Gardaí want specialist anti-terror training

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Rank and file gardaí want specialist anti-terror training several times per year because they will be the first to the scene of any terrorist incident in Ireland.

The Garda Representative Association said low-cost terrorism, such as the attacks that saw trucks driven into crowds in Nice, London and Stockholm, could occur in the Republic.

And if such an Islamist extremist incident occurred, unarmed uniform gardaí would be the first line of response yet they had not training to deal with such incidents.

Garda James Morrisroe, from the Garda’s Cavan-Monaghan division, said there was no reason to believe the Republic was immune from the growing terrorist risk across Europe.

“Following the attack in Stockholm, there is no reason why Ireland, as a modern, democratic and neutral country, would not be at risk”, he told delegates at the GRA’s annual conference in Salthill, Galway.

And with lone wolf low-cost attacks requiring little planning or financing, it was vital the Garda was more prepared than at present to deal the aftermath of such an incident.

Rank and file officers in all other European countries had been given anti-terrorism training by their police forces.

This would include managing the scene of a major incident in a public place and would encompass learning how to best divert crowds from risk or evacuating large areas quickly and safely.

The speedy erection of security cordons, for example, may be the difference between an attacker being caught by or evading gardaí.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/rank-and-file-garda%C3%AD-want-specialist-anti-terror-training-1.3060847

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Polish migrant jailed for six years for manslaughter

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A 35-year-old woman who stabbed her housemate and former partner to death has been jailed for six years at the Central Criminal Court.

After the killing, Monika Matracka hid 38-year-old Michal Rejmer’s body in the back garden of the house they shared and destroyed evidence in what her defence team called “bizarre and outrageous behaviour”.

She was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter by a majority jury verdict in February.

Matracka, with an address at The Pines, Briarfield, Castletroy, Limerick had pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Rejmer at that address at a time unknown between 8pm on December 30 and midnight on December 31, 2015.

Today, Mr Justice Paul Butler imposed a six year sentence on Matracka.

Outlining the facts of the case, Mr Justice Butler said Matracka and Mr Rejmer were previously in a relationship which had ended for some time and they had continued to live together.

The judge said Mr Rejmer left work in McDonald’s on December 30, 2015 and after a considerable search his body was found in the back garden of the rented accommodation.

He said Matracka made admissions to Mr Rejmer’s killing in the back of a garda patrol car after her arrest.

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/woman-who-stabbed-housemate-and-former-partner-to-death-jailed-for-six-years-35649209.html

 

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Failed asylum seeker secures injunction temporarily halting deportation

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A father-to-be has secured a High Court injunction temporarily halting his removal from the State.

The man, a failed asylum seeker who cannot be identified for legal reasons, claims his right to human dignity would be breached if he was to be deported so close to the birth of his and his Irish partner’s first child.

The man’s partner, the High Court heard, is due to give birth in the coming days and the couple would be “devastated” if the man was forced to leave Ireland.

Seeking an injunction to prevent his deportation until his action has been determined by the High Court, the man claims that the constitutional rights of the couple and the unborn child must be considered by the State given the circumstances of the instant case.

The injunction was granted on an ex parte basis where only one side was present at a vacation sitting of the High Court on Thursday by Ms Justice Úna Ní Raifeartaigh.

The case raises similar legal arguments to those considered in a judgment by Mr Justice Richard Humphreys in July of last year concerning the rights of the unborn.

In March, the man’s lawyers wrote to the Minister for Justice asking that the deportation order be revoked and that an undertaking be given that he not be deported until that request had been determined.

No undertaking was given and the man, fearing his deportation was imminent, has brought proceedings against the Minister for Justice and Equality, Ireland and the Attorney General.

He seeks a declaration that the implementation of the deportation order before a determination has been made in respect of his application to have the exclusion order revoked would be unlawful.

Counsel said that deporting the man would be disproportionate, and that the failure to consider the application to revoke the order was unreasonable, irrational and unlawful.

After granting the injunction Ms Justice Ní Raifeartaigh also gave the man’s lawyers permission to bring judicial review proceedings aimed at having the deportation order set aside.

The judge made the matter returnable to April 24th next when the new legal term commences.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/courts/high-court/man-claims-deportation-would-breach-unborn-child-s-rights-1.3048002

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Failed asylum seeker secures injunction against deportation as his child is about to be born

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A FATHER-TO-BE has secured a High Court injunction temporarily halting his removal from the state.

The man, a failed asylum seeker who cannot be identified for legal reasons, claims his right to human dignity would be breached if he was to be deported so close to the birth of his and his Irish partner’s first child.

The man’s partner, the High Court heard, is due to give birth in the coming days and the couple would be “devastated” if the man was forced to leave Ireland.

Seeking an injunction to prevent his deportation until his action has been decided upon by the High Court, the man claims that the constitutional rights of the couple and the unborn child must be considered by the State given the circumstances of the case.

The injunction was granted on an ex-parte basis where only one side was present at a vacation sitting of the court today, presided over by Justice Úna Ní Raifeartaigh.

The case raises similar legal arguments to those considered in a judgement by Justice Richard Humphreys in July of last year concerning the rights of the unborn.

The judge, in a case also brought by man challenging a deportation order on the basis his Irish partner was about to give birth to their child, found “unborn” means an “unborn child” with rights extending beyond the right to life under Article 40.3.3 (the 1983 anti-abortion amendment of the Constitution).

That judgement has been appealed by the State and is pending before the Supreme Court.

