobs will be lost at the already battered Raheen facility. 130 jobs will be lost at their Cherrywood offices in Dublin.It brings to total number of jobs lost in Dell in Limerick to 2,000.

The company already cut a massive 1900 jobs at the Raheen plant in January when they announced all manufacturing operations were moving to Poland.


Fine Gael Limerick East TD and deputy finance spokesman Kieran O’Donnell TD said today,
"These are the very jobs we had hoped to build on in Limerick following January’s announcement of 1,900 manufacturing job losses in Dell…the fact that high-end jobs in business development, innovation and research and development are going is a very worrying development."
Limerick Labour TD Jan O'Sullivan TD said the news represents economic catastrophe for Limerick,
“The Limerick jobs taskforce must now include in its remit, a reaction to this latest blow and respond accordingly. The priority now has to be on the creation of new jobs and re-training opportunities for all of those who are now out of work in the region.

Fas, the VECs, the University of Limerick and Limerick IT must be closely involved in providing retraining opportunities and there should be individualised programmes made available to meet the particular needs and skills of each worker.

This is another black day for Limerick. However, Limerick has recovered from economic blows in the past and I have no doubt that with the political will and the appropriate supports, we can recover from these losses also”
Limerick operation Limerick Sinn Féin representative Maurice Quinlivan was quick to ask Minister Willie O’Dea to “make a statement with regard to the 750 jobs he announced for Limerick when Dell made its original announcement of job losses in January.”
“In just twelve months unemployment has increased by 184,061 with jobs losses now reaching almost 1,000 every day. There are 17,223 people signing on the live register here in limerick. The number one priority for any government at this point should be retaining and creating jobs. Sinn Féin will launch its strategy document Time for Action to tackle unemployment on Monday March 23rd.”

“At the time of Dell’s initial announcement of the loss of 1,900 jobs Willie O’Dea made an announcement that Limerick was to benefit from the creation of 750 higher quality jobs. He now needs to tell the people of Limerick where these jobs are and when they will come on stream and I call on him to make a statement to this affect.”

“Rather than trying to detract from the seriousness of the jobs crisis in Limerick Minister O’Dea and his Government need to bring forward a coherent strategy to create and retain jobs and get Ireland back to work.”
The latest job losses will come into effect before the end of the year.

Families flee Moyross as tension builds

Armed Gardai have maintained a strong presence in Moyross this week following the murder of 18 year old Darren Bennet.

Gardai have confirmed three families were forced to flee their homes yesterday as a mob of 60 youths attacked homes in Craeval Park and set houses on fire in the estate. There was also three separate fires at houses in Shanabooly Road yesterday evening.

Gardai preserving the scene of the murder came under pressure again yesterday as youths tried to encroach on the cordoned off area. Armed backup was once again requested.
“Last night, an angry mob gathered in the area and directed their fury at one extended family who occupy a number of houses in Craeval Park. Six houses in the park were attacked and the families living in three of them were forced to flee the area, taking their furniture and other possessions.

"It’s gone mad here tonight. There’s a gang on the streets and families under threat are moving out. There’s a van they’re putting furniture and things into," said one terrified resident.

Another source said those who left their Moyross homes last night were linked to the main suspect in the Bennett murder.”
Via Examiner
The scenes of three of the fires have been sealed off for technical examination to be carried out today. Local radio reports the Creaval Park estate is now on lockdown to outsiders from the area saying only residents have full time access.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Limerick murder trial continues at Cloverhill

The jury in the trial of Gary Campion heard from the prosecutions main witness today as the murder trial entered its second day.

20 year old Erol Ibrahim was sitting in the passenger seat of Frankie Ryans car the night the 21 year old was shot dead and had witnessed to full horror of the murder. He was found at the scene by Garda Angela O`Connor, one of the first Gardai to respond to the scene that night. She told the court she found Mr. Ibrahim near the scene splattered in blood.

In a central moment in the trial, Mr. Ibrahim was asked by prosecution counsel Aileen Donnelly Thursday afternoon to explain the events of the 17th of September 2006. Mr. Ibrahim took to the stand and told the Criminal Court of how he was picked up by Frankie Ryan at his house in Delmege Park where they went off for a spin.

