€50,000 worth of drugs seized in Shannon raid

A €50,000 weekend drugs seizure was the biggest ever haul to be found in a house in Shannon.

The assortment of drugs, including heroin, cocaine, ecstacy and canna- bis, was uncovered by gardai during raids on two houses in the town on Friday night.

A mixture of drugs, consisting

mainly of cocaine, but also including quantities of ecstacy and heroin, was seized at a house in Inis Ealga. The value of that haul is estimated to be €47,000. Several thousands of euro was also found at that house, which is a local authority dwelling.

A quantity of cannabis resin, with an estimated value of ©5000, was Seized at a rented house in the Cro- nan area of the town.

The raids were carried out simulta- neously on the houses — in an op- eration involving local plain clothes and uniformed gardai, backed up by members of the Clare Divisional Drugs Unit — at around 7.30pm.

Two young men, in their early 20s, were arrested at the houses, under the Misuse of Drugs Act, and were questioned at Shannon Garda Station overnight. They were released with-

out charge on Saturday evening and a file is being prepared for the DPP.

Gardai, meanwhile, will continue to investigate the matter, while the drugs have been sent for analysis to the Forensic Science Laboratory in Dublin.

“This is the largest haul of drugs found in a house search in Shannon. It was significant. We believe the drugs, or the majority of them, were

destined for the local market,’ said a garda spokesman.

“We would be concerned about the amount of hard drugs making their way into the area,” he added.

‘We are determined to keep on top of the problem. Further searches and investigations will be carried out in Shannon, on a day-to-day basis, in an effort to combat the spread of drugs,” added the garda.


On the All-Ireland trail

ENNIS will go for All-Ireland glory in Miltown this weekend when the south Dublin club plays host to the All-Ireland Ladies Senior Cup finals. In the centenary year of the club, vic- tory in the flagship event of the ladies club game would be the best possible way to celebrate 100 years of golf in the county capital.

And, Ennis will be looking to the talents as such luminaries as two- time Irish Close champion, Tricia McDonnell, former British Seniors champion Valarie Hassett and young gun Sarah Cunningham to bring a long overdue All-Ireland title to the county.

Ennis are among five district cham- pions (Carlow, Co Louth, Galway and Royal Portrush are the others) at the quarter-final stages. The other teams Laytown & Bettystown, Kilkenny and Roscommon.

All four quarter-finals will be

played Friday after which an open draw for the semi-final pairings will be made. Whatever the outcome of the first day’s play, Saturday is sure to see a feast of competitive golf for the ILGU’s blue-riband Senior Cup as the cream of elite club golf descend on Milltown for the weekend.

Ennis are playing Connacht cham- pions Galway. Two years ago when Ennis reached the semi-final stage of the competition that was hosted by Woodstock GC, but went down to eventual champions and Senior Cup specialists, Royal Portrush.


Mulcahy secures planning

SHANNON-BASED Fine Gael councillor, Tony Mulcahy has se- cured planning permission for five homes in spite of local opposition to the proposal in Shannon.

Along with business partner Noel Justice, Cllr Mulcahy secured plan- ning permission for the five homes after An Bord Pleanala ruled that the homes would be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

Earlier this year, Clare County Council gave the go-ahead for the

homes. However, these decisions were appealed by “concerned citi- zens of Clairin Glas”.

Cllr Mulcahy said yesterday, “I was never in any doubt that the homes would get planning permission as the proposal met with council policy.”

He added, “I would be critical of the innuendo…that somehow I was doing something wrong looking for planning permission. Everyone is entitled to apply for planning and go through the proper process and that is what I did.”

Cllr Mulcahy said that planning had already been given for four

houses on the site a number of years ago and “to seek planning for an ad- ditional two houses is not out of the Kesha ae

The inspector in the case recom- mended that planning permission be granted having regard to the provi- sions of the Development Plan as varied for the area, the urban nature of the site and the pattern of develop- ment in the area.

In their appeal, the residents claimed that the “council have con- travened the county plan in relation to proper densities for the Clarin Glas area”.


Great value and superb potential

NEW to the books of Brian Lohan Auctioneers is a detached house at Kevin Barry Avenue, Corrovorin, Ennis. The selling agents are seek- ing offers in the region of €280,000 for this proerty, which represents ex- cellent value for money.

