Archive | August, 2007

Another Teenager Mudered In London

31 Aug

Another Teenager Murdered in London

By J. P. Anderson

A 17-year-old boy has been stabbed to death in a street in London.

His body was found in Chesterford Road, Newham, just before midnight.

Two 16-year-old youths have been arrested in connection with the death.

A police spokesman said attempts were being made to trace the family of the victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

He said: "Inquiries continue to establish the circumstances that led to the incident but at this early stage we do not believe the murder to be gang-related."

A post mortem examination is expected to take place on Saturday.

The death is the latest in a series of young people murdered with knives and guns in the capital.

Other victims include Ben Hitchcock, 16, killed by a single stab wound after a street fight in Beckenham.

Student Sian Simpson, 18, was stabbed to death in Croydon.

Last week it emerged police have identified over 250 gangs in London, some of whom are known to be linked to serious violence.

:: Anyone with information about the latest stabbing is asked to call the incident room on 020 8345 3715 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

West African State Will Shoot Down Drug Planes

31 Aug

West African State Will Shoot Down Drug-Planes

By J. P. Anderson

The West African state of Guinea-Bissau has said it will shoot down any aircraft that enters its airspace without permission.

Guinea-Bissau is a key transit point for international drug traffickers.

Prime Minister Martinho N’Dafa Cabi, who issued the order, said the measure is ‘a means of threatening’ drug traffickers ‘who profit from our fragility.

‘From today, whatever aircraft that enters our airspace without having informed the competent authorities will be destroyed.

‘We have a state with rules, and there cannot be illegal flights over our territory’, he said.

Guinea-Bissau, a former Portuguese colony in west Africa and the world’s fifth poorest nation, has in recent years become a transit hub for European-bound cocaine originating from Latin America.

Traffickers exploit its weak self-defence capabilities to ship their contraband via the nation’s Bijagos islands.

President Mary McAleese has issued a warning about the link between suicide and illegal drugs. Her comments about drugs and drink being “decommissioned” may be seen by many as a direct reference to the involvement (past and present) of the provisional IRA and other paramilitary organisations (north and south) with drug trafficking and dealing on a national and international scale.

Mrs McAleese called for an awareness campaign directed at young people to counter what she described as the erroneous view that marijuana was a benign substance.

Separately, the President also observed that there was still an undercurrent of both bias and hostility which young gay people must find deeply hurtful and inhibiting.

The President was speaking at an international conference on suicide in Killarney, Co Kerry. 

Decommission Drugs and Drink Says President

31 Aug

President Calls for the Decommissioning

Of Drink and Drugs

By J. P. Anderson

President Mary McAleese has issued a warning about the link between suicide and illegal drugs. The president said that “binge drinking and drug use were closely associated with suicide and must be decommissioned”.

Mrs McAleese called for an awareness campaign directed at young people to counter what she described as the erroneous view that marijuana was a benign substance.

Separately, the President also observed that there was still an undercurrent of both bias and hostility which young gay people must find deeply hurtful and inhibiting.

The President was speaking at an international conference on suicide in Killarney, Co Kerry.

Separately: The Minister of State with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy, Pat Carey, has said the Government will have to look at introducing needle exchange programmes across Ireland.

He was speaking at the launch of Merchant Quay Ireland’s annual report.

The charity, dedicated to helping the homeless and drug addicts, has called for the setting up of more local treatment centres throughout the country for drug abusers.

Its report records an increase in homelessness among immigrants from countries which most recently joined the EU.

Merchants Quay Ireland has been working with homeless people and drug abusers for almost 20 years, and says it is once again pointing out the large number of people using its services.

In 2006 alone, it says more that 1,700 new addicts availed of its syringe exchange service.

Director Tony Geoghegan called for increased investment in the service at local level, saying that while media attention has focused on cocaine use in recent times, heroin remains a major problem, not only in parts of Dublin but across Ireland.

The charity says there has also been increased demand for its homeless services from people from the new EU member states, with staff seeing up to 50 such people a day.

It is also calling on the Government to abandon current regulations which prevent such newcomers from receiving social welfare assistance. 

Dublin Drugs Charity Seeks Nationwide Drug Treatment Centres

31 Aug

Dublin Drugs Charity Seeks Nationwide

Drug Treatment Centres

By J. P. Anderson

‘The Merchants Quay Charity Seeks, more drug treatment centres and the abolition of regulations which prevents newcomers to the State from receiving social welfare entitlements without having contributed to such entitlements as a growing public awareness of drug abuse blames drug users for funding the Irish Drugs Epidemic. Without drug users there would be no drug gangs and the associated crimes of murder and brutality now a daily occurrence countrywide, with the public especially young children exposed to many dangers from drug dealers and users including used needles disposed of in the public streets and parks of our cities and towns‘.

