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Woman bought heroin to supply young Galway addicts

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A 33-year-old drugs mule has been sentenced to a total of nine months in prison after Gardai caught her getting off a bus from Dublin with a stash of heroin concealed in her body.

Melissa Maughan, whom the court was told resides with a friend at 41 Gaelcarrig Park, Newcastle, pleaded guilty before Galway District Court to having €550 worth of heroin for sale or supply to others at the bus terminal near Ceannt Station on January 3 last year.

She also pleaded guilty to having heroin for sale or supply to others a month earlier, on December 1, 2014 and to a number of minor shoplifting offences committed around the city five years ago.

Judge Mary Fahy said she wasn’t too concerned about the theft offences, but she was deeply concerned that Maughan would go to Dublin, collect heroin there and then return to Galway with it concealed in her body to sell to young addicts here.

Inspector Mick Dwyer said the first drug dealing offence was detected on December 1, 2014 when Gardaí stopped a car in which Maughan was a front seat passenger.

She and the driver were taken to Salthill Garda Station where Maughan handed over two bags of heroin ‘deals’.

She told Gardai she had been selling bags of heroin and had already sold ten bags before being stopped.  She had €250 cash on her at the time and €50 worth of heroin.

The Inspector said that a month later, on January 3, 2015, Garda were waiting for Maughan as she got off a bus from Dublin at Ceannt Station.

She was brought to the Garda station and searched.

“She had a quantity of heroin concealed in her body, weighing 3.98 grams and valued at €550,” he said.

“And she came off the bus from Dublin with heroin on her body, concealed or whatever,” Judge Fahy said.

She observed the court had given Maughan a chance in 2014 to carry out community service in lieu of a prison sentence for a theft offence committed in 2010, but she had refused to engage with the probation service and the service had re-entered that matter before the court as well this week.

In light of the more serious charges which Maughan was now facing, probation officer, Pat Mitchell agreed with Judge Fahy that the historic probation service re-entry be withdrawn.

Defence solicitor, Elaine Murphy said her client had a significant drug addiction.  She said she had been addicted to heroin for quite some time but was now on a Methadone treatment programme since last August.

A letter was handed into court confirming Maughan was now stable on Methadone but it stated she needed to undergo a stabilisation programme at Beaumont Hospital for an ongoing addiction to Benzodiazepine.

Ms Murphy said her client’s addictions had led to a very chaotic lifestyle for a number of years and she was homeless and on the streets begging when she took items from stores in the city.

Maughan, she said, was now in a much better position and the drug dealing offences, which were committed within a two-month period, occurred well over a year ago.

She said Maughan had not come to Garda attention since and she had fully co-operated with Gardai at the time.

“She is now living with a friend in Gaelcarrig Park and is in a much more stable environment but she needs to go to Beaumont to complete the course of stabilisation,” Ms Murphy said of her client.

“This is a lady who went to Dublin, collected heroin and brought it back to Galway for sale.  She’s looking at a custodial sentence,” Judge Fahy warned.

Noting that Garda Cathal Rodgers had prosecuted Maughan for the January 2015 offence at the bus station, the judge said she wanted to speak to him before finalising sentence.

“She did live a chaotic lifestyle, but she was still able to go to Dublin, get her stash and come back to Galway and sell it to young addicts here.  It’s really very serious and Galway doesn’t need that,” Judge Fahy said.

Ms Murphy asked the court to adjourn sentence until Maughan had completed the course in Beaumont and she would be more stable then.

Garda Rodgers came to court a short time later.

Judge Fahy asked him if Maughan was still involved in the drugs trade.

“She’s still on our radar, rather than off it with regards to the drugs scene,” he replied.

Judge Fahy remarked: “She is obviously coming into contact with very serious players in the drugs business in Dublin and bringing it down to Galway and we don’t need it and the young addicts here don’t need it.”

He nodded in agreement.

Judge Fahy sentenced Maughan to six months in prison for the offence at the bus station and she imposed a consecutive two-month sentence for the drug dealing offence a month earlier.

A further one-month consecutive sentence was imposed for one of the shop lifting offences, bringing the total time to be served to nine months.

Leave to appeal the sentences was granted.

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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Greens see red on gold rush

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Opposition is intensifying to the prospect of a licence being awarded to Canadian gold prospectors planning to explore the heart of Connemara.

Environmental campaigners have warned of the dangers of awarding a prospecting licence to Toronto-based MOAG to mine for gold and silver in land around Roundstone, Ballyconneely and Ballynahinch.

They claim the exploration could devastate water supplies, tourism, wildlife – and also led to tensions in the local community.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton has indicated he intends to grant a prospecting licence to the company to explore for the valuable minerals in townlands in Ballynahinch Barony.

The licence allows the holder to explore for mineral deposits, and does not authorise mining of any materials that are found – that requires further licensing.

And Minister Bruton’s Department insists that the activities permitted under this licence are “non-invasive” and “of minimal environmental impact”.

However, campaigners have warned of the dangers mining can have on Connemara, and have urged the public to object before July 6.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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