Green Letterbox.com provides new means of delivery

Credit Greenletterbox.com

Credit greenletterbox.com

Founded by Nick Keegan and Marcin Jernas in February 2013, Green Letterbox.com is a free online, postal system which is making strides in the Irish mailing industry. It is a service that allows its customers to receive post through a secure, confidential digital post-box.

Customers are asked to register their home address for digital postal mail. Green Letterbox.com then creates a secure connection between their service providers and their digital post-box so that providers can send their customers an electronic version of their document rather than a paper document.

The basic service is free for customers. Green Letterbox.com then makes its profits by charging organisations that send the letters digitally a small fee.

Despite setting up a new service in the midst of a global recession CEO Nick Keegan is pleased with the progress his company has made. “We have had huge growth, phenomenal.” Keegan also confirmed that his business was “on course to reach our targets.”

Keegan highlights the “digital” and “secure” nature of the service as some of the benefits of their service as well as the usefulness for customers who no longer, “have to manage paper.” The company also has an app which allows customers to use the service on their phone.

Furthermore the company emphasises its positive effect on the environment as the traditional mail industry consumes vast amounts of paper and ink every day.

Whilst Keegan is happy with the company’s progress to date he has admitted that there are difficulties in setting up such a service. “It is a difficult market to set up in. Between getting stakeholders on board and getting customers to buy into the service, it’s a balancing act.”

Green Letterbox.com is located at the IDA Business Park, Poppintree, Dublin 11. Further information can also be found on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

John Lillis

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Court hears how unemployment led man to deal drugs

Credit Courts.ie

Credit northernsound.ie

A Dublin man was sentenced to 10 years for the possession of 2,500 ecstasy tablets, 58 kilos of cannabis, and 1.25 kilos of cocaine at the Dublin Circuit Court today.

The drugs were seized from his house in Finglas in March 2012, along with €144,000 in cash.

Christopher Seery (34) presented himself in Finglas Garda station the day following the seizure.

Sergeant Shane McCarthy told the court gardai were “convinced” Seery was holding the majority of the drugs and cash for associates.

He said gardai did not want Seery to take responsibility for all the seized drugs. Seery would not say who he was holding the drugs and cash for however, because he “didn’t want to put his kids’ lives in danger.”

A firearm was discharged at Seery’s front door following his release on bail. McCarthy said it was “possible he (Seery) is being held accountable for the loss of the drugs and cash.”

Reluctance to name associates aside, McCarthy said Seery was “candid” during questioning, and cooperated fully with gardai.

He told gardai he had been selling cannabis for approximately one year, and ecstasy and cocaine for approximately for three months.

He became “very emotional” during questioning, and “broke down crying, saying he should have followed his family’s advice.”

McCarthy said Seery had a “good, respectable family background”, and had made “a few bad decisions.”

He has three brothers and five sisters, none of whom are known to the gardai.

The court heard Seery had been employed as a roofer until 2009, when the downturn in the economy contributed to his losing his job. His wife had been employed by a pharmaceutical company until 2010.

Unemployed, he started taking cocaine and mixing with criminals. During questioning, he told gardai he saw an opportunity to make money and began dealing.

In sentencing, Justice Martin Nolan took into account Seery’s guilty plea, his cooperation with gardai, his employment history, and his relationship with his wife and three children.

He noted Seery’s criminal record comprised five offences not related to drug dealing and that the offences had been committed some time ago.

He accepted there were two component parts to the cash and drugs seized: drugs Seery was selling for his own profit, and drugs and cash he was holding for others.

In handing Seery a ten year sentence however, he said he had to consider the amount of drugs seized, Seery’s “deep involvement” with drug dealing, and the “appetite for cash he displayed.”

He said Seery had made a “reprehensible misjudgement.”

Eoghan McNeill

Jewellery shop owner threw chair at gun-wielding thief

Credit P. Lisarelli

Credit Pier Paulo Lisarelli

Greene’s Jewellers on Aungier Street has opened its smashed door again to the public following an armed raid yesterday evening.

Two males entered the premises just after 5.00pm last night and held two staff members at gunpoint before making off with €15,000 to €20,000 worth of gold rings.

Speaking to News Anois, co-owner Karl Ryan said that getting the business back up and running was necessary.

“It’s our livelihood. We have to get reopened.”

To protect his livelihood, Karl Ryan threw a swivel chair at the raider holding a gun on him. “That was my first reaction.”

Admitting that it was an error in judgement, he was forced to comply with the raiders’ demands and allow them to take three displays of jewellery from the shop window.

jewellery2

Credit Pier Paulo Lisarelli

“In the jewellery trade, you’re always aware that [theft] is inevitable.”

This is the first theft the jewellery shop has suffered that involved a firearm. Previous thefts have involved syringes and hammers. “That was maybe thirteen/fourteen years ago,” he said.

As well as the costly loss of the gold rings, the shop also needs to deal with the cost of repairing the damage done to the premises, which could be as high as €2,000.

Security is also on the shop’s list of priorities. “The security that we do have did the job, but we have other devices we can look into.”

As of yet, the gardaí have no leads and are appealing for information from anyone who may have witnessed the incident. They are asked to contact Pearse Street Station 01 666 9000 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

Lauren O’Halleron

Seanad reform begins

Credit Irishtimes.ie

Credit irishtimes.ie

The Government plans to have a bill debated in the Oireachtas this side of Christmas that will abolish the NUI and Trinity College constituencies.

