Archive | March, 2010

Coolock: Gardai Renews Appeal Over Murder Of Noel Deans: Information

31 Mar

COOLOCK GARDAI RENEWS APPEAL OVER MURDER OF NOEL DEANS:

Info:

Previously published Article: Irish Times: Monday January 18/2010:

GARDAÍ ARE trying to establish a motive for the shooting dead of a man as he walked from a pub in Coolock, Dublin on Saturday night to see his partner and child.

The victim, Noel Deans (27) had, from the age of 14, spent most of his life in child detention centres and later adult prisons. He was originally from Greenwood Lawns, Blunden Drive, Coolock.

His killing was the fourth fatal shooting in Dublin in eight days.

Deans, a drug user, had been drinking in the Priorswood Inn, Priorswood, Coolock Dublin, on Saturday evening. He left the pub just after 10pm to walk the short distance to see his partner and child at his partner’s home.

As he walked up Ferrycarrig Road towards a laneway leading to Macroom Road, he was shot dead. Local people heard gunfire and rang gardaí. When a patrol car arrived at the scene they found Deans dead on the road.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Khaled Jaber examined the body at the scene yesterday morning before it was removed for a post-mortem.

The results were not available last night but Deans had been shot at least twice in the head.

Local people reported hearing a car speeding from the scene after the shooting.

The dead man was linked to a number of criminals who have been feuding in Coolock in recent years, including JP Joyce (30), found shot dead near Dublin airport on January 9th. However, gardaí said Deans’s links to these criminals were tenuous. There is currently no information linking his death to Joyce’s murder or the Coolock feud.

Reports locally that Deans was in some way linked to the Coolock feud murder of Fred Lynch (21) in Darndale last March are being treated with scepticism by gardaí.

One Garda source said: “He was known to the gardaí but it was for disorganised crime. We wouldn’t even have regarded him as a member of a crime gang.”

Gardaí said Deans had been involved in a number of low-level rows with local criminals and was involved in one altercation as recently as two weeks ago. They are investigating if any of these disputes led to his murder.

Supt Mark Curran of Coolock Garda station said he had met community leaders yesterday and had assured them the murderers would be “vigorously pursued”.

In May 2000 Deans, then aged 18, was jailed for four years for an incident in which he used a stolen car to ram a Garda car after a chase in Coolock. He then reversed over Garda Declan Nolan, who was on foot. He had to have a steel plate put into his knee and was out of work for nine months.

Deans’s trial heard he started smoking cannabis when he was 13 years before graduating to heroin and crack cocaine.

In 2004, he was jailed for three years for stealing a 4X4 and driving it while drunk into a Garda car. Deans stole the Honda 4X4 in Malahide, north Dublin, after the owner left the keys in the ignition while in the post office.

Deans drove at speed on the wrong side of the road into an oncoming Garda car. Nobody was seriously injured but Deans was taken from the car bleeding. He was brought to Beaumont Hospital for treatment but tried to escape from Garda custody while at the hospital. He was drunk but refused to give a breath sample.

He later tried to head-butt a garda on the way to Swords Garda station.

During his trial, his barrister, Caroline Biggs, told Judge Desmond Hogan that Deans had first been jailed when he was 14. From that age until he was 21, Deans had only spent 18 months out of custody. He had 18 convictions at the time and suffered from psychiatric problems and a drug addiction.

In 1999, aged 17, he was before the courts for exposing himself twice in less than an hour to gardaí in a patrol car in Darndale, where he had lived for periods.

Coolock gardaí are being assisted in the Deans murder investigation by their colleagues from Raheny and Clontarf because of the heavy workload in Coolock.

Officers there were already investigating a stabbing murder in Donaghmede at the weekend, the shooting dead of JP Joyce and the armed abduction of a shopkeeper in Coolock last Tuesday. Anybody with information on the Deans murder is asked to contact Raheny gardaí on (01) 666 4832.

www.garda.ie

 

‘HEAD SHOPS ASSOCIATION’ TO SEEK ADVICE OVER BAN ON DRUGS:

31 Mar

HEAD SHOPS ASSOCIATION TO SEEK ADVICE OVER DRUGS BAN:

AN association formed by head shop owners around the country is seeking advice in relation to the proposed ban of products, with a particular emphasis on their rights under the European and Irish constitutions.

In its first statement, Alternative Traders Ireland said it is seeking to liaise with Government, the media and other concerned bodies in relation to the controversy surrounding the head shop industry.

