Holders get their title defence back on track

Crusheen 1-14 – Clooney/Quin 1-11 at Cusack Park, Ennis

PERHAPS IT comes with championship success but it was Crusheen’s ability to take their chances while on top that decided this relatively open final encounter at Clare headquarters on Sunday evening.

1-8 in the final 20 minutes, inspired by a Conor O’Donnell goal in the 42nd minute and the introduction of Paddy Meaney who could have scored a hat-trick of goals only for the bravery of goalkeeper Damien O’Halloran, cemented a first victory for the holders and puts them back in charge of their own destiny in the group.

On the flip side, it was Clooney/ Quin’s profligacy when backed by a strong breeze in the opening half that ultimately cost them the win in this their championship bow, having hit ten first half wides. In fact, had Clooney/Quin led by six or seven points at the break, few could have argued as Crusheen were struck to the ground and on the backfoot for the majority.

Between the wides, Padraig Ward was the chief marksman while Peter Duggan also dissected the posts with a stunning 50 metre lineball as the challengers held a 0-7 to 0-5 halftime advantage.

Crusheen were a different animal on the turnover however, even though it took them until Conor O’Donnell’s 42nd minute free to gain some much needed confidence and indeed the lead as well.

That goal came midway through a 1-5 unanswered streak for the champions that essentially decided the game as Clooney/Quin were unable to get past the old familiar half-back line wall of Cathal Dillon, Cian Dillon and Ciaran O’Doherty while Paddy Vaughan and Tony Meaney fed off the breaks.

They did eventually rally with three Peter Duggan frees and a late Cathal Egan volley to the net from a dipping Duggan effort from distance but by now substitute Paddy Meaney was causing consternation in the Clooney/Quin full-back line that should have yielded at least two more goals for the champions who ran out deserving winners in the end.


Blues steal a point from Kilmaley

Newmarket-on-Fergus 1-8 – Kilmaley 1-8 at Cusack Park, Ennis

ONE of these days Kilmaley will actually win a championship game, while this could yet be one of those days that Newmarket-on-Fergus look back on and say was the making of them.

The Blues were lucky to escape with a draw; Kilmaley unlucky to be consigned to their sixth draw out of their seven championship outings over the past three seasons. They looked to be home to the two points when leading by 1-8 to 0-7 entering the last two minutes – they were brilliant in defence, with veteran Anthony Cahill putting in an inspiring hour’s work on the edge of the square, while on the edge of the other square Diarmuid McMahon’s strike for a 45th minute goal put daylight between the sides for the first time.

The Blues looked a beaten docket, in a performance that was strikingly similar in standard – the lack of standard that is – to the championship opener against Wolfe Tones three years ago.

Kilmaley had the hunger and that extra bit of class up front too thanks to Daire Keane who chipped in with three delightful points from play as they closed in on the victory that was denied them in the first game against Crusheen thanks to Paddy Vaughan’s last gasp levelling point.

However, history repeated itself thanks to Newmarket’s late surge. Firstly a needless foul on David Bar- rett on the 21-yard line when the sliotar was going away from goal yielded the free that was blasted to the net by Colin Ryan; three minutes later Eoin Hayes landed a brilliant equaliser from underneath the grandstand to save the Blues’ day.

It was rough justice on Kilmaley really, but punishment at the same time for their failure to kill off the game in the closing minutes against a lethargic Newmarket side that seemed to be going through the motions for much of the hour.

Kilmaley started the better with points from Brian McMahon and John Cabey inside five minutes, while it took Newmarket 13 minutes to get off the mark through an Eoin Hayes point.

It was pedestrian stuff for the first half – the standout moments provided by Daire Keane’s two points from, while four Colin Ryan points, three of which were from frees, and a David Barrett effort edged them 0-6 to 0-5 clear at the break.

However, the Blues’ looked to have blown their chance by failing to raise another flag until the 47th minute when David Barrett scored, by which time Kilmaley had hit 1-2 without reply.