The location of this property, on large site within walking distance of the town and all of its amenities, makes this house very attractive. According to the selling agent, ““This property offers superb potential to extend subject to acquiring the nec- essary planning permission”’.

There is a large garage attached to the house, which is plumbed and has electricity. The garage has obvious conversion potential and with space available to the side of the garage, prospective owners could plan a ma-

jor extension. Accommodation com- prises an entrance hallway, sitting room, kitchen, dining room, utility, four bedrooms and the family bath- room.

Outside there’s a concrete storage shed and walled in gardens, framed by mature trees. To the front is a boundary wall, planted inside with mature ever green hedging. There’s a concrete driveway and a lawn.

Features include wooden flooring and an oil stove, in the dining area and fitted pine units in the kitchen.

It’s not often that an opportunity such as this comes on the market in Ennis and for those with a yen for a project, this property is well worth aCe auntee


Glanbia hold back €5m says IFA

THE summer battle over milk prices continued this week when the IFA accused Glanbia of holding back of some €5 million of payments to eur ace

IFA President, Padraig Walshe, at- tacked the co-op on Thursday, ac- cusing it of withholding over €5m in milk payments due to suppliers for the 2006 KPMG milk audit top- up, and the July 2007 milk price in- Keron

‘Average suppliers have now been left short about €1,300 in milk pay- ments due from Glanbia. This is money that farmers are entitled to

and need, and suppliers are angry that Board members can stand by and allow this to happen,” he said.

“It is totally unacceptable that Glanbia’s 4,000 suppliers have not yet received the top-up payment of at least 1.3c/gal, arising from the 2006 KPMG audit. The top-up is worth at least €780 to a 60,000 gallon pro- ducer.

In the past, this top-up payment was always issued by way of a Sec- ond cheque in June or July, as soon as the audit was published.”

The IFA President also denounced Glanbia’s failure to pay the July milk price increase that they announced and got credit for.

“This payment is believed to be worth some €500 to an average sup- plier with 7,000 gallons of July de- TAoiu lee

“Last year, Glanbia Co-op was used to subsidise Glanbia Plc to make up milk payments to farmers.

“This year, Glanbia Plc manage- ment has been dragging its heels on milk price increases all year,’ con- tinued Walshe.

‘“Glanbia plc is already operating on greatly increased processor margins this year. Farmers are furious that management use every possible ploy to hold back on milk payments”’.

He continued, “It’s a new depar- ture for Glanbia to hold back on milk

payments that have already been an- nounced. It’s high time that farmer board members Glanbia to account.” Earlier in the week the IFA Presi- dent had demanded a meeting with Glanbia Chief Executive, John Maloney, stating, “Glanbia’s on ac- count prices of €170/t for barley, €180/t for wheat and €185/t for oats are derisory and this move is clearly designed to undermine the market for green grain by €15 to €20/t”.


European ombudsman listens to FFE

THE European Ombudsman, Ni- kiforus Diamandouras, last week agreed to examine complaints made by the Fairness for Farmers in Eu- rope (FFE) in relation to the impor- tation of Brazilian beef.

The FFE complaint alleges that the European Commission failed to ban beef imports into the European Un- ion by Brazil, notwithstanding evi- dence that such imports pose a risk to human and animal health.

‘Although this is a positive step, it should be borne in mind that it is also just a first step in a long process,” said Malcolm Thompson, President

of the ICSA.

Meanwhile, the IFA this week re- peated its call for a complete ban on Brazilian beef. IFA National Live- stock Chairman, John Bryan, called on the EU Commission to imme- diately impose a ban on Brazilian beef imports as they fail to meet EU standards in the critical area of resi- due testing and food safety.

“If European consumers were aware of the full extent of the failure of Brazilian beef to meet EU standards on residue testing, veterinary medi- cines control and associated food safety issues, they would be horrified and demand full accountability from Commissioner Kyprianou and the

EU Commission,” he said.

“I am horrified to see that beef which fails to meet proper standards is accepted by the EU from Brazil, Whereas it would automatically be skipped in Ireland by the vets and controls in our meat plants”.

The IFA Munster Vice President, Sean O’Leary, welcomed the com- mitment from Brian Crowley MEP, that he and his fellow Fianna Fail MEPs will put forward a joint request this week to the European Commis- sion, that Brazil should be given one month to get their meat traceability standards up to the equivalent EU- required standards, or face an out- right ban by the EU.

