Date Published: 22-Jun-2011
As the Gardaí packed their bags and their blue uniforms to up sticks from Templemore forever, the Government swiftly steered a replacement gravy train into the station in the shape of a giant casino dropping out of thin air into the middle of the Golden Vale.
And in one fell swoop, Tipperary’s longest established cottage industry was wiped out and a new era was ushered in by that keeper of the community flame, Michael Lowry, turning a substantial portion of the Premier County into a landlocked Las Vegas.
The bitter irony of a ban on Garda recruitment – and the consequential closure of the training facility in Templemore – in the week that permission was granted for a €460 million casino up the road in Two Mile Borris would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic.
Ireland needs a super casino like Charlie Sheen needs another drink – and even if we did require a relaxation of the gaming laws, we most certainly do not need this abomination dropped into the middle of our rolling hills.
The developer Richard Quirke is himself a former Garda and clearly a wealthy man who has made his money from his Dublin casino business.
His sidekick, Independent TD Michael Lowry, is a great man to have on your side when you want something done – and boy did he put his shoulder to the wheel on this one. But then again backing the right horse is something Lowry has long had a talent for.
Naturally the closure of Templemore was blamed on the last Government, but it was supported by Alan Shatter’s belief that we have enough Gardaí to keep going for a few years anyway.
We certainly have enough of them in North Mayo, protecting the interests of our colonial friends from Shell as they attempt to take our gas inshore for buttons before using it to make billions in profits for their multi-millionaire shareholders.
And there was a fair few of them gainfully employed when the Queen and Barack Obama were in town. But with the overtime they incurred there, we might be a little thin on the ground when it comes to solving crime for a little while now.
Nonetheless Alan Shatter seems to think that we’ll be alright without any new ones for the next few years, which has to be good news for burglars and paramilitaries and drug dealers everywhere. At least we’ll have one growth industry – even if it’s only crime.
Of course thanks to Michael Lowry and his Trojan efforts, Tipp can now look forward to a new industrial era, as gamblers from the four corners of the globe fly in to spend their fortunes in the Vegas of the Golden Vale.
They’ll refloat our struggling economy with a few bob on red or black, as they deliberate whether to hold ‘em or fold ‘em – or they’ll be able to back one of Aidan O’Brien’s oul’ horses without leaving the comfort of Quirkey’s new emporium.
Of course the fly in this particular ointment might be the fact that gambling of this magnitude is still illegal in Ireland and facilitating a 6,000 square metre den of iniquity would require a change in the law.
Still, with Michael Lowry on your side, that is a mere formality; any man that can oversee the bidding for Ireland’s first mobile phone licence so thoroughly is clearly capable of sorting out a mere passage of legislation.
And then the high rollers can turn off at the Horse and Jockey and book in to the 500-bed hotel with its replicated White House facade before heading downstairs for a go on the one-armed bandits before heading for the roulette wheel.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Judge adjourns Connemara assault case
Date Published: 08-May-2013
A date will be set next October for the trial of a 52-year old Connemara man, who is charged with assaulting traditional Irish musician Noel Hill five years ago.
Michael Folan from Teach Mór, Lettermullen, is charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Noel Hill at Tí Padraig Mairtín Beag in Leitir Mór, on St Stephen’s Day, 2008.
The matter had been listed for trial on several occasions before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in the intervening period.
It was referred to the High Court in Dublin last year for judicial review after Michael Folan said he wanted his trial heard ‘as Gaeilge’and that a bi-lingual jury be made available to hear the case.
At Galway Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Rory McCabe adjourned the case for mention to October when it’s expected a date will be set for trial.
Bank of Ireland Galway Shopping Centre branch to close
Date Published: 10-May-2013
Bank of Ireland’s branch at Galway Shopping Centre on the Headford Road is to close in July.
The branch is to merge into the BOI outlet at Galway Industrial Estate in Mervue.
Galway Bay fm news reports the 14 staff impacted are to be offered redeployment and there will be no job losses.
Galway RNLI rescues three people stranded on Hare Island
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway RNLI Lifeboat has come to the rescue of three students who got stranded on Hare Island after getting caught in the tide off Ballyloughan Beach.
The two girls and boy, in their late teens had gone for a walk and were spotted waving from the island by a local resident who contacted the emergency Services and Galway Lifeboat.
Conditions at the time (4pm) were very changeable with heavy showers.
Three members of the Lifeboat shore crew were working in the vicinity of the station at the time and launched the boat in six minutes.
The three students were picked up safely and brought back to the Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks where they were warmed up and given tea and did not require medical attention.