Former Dundalk goalkeeper on trial over €3.4m cannabis seizure

Van Boxtel in action for Dundalk

Van Boxtel in action for Dundalk

A former Dundalk FC goalkeeper charged over a €3.4m cannabis seizure was allegedly offered the chance to “make a few bob” by a man he picked up in his taxi.

Eddie van Boxtel (41) – who won a league title at Oriel Park back in 1995 – claimed he was simply employed by another man to “drive from A to B” after he complained “the taxi game is dead”.

The accused allegedly told detectives he never saw the cannabis resin, but admitted he knew “it wasn’t marshmallows” in the back of a van.

A court heard the street value of the drug was €3.45m.

The former Leeds United footballer pleaded not guilty before Kildare Circuit Court to possession of cannabis as well as having the drug for sale or supply on February 6, 2008.

Detective Garda Tom Barber alleged Mr van Boxtel met another man at a garage just outside Newbridge at 6.25am on February 6, 2008.

Gda Barber claimed the pair then drove off in the other man’s Audi A6 towards Rathangan Road, where Mr van Boxtel got into a silver Ford Transit van, which was parked in a lay-by.

Sergeant David Kennedy claimed Mr van Boxtel drove the van to a house at Clongorey, Naas, where he backed it into a shed at the back.

He allegedly drove off a few minutes later towards Rathangan Road and left the van in the same lay-by. It is alleged two other men came along a short time later in a Ford Fiesta, one got into the van, and they drove off in convey towards Dublin.

The van was stopped at the M7 Castlewarden, near Kill, and a pallet containing cannabis was found in the back.

Interviewed by Sgt Kennedy, Mr van Boxtel, of Sillogue Avenue in Ballymun, said he started working as a taxi driver when his football career ended.

One day he complained to a passenger the “taxi game was dead”, and this man took his mobile phone number, telling him he could earn a few extra bob as a driver.

During interview, Mr van Boxtel told to Sgt Kennedy he simply “drove from A to B”.

He said he did not see who dropped off the Ford Transit or who collected the drugs.

He said he did not put the cannabis into the van at Clongorey, and did “not have a clue” what the drug was worth.

A former goalkeeper, Mr van Boxtel played with several League of Ireland clubs, helping Dundalk to win the league in 1995.

His most famous sporting moment came when he saved a penalty from Eric Cantona, who was then playing for Manchester United, during a friendly at Oriel Park.

The trial continues before Judge Gerard Griffin.

Source: Irish Independent

Fitzpatrick accuses Adams of having no regard for the wellbeing of children in Louth

Peter Fitzpatrick TD

Peter Fitzpatrick TD

Local Fine Gael TD Peter Fitzpatrick has accused Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams of having no regard for the wellbeing of children in the constituency over his failure to expose suspected child sex abusers who were expelled out of Northern Ireland by the IRA and moved into border counties, including Louth, to avoid publicity and the full rigours of the law.

In a hard-hitting statement, Deputy Fitzpatrick said it was important that these people be reported and their present whereabouts determined to avoid potential risk to local children.

The former Louth manager said:Over the past number of weeks there has been wide-spread speculation that suspected child sex abusers were expelled out of Northern Ireland by Sinn Féin/IRA and relocated to other areas including Co Louth. It is simply unacceptable that Gerry Adams, a TD for county Louth, has not exposed these people.

“The names of these people need to be reported and their present whereabouts confirmed. At present suspected abusers are living among communities who have no idea of the dangers they may be exposed to and these crimes must be investigated.

“It is obvious by his actions, or lack of them, that Gerry Adams has no regard for the wellbeing of children or for the people of county Louth, as Adams was aware that his child abusing brother was living and working in Dundalk for many years. Adams’ niece Áine told him in 1987 what had happened and in 2000 Liam Adams himself confessed to his brother.

“Gerry Adams did not report his brother’s crime to anyone until 2007 a full seven years after his brother confirmed that the abuse had taken place. Gerry Adams did nothing to inform or protect the people of Dundalk when Liam Adams was living there and working as a youth worker.

“There is no issue more serious than the sexual abuse of children and minors, and on this occasion I believe Gerry Adams needs to speak out and address truthfully the many questions that remain unanswered.

