Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Love Ulster Parade Dublin 2015, northern ireland, parade, villiars

Love Ulster Parade Dublin 2015

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has said those taking part in the planned "Love Ulster" parade in Dublin next month, should respect the feelings and sensitivities of the people who live in the areas in which they are parading.

Speaking in Dublin ahead of a meeting with Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan, Theresa Villiers said any such march needed to be peaceful and lawful.

Ms Villiers is in Dublin to discuss the Stormont House Agreement, which she described as a big step forward.

She said it has resolved some very important budget questions, while making real progress in relation to flags, parades and the past.

She acknowledged that there is a lot to do to fully implement it but said the British government were working faithfully to do that.

Ms Villiers also said that she would be engaging with any new owners of Aer Lingus about the importance of the Heathrow slots.

She said she would make the case for retention of flights from Belfast to Heathrow, Dublin to Heathrow and other regional connections because of they are strategically very important.

Asked about the consequences for Northern Ireland if her party is re-elected and proceeds with plans to hold a referendum on EU membership, Ms Villiers said she would not speculate on the outcome of that ballot.

But she said she was confident that British Prime Minister David Cameron would get a revised deal that would bring reform.

Keywords: Love Ulster Parade Dublin 2015, northern ireland, parade, villiars

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Garda Adrian Donohoe, Murder, Appeal 2015

Garda Adrian Donohoe, Murder, Appeal 2015

Gardaí have issued a fresh appeal for information into the death of Garda Adrian Donohoe who was shot dead during an armed robbery in Co Louth two years ago today.

The 41-year-old was shot dead during an armed robbery at the Lordship Credit Union in 2013.

His killers remain at large.

But gardaí say they are determined to bring those behind the murder of their colleague to justice.

This morning his widow Caroline, his two children, colleagues and the community of Bellurgan were joined by Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan to mark his anniversary at St Joseph's Church in Dundalk.

The Garda Commissioner said very significant progress had been made in the investigation into the murder of Garda Donohoe.

She said the force needed to get things 100% right before those responsible could be brought to justice.

She said gardaí had full co-operation from the PSNI and forces in other jurisdictions.

However, she said there are people in the community who have significant information that could help the investigation and she called on them to have the courage to come forward.

Gardaí say they are determined to bring those behind the murder of their colleague to justice.

Keywords: Garda Adrian Donohoe, Murder, Appeal 2015

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

David Drumm, Anglo Irish Bank, Bankrupt, USA Court

David Drumm Anglo Irish Bank

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm has been denied a write-off of more than €10 million in debts after a US judge found him “not remotely credible” and his conduct “both knowing and fraudulent” in statements he made to an American bankruptcy court.

“not remotely credible”

“replete with knowingly false statements, failures to disclose, efforts to misdirect, and outright lies.”

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm has been denied a write-off of more than €10 million in debts after a US judge found him “not remotely credible” and his conduct “both knowing and fraudulent” in statements he made to an American bankruptcy court.

In a damning judgment of the former banker that strips him of a chance for a clean financial start, US Bankruptcy Judge Frank Bailey found that statements made by Mr Drumm (48) were “replete with knowingly false statements, failures to disclose, efforts to misdirect, and outright lies.”

“Such conduct disqualifies a debtor from the privilege of a discharge in our system of bankruptcy,” said the judge in a ruling issued in Boston.

Judge Bailey issued his 122-page judgment seven months after the end of a six-day trial of a legal action taken by Mr Drumm’s former bank, now known as Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.

Outstanding debts

Mr Drumm moved to the Boston area in June 2009, six months after his resignation from Anglo, and filed for bankruptcy in October 2010 after failing to reach a settlement with the bank over outstanding debts.

The nationalised bank, which is owed €9 million by Mr Drumm arising mostly from loans to buy shares in the now defunct lender, sought to prevent Mr Drumm from writing off his debts through US bankruptcy.