Head shops have been the subject of much debate in recent months as they sell legal synthetic drugs which mimic the effects of real drugs.

The number of these shops has mushroomed and the illegal drugs industry has been suffering due to their proliferation.

The shops have been targeted, in some cases in the form of protests by parents and residents and in others by dissident republicans or disgruntled drug dealers.

In order to try and protect their businesses, a large number of alternative traders have held meetings to discuss the controversies surrounding the industry.

The association members have agreed a voluntary code of conduct, which aims to address a number of long-standing concerns raised in the media and also of concern to the association members. These include a strict proof of age policy, a ban on any customers wearing school uniforms, regardless of proof of age, and a refusal to sell products to any person who appears to be intoxicated.

Meanwhile, Fine Gael councillor and primary school principal Mary Mitchell O’Connor called on Health Minister Mary Harney to immediately close the loophole on legal highs.

Her call came following the announcement in Britain on Monday that mephedrone, a drug similar to crystal methamphetamine in structure, will be banned.

"British MPs banned mephedrone while we in Ireland are still making feeble excuses and blaming the EU for being unable to bring in immediate legislation.

"It is incredible that young people can walk into a head shop and buy these legal substances yet if they cross the street to a shop they are restricted in buying over the counter approved medication," she said.

Ms Mitchell O’Connor said she was personally aware of youngsters not attending school because they are suffering from "mind-altering effects of these so-called legal highs", including depression, lethargy, psychosis and suicidal tendencies.

"These young people are suffering from changed personalities and parents are having to deal with the fallout," she added.

(Editor’s comment: Wind-up your ‘HEAD SHOPS’ NOW:

There is the easy way or the hard way to do this. THE EASY WAY IS TO SHUT-UP-SHOP AND LEAVE NOW OR THE HARD WAY IS TO WAIT TO BE PUSHED).

www.facebook.com/banheadshops & www.drugs.ie

http://jp-ireland.spaces.live.com for top news stories and information about drugs.

New Online Budget Tool Targets Household Bills

31 Mar

ONLINE BUDGET TOOL TARGETS HOUSEHOLD BILLS:

IT might sound like the lead character in some Hollywood action blockbuster but the National Consumer Agency (NCA) will be hoping its new internet budgeting tool – The Economiser – is more an everyday type of hero.

The new online facility, launched yesterday, is designed to help consumers identify areas where they can obtain a reduction in their household bills.

The Economiser analyses a consumer’s spending in four key areas – groceries, TV and telecoms, mobile phones and energy – which account for almost one-third of a family’s typical monthly expenditure.

Consumers can use the tool to input information on their own bills and compare it to the average outgoing of consumers with a similar profile based on research on the spending habits of almost 2,000 families.

The questionnaire can be completed in 10 minutes. The data will be updated at regular intervals to take into account fluctuating prices.

The Economiser will deliver an analysis of how people can reduce their spending through easy-to-implement steps without requiring dramatic lifestyle changes.

NCA chief executive Ann Fitzgerald said the Economiser was developed in response to the needs of consumers in the current economic climate.

"Our market research shows that most households around the country are tightening the purse strings to make budgets stretch further," said Ms Fitzgerald. She claimed the Economiser should help consumers to think about their bills and to assess if they were getting good value for money.

For example, the tool will help a single-income family with two teenage children compare their expenditure to the average of households with a similar background rather than an average of all consumers.

Cost-cutting advice offered by the Economiser includes encouraging consumers to switch to own brand groceries, reducing thermostats in their house and combining their TV and phone packages.

The new tool was launched by the Enterprise Minister Batt O’Keeffe, who praised the facility as both "timely and relevant".

"The Economiser is an important new offering for consumers, enabling them to quickly and easily understand where they might have opportunities to make savings that can benefit them financially in a short period of time," said Mr O’Keeffe.

The Economiser can be accessed via the NCA website at: www.consumerconnect.ie

USA: FBI Raids Target The ‘HUTAREE’ Christian Militia

30 Mar

FBI RAIDS TARGET CHRISTIAN MILITA ‘HUTAREE’

This weekend, the FBI conducted a series of raids in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana to detain members of a Christian militia group on criminal charges. So what does this group believe, and how do its members fit in with the larger radical right?

