Former Dundalk chairman Des Denning passes away

Des Denning lifts the FAI Cup following Dundalk's success in 2002

Des Denning lifts the FAI Cup following Dundalk’s success in 2002

The sudden death has occurred of former Dundalk FC chairman Des Denning.

A native of Cavan, Denning was also known for his insurance business Denning Insurances, which was based in Market Street for a number of years before relocating to Bridge Street.

From the Castle Road in Dundalk, Des passed away suddenly last night.

Des Denning in more recent times with Irish soccer legend John Aldridge

Des Denning in more recent times with Irish soccer legend John Aldridge

He will be best remembered for his contribution to Dundalk FC, where he was chairman for a number of years, including during the club’s run to the 2002 FAI Cup final.

Having stepped aside from that role in May 2004 following the resignation of Trevor Anderson as manager, he later returned to the board of the club before stepping down in 2010.

Throughout the years he remained active in a number of fundraising roles, however, and was a close friend of the late Tommy McConville, who passed away last October.

Well known in Irish soccer circles, Des was also an avid Liverpool FC supporter and a keen pool player.

Sympathy is extended to his wide circle of family and friends, especially partner Regina O’Hare who is also well known at Oriel Park for heading up the security detail at the club.

High Court dismisses McKevitt legal challenge

Michael McKevitt

Michael McKevitt

The High Court has dismissed a legal challenge against a decision of the Minister for Justice refusing to release convicted IRA leader Michael McKevitt, under a scheme of enhanced remission of sentence.

However, McKevitt will now attempt to launch another challenge to his detention using an alternative legal mechanism, judicial review.

This afternoon Mr Justice Bernard Barton applied a recent Supreme Court decision, which ruled that the Minister’s decision could not be challenged using Article 40 of the Constitution.

Mr Justice Bernard Barton ruled the decision of the Minister was a valid one.

McKevitt’s lawyers immediately applied to another judge of the High Court for permission to seek a judicial review.

A ruling is expected later this evening.

Earlier today lawyers for McKevitt told the court they were withdrawing the challenge taken under Article 40  in light of the Supreme Court decision.

However, Mr Justice Bernard Barton said he would still give his judgment in the case because of the “public importance and public interest” of the case.

McKevitt, 59, from Beech Park, Blackrock, Co Louth, had sought an Article 40 inquiry under the Constitution claiming his continued detention at Portlaoise Prison is unlawful.

However, the application was overtaken by a decision of the Supreme Court which ruled an Article 40 inquiry was the incorrect legal mechanism for such challenges.

McKevitt will now seek leave to bring a judicial review of the Minister’s decision not to grant him remission of sentence.

Lawyers for McKevitt told the High Court this morning they were withdrawing the application and would instead seek a judicial review of the Minister’s decision, which the Supreme Court had ruled was the correct way to proceed with the challenge.

They said it was possible that McKevitt was still illegally detained and therefore they would be asking for leave to seek judicial review and requesting an expedited hearing.

McKevitt was jailed for 20 years in 2003 for directing terrorism and membership of the Real IRA.

He claimed he was entitled to one third remission of his sentence for good behaviour and participation in activities designed to prepare him for release.

His lawyers claimed that if proper consideration for a one third enhanced remission had been given he would already have been released by now.

Judge Barton had adjourned ruling on the matter pending the decision of the Supreme Court in a case brought by Limerick man Eddie Ryan, where a similar legal argument had been made.

Last month Ryan was released from prison after Mr Justice Max Barrett found that under Rule 59 of the 2007 Prison rules Ryan, imprisoned for possession of a pistol and ammunition, was entitled to release.

However, the Supreme Court ruled Ryan’s release by the High Court was invalid and ordered his re-arrest.

The Supreme Court held his release by way of habeas corpus under Article 40 of the Constitution was not the appropriate remedy on the issue of remission of prison sentence.

It agreed with the State, which had appealed the Ryan High Court ruling, that Ryan’s application for early release should have been brought by way of judicial review.

Reports of another broken down ambulance in the North East at the weekend

An ambulance being towed up River Lane in Dundalk earlier this year

An ambulance being towed up River Lane in Dundalk earlier this year

Sinn Féin councillor in Louth Tomás Sharkey is repeating his call for an urgent review of the suitability of the ambulance vehicles in the North East following reports that an ambulance broke down in Castlebellingham on Saturday.

In a statement to the media today, Cllr Sharkey said: “On Saturday the 30th August an ambulance broke down while carrying a patient to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. The patient has spoke to me of the incident. He had a serious injury to his eyes when the ambulance broke down at Castlebellingham. The paramedics gave him the best of care and another replacement ambulance arrived with little delay.

“This latest incident highlights the fact that our ambulances are not able to take the workload that is demanded of them. It is crucial that decent vehicles that are fit for purpose are acquired from now on,” he said.

