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Illegal loan shark was claiming social welfare while making €150,000 profit

first_imgEmail Advertisement WhatsApp Twitter Facebook Printcenter_img NewsBreaking newsIllegal loan shark was claiming social welfare while making €150,000 profitBy admin – December 23, 2013 1083 Linkedin by Andrew CareySign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up [email protected] LOAN shark, who made €150,000 from moneylending and boasted to Gardaí that he never failed to collect a debt, was found to be claiming social welfare.Ray McInerney (38) of Rhebogue Hill, Rhebogue, Limerick pleaded guilty to illegal moneylending on dates between the January 1, 2010 and July 9, 2012.Limerick Circuit Court heard that McInerney, who was unemployed and claiming benefit, had “little difficulty in making threats of a serious nature”.Judge Carroll Moran was told that he loaned one customer €20,000 and demanded that €26,000 be repaid. The loan was repaid after the man took out a €7,000 credit union loan to clear the debt and he thought that would be the end of the matter.However, McInerney threatened the customer’s son with a “barrage of calls and texts” and threatened to kill or seriously harm him on November 5, 2011. He also pleaded guilty to persistently telephoning the victim on 49 occasions over a three week period.State prosecutor John O’Sullivan said the calls were “sinister and disturbing.”Detective Garda Pauraic O’Dwyer of Roxboro Garda Station said McInerney’s motivation for the persistent harassment was to exert control over his borrowers. Over €400,000 passed through his bank account between March 2005 and February 2012 when he was unemployed.During a Garda interview, he said that he never failed to collect on a loan and made about €150,000 in profit.€10,000 was seized from a bank account by the Criminal Assets Bureau and a “tick list” was found in a urinal in an en-suite bathroom at his house.Defence counsel Brian McInerney said that during the course of his lending, Ray McInerney had over 40 satisfied clients. He now wished to apologise and express his “deep regrets” for his actions.Sentencing was adjourned until January 17 to allow the court consider the matter. Previous articleMinister takes on challenge of ending homelessnessNext articleHungarian grandmother admits running Limerick brothel adminlast_img read more

