Ex-IRA man charged in connection with murder of Jean McConville
A FORMER IRA man from Belfast appeared in court yesterday charged in connection with the murder of Jean McConville.
Ivor Malachy Bell, who was flown to London in 1972 with the Louth TD Gerry Adams to negotiate an IRA truce with the British government, was charged with aiding and abetting the murder of the mother of 10 young children by the IRA in December 1972.
In court yesterday, a lawyer for 77-year-old Bell said that his client denied any involvement in the murder of Jean McConville and applied for bail.
But a police officer said that there would be a high risk of Bell absconding if he was granted bail. Bell's lawyer said that the evidence against his client was based on audio tapes made during a project run by Boston College and said that "the evidence was not credible". The lawyer described his client as a frail 77-year-old grandfather who had suffered two heart attacks in recent years. Bell, who was arrested on Tuesday, was refused bail.
POPE APPOINTS COLLINS TO ABUSE GROUP
IRISH woman Marie Collins who was abused by a priest and went on in adulthood to become a strong campaigner for the protection of children was yesterday named by Pope Francis to be part of a core group formed to help the Catholic Church tackle the problem of abuse by the clergy.
The formation of a group of experts was first announced in December, and yesterday the Pope named the first eight members – four female and four male – from eight different countries.
SIPTU'S €300,000 BILL IN AIRPORT ROW
SIPTU faces legal costs of up to €300,000 after a High Court decision to grant an injunction to Dublin Airport Authority preventing a four-hour St Patrick's Day strike.
It's a major financial blow to the union. Mr Justice Paul Gilligan last week ordered SIPTU to pay the DAA and Ryanair's legal costs incurred in securing the injunction.
GARDA WARNING AFTER JEEP THEFTS
GARDAI in the Cavan/Monaghan Division have appealed to the owners of jeeps in border areas to step up security on their premises after an unprecedented wave of thefts.
Five Toyota jeeps were stolen in recent weeks in the Carrickmacross area of Co Monaghan, near the Armagh border. Gardai say one farmer was targeted immediately after he left his vehicle parked at his farmyard.
NO WINNER OF €4M LOTTO JACKPOT
THERE was no winner of last night's €3,928,388 Lotto jackpot. the numbers were 2, 3, 20, 22, 29, 39 (bonus 4). The Lotto Plus 1 numbers were 7, 16, 20, 27, 31, 44 (bonus 24), and Lotto Plus 2 saw 4, 6, 13, 14, 20, 45 (bonus 28).
HIGGINS ASKS YOUTH TO END BULLYING
President Michael D Higgins has called on young people to eliminate bullying from their schools, in particular homophobic bullying. And he asked them to commit to an 'Ethics of Friendship' that would mean they valued every single student equally regardless of their religion, ethnicity, social background or sexual orientation.
The President was speaking on Friday at the official opening of refurbished school building in Colaiste Iognaid Galway, where his four children attended school.
AMAZON'S IRISH PROFITS SOAR TO €13.6M
PRE-TAX profits at the main Irish unit of online retailer Amazon almost doubled to €13.6m last year.
Revenues climbed 48 per cent to €290.8m, according to accounts filed by Amazon Data Services Ireland Ltd (ADSIL), which operates seven separate data hubs around Dublin to support Amazon group websites.
MAN KILLED IN CRASH NEAR CASHEL
A 63-year-old man died and his passenger was injured when his car left the road and hit a tree at Cashel, Co Tipperary yesterday.
The accident happened at about 2.45pm at Newtown, New Inn, Cashel on the R687. A 35-year-old man who was a passenger in the car was taken to hospital in Clonmel where his injuries were described as not life-threatening.
Garda have appealed for witnesses to contact Cahir Garda Station on 052-7445630 or any garda station.
HISTORIAN MACTHOMAIS DIES AT 46
Tributes have flooded in for the Dublin historian Shane MacThomais who was found dead in his beloved Glasnevin Cemetery on Friday.
The 46-year-old was the resident historian at the northside cemetery. He had previously worked in the James Joyce Centre as a librarian and archivist, and had a natural gift as a storyteller. Obituary, Page 35
O'BRIEN JOINS SCRUM TO BUY €1.3M PUB
Rugby star Sean O'Brien has joined fellow internationals Rob and Dave Kearney and Jamie Heaslip to buy the well-known Bellamy's pub in Dublin 4. They joined publican Noel Anderson in the deal, worth €1.35m.
PANEL HEAD HITS BACK AT MARTIN CLAIMS
A member of the electoral boundary commission has hit back at claims by Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin that the boundary changes were manipulated to suit Fine Gael and Labour.
DCU professor Gary Murphy said he was "taken aback" and "disappointed" by the remarks made at the start of the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis. Prof Murphy, who was one of five members of the commission, said he felt Mr Martin was suggesting the body came under "political pressure". Speaking to the Sunday Independent, the prominent academic rejected claims the revised boundaries were a "gerrymander".
US BILLIONAIRE MALONE BUYS HILTON
US billionaire John Malone has bought the 193-bed Hilton Hotel at Charlemont Place, Dublin for an estimated €30m.
Mr Malone already owns the Trinity Capital Hotel on Pearse Street, as well as Humewood Castle in Co Wicklow. The Hilton once belonged to developers Jerry O'Reilly and Bernard McNamara, whose loans went into Nama.
HOPEFUL CHALLENGES BANKRUPTCY LAWS
A woman has brought a legal challenge to laws stopping bankrupts contesting Dail and European elections.
Jillian Godsil, whose house was repossessed last year and is a bankrupt herself, wants to run as a candidate on a debt-relief platform in the Ireland South constituency in the European elections, which includes her base at Coolroe, Tinahely, Co Wicklow. She also intends to ultimately run for the Dail.
Because she filed for and was adjudicated bankrupt last month, she may only legally contest local but not Dail or European elections.
ALL-AFRICAN GAA TEAM ON FIRST VISIT
The first all-African GAA team is on its inaugural visit to the island of Ireland. The team, established four years ago, is made up of players from Johannesburg townships.
This week the players are visiting the Republic and Belfast to learn more about the home of GAA. The team will test their skills against a number of Irish and Northern Irish teams during their week-long visit including Ballyboden St Enda's and St Mary's Belfast.