Mr. Crowley gave the commitment to Munster IFA Officers at a meeting with them last week in Cork, which was specially convened on the issue.

Crowley was told by the IFA Of- ficers that they were appalled by the double-standards approach that is currently being adopted by Minis- ter for Agriculture, Mary Coughlan TD, when she was prepared to act immediately to ban the import of all fresh meat from the UK because of one outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease, yet she can see no problem with continuing to import beef from Brazil, where the disease 1s rampant, and traceability on livestock is non- econ


New nitrate penalties announced

JUST hours after Environment Min- ister, John Gormley TD, announced a massive increase in the penalties for farmers under the Nitrate Regu- lations, the Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan TD, an- nounced a number of new deroga- tions for farmers under the scheme.

In what was surely a stage-managed announcement to soften the blow for farmers, Coughlan commented the Oley Keyee Tele) imme Due: bebexcs a sles KMm UNSC MEDALS Nitrates Directive for REPS farm- ae

Grassland farms that apply for der- ogation and meet the applicable con- ditions will be permitted to operate

above the statutory livestock manure limit of 170 kg of nitrogen from live- stock manure per hectare per year, up to a maximum limit of 250 kg per hectare per year.

Even though the derogation will not be completely formalised until the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government makes amendments to the Nitrates Regulations, Minister Coughlan has put practical arrangements in place so that farmers can avail of it for the current year and be eligible to apply for REPS 4.

Application forms for the deroga- tion have been published and farmers now need to lodge their applications.

This year’s closing date for receipt

of completed Nitrate Derogation ap- plications forms ise Friday Septem- ber 28, while a fertiliser plan is not required in respect of 2007.

“Under REPS, all slurry pro- duced on the farm was supposed to be spread by the end of August. As a special measure for this year, I am relaxing that condition. REPS farmers will therefore be allowed to spread slurry up to the same dead- lines (October I5th) that apply under the Nitrates Regulations to all other farmers,’ said Minister Coughlan.

To qualify for the derogation, farm- ers must submit an annual application to the Department of Agriculture and Food in the format specified and ap- plicants must undertake in writing to

fulfil the conditions set out therein.

Applications must be received by March | each year, excluding 2007 where the deadline has been extend- ed on a one off basis to September 28.

Applicants must be farming a hold- ing that is at least 80 per cent grass and must have grazing livestock such as cattle, sheep, deer, goats and Oy oe

Full details of the derogation ar- rangements including application forms can be found on her Depart- ment’s website ie or from The Environment Section, Department of Agriculture and Food, Johnstown Castle Estate, Wexford, Telephone (053) 9163400.


Farmers fume at nitrate measures

FARMING – organisations were rocked last week when the new Minister for the Environment, John Gormley TD, reignited the flames of the most controversial argument in KACO DOOMED UOOUNOT OTK KO Ms Following nine months of threats, boycotts and calls for numerous res- ignations in 2006 – the Nitrate scan- dal seemed to have diffused earlier this year with a compromise involv- ing some derogations for farmers. This week however, the ‘Nitrate- gate’ scandal is once again public enemy number | for farming or- ganisations following the announce- ment by the Minister, to increase the maximum penalties, which can be applied in the case of offences under

the Nitrates Regulations.

The new Regulations increase the maximum penalties prescribed by the Nitrates Regulations from the previ- ous maximum of €3,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment for a summary offence, €5,000 and/or 3 months 1m- prisonment for summary offences, and €500,000 and/or | year impris- Oyaveatosnlmm Kolar sen lee:le) ome eco oKe

This has prompted a furious re- sponse from farm leaders who have accused the minister of scapegoating farmers. “The vast majority of farm- ers are fully compliant with water pollution legislation, and have made or are making major ongoing invest- ments to meet rising environmental standards,’ said Padraig Walshe, IFA President.

“The reality is that farmers have

invested over €1.4bn in the past decade in upgrading their waste management facilities. No farmers set out to pollute rivers with slurry. The same cannot be said for many local authorities and some industrial plants who actually have licences to pollute from the EPA.”

The ICMSA accused Minister Gormley of showing “astonishing bias” on water pollution issue.

“Farmers will have read Minister Gormley’s remarks in the papers to- day with bemusement,” said ICSMA president, Jackie Cahill.“We have, yet again, the very unedifying sight of a government minister attempting to make the farming community the scapegoats for water pollution.

