Morgan Fuels planning new building on the Ramparts Road

Morgan-Fuels-3688Morgan Fuels (Ire) Ltd have applied to Louth County Council for planning permission to build a new four storey mixed use building at the Ramparts in Dundalk.

The company, owned by Hugh Morgan, plan for the 1,215sqm building to comprise of retail units at the ground and first floor levels (513sqm) with offices above (233sqm) and two 2 bed apartments at the third floor level.

Their application also includes the provision of an electrical sub-station, roof top plant room and site development works.

Louth County Council are due to make a decision on the matter by September 11th.

Martin named new Louth County Council chief

Joan Martin of Louth County Council

Joan Martin of Louth County Council

Earlier this week Joan Martin was appointed as the new chief executive of Louth County Council.

Ms Martin had been filling the position for the last few months since the last County Manager, Philomena Poole, left Louth to take up a position with Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

Ms Martin has previously filled in as acting County Manager following Conn Murray’s departure from Louth two years ago.

She has worked in the Irish public service for close to 40 years and holds a degree in Public Administration, as well as a Masters in Business Administration (MBA).

Amongst the areas she has worked in over the years include transportation, planning, environment and water services.

Ms Martin has been most active in recent years in the Louth Age Friendly Alliance.

Completion of six homes given the go ahead in Knockshee

One of the existing homes in Knockshee

One of the existing homes in Knockshee

BWH Developments Ltd have been granted conditional planning permission by Louth County Council to complete six houses at the Knockshee estate on the Old Golf Links Road in Haggardstown.

The homes were originally given the go ahead in 2007 but were never built due to the downturn in the building trade and property market.

However, with the market on the up again and interest in homes close to the likes of PayPal on the rise, it appears that they will be completed shortly.

The six houses include four two storey semi-detached homes and two two storey detached homes. The houses will be located at sites 1, 2, 3, 21, 22 and 23.

Market House Campus Project opens in Dunleer

Martin Naughton speaking at the opening of the Market House Campus Project in Dunleer today

Martin Naughton speaking at the opening of the Market House Campus Project in Dunleer today

Glen Dimplex founder Martin Naughton officially opened the Market House Campus Project in Dunleer.

The new community centre will benefit a number of individuals, groups and businesses in the area with a number of local politicians attending the opening including Louth TD Peter Fitzpatrick and Senator Mary Moran.

Also in attendance with local councillor Pearse McGeough was Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams, who commended all those who got the project off the ground.

He said: “I want to congratulate the Dunleer Community Development Board for its extraordinary dedication and vision in successfully renovating Market House.

This is a tremendous addition to Dunleer and will provide a first class resource for individuals, community groups, artists, educationalists and business.

I also want to commend all of those involved in supporting the project financially, including Louth County Council, the Louth Leader Partnership and Glen Dimplex.

The Market House project is an excellent example of what is possible when communities work in partnership with local stakeholders to provide a much needed resource and jobs.”


Go ahead given to convert St Brigid’s Hall into a house

St Brigid's Hall on the Point Road

St Brigid’s Hall on the Point Road

An Bord Pleanála have decided to uphold Dundalk Town Council’s decision from February of this year to grant planning permission to turn the former community hall at St Brigid’s Hall on the Point Road into a house.

As part of the application by Gerard and Alice Hoey of 13 Belfry Avenue, St Alphonsus Road, there is permission for alterations and an extension to the property.

Patrick and Monica Cheshire had appealed the decision of the council to give the development the go-ahead on the basis that they owned “a significant area of ground” that the development was due to be built on.

However, despite their appeal An Bord Pleanála decided to uphold the council’s decision of February 24th last to give the Hoey’s the go-ahead for their plans.

Another large turnout at Support Gaza Protest

Some of the crowd that gathered in the Market Square for the protest at lunchtime today. Picture: Kenneth Sloane

Some of the crowd that gathered in the Market Square for the protest at lunchtime today. Picture: Kenneth Sloane

There was another large turnout at the Market Square in Dundalk this afternoon for the second Support Gaza Protest.

Around 500 people turned out for a previous protest last week aimed at showing solidarity during the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine and the figure was estimated to be roughly similar in a sunny town centre.

Local Sinn Féin councillors have been appealing for people to boycott Israeli products during the ongoing conflict.

Firefighters battle gorse fires overnight

Dundalk and Carlingford Fire Service were called into action overnight to battle two separate gorse fires in the north of the county.

The blazes took place on both sides of the N1 dual carriageway. One was located at Feede Cross just off the off-ramp for Ravensdale, with the second further north on the northbound side of the road.

Firefighters were called to the scene around 2am and spent roughly an hour and a half bringing the gorse fires under control.

It is believed both fires were started deliberately.

Dundalk Fire Service also dealt with a hedge on fire in the Upper Faughart area of the town this morning.

About 250 metres of hedging was set alight a short distance from the graveyard just after 11am.

It’s thought the high temperatures started the blaze.