“Adams has evaded question after question over the years but on this occasion he cannot be allowed to avoid the questions that I, and the people who have been in contact with me over this issue, have. We have a right to know the truth.”

Graphic Lights launch Dundalk’s first online print shop

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Local graphic design and print studio Graphic Lights have just launched their new online print store at www.graphiclights.ie

The company, founded earlier this year by Colin Toner, recently closed its Park Street store to concentrate on a new online shop.

As the only online print store based in Dundalk, customers can now order a large selection of digital print from the comforts of their own home or office and have it delivered free of charge to anywhere in Ireland.

It places customer care alongside competitive pricing, while its unique selling point is its four-day turnaround of work from time of approval.

Customers can log on and upload their own designs for print or, if needed, for a small fee extra Graphic Lights will design your material.

To celebrate the opening of the new shop Graphic Lights are giving away a 10% discount to all Talk of the Town readers. Just type TOTT10 in the coupon area of the shopping cart at www.graphiclights.ie to avail of this fantastic offer.

Market Bar launch new lunch menu

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The Market Bar has recently launched a new lunch menu as it prepares to celebrate two years opened this Christmas.

The popular Clanbrassil Street bar and tapas restaurant has a range of new options on the new look menus including baguettes, wraps, toasties, salads and, of course, tapas.

Lunch is served from 12 noon to 3pm Monday to Friday and from 12 noon to 4pm on weekdays.

For bookings call 042-9356652.

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Dearey to query Warrenpoint oil spillage’s impact on Co Louth coastline

A picture shared by Cllr Dearey on his Twitter page of oil found a mile upstream from the spillage a week after it occurred

A picture shared by Cllr Dearey on his Twitter page of oil found a mile upstream from the spillage a week after it occurred

Green Party councillor Mark Dearey is set to call for a full debate on the impact of an oil spillage at Warrenpoint over a week ago on the Louth shoreline of Carlingford Lough.

The Omeath man said he would like to discuss the matter in full at the next meeting of Louth County Council after earlier this week expressing his concern that, a week after the spill, an area a mile upstream was still coated in oil.

Louth County Council did release a statement on the spillage, which occurred on October 22nd, saying they were continue to monitor the shoreline for any negative impact.

The statement read: “Louth County Council (LCC) were informed on the 23rd of October of a fuel oil spillage at Warrenpoint harbour which occurred on the night of the 22nd of October.

“The affected areas reported were Warrenpoint Harbour and an area of foreshore near Narrow Water Castle in Co Down. Booms were deployed at Warrenpoint Harbour and an on-going beach clean is being carried out at Narrow Water Castle by the Northern Ireland authorities.

“As soon as the Council were made aware of the incident LCC informed all the relevant statutory and public bodies in the Republic and have been liaising with these bodies and the relevant bodies in Northern Ireland since the 23rd of October.

“LCC along with other public bodies have been inspecting the foreshore since the incident was notified to the Council. Some contaminated seaweed has been found along the foreshore in an area North of Omeath in Co Louth and the Council are arranging for removal and disposal of the affected material. On the Louth side of the Lough no impacts have been noted in the water body itself and along the shoreline.

“LCC will be continually monitoring the shoreline until such a stage as the clean-up on the Northern side of the Lough has been closed off and there are no further risks to the environment.”

Matthews Coach Hire to increase annual commuter ticket price by 6%

web2matthews-marshes-2The cost of commuting to Dublin for locals is set to increase in the New Year with Matthews Coach Hire set to put up the price of their yearly ticket from Dundalk to Parnell Street by 6%.

The increase will see the cost of a yearly ticket rise from €2,258 to €2,394.

One customer contacted Talk of the Town today to complain about the fare going up again but it still represents the best value for commuters with the same Irish Rail commuter ticket costing €3,340.

The latest Matthews increase will cost passengers around €2.60 extra per week or €11.30 per month.

When tax savings are taken into account passengers can make real savings by purchasing an annual ticket.

 

73-year-old released without charge following McConville questioning

Jean McConville with some of her 10 children prior to her abduction

Jean McConville with some of her 10 children prior to her abduction

A 73-year-old man who was arrested yesterday by detectives investigating the abduction and murder of Jean McConville has been released without charge.

