Big-time crime: Hunting down the self-styled ‘untouchables’

Our man Frank on the ongoing fight against serious crime; A big GAA weekend for Creggs; The greed of some within the hospitality sector…and the joys of cleaning out the attic!

I have to say that the world of organised crime fascinates me. When you read of the unbelievable wealth of people like the Kinahan gang from the distribution and sale of drugs, it’s hard for an ordinary ‘two and sixpence’ to take it all in.

This week the arrest of one of their big players (in every way, physical included) Johnny Morrissey, who was allegedly laundering €350,000 a day for the Kinahans as well as millions more for different crime gangs, once again shone a light on the obscene wealth and lifestyles of the underworld gang members.

Morrissey reportedly owns two villas in Spain, one worth €5 million and the other one worth €3 million, properties which he allegedly rented out to holiday-makers for €6,000 a week. By all accounts he thought he was untouchable. He was, however, mistaken – and is presently stuck in a small cell in a Spanish prison.

However, the Kinahans and their likes are only the figureheads of all these gangs, and there are huge numbers of lower profile figures making sure that drugs have infiltrated every part of our modern society.

It is indicative of the way the drug culture has taken over that the seizure of almost half a million euro worth of cannabis plants in Ballygar last week barely got a few lines in the local papers, and none at all in the dailies.

Way back, when we were beginning to socialise, the only danger was alcohol, and even that wasn’t as tempting as it is now because there were no shots or cocktails. But nowadays, the temptation to do drugs is everywhere, and it must be hard enough for our young people to stay away from them. Throw in the enormous sums of money that can be made from the drug trade, and it is hardly surprising that kids from all walks of life find themselves sucked into working as drug mules.

The good thing is that the Gardaí seem to be having lots of success against gangs like the Kinahans. Hopefully in time they will get rid of them entirely. The only thing is that whenever a gangland figure bites the dust, it seems there is always someone new to step in.


And your hosts are…a special occasion at Creggs GAA Club

It’s Sunday evening as I write, and after spending last week in the red-hot temperatures of Spain, it was great to get back to normal. Back here in Creggs, it’s been a huge weekend of championship football.

On Saturday, as a sort of recognition for the superb new facilities that we now have, our club played host to a senior football championship encounter between Roscommon Gaels and Michael Glavey’s. While the game itself was not the close and exciting affair that we hoped for (the Gaels won comfortably), the occasion was very special for all those who keep Creggs GAA Club alive and moving forward.

A large crowd turned up, but the stewards did a great job. The whole thing ran like clockwork, and there were no problems with traffic congestion or parking. It all passed off as smoothly as we could have hoped for.

A few years ago, the family of the late New York-based Patsy Keegan (brother of Creggs legend, the late Sean ‘Bags’ Keegan) donated very generous sponsorship to our club to erect a scoreboard in his memory. Saturday’s game saw it in place for the very first time. In fairness, the Gaels made sure it was in perfect working order, as they posted the very respectable score of four goals and fifteen points to 2-8 from the Ballinlough men.

Sunday then saw us heading for the Hyde, where our local lads were taking on our neighbours, Fuerty, in the Intermediate Club Championship. The truth is we saw up close just why Fuerty are, along with St. Dominic’s, favourites to take the title.

At the final whistle there was ten points between the teams, and while certain things didn’t go our way, there could be no doubt that Fuerty set the bar very high and were well worthy of their win. I have no doubt they are the best team in the competition, and, a bit like Manchester City in the Premier League, it’s hard to see them losing.

As for our lads, they now go into the play-off draw for the quarter-finals. Three teams go into the hat, with one team getting a bye into the quarters, while the other two play each other in order to progress further. I hope we don’t get a bye and instead have another game next weekend to get this performance out of our system. If we don’t win the play-off, we don’t deserve to go any further anyway. The game itself was uneventful and I kept my recent promise of never once shouting at the referee – one down, but hopefully many more to go.

*It’s now Monday morning as I write, and I’ve just heard that Creggs actually got the bye into the quarter-finals! So we just have to re-focus, get back on the horse as they say, and be ready for whoever we meet in a fortnight’s time.


All kinds of everything…in the attic!

On Friday last, our son Paul and I started on what we thought would be a handy enough job, i.e. clearing out the attic. As it turns out, nothing could have been further from the truth.

If ever we found out that we really are a nation of hoarders, we discovered it that day. You would not believe all the stuff that we had put up there over the years, from old discarded cases to cardboard boxes, all kinds of broken electrical items, bags of old shoes, and at least twenty bags of old clothes. There were also some items which confused us; we had no idea when we bought them, or even what they were for!

As Friday was a very warm day, by the time we were finished we had worked up a good sweat and were definitely a few pounds lighter. In the end anyway, we got most of it out of the way.

This all comes to mind as the good lads from Warm N Cosy Homes are currently here – in that very same attic – to do whatever they do! Actually, they’re busy insulating the attic and pumping the walls to make sure we are warm and cosy (sorry lads) during the coming winters.

At the time of writing, I haven’t received any complaints from the lads about said attic, but I am waiting to hear from them – because we left a couple of items, including the Christmas tree, behind us.

Anyway, I think we will have them for a couple of days, but hopefully when all the drilling is done and everything is sorted, we will feel the benefit of it all when the ice and snow is on the ground.


Garth, hotels, and the money!

Once again it appears some in the hospitality sector outdid themselves when it came to increasing hotel prices around Dublin, with rates of up to €1,400 being charged for a room over the Garth Brooks concert weekends. Such greed should be stamped out. Is it any wonder some tourists regard us as a no go area?

Garth himself says he wants to come back at some stage. To be fair, if I generated as many millions as he did here (in my entire life, never mind five nights), I’d want to come back as well!


And finally…

Marie Fitzmaurice asks me to remind you all that the Glinsk ladies group invite you to Glinsk Community Centre on this Sunday, 25th of September to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the annual Galway Hospice fundraiser. It’s all happening between 3 pm and 5 pm and the ladies will be providing free teas and coffees and sweet treats. They invite the community to partake in a virtual walk in aid of Hospice and all donations will be entered in a free raffle.

There will be a donation box with raffle tickets in Dowd’s of Glinsk. The ladies really appreciate your support. So don’t forget, head to Glinsk Community Centre on Sunday after the dinner; don’t bother with dessert as there will be loads of free goodies waiting there for you (just don’t eat too much!).