He said it was at Pineview Gardens that the car stopped and another man whom he said he “had never seen before” got into the back seat behind the driver. He said as the car took off again there was “a gunshot from the back of the car”.

He stated to counsel Aileen Donnelly, “I don't know who was in the back of the car."

The jury then heard from Dr Darragh Little who attended the scene just after the shooting. He told the court the wound on Mr Ryan's right temple was consistent with his belief that Mr Ryan was shot “without warning”, from the area in the back of the car.

Gary Campion denies murdering Frankie Ryan. The trial continues next Tuesday.

Hotel chain to create 50 jobs in Castletroy

A new Travelodge is to open in Limerick creating a reported 50 jobs.

The Travelodge in Castletroy will open on June 1st as part of the new Parkpoint Retail Park on the Dublin Road and will be the second hotel of the chain in Limerick. The first Travelodge opened at the Coonagh roundabout 7 years ago.

Hiring for the 50 positions is said to be already underway.

Frankie Ryan murder trial underway

After months and months of delays, the trial of a Limerick man accused of murder finally got underway in Dublin Wednesday.

A Jury was sworn in Monday at the Central Criminal Court at Cloverhill Courthouse for the trial of Gary Campion of Pineview Gardens. The 25 year old is charged with the brutal murder of 21 year old `Fat` Frankie Ryan in the Moyross estate almost two and a half years ago.

Mr. Campion has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr. Ryan which occurred on the 17th of September 2006 when Ryan was shot twice in the head as he sat in his car.

As the trial got underway Wednesday, the prosecution began outlining its case reminding the jury that although the victim of the savage murder was not an angel, “that did not matter, he had a right to life as everyone has in this country”. It’s understood prosecution intends to call an eyewitness to the murder who is willing give evidence in court. The young man was reportedly in the passenger seat of the car when the shooting occured.

Prosecuting counsel Aileen Donnelly told of how the victim, ‘Frankie’ was killed in an “execution-style killing”. She said he had been taking people for a spin around the Pineview Gardens estate that night and claimed one of the people who got into the back of the car was the defendant Gary Campion.

The prosecution then says Mr. Campion proceeded to open fire on Frankie shooting him in the back of the head from the rear seat before leaving the car and shooting him again from the front through the windscreen.

The trial continues and is expected to last around 6 weeks.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Teenager dies in Moyross stabbing

Gardaí are investigating the fatal stabbing of a 18 year old youth in Limerick overnight.

The young man was involved in an altercation at a house in Creaval Park, Moyross around 2am. The young victim sustained a number of stab wounds in the attack and was rushed to the Mid Western Hospital however he died a short time later.

Parts of the Moyross area are currently sealed off and the services of the Garda Technical Bureau and the State Pathologist have been requested to the scene.

Gardai say at present they do not know how many people were involved in the incident.

Two people have been arrested early this morning for interfering with the crime scenes in the area. One of them is due to appear in the District court later today.

Gardai are asking anyone who may have information in relation to the incident to contact them at Mayorstone on 061 456980 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

It's expected a murder investigation will be launched later today.

The victim has been named as 18 year old
Darren Bennett from Moyross.

There is a strong Garda presence at the scene this evening due to earlier clashes between gangs of youths and Gardai.

Prison officer arrested in ‘serious crime’ probe

A Prison officer currently working at Limerick prison has been arrested as part of a large scale Garda investigation into prison contraband smuggling.

Gardai from the Divisional Drugs Unit at Roxboro Station arrested the man in his fifties around 8pm Monday night and he is being held under Section 2 of the Drug Trafficking Act.

Gardai said Tuesday they had recovered close to 40 mobile phones and a small amount of cannabis from the Clare man as he was reportedly trying to enter the prison to begin a shift.

He can be held by Gardai for up to seven days.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thousands to descend on city for St. Patrick’s Day

Thousands of people are on their way into Limerick City this morning to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2009.