IBRC alleged that Mr Drumm under oath knowingly and fraudulently failed to disclose and otherwise concealed cash and property transfers totalling more than €1 million, which amounted to most assets he owned solely or jointly with his wifeLorraine, to his wife’s sole ownership.

The bulk of the cash transfers took place in the final four months of 2008 at a time when he was chief executive of Anglo and the bank’s share price was plummeting and the financial institution was facing collapse.

In a major win for the bank, the judge ruled that IBRC and the other plaintiff in the case, the court official overseeing Mr Drumm’s bankruptcy, had “established cause to deny him a discharge many times over.”

In all, the judge ruled that there were 30 counts out of 52 objections on which the bank and trustee had established cause to deny him a discharge.

The ruling exposes Mr Drumm to further legal actions by the bank, which can pursue him for any past income he has earned or future income.

Mr Drumm’s “so stupid” defence in the case - that he mistakenly failed to disclose transfers to his wife in financial statements to the court when he filed for bankruptcy in October 2010 - was rubbished by the judge.

The judge said Mr Drumm’s co-operation with his trustee, disclosing information about his finances in a piecemeal fashion from October 2010 to May 2011, was “limited, delayed and shaped to his purposes”.

Analysing Mr Drumm’s character, the judge described him as “a quick thinker, adept in testimony intended to deflect, misdirect, avoid, fabricate.”

“His accounting and knowledge of financial affairs is detailed, precise, almost obsessive. He is confident in his strategising, and by the time he filed his bankruptcy petition, he had been planning and strategising for this eventuality for over two years,” said the judge.

‘Controlling type’

Mr Drumm was “no bumbler,” he said in the opinion, “and clearly a controlling type, he knew what he was doing.”

Judge Bailey rejected Lorraine Drumm’s testimony that she would “like a million euro” of her own in the autumn of 2008 because she feared the worsening banking crisis might spell the end of her marriage or the death of her husband from a stress-induced heart attack.

“Each of them was motivated first and foremost by desire to shelter their assets from seizure by Drumm’s creditors, especially [Anglo Irish Bank],” said the judge.

“Their salutary concern to protect Mrs Drumm and their children gave rise to action because creditors would soon be seizing family assets.”

The judge said that Mr Drumm was “highly motivated” to protect a home in Wellesley near Boston that the couple bought in 2009 for $2 million, accusing him of withholding information about the property and controlling its release “for some perceived strategic advantage.”

The former banker elected not to disclose certain information to the court showing that his withholding of information was “not accidental.”

“He doled out the truth only when he sensed he could gain an advantage in doing so,” said the judge.

Mr Drumm’s release of information about a €250,000 mortgage drawn on a house he owned in Skerries, Co Dublin was intended to hinder and delay his trustee and “even more, IBRC and the interested public.”

The judge found it “difficult to believe” that Mr Drumm had failed to disclose to the court and “forgotten” about the sale of two cars, a Range Rover and a BMW, and the transfer of a total of €56,000 in proceeds from the sale of the vehicles to a bank account held solely by his wife.

“Drumm had no trouble remembering many other transfers he had effected even further back in time, yet he omitted virtually every direct transfer to Mrs Drumm and several that were liquidations whose proceeds he transferred to Mrs Drumm,” said Judge Bailey.

keywords: David Drumm, Anglo Irish Bank, Bankrupt, USA Court

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Pearse McAuley Charged

Pearse McAuley Charged

PROMINENT Republican Pearse McAuley appeared in court yesterday evening charged with assault causing harm to his wife and three charges of threatening to kill.

Pearse 'Mad-Dog' McAuley at Cavan Court

McAuley was escorted to Cavan District Court just before 5pm.

He sat silently during the brief hearing before Judge Cormac Dunne.

Inspector Seamus Boyle told the court that Mr McAuley made no reply when charged with the first offence of causing harm.

That charge was under Section 3 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.

Mr McAuley was also charged under the same act with making threats to kill or commit serious harm to Mr Seamus Leddy, who is understood to be a neighbour of Mrs McAuley’s at Kilnaleck, Co Cavan, on Christmas Eve.

