The Democrat would like to congratulate our colleagues in the fourth estate at Shannonside FM for their recent commendation. On Wednesday night of this week, the Road Safety Authority praised Shannonside FM for having a ‘clear commitment to road safety’, at its annual Leading Lights awards ceremony.
Chairperson of the RSA, Liz O’Donnell, presented the local radio station with an award for promotion of road safety in the region over the last 12-months. Shannonside FM’s news team was praised for promoting a variety of road safety issues affecting both motorists and pedestrians.
Maurice McCabe too was honoured for his contribution to road safety, having exposed the penalty points scandal.
MC of the event, Simon Delaney, explained why Shannonside FM impressed the judges: “The news team strives to promote an awareness of road issues... The Station tries to inform in an entertaining and challenging way, the issues that are facing drivers.”
Claims of flaws in asylum center lease. Owner represents himself in High Court as legal team comes off record, and undertakes not to alter or interfere with lease
The legal battle over the Shannon Key West property in Rooskey was before the High Court again yesterday (Thursday 13th). The dispute is onging in the High Court between Paradub Ltd, a company looking to buy the property which claims it has a contract entitling them to do so, and James Kiernan, the owner of the closed hotel which sits on the banks of the River Shannon, for a number of weeks now.
Last month, it emerged that the Department of Justice intended to utilise the property as a direct provision centre, and Mr Kiernan claimed he had entered into a lease with a company called Abbey Castle Accommodation Ltd. It is understood that this company made the application to the Departmenrt of Justice to provide direct provision services in the property. Plans to accommodate circa 80-refugees in the property from early next year have been met with significant opposition locally, with locals expressing grave concerns over the capacity of the village to cater for such an influx of people.
Richard Keane SC, for Paradub Ltd, explained to Ms Justice Reynolds that there were two significant flaws in Mr Kiernan’s lease with Abbey Castle Accommodation Ltd, which he said fundamentally called into question the lease’s viability as a commercial contract. Mr Kiernan who appeared in court personally, after his solicitors had come of record due to differences of opinion between them and their client, said that there was no problem with the lease in its current form, and that he had no intention of amending or interfering with it.
Mr Keane responded, explaining that the reason for seeking this interim relief in the first place was to prevent the lease from being amended and to preserve the status quo in that regard. Given Mr Kiernan’s stated intention that he would not alter the lease in any event, Mr Keane suggested that Mr Kiernan provide an undertaking to preserve the status quo in lieu of an order. Mr Kiernan provided this undertaking under-oath, thereby allowing Ms Justice Reynolds to reserve costs and adjourn the matter to Thursday the 20th of December, with the consent of both parties.
Guardian of the peace assaulted in the line of duty forced to discharge firearm in self defence. “Guard dog” dead and man injured. Now the Garda has received “serious” threats online and has had to be placed under 24/7 armed protection.
A Garda Sergeant who was involved in a confrontation in which a man was shot in the leg is under armed protection after receiving online threats. A number of threats have appeared online, apparently giving details of the officer's rural home as well as comments such as "go get him". Armed Gardaí were deployed to the sergeant's home on Monday night, just hours after the incident took place and a video of it went viral on social media, as the threats were deemed to be "very significant". The Chairman of Longford’s Joint Policing Committee, Cllr Gerry Warnock has branded the “death threats” made against the Garda involved as “disgusting”.
Garda discharges weapon: Dog dead, man injured
On Monday, December 3rd, at about 5 pm in the evening, a plain clothes Garda Sergeant, who was following up on an investigation, when he got caught up in a confrontation, was attacked by an Alsatian dog. The Garda, who had his side-arm drawn when attacked, discharged his firearm killing the dog. The bullet travelled through the dog and ricocheted, injuring a nearby man, who the Garda had previously been struggling with. The man was injured in his lower leg, and his injuries are not believed to be life threatening. He was admitted to Midlands Regional Hospital, Mullingar to be treated for the injuries.
It is understood that the armed Garda Sergeant arrived at the scene after a member of the public called Granard garda station claiming that he was unable to get his van back after it had been repaired by an associate of the man who was injured. The caller had driven to Co Longford from the Newmarket area of Co Cork to retrieve the vehicle, but when he arrived in Longford a confrontation broke out and Gardaí were called. When Gardaí arrived at the scene, it is understood the confrontation became more heated and a woman "pulled a slash hook" on the van's owner.
