Army provided escorts for more than 2,000 cash-in-transit vans last year
The Army provided armed escorts last year for cash-in-transit vans around the country on 2,147 occasions in what are called "aid to civil power" operations.
That figure dwarfs other work carried out in similar operations, including Central Bank guard duty (365); bomb disposal call-outs (196); Shannon Airport patrols (16); explosive escorts (12); and prisoner escorts (121).
The Air Corps flew air cover for bank escorts on 353 missions, with 335 of those undertaken by their oldest aircraft, the Cessna 172, which was introduced in 1972.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen said earlier this year that banks were now paying the "full cost" of escorts. "Up to that point banks were paying €2.86m a year compared with €7.45m received for 2008," he said.
A total of 149 missions involved the Taoiseach and his ministers, including 42 involving the Gulfstream IV jet, 82 involving the Learjet; one with the Casa maritime patrol plane; four with the EC-135 helicopter; 19 with the AW-139 helicopter; and one using the Beechcraft plane.
Businessmen don't credit politicians
A survey commissioned by the Institute of Directors of Ireland revealed that more than 60 per cent of top businessmen do not believe the Government has "the resolve or ability'' to turn around the recession.
The survey, carried out by the Behaviour and Attitudes Company, also discovered that 68 per cent of the top multinational CEOs and directors said they did not believe the Government had the capacity to restore growth.
More than half of all business CEOs did not believe Mr Cowen's government had a sufficient understanding of the current economic situation to resolve it. However, the business leaders were also unimpressed by the Opposition -- only 45 per cent believed a change of government would resolve the economy's problems.
Gardai raid €400,000 cannabis farm
Gardai from the Coolock Drugs Unit yesterday raided an elaborate cannabis factory in Baldoyle, Co Dublin. Some 700 cannabis plants and processed cannabis were seized.
The drugs and the factory, which included sophisticated lighting, feeding, ventilation and irrigation systems, had a potential street value of €400,000. A man arrested at the scene is being detained at Swords garda station.
No winners of €4.6m Lotto jackpot
THERE was no winner of last night's €4,621,186 Lotto jackpot. The numbers were 8, 12, 14, 17, 34, 36 (bonus 45).
There were two Match 5+bonus winners who each get €25,000; 50 Match 5s (€1,811); 109 Match 4+bonus (€208); 2,755 Match 4s (€51); 2,950 Match 3+bonus (€32); and 45,010 Match 3s (€5)
The Lotto Plus 1 numbers were 4, 14, 34, 35, 41, 45 (bonus 26) and the Lotto Plus 2 numbers were 1, 16, 32, 41, 43, 45 (bonus 27).
Meanwhile, in the UK draw for £4.4m (€5.37m) the numbers were 8, 15, 19, 26, 33, 36 (bonus 1).
Plug pulled on €250m development
Plans for a plush €250m development on the Wicklow estate of former President Sean T O'Ceallaigh have been shot down by An Bord Pleanala.
The massive development "would seriously injure the visual amenities" of the scenic area, said the board.
Swinwood Ltd, a subsidiary of REO, the Johnny Ronan and Richard Barrett firm, wanted to build a 301-bed hotel and a 54-hole golf complex on the 377-acre Roundwood Park Estate, which it bought for €17m in 2005.
Wicklow County Council granted conditional permission for the project in 2009. However, the development has now been deemed unsuitable.
Tuberculosis alert at primary school
MORE than 200 children are to be screened for TB after an outbreak in a Cork primary school. The HSE confirmed that three children from Ballintemple National School at Carb Lane in the Cork suburbs had been infected.
A HSE investigation has been launched to establish the source of the disease. The outbreak occurred on August 10.
Brunker for 'All-Ireland Talent Show'
Colourful writer and columnist Amanda Brunker will be a judge on RTE's All-Ireland Talent Show when it returns in the autumn. She will replace Boyzone's Shane Lynch, who had to leave due to touring commitments.
The opening auditions begin in the south this coming Saturday at the Clarion Hotel in Cork, followed in September by auditions in Galway, Derry and Kilkenny. Further information from Tyrone Productions.
Mining firm goes for gold at Border
A leading international mining company which has claimed there are rich deposits of gold in the Border terrain of Monaghan and Armagh has now decided to undertake further extended exploration in mid-Monaghan.
Conroy Diamonds and Gold aims to undertake mining in the Clontibret area of Co Monaghan, where it claims a rich gold vein has been identified. They also said they had obtained approval from the Department of Energy for the extended search for minerals in the Mullyash region.
Canadian ambassador off to Boston
CANADA'S Irish Ambassador Patrick Binns is to move from Dublin next month to take over as Canadian Consulate General in Boston.
The envoy, who was a former premier of Prince Edward Island, has ancestral roots in Co Monaghan.
Pakistan response weak, says Concern
The overseas director of Concern Worldwide yesterday criticised the international response to the Pakistan flooding emergency and said rapid action and the delivery of funding was needed to prevent an escalation of the humanitarian crisis there.
"So far, the international response has been deficient and insufficient for a crisis that will eclipse the Asian tsunami and the earthquake in Haiti," said Paul O'Brien.
Boxer Sutherland leaves €112,000
Tragic Irish boxer Darren Sutherland, who died last September, has left an estate valued at more than €112,000, probate documents lodged in Dublin last week reveal. The boxer died without leaving a will. The bronze medal winner at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 was found hanging in his London flat last September.
In July, Mr Sutherland's body was exhumed from a graveyard in Navan, Co Meath, for a second post-mortem, after his family said a further examination was required so that relevant matters could be put before the coroner at an inquest which is expected to take place later this year.
Other wills: William Richardson, carpenter, Clonard Street, Balbriggan, Co Dublin, €3,415,527; Peter Ellison, aviation company director, Estuary Road, Malahide, Dublin, €2,444,578; Sylvia Wallace, Elgin Rd, Ballsbridge, Dublin €2,273,641; Nora O'Grady, housewife, Grove House, Milltown Road, Dublin, €2,249,603; Edward Southern, farmer, The Curragh, Co Kildare, €2,000,631; Catherine Hyland, secretary, Athy, Co Kildare, €1,968,448. And the well-known film critic, broadcaster and journalist Michael Dwyer, of Westmoreland Park, Ranelagh, Dublin, who died on January 1 last, has left €525,576.
The value of wills include property, including the family home, and should not be regarded as cash amounts