Insp Boyle told the court that in reply to this charge Mr McAuley replied: “I don’t remember.”

McAuley was further charged under the same Section 5 of threatening to kill or commit harm to Mr Thomas Tully, brother of the injured party.

In reply to this charge, Insp Boyle told the court that McAuley replied: “I don’t know how I could have done that.”

The fourth charge, also under Section 5 of the act, was that Mr McAuley threatened to kill or commit serious harm to his wife, former Sinn Fein councillor Pauline Tully McAuley.

Insp Boyle said in reply to this charge, McAuley replied: “I don’t say I was going to do it.”
He added: “I didn’t set out to kill or harm Pauline McAuley.”

Solicitor for Mr McAuley, Erinn McKernan, said her client was unemployed and applied for legal aid.

Judge Dunne granted the application and remanded Mr McAuley in custody to appear before Harristown District Court on January 2.

McAuley’s court appearance came after he was released from hospital, where he had been treated for “underlying medical issues”, into Garda custody on Friday night.

His wife suffered serious injuries on Christmas Eve, but she is now said to be “doing well” and is expected to recover.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Cavan stabbing, sinn fein, Pearse mcauley, Gerry Adams TD, Garda Gerry McCabe

Pearse McAuley Charged

A prominent republican has been charged in connection with the stabbing of a woman in a Christmas Eve attack in Co Cavan.

Gardaí on Saturday charged the man, aged in his 50s, as part of an investigation into the incident which occurred at a house in Kilnaleck on Wednesday.

Pearse 'Mad-Dog' McAuley pictured in 1991

The man is due to appear before a special sitting of Cavan District Court Saturday evening at 5pm. The man was detained at Cavan Garda Station. He remains in custody.

The man, a father of two, received medical attention in the same hospital where his alleged victim was gravely ill. He had sustained a facial injury and required treatment for ongoing health problems.

After his questioning was suspended to allow him to sleep, a decision was made to transfer him to hospital for treatment, until he was deemed well enough to be taken back to the Garda station.

Based on his past history linked to his time in the Provisional IRA, the suspect is regarded as a flight risk.
The victim of the attack, who is in her late 40s and is a mother of two young children is expected to survive.

Cavan Stabbing

Gardai in Cavan are now continuing to question Garda McCabe killer Pearse McAuley about the brutal and horrific stabbing of a young mother of two children in Cavan on Christmas Eve.

Woman Stabbed in Cavan

One of the IRA killers of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe is under armed guard in hospital as detectives wait to continue questioning him about a knife attack on his wife.

Pearse McAuley, who is in his late 40s, was arrested on Christmas Eve after his wife Pauline, a former Sinn Fein councillor, was stabbed multiple times at the couple's home in Killnaleck, Co Cavan.

Local sources said that Mrs McAuley suffered at least 12 serious stab wounds in an ordeal that lasted for three hours between 11.30am and 2.30pm on Wednesday.

Gardai believe that the horrific attack was witnessed by the couple's two sons, who are aged seven and four. Garda sources said the convicted killer was described as being "very drunk" on Christmas Eve.

It has been five years since he was released from Castlerea Prison, where he was serving a 14-year sentence for the manslaughter of Detective Garda McCabe in Adare, Co Limerick, in 1996.

Mrs McAuley, nee Tully, first met her husband when she was part of a Sinn Fein delegation who were meeting the garda killers in Castlerea. The couple got married in 2003 while McAuley was still in prison.

After being stabbed several times on Wednesday morning, Mrs McAuley managed to escape the house despite her injuries, and alerted another family member.

At that stage, as gardai were on their way to the incident, there were unconfirmed reports that another attempt was then made to attack Mrs McAuley.

Security sources revealed Mrs McAuley, who remained conscious, suffered two punctured lungs. At one stage her condition was described as "touch and go".

A source told said: "She was fighting for her life. She had been stabbed a number of times and the scene was extremely bloody."