Daire Keane got them going with the equaliser eight minutes in while 1-1 from Diarmuid McMahon inside three minutes had them in pole position. A fine point from play by Kenneth Kennedy in the 53rd minute edged them four clear and within touching distance of victory until Newmarket’s late, late show.


Daragh Corry soars as Tulla roar once more

Tulla 1-13 – Clarecastle 0-10 at Shannon

WHEN the Magpies were in their pomp in the mid-‘90s Tulla never stood back from the challenge, famously nearly bringing them to ground in their greatest ever year of 1997.

They didn’t stand back here either – but did the business this time as their mix of youth and experience eased them to a thoroughly deserved six-point win over a Clarecastle team that’s going through tough times.

Daragh Corry was the star turn from the new generation; David McInerney had his moments before being injured, while old boys Andrew Quinn, Aidan Lynch and Mark Quinn provided inspiration at key intervals as Tulla took another giant step towards a return to the quarterfinal for the first time since their sto- ried 2007 season.

The final leap was provided by last year’s county minor Corry – another soaring catch that was crowned when he turned and drove to the net from eight yards in the 59th minutes to ease any Tulla nerves and put them six clear.

Truth is, Tulla were nerveless at key moments of this tempestous encounter that saw referee Seanie McMahon flash five yellow cards and reds to Danny O’Halloran and Derek Quinn.

Before half-time when when Andrew Quinn hit four points in a row to ease Tulla 0-9 to 0-5 clear at the break; at the death after Clarecastle had pegged it back to point, only for the claret and gold to hit back with points by Cathal Dinan and Daragh Corry; finally Corry’s goal.

Clarecastle did have their chances, but a spate of bad wides in the closing stages – they hit ten in all – cost them very dear, as did their failure to match Tulla in the physical stakes.

Tulla’s Danny O’Halloran paid the price of a straight red card for a wild pull on Ollie Plunkett after only seven minutes; Eanna Torpey was very lucky not to walk for a pull on Eric Flynn three minutes later, while Clarecastle’s Derek Quinn went that way after some argy bargy in first half injury time.

In between there was actually some hurling – Tulla held the initiative early on and led 0-4 to 0-1 after 15 minutes with Aidan Lynch to the fore with two good points, but a flurry of four-in-a-row from the Magpies when Tyrone Kearse (2), Derek Quinn and Darragh Moloney put them 0-5 to 0-4 clear.

Ultimately, however, it was Clare- castle’s failure to raise a flag in the final ten minutes and Andrew Quinn’s haul of 0-5 in the same period that set them up for victory. Their fourpoint lead was still intact by the 40th minute after they traded a brace of points each.

Another surge by the Magpies saw them peg it back to the minimum as two Tyrone Kearse frees and a Conor O’Gorman effort had the matters delicatley poised at 0-11 to 0-10 in Tulla’s favour.

Clarecastle looked capable of kicking on, but didn’t as their wide tally mounted and they failed to score in the final 13 minutes of the game.

Tulla had no such problems and Clarecastle could have no complaints as the 2007 champions also missed two penalties during the game, as Aidan Lynch and Andrew Quinn had their shots stopped.

Philip Brennan (7), Eugene Cooney (7), SeanTorpey (7), John Brennan (7), Paul Lynch (7), Mark Quinn (8), Cian McInerney (7), Cathal Dinan (7) (0-1), Conor O’Halloran (7), EannaTorpey (6), Daragh Corry (9) (1-1), David McInerney (7), Danny O’Halloran (6) (0-1) (6),AndrewQuinn (8) (0-7, 3f, two 65s),Aidan Lynch (8) (0-3).

Michael Murphy (6) for McInerney [40 mins], Raymond Stewart (6) for Murphy [57 mins].