The man was detained by detectives from the Serious Crime Branch of the PSNI in Dunmurray yesterday morning.

He was taken to the Serious Crime Suite at Antrim police station for questioning and later released unconditionally, PSNI detective inspector Neil McGuiness said.

Several people have been detained and questioned this year in connection with the 1972 murder, the most high profile being Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams. Mr Adams (65) was released in May without charge after four days in police custody.

Yesterday’s arrest came as Belfast man Ivor Bell (77), who has been charged with paramilitary membership and aiding and abetting the murder, made his latest appearance in court in relation to the case.

In December 1972, Mrs McConville was dragged, screaming, away from her children in the Divis flats in west Belfast by a gang of up to 12 men and women.

Her family had later speculated the IRA wrongly assumed she was an informer. Mrs McConville had also converted from Protestant to Catholic to marry her husband Arthur McConville, a Catholic former British Army soldier who died of cancer in early 1972.

There has also been a suggestion, although uncorroborated, that she tended to a wounded British soldier outside her door in the summer, just months before her murder.

In the years that followed the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, the Republican movement insisted Mrs McConville was an informer.

Former IRA member Brendan Hughes alleged she had only been killed after being warned to stop supplying information. However, a Police Ombudsman investigation in 2006 found no evidence to support that contention.

It also concluded the murder had not been investigated until 1995, when a minor probe was undertaken by the RUC.

After years of searching, Mrs McConville’s body was found in 2003 when heavy rain unearthed the remains at Shellinghill Beach on the Cooley peninsula, 50 miles from her home.

Dundalk midfielder Towell features for Cardiff City in victory over Chelsea and receives McPhail backing

Richie Towell (right) closes in on Chelsea goalscorer Izzy Brown in their clash at Cobham yesterday

Richie Towell (right) closes in on Chelsea goalscorer Izzy Brown in their clash at Cobham yesterday

Richie Towell featured for Cardiff City’s U-21 side in a behind closed doors friendly against Chelsea in Cobham yesterday.

The Dundalk midfielder is on trial with the Welsh side and helped them to a 2-1 victory over the Premier League table toppers.

Isaiah Brown had put Chelsea in front before Cardiff hit back with two goals in the closing eight minutes from Etien Velikonja and Tommy O’Sullivan.

Towell has vowed to return to Oriel Park next season if he fails to secure a contract across the water although Cardiff boss Russell Slade had claimed that a number of other Championship and Premier League clubs are also interested in him.

Meanwhile, former Cardiff City midfielder Stephen McPhail – who played against Towell for Shamrock Rovers on a number of occasions last season – has backed the 23-year-old to be a hit in Wales.

“I hope he does really well. He has shown, particularly over the last six months, the qualities he has,” McPhail told Wales Online.

“I’ll be watching out for how he does with City. He certainly has the ability to impress and make an impact at Championship level.”

Dundalk man targeted in Gardaí crackdown on INLA mob

garda350Armed detectives have launched one of their biggest crackdowns on the INLA terrorist mob in years after a secret operation was conducted by the Special Detective Unit in Louth recently.

Four properties were searched in the county earlier this week and a suspected dissident gang boss was later stopped by armed gardai as he drove in Tyrrellspass, Co Westmeath – but no arrests were made in the operation.

A source told the Herald: “Even though there was no arrests and nothing was seized this was an important operation – gardaí clearly need to know what these thugs are up to.”

One of the main targets of the operation is a highly feared veteran thug from Dundalk, who is suspected of involvement in terrorist offences for over three decades.

In 1986 he served six years of a 10-year prison sentence for the IR£60,000 robbery of a fuel wholesalers in Dundalk. No weapons were used in that offence.

He also has convictions for burglaries and possession of petrol bombs.

Previously the dissident Republican gave a speech at a conference in 1997 about evictions of Catholics in Northern Ireland.

These were “cowardly attacks on defenceless men, woman and children”, he said.

Soon afterwards he pleaded guilty to intimidating a woman, after being hired by her landlord to force her out of a Dublin flat.