Knowing and seeing

first_imgAt twenty, stalking has become a past time of mine. Though it started out as inadvertent; a mere raised eyebrow at seeing the name, Mario Vargas Llosa, in the Edinburgh Literary Festival guide, in the later stages there was no question that I was on a more than casual mission to meet the man. It wasn’t only for the sake of his illustrious bio-data: Vargas is an internationally acclaimed author of more than nineteen books, part of a Latin American ‘holy trinity’ of fiction alongside Borges and Marquez. Neither was it just because of his intriguing stand as a conservative candidate for the Peruvian presidency in the 1990 elections (which he lost to Alberto Fujimori). The reason was more personal. What drew me to Llosa was certainly his talent, but also my memory. At an age when I could hardly make out what the black characters on a page stood for, I remember my father shaking The War of the End of the Worldat me saying, ‘Read it! It’s the most powerful book you’ll ever read’. When I did, a few years later, I emerged dazed, from within a haze of elemental emotions – power, violence and lust., hunger and idealism. I couldn’t forget the Counselor, Llosa’s apocalyptic prophet: “The man was tall and so thin he seemed to be always in profile. He was dark-skinned and rawboned, and his eyes burned with perpetual fire”. So a distant memory drove me to action. I bought a ticket to hear Llosa read from his new book, The Feast of the Goatin Edinburgh. And after witnessing the warmth and passion with which he spoke, the combined charm of a neatly groomed shock of silver and a thick Spanish accent embellishing carefully chosen words, I decided that it might be interesting to talk to him at greater length about the whole vocation of writing. What were his motivations? What advice would he give to aspiring novelists? But getting answers was difficult from an author who spent so much time travelling. And so, like Mohammed, I waited for the mountain. It came, more than six months later, in the form of the Weidenfeld Chair of Comparative Literature. With this position, as I found out, Llosa would be spending Trinity term in Oxford, giving a series of eight lectures on Hugo’s Les Miserables. The stalking had come to an end. When I met him, Llosa seemed to fit in perfectly against a backdrop of dreaming spires. He had the look of a college professor and from the nature of the conversation, we could almost have been in a tutorial. I asked him how he reconciled his role in Oxford, that of the literary critic, with that of a writer; did he see an opposition there? Critics are seen as the bane of writers’ lives, torturing their intuitively wrought texts by dissection with a sharp set of surgical knives. But Llosa is more accommodating; he is quick to point out that the kind of literary criticism he practices doesn’t pretend to be ‘scientific, impersonal and objective’ but on the contrary, he sees criticism as a point of departure, imbued with imagination: “My purpose is not to describe or interpret but to build something new…to use the work of others as raw material”. He continues, “ I am very present in the critical work I do. I use my own experience as a writer to try and understand the work of others.” In his opinion, the opposition between a creative and critical frame of mind comes in the sense that “when you write, personality intervenes” and “instincts, passions, emotions” take over from rationality. But the critic and the writer are not two separate, irreconcilable beings; he says, with a spark in his eye: “I try not to influence my critics, only they can tell me objectively, what I have done.” Llosa’s liberality doesn’t just extend to critics but to writers who are engaging in the ‘globalization’ of literature. Like ‘Doctors without Borders’, a new creed has been evolving of ‘Writers without Borders’. I wondered how a person who had written consistently about Latin America and its problems through out his career would react to the break down of national borders – for example, to South Asians writing in English about Europeans (as Michael Ondaatje does in The English Patient). Should writers, for the sake of authenticity, only write about what they know? Citing the examples of Conrad, Beckett, Borges and Nabokov, all multilingual authors, Llosa passionately disagrees: “literature is not geography, not history, not an accurate description of a reality. Because then it becomes a social science.” Would he write a novel that wasn’t based in Latin America? “Not as a moral obligation, no…but maybe, if it is stimulating to me at that point”. In fact, The Way to Paradise, his most recent novel, is a step in that direction. The novel depicts the lives of two stalwart figures in Peruvian history – Flora Tristan, a feminist agitator for social change in the nineteenth century and her grandson, the famous artist Gauguin. The novel oscillates between France, Peru and Tahiti. But the changing settings of the novel are not as important to the story as the similarity between the characters of Gauguin and his grand mother: “What I admire about them…is that they pursued their utopias and sacrificed their lives to their utopias.” Llosa said he was primarily drawn to Flora Tristan, the idea of writing about Gauguin only struck later in the process. The notion of writing about her accompanied him for nearly 30 years. “I admired her courage, how she dared to tell everything about her life in her memoirs, her ideals especially, in a time where there were so many prejudices.” Her zealous commitment to politics is clearly something that Llosa sees as a special quality. Something that he chose to emulate in his own life, perhaps? A knowing look comes into his eyes at this point. It’s unavoidable, we cannot skirt past the topic of his presidential campaign. It’s a topic that I’m confused about, unable to reconcile the Llosa who drew sympathetic portraits of revolutionaries (as in The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta) to Llosa, the conservative presidential candidate who proposed a kind of Andean Thatcherism for his country. Yet Llosa defends his position by saying that at the end of the 80’s Peru was in the process of disintegration – ‘democracy was close to collapse’. There was hyperinflation. In those circumstances it was necessary to get involved. Writer had to metamorphose into politician. Had he ceased to believe in Shelley’s words that, “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world”? Llosa shakes his head; it was simply a case where more direct action was required. “My vocation is literature”, he says, “I realised that you have to have a real appetite to be a politician. An appetite for power which I didn’t have”. His appetite for writing took over. Still, the experience of political life was not wasted; it gave him enough material to write a book, A Fish in the Water(1993), and subsequently informed his descriptions of the world of the Dominican tyrant Trujillo, in The Feast of the Goat.. I am tempted to ask a beginner’s question at this point. Is it better for an aspiring novelist to livefirst and then write? To add to a bank of ‘meaningful experiences’ before taking up the pen in order to say something truly profound or original? Llosa squashes the idea in one fell sweep – “You always write from experience, what else do you have? All that’s important is the will to write, the discipline”. The centrepiece of his theory about writing is simple. “Read; read all the classic writers. You’ll learn much more from reading than listening – from classes and lectures.” He grins wryly. Llosa advocates the world of visualization, rather than knowledge. “I loved Dickens, Balzac, Tolstoy, Hemmingway…and Faulkner; I read Faulkner with a pen and paper to explore all the possibilities of literary form he provided.” Read and daydream and the rest will take care of itself he seems to say. Is there a lot of day-dreaming in Oxford? Llosa pauses to consider. “There are all kinds of people here, some curious and interesting, some who know a lot but they haven’t seen the world too much.“ARCHIVE: 5th week TT 2004last_img read more

Villa I Tatti to host conference, ‘Sacrifice and Conversion’

first_img Read Full Story From Tupinambá anthropophagi to ‘bloodthirsty Aztecs’ or ‘child-killing Incas,’ American (human) sacrifices flooded the European imagination in the 16th century. In Europe, these images interacted with a heated debate about salvation, the Eucharist, and the role of sacrifice within Christianity. Far from being restricted to universities, monasteries, or courts, this debate penetrated European societies at every level and informed the violent struggles of the 16th and 17th centuries.“Sacrifice and Conversion,” a two-day conference at Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, will address the various ways in which images and discourses on American sacrificial practices impacted the religious debates taking place in Europe in the 16th century and, conversely, how these debates affected the perception and interpretation of American sacrifice. At the same time, it will examine the extent to which European conceptions of these sacrificial practices influenced projects and processes of Christian conversion.“Sacrifice and Conversion” will take place April 19–20 in Gould Hall at Villa I Tatti. Click here to view the program.last_img read more