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Beach bully faces prison for assault on boy (14)



A man who attacked a 14-year-old boy in Blackrock last summer was identified thanks to a public service card