The injured woman underwent emergency surgery for her injuries and was still being treated in intensive care where she was expected to undergo further surgery yesterday.

However, it is understood that her life is no longer in danger and she is expected to make a recovery.

Pearse McAuley, who served 10 years for the manslaughter of Det Garda McCabe, was arrested a short time later.

The scene at Kilnaleck was preserved pending a full garda technical examination.

A garda spokesperson confirmed on Christmas Eve that a suspect was being held at Cavan Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

Pearse McAuley's detention was suspended at midnight on Christmas Eve when he was brought to hospital for "underlying medical issues" that were not understood to be directly connected to the incident.

It is understood that he suffers from diabetes but also sustained a number of injuries, including a broken nose.

McAuley was under armed guard in Cavan General Hospital where his wife was being cared for last night.

Last year gardai were called to a Dublin hotel where Mrs McAuley had allegedly been assaulted by her husband in a room.

It is understood that another guest in the hotel heard the commotion and that he was assaulted when he tried to intervene.

The matter was reported to the gardai but they could not progress a criminal investigation because no official complaints were made by Mrs McAuley or the hotel guest who had come to her rescue.

Mrs McAuley unexpectedly resigned from local politics in 2012 citing work and family reasons.

Sinn Fein has refused to comment on the latest incident.

However, the party stood by McAuley during his long years in jail following the killing of Det Gda McCabe.

Sinn Fein leaders claimed that the killers' release had been included in the Good Friday Agreement.

And at the time of their release from Castlerea Prison, McAuley and Kevin Walsh were picked up by Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris.

McAuley was still wanted in Britain but the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to pursue him.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said that McAuley and Walsh, the leaders of the gang, had apologised for Det Gda McCabe's killing and should have been granted early release under the Good Friday Agreement.

"In a public statement some years ago the IRA members convicted in relation to Jerry McCabe's death and the wounding of Garda Ben O'Sullivan, expressed their deep regret and apologised for the 'hurt and grief we have caused to their families'," he said.

"I believe that this apology was genuine and it echoes the sentiments of republicans everywhere."

Cavan stabbing, sinn fein, Pearse mcauley, Gerry Adams TD, Garda Gerry McCabe

Monday, December 22, 2014

News, Abortion Ruling, Crime & Law, Donal O Muircheartaigh Bl, Justice Caroline Costello, Justice Marie Baker, Nicholas Kearns

High Court Dublin Abortion Ruling 23 December 2014

A three judge High Court will sit tomorrow to determine the fate of a young pregnant woman who has been deemed clinically dead but remains on life support.

The President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, said today he will sit with Ms Justice Marie Baker and Ms Justice Caroline Costello from 10am tomorrow to determine all the issues arising from the application of the woman’s parents to be allowed have her life support turned off.

“Time is of the essence,” he said, adding it was important the courts should not be seen as “foreclosing” any options that may be available.

The woman, aged in her twenties, has been deemed clinically dead following a brain trauma. She is about 17 weeks pregnant and, based on legal advice arising from her pregnancy, remains on a life support in a hospital.

Her family’s action will proceed via plenary hearing under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court which means all the issues raised as a result of the family’s application can be determined. Proceedings to have the woman made a ward of court will be dealt with after the plenary action.

The judge was told the interests of the woman, of her parents, the unborn and the Health Service Executive (HSE) will all be separately represented.

In court today, there were three senior counsel, five junior counsel and five solicitors representing the various parties.

Mr Justice Kearns this afternoon convened the directions hearing to manage the case with a view to ensuring an outcome as speedily as possible. He recognised this was a matter of extreme urgency and also must involve great distress for the woman’s family, the judge observed.

He said he had decided the case should proceed as a plenary action because the wardship procedure was limited and the plenary hearing would allow the court deal with all issues with input from all the relevant parties.

