Lack of rural interest in State-funded community camera surveillance system, says ICSA

Only 4% of €3 million allocation applied for to date.

Sligo News File.

Crime hit rural Ireland is failing to avail of funding for community protecting camera surveillance systems.

Seamus Sherlock, Chairman ICSA Rural Development Committee

The ICSA said money was allocated for CCTV but to date, the take up has been “minuscule.”

A ceremony in Waterford was told that figures released by the Department of Justice show that only 4% of the €3m CCTV funding available has been used.

“Reaching the halfway point in the scheme and with only €120,000 spent indicates a problem somewhere,” said chairman of the ICSA development committee Seamus Sherlock

He said: “An urgent review needs to be carried out at this stage to see how local communities can be further assisted with utilising the scheme.

“Of particular importance is clarification as to whether the Gardaí or local authorities are responsible managing the footage collected.”

Mr. Sherlock was speaking at an event in Waterford Institute of Technology to mark the official handing over of the Agricultural Crime in Ireland reports to the Luke Wadding library. The reports were compiled by Dr Kathleen Moore Walsh, a lecturer in Law and Criminology and Louise Walsh, a lecturer in Accounting and Finance, following the ICSA/WIT Agricultural Crime Survey.

The study examined crimes that occur solely on farms or relating to farming activities.

Mr. Sherlock said the nature and scale of agriculture-specific crime have been well and truly established with the survey and subsequent reports.

“Rural people want more resources in community policing, stiffer sentences for repeat offenders and closer consultation between rural stakeholders, local authorities and An Garda Siochana,” he said.

Church cites rules as ‘atheist’ minister of state barred from sponsoring godson at Confirmation Mass

‘Sponsor must be practicing Catholic.’

Sligo News File.

A minister of state is said to have hit out at “pitiful tactics” of the Church after he was reportedly barred from sponsoring his godson at a Confirmation Mass.

The Irish Examiner reports Independent Alliance TD John Halligan as saying that parents of the godson told him a member of the clergy had informed them he could not stand as sponsor at the ceremony on Sunday, and that this was the decision of the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore.

When the parents contacted the bishop, they were advised that this was because Halligan was an atheist and owing to his views on abortion.

Halligan is reported as saying: “I find it appalling that my godson’s parents had to sit down with him, days before his Confirmation, and explain to the child that I was not permitted to be his sponsor.”

A statement issued by the Church says “a sponsor must be a confirmed and practicing Catholic.”

In 2015, Halligan launched the Dignity with Dying Bill aimed at introducing euthanasia or “assisted suicide” in Ireland.

Former Bishop of Elphin dies aged 82

Roscommon native, a teacher in Ballina and Sligo and driving force behind the Council for the West.

Sligo News File.

The emeritus Bishop of Elphin has died. Christy Jones who was 82 was born in Rathcroghan, Roscommon, the second youngest of a family of 11. He was ordained in 1962. A brother also joined the priesthood while four sisters joined the religious life.

The former bishop was a teacher for a time in St Mureadach’s College in Ballina and from 1965 to 1971 at Summerhill College, Sligo.

Later he served as Director of Sligo Social Service Council from 1973 to 1987.

During his time with the SSSC he was an activist and forceful advocate for traveller rights and the poor.

Subsequently, he served as Administrator at Sligo Cathedral, and in 1984 succeeded Dr. Dominic Conway as Bishop of Elphin.

As a founder member of the Council for the West, he was a powerful voice for development which would help sustain rural communities west of the Shannon.

Bishop Kevin Doran said in a statement that he died peacefully on Friday surrounded by his family.

Taoiseach’s reported referendum claim that ‘if there is a No on Friday it is only time before someone hemorrhages or bleeds to death’ slammed as ‘vile’

‘Most outrageous and disgraceful remark made by any member of the Government so far in this campaign.’