The centrepiece of today, the parade, will begin at 12 noon from O Connell Avenue at Sarsfield Barracks and will be proceed down through O'Connell St and passed the viewing stand outside Penney's before turning right onto Michael Street.

Click Here for the Parade Route Map.

As earlier reported former pop star, turned children's television presenter Emma O'Driscoll will be the Grand Marshall for the parade which will also feature the Irish Chamber Orchestra from the University of Limerick. The parade will of course consist of the usual scouts, arts and dancing groups, emergency services and many marching bands.

Some reports say up to 60,000 people are expected to attend the parade which takes place from noon to 1:30pm.

There will be major traffic restrictions in place around the city from 11am.

”Restrictions will be in place in the city along the parade route from 11am until 4pm. Gardai are advising motorists to avoid driving into the city. Motorists are advised to pass through the city via Thomand Bridge or New Shannon Bridge. Parking restrictions will be in place from Patrick St towards Wolfe Tone St from 4am until after the parade.” AA Roadwatch says.

Limerick student Evan O’Sullivans Google Logo is now on display on also.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Google to bring ‘Street View’ to Limerick

Expect to see this black car with an overgrown, sophisticated roof-top camera driving down your estate in Limerick anytime soon as Google takes its Street Map view to Ireland.

Google’s Street View is a panoramic street level “photographic mapping system” which is available from Google Maps. The online map service shows a user vertical panoramic street level views and allows them to view regions and some complete cities at visual ground level.

Reports today from Google Europe say the feature will initially be rolled out in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick.

The Black Opel Astras will begin driving around these cities and their suburban areas from next week taking the pictures for the maps and it’s reported the process may take up to a year to complete.

With such detail being recorded, Google is well aware of Privacy issues which arise and are quick to defend there prying eyes,
"Pedestrians’ faces that appear in photographs are blurred before they are published on the internet, as are vehicle registration plates. However, useful information such as shopfronts, hotel names or bus numbers will not be obscured.

Anyone concerned that a photograph may contain inappropriate content can report this to Google. “We’ve implemented some clever technology to remove areas that might cause some privacy concerns,” said Ed Parsons, geospatial technologist with Google. “Individuals can have themselves, their families or their houses removed on request.”
Via Irish Times
So give them a wave when you see them. You’ll be captured in time for the world to see.

CAB to keep Dundon armoured cars

The High Court has ruled two luxury cars seized from a criminal gang in Limerick will be handed over to the Criminal Assets Bureau.

In a ruling today the court said money used to buy the bullet proof armour plated BMW's seized from the McCarthy/Dundons could not be explained.
The cars were made to order and imported from Germany by Wayne and Gerard Dundon, and were driven around Limerick from December 2007 to April 2008.

Today the High Court declared that the cars, one a BMW X 5, the other a BMW 3 Series car were the proceeds of crime and handed them over to the CAB.
Via RTE News
The seizure is part of operations carried out since ‘Operation Platinum’ which was launched last May.

Limerick man dies in late night crash

Gardaí at Mallow are investigating a fatal road crash that has claimed the life of a Patrickswell man.

The two car accident happened around 1am this morning on the N20 at Pikes Cross, Ballyhea, Charleville.

The male drivers of both cars, a 60 year old from Patrickswell and a 36 year old foreign national, were killed in the collision and their bodies have been removed to Cork University Hospital.

The Patrickswell mans wife, who was in the passenger seat, was taken to Mallow General Hospital but her injuries are not life threatening. Witnesses to this collision are asked to contact Gardaí at Macroom on 022 31450.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Thousands to attend band parade today

Thousands of people are expected to pour into the city today to see The 39th International Band Parade.

The parade will start at Sarsfield Barracks at 12 noon and make its way down O'Connell Ave and O'Connell St. They will then make their way to Arthur's Quay Park where all the participating bands are invited to play.

Among the Limerick bands taking part are The Boherbuoy Brass and Reed Band, Corpus Christi Pipe and Drum Band, St Mary's Fife and Drum Band, The CBS Youth Pipe Band and Sammy Benson's Brass and Reed Band.

The Irish Army’s Band of the First Southern Brigade will lead the event which will also include The Adrian Wilcox High School Band and “The Black and Gold Regime” from Santa Clara, California.

