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Assault victim left lifeless on the road

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A 23-years-old woman who punched and kicked another young woman until she was unconscious and then stole her mobile phone from her lifeless hand, walked free from Galway Circuit Criminal Court.

Judge Rory McCabe asked Sadie Keary, of 17 Fana Glas, Ballybane, what was so amusing when he looked down and caught her smiling to herself as a Gardai recounted the vicious assault she perpetrated on a 22-year- old woman outside McSwiggan’s in Woodquay in the early hours of August 1, last year.

Keary pleaded guilty before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in May to the robbery of a €300 mobile phone from the young woman at Woodquay that night.

The facts in a second charge of assaulting the girl, causing her harm, were admitted at the time.

Sentence was adjourned to last week for the preparation of reports.

Garda Pat Foley told the sentence hearing the victim, whom he described as a shy and softly-spoken college student, was sharing a joke with her boyfriend and two other friends while standing in a doorway at McSwiggan’s at 3.05am that night when Keary and a group of other girls came along.

Keary, who had earlier consumed Ecstasy tablets with alcohol, thought the girl was laughing at her and she became extremely aggressive.  She reached in past the girl’s boyfriend and despite his best efforts, she pulled his girlfriend out onto the street by her hair.

She punched the girl in the face, knocking her to the ground and then punched her again on the ground before kicking her twice in the head.

Judge McCabe interrupted the Garda’s evidence when he spotted Keary laughing.

“Are you amused by this?  Do you think that it’s worth laughing about?”, he asked her.

She looked at him evenly, shook her head and said “no”.

Garda Foley resumed his evidence.

“On losing consciousness, the injured party dropped her phone from her hand and the defendant picked it up and fled on foot with the group of females,” he said.

Garda Foley said he was on foot patrol in the area at the time and found the injured girl lying in the doorway of the pub, her friend cradling her in her arms.

“She was dazed, confused and she was bleeding from her face and nose.

Her clothes were blood-soaked.

“I asked her what had happened but she didn’t have a great understanding of what had happened to her at the time.  She told me she had been assaulted and knocked unconscious by a female,” he said.

Garda Foley said the girl was taken to hospital by ambulance but her injuries went undiagnosed due to the severe swelling to her face and nose.

She subsequently attended her own GP and was diagnosed with a broken nose and displaced septum.  She was referred back to hospital where she underwent surgery to have her nose broken again and reset.

The girl suffered damage to muscles in her jaw and could not open her mouth properly after the attack.  She is still undergoing physiotherapy treatment for that injury.

Garda Foley said he obtained CCTV footage from MacSwiggan’s three days later which captured the assault and clearly identified Keary.

He arrested her by appointment at Galway Garda Station in September and on seeing the CCTV footage, she readily admitted her involvement.

Garda Foley said the injured girl was “a very decent girl from a very decent family.”

He said the girl was too afraid to come to court.

“She is extremely traumatised and she does not want to see the defendant again and feels that if the defendant sees her again there will be repercussions,” Garda Foley said.

He then read her victim impact statement to the court on her behalf.

In it, the girl said she was viciously attacked by a woman who had violently clawed at her and pulled her out onto the road by her hair.

“I have lived in Galway all my life and I have never experienced such a brutal event.

“I no longer feel safe in my own town.  I have no comfort on a night out with friends as I am always looking over my shoulder,” the girl’s statement read.

Keary, Garda Foley said, was well known to Gardai already and had 25 previous convictions, the last being in December 2012, for a serious assault for which she had received a six-month sentence.

“She has a long history of alcohol and drug abuse,” he added.

Defence barrister, John Kiely said his client had taken drugs and alcohol on the night of the attack.

Mr Kiely said there was no excuse for what his client did, but it was not premeditated and occurred because of some mistaken perceived insult.

Mr Kiely said Keary had been under the direction of the probation service previously and while she had been accepted for treatment at two residential treatment centres in the past – at Coolmine and at Bushy Park – she had failed to co-operate in any way with treatment or with the probation service.

Since then, he said, there had been new development’s in that Keary’s father has come back into her life and he was present in court.

The second important development, Mr Kiely said, was that there had been disclosure of “a significant life event” that occurred during her childhood, which was an incident of distress to her and that had not been dealt with in any way by her or by any of the support services.

Of even more importance, Mr Kiely said, was that Keary was now prepared to address her addiction issues and other issues in her life and if the court was willing to put a stay on sentencing, his client would do just that.

Judge McCabe said he was inclined to remand Keary in custody and she could be assessed while in custody.

Mr Kiely said that was an option but he asked the Judge not to do that so that she could be psychiatrically assessed.

