Posts Tagged ‘ Morocco ’

The Life And Times Of Nelson Mandela


Former South African President and anti-apartheid fighter Nelson Mandela passed away late last night at the age of 95.

He leaves behind an unforgettable legacy and one that firmly cements him among the most influential men in history.

Here, we take a look at the life of Madiba from his early days right up until yesterday evening. 

July 18, 1918 Born Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela near Qunu, in Transkei (now Eastern Cape), the youngest son of a counsellor to the chief of his Thembu clan.

1944 – Founds African National Congress (ANC) Youth League with Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu.

Marries his first wife Evelyn. They had a daughter and two sons and were divorced in 1957.

1952 – Mandela and others arrested and charged under the Suppression of Communism Act. Given suspended prison sentence.

Elected deputy national president of ANC.

1958 – Marries Winnie Madikizela. They separated in April 1992 and were divorced about four years later.

1960 – Sharpeville Massacre of black protesters by police. Continue reading

Drugs:The Scourge Of A Nation

The serious drug problem that infiltrated Ireland in the early 1990`s will never be banished from these shores. 

With the economic boom in the nineties more and more drugs became available as more people could afford them. But as the financial success gripped both our wallets and our ego`s, so too did a major problem : our own downfall. We were the main culprits in organising our downfall and spent too much money. But while everything seems to be disappearing, houses repossessed and bank accounts going into the red, one thing that remains is our drug problem.  

Indeed it has got worse, a lot worse. Drugs are more readily available now than ever before, almost everybody knows one person or another who is capable of getting their hands on “the gear” if and when its wanted. 

Prior to the Celtic Tiger, Ireland was gripped by a heroin epidemic, particularly in Dublin. In 1980`s a well known mobster by the name of Tony Felloni flooded the streets of the capital with the illegal substance. He gained notoriety when it emerged that he had used some of his children in drug dealing. They later became hooked on the drugs. 

Tony, was release from prison last week after serving 15 years behind bars. His son Luigi (37) and daughter  Regina (35) both served jail sentences after been caught aiding their father in his roaring drug trade. 

The Felloni`s were widely regarded as Ireland`s first drug dealing family, but they were the catalysts for numerous off shoot gangs that would develop at the turn of the nineties. 

Ireland`s drug problem was to be made worse by one man imparticular, John Gilligan. Gilligan, is more commonly known these days for his role in the brutal murder of journalist Veronica Guerin, however his influence in the Irish drugs market cannot be forgotten.      

Gilligan grew up in Ballyfermot where he became friendly with the Dunne gang, an armed robbery outfit that would later become drug barons. Fast forward  to 1994, Gilligan was released from Portlaoise prison after spending 4 years in jail for possession of stolen goods. It was in Portlaoise that he would make serious contacts, in the form of Charles Bowden, The Ward brothers and Peter “Fatso” Mitchell. They later formed a mob, realising there was more money and less risks involved in the drugs trade. 

Between April 1994 and October 1996 it`s estimated that Gilligan and his crew imported more than 20,000 kilos of Cannabis into Ireland. The value of the drugs was put at £40 Million. 

The gang established contacts in Amsterdam who organised shipments of the drugs from Morocco. The drugs were then brought into Ireland through Cork and brought up to Dublin. It was a highly profitable enterprise until Guerin began investigating the gang.

 Gilligan, then mad on power, assaulted the reporter after she showed up at his estate asking questions about his role in the drugs trade. Death threats followed and the gang eventually murdered the brave journalist on the Naas Road in June 1996.    

The Gilligan empire was on it`s knees after the cold calculate murder of Guerin. A long Garda investigation ensued . More than 1,400 people were interviewed, 425 searches were carried out and 214 arrests were made. Over 100 firearms and £5 Million worth of drugs were seized during searches of the gang`s homes. 

Gilligan was found not guilty of murder but received a 28 year jail term for his role in importing drugs into Ireland. He is due for release in April 2013. 

The pint sized criminal is believed to be active behind bars, with many gangs around the city believed to be associated with him and his cronies. Mitchell is also active, located in Spain, he has been known to ship vast cargo`s into the country in recent years. But Ireland`s drug problem, as grave as it is, is not only caused by the mindless scum who exist only to line their wallets. 

Some Prison officers, who we all believe exist in order to keep the peace in Irish prisons, are just as big of a problem as Gilligan, Mitchell and co. Not many of us fully understand the work of a prison officer but in its basic form we would believe that it doesn’t entail been nice or friendly to those who are justifiably behind bars. But this is not the case. 

In December of last year a 39 year old prison officer was caught smuggling drugs into Mountjoy. He was caught in possession of heroin, cocaine and cannabis as he arrived to work at 7.30 on the morning of December 19th. The drugs which were strapped to his leg were identified during a screening by security guards at the prison. He was carrying 450g of Cannabis, 350g of tablets and a quantity of cocaine and heroin.

 Mountjoy Prison operates as a drug-free regime, which aims to prevent the smuggling and use of illicit drugs.Figures released by the Department of Justice in October last showed that  there had been 1,074 seizures of drugs at Mountjoy since the start of 2009. This compares with 1,398 seizures in the other 13 prisons in the Republic combined.

Mountjoy prison however is not the only one that has had to deal with rogue employees. In February 2010, a similar incident occurred at Limerick prison. Thomas Corry (52) was convicted for 5 years  after he was detained with a bag containing cocaine, cannabis resin, 500 tranquilliser tablets, 31 mobile phones, 34 phone chargers, 22 bluetooth headsets and seven Sim cards.

It really is a sad state of affairs when prison officers, who endure a gruelling process to get the job in the first place, aid the very criminals their paid to keep under control. Tighter restrictions on all Irish jails were implemented in 2008, yet some continue to deceive the law of the land.

Our government outlawed head shops, which sold legal highs to addicts who couldn’t get their fix elsewhere. However the government`s move to do such forced those addicts onto the black market and into the hands of the very criminals we as a nation are trying to purge.

There is no quickfire answer to the drug problem that we as a country are currently enslaved to. It could take year to take up the streets but the reality of life is such that, if the demand for drugs remain, so to will the supply.