Donagh Murphy (7), Seanie Moloney (7), Stephen O’Halloran (6), Ollie Plunkett (7), Fergus Ryan (6), Patrick Kelly (7), Eric Flynn (7), Eamonn Callinan (6) (0-1), Danny Scanlan (6), Darragh Moloney (7) (0-2), Ciaran O’Dwyer (6), Jonathon Clancy (7),Aaron Considine (6), Derek Quinn (6) (0-1),Tyrone Kearse (7) (0-5, 4f).

Conor O’Gorman (6) (0-1) for O’Dwyer [41 mins], Gary Farmer (6) for Callinan [57 mins].

Man of the Match
Daragh Corry (Tulla) Referee Seanie McMahon (Newmarket-on-Fergus)


‘Bridge make light of a depleted Tones

Sixmilebridge 3-16 – Wolfe Tones 0-10 at Cusack Park, Ennis

WORD had it down in the Goalpost bar in Shannon that Patsy Keyes was Libya bound for work before its people decided to rise up against Colonel Gadaffi – if he’d gone he would have had an easier time manning troops on the ground than he had managing Wolfe Tones from the field of play as they took their bow in the 2011 senior championship on Friday evening.

All because, so depleted are the Tones resources this year that this was like going into battle with water pistols against anti-aircraft tanks. The difference between the sides was that stark as the ‘Bridge, no doubt on their guard because of the scare they got against Clarecastle in the first round, strolled to a 15-points success.

It was every bit as easy as the scoreline suggests with Jamie Shanahan’s brilliant 24th minute goal breaking the Tones’ resistance. The underdogs were competitive until then as points from Bobby and Garret McPhillips (2) in reply to ‘Bridge points from Shanahan (2), Niall Gilligan (2) and Caimin Morey had them only 0-5 to 0-3 in arrears.

The goal changed everything as Shanahan showed great pace when gathering in the right corner, turning and flashing a great sot to the net from 15 yards. From there the ‘Bridge turned the screw before half-time with a further five points to move 1-10 to 0-3 clear. Gilligan helped himself to two from play and a free, while Pa Sheehan and Caimin Morey were also on the mark.

With the wind to come in the second half, all the Tones could do was be like Colonel Gadaffi himself – refuse to surrender. That they did, with Colonel Keyes doing his best from full-back, while up front the two-time senior champions save some face when adding to their tally by seven points. Three points in row from the 37


Tubber showing signs of things to come?

Tubber 2-10 – Whitegate 0-07 at Shannon

IT’S 30 years since Tubber reached their first and only county final – there’s no talk of marking that 30th anniversary with another big day out, but they definitely talking amongst themselves about a first quarter-final appearance in eight years.

Why not? It’s all to do with backto-back wins to start this campaign – following up their first round win over Cratloe with a comprehensive nine-point triumph over a very disappointing Whitegate side.

It’s onwards and upwards for Tubber as they face into the 15-week break – for Whitegate it’s a fight for survival in senior ranks on the back of two straight defeats.

Tubber had much of their work done by half-time when they had forged a 1-5 to 0-3 lead despite hitting nine wides; their work was done when they hit 1-3 without reply inside the opening 12 minutes of the second half as they moved 11 points clear.

This game never set the pulses racing, but Tubber didn’t care as they always had the edge from the moment Shane O’Connor bustled his way through on goal and kicked the sliotar to the empty net for the opening goal in the 11th minute.

O’Connor’s strike franked Tubber’s steady start that saw them hit 1-4 without reply in a six-minute period after Georgie Waterstone had opened the scoring for Whitegate in the fourth minute.

Mark Early, Barry O’Connor (2) hit points by the eighth minute, while the mercurial Eamonn Taaffe teed up Tommy Lee for an 11th minute point to put Tubber 1-4 to 0-1 clear and firmly in control.

Whitegate did stop the rot with a Pat Minogue point in the 12th minute, but the remainder of the half was a forgettable affair as the sides could only muster two points between them – Eamonn Taaffe opened his account in the 15th minute while Brendan Bugler, Whitegate’s lone star throughout, burst forward in the 25th to hit an inspirational score.