‘Government members are panicking, seem prepared to say anything to secure the repeal of the 8th’

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar made a series of statements during an interview on Today with Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ. In one, referencing unregulated abortion drugs, he is said by Love Both to have stated: “If there is a ‘No’ on Friday it is only time time before someone hemorrhages or bleeds to death.” 
Commenting on his remarks, Dr Ruth Cullen of the Love Both campaign said: “This latest statement by the Taoiseach has to be the most outrageous and disgraceful remark made by any member of the Government so far in this campaign.
“It’s clear that some members of government are starting to panic over the fact that the ‘No’ side might win and these same members of government seem prepared to say almost anything to take away the right to life from unborn babies.

“The Taoiseach is in effect saying that if people reject the Government’s abortion on demand proposals they will be responsible for someone bleeding to death. His remarks are so vile the Taoiseach should immediately apologise and retract them. This marks a new low, even for a Government that has engaged in such widespread scaremongering and misinformation.”

She continued:”The Taoiseach also used the interview to tell a series of mistruths to the Irish people including the suggestion that removing the Eighth amendment is the only way to deal with difficult cases, and his claim that there are so-called ‘restrictions’ in the section of the proposed bill which allows abortion without any reason whatsoever up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.”

She concluded:

“I think many people will be absolutely disgusted by the Taoiseach’s statements today, he has completely ignored the fact that Ireland without abortion is one of the safest countries in the world for pregnant women. Instead he is deliberately seeking to emotionally bully those opposed to abortion with the suggestion that they will have blood on their hands if they vote ‘No’ to his abortion proposal.

“We must remember that only five years ago he was completely opposed to abortion on demand, now today he uses his position to throw exaggerated and insulting language at people who hold the same position he, until recently held. This shows again that politicians cannot be trusted with the rights in the Eighth Amendment, it is also why people are increasingly planning to vote ‘No’ on the 25th of May.”

Rise in assaults, burglaries, rapes and sexual assaults in Sligo-Leitrim but only a small number of the newly trained gardai assigned to region since 2015

Strength of the force just over 300 and some volunteers.

Sligo News File

Despite reports of increased crime in Sligo-Leitrim it has been revealed that only 18 of the total cohort of newly trained gardai were assigned to the region between 2015 and March 2018.

Fine Gael Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan TD

The total strength of the force in the region is currently at 303 and some voluntary service individuals.

Figures from the Central Statistics Office show there was a significant rise in assaults, burglaries and rapes or sexual assaults in the Sligo – Leitrim Garda Division in 2017.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said his Department has a plan in place for a national garda force of 21,000, including volunteers, by 2021 but made no committment to increase garda numbers on the ground in Sligo-Leitrim.

The purchase of a site for a new Garda headquarters at Caltragh is said to have been finalised. However, no application for planning approval has been lodged to date.

No takers for Castlebar IDA advance factory premises

Building constructed more than a year ago.

Town under pressure with over 22% of empty commercial spaces.

Sligo News File

The IDA is still seeking investors for an advanced factory premises constructed in Castlebar more than a year ago.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys has confirmed there were two site visits to Mayo in the first quarter of 2018 but did not say if either of the visits were to the long vacant IDA building.

Responding to questions, she said data on IDA site visits is collated on a “county-by-county basis only.”

The IDA, she added, is “working hard” to create further employment opportunities in the county.

Castlebar recorded over 22% of empty commercial premises in the second quarter of 2017.

Scandal of referendum voting cards allegedly granted to electorally disqualified foreign students aired in Dail

TD demands Government investigate ‘who illegally and fraudulently registered French citizens’ at Galway National University.

‘Students never applied to be included on the register and they are not Irish citizens.’

‘This is widespread throughout the country, and a cabal is organising it.’

Sligo News File

The referendum on the 8th is set to become a shambolic affair with now apparently even legally disqualified foreigners being permitted to vote.

Mattie McGrath,TD, Independent…voting cards granted to ineligible foreign students.

Deputy Mattie McGrath told the Dail of confirmation by French students at Galway University that, despite being ineligible, their names have been added to the voting register for the referendum. He said this was done despite the students not requesting to be added to the register of electors.

Commenting on the seeming abuse of the electoral process, he said:

“The Taoiseach made reference to Google and its integrity in the context of the referendum campaign. Will the Government investigate this and find out who illegally and fraudulently registered French citizens who are here on an ERASMUS student programme at NUIG?