Gerard Durcan SC, for the HSE, said his side agreed the plenary procedure was the most appropriate vehicle to deal with this difficult issue. His side would have a report from a consultant obstetrician and from a consultant in intensive care medicine as well as from a consultant neurologist, counsel said. There would also be reports from doctors involved in treating the woman in a hospital outside Dublin.

Copies of the relevant medical notes would be made available, he added.

Mr Justice Kearns said the court would particularly want evidence regarding the present state of the unborn child and the likely prognosis on the child, plus reports on the likely effect on the mother of prolonged somatic treatment.

He was told by Paul Anthony McDermott BL, for a Dublin hospital where the woman was treated from November until December 8th last a consultant neurosurgeon who had treated her had prepared a report for the court and was also available to give evidence.

John Rogers SC, for the woman’s father, said his side would call evidence from her family and would also call one, perhaps two, medical experts. It was also hoped there would be agreement on what central legal issues the court would have to determine.

Conor Dignam SC said he would be representing the interests of the unborn while another counsel, Donal O Muircheartaigh BL, said he was representing the interests of the mother. He had just been instructed at midday today, counsel added.

It is understood the father of the child is supportive of the mother’s family’s application.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Banking Inquiry, Irish Economy, Banks

Banking Inquiry, Irish Economy, Banks

STAFF in the Department of Finance went home on the night of a budget to see what measures had been announced by Government, a witness told the Banking Tribunal.

Rob Wright, former secretary general in Canada’s finance ministry, said he also uncovered very little written formal advice between public servants and Government at the height of the crash amid fears it might have to be released under a Freedom of Information requests.

Mr Wright was being pressed on his 2010 report into the failings of the Department of Finance in the run up to the crash, which stopped short of saying it was not “fit for purpose”.

He was the second witnesses at the inquiry, which has wrapped up after two days until January 15th because of the Christmas Dail break.

Mr Wright told the 11 members inquiry team he was in Dublin working on the report when the Budget was announced.

“People in the Department of Finance went home on budget night to find out what was in the budget,” said Mr Wright, who was also known as Canada’s deputy finance minister.

“Why didn’t they know? They were in the Department of Finance. I found that incredible."
Mr Wright’s report examined what advice had been given to Government in the run up to the crash, and if the advice had been taken.

“We found dept had provided clear warning, recommended a level of spending and tax measures that were more moderate than the government done,” he said.

“Some advice more direct than country knew about. With very few exceptions this advice was exceeded.”

However on the risks of pro-cyclical policy he said: “There was just very little written advice. Very little written advice.

“You could get snippets here and there but on something as vital as that - particularly when you have regular engagement with international institutions like the IMF, the OECD and the EU where concerns had been expressed.

“You would have anticipated a consistent flow of advice through that period. We really could not find much of that.”

The Freedom of Information Act was cited as “the most dominant reason” behind the lack of information deficit, he revealed.

Mr Wright if a message sent to a minister suggests a different path than one stated in public it’s very damaging to relationships and controversial.

The Wright report made 50 recommendations for improvement and concluded that the civil servants were often “overshadowed by politically driven forces” and that the department “was not effective in responding to these pressures.”

He said while social partnership had achieved a great deal for Ireland, it lead to massive excess spending that was so huge it overwhelmed fiscal framing for Government.

Mr Wright also highlighted the lack of an "independent voice" to restrain the economy because Ireland is part of the Euro.

"You are in a monetary union, we have an independent monetary policy in Canada. The Governor in Canada has great authority. Here, you do not have someone independent to restrain the economy when it needs to be restrained. That has to be you the politicians," he said.

Mr Wright said there was a lack of engagement between the department’s 500 plus staff at the time with senior officials, who included just 37 personnel with an economy background.

Staffing levels have since dropped to 300 and, on his recommendation, almost 100 have an economy background and half of those are of masters level and some seconded from outside agencies.

“More progress has to be made,” he said.

The long-awaited €5m Bank Inquiry is examining events leading to the Government €440bn 2010 bank guarantee started yesterday. It will resume on January 15th.