Not that it inspired those around him, save a burst midway through the second half when Michael O’Brien, John O’Brien and Georgie Water- stone hit points.

By then, however, it was already too late as Tubber’s impressive start to the half sealed the two points and put them top Group 2.

Tommy Lee lofted over a point two minutes, while the decisive score came two minutes later when Shane O’Connor sealed his and Tubber’s day when pouncing on a rebound when Andrew Fahy foiled Mark Early’s goal-bound drive, batting to the net from seven yards.

It put them 2-8 to 0-3 clear – Whitegate did peg it back to eight points with ten minutes left, but that was as good as it got. David O’Donoghue and Patrick O’Connor, who hit three second half points ensured Tubber cruised home.

Ronan Taaffe (7), John O’Connor (7), Eoin Ruane (7), Paul Fogarty (7), Fergal O’Grady (7), Conor Earley (8), Patrick O’Connor (7) (0-3f), Mark Earley (7) (0-1), Clive Earley (7), David O’Donoghue (7) (0-1), Shane O’Connor (8) (2-0),Tommy Lee (7) (0-2), Darragh O’Connor (6), Barry O’Connor (7) (0-2), EamonnTaaffe (7) (0-1).

Justin McMahon (6) for Darragh O’Connor [51 mins].

AndrewFahy (7), John Minogue (7), John Bugler (7), Cathal Mulvihill (7),Trevor Kelly (7), Brendan Bugler (8) (0-1), Jason Malone (7), Ian Fahy (6), Tomas McNamara (6), Michael O’Brien (7) (0-1), Terence Fahy (6), Stephen Malone (6), Georgie Waterstone (7) (0-4f), Patrick Minogue (7) (0-1), Shane O’Rourke (6).

John O’Brien (7) for Fahy [40 mins], Eoin Quirke (6) for Malone [48 mins].

Man of the Match
Shane O’Connor (Tubber) Referee TomStackpoole (Ennistymon)


Cratloe make amends for first round defeat

Cratloe 0-16 – Scariff 0-10 at O’Garney Park, Sixmilebridge

CRATLOE have yet to spark in this year’s championship but at least they demonstrated that they have the belly to fight for their championship survival after a bruising hour on Sunday.

Wounded after their disappointing opening round defeat at the hands of Tubber, nothing but victory would do for the 2009 champions if they were to reach their third successive final.

In the end, the best that can be said is that they dug the victory out with minimal ruthlessness and maximum fuss. Fourteen wides over the hour told a tale of wastefulness that normally isn’t part of Cratloe’s make-up but it was the manner of those wides that will infuriate most as at times they tended to attempt shots from near impossible angles.

Scariff, meanwhile were making their championship bow and came with an expected warm welcome for last year finalists but for all their hustle and bustle, they didn’t possess the firepower to punish sufficiently on the scoreboard, emphasised by the fact that none of their forwards got more than a point from play.

While Cratloe led from start to finish, perhaps the turning point of the game, came in the 46th minute when Cratloe goalkeeper Sean Hayes produced a magnificent full length save to deny Ross Horan. Had that goal gone in, Scariff might have taken advantage as they were certainly on the front foot with the switch of Diarmaid Nash to midfield for the final quarter.

As it was however, Scariff did hit three of the next four points to cut the deficit to just three points but without a goal, they never looked like cancelling Cratloe’s lead as the south east Clare side cruised home with the last three points of the game.

They had started strongly too, weathering the physical Scariff challenge to score the first four points of the afternoon through county senior duo, Conor McGrath (3) and Cathal McInerney by the 12th minute. Scariff finally opened their account two minutes later when Ross Horan converted a ’65 followed by a Patrick Minogue effort on the run but the remainder of the half was noted more for the tally of wides than scores as Cratloe had nine missess to Scariff’s five. It was 0-6 to 0-3 at the break but in a quickfire resumption, Scariff would double their first half margin in only three second half minutes through Kenny McNamara, Padraig Brody and Horan with brief replies from Cathal McInerney and Padraigh Chaplin.

