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Sting operation nabbed online fraudster

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A 51-years-old man created a false identify and several fake documents to open a bank account and obtain goods on the internet while growing cannabis plants in a Salthill apartment.

Louis Rohr, a German national who lived in Galway for 10 years, with a last address at Apartment 1, Estoria House, Nile Lodge, before moving to the Pottery Studio, Castlecove in Co Kerry last year, pleaded guilty at Galway District Court to six charges of fraud and deception.

The court heard from his solicitor, Olivia Traynor, that this was a complex case with complex issues going on in her client’s life.

Rohr pleaded guilty to making a false Electric Ireland bill in the name of Jonathan Spencer, with the intention of using it to induce another person to accept it as genuine at the apartment in Estoria House, Nile Lodge between January 1 and February 20 last year.

He pleaded guilty to inducing a member of staff at Bank of Ireland, Eyre Square, to open a bank account in the name of Jonathan Spencer by producing false documents to him on January 10 last year.

He pleaded guilty also to inducing a member of staff at 3G Ireland in Dublin to accept as genuine a false German ID card and a false Electric Ireland bill in the name of Jonathan Spencer on February 20 last year.

He further pleaded guilty to having a false Irish driving licence in his possession on February 24 last year and to having a false EU identity card in his possession on the same date also.

Rohr finally pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis plants in the apartment on the same date.

Garda Paul McNulty gave evidence that 13 other similar charges of theft and fraud were being withdrawn by the State following the plea by the accused to the remaining six charges.

He said Rohr ordered a €549 mobile phone from the 3G Ireland website on February 20 last year, using the name Jonathan Spencer.

He entered into a 24-month contract with 3G and provided a fake German identity card and a fake Electric Ireland bill, both in the name of Jonathan Spencer, to the company as proof of his name and address.

The company had reservations about the documents provided and contacted the Gardaí in Galway.  A sting operation ensued and when a courier arrived at the apartment to deliver the phone, Gardaí were waiting and Rohr admitted to them that he had made up the character, Jonathan Spencer.

He was arrested and his apartment searched. Gardaí seized a large number of fake identity cards, driving licences and two potted cannabis plants which were growing under heated lamps in the apartment’s sitting room.

Garda McNulty explained Rohr had entered a Bank of Ireland account number on the contract he had signed with 3G, using the name Jonathan Spencer. On further investigation bank staff confirmed a fake driving licence and Electric Ireland bill had been used by the accused to open the bank account under the false name.

Defence solicitor, Olivia Traynor said her client was born in Germany, moved with his family to the US when he was five and came to live in Galway in 2005.

He was a university graduate and this, she said, was a complex case but before she could get any further, Judge Mary Fahy interrupted and said she would be seeking a pre-sanction probation report on Rohr before proceeding to sentence.

She agreed it was a complex case which required such a report.

Ms Traynor said there was a lot going on in the background with a lot of medical issues involved.

“I could be here for a hour explaining things so a report would be beneficial,” she added.

Judge Fahy directed Rohr, who now resides in Kerry, to give his mobile number to a probation officer in Galway and she then asked for a pre- sanction probation report on the accused, to be prepared by the probation service in Kerry.

She adjourned the matter to October for the report and told Ms Traynor she could resume her submissions to the court then.

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Waste transfer station row set for High Court showdown

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A final decision on a proposed waste transfer station for Ballinasloe will be hammered out in the High Court in around three months’ time.

Galway County Council has granted licences for a waste transfer station at the old Poolboy dump site, but these have been successfully appealed by a local campaign group.

The latest licence issued by the County Council is also the subject of a judicial review and this application is now for hearing before the High Court in October.

It is widely expected that this will end the ‘toing and froing’ between the Ballinasloe Says No campaign group and Galway County Council, who are footing a substantial bill for the legal challenges so far.

The old dump in Ballinasloe closed more than 20 years ago and it had been hoped locally that the site would be rehabilitated for community use – as opposed to having another waste facility located there.

However, Galway County Council have been issuing licences to Barna Waste for a waste transfer station which has sparked fears that the town will be inundated with heavy trucks on a daily basis.

This is the third occasion that the Ballinasloe Says No campaign has challenged the issuing of the waste transfer licences by Galway County Council and are hoping that this will be the last.

The proceedings being taken by the group will ultimately result in a decision being made in the High Court.

Chairperson Dr Vincent Parsons said that they were committed to fight for health, safety and the protection of the environment around the Suck River Callows which was a Special Protection Area under EU law.

“It is shocking that Galway County Council Executive have decided to grant this permit despite the unsuitability of this site and associated risks. Thousands of objections have submitted from people in the Ballinasloe area.

“The decision by Galway County Council to grant a permit was quashed by High Court orders on two previous occasions.

“But despite all this Galway County Council have granted another permit for a major waste facility in Ballinasloe showing total disregard for the people of town and surrounding area,” he said.

Dr Parsons added that independent expert ecology, hydrology and engineering assessments and reports had confirmed the unsuitability of this site and the substantial risks to health.

Meanwhile, Senator Aisling Dolan said that the campaign was largely to prevent to hundreds of trucks passing by local schools, playgrounds, estates and Portiuncula Hospital.

“Thousands of families in Ballinasloe made submissions and attended public meetings making it clear that this is an inappropriate location for a waste transfer station

“This is a major issue for families living in Ballinasloe and we are a local community group who are fighting this case. I want to thank people for their support for the town.

“Together with our legal team, we are challenging this decision by Galway County Council to grant this permit to operate a waste transfer station,” Sen Dolan added.

Photo: Vincent Parsons (Chairperson) and Senator Aisling Dolan (PRO) of the Ballinasloe Says No campaign pictured at the gateway to the proposed waste transfer site in Poolboy, Ballinasloe.