“The integrity of the student programme is being called into question too. Ms Caroline Sourisseau and her friends got polling cards this morning.

“The integrity of the electoral register and of the forthcoming referendum is being challenged here.

“Will the Government ask the Referendum Commission to investigate this? What is the Government going to do about it? These students never applied to be included on the register and they are not Irish citizens. At the same time, eligible people cannot get on the register of electors.

“This is widespread throughout the country, and a cabal is organising it. It is just not acceptable.”

There were 23,127 foreign students in Irish publicly-funded colleges in 2016, according to data from the Higher Education Authority.


Don’t Use Mental Health To Justify Abortion Law Change, Psychiatrists Warn

‘We are concerned that, as in other countries, the ‘mental health’ of the mother ground will be used to justify aborting babies with disabilities, including those with Down Syndrome.’

‘Majority of terminations are for socio-economic reasons.’

16/05/2018 in Save The 8th

 Consultant psychiatrists (l-r) Dr. Anne Doherty, Dr. Martin O’Sullivan and Professor Patricia Casey addressing media in Dublin today.

Press Statement 16th May 2018.

Re: Health care and the Referendum of the 8th Amendment.


Those pressing for repeal of the 8th amendment are presenting their case in the language of ‘healthcare’. We believe that to present the case for repeal in such terms is fundamentally misleading because under the law as proposed by the Government, the vast majority of abortions would involve healthy babies and healthy women. This is not ‘healthcare’ but something else entirely.

The Government does not pretend that abortions in the first three months of pregnancy will need a health ground in order for them to take place. This makes it even more misleading for Government spokespeople or pro-choice advocates to continually present abortion as a form of ‘treatment’. It is worth pointing out that about 90 percent of abortions take place during the first three months of pregnancy.

After 12 weeks, the proposed law will conform closely to the law in the UK, where a health ground must be offered as a justification for abortion, before and after 12 weeks. The ‘health ground’ can be physical or mental.

As consultant psychiatrists, it is the so-called ‘mental health’ ground that particularly concerns us because we know from official UK statistics that 97pc of the almost 200,000 abortions which occur annually in the UK, take place under the ‘mental health’ ground.

In fact, these abortions are almost always for socio-economic reasons, something the Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution itself admits in its report published last December. (See paragraph 2.38 of the report).

Referring to Irish women who take the abortion pill here or travel to the UK, the report says, “What became clear during evidence is that the majority of terminations are for socio-economic reasons.”

This is yet another reason why it is so dishonest to justify the proposed and radical change to the current law as ‘healthcare’.

Given the experience in the UK, we can confidently say that abortions taking place in this country after 12 weeks will be authorised under the ‘mental health’ ground. As in the UK, there will be little or no justification for this in the great majority of cases. We do not want to see spurious appeals to ‘mental health’ being used to justify post-12-week abortions.

We are also concerned that, as in other countries, the ‘mental health’ of the mother ground will be used to justify aborting babies with disabilities, including those with Down Syndrome.

To use ‘health’ as a justification for abortion, when the vast majority of abortions do not take place on any kind of health ground, inverts the true purpose of medicine and doctors who value their calling should have nothing to do with this. Our Minister for Health, for his part, must defend the true purpose of medicine.


Prof. Patricia Casey,
Dr. Richelle Kirrane,
Dr. Mike Reilly,
Dr. Enda Hayden,
Dr. Anne Doherty,
Prof. Eugene Breen,
Dr. Ian Moloney,
Dr. Bernie McCabe,
Dr. Martin Mahon,
Dr. Ciaran Clarke,
Dr. Amir Niazi,
Dr. Seamus O’Flathartaigh,
Dr. Martin O’Sullivan,
Dr. Brian Houlihan,
Dr. Keith Holmes,
Dr. Stephen McWilliams,
Dr. Eleanor Corcoran,
Dr. Claire Craven,
Dr. Jacqueline Montwill,
Dr. Jim O’Boyle,
Dr. Lorcan Martin,
Dr. Victor O’Loughlin,
Dr. Ciaran Corcoran,
Dr. Kieran O’Driscoll.