Two points was still the margin when Enda Boyce and Horan swapped points at 0-9 to 0-7 before Cratloe upped the ante to hit three successive points approaching the turn for home.

One of the features of Cratloe’s display was the strong link between Sean Collins in midfield who pulled the strings all afternoon and front pair Conor McGrath and Cathal McInerney, and despite the expected Scariff onslaught in the final quarter, it was that triumvirate that provided just enough quality to gather Cratloe’s first points of the campaign.


Goal scoring substitutes win the day for Clonlara

Clonlara 2-13 – Broadford 0-14 at Cusack Park, Ennis

MORE OF a grudge match than a championship treat as Clonlara’s impact substitutions provided the knock-out blow in an ill-tempered affair. Following on from the last championship meeting at intermediate level in 2007 when the action in Shannon lasted beyond the final whistle, the real winner of the hour was perhaps Flan Marsh’s shatter safe hurleys in a game that had ten yellows cards and a red one for Cathal Chaplin deep into injury-time.

In the end however, Broadford will feel disappointed not to have got anything out of the game, having disrupted Clonlara for long periods and even led by two points as late as the 55th minute.

That the 2008 champions did survive came down to two key aspects; the leadership of John Conlon and the impact of substitutes Donal Madden and James Hastings who grabbed a goal each in a final flourish.

Clonlara’s progress all afternoon was hampered by an unproductive forward unit that hit 15 wides over the hour and carried far more passengers than normal. Neither did they appear in any danger once John Conlon’s superb over the shoulder point from under the stand began a four point unanswered streak that saw them push 0-6 to 0-2 clear by the end of the first quarter.

However, it was to be their final first half contribution on the scoreboard as Broadford came storming back into the contest with Padraig Hickey unerring from frees (3) and further scores from Paurig Taylor and Aonghus O’Brien to hold a 0-7 to 0-6 lead by the break.

Clonlara re-emerged in determined fashion and might have grabbed a goal in the opening minute had it not been for an excellent block by James Gunning on Cormac O’Donovan in front of goal.

Instead, Broadford held the whip hand, mainly through the scoring prowess of Hickey who was growing in confidence as the hour developed while strangely muted in his celebrations of those scores. Largely it came down to a shooting match between Hickey at one side and Conlon at the other but every time Clonlara would gain parity, Broadford had the ability to pull clear once more.

Such was the case in the final straight when points from Alan Kilcoyne and Hickey had Broadford 013 to 0-11 clear and seemingly on the road to an opening victory.

Cue the introduction of Donal Madden and James Hastings who both would make telling contributions to the final result. Conlon fed Madden for a 55th minute point and only a minute later, the two were again involved as Conlon’s effort for a point dropped short, goalkeeper Ollie Marsh stopped the ball from going over the bar and Madden was there to pounce from close range to pull the ball to the net.

Broadford weren’t finished yet however as Hickey struck a goalbound shot two minutes later that was blocked by John Moloney and after a Hickey point and Cathal Chaplin’s second yellow, Hastings punished another defensive error to pour salt into Broadford’s wounds.


Three goal victory doesn’t tell whole story

St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield 3-10 – Killanena 0-10 at O’Garney Park, Sixmilebridge

ON PAPER, a nine point victory appears impressive but as laughable as it sounds, this was as unconvincing a nine point victory as you could possibly imagine. Only the tidy crowd in the stand of O’Garney Park can verify that fact but St Joseph’s will count their lucky stars that they got out of Sixmilebridge with their first win of the championship after being pushed all the way by a spirited yet understrength Killanena.