A video of the alleged incident circulated online showing a struggle between a member of An Garda Siochana and the injured man. It appeared to show the officer's tie being pulled by the dog, although the dog was not visible on the screen, before a gun shot rang out, and the woman recording the incident began screaming hysterically.
Both the Gardai and GSCO are investigating the matter. On Monday, the Gardai released a statement to say they would not be commenting on the incident. The statement said: “As part of an on-going investigation by Gardai from Longford, they attended at an incident in Granard earlier this evening the 3rd of December 2018. During the course of this incident an official Garda firearm was discharged. As this incident has been referred to the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission, An Garda Siochana are not in a position to comment further."
It is understood that Assistant Garda Commissioner Orla McPartlin travelled to Granard garda station this week to meet with senior officers there and was briefed in relation to the happenings on Monday night. No arrests have been made with respect to the incident.
Last week, almost €4-million of funding was announced for several urban regeneration projects in Roscommon, Longford, and Leitrim. Longford town centre is due to receive €1-million in funding for its ‘Longford connected project’ which will see a link road built between Little Water St and Richmond St. Longford is also due to benefit with public realm improvements on Grafton Court and in the shopping centre area, as well as new footpaths around the Market Square area. €2.89-million was confirmed for Carrick-on-Shannon for public realm enhancements with its funding coming from the Northern and Western Regional Assembly. While just €780,000 in urban regeneration funding has been ear-marked for the Market Square and Main Street area in Roscommon Town.
The plans to develop greater pedestrian walkways in Carrick-on-Shannon are set to begin next year. Leitrim County Council has been granted almost €2.9 million to begin the first phase of an €8-million regeneration plan. The regeneration plans include an extension to the boardwalk past the boat companies on St George’s Terrace, moving the town clock tower slightly to be more visible from all streets, and improving the entry to market yard. There are also hopes that the local authority can acquire lands at ‘Flynn’s field’, which they intend to develop into extra car parking spaces and open up access to the town through the arches which lead to and from Main Street.
Hopes are high in Longford that works on the county town’s major regeneration project will begin early next year. The funding of €1-million has been earmarked for Grafton Court and the shopping centre area as well as St Mel’s Road and the Market Square, as part of urban regeneration and development funding. The regeneration project includes plans to develop a link road between Little Water St and Richmond St. It is expected that this link road will open up access to further development lands in the town.
On Tuesday December 4th in King House in Boyle, ‘Through the Eyes of Margaret Cousins – Irish & Indian Suffragette’, written by Dr Keith Munro and published by Hive Studio Books, will be launched at 7 pm. The general public is invited to attend. The audience will be welcomed by the Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council, Cllr Ivan Connaughton. Dr Munro, author and grand-nephew of Margaret Cousins, will then address the meeting. Cllr Orla Leyden BA M.Litt., special guest for the evening, will then launch the book.
Dr Munro previously made a promise, at the Roscommon Commemorative Lecture Programme for Vótáil 100 in April of this year, to publish a book on the life of Margaret Cousins, who was born in a house on the Crescent in Boyle on 7th November 1878. He is now fulfilling that promise.
Published during this historic year of the 100th Anniversary of ‘Votes for Women’, the book concerns the life of Margaret Cousins, known as Gretta and her husband James, an Irish poet of note. He was a contemporary and friend of such Irish poets during the cultural revival as WB Yeats, George Russel (Æ), and Padriac Colum. This book is seeing ‘through her eyes’ from diaries and notes recorded by both of them and published in their seminal work: ‘We Two Together’ Madras (1950).
Gretta and Jim, together with their friends Hanna and Frank Sheehy-Skeffington founded the Irish Women’s Franchise League. In November 1922 Gretta was invited to become the first non-Indian Magistrate in the history of India. She worked tirelessly for the rest of her life for the education of the women of India. She passed away in Adyar in Chennai in 1954 at the age of seventy-five.
This book has been endorsed by past President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, who said:
“…..This is the story of a most remarkable Irish girl from Boyle in Roscommon, who, together her husband James and the Sheehy-Skeffingtons, Frank and Hanna, founded the Irish Women’s Franchise League in 1908. Driven by her passion for women’s equality Margaret Cousins devoted the rest of her life to the education of women in India and the raising of their status. It is significant that this book is being released during this historic year of Vótáil 100”.
Dr Keith Munro MB FMO was a general practitioner (1970-2003), forensic medical officer (1970-2018, retired), and a founder member of the Foyle Hospice in Derry (1983).
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