Judge McCabe said that could be done more expeditiously while she was in custody.

Mr Kiely again asked him not to do that.  He said a curfew could be imposed on her which would serve to protect the community until such time as she received treatment.

He said his client had not come to Garda attention since this incident.

Garda Foley disagreed and said Keary had been arrested on five separate occasions since and has 11 other charges currently pending before the courts for alleged assault, robbery and fraud offences.

Mr Kiely apologised and said he had not been made aware of this.

Judge McCabe persisted, saying he didn’t see why the necessary assessments could not be done while Keary was in custody.

However, following further submissions from Mr Kiely he relented and adjourned the matter to next Friday’s court.

“If you do not have a timetable in place by then Mr Kiely, I will lay out a timetable for her and it will be in custody,” the judge warned.

CITY TRIBUNE

Council to consider new pedestrian ‘plaza’ for Galway City

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors will be asked next month to consider a sweeping overhaul of traffic flow in the city centre as the local authority seeks to create a more pedestrian-friendly core in the wake of Covid-19.

Currently under proposal in City Hall are major alterations to traffic flow which will allow for restricted car access to Middle Street – creating additional outdoor seating space for businesses in the area struggling to cope amid social distancing requirements.

Senior Engineer at City Hall, Uinsinn Finn, said they are currently considering three different proposals to alter traffic flow on Merchants Road, Augustine Street and Flood Street to reduce the need for car access to Middle Street, while still maintaining access for residents.

“We already pedestrianised Cross Street and we will be maintaining that, and there will be a proposal for Middle Street and Augustine Street.

“Businesses in the area are very much in favour of pedestrianisation – one business has objections but the others are supportive. Another consideration is that there are residents there with parking spaces and we are trying to encourage people to live in the city centre,” said Mr Finn.

The Latin Quarter business group submitted proposals for the temporary pedestrianisation of Middle Street and Abbeygate Street Lower but Mr Finn said the proposals the Council were considering were more in the line of creating adequate space for pedestrians while still allowing residents vehicular access.

This would involve creating a circuit for car traffic moving through Merchants Road around onto Augustine Street and exiting at Flood Street.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Residents want laneway closed following pipe bomb scare

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Residents in part of Knocknacarra are calling for the closure of a laneway and for more Community Gardaí to be put on the beat following the discovery of a ‘viable’ pipe-bomb type device in the area last weekend.

Up to 13 homes in the Cimín Mór and Manor Court estates had to be evacuated on Friday evening last when the incendiary device was discovered by Gardaí concealed in an unlit laneway, leading to the emergency services being notified.

An Army EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit was called to the scene and removed the device – according to local residents and councillors, the Gardaí have confirmed that the device was viable.

Gardaí have declined to comment on the detail of the case but have confirmed that the matter is being ‘actively and vigorously investigated’.

Chairman of the Cimín Mór Residents’ Association, Pat McCarthy, told the Galway City Tribune that the discovery of the viable device on the narrow laneway that links their estate to Manor Court was extremely frightening for all concerned.

“For the best part of the past 20 years, we have been seeking action to be taken on this laneway which has been used for dumping and unsociable behaviour on a repeated basis.

“But what happened last Friday evening was really the last straw for us. This could have resulted in serious injury to innocent people and what is also of concern to us is how close this was to the two schools in the area,” said Mr McCarthy.

He said that over the coming days, the residents’ association would be petitioning all residents in the three estates concerned – the other two being Manor Court and Garraí Dhónaill – for action to be taken on the laneway.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway designer’s necklace is fit for a princess!

Denise McNamara

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Kate Middleton wearing the necklace designed by Aisling O'Brien

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A Galway jewellery designer is the latest to experience the ‘Kate effect’ after fans tracked down the woman who created a necklace for the Duchess of Cambridge which she has worn several times since it was gifted to her during her trip to the city last March.

Aisling O’Brien’s website crashed on Wednesday night when orders poured in for the piece from around the world. The necklace costs €109 with initials, while the earrings retail for €49.

“I’d never sold more than two things outside of Ireland before. I only had three of Kate’s necklaces in stock – and now I have orders for at least 50. I’ll have to start recruiting some elves,” laughs Aisling, who only set up her website during lockdown.

The 14-carat gold necklace and earrings set was designed by Aisling specially for Kate after examining her style – “understated, elegant, simplicity” is how the Tuam native describes it.

She was contacted about the commission by physiotherapist Thérèse Tully, who wanted to give the future queen a gift as she was using her room to change at Árus Bóthar na Trá beside Pearse Stadium when the royal couple were meeting with GAA teams.

(Photo: Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton wearing the necklace)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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