Kilkenny Post Office destroyed in Blaze

Several Units of Kilkenny Fire Service tackled a blaze at a post office and shop at Kilmoganny, Co Kilkenny last night. Firefighters sprayed foam on the gutted premises to quench the flames.

Early indications suggested the shop had gas cylinders inside. However, the old petrol pumps outside the building had not been in use for some time. Buildings on either side of the shop are taught to have been destroyed as a result of the blaze. Foam was also sprayed on the houses opposite the building as sparks were landing on their roofs.

There were no reports of any injuries.
(Pic: Irish Independent)

Assaults on Emergency Service personnel reach a 5 year high

Assaults on emergency service personnel have reached a five-year high, according to figures released by the Department of Justice. In 2011, the latest data available, there were 309 recorded incidents of alleged assault with 69 convictions and 66 non-convictions. Between 2006 and 2011, there were 1,551 recorded incidents.

The figures include Gardai, fire and ambulance personnel, prison officers, members of the defence forces, and anyone giving medical assistance in a hospital. These figures also refer to incidents where a person resisted lawful arrest or where a person obstructed a peace officer in the execution of their duty.

In 2010, 248 alleged assaults were recorded, which resulted in 87 convictions and 53 non-convictions. The year before, in 2009, 281 assaults were recorded with 98 convictions and 50 non-convictions. However, the Department of Justice also urged caution when interpreting the figures as it can take time for cases to progress through the courts. “All figures are provisional and may be subject to further revision,” a spokesperson added.

The HSE is currently creating new approaches for the management of aggression and violence, which will form part of the national policy document currently being developed. As part of this, 497 unit managers were surveyed by the Executive on risk assessment and control measures, as well as the training for managing violence and aggression. The State Claims Agency together with the HSE is also creating a baseline of incidences of aggression and violence. Violence against healthcare staff has been flagged as a problem for the last number of years. According to the latest figures from the Health and Safety Authority, last year 219 non-fatal accidents were caused by ‘Aggression, fright, shock and violence’ in the ‘Human Health and Social Activities’ category. This was also the highest of any group.

Late last year, a Fianna Fáil Dáil motion calling for a minimum five-year jail sentence for anyone convicted of assaulting or threatening the life of a front-line emergency worker was defeated.

Two Gardai arrested in alleged fraud investigation

Two gardaí have been arrested in relation to alleged fraudulent activity in the Dublin area. The gardaí, both men in their 30s, are being questioned at Lexilip Garda Station in Co Kildare.

Both men were arrested this morning by detectives from the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Activity, as part of an investigation into alleged fraudulent activity. The arrested Gardai are both serving officers stationed in the Dublin area.

It is understood their arrests relates to allegations about the usage of bank cards at ATMs. The investigation centres on concerns over cash withdrawals being made, with the bank later receiving complaints a faulty machine had not dispensed the money. Funds may then have been reimbursed to accounts. It is understood the cash amounts to less then €2,000.00.

Climbers rescued of Wicklow Mountain

A rescue operation took place on Saturday last with the rescue of injured climbers from a Co Wicklow mountain. The climbers were part of a group which got into trouble on the Luggala peak.

A man had been seriously injured following a 30-metre fall. The injured climber was later transferred to hospital where he remains in a stable condition. The Glen of Imaal Red Cross Mountain rescue and the Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Teams (DWMRT) were alerted by Gardai following a 999 call.

 

A Coast Guard helicopter transferred the rescue teams to the area. One injured climber was walked off the mountain while two others, who were more seriously hurt, were airlifted to hospital.

 

Secretary of the DWMRT Rita Darcy said “At that point, we were hoping that we could bring more people in the helicopter but couldn’t because of the weather and conditions. The rescuers had to set-up a rope system to access one climber, who was the most seriously injured after falling about 30 metres. They had to transfer him onto their own abseil,” she said, while adding that the person was then given morphine by a paramedic.

In deteriorating weather conditions and fading light, the injured climber was carried, with the assistance of two other climbers, through a boulder field by the rescue team to a waiting ambulance.

Garda Station opens for one hour a day

A Garda Station in Limerick is now only open to the public for just one hour a day, according to a local councilor. There is widespread disappointment in Askeaton following the news by Cllr Kevin Sheehan, who has stated he will raise the issue at the next Joint Policing Committee, which he is a member of, and who is also a former member of An Garda Siochana.

 

Earlier this year, the Askeaton Garda District was merged with Newcastle West and Askeaton lost its status as a district headquarters. As a result of the merger, the station, ceased to be open on a round-the-clock basis. Now, it is open to the public for just one hour each day, either from 1-2pm or 8-9pm on alternative days.
According to Cllr Sheahan however, this is not at all what people were expecting or hoping for. He said. “There was an expectation Askeaton would have far more availability for the public. There was also an expectation that at the very least we would have our own sergeant.”