At today’s sitting barrister Paul Ó Shea, instructed by Brian Burns of Burns, Kelly, Corrigan solicitors, for the man said deportation in this case would amount to “an unlawful interference” with the Constitutional and European Convention rights of his client, the man’s partner and their unborn child.

The man fled his native country twenty years ago because of a “blood feud” with an uncle who had been involved with a political party. After hiding out for several years the man arrived in Ireland.

After his application for asylum was refused a deportation order was issued in respect of the man, who is aged in his 30s. Fearful that he might suffer serious harm in his native country he evaded deportation.

However before the deportation order was issued the man says he met an Irish woman who he “fell deeply in love with and remains in love with her”.

http://www.thejournal.ie/injunction-deportation-baby-3340262-Apr2017/

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A quarter of Irish fishing vessels caught with illegal workers

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A QUARTER OF Irish fishing vessels that were inspected by the state were caught with illegal workers on board last year, new figures show.

The investigation comes amid claims that a system for giving permits to fishing workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) – introduced in an attempt to regulate the sector – is ineffective and that exploitation is still rife.

A former minister who helped set up the scheme says many workers are doing 100-hour weeks and only being paid for a standard 39 hours, while a key union official claims employers still aren’t properly held to account.

There are also suggestions that thousands of undocumented workers could still be employed in Irish waters.

In 2015, an investigation by the Guardian found that workers from Africa and Asia were routinely being employed illegally on Irish fishing trawlers and were being exploited as a source of cheap labour.

It claimed that undocumented workers often worked for days on end without sleep or basic safety training, while often being paid below the minimum wage.

Ken Fleming, an official from the International Transport Federation who helped the Guardian during its investigation, said that the permit scheme has proved ineffective.

Speaking to Fora, he said: “There is no one that can convince me that the permit scheme is working.

“The boat owners are being cuddled with the policy of encouragement to make people comply. Is that the way we get rid of drunk drivers, by encouraging and cuddling them? It’s a joke.”

Fleming also said that he “didn’t accept” that 25% of vessels had illegal workers on board – and claimed that the figure was likely much higher.

As of the end of March, just 187 permits that would allow staff to legally work in the fishing industry for a year have been granted.

http://www.thejournal.ie/fishing-vessels-illegal-workers-3331949-Apr2017/

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Organised gang of Eastern European thieves operating in Ireland

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A major investigation is ongoing into an Eastern European criminal gang which targeted businesses in rural Ireland, stealing high-end goods and taking them to Lithuania.

Limerick Circuit Court yesterday heard Europol, Interpol and gardaí are involved in tracking the international professional burglary gang which has carried out robberies with “military precision” in Munster.

Gang member Aurimas Petraska pleaded guilty to a string of major burglaries when he appeared before the court yesterday.

The court heard the burglaries involved the theft of €150,000 of women’s clothing and Chanel beauty products from boutiques and pharmacies across the region.

Prosecuting counsel Michael Collins told the court the gang acted with “military precision”.

“Dressed in black fatigues, wearing head lights”, the gang were seen on CCTV footage inside the premises they robbed “checking their watches at regular intervals”.

The gang timed their robberies to perfection, he said. “They were highly sophisticated… in and out in six minutes.”

The women’s clothing, worth €80,000 and stolen from Isobel Boutique, Adare, Co Limerick, was conveyed to a Dublin logistics company to be shipped to Lithuania.

Petraska admitted transforming “cheap” cars into battering rams, capable of smashing through the premises.

Petraska had several previous convictions – namely for theft and public order offences. The court was told he dropped out of a university course in his native Lithuania, and came to Ireland in 2005.

Petraska was paid around €3,000 for each robbery. He did not disclose the identity of the gang boss.

Sentencing for Petraska was adjourned until May.

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/highly-sophisticated-eastern-european-thieves-making-a-fortune-in-burglaries-targeting-rural-ireland-35605436.html

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‘Low-cost’ terror ‘key challenge for EU’

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Preventing “low-cost” terrorism involving a vehicle or a knife is a key challenge for European law and order agencies, the EU security commissioner said in Dublin yesterday.

Julian King said recent atrocities, in St Petersburg and London, were “attacks on our shared European values”. He said the four people killed and the 50 people injured in the Westminster attack a fortnight ago were from 11 countries.

“One of the injured was Irish and another victim probably owes his life to the fast-thinking and responses of an Irishwoman who performed CPR on him until the emergency services arrived on the scene,” said Mr King.

The European Commissioner for the Security Union told the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin that the London attack occurred on the first anniversary of the Brussels atrocity.

“France, Belgium and Germany have all suffered in a two-year cycle of Islamist terror on European soil,” he said. “These were attacks on our shared European values by people seeking to destroy our way of life.”

He said the threat from terrorism was nothing new and many European countries have had to deal with it in the past. However, he said the jihadi-inspired threat from IS was different because it wanted to eradicate the European way of life.

“The risk of a terrorist attack will remain high in the coming months and years, particularly as events in Syria, Iraq and indeed Libya unfold — with the prospect that some foreign terrorist fighters will attempt to return to the EU with the intention of planning and executing potential future attacks,” he said.

An estimated 30 Irish citizens have travelled to Syria and Libya to fight over the years, but many are known to have joined non-IS groups and at least five have died.

Khalid Kelly was the most recent reported death, in a thwarted suicide mission in Iraq, last November. He was one of the first Irish people reported as having fought for IS.

However, there have been court cases here involving people linked to IS, including a man purported to be their main recruiter here who was deported last July.

Mr King said: “Estimates vary, but around 2,000 European Union citizens who travelled to fight with ISIS remain there.

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/low-cost-terror-key-challenge-for-eu-447057.html

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