Laura Ryan of the Limerick Co-Ordination Office said,
“Prizes will be awarded for best overall band, best dressed, best musical performance, most entertaining performance, special judges’ award, best Irish band and best local band.”
Major traffic restrictions will be in place in the city along the parade route from 11am until 4pm. The AA explains,
Gardai are advising motorists to avoid driving into the city. Motorists are advised to pass through the city via Thomand Bridge or New Shannon Bridge. Parking restrictions will be in place from Patrick St towards Wolfe Tone St from 4am until after the parade.
Click here for the parade route Map.

Sammy Benson's Brass and Reed Band have been announced the winners of the 39th International Band Competition.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

One dead in Kilteely road accident

One person has been killed following a road traffic accident in County Limerick Friday night.

It’s understood the victim, a male pedestrian, was struck by a car just outside the village of Kilteely around 8.45pm. He died at the scene.

His body was removed to the Mid Western Regional Hospital where a post-mortem is expected to be carried out.

Gardai at Bruff are investigating the accident and say the road from Kilteely to Emly will be closed for technical examinations this morning.

Gardai have named the 55 year old man killed as John 'Jack' Ryan of Knockderk, Pallasgreen, Co. Limerick.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Limerick hit by power outage

Hundreds of homes on the north side of the city were without power for a time tonight as the ESB confirmed there was a major fault with one of their lines in the area.

The company said that they had received numerous phone calls from residents particularly on the north side of the city shortly after 7.15pm. The fault is understood to have been sourced to a supply pole in the Meelick area.

A spokesperson said emergency repair crews responded quickly to the situation and power was restored at 7.40pm.

Areas affected included Caherdavin, Mayorstone, Moyross, Ballynanty and Corbally.

Mary Immaculate College closes due to vomiting bug

All classes have been suspended at Mary Immaculate College following an outbreak of the Winter Vomiting Bug among students.

Close to 3,000 students were told to stay away from the college until next Wednesday while cleaning and sanitisation of the campus takes place. The HSE confirmed that there has been 7 cases of the virus amongst students so far.

The college said in a statement tonight,
“Despite the fact that no new cases of the virus have been presented since Tuesday the College, in consultation with the HSE, has taken the decision to implement effective control measures, including the suspension of all College activities, in order to facilitate the intensive cleaning and sanitisation of the College campus so as to prevent a secondary introduction of the virus.

Contrary to recent speculation these incidents are not connected to the recent Student Union’s Ball which was held at the South Court Hotel last Friday night.

The College expressed their gratitude to the HSE for the swift and professional manner in which they dealt with this matter and thanked them for their advice and assistance over the past few days.”
The college will reopen 9am on Wednesday 18th March.

Jobs lost at Limerick car dealership

Around 45 jobs have been lost at a long established Limerick car dealership, according to reports today.

Pat Keogh Ltd which has been trading in Limerick for some 44 years has gone into voluntary liquidation. The company told staff last night that the "difficult trading environment" coupled with a “challenging financial climate”, was to blame for the decision.

Things moved fast as staff were already arriving this morning to clear out their desks, the main gates were locked and new cars were being removed from the premises.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fire services attend large fire in Meelick

Fire services spent nearly 3 hours battling what was described as a ‘very large fire’ at a warehouse on the outskirts of Limerick City late Wednesday night.

At least 5 units of the Fire Service attended the scene of the blaze which broke out at a commercial warehouse in the Meelick area, fire officials confirmed to the Limerick NewsWire.

Units from Limerick City, Shannon, Scarrif and Killaloe brigades were called to the scene however there were no reports of any injuries, officials said.

The alarm was raised around 8.25pm and the blaze wasn’t brought under control until after 11pm.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined and the extent of the damage was not known.

NEW DETAILS (Thursday, 9.05am)
Gardai have sealed off the area in order to carry out technical examinations later today.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Andy Lee added to big O2 boxing event

It’s being reported that Andy Lee has been added to the undercard of the World Title Fight Night event at The O2, Dublin on Saturday March 21st.