The ICMSA has repeatedly drawn attention to the fact that, even by the

Government’s own admission, water pollution arises from a number of causes, prominent amongst which are the actions of developers and the inaction’s of local authorities.”

The ICSA has attacked the an- nouncement by reminding Minister Gormley of the role of the local au- thorities in water pollution issues.

“The penalties, which include a maximum fine of €500,000 and a year in jail, are totally disproportion- ate to the offence,’ said Malcolm Thompson, ICSA president.


Save Shannon slots petition still growing

THE online petition to save Shan- non’s Heathrow slots has now gained almost 12,700 signatures and is still erowing.

Thousands have signed up to the Save Shannon petition since it was launched almost two weeks ago.

The petition now ranks as one of the most active petitions in the world.

It has been ranked eleventh most popular online petition worldwide.

The signatories’ call for Aer Lingus to reverse its plans to remove direct flights from Shannon to Heathrow now looks on course to reach the 15,000 mark before the end of the Leto

“We are asking people to sign and publicise this petition,’ a spokesman for the Save Shannon website said.

‘The more pressure that can be put on politicians, the Government and Aer Lingus itself, the more chance of having this decision reversed.”

The online petition, which is ad- dressed to the board of Aer Lingus, also allows signatories to post a comment on the site, with a number of people calling for a boycott of Aer Lingus should the slot be transferred to Belfast.

Anyone wanting to sign the petition can do so by logging on to


Meanwhile, Ray Tomany, the Cor- bally man behind the petition, has written to members of the cabinet urging them to go online and see for themselves how strongly people feel about the issue.

At the outset, the petition was erowing by as many as 2,000 signa- tures per day.

“If you take the trouble to read some of it (the comments and signa- tures) you will be in no doubt about the strength of feeling about this,” he SrHLOe

He referred back in his letter to the statement made by Minister Martin Cullen in April concerning the im- portance of the Shannon slots.

“The slots held by Aer Lingus at London Heathrow Airport currently serve an important role in ensuring connectivity between Irish airports and the extensive network of inter- national air services to and from Heathrow,” Minister Cullen said at the time.

Said Mr Tomany to the ministers, “Iam sure you and your colleagues will find a way to extricate us from this situation.”

Many of the signatories to the pe- tition are also leaving comments on the site, which also carries details of the arguments for keeping the Heath- row slots at Shannon.


What will Wednesday bring?

CAMPAIGNERS angered by Aer Lingus’s decision to remove its Hea- throw slots from Shannon are expect- ed to be left disappointed, following Wednesday’s long awaited Cabinet na lexelUOTSR

All indicators suggest that when the ministers meet to discuss the plight facing the west as a result of Aer Lin- gus’s decision, all talks of how the

Government should vote at an Ex- traordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the company will be avoided. Instead the ministers are expected to be presented with a preliminary report from the “high level inter- departmental group” asked by the Taoiseach to examine the options for alternative air links to Shannon. Even Minister for Defence, Willie O’Dea — who originally said he be- lieved the Aer Lingus decision was

wrong and believed it could be re- versed — was pointing towards “an in-depth discussion” on alternative solutions to the “Shannon Crisis”.

The minister who had rejected the views of Transport Minister, Noel Dempsey and the Chief Executive of Aer Lingus, Dermot Mannion that the impact of ending the service was being exaggerated, will now face his colleagues for the first time since the Aer Lingus announcement.

He is pointing to the EGM, called by the largest shareholder Ryanair, as a last resort.

In the case of an EGM, the Govern- ment face three decisions.

Voting with Aer Lingus and sup- porting its decision to leave the west without any link to Heathrow will alienate not only a large section of the population but its own members in the west who are already speaking of a party split.

The second option would see the Government doing a U-turn and ral- lying behind Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary and insisting the flights stay in Shannon.

This has the added political concern of how such a decision would impact on relations with the north.

The third option would see the Gov- ernment abstain from a vote, leading to questions as to why it retained shares if it is not going to have a say in the future of the one-time national airline.

This would also place Ryanair in a strong position to win the vote.

It is therefore likely that a cabinet, which has been slow to show support for those affected by the so-called “Shannon Crisis’, will exhaust all other options.

Political pundits are predicting a half-hearted statement on Wednes- day expressing commitment to re- gional development, connectivity and the future of the airport.