This Bill will see the departure of the two existing three-seat university constituencies and the introduction of one six-seat constituency that will be open for all third-level graduates to vote for.

This proposed reform comes after the defeat of the referendum to abolish the Seanad in October of this year.

Following this defeat Taoiseach Enda Kenny promised to immediately begin a process of reforming the political house which has come under much scrutiny in the past in terms of its members, voting system and general purpose.

This proposed reform, in advance of any wider reform is likely to provoke a negative reaction from the existing university Senators.

The reaction amongst students today in relation to this news has been mainly positive. One DIT student claimed the current system is “elitist, unfair and ridiculous.”

Trinity College students, NUI students and graduates in the majority of third tier institutions have also welcomed this change. One former Trinity student said today “It’s a step forward, I’m delighted to see the Seanad finally being reformed, for far too long it has been an old fashioned, redundant waste of government time and tax payers money.”

It is expected Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan, who has prepared this legislation, will seek the approval of his Cabinet colleagues in relation to this in the next few weeks, possibly as early as today.

Ann-Marie Donelan

Is attending a private school a genuine advantage getting into third level?

LEAGUE TABLES

Credit schooldays.ie

As a response to the annual publication of the Irish Times’ league tables, which found an advantage to attending a fee-paying school, we asked several DIT students their thought on the matter:

Georgia Dunne (Business and French):

“It depends on the individual, whether the school suits them or not. I don’t believe it does make a difference. You get what you give whether you’re in a private school or not.”

Colin O’Donovan (Masters in Marketing):

“I do feel students from private schools have a definite advantage. There’s a private school in my area. People go up an extra one hundred points going there-it’s almost just a series of intense daily grinds. There is nothing wrong with public schools but private schools definitely give an advantage. Public school students can be distracting to each other, private school students tend to be more focused.”

Dónal Murray (Architecture):

“I think in private schools there is less trouble, less anti-social behaviour than what my friends in public schools experienced so that is advantageous. There’s an advantage not in terms of their education but in terms of facilities. You hear horror stories about public schools; there was a stabbing in my friend’s year in a local public school.”

Sean Hannon (Hospitality Management):

“Absolutely-private schools are massive networking opportunities. People who go into certain sectors will keep in touch with, and help each other out. The rugby club in my old school hold an event every year, for instance. Being part of an alumni is seen a business opportunity.”

Michael McManus (Business and Management):

“Yeah I definitely got a good education by going to a private school; I think it really benefited me over all. If push comes to shove I wouldn’t hesitate to go back and use the connections I made there.”

Katie Byrne (Law):

“No I don’t think it made a difference paying for education. If you’re willing to put in the work you will succeed either way.”

Hannah Popham

Minister for Justice condemns hate mail sent to members of the Muslim community

Credit WikiCommons

Credit WikiCommons

The Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has condemned hate mail that has been sent to members of the Muslim community in Ireland.

An unsigned letter containing a photo of Micheal Collins was sent to a number of schools and mosques, threatening violent action if the proposed plan for a new Mosque in Dublin goes ahead. The letter contained threats such as ‘We will defend the faith by any means against the expansion of the Muslim faith’ and continued to threaten that they “will attack any Muslim man, women and child that enter any Mosque in Ireland”.

Mr. Shatter said in a statement that he condemns any “racism and religious bigotry in all their forms” and said he is “appalled by the nature of the communications”.

The letter and its violent intent have been condemned by the Irish Immigrant Council with a statement saying “A hate campaign against the Muslim community in Dublin must be fully investigated and those responsible prosecuted”.

Ahmed, who works at the Clonskeagh Mosque in Dublin, insisted that there is a good attitude towards Muslim people in Ireland saying that it is “generally peaceful”. He claimed that the violent letter instils “no fear at all” in Muslims in Ireland and that the act is an isolated incident that is not acceptable in a multicultural society.   He said: “We don’t care about the letter; the act is not acceptable but it will not shake our belief in God”.

There are currently over 65,000 Muslims living in Ireland, with over a third of those being born in the country.

Gavin Lacey

Great demand for Xbox One and PS4

Credit Techradar.com

Credit techradar.com

With Christmas around the corner there are two gaming consoles which have taken over the technological universe. There has been a great demand for Microsoft’s Xbox One since its release last Friday.

“The demand has been pretty high, it’s up until after Christmas the demand is” said one Gamestop employee, who was somewhat taken aback by the desire for the product. The employee stated “it was falling behind at first but now it’s after creeping back up. I think it’s because people can’t get the PS4 (Play Station 4), they decided to go to Xbox.”

In addition to this more than one million Xbox One games consoles were purchased in the first 24 hours of being on sale in the UK and 13 other countries.

While there has been a great deal of requests for the Xbox One it would appear that Sony’s Play Station 4, which will be released this Friday, will be even more popular again. “A higher demand, a way higher demand. We have a lot more pre orders on PS4’s” admitted Gamestop’s worker.

The popularity of the PS4 will also cause the business some issues. The Gamestop employee advised “Yeah it’s backlogged until after Christmas, I think you’re looking at the end of January at the earliest to get one now.”

The Xbox One is priced at €499.99 whilst the PS4 can be bought for €399.99.

John Lillis