The group in question calls itself the "Hutaree"; its website says the term translates as "Christian warrior." And in keeping with that name, the material it has posted online reflects an outlook of violent religious confrontation. The Hutaree believe that acts of violence can bring about the final judgment prophesied in the Christian Bible — and therefore have been arming themselves to

go to war with the Antichrist, "evil Jews," and Muslims. They have documented their training exercises in a series of YouTube videos. And they spell out the theological rationale for their actions on the "About Us" page on their website:

Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment. The only thing on earth to save the testimony and those who follow it, are the members of the testimony, til the return of Christ in the clouds. We, the Hutaree, are prepared to defend all those who belong to Christ and save those who aren’t. We will still spread the word, and fight to keep it, up to the time of the great coming … The Hutaree will one day see its enemy and meet him on the battlefield if so God wills it. We will reach out to those who are yet blind in the last days of the kingdoms of men and bring them to life in Christ.

According to

the indictment unsealed this morning in court, the nine members of the group — eight men and one woman — planned to "levy war" against the U.S. government. To incite such a war, the group planned to murder law enforcement officials and then follow up their initial attacks with a separate attack on the fallen officers’ funeral(s), where a large number of law enforcement personnel would no doubt be gathered.

With

other news of vandalism and harassment from right-wing activists angry about the passage of health care reform, some commentators are already depicting the arrests as a further sign of how conservative activists are promoting violence in their ranks. But even within the militant world of the Michigan militia movement, the Hutarees are viewed as extreme religious fanatics. Michael Lackomar, a leader of the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia, told the Associated Press that he’d fielded a frantic call from a Hutaree member Saturday night reporting the onset of the federal raids. After hearing pleas for help, Lackomar said that his group declined. "They said that they were under attack by the ATF and wanted a place to hide," Lackomar recalls. "My team leaders said, ‘No thanks.’ "A posting on a Hutaree message board by someone named Anna seems to back up Lackomar’s claim that Hutaree members were seeking help from other militia groups in the area.

"We need some help please," she wrote. "I am enroute south with my children using the wifi’s as I can. They were catching others as they came to their rallying points, they broke into homes and took children and used the tasers on wives, my son who is 12 and I got out by crawling through the creeks behind our house. My husband and others are taken, please call the press and tell them, if any in the Michigan Militia is still free please rally with them. Please help."

Still, while the more secular and libertarian leaders of the militia movement may distance themselves from the Hutaree, the two militant strains of right-wing activism share some tactical affinities, says Kenneth S. Stern, the American Jewish Committee’s director on anti-Semitism and extremism. "What you’re starting to see in the number of militia groups sprouting up in the last year is a general antigovernment ideology," Stern says. "The targeting of cops is not inconsistent with that. The literature that glorified that white supremacist movement that helped the militia movement take off in the 1990s advocated those tactics — especially in books like ‘The Turner Diaries.’ And some of these groups — like the Order and others — started setting traps for law enforcement and going after first responders."

Stern cautions that it’s too soon to draw broader lessons from the alleged Hutaree plot. But he does add that "whenever you have a combination of the ideology that says, ‘the government is evil and we’d better do something about it,’ and a religion that says, ‘Hey, God wants you to do something about it,’ that can be problematic."

— Brett Michael Dykes is a national affairs writer for Yahoo! News.

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Sex Infection GONORRHOEA May Become New “Superbug” : Expert

30 Mar

SEX INFECTION GONORRHOEA MAY BECOME NEW “SUPERBUG”

The sexually transmitted disease gonorrhoea risks becoming a drug-resistant "superbug" if doctors do not devise new ways of treating it, a leading sexual health expert said.

Catherine Ison, a specialist on gonorrhoea from Britain’s Health Protection Agency said a World Health Organisation (WHO) meeting in Manila next week would be vital to efforts to try to stop the bug repeatedly adapting to and overcoming drugs.

"This is a very clever bacteria. If this problem isn’t addressed, there is a real possibility that gonorrhoea will become a very difficult infection to treat," she said in a telephone interview.

Gonorrhoea is a common bacterial sexually-transmitted infection and if left untreated can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility in women.

Globally, the WHO estimates that there are at least 340 million new cases of curable sexually transmitted infections — including syphilis, gonorrhoea, Chlamydia and trichomoniasis — every year among people aged 15 to 49.

Ison said the highest incidences of gonorrhoea were in south and Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, but as yet the WHO has no breakdown by individual infection type.

Current treatment for gonorrhoea in most countries consists of a single antibiotic dose of either cefixime or ceftriaxone.

But Ison, who is due to speak on the issue at a Society for General Microbiology conference in Edinburgh on Tuesday, said strains of the Neisseria gonorrhoea bacteria were starting to become resistant and could soon become impervious to all current antibiotic treatment options.