Essentially, with both sides securing opening round draws, Killanena needed the win to aid the consolidation of their senior status while St Joseph’s were looking further afield and the carrot of the knock-out stages. In addition, Killanena’s desperation for the points were increased by an ever expanding list of emigrating players that will include Sunday’s midfield partners Mark Flaherty and Gerry McNamara in the coming week.

While Killanena were down to the bare bones however, their skeletal remains did possess guts and unquenchable spirit and added to St Joseph’s underlying complacency, manager Kevin Kennedy was given a rough ride by his native club.

After an even opening 20 minutes in which both defences were on top (Alan O’Neill and Alan McNamara the standout performers) and wind assisted St Joseph’s retaining very little possession in their forward line, ‘The Parish’ finally pulled clear through Ivor Whyte who converted two points before taking a long run up to his 20 metre free and driving to the right corner of the net right on the stroke of half-time to give them some breathing space at 1-6 to 0-4.

That margin was extended to eight after Whyte, Shane O’Connor and Damien Kennedy grabbed the first three points of the restart by the 36th minute and nothing but a St Joseph’s rout look on the cards.

It was a far from an unassailable advantage however as events conspired to emphasise, with Killanena never giving up hope and chipping away on the scoreboard through David McNamara (3 frees) and Mark Flaherty (3) to slash the deficit to just two by the turn of the final quarter.

By this stage, a rudderless St Joseph’s were seemingly unable to stop the rot but they were helped by a Paul Madden save from Padraig Brady’s goalbound shot along with two Killanena wides as the intermediate champions poured forward in search of the scalp.

Without a score in 20 minutes, St Joseph’s were finally gifted a much needed goal in the 56th minute when a defensive handpass went straight to Shane O’Connor to punish from close range. With that, the tension lifted from St Joseph’s shoulders and they saw out the result in comfort with Ivor Whyte pulling just over the bar a minute later while Jarlath Colleran put the icing on the cake with a 60th minute goal. With the game now entirely open, there were further goal chances at either end for Gerry McNamara and Enda Lyons but by then the result was beyond any doubt as St Joseph’s wiped their brows and welcomed the Summer recess with their unbeaten record somehow still intact.


Corofin continue on road to senior

Corofin 0-13 – Ogonnelloe 0-11 at Dr Daly Park, Tulla

LEAVING TULLA last Saturday evening the respective managers of both Corofin and Ogonnelloe will reflect back on this clash in very contrasting manners.

The north Clare outfit will surely be delighted to have escaped with a 0-13 to 0-11 victory but will still be concerned with their level of performance and how this encounter was made such hard work of.

Retreating to the east of the county, the eventual losers will be absolutely gutted with the result. Despite a mammoth effort at times to stay in contention and even near the end to steal the lead, the fact they had nothing to show for their struggles at Flan O’Reilly’s final whistle must be heart-breaking.

The first half was by no means a spectacle of hurling but the competitiveness and commitment of both sides could not be questioned. After a minute of play John McKenna found the game’s first score. The perfect start was achieved as his free from 40 metres out sailed between the posts. Minutes later and Corofin responded with a point of their own.

Stephen Heagney was first on to a breaking ball and he had no hesitation in punishing the generous Ogonnelloe defence. After ten minutes both sides had doubled their tallies with McKenna and Heagney exchanging scores once again.

Corofin however soon began to dominate proceedings as they exerted their control in most sectors of the pitch. Declan Lee and the excellent Kevin Heagney throughout all found their range to add their names to the scoreboard.

Darragh Shannon’s effort was even better. His first time strike without catching the ball from the middle of the field split the posts to increase their lead to three. This margin however should have been far greater only for some poor accuracy in front of goal shared by all of Corofin’s attack.

This inadequacy allowed Ogonnel- loe to stay in touch and in the final five minutes of the half their fight back materialised to punish Corofin’s short comings. Corner forward Rory Skelly took over placed balls and his efforts from a free and a 65 reduced the margin to a single point. Paul Healy’s incredible side line cut from a huge distance out from Patrick Bourke’s goal sent the teams in level at the interval.