Source: LMFM

Locals amongst six dissident republicans free from jail following High Court action

Scotland Yard photo from 2003 of Robert Hulme, now 34, who was one of six dissident Republicans freed from prison today. Photograph: PA Photo/Scotland Yard/Collect

Scotland Yard photo from 2003 of Robert Hulme, now 34, who was one of six dissident Republicans freed from prison today. Photograph: PA Photo/Scotland Yard/Collect

Local brothers Aiden and Robert Hulme were amongst six dissident republicans freed from jail yesterday after bringing High Court proceedings claiming that their detention was unlawful.

The sextet – which also included fellow Dundalk men Darren Mulholland and James McCormack – had all been transferred to jails in Ireland to complete lengthy sentences for conspiring to cause explosions in Britain.

The State did not contest their applications for release, made in the wake of a significant Supreme Court judgement arising from the differences in the Irish and British sentencing regimes.

Inquiries into the legality of the detention of three other dissident republicans are due before the High Court next week.

Brothers Aiden (37) and Robert Hulme (34), Darren Mulholland (34), James McCormack (47), Anthony Hyland (41) and Liam Grogan (36) all claimed they were entitled to immediate release.

After the Supreme Court judgment of July 3rd last in the case of Vincent Sweeney, all six separately applied to the High Court for inquiries into the legality of their continued detention.

Sweeney, of Ballytivnan, Co Sligo, was jailed for 16 years in England on drug charges, with six to be served in prison and six in the community on licence. All six argued the Sweeney ruling and the position adopted by the State concerning release on licence in other cases supported their claims for immediate release. The State was enforcing sentences imposed by the English courts not compatible with Irish law, they argued.

Hyland, Grogan and Mulholland – the latter from Meadow Grove – were convicted in 1999 of conspiring to cause explosions in Britain in 1998.

The Hulme brothers and James McCormack, all from Dundalk, were convicted in 2003 of conspiring to cause explosions.

They were convicted in relation to a bomb attack outside the BBC television centre in Shepherd’s Bush, London in March 2001 and bombings of Ealing Broadway tube station in London and at Smallbrook, Queensway, Birmingham.

Local businessman believed to be behind country’s illegal cigarette trade

The Modega cigarettes seized at Castlebellingham last year

The Modega cigarettes seized at Castlebellingham last year

A local businessman – nicknamed ‘the Jackal’ – has been identified by the Sunday World newspaper as the new ‘Mr Big’ of Ireland’s booming cigarette smuggling trade.

According to the paper, the 44-year-old is believed to have netted up to €20 million flooding the country with fake fags.

He had remained under the radar for years until an incredible brush with international terror group Al Qaeda unwittingly turned him into public enemy number one in Ireland’s war on cigarette smugglers.

When a terrorist cell attacked a ship in the Suez Canal, authorities discovered among its other cargo, a shipment of nine million illicit cigarettes bound for Ireland.

The Criminal Assets Bureau linked the haul to ‘The Jackal’ and launched a probe into his financial affairs.

The suspected smuggling kingpin has no convictions for terrorist related activity but sources say he is closely linked to the Real IRA and pays a sizeable portion of his enormous profits to the terror group.

The man is reported to have been shipping in contraband on an industrial level for years. He buys containers of cheap fags in the Far East for €20,000 and makes more than €1.6 million profit on each.

The businessman, who lives outside Dundalk with what the paper described as his ‘glamorous wife’, has been buying up properties and recently purchased more than 100 acres of land near Dublin.

According to The Sunday World, the couple are regularly spotted enjoying nights out and friends believe they have simply bucked the economic trend, having emerged unscathed despite owning retail businesses that have been hard hit by the recession.

However, ‘The Jackal’, is supposedly soon to be issued with a massive seven-figure demand from the Criminal Assets Bureau, who are trawling through his banking transactions and ‘company’ accounts.

It is understood they have linked him to major shipments of contraband cigarettes from as far back as 2008 and believe he may have been smuggling for up to ten years.

The Sunday World’s sources say he has held directorships on a number of legitimate companies which he uses as a front for his operation. But he has also hijacked VAT and registration details of perfectly innocent companies and used them to get his contraband through Irish ports.

It is understood that as part of their investigations, the CAB has contacted a number of retail stores around the country who had no idea that their details were being used to clear imported goods from Vietnam and other Asian countries.

Last year, the businessman lost a major consignment when Al Qaeda terrorists fired two rockets at the Asia Cosco cargo ship as it made its way along Egypt’s Suez Canal.

They were hoping to disrupt trade in the area and even released a video of the attack on the mother ship.

But instead, they blew apart ‘The Jackal’s’ lucrative business when investigators discovered the consignment of illicit cigarettes on the damaged ship and fitted it with a tracking device.

The cigarettes were transferred to a smaller vessel in Rotterdam, which docked in Dublin port. The Emergency Response Unit, the Organised Crime Unit, CAB and Customs watched as the container was loaded onto a truck and drove north towards Co Louth followed by a jeep.

The van was stopped at Castlebellingham and four men – three men in the jeep, along with the driver of the van – were arrested.

Although ‘The Jackal’ was not at the scene, a major probe into the consignment linked it back to him and he became a target of CAB.

He has been found to have links with, among others, Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy.

Read the full story here.