Christmas shoppingWith Christmas Day only days away, Georgetown is buzzing with activities as excited persons fill the city’s streets and sellers display their festive commodities.Georgetown — in particular along Regent Street to Avenue of the Republic — is becoming more congested, as exuberant vendors look forward to an exciting Christmas with their families this year.However, when Guyana Times caught up with some of the vendors on Monday, they expressed that all is not as merry and bright as it may seem. A clothing vendor who gave her name only as Natasha said sales are slow although theVendor Don Paulstreets are filled with persons.“Right now things lil slow, but I’m hoping that it will pick up, maybe by weekend into next week. People not really buying clothes…but in between yuh still getting one and two things sell. I know things will pick up later on, man,” she told this publication.Meanwhile, a beads and craft vendor related that “things going nice” so far for the season.Leon Anthony said people are shopping every day. He took the time to encourage the Guyanese public to be safe on the road ways, and to always designate a driver if consuming alcohol during this season.“Everything nice, man! Everybody doing deh shopping; businesses blooming and so on. No complaints. My wish for Guyana is for everyone to have a merry Christmas and a blessed new year. Make sure to use the roadways safely, and just have a nice time,” Anthony declared.Don Paul, a fruits vendor, highlighted the reason for the season as he stated thatVendor Jerry Londonit’s a time to spread love and joy to each other. “It’s not only shopping up and suh; this time is to spend time with yuh family and people close to you. My plans for this Christmas is just to eat, drink and be merry. Season’s greetings to all Guyanese near and far”.He also noted that even though “things are slow”, he is contented with whatever he sells at the end of the day.When Guyana Times spoke with plants vendor Jerry London within the city about business sales and his plans for the season, he related that even though the holidays are near, the sales are still quite low.“Well, even though things are slow, I know that Guyanese are late shoppers; so I’m hoping that it will pick up in the week.”These vendors remain positive that things will change over the coming week.SafetyFor business persons, the Guyana Police Force has called for checks to be made to Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) systems to ensure they are working properly. In fact, the Force is encouraging that Digital Video Recorder (DVRs) be properly secured to preserve valuable information.Advice was also issued for visitors in the capital city by ‘A Division’ (Georgetown-East Bank Demerara) Commander Marlon Chapman recently, as he urgedNatasha (only name given) along with other vendors on Avenue of the Republic, Georgetownshoppers to “carry your wallet in an inside jacket or inside trousers pocket. Avoid rear pockets. Keep purses on your lap when dining out, Not dangling over the back of a chair.”According to Chapman, Police patrols and outposts around the city will be boosted in a bid to ensure a secure shopping environment.He revealed that part of the efforts to ensure increased safety is the splitting of Georgetown into seven sub-sections, as compared to six last year.These sub-sections run from Agricola, Greater Georgetown to Central Georgetown. The areas will be equipped with mobile outposts and frequent patrols will occur, with senior members of the GPF in charge of each sub-sector.
A man who downed 15 drinks and then set fire to an Orange Hall causing almost €360,000 of damage has been jailed for two years.Damien Murray and his accomplice Eamonn McGill appeared at a special sitting of Letterkenny Circuit Court in Co Donegal for sentencing. The court was told that fire ripped through Convoy Thiepval Memorial Loyal Orange lodge when it was set alight on October 3rd, 2014.As well as completely gutting the building, hundreds of years of history and irreplaceable artefacts were destroyed in the blaze.On the same night the front door of the local Convoy Presbyterian Church, some 600 yards from the Orange Hall, was also kicked in.A major Garda investigation following the fire led Gardai to interviewing both Murray, now aged 36, and McGill, now aged 34.Both men initially denied any involvement in the incidents.However, after a number of interviews Murray, a father-of-four, admitted using a lighter to set the Orange Hall on fire.McGill, a 34-year-old father-of-two, was only charged with criminal damage to the front door of the church.He initially denied to being involved in the attack but Gardai managed to match an Addidas trainer taken from his partner’s house in Strabane to a footprint on the door of the church.This led to McGill admitting his part in the attack on the church.The court was told that a total of €358,587 in damage was caused to the Orange Hall but that insurance cover had paid out €220,000 of this cost. The Irish Government gave a further €60,000 to the renovation of the hall and local members came up with the rest of the funds.The Orange Hall has now been fully refurbished and is used by all of the community.In a victim impact statement, the court was told that members of the local Presbyterian Church were left fearful, hurt and angered by the attack which was condemned by all sides of the community.However, the statement added that Reverend Colin McKibbin of the local church advocated forgiveness and the Presbyterian community were seeking to move on and to build good relations with all members of the community.Several members of the local Presbyterian Church were in court for the sentencing.Barrister for Murray, Mr John Smith said that his client suffered from alcohol addiction and was also the victim of post-traumatic stress disorder after his family were held captive when he was a boy.He stressed that his client had not been in trouble since this incident and was very apologetic to the Presbyterian community sating that his partner was a Protestant.Barrister for McGill, Mr Peter Nolan, said his client had nothing to do with the arson and was a hard worker and father of two children.He said he was prepared to pay €1,700 to the Presbyterian community to compensate them for the damage to the church hall.Judge Sean O Donnabhain dealt with both men separately.He sentenced McGill of Machmeendstown, Convoy but who now lives in Strabane, to two years in prison but suspended the term for two years ordering him to be of good behaviour.He also ordered McGill to pay €2,000 to the Donegal Hospice, a charity nominated by members of the Presbyterian community present in lieu of the damage caused to the church door.Passing sentence on Murray of Strabane, Co Tyrone, Judge O Donnabhain said he was the sole perpetrator of the arson attack.He said his behaviour, fueled by having taken 15 drinks, had had a very real impact and loss on the local community.He sentence he considered a sentence of five years in prison was merited but because of his early plea and an unlikelihood to re-offend, he was reducing the sentence to two years.Men sentenced for attacks on Convoy Presbyterian community was last modified: October 16th, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:arsonconvoydonegalOrange Hall