The Limerick man was very disappointed after his scheduled main event fight at the "Erin Go Brawl II" boxing event at Madison Square Garden, NY was cancelled due to poor ticket sales.

Dublin boxer Bernard Dunne will top the bill as he challenges for Ricardo Cordoba’s WBA Super Bantamweight title on Satarday week.

Lee told East Side Boxing today,
“As one door closed, another door opened for me within 24 hours. Brian Peters Promotions stepped in to save the day after an initial phone call from my team. To be fighting on the undercard to Bernard Dunne in his quest to win a World Title in Dublin is a great honour for me. The Irish are the best sport supporters in the world, the atmosphere will be electrifying”
Tickets for the event are still available from Ticketmaster and are priced from €50 to €225.

Quinlivan attacks O’ Dea over staffing costs

Limerick Sinn Féin representative Maurice Quinlivan has harshly criticised Limerick FF TD and Minister for Defence Willie O’Dea of running up “outrageous staffing costs” after learning that O’Dea has six civil servants working on constituency matters.

It comes as O'Dea confirmed he has the six civil servants working a total cost to the taxpayer of between €165,000 - €255,000 a year.

“It's good to know that our Cabinet Minister is doing his bit to fight the recession. By employing six civil servants to engage in constituency work on his behalf Willie O'Dea is demonstrating in his own inimitable fashion that the two tier society his government has built over the last 12 years is still alive and well.

At a time when many contracted public servants working in vital areas of our Health Service have lost their jobs it's reassuring to know that “jobs for the boys” remains a core part of the Fianna Fáil message.

Never mind the Health Service or Education the real priority is to shore up the sliding Fianna Fáil vote by using taxpayers money to fund constituency work.”
Mr. Quinlivan has also claimed he was contacted by a Caherdavin resident who had “received an unsolicited offer of assistance with a planning application where no assistance was sought or thought necessary by the resident.”

The Sinn Féin General Election candidate for Limerick East said although O’Dea is entitled to engage in this, which he called “ambulance chasing” he said the taxpayer “should not have to fund it.”

This situation has heated up very dramatically as its now being reported Maurice Quinlivan may sue Willie O’ Dea after he claimed Quinlivan part owned a Clancy Strand apartment where a brothel was uncovered by Gardai in recent raids.

Limerick Leader has that side of the story.

Gardai investigative serious incidents in the city

Gardai have confirmed they are investigating two serious incidents overnight which are seen as an escalation in the city’s ongoing criminal feud.

In the first incident of intimidation the Garryowen home of Sophie Keane, wife of murdered gang boss Kieran Keane, was attacked by a group of men around 8.30pm. A front window was smashed in the onslaught however nobody was injured. Gardai say three people were seen fleeing on foot.

In a second attack overnight, the house of Christy Keane, the man only recently released from prison following a long period of incarceration for drug offences, was attacked by a group of men wielding iron bars. Although Mr. Keane, who is the brother in law of Sophie Keane, was not at the Singland Gardens house at the time, his wife was and is said to be shaken following the attack.

Christy Keane, said to be the head of the Keane criminal Gang was released from prison last month and has only this week returned from a holiday in Lanzarote.

Gardai will have no doubt these attacks were an attempt of intimidation on behalf of their rivals in the Weston area.

Monday, March 09, 2009

St Patrick’s Day parade details announced

“We’re asking everyone to banish the blues, go green or red to join the Red Army and come out and support the Limerick parade”

Former pop star, turned children's television presenter Emma O'Driscoll will lead the 2009 Limerick St. Patrick’s Day parade it has been announced.

Mayor John Gilligan made the announcement that the 26 year old TV presenter would lead the parade at the official launch of the 2009 Limerick St Patrick’s Festival at City Hall this morning.

Details of the entire festival were also announced and organisers say it is set to be the largest parade in the country outside of Dublin.

