Friday 28 July 2017

Queen Bee's honey sting before her tragic end

Julia Holmes' Irish Bee Sensations Honey won food awards left, right and centre, but it was all a con, says Lucinda O'Sullivan

Tom and Croen Ruttle, at The Blas na h-Eireann / Irish Food Awards at The Dingle Food Festival in Dingle County Kerry in 2013.
Picture: macmonagle
Tom and Croen Ruttle, at The Blas na h-Eireann / Irish Food Awards at The Dingle Food Festival in Dingle County Kerry in 2013. Picture: macmonagle
Lucinda O’Sullivan

Lucinda O’Sullivan

Twitter is an extraordinary medium. It can make or break you, which I guess you could say happened in the case of the wanted fraudster Julia Holmes. She was found dead last week in Co Limerick along with her partner Tom Ruttle, by burglars who got the fright of their lives when they found the pair, and wound up rapidly reporting it to the gardai.

Holmes, who was wanted for fraud in Northern Ireland and the US, using the name 'Croein Ruttle', established her Irish Bee Sensations [IBS] honey business in the Irish foodie world, quickly creating an online buzz. However, just as quickly as Twitter established her, the fact that she tweeted too persistently at times drew attention to her. She was ultimately identified by another Twitter user, who recognised her as Julia Holmes. Accusations were made, the Twitter account was suddenly closed down, she disappeared and the tragic consequences ensued.

Whatever the trail of devastation and angst Holmes left in her wake over a 40-year period both here and in the US, you've got to hand it to her, she was a great 'conwoman'!

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