Video: Woman jailed for harassing former TD, fraud crimes double, grocery spend increase

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Kenneth Fox

Protocol row

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has rejected British prime minister Boris Johnson’s claim that he does not see a major diplomatic row erupting over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Mr Johnson is attending the G7 summit in Germany alongside EU leaders, and indicated that the controversial topic is not making priority conversation.


He added that he is not expecting a major diplomatic row over the UK government’s plans.

'Vicious' attack

A man who “viciously” attacked an acquaintance in an attack of “breathtaking savagery”, leaving his victim with a traumatic brain injury, has been jailed for five years.

Jamie Heffernan (22) took it upon himself to attack the victim, Aaron Murdiff, after he learned Mr Murdiff had attacked his cousin earlier that night, Judge Orla Crowe told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Monday.

Heffernan was captured on CCTV chatting in the early hours with the victim before another man approached, and the atmosphere changed, the court heard.


Harassment campaign

A woman who waged a campaign of harassment against a former Sinn Féin TD by phoning and texting him over 5,500 times over a six-month period and sending him a picture of a rat when he made a complaint to gardaí has been jailed for two years.

Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard that Sonya Egan (42) of The Lawn, Lios Cara, Killeens, Co Cork, sent thousands of emails to former Cork North Central TD Jonathan O’Brien. After sending him a picture of a rat she posted on social media: "You don't rat on a Republican."

She also bombarded local community activist and businesswoman Laura O’Connell with messages, and posed as a barrister when she first met her. Egan donned robes and claimed she had come from family court when they made an arrangement to meet over coffee.

Fraud crimes

Fraud crime in Ireland nearly doubled in the year to the end of March, according to the latest recorded crime statistics from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).


Some 17,354 incidents were recorded in the 12-month period, compared to just over 9,200 the year before – an increase of 88 per cent.

The CSO said the increase was largely driven by unauthorised transactions and attempts to obtain personal or banking information online or by phone.

Grocery spend increase

Take-home grocery sales fell by 4.9 per cent in the 12-week period to June 12th as grocery price inflation hit 6.5 per cent, the highest level since February 2013.

The latest data from Kantar revealed rising prices could see average annual grocery bills increase by €453, €100 higher than the figure predicted in early May.


Some of the sharpest price increases were noted in essential items, including butter, eggs, bread and flour.

Kantar found shoppers are now, on average, taking three fewer trips to the supermarket compared to the same time last year.

Mental health issues

Over 40 per cent of Irish adults have a mental health disorder, while more than one in 10 have attempted suicide, according to a recent study.

The research, conducted by Maynooth University, National College of Ireland (NCI) and Trinity College Dublin, found 42 per cent of the 1,100 adults involved met diagnostic requirements for at least one mental health disorder.


Insomnia was the most common disorder noted (15 per cent), while major depression disorder (12 per cent), alcohol use disorder (9 per cent) and generalised anxiety disorder (7 per cent) were also among the most prevalent.

Arsonist jailed

An arsonist who admitted killing a man after a garda cold case review of a 2006 blaze in Kilkenny has been jailed for 11 years for manslaughter.

The court was previously told that a woman who had given her then partner Martin Kelly an alibi during the investigation into the fatal fire in 2006 later came forward and changed her statement after he started a relationship with another woman.

Martin Kelly has amassed 196 convictions - including those involving violence and criminal damage by fire - and is deemed to be at high risk of reoffending..

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