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Connacht Tribune

Supply chain challenges in retail

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SPONSORED CONTENT  – EZ LIVING FURNITURE

There has been a huge demand for consumer products in 2020 and 2021. Covid-19 has resulted in people spending more time at home than ever before. Lockdown especially saw all non-essential workers previously confined to their homes. Investing in goods such as clothing, electronics and furniture was one of the few ways that people could spend their discretionary income from the comfort of their own homes. However, this major spike in consumer purchasing is only one of many challenges that the retail industry is currently facing.

Every retailer and consumer across the globe is being affected by rising costs and frustrating delivery delays and this, unfortunately, includes us –  EZ Living Furniture. As Ireland’s most loved and well-known furniture retailer, we wanted to help our customers understand the issues the entire retail industry is currently facing and will continue to face for some time by outlining the order fulfilment process to you.

Supply Chain explained

March 2020:

Many suppliers (including EZ Living Furniture) source their products from overseas. When Covid-19 first struck in the Far East in March 2020, illness and a lessened workforce lead to a dramatic decrease in production. When those countries entered lockdown, supply stopped coming from the Far East entirely.

April 2020:

When these countries began to recover and started to exit lockdown, Europe, unfortunately, went into lockdown. Because we were unable to sell stock to the same capacity, we stopped ordering from these countries.

June 2020:

Customers began ordering products again, but only online as all of the physical stores in Europe were closed. It took us, and many other European businesses a number of weeks to come to terms with the new working from home arrangements and the redirection of resources towards the increase in online sales that occurred subsequently.

November 2020:

Product manufacturers and raw material manufacturers in Europe were still closed due to the pandemic. This meant materials and products were not being produced in Europe at all.

This caused major issues with supply and production. For instance, foam is one of many materials used to make mattresses, dining chairs, and sofas. When this is in short supply, so too is the furniture that uses foam.

Hospitals around the globe began ordering thousands of containers of PPE. With no warehouses to store these essential healthcare items, they remained in the containers at ports. This lead to congestions at ports and a shortage of shipping containers worldwide.

Shipping ports closed due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in ports.

March 2021:

The Suez Canal was blocked by a container vessel for six days. This put further strain on supply chains that were already burdened by the coronavirus pandemic.

October 2021:

We are still continuing to suffer from the lack of containers. This is causing a rise in transportation and raw material costs. Deliveries to customers are also now taking longer than usual.

What are we doing to resolve this?

Stores like us are working even harder to ensure that customers receive the same products in the same time frame and at the same price-point that was in place before the pandemic. Any solution to this supply chain problem is not perfect. Prioritising faster delivery will inevitably lead to higher costs while focusing on lowering product prices will inevitably delay delivery times.

Alternatives and long-term solutions are being explored such as supply chains in eastern Europe. However, this is a time-consuming process primarily due to quality control and logistics.

What you need to know

Already this year, we have had to increase our stock levels to try to compensate for any future delivery delays. Until now, we have been absorbing the increases in transportation costs and raw materials in order to continue to offer our customers such a wide range of furnishings.

Unfortunately, due to the prolonged nature of the pandemic, stock is going to be limited, especially during certain holiday periods. Prices may also have to be increased again in the future with smaller companies likely to be affected to an even greater degree. We want to be completely transparent with our customers and make you all aware that our promotions listed below may be the last chance for you all to purchase EZ Living Furniture items at such low prices.

So, don’t wait to buy that EZ Living Furniture Item you have been eyeing and prioritise our in-stock items. The products available in all retail stores now could sell out and take a long time to return to stock. Shipping delay issues could also mean you are waiting months to receive your items.

  • The EZ Living Octoberfest Promotion – October 2021.
  • The EZ Living Furniture Black Friday Sale – November 2021.

Although we are uncertain as to how long these global supply-chain issues will last, we aim to keep you updated at all times. We appreciate your patience during these unprecedented times.

For any queries regarding your order, please contact our Customer Service team by phone, email or live chat:

Monday – Friday 9:30am – 5:00pm

Phone: 0818 222 272

Customer Service Email: customerservice@ezliving.ie

Website Enquiries Email: websales@ezlivingfurniture.ie

SPONSORED CONTENT  – EZ LIVING FURNITURE

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Connacht Tribune

A Moycullen win would add badly needed spice to football’s big day

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Conor Reddington of Annaghdown and Tuam Stars' Adam Carton in action during the North Board Minor B football final at Tuam Stadium on Saturday. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

BEFORE a ball was kicked in this year’s Galway senior championship, the smart money would have been on champions Corofin, Tuam Stars, Salthill/Knocknacarra and Mountbellew/Moylough making it to the semi-finals if they managed to keep out of each other’s way on the road to the penultimate stage off the title race.

Unfortunately, for a Salthill team which, in any event, didn’t scale their expected heights this year, they came up against the champions in the quarter-finals where the Seasiders’ challenge was dismissed in convincing fashion. It was business as usual for Corofin who remain odds on to claim a record-breaking eighth consecutive title.

With Tuam Stars edging out Bearna after extra-time, a Paul Kelly goal helping Moycullen get the better of St James’, and Mountbellew/Moylough powering home against 14-man Killannin, it means that three of last year’s semi-finalists are back seeking a place in the Galway decider this weekend. Mountbellew/Moylough are the odd ones out having fallen to Corofin in the 2019 quarter-finals.

Val Daly’s troops will need the performance of the lives to overturn club’s football’s dominant power, especially as they continue to field without county player John Daly – a son of their manager. Of course, they are not without a chance and if the likes of Michael Daly, Matthew Barrett, Eoin Finnerty, Eoin Ryan and Barry McHugh hit the ground running, they could give Corofin a searching time.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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