Saturday 18 November 2017

Polish brothers granted bail over €3m drugs seizure despite garda objection

TWO Polish brothers charged with possessing €3m worth of drugs have been granted bail by the courts – despite strenuous objections by arresting gardai.

District Court Judge Patrick Clyne set a surety of €25,000 each for Marcin Szymala, 30, and his brother Slawomir, 28, who were arrested lastThursday as part of a major operation by the Garda National Drugs Unit.

Six other men appeared in the District Court last Friday, on charges arising from the same operation at various locations across Dublin and Co Meath. All eight were charged with possession with intent to supply drugs.

They are Keith Donovan, 26, from Cabra; Alan Wallace, 46, from Clondalkin; Ivan Tihon, in his 30s and of no fixed abode; Jakob Kodzinski, also in his 30s from north Dublin; Jason Hughes, 31, from Clondalkin; and Graham Kavanagh, in his 30s from Dublin 2. All were granted bail for sums between €1,000 and €1,500.

Detective Garda Gerry Daly strongly objected to bail in the cases of the Szymala brothers, saying they posed a "serious" flight risk; they had no ties to this jurisdiction; no children or families here, no jobs here and they lived at various addresses. Counsel for the brothers, Mark Lynham, told the judge that they had established roots and ties here, adding that Marcin worked as a DJ and his brother earned €300 a week as a car valet.

As part of several seizures last week gardai recovered five pistols and a machine-pistol of Russian manufacture, 150kg of cannabis herb, 200kg of cannabis resin, 100,000 ecstasy tablets and a powder believed to be cocaine.

RIRA TERRORISTS' CASE CLEARS EU COURT

TWO Real IRA terrorists who were ordered to pay compensation over the Omagh bombing which left 29 dead and hundreds injured could have the ruling overturned by the European Court of Human Rights after their case cleared an important legal hurdle.

Michael McKevitt and Liam Campbell were ordered to pay a share of €2m in aggravated damages after being found liable for the 1998 atrocity in a landmark civil action brought by the victims' families.

But they took an appeal against the ruling to Europe and have crossed the first barrier to having the civil case against them quashed. The UK government must now respond to RIRA arguments before European judges decide whether to grant a full hearing.

There was outrage among the Omagh victims' families at the prospect that European human rights law could be used to quash the damages order.

MAN IN COURT OVER €12.8M DUD NOTES

A 53-YEAR-OLD Dublin man has appeared in court charged with possession of counterfeit €50 notes with a face value of €12.8m seized by gardai last Thursday.

John Stanley, originally of Northern Ireland but with an address at Tonlegee Road, Coolock, was charged with two offences of creating and possessing counterfeit currency.

The judge remanded Stanley on bail.

GARDAI MAKE ARREST AFTER ROAD DEATH

A 63-year-old woman died after the car in which she was a passenger hit a wall in Wexford yesterday evening.

The collision happened at Harvey Place in New Ross, Co Wexford, at 7pm. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. The 59-year-old male driver was brought to hospital where he was treated for non serious injuries.

Gardai have made an arrest following the incident and are continuing with their investigations.

MOTORCYCLIST KILLED IN COLLISION

A 28-YEAR-old motorcyclist died after hitting a tractor and trailer in Limavady, Co Derry, yesterday.

Two men in their 20s, on a second motorcycle, were taken to hospital. Their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. The tractor driver was not injured.

BOY, 6, INJURED IN HIT-AND-RUN DIES

A SIX-year-old boy injured in a hit-and-run incident last week near Youghal, Co Cork, has died in hospital.

Luke O'Donovan, of Ballymacoda, was hit by a car while out playing last Wednesday. He was shortly to celebrate his seventh birthday, but he died yesterday afternoon.

Gardai are to prepare a file on the incident for the DPP after earlier this week arresting a 48-year-old local man and questioning him before releasing him without charge.

NO WINNER OF €3M LOTTO JACKPOT

THERE was no winner of last night's €2,976,990 Lotto jackpot with numbers of 13, 16, 22, 26, 36, 43 (bonus 24). The Plus 1 numbers were 8, 15, 24, 26, 27, 35 (bonus 43) and Plus 2 numbers were 2, 5, 10, 12, 25, 44, (bonus 11).

€300,000 WORTH OF CANNABIS SEIZED

GARDAI in Galway have seized drugs and arrested a man in his mid 40s following a search of a house in the Mountbellew area of Co Galway.

Cannabis plants with a estimated street value of up to €300,000 were seized in what was called a "sophisticated" grow house. Other drug paraphernalia and two firearms were also recovered.

NINE MILLION EASTER EGGS? GET CRACKING

MORE than nine million Easter eggs will be consumed over the bank holiday weekend, according to Director of Retail Ireland Stephen Lynam. "As with all foods, we urge people to eat sensibly and avail of the great value fruit, vegetables and meat on offer in stores this Easter," he said.

Safefood – the agency charged with promoting awareness about food safety – sounded a cautionary note, pointing out that a 300g egg has a full 1,590 calories.

NAVY DETAINS SPANISH FISHING SHIP

THE LE Roisin detained a Spanish fishing vessel on Friday last for alleged breaches of fishing regulations. The trawler was detained 100 nautical miles south west of Mizen Head and is expected into Castletownbere this morning.

It brings to 250 the number of boardings done this year by the Naval Service. This is the third vessel detained for alleged infringements of fisheries regulations in 2014.

MAN ARRESTED OVER REPUBLICAN MURDER

A 26-YEAR-old man is being held by police investigating the murder of a dissident republican in Belfast on Friday.

Tommy Crossan was shot in west Belfast at a fuel depot on the Springfield Road after apparently going there to meet someone. Local people suspect dissident republicans assassinated the former leader of the Continuity IRA.

CALLS TO CRACK DOWN ON PUBLIC BOOZING

GARDAI have been asked to launch a major crackdown on public boozing in two Co Monaghan border towns.

Town councillors in Castleblayney have claimed elderly folk are being inconvenienced by people drinking on footpaths outside pubs despite a by-law that outlaws public drinking in the area being in place since in 1999.

'BREAK OUT THE BARBECUES' FOR EASTER

THE sunny Easter bank holiday will continue today with temperatures in some parts of the country rising to up to 16 degrees. "Crack out the barbecue but don't forget the sun cream," Met Eireann forecaster Joanna Donnelly said.

However, conditions are set to cool on bank holiday Monday as clouds and some light showers are expected.

Sunday Independent

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