Organisers announced the following details of the parade this morning,

•A number of unique “Green Themed” Entries including Love Limerick, Don’t Litter, Clean Ireland, Recycling floats and giant litterbugs

•A special section for Limerick’s proud Green Schools

•The addition of a new Junior Marshal who will be driven along the parade route in a 1970 Munster red MGB roadster just like secret agent James Bond

•A special Celebration of Limerick Rugby Section where young fans and their parents will don their Munster colours and represent the Red Army in the parade

•Limerick Military Parade led by the 12th Infantry Battalion from Sarsfield Barracks down the traditional route of O’Connell Street past the Reviewing Stand to Merchant’s Quay

•Limerick’s talented skateboarders from the city’s new Skatepark will perform for spectators

•The GAA will celebrate its 125th Anniversary with a special “Aussie” themed entry looking forward to the hosting of the Ireland v Australia International Rules Test at the Gaelic Grounds in the Autumn

•Special new features and effects

Speaking at the launch, John Gilligan told the media,
“I’m delighted to launch this year’s festival and with so many groups taking part, it promises to cheer us all up. This is an opportunity for a great family day out with lots of colour, music and fun and despite all the doom and gloom, I urge everyone to come out and enjoy themselves.”
The Limerick St Patrick’s Festival starts this Sunday, March 15th with the annual International Band Parade beginning at midday.

The St. Patrick’s Day parade itself on the 17th is reported to feature the Irish Chamber Orchestra from the University of Limerick among the many other floats and bands.

The theme of the parade is ‘Go Green’ and could attract almost 40,000 people.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Matt Larkin has O‘Dea appeal upheld

A Limerick man who was convicted of giving a false statement in relation to an incident involving Limerick TD Willie O’Dea has won his appeal at the Circuit Court of appeals today.

In the end it all came down to one still of CCTV footage for Matthew Larkin of Altimera Court, Thomondgate.

The 36 year old had been convicted last September at the District Court of making a false statement to Henry Street Gardai saying he was assaulted by Willie O'Dea at the Bank Bar on the 22nd of September 2007. He was given a three month suspended sentence upon his conviction.

At his appeal this week numerous witnesses were recalled and cross examined including the Minister for Defence and CCTV from the pub was once again combed through by both prosecution and defence. Attention was particularly focused on CCTV still ‘1.46.57’, a point which Michael Collins BL said showed O Dea’s hand to Larkin’s throat in the 'snug' area of the bar. Gardai had said this was the Minister protecting himself.

In upholding the appeal today Judge Ray Fulham commented Mr. O Dea “was being badgered and harassed by Mr Larkin” and was “entitled to use whatever force to defend himself.”

The Judge said however in conclusion that given the scope of the offence of assault, he was satisfied that the prosecution had not proved “beyond reasonable doubt” that Mr Larkin's allegation of assault was false.

A visibly relieved Larkin spoke to reporters outside the court saying he was delighted with the ruling which he said proved he was not lying and called on O’Dea to resign his ministerial position.

Limerick Quick Hits

This and that from here and there.

Students attending Mary Immaculate College got an eyeful of road carnage yesterday as they were the latest to witness the full horror of a road traffic incident demonstration. Emergency services involved in the Lifesaver Project regularly re enact crash scenarios at places of education around Limerick in an effort to promote road saftey and make students aware of the lasting impact traffic accidents have on people lives.
More Here

The price of farmland in Limerick County has fallen by a massive 41% according to a survey published yesterday. RTE carries the story saying the national average price for farmland in 2008 was at €15,800 an acre.
More Here

The Limerick Lions Basketball team have advanced to the Basketball Ireland Superleague Playoff's after they defeated Shamrock Rovers Hoops last weekend. Cheers to LL for sending on the news. See the Full Press Release here.

On a sad note, Limerick boxers Any Lee and Jamie Power got some bad news overnight. A Madison Square Garden event they were due to participate at has been called off. Limerick Leader explains why.

The proposed Crescent Shopping Centre expansion would create nearly 500 construction jobs ‘immediately’ if permission for the enlargement was granted, a committee heard yesterday.
Live 95FM has more on the An Bord Pleanala hearings this week.

