Wednesday 8th July 2009
WEXFORD ECHO NEWSPAPERS
newslocal editorialcomment Falling Prices PRICES FOR residential property nationwide have fallen almost 6% in the second quarter of the year, according to the latest report published by property website Daft.ie. This means that the selling price is 19% lower than this time a year ago, and 23% lower than the peak in 2007. In South-East Leinster (Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford), prices fell by less than the national average in the last three months – 3.1%, compared to the national average of 5.7%. With prices having fallen rapidly in recent quarters, Wexford asking prices fell by just 1.5% in the second quarter of the year. The average price in the county is now just over €238,000, 21% below the peak. Dublin city centre was again the hardest hit with asking prices falling 11% in the past 3 months alone. In Cork and Limerick city, prices dropped by 4% and 6% respectively, while in Galway and Waterford cities, prices fell by just over 2%. The average fall in prices outside the main cities was 4.8%. The average time-on-market for residential sales properties continues to increase and is now over seven months, compared with only six weeks during the boom, which puts a metaphorical nail in the coffin of the building industry
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A MAN charged with possession of quarter of a million euro worth of cannabis has seen the case against him collapse at Wexford Circuit Court. Fei Wu, 26, with an address at 4 Warren Avenue, Castleknock, Dublin 15 pleaded not guilty to a charge of possession of cannabis with the intent for sale or supply, after he was stopped on the Gorey bypass on Saturday, November 8 last year. The court heard evidence from Sergeant Theresa Philips that she was on duty on the day in question. She was the passenger in an unmarked patrol car with Garda Anne Marie Bolger as driver. They got a call to go to the south of the Gorey bypass. She told the six men and six women on the jury that they understood a vehicle was heading north from the Ferns/Camolin direction. They had been told that the car they were looking for was a blue Kildare-registered taxi. They were also informed that
the rear fly window was broken on the car. Situated at the Clough roundabout, Sgt. Philips said when the car passed through the roundabout Wu looked directly at herself and Gda. Bolger. They followed the car and arranged for the exits off the bypass to be blocked while they were waiting for back up to arrive. As they passed the last exit which they knew was blocked, Sgt. Philips and Gda. Bolger made the decision to stop the vehicle and put on the blue flashing lights and the siren. Sgt. Philips approached the vehicle and spoke to Wu. She noticed there was a lot of broken glass around the driver’s seat and that the defendant was shivering from the cold. While Wu was being stopped, Sgt. Philips understood that Gardaí from Gorey Garda Station were looking for another car in a different area. She told the court there was a lot of radio and phone communication between various members of the
Fei Wu is in Ireland on a student visa and works part-time as a taxi driver in Dublin.
Gardaí during this time. Gda. Bolger made a demand for Wu’s documents and Sgt. Philips asked the defendant what had happened to his window. Sgt. Philips said she cautioned the defendant at this stage and he replied in broken English that he understood what was happening. He added that a man had broken his win-
dow and made a striking motion to indicate what had happened. At this stage Sgt. Philips seated Wu in the passenger seat of his own car for his safety and because it was so cold. She seized his personal documents including his driving licence and taxi licence. Sgt. Philips and Gda. Bolger left the scene at this stage having told Wu to remain in his car. They travelled toward Gorey in order to aid other Gardaí in another operation. When asked by defence barrister, John Peart, SC, if she was surprised to see the defendant in the car when she returned, Sgt. Philips said: “I was extremely surprised to find the defendant in the car when we returned.” She told Judge Alice Doyle the defendant became agitated and was getting aggressive when the Gardaí returned. She handcuffed the defendant and placed him in the patrol car. When back-up arrived, Sgt. Philips set
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Cool and breezy with bright spells and just a few light showers
Mainly dry, perhaps a few light showers. Continuing cool
Dry for most of the day, but cloud and rain gradually moving in
about searching the car and with the aid of Garda Patrick Moore, they opened the boot of the Volkswagen Passat. In the boot they found two suitcases. Inside one of the cases there was a plastic bag with what appeared to be cannabis in it. The second case remained closed. Wu was brought back to the Gorey Garda Station at this stage. Under cross examination, Mr. Peart questioned Sgt. Philips about her right to detain Wu in the car and also questioned why Sgt. Philips placed his client in handcuffs, yet had not arrested him. Sgt. Philips said she had done it for her own safety as the defendant had become aggressive. Following Sgt. Philips evidence, Mr. Peart made an application in the absence of the jury and the Judge ordered they return a verdict of not guilty in relation to the defendant. Mr. Philip Sheehan, BL, prosecuting, was granted an order for the destruction of the drugs found in the taxi.
Cloud and rain gradually moving in from the Atlantic during early Saturday, giving heavy rain in places. Clearer drier weather from the southwest during Saturday night. Breezy or windy at times. Becoming a little warmer again after the cool midweek weather.
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