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State inaction has left Court decision on Tipperary vote in limbo – Mattie McGrath

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Independent TD Mattie McGrath has strongly criticised the lack of legal instruction provided to barristers acting on behalf of the state during his High Court challenge to the constitutionality of postponing the General Election vote in Co. Tipperary. Deputy McGrath had attended the Court after he was informed that in order to avert the possibility of a future judicial challenge to the outcome of the general election, the High Court would have to issue an order instructing the Minister for Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, to officially re-initiate the General election process in Tipperary:

“This is a deeply disappointing development. It has introduced further uncertainty, delay and confusion around what the state is saying unofficially and what it is prepared to say officially before the Court.

As things stand the poll has been countermanded, but the state has not officially withdrawn the countermand.

They must make an order but have so far not done so.

We reluctantly went to the High Court in order to exert legal pressure as part of our bid to secure guaranteed protections for the franchise rights of the people of Tipperary.

The state can sign an order before coming back to court tomorrow at 2pm but as I understand it this would not be an ideal scenario going forward.

That is a matter for another day. Right now, however, the people of Tipperary need clarity. That is what I want to provide them with.

The polling officers also need firm written assurances and clarity.

The State had the opportunity to provide that clarity today and to remove all doubt.

Unfortunately, through its own inaction this case is now set to go on for another day in what is already a tight window of opportunity and with no guarantee that the state’s legal team will be any better instructed tomorrow than it was today.

The people of Tipperary deserve better than this muddled and confused approach” concluded Deputy McGrath.

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Gardai sieze 50,000 counterfeit cigarettes at checkpoint

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Gardai have revealed that they seized 50,000 cigarettes at a checkout in North Tipperary last Friday.

It has been reported that the value of the cigarettes was in the region €30,000. A man in his 40s was arrested, with Gardai preparing a file for the DPP.

This is the latest in a series of efforts by the Gardai to disrupt the counterfeit cigarettes market. While this find was small when compared to other hauls by An Gardai, it is still a step in the right direction.

In March of this year, 11 men were arrested as part of a large scale Garda operation into counterfeit goods. On that raid, more than 40 tonnes of tobacco and 25 million ‘Mayfair’ branded cigarettes were seized

The seizure is part of Revenue’s ongoing operations targeting the supply and sale of illegal drugs and tobacco products in the shadow economy. If you know someone is evading or involved in smuggling, report it. Contact Revenue’s Confidential Freephone 1800 295 295.

This article is supported by triggermovement.com and robertsonlow.com

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Dail Question – Kelly asks Tánaiste about accuracy of Crime Data

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Question posed by Alan Kelly:

131. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of arrests and convictions that were recorded in the recent Operation Thor carried out by An Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Link to Question: HERE

Answer by Charlie Flanagan:

As the Deputy will be aware, since its inception in November 2015, there has been concentrated activity under Operation Thor which is reflected in the implementation of over 83,260 targeted checkpoints nationwide and 28,633 searches carried out.  There have also been in the region of 5,541 arrests and 6,156 charges covering a range of offences which, in addition to burglary, have included handling stolen property, possession of firearms and drugs offences.

It is also encouraging to note that burglary figures in particular have shown a significant downward trend. The CSO official recorded crime statistics for Q4 of 2016 show a30% decrease in burglary for the twelve months of 2016 when compared to the same period in 2015 – which parallels the implementation of Operation Thor.

The Government made it a particular priority to strengthen our legislative provisions through the enactment of the Criminal Justice (Burglary of Dwellings) Act2015 which is targeted at repeat burglars who have previous convictions and who are charged with multiple offences of residential burglary. I am very pleased that this new legislation is now available to support the work which is being carried out by An Garda Síochána under Operation Thor.

Underpinning all of these measures is the Government’s commitment to Garda recruitment, ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime.  The Government has in place a plan to achieve an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021.

As the Deputy will be aware, the Programme for Government underlines the need for close engagement between An Garda Síochána and local communities and this is an essential feature of the strong community policing ethos which has long been central to policing in this jurisdiction.  The Deputy will also be aware that as part of the overall strategy to oppose criminality, the Garda authorities pursue a range of partnerships with community stakeholders, including the farming organisations. There are a range of partnership initiatives which have been established between An Garda Síochána and important rural-based organisations such as the Irish Farmers Association, Muintir na Tire and other rural community organisations, including the well established Community Alert Programme, the ongoing work of the Metal Theft Forum, the Crimestoppers campaign highlighting the Theft of Livestock, the Theftstop initiative in relation to farm equipment, and the highly successful Garda Text Alert Scheme.

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Justice

Body found stabbed in Roscrea

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BREAKING: Gardaí are investigating the death of a man (40s) after the discovery of his body at a home in The Maltings, Roscrea, Co Tipperary

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