Longford's Year in Review: April 2020

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Story of the month: Significant Ballymahon drugs bust

A daring attempt to escape from gardaí and armed forces resulted in disaster for two men in Ballymahon following a €200,000 drugs bust at a Main Street apartment.

When the Roscommon and Longford Divisional Drug Unit and Armed Support Unit, accompanied by local detectives and uniformed gardaí arrived at the property on Thursday, April 2, two occupants tried to make their escape out a first floor window, with one breaking his foot in the fall.

The men were arrested and appeared before a special court sitting where they were refused bail and remanded to appear at another sitting of Longford District Court.

During the course of the search, gardaí seized a significant amount of drugs which included €100,000 worth of cannabis herb, €70,000 worth of cocaine and €30,000 worth of MDMA.

Carrigy Seanad success

Longford County Council Cathaoirleach, Cllr Micheál Carrigy was delighted following his election to the Seanad in April.

Senator Carrigy, who polled 6,334 first preference votes in his maiden general election bid the previous February, was the first of nine candidates from the Industrial and Commercial Panel deemed elected.

Owing to Covid-19 restrictions, Senator Carrigy monitored the count from home and said it was nice to be able to celebrate his success with his wife Una and their children.

He described his election as a great day for Longford, pointing out that Longford is in his DNA and that as an experienced politican his ambition remains to win a Dáil seat.

Huge honour for Darren

Easter Sunday (April 12) 2020 will always be remembered fondly by Longford’s Captain Darren Reilly who had the honour of reading the Proclamation outside the GPO on Dublin's O'Connell Street, marking the 104th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

There was an eeriness to the entire commemoration as there was no public involvement this year due to the restrictions imposed to deal with the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.

The ceremony, which was broadcast live, was led by the Supreme Commander of Óglaigh na hÉireann, an tUachtarán, Michael D Higgins with the ringing of The Peace Bell at Áras an Uachtaráin and the playing of a Piper’s Lament.

This was followed by the lowering of the National Flag to half mast on the GPO rooftop, a Prayer of Remembrance by Head Chaplain to the Forces, Fr Seamus Madigan, in the GPO inner courtyard, and the reading of the Proclamation by Captain Darren Reilly in front of the GPO.

Ballinamuck native Capt Reilly said afterwards that it was “an absolute great honour to read the proclamation in front of the GPO.”

Covid-19 testing begins

Towards the end of April and with almost 100 Covid-19 cases confirmed in County Longford, the HSE announced that Connolly Barracks in Longford town would be operational as a new drive-through Covid-19 test facility.

Testing was on a rotation basis by appointment only, with the HSE stating that the facility would not be open every day. Referrals were to be made via your GP.