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.
Galway passengers are all smiles at Shannon!
The smiles on the faces at Shannon Airport very much told its own story this week – with passengers taking to skies as the easing of restrictions and the first day of the European Digital COVID Certificates took effect.
And it wasn’t just the joy of travel starting to resume that lifted spirits at the airport but also the announcement by Ryanair of a new once-weekly service to Gran Canaria (Las Palmas) to commence on August 7 – the third new service announcement for Shannon Airport over recent weeks.
There was a real sense of excitement as passengers of all ages became very much at ease with the heightened public safety measures in a ‘back-to-the-future’ day for the West of Ireland gateway airport.
There were reunions as inbound flights arrived but also a palpable degree of anticipation as others got set to depart on the earliest flight out of the airport today, the 7:10am flight to Gatwick.
Among those boarding was Clarenbridge native Claire Tomlin and her husband Jake, together with their three children, including their twins who turn a year old next week.
“It’s been amazing to get back. The kids saw their grandparents for the first time and their cousins and aunties and uncles, so it was fantastic,” said Claire.
“Shannon is just so convenient for us because it’s only about 40 minutes’ drive. So, it just makes everything a lot easier in terms of getting to and from places with little ones. So, yeah, Shannon is a great resource for us. Really, really good. We hope to be able to go back more and more.”
It was smiles all around for Shannon Airport staff as they got back to doing what they do best. “Well, today is a great day because you can see the atmosphere around the place, people are at ease here and they’re glad to be back, they’re glad to get up in the sky again,” said Shannon Duty Free Sales Associate Helen Quinlivan.
“It’s great to see the excitement. People are really looking forward to going back and seeing their loved ones and they’re very at ease.”
Galway In Days Gone By
Silence is golden
Leaders on both sides have stated that the best assistance the country can give in the making of peace is to keep silence.
During the past week there has been a great deal of speculation, most of it harmless enough, as, for instance, the enterprising American journalist’s “exclusive” on the first meeting of the British Premier and the President of the Irish Republic; much of it positively mischievous, as the case of the efforts of a certain journal, which has grown hoary in the reputation for throwing in the apple of discord, to anticipate failure in advance.
Our American colleague was on surer and on safer ground when he told of how de Valera and Lloyd George met.
“Mr. Lloyd George,” he cabled, “was sitting at his desk when the Irish President entered. For just a minute these two gazed fixedly at one another. Then the British Premier walked across the intervening space and shook de Valera by the hand. He led him to a seat where they sat side by side. The atmosphere was tense. They faced one another. Then Lloyd George reached down for a box of cigars. But the Irish President is of Spartan mould. He neither permits himself to drink nor smoke. He politely but firmly waved the box away. Mr. Lloyd George, however, selected and lighted a Havana, and as the smoke curled upwards the atmosphere became decidedly easier!”
The wise and practical man always lays by a store against the time when supplies will be scarce. One of the most serious effects of the prolonged drought is the scarcity of supplies of fodder for cattle-feeding during the coming winter and spring.
The hay crop is not more than half the average yield. The corn crop is far below normal. Turnips in many districts are a partial failure. We have frequently emphasised the importance of growing catch-crops to supplement other feeding stuffs raised on the farm, but it is only under circumstances such as the present that their utility is brought home to farmers. Owing to the early harvest, a larger area than is usual can and should be put down this season. This would make good, to some extent, at least, the shortage of hay and other feeding-stuffs.
The demonstration plots laid down by the County Committee of Agriculture have shown that catch-crops, such as vetches and rye as well as other mixtures, can be successfully grown in all parts of County Galway.
We would urge on farmers the desirability – nay, the necessity – of procuring seed and making early preparation for the sowing of an increased area of catch-crops this season.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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A home that can generate rent!
New to the market is this lovely, extremely deceptive and impressive home situated only 450 metres from Clarinbridge village.
Stonebridge House is located on a fine site with a tarmacadam driveway, mature shrubs and trees, water feature, decked area and stables to the rear all adding to the many delightful features of this well-built home.
It was built in 1982 and extended in 1993, creating a bright, spacious home which is perfect for today’s busy, modern family lifestyle.
The main house is a six-bed residence with a two-bedroomed basement apartment offering 3,000 sq ft of family living accommodation.
This makes this property perfect for multi-generational living or should you wish to rent out the basement apartment, can provide you with extra income.
The welcoming half front door takes you into the hallway where there is a ground floor bedroom to your left and to your right. Further down the hallway to your right leads you into the spacious kitchen/dining area perfect for family life and entertaining, with plenty of storage space, a Stanley range cooker set into a gorgeous cream brick inglenook with an added feature of a back boiler that heats the water and radiators.
There is an office/media room off the kitchen which every house needs nowadays, as today’s family spends more and more time on the web.
Double doors open to the large tastefully decorated sitting room with a feature fireplace and a solid fuel stove. The den area is filled with natural light with plenty of windows and patio doors opening onto the garden and patio area. Also on this floor is a guest toilet.
Upstairs on the first floor is the spacious landing with built-in storage cupboards and leading to four fine bedrooms and the main bathroom. Another bonus to this beautiful home is the installation of a convenient central vacuum system which is known for its removal of allergens and dust when cleaning and not having to drag a vacuum from room to room!
The asking price is €495,000. For further information or to arrange a viewing, contact DNG Brian MacMahon on 091 638638.