In Short

Wed, Jun 3, 2009, 01:00

A round-up of other home news in brief

Contaminated drink kills Irish woman

A young Irish woman has died in Indonesia, apparently after consuming a contaminated local drink that has claimed some 20 lives in recent weeks.

It is suspected that Rachel Craig (25) drank arak, a palm wine, which was spiked with the chemical methanol, while holidaying on the island of Bali.

Ms Craig, from Drogheda, Co Louth, and her partner, a Dutch man, died after they drank arak while travelling in the region. It is understood the couple died on Saturday.

It is estimated that over 20 people have died from arak poisoning over the past two weeks in Bali and neighbouring Lombok. More than 50 people visiting the areas have been taken ill as a result of consuming the drink.

Three more held over killing

Gardaí investigating the shooting dead of a man in a row over drug money have arrested three more people for questioning, writes Conor Lally, Crime Correspondent

The arrests bring to five the number of people questioned about the killing in Bray, Co Wicklow, in the early hours of last Friday morning.

The victim, 32-year-old Charles Sinanapayen, died from his injuries at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, at 2am on Monday. He had been on a life support machine since being shot at an apartment in Bray at 1am last Friday.

The three suspects being held, two men and a woman, were arrested in Bray yesterday morning. They are being questioned at Bray Garda station under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Two men who were arrested on Monday have been released without charge. Gardaí are preparing a file on them for the DPP.

Mr Sinanapayen, from Bordeaux, France, was in bed in an apartment he shared with his partner at Richmond Hill, Bray, when the attack took place.

He heard somebody outside and went to investigate. When he went to the bedroom window a man standing on an external stairway shot him. He was wounded in the upper body and face.

Mr Sinanapayen was not known to gardaí. However, he had an association with a relative of a major drug dealer from Bray.

Gardaí believe the attack on Mr Sinanapayen is linked to the drugs trade in Bray.

Bail for girl (17) in fatal fire case

A 17-year-old girl arrested on suspicion of murdering an 85-year-old Irish woman has been bailed for a further six weeks, writes Phil Campion

Irene Herring, who was originally from Cobh, Co Cork, died in the Conquest Hospital, Hastings, Sussex after a fire in her room at the Ancaster Court nursing home in Bexhill, Sussex on February 1st.

Firefighters put out the blaze in her room but she died three days later of pneumonia and a postmortem revealed the illness was brought on by smoke inhalation.

Police launched a murder inquiry with 25 officers investigating the incident and the teenager, from Bexhill, was arrested by detectives on February 9th.

Student fined for managing brothel

A Chinese student who ran a brothel in Knocklyon, Co Dublin has been fined €500 and received a three-month suspended sentence in Tallaght Court.

The court heard that the brothel run by Mei Zhou offered “services” ranging from massage to oral and full sex.

DUP denounces defecting councillors

The DUP denounced two councillors who have left the party, as another DUP councillor announced last night he, too, was quitting the party to rejoin the Ulster Unionists. It was the third defection in 24 hours, writes Dan Keenan

Dungannon councillor Harry Greenaway quit the DUP for the Ulster Unionists while Ballymena councillor Deirdre Nelson left for the local branch of the British Conservatives. Both said they were motivated by unhappiness over DUP policy.

Lord Maurice Morrow, the DUP leader on Dungannon council, said he was not surprised by Mr Greenaway’s defection. “The DUP had been reviewing Harry’s position in the council due to his minimal input. Indeed, I can’t recall Harry making a single speech in council since his election in 2005.”

The DUP accused Ms Nelson of being “a reject and an opportunist”.

Last night former Belfast High Sheriff Jim Kirkpatrick left the DUP for the Ulster Unionists, accusing senior DUP members of caring more about dynasty building and expense claims than voters.

McGrady defends £17,000 hotel bills

SDLP MP Eddie McGrady has defended his Westminster expenses, stating he is the lowest claimant of living away from home allowances of all the North’s 18 MPs. He made his statement after the Daily Telegraphreported that in the past four years the South Down MP claimed more than £17,000 for hotel accommodation in London.

The newspaper also reported that in one instance he claimed £2,572 for food, laundry and telephone bills over eight nights. The bill was rejected.

Mr McGrady said that he claimed hotel bills because he did not have a second home in London.

East Link holds up tall ships

Three tall ships which were part of last weekend’s Dublin Docklands Maritime Festival were delayed leaving Dublin yesterday because of a fault with the lifting East Link Toll Bridge.

The bridge failed to lift at 2.30pm to allow the Lord Nelson, Kathleen Mayand Loth Lorienships to leave.

Kurds in Dublin on hunger strike

Seven Kurdish immigrants began a hunger strike in Dublin yesterday to protest against the arrest of two Kurdish leaders in Spain.

They said their action, which began at the European Union building at Dawson Street at 11.30am yesterday, would continue until tomorrow.