Tuesday 21 May 2019

Commuter-belt garda squad to carry new armour-piercing submachine gun Bertie to launch journalist's memoir Widow of Fianna Fail's Neil Blaney dies Declan Lynch for Electric Picnic talk Retirement group hosts Alan Stanford Funeral of fashion editor's mother

A new armed garda unit rolled out to protect the community in the Dublin commuter belt has been armed with a special gun to defeat the body armour now routinely worn by gangland criminals.

The Regional Support Unit, unveiled in Mullingar on Friday, is the latest garda unit to field the revolutionary Heckler and Koch MP-7 personal defence weapon (PDW), which is effectively a submachine gun that fires armour-piercing bullets.

One detective told Sunday Independent he had continual nightmares of being outgunned at a roadblock by heavily armed criminals -- with his elderly six-shot Smith and Wesson revolver.

The new unit will also use modern semi-automatic pistols, shotguns and Uzi submachine guns. The Regional Support Unit will comprise 24 gardai and will cover Meath, Westmeath, Laois/Offaly, Kildare and Wicklow.

Bertie to launch journalist's memoir

Former Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern will this Wednesday launch a book by newspaper editor, John Kierans, in the author's home town of Drogheda, Co Louth.

Stop the Press! An Inside Story of the Tabloids in Ireland is a fast-paced and exciting account of 23 years at the coalface of red-top reporting in pursuit of some of the biggest stories in crime, showbiz, sleaze and scandal.

Mr Kierans, the editor of the Irish Daily Mirror, who has also worked for the Sunday World and The Star, gives behind-the-scenes access to the boozy parties, the rows and the power struggles in the cut-throat world of tabloid journalism.

He also recalls his days on Fleet Street, when he reported from the front line in Kuwait, narrowly escaping death to deliver the true stories behind the Gulf War; madcap assignments to gatecrash Rod Stewart's wedding to Rachel Hunter and tracking down Julia Roberts after she ditched Kiefer Sutherland at the altar.

Widow of Fianna Fail's Neil Blaney dies

Eva Blaney, the widow of former Fianna Fail minister Neil T. Blaney died in Dublin last Friday. Her removal to St Fintan's, Sutton, Dublin, takes place at 11am tomorrow and the funeral will take place afterwards to Massmount Cemetery, Fanad, Co Donegal for burial at 5pm.

The death has also taken place of former Fianna Fail TD William (Billy) Kenneally, who was also a former mayor of Waterford and chairman of the Fianna Fail parliamentary party. His funeral took place yesterday at the Church of SS Joseph and Benildus, Newtown, Co Waterford.

Declan Lynch for Electric Picnic talk

Declan Lynch, Sunday Independent columnist, will discuss drink and gambling, at the literary event at the Electric Picnic in Stradbally Hall, Co Laois, next weekend.

Also taking part will be John Banville, Irvine Welsh, Claire Kilroy, Rita Ann Higgins and John Minihan.

Retirement group hosts Alan Stanford

A meeting of Donnybrook active retirement association is to be held in the parish hall, situated behind the Church of The Sacred Heart, on Tuesday at 2.30pm, with a talk by the well known actor Alan Stanford.

Funeral of fashion editor's mother

A funeral Mass will take place tomorrow morning in Terenure College chapel, Dublin, for Mrs Anne Power, the mother of Irish Independent fashion editor and Weekend magazine editor Bairbre Power.

Mrs Power, 78, from Terenure, Dublin, died in St James's Hospital, Dublin, on Thursday, after a long illness. Her funeral Mass will take place at 11am and she will be brought from there to the crematorium at Mount Jerome, Harold's Cross.

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