News in brief: Woman jailed for three months after gardai raided brothel on main street
A ROMANIAN woman has been jailed for three months after she pleaded guilty at Monaghan District Court to running a brothel on the main street of Monaghan town. Florentina Parpala, 35, with an address at 12 Dublin Street, Monaghan, was jailed by Judge Sean Martin McBride after she could not find the €1,000 bail surety which would have resulted in her receiving a suspended sentence.
Inspector Pat McMorrow had told the court that gardai forced their way into the premises and seized a number of items they believed were involved in the running of a brothel. A laptop was seized, along with €800 and £700 in cash. Ms Parpala asked the judge: "If I am jailed, who is going to look after my nine-year-old child?", but Judge McBride replied: "That is not my problem."
Her solicitor, Damien Rudden, appealed for the return of the cash, "so that she can leave Ireland and never return". However, this was rejected by Judge McBride, who said: "It is obvious that the money was the proceeds of organised crime and this lady was involved in organised prostitution in which other unfortunate people were exploited and controlled." He told the accused: "I am giving you three months and with good behaviour you will be out in two."
Sale of items seized from drug barons
VESSELS and vehicles that were seized during a €440m drug bust are to be auctioned off next month.
The items, which will be sold off on March 23 on behalf of the Criminal Assets Bureau, were confiscated following the discovery of 1.5 tonnes of cocaine on a yacht at Dunlough Bay in west Cork. They include the 12-metre catamaran Lucky Day; two Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs); three Land Rover vehicles; and two new boat trailers.
Two winners of €5.6m Lotto jackpot
TWO winners share last night's €5,670,443 Lotto jackpot, taking home €2,835,221 each. The numbers drawn were 2, 3, 7, 9, 21, 27 (bonus 40).
There were three Match 5+bonus winners who each receive €25,000; 193 Match 5s (€507); 183 Match 4+bonus (€134); 6,752 Match 4s (€22); and 3,999 Match 3+bonus (€25 each); 75,787 Match 3 (€5). The Lotto Plus 1 numbers were 6, 15, 27, 33, 37, 44 (bonus 22) and the Lotto Plus 2 numbers were 9, 11, 12, 24, 36, 44 (bonus 5).
In the UK draw for stg£4.5m, the numbers were 7, 14, 17, 42, 44, 45 (bonus 47).
Student awards still available at NUI
SCHOLARSHIPS of up to €40,000 a year are still available from the National University of Ireland (NUI), despite a government decision to scrap the body.
Last week, some scholarships were open to applications from candidates for the 2010-11 academic year. While some of the study awards are funded by private bequests, a significant number are paid directly by the NUI.
NUI registrar Attracta Halpin said: "In the event of the dissolution of the NUI, arrangements will be made for the honouring of commitments. So there is no danger that any student with an award will be left high and dry. Nor does the NUI intend to deprive students of its awards unless and until this becomes necessary."
Driver sought after hit-and-run death
GARDAI in Cahirciveen, Co Kerry, are searching for a vehicle following a hit-and-run death at Tinahalla, on the Killorglin to Milltown Road. A male pedestrian, aged 51, was killed at around 8.30pm on Friday.
Anybody with information is asked to ring the gardai in Cahirciveen (066 9473600), the Confidential Line (1800 666 111), or to contact any garda station.
Policing devolution still in the balance
OFFICIALS from the Department of Foreign Affairs are mounting a major diplomatic effort to try to persuade the Ulster Unionist Party to agree to the transfer of policing and justice powers to the Stormont assembly in April.
A crucial vote on the proposal is scheduled for March 9, when a majority of unionist and a majority of nationalist members of the 108-strong assembly will have to endorse the proposal.
First Minister Peter Robinson has made it clear that without the support of the UUP leader Sir Reg Empey and his assembly group, he will abandon the vote. This would be likely to lead to a collapse of the assembly and an election which could see Sinn Fein emerge as the largest party.
PSNI station targeted in bomb attack
AN explosive device, thought to be a homemade mortar, was fired at a police station in the North last night. It did not hit the barracks at Craigavon, Co Armagh, and there were no reports of injuries, police said.
Last March, dissident republican terrorists murdered a policeman not far from the site of the attack and there has been an upsurge in paramilitary activity in recent weeks.
Furniture chain appoints Ireland CEO
HARVEY Norman has reiterated its commitment to the Irish market and appointed a Dublin-based chief executive to head up Irish operations. The Irish management team used to report back through a director from the Australian holding company who had responsibility for Ireland.
The new CEO, Blaine Callard, was previously managing director of the company's operations in Slovenia and has worked for Harvey Norman for 15 years. Looking at the company's current situation here, he said: "It remains tough, but we're committed to Ireland, we're not going anywhere. We are taking a long-term view."
Former Lions star leaves €1.1m in will
THE former Irish and Lions rugby international Dr Karl Mullen has left more than €1m in his will, which went to probate in Dublin last week. Mullen was captain of the Irish team which won the Grand Slam in 1948 and went on to captain the Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1950. He played 25 times for Ireland before retiring.
A well-known retired doctor and gynaecologist, Karl Mullen, of Gilltown Lodge, Kilcullen, Co Kildare, who died on April 26, 2009, left estate valued at €1,115,887.
Other wills: Valerie Webb, housewife, Whitebeam Road, Clonskeagh, Dublin, €3,093,783; Joyce Evans, housewife, Drumconrath, Co Meath, €2,102,041; Cecelia Kirwan, housewife, Gracepark Road, Drumcondra, €1,806,794; Marie C Healy, widow, Cypress Lawn, Templeogue, Dublin, €1,837,521; Patrick J Moran, farmer, Streamstown, Co Westmeath, €1,703,048; Thomas Gilligan, farmer, Ballinamore, Co Leitrim, €1,607,394; and Ronald Bushell, restaurateur, Sloan Street, London, England €1,473,439. The value of wills includes property, including the family home, and should not be regarded as cash amounts