Man hospitalised following crash at the Marshes

The scene at the Marshes Shopping Centre last night

The scene at the Marshes Shopping Centre last night

A man in his 20s was taken to hospital following a road traffic accident at the Marshes Shopping Centre last night.

The incident happened around 9pm when the BMW car he was driving left the road and crashed into the car park of the centre.

Two units of the fire service attended the scene and had to use cutting equipment to the free the man from the vehicle.

He was subsequently removed to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda with a suspected broken leg.

It marked a busy evening for the fire service who earlier on had attended a fire at a derelict house opposite St Vincent’s Secondary School in Seatown. The blaze was quickly brought under control, however, having been confined to a small area of the house.

Dundalk Railway Heritage Society walking tour

The old Quay Street train station

The old Quay Street train station

Dundalk Railway Heritage Society have organised a walking tour tomorrow (Saturday) to take in a number of key railway sites in the town.

The walk will commence at Clarke Station at 11am and should take about an hour, before ending at the new Tesco.

The event is part of Dundalk Heritage Week and all are welcome.

Local drivers warned about petrol-stretching

Senator Mary Moran

Senator Mary Moran

Labour Senator Mary Moran has warned motorists in the area to be cognisant of the dangers of ‘petrol-stretching’, which involves fuel being illegally contaminated with kerosene.

She said: “In recent days, there have been reports of cars across the midlands, west and border regions having their engines severely damaged due to petrol-stretching.

“Petrol-stretching involves a supplier adding up to 10 percent kerosene to petrol before it is being sold on to unwitting drivers. It is seen to be more dangerous than laundered diesel because of the speed at which it can damage an engine.

“I would urge all motorists in Louth, particularly those with smaller engines, to be cognisant of this potentially serious threat of petrol stretching. Watch out for the key signs that your car has been affected, including a lack of power, misfiring of the engine and a knocking noise. Customers who notice any of these should immediately alert a mechanic and the petrol station they last visited.

“According to the authorities, the petrol is being mixed with kerosene after it arrives into a county, and identifying the culprits is proving difficult due to the multitude of suppliers.

“However, I am aware that an investigation involving the Revenue, Customs and Excise Officers, and the Gardai is looking into this worrying new trend.”

Over €2m spent by Louth homeowners on their houses under the Government’s Home Renovation Incentive

Homeowners in Co Louth have spent just over €2m doing up their homes since last October, according to new figures,

A total of 119 jobs were carried out in the county on renovations and extensions under the Government’s Home Renovation Incentive, which was introduced in last year’s Budget.

Despite this, the total number of works and estimated value of those works in Co Louth was the fourth lowest in the country, with only Cavan/Longford/Monaghan, Sligo and Westmeath carrying out less jobs or spending less.

In total €2,000,965 was spent in Louth since last October.

The tax break provides relief to homeowners where 13.5% of the spend is returned by way of an income tax credit paid over two years.

It runs until December 2015.

The minimum investment is €4,405, excluding VAT, up to a maximum of €30,000. The tax relief ranges from €595 to €4,050.

“Dangerous” x-ray equipment stolen in Dundalk

The x-ray device stolen in Dundalk

The x-ray device stolen in Dundalk

A piece of x-ray equipment described as “dangerous” has been stolen in the area.

Gardaí are investigating the theft of a handheld x-ray fluorescent metal analyser from a van in a hotel car park in Dundalk.

The device is described as “valuable” and “dangerous”.

A Garda spokesman said: “Gardai in Dundalk would like to advise the public that this device emits radiation, is dangerous and should only be used by trained personnel.

“The device was in a case when taken.”

Gardaí added that the white van had been parked at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Green Park, off the Inner Relief Road, when the item was stolen sometime between 10pm on Wednesday and 9am on Thursday.

Anyone with more information has been asked to come forward.

NPPR letter recipients asked to email Louth County Council immediately

Cllr Tomás Sharkey

Cllr Tomás Sharkey

Sinn Féin councillor in Louth Tomás Sharkey is calling on everybody in Louth who received a letter about the Non Principal Private Residents’ tax (commonly known as the second home tax) to contact the council as soon as possible and to make sure they get an acknowledgement.

Commenting on the matter, Cllr Sharkey said: “Louth County Council sent a lot of letters to residents in the last month. Most recipients that I have met are not liable for the second home tax but it is still vital that they respond to the letter by calling the council or emailing a special address on

“Anybody who is liable for the NPPR tax should certainly contact the council in the same manner.

“This new email address ( will give an automatic response as follows: ‘Your correspondence has been received.  Please note that all correspondence with regard to NPPR received before midnight on 31st August 2014 will be dealt with as having been received in advance of deadline.’