The Limerick Co-Ordination Office is looking for a 2009 Junior Marshal to lead the Celebration of Limerick rugby section of the St Patrick’s Day Parade on Tuesday, March 17th. The competition being run by local radio will begin on Monday 9th. More from the Limerick Co-Ordination Office Here

Give a dog a home, St.Bernard Dog for Sale in Limerick. I forgot how big these dogs get after just 15 months.
Check that out here, he could be yours.

Lees bar in Newcastle West really getting into it. See here. Nice.

Local photographer Neville Galway posts some excellent photos from around Limerick. His work is updated frequently and well worth the browse.
Check it out Here

Also check out Lette McNamara's photostream. Excellent stuff there.

Helicopter landings to resume at Regional Hospital

Helicopter landings at the Regional hospital in Dooradoyle are set to resume again after a 13 year absence.

The HSE said yesterday that beginning in the next few weeks, helicopters with critically ill patients on board will be able to land at a new landing side adjacent to the hospital on its east side.

Test flights using coast guard helicopters and Army helicopters have taken place over the last few weeks and seemed to have proved successful.

The cost of the project including the construction of the new helipad will be in the region of €450,000, the HSE say.

The news comes at the same time as a new charity based, All Ireland Air Ambulance service commences operation. The new Air Ambulance feet, who deliver the patient “quickly and directly to the hospital” could be one of the first to use the new helipad.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Gardai probe latest shooting attack

Fresh shooting attack as families blame Dublin media over coverage.

Investigations are underway this morning into a shooting attack on a house in the city overnight.

The attack on the house in Hilltop St. Patrick’s Road shortly after midnight is said to be linked to the ongoing feud in the city.

Although the house was badly damaged in the attack, two female occupants were uninjured. Garda Emergency response units were very quickly on the scene however no one has been arrested in relation to the incident.

Technical examinations are expected to be carried out at the scene later today.

The attack comes on the heels of yet another reported truce/ peace agreement / ceasefire between the rival gangs.

This time it's the The Limerick Post's turn. The newspaper has just published their exclusive,“End in sight to city warfare” article.

The paper reports that a ‘four member group of highly esteemed professional people’ have been coordinating an apparent peace process between the gangs and say they are a ‘heartbeat away’ from signing it.

The article also tells of how the families blame certain elements of ‘the Dublin media’ who they say ‘whip up hysteria’ in their articles covering the feud.

Read that full article here.

Unfortunately the paper didn’t bank on a fresh shooting incident to occur the night before ‘the big exclusive’ is printed.


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Heavy snow in Limerick overnight

There was travel chaos in Limerick this morning as heavy snow fell overnight.

4 inches of snow has been recorded in parts of the city and county and delays are evident all over the city as people endure the morning rush hour commute. As the snow melts somewhat in the city centre, heavy blankets of the white stuff are reported in the suburbs and the county.

Met Eireann Weather Warning.
Issued at 04 March 2009 - 00:00
Weather Advisory
Very cold overnight and at first on Wednesday with a widespread frost and some icy patches.
Wintry showers also, with hail, sleet and snow in places.

Very slippery road conditions reported on the N21 in Abbeyfeale.

::It's particularly slippery around Lough Gur and towards Bruff and at Ballingarry, according to the AA. The Ennis Road in particular is reported to be in chaos.

::The Rathkeale to Ballingarry Rd (R518) is treacherous and Gardai are advising motorists to avoid it.

School closures for March 4th
There are reported school closures, we have only heard of the following confirmed,

Kilanor national school in Boher
John the Baptist school in Hospital.
Scoil Mocheallég in Kilmallock
Colaiste Iosaef, Kilmallock

There are also schools closed in Pallasgreen. Parents are advised to check with your school before setting off.

Limerick Twitter users have been posting pictures of the snow on their Twitter accounts.

ninimp b
Shaneymac Snow on rail carriages in Limerick!
Phreak Stupid snow stupid traffic funny snowman

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Limerick student doodles his way to Google homepage

A 16 year old Limerick student has won an art competition run by Internet search giant Google which means his winning piece will be seen by millions of Google users on St. Patrick’s Day this month.

Evan O’Sullivan Glynn who attends St. Munchin’s College won the inaugeral Irish ‘Doodle 4 Google’ competition. The youngster won the most public votes in the heavily contested competition which included another 103 county finalists.