The second half saw the match’s tempo intensify even more. The lead was swapped and shared on several occasions with some terrific scores taken by both sides.

Ogonnelloe’s Kieran Ford pitched in with a superb double while the free taking ability of Gerry Quinn and Heagney continued to ignite the Corofin challenge.

The final minutes of this tie saw the aforementioned Corofin marksmen grab a free each while their efforts was separated only by a Lee belter that completed their treble which sealed the win.

Corofin all but secured their semi- final spot and will now continue on their quest for immediate promotion back to senior status.

For Ogonnelloe though the future is not so bright with their chances for intermediate glory quenched with their second loss in a row.

Patrick Bourke, Keith O’Loughlin, Luke O’Loughlin, Darren Malone, MartinTierney, Gerry Quinn (0-2f), Damien Ryan, Darragh Shannon (0-1), Fionn Clancy, Neil Killeen, Declan Lee (0-2), Kevin Heaney (0-2), Stephen Heaney (0-6, 5f), Eamon Malone, Killian Neylon

Killian Malone for Neylon, Matthew Shannon for E. Malone

Tomas McKenna, John O’Brien, Michael Costelloe, Eoin Sheedy, Pascal Sheedy, Patrick Barton,Thomas Condon, Barry Kiely, Ozer McMahon, Peter English, Henry Mooney, Kieran Forde (0-2), Paul Healy (0-1 s/l), John McKenna (0-2f), Rory Skelly (0-6, 4f, 1’65)

Man of the Match
Stephen Heagney (Corofin) Referee Flan O’Reilly (Cratloe)


Gardaí urge vigilance during summer months

A GARDA campaign which is focused on preventing burglaries and thefts will get underway later this week. Thefts from cars in the tourist areas of Lahinch, Miltown Malbay, Spanish Point and Bunratty generally rise during the summer months and gardaí are advising car owners not to leave valuables in their vehicles.

The campaign gets underway on Wednesday and will continue until the bank holiday weekend. The aim is to engage with and raise awareness within communities of initiatives aimed at preventing crime. It is also geared towards promoting road safety during the summer months.

According to the Crime Prevention Officer in the Clare Garda Division, Sergeant Joe Downey, the primary focus will be on “burglaries, thefts from vehicles, theft of farm machinery, theft of pedal cycles and road safety”.

“Twenty-seven per cent of all burglaries occur through the front door. Thirty-two per cent of burglars enter your home through an unsecured door or window. 23.5 per cent of all burglaries take place between 12pm and 4pm. Thursdays and Fridays are the most likely days on which to be burgled,” said Sgt Downey.

Gardaí are making specific recommendations in relation to preventing burglaries. “Lock all your doors and windows, especially when the house is vacant. Never leave a window open for ventilation when the house is vacant. Use your alarm if you have one, no matter how short the period of absence,” advised Sgt Downey.

“Lock and secure all garages and sheds and secure away any property that could assist a burglar to commit crime,” he added.

He said that almost half of the re- ported thefts from cars last year took place between 12 noon and 9pm. Saturday was the most common day for this type of crime.

“Cash was taken in 27 per cent of incidents, mobile phones accounted for 15 per cent, handbags 14 per cent and sat. Navs. 13 per cent. There has been a 12 per cent increase in laptops stolen and an eight per cent increase in mobile phones stolen,” said Sgt Downey.

“Never leave valuables in the car or visible from the outside. Never leave property under the seat. Avoid parking in isolated areas and use well lit areas during the hours of darkness,” he added.

Gardaí are also advising farmers to take care of their machinery, as statistics show that more than 1,300 items of farm equipment have been stolen during the past year across the country. “Consider installing a CCTV system and an intruder alarm and consider joining a community alert group,” said Sgt Downey.

In relation to road safety, gardaí say that inappropriate speed is the single biggest factor in fatal and serious injury accidents and are advising drivers to slow down and avoid using mobile phones while driving.