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Connacht Tribune

80-year-old man dragged burglar out of house

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An 80-year-old man confronted a burglar he found coming in through the back window at his home and dragged him through the house before throwing him out the front door.

The man had just returned home after attending evening Mass with his wife and was turning the key in his front door when he heard the sound of breaking glass coming from the rear of his home in Bohermore.

Galway Tom Doyle told Galway Circuit Criminal Court that Cian Cantwell (23), of no fixed abode, had smashed the glass at the rear of the house on September 15 last year and was halfway in through the window when he was caught by the elderly man.

He said the couple were greatly distressed after the incident and had since taken steps to secure their home.

“Despite his age, he was robust enough to deal with the accused,” prosecuting barrister, Conor Fahy, said of the elderly man.

Garda Doyle agreed but said that while the man had had “an adrenaline rush” at the time he pulled Cantwell in through the window, he was very distressed and traumatised at what he had done – as was his wife – for a long time after the incident.

Mr Fahy reminded Judge Rory McCabe that apart from these offences, Cantwell was also facing sentence for breaking into and ransacking his aunt’s home and stealing her jewellery, computers and televisions while she was attending her sister’s funeral in October, 2013.

Evidence in that case was heard last May and Judge McCabe had indicated at the time that Cantwell would be facing a six-year sentence with two years suspended for the offence.  However, it was decided to adjourn sentence for twelve months after Cantwell expressed an interest in going into a rehabilitation centre.

Garda Doyle told the Circuit Court hearing last week that Cantwell had come from a good home but was estranged from his family due to his chronic drug addiction.

He said he viewed CCTV footage from nearby premises and positively identified Cantwell who was arrested in a city hostel the day after the break-in in Bohermore.

He said the accused was genuinely remorseful when he realised elderly people were affected by his actions.

He subsequently pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage and to trespassing at the couple’s home.

Cantwell, who had 17 previous convictions for drug dealing and for a series of thefts, had been in custody since his arrest last September in the hostel.

He went into the witness box and read out a letter of apology which he had written to the elderly couple, to his aunt, her husband and to his own family.

“I want to say I’m sorry.  The last seven months in prison have been a wake-up call for me,” he said.

Judge McCabe said the elderly couple in Bohermore had been clearly terrorised that evening by the accused.

He said the headline sentence for the criminal damage charge was six years, while the trespass charge would be taken into account.

Given the mitigating circumstances whereby it was accepted that Cantwell’s remorse was genuine, he had pleaded guilty to the charges and had co-operated with the Garda investigation, the appropriate sentence, he said, was four years.

Following the recommendations of the probation report before the court, Judge McCabe then suspended the final two years of the four-year sentence for five years on condition that on his release Cantwell remain under the supervision of the probation service for two years.

The judge imposed a concurrent four-year sentence with the final two years on Cantwell suspended for the burglary at his aunt’s home.

Connacht Tribune

Galway Real Estate have attractive site for sale on the Aran Islands

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Oghill, Inishmore, Aran Islands.

Galway Real Estate have an attractive site/property for sale at Oghill, Inishmore, Aran Islands.

The site is approximately c.150 square metres. (c.1600 sq. ft.) on c.1 acre with planning permission to convert to a dwelling house and fit a new waste water treatment system. Planning Ref: 17/1284. There are two years  left on planning. The planning is for a proposed 4 bedrooms, kitchen, dining/room, laundry/room, bathroom. This is a wonderful opportunity to get a property ready to go. Offers in excess of €125,000 considered.

Full details from Paddy Flynn 0872557618 or Galway Real Estate on 091565488 or email: info@galwayrealestate.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Aran to welcome Ireland’s largest domestic passenger ferry

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Saoirse na Farraige

The largest domestic passenger ferry in the country is making its journey from the Far East to the Far West – ready to commence service from Galway to the three Aran Islands.

The 40-metre ‘Saoirse na Farraige’ represents a massive investment – and vote of confidence – in island tourism on the part of the owners, Aran Island Ferries.

Commissioned in January 2019, this sixth member of their fleet has a capacity of 400 – and it is expected to arrive in Galway Bay from Hong Kong in October.

The vessel departed Hong Kong last week, embarking on a 2,500 mile journey to Galway Bay – inside the hold of a heavy lift ship called Svenja’”.

Saoirse na Farraige has at least three more stops to make before arriving in Galway Bay at the end of October – and it won’t not enter service until next spring.

Aran Island Ferries Sales and Marketing Manager, Aine McLoughlin, said that they were looking forward to seeing visitors enjoy their journey to the Aran Islands, enjoying the increased capacity, accessibility, and safety features.

“We are really looking forward to officially launching ‘Saoirse na Farraige’ next year and seeing visitors enjoy their journey to the Aran Islands on board our new ferry,” she said.

Saoirse na Farraige will serve all three islands from Rossaveel – with a journey time of 40 minutes to Inis Mór, 50 minutes to Inis Meáin, and 55 minutes to Inis Oírr.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in now – or download our digital edition at www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Emergency Department upgrade will happen at UHG – but it’s complicated

Denise McNamara

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The current ED at UHG.

Revamping the emergency department at UHG will involve three separate projects – leading to the hospital’s chief describing the process as ‘very complex’.

City Councillor John Connolly (FF) said the people of Galway were concerned that the new emergency department – like the ring road – would never happen, as it appeared to be so bound up in red tape.

Joe Hoare, assistant national director of estates in HSE West, told the Regional Health Forum West meeting that that outpatients department adjacent to the emergency department was being redeveloped to create more capacity for streaming Covid patients from non-Covid patients for the winter.

The outpatients department would be relocated to the Merlin Park campus. The design for this building would be completed within ten months with construction expected to begin in by last 2021 at the earliest.

An interim emergency department was the next priority so that the current building could be knocked to make way for the new state-of-the-art building, creating a new maternity department and paediatrics unit.

Since the budget for the new children’s hospital had blown out of all proportion, the rules over public projects over €100 million had changed and the Saolta hospital group had to ensure its business case for the massive project was ‘watertight’.

Mr Hoare said all three projects were moving in parallel, including the enabling works for the main build, which would take around 18 months to complete.

He described the project as Saolta’s ‘absolute top priority and was regarded as such by the national HSE organisation.

Head of Saolta, Tony Canavan, said the project was ‘big and very complex’ and required management to remain ‘very focused over a long time’.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in now – or download our digital edition at www.connachttribune.ie

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