School students were asked to design special St. Patrick’s Day Google homepage logos which would then be on display on the Google page on March 17th. In addition, Evan's school will receive a €10,000 technology grant with Evan and his teacher winning a laptop computer each.

Evens logo which will be on display on St Patrick’s Day is below,

Even wrote: “On St. Patrick’s Day, Irish people around the world celebrate their connection to Ireland - The Emerald Isle. ‘My Irish Roots’ represents this connection with how shamrocks trace back to their roots in the same way that Irish people throughout the world trace back to Ireland, their Ireland, my Ireland.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Garryowen man charged with IRA membership

A Garryowen man has been charged with possession of explosives and membership of the IRA at a special sitting of the Special Criminal Court in Dublin this evening.

28 year old Kenneth O’Reilly of Killmurray Court in Garryowen was charged with membership of the unlawful organisation at Limerick Road Nenagh, Co Tipperary on Saturday last.

O’ Reilly was also charged with the possession of 1 KG of ‘black powder’ when he was arrested today in Clondalkin.

More Here.

Man jailed for 4 years for firearm offences

A Limerick City man who was arrested by Gardai as he was in the process of transferring a high powered pistol across the city for someone else has been jailed at Limerick court today.

46 year old Stephen Fitzgerald, of no fixed abode but originally from Limerick, had been accused of suspicious possession of a Glock semi-automatic pistol and 19 rounds of ammunition when he was detained by the Garda Emergency Response Unit in Rhebogue on April 10th 2008.

In court today Judge Carroll Moran was told of how three relatives of the defendant had been shot and killed in the Limerick feud. His brother in law was shot dead just days before his arrest, his nephew was murdered in 2003 and another relative was gunned down in 2002. The court was also told that he had aligned himself to the Keane/Collopy gang.

Judge Moran sentenced him to 4 years in jail backdated to the time of his arrest last April.

Mr Fitzgerald’s arrest was the first in the history of the state in which a tazer gun was used by arresting Gardai.

International Soccer confirmed for Thomond Park

International soccer has been confirmed for Thomond Park this morning.

The Football Association of Ireland and Thomond Park Stadium today announced that they have reached an agreement to hold a football game for the first time in the stadiums history

The Republic of Ireland senior team will play Australia there in a friendly on August 12th.

Speaking at Thomond Park this morning, John Cantwell Thomond Park Stadium Director, said:
“On behalf of Thomond Park Stadium and Munster Rugby, I am delighted to be in a position to announce the first major football fixture in Thomond Park. We are very pleased that the FAI has agreed to bring international football to Thomond Park and Limerick. It has always been our objective in the redevelopment of the stadium to work with leading sports bodies to attract major sports events to the city.

It is a great boost for Limerick and the many football and sports fans throughout the region who now have opportunity to watch international football on their doorstep. We are looking forward to working with the FAI to stage this memorable event.”
Thomond park can hold a capacity 26,000 people.

The event joins the summer schedule which sees Elton John at Thomond Park Stadium on Saturday 6th June and Rod Stewart will preform on Saturday 4th July.

Man to be sentenced following drugs find

A Chinese man who was found to be in possession of over €100,000 worth of cannabis plants at a house he rented in Limerick last June is due to be sentenced later this afternoon.

The claim from 31 year old Hui Yu who has pleaded guilty to the crime was that he had no idea the 314 cannabis plants he had growing in 4 separate rooms of a rented house in Carrigkerry were illegal.

Gardai in Newcastle West uncovered the plants in the house which had been structurally altered to accommodate the growth of the drug when they raided it last June. The defendant stated he was asked to travel to Ireland from England to carry out a job ‘caring for plants’.

Mr. Yu also pleaded guilty to having a false British Home Office Immigration Card in his possession.

Gardai at Newcastle West made an appeal specifically to Landlords in the county in the wake of the discovery to check on their rented properties more regularly and to contact them if they notice anything suspicious.

Judge Carroll Moran will sentence the defendant at the Circuit Court today.

Hui Yu was jailed for 3 years at Limerick Circuit Court.