He blamed Government cutbacks for the situation. “I understand the Limerick division is short four sergeants, “The Minister for Justice will say it is a matter for the Garda Commissioner but I say it is the Minister’s department that is responsible,”

Girl Power as Coast Guard crew make history

TWO Coast Guard pilots have made Irish aviation history by flying the first all-female mission for the service. The Shannon-based search and rescue Helicopter R115 flew its first missions with a female pilot and co-pilot, Capt Dara Fitzpatrick and Capt Carmel Kirby.

Capt Fitzpatrick is the chief pilot for rescue 117 at the Waterford base and was on transfer to Shannon to build up flying hours on the new Sikorski S92, which is due to replace the S61 in Waterford in mid-September. “This was a historic occasion for the Coast Guard as this was the first all-female SAR helicopter crew and they carried out two missions on their shift,” said a Coast Guard spokesman.

During the mission, the duo flew a cardiac patient from west Cork to Cork University Hospital before transferring a critically-ill five-year-old child from the hospital to Temple Street Children’s Hospital in Dublin.

The work of the pilots has been the busiest ever this year. Coast Guard helicopter missions have increased by 45pc so far this year as crews dealt with an increase in weather-related incidents and flew more medical missions, the agency has said.

The country’s four helicopter crews flew 1,572 missions by the end of July this year. The number of rescues of people on jet skis grew by 340pc as more people took to the water during the hot weather in July. The rescues of swimmers rose by 68pc, persons on the shoreline by 54pc, canoes by 146pc, angling craft by 44pc and sailing vessels by 40pc.

“The other main contributory factor has been the aeromedical service to the HSE now on trial with the Coast Guard helicopters. Air ambulance missions are up 925pc to 123,” said a Coast Guard spokesman.

*Source Irish Independent

Money to burn as firefighters tackle blaze

Dublin Fire Brigade alerted gardai when firefighters saw several €50 notes fluttering in the breeze beside a car fire they responded to yesterday afternoon. The €50 notes, believed to be over €20,000 are understood to have been stolen earlier in an armed heist at a west Dublin ATM machine.

An emergency call was received in the Eastern Regional Control Centre at Dublin Fire Brigade at 3.15pm yesterday reporting a car on fire in the vicinity of Hollystown Golf Club.

A fire crew arrived at the scene at 3.25pm and began to battle the flames. However, firefighters were amazed to see the money lying all around the vehicle and they alerted Gardai at Blanchardstown. Gardai attended the scene and established the car, a Hyundai Accent was used in an earlier armed robbery in Tyrelstown Plaza at 3pm, in which three men were involved in the armed raid as security men were making a cash drop at an AIB ATM cash machine. One man remained in the getaway car while the other two men threatened the security officers with a handgun. They escaped with a quantity of cash.

Nobody was injured during the raid. Gardai are investigating

14.01.13 – 11.36

Garda’s Gold Rush at World Police and Fire Games

Garda Paul McCarter from Bundoran, Co. Donegal has won a Gold medal in the World Police and Fire Games (WPFG) at Portrush. This Irish Surfing Association and the Canoe Union Of Northern Ireland teamed up to host the Surf and Surf Kayak events recently.

WPFG is the third largest international multi-sport event in the world and will be the largest ever sporting event to take place in Northern Ireland with 56 sports, 7,000 competitors from over 60 countries are taking part. The surfing contest got underway on Tuesday at West Strand, Portrush. With little or no surf forecast for the rest of the week, the management team decided to complete the medal events while the surf was up.

The event included 23 categories with Shortboard, Longboard, SUP, Bodyboard and Surf Kayak in various age groups run with competitors from Ireland, UK, Europe, US, Hawaii and Australia taking part. The official medal ceremony took place at East Strand following the last of the finals. Paul Mc Carter, An Garda Siochana and a former Irish Surf Team member with extensive national and international competitive experience took the Gold Medal in the Bodyboard. He dominated the final, scoring far above the other bodyboarders.

Meanwhile, Garda Claire Reilly provided the shock performance of the event. Originally from Rathlee, Co. Sligo, Claire has been surfing and bodyboarding recreationally for many years. Competing to two categories, the Women’s Bodyboard and Women’s Longboard, this was Claire’s first competitive surfing event.

A strong performance in the Bodyboard resulted in Gold for Claire but she followed this up with a win in the Longboard event to secure double gold at this prestigious World event.