"Ceftriaxone and cefixime are still very effective but there are signs that resistance, particularly to cefixime is emerging and soon these drugs may not be a good choice," she said.

Instances of gonorrhoea being resistant to multiple drugs — the definition of a "superbug" — have started to appear in Japan, where health authorities had decided to up the dose to treat the disease, but stick with the same antibiotic, she said.

Other reports of rising gonorrhoea drug resistance had also come from Hong Kong, China, Australia and parts of Asia.

Ison said the best way to try to reduce the risk now — beyond encouraging the use of condoms which halt the spread of sexually transmitted diseases — would be to treat gonorrhoea with two different antibiotics at the same time.

This is a technique used in the treatment of some other diseases like tuberculosis and one that makes it more difficult for the bacteria to learn how to conquer the drugs.

"There are few new drugs available. So using more than one at the same time is probably what should happen in the first instance," said Ison. "We also need to set up good lines of communication between countries so that we can all talk to each other about what’s happening in gonorrhoea and make sure we change treatment strategies when we need to."

A WHO spokeswoman said its experts would discuss drug-resistant gonorrhoea at a meeting in the Philippine capital Manila next week.

Northern Ireland: PSNI & Gardai In Joint Bid To Tackle Dissident Republican Violence

30 Mar

PSNI & GARDAI IN JOINT EFFORT TO TACKLE DISSIDENT REPUBLICAN VIOLENCE:

Tuesday, 30 March 2010:

Northern Ireland’s Chief Constable Matt Baggott has said the PSNI and gardaí are to intensify cooperation to tackle the threat from dissident republicans.

Mr Baggott said the two forces have agreed a series of protocols that will increase joint working on investigations.

According to Mr Baggott, the proposals will see more routine and faster transfer of evidence between the services, improved communication channels for officers and the ability to bring more prosecutions against individuals for crimes committed in the neighbouring jurisdiction.

He said police chiefs are to take the blueprint to their respective governments with a recommendation that it is implemented.

Mr Baggott said the PSNI’s relationship with An Garda Síochána operationally as second to none.

———————–

UPDATE:

The proposals will see more routine and faster transfer of evidence between the services, improved communication channels for officers and the ability to bring more prosecutions against individuals for crimes committed in the neighbouring jurisdiction.

Police chiefs are to take the blueprint to their respective governments with a recommendation that it is implemented.

“Our relationship with the Garda operationally is second to none and we have plans to take to both governments in future to improve that further,” said Mr Baggott.

“We have got a joint piece of work at the moment looking at improving our co-operation even more – so we are policing Ireland as an entity, without breaching sovereignty.”

As well as the dissident threat, Mr Baggott said the agreement would enable more joint policing to thwart cross-border human trafficking and smuggling.

“The amount of stuff we are dealing with together now is quite amazing,” he added.

Explaining what the agreement focused on, Mr Baggott said: “Speeding up the ability to investigate and bring people to justice. So transfer of evidence, working more closely together – I’m not saying Schengen entirely (ability to move across borders) – but looking at the issues of where trials are held, can be we hold them north and south for a lot more offences?

“Can we move evidence? Rather than going to London and back to Dublin can we just get the evidence transferred quickly?

“What’s our joint communications looking like? Joining up communication across the border and certainly looking at joining up our investigations even more.”

www.garda.ie

London: ‘Legal High’ MEPHEDRONE To Be Banned In UK Within Weeks

30 Mar

‘LEGAL HIGH’ KILLER DRUG ‘MEPHEDRONE’ TO BE BANNED IN UK:

Mephedrone is to be made a Class B drug and banned within weeks, Home Secretary Alan Johnson has announced.

The legal high, which has been linked to up to 25 deaths in England and Scotland, will be banned and made a Class B drug, he said.

The announcement came after Mr Johnson was given a report backing a ban on mephedrone – also known as meow-meow or plant food – from Professor Les Iversen, chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD).

There had been speculation that the late resignation of Dr Polly Taylor from the ACMD could delay a ban because of its membership rules. But a spokesman from the Home Office maintained the body was still able to fulfil its legal role.

Mephedrone is set to be classified as a Class B drug, alongside cannabis and amphetamines, carrying a maximum sentence of five years for possession or 14 years for supply.

These restrictions could be in place within weeks but Johnson announced that a ban on importing the drug will come into force immediately.