One of Ireland’s longest established charities dedicated to helping the homeless and drug addicts is calling for the setting up of more local treatment centres throughout the country for drug abusers.

Merchants Quay Ireland issued the call to coincide with the publication of its annual report.

The document records an increase in homelessness among immigrants from countries which most recently joined the EU.

Merchants Quay Ireland has been working with homeless people and drug abusers for almost 20 years, and says it is once again pointing out the large number of people using its services.

In 2006 alone, it says more that 1,700 new addicts availed of its syringe exchange service.

Director Tony Geoghegan called for increased investment in the service at local level, saying that while media attention has focused on cocaine use in recent times, heroin remains a major problem, not only in parts of Dublin but across the country.

The charity says there has also been increased demand for its homeless services from people from the new EU member states, with staff seeing up to 50 such people a day.

It is also calling on the Government to abandon current regulations which prevent such newcomers from receiving social welfare assistance. 

Warning on Scope of Deportation Ruling

30 Aug

Warning on Scope of Deportation Ruling

By J. P. Anderson

The Immigrant Council of Ireland has said 2,000 people could be affected by the State’s plan to deport the non-EU spouses of EU citizens from outside Ireland if the spouses are living here illegally.

The Department of Justice stated it had the right to deport non-EU spouses following a High Court ruling two months ago.

The ruling affects people from outside the European Economic Area – made up of the 27 EU member states and four other nations – who have married an EU citizen who is not Irish.

The ICI says that ‘huge disruption’ has been caused to people who came to Ireland in good faith and who are being refused permission to live here.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland, solicitor Derek Stewart said if the purpose of the move was to crackdown on convenience marriages, it would be to the detriment of the majority who were genuine couples.

The Department of Justice issued notices of intention to deport following a court ruling.

In June the High Court ruled that the Department of Justice had the right to insist that wives or husbands of non-Irish EU citizens, who were not from the EU themselves, must live legally in another member state before moving to Ireland.

That judgment is being appealed in the Supreme Court but in the meantime the Department has issued deportation notices informing the non-EU spouses living in Ireland of the implementation.

The section 3 letters give those under threat of deportation three options: to leave voluntarily; to agree to be deported; or to make representations to stay in Ireland temporarily within the next 15 days.

Email: greagues2@yahoo.co.uk  

€2.5m heroin & Cocaine Seizure At Dublin Port

30 Aug

€2.5m Cocaine & Heroin Seizure at Dublin Port

By J. P. Anderson

Heroin and cocaine with a combined street value of over €2.5m have been seized at Dublin Port.

Revenue’s Customs Service said its officers recovered 12kg of heroin and 2.5kg of cocaine concealed in two wood burning ranges that had arrived from Rotterdam.

It is the biggest ever single heroin seizure by Customs officials.

The drugs were uncovered during a routine examination by a sniffer dog. 

Public Alert: as Measles Cases Soar ‘Get Children MMR Vaccinated’

30 Aug

Public Alert: As Measles Cases Soar

Get Children MMR Vaccinated

By J. P. Anderson

Parents are being urged to give their children the MMR jab after figures showed measles cases have more than trebled in the last 11 weeks.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said the number of confirmed cases of children suffering measles was higher than expected for this time of year.

Latest reports showed 480 cases of measles in the UK so far this year – compared with 756 cases during the whole of 2006, which was the highest year on record.

Health experts urged parents to get their children vaccinated against the disease, which can be life-threatening.

Up until June 10 this year, 136 cases of measles had been confirmed by the HPA. But as of August 30, just over 11 weeks later, this had more than trebled to 480 confirmed cases.

An HPA spokeswoman said it was too early to say whether 2007 would prove to be the highest year on record since monitoring began in 1995. However, she said the current figures showed it was following the trend set last year.

Dr Mary Ramsay, a consultant epidemiologist at the HPA, said: "Over the summer holidays we have seen more cases of measles being reported than we would normally expect.

"This means it is crucial that children are fully immunised with two doses of MMR before they return to school."

The HPA said it was difficult to confirm reasons why there has been such a jump in recent weeks. A high number of cases have been noted in communities where vaccine uptake is lower, including travelling families.

But, the HPA said, cases are also currently occurring in unvaccinated school-age children across all social groups. Over the course of the year, there have also been small outbreaks in primary schools and cases in people returning from other countries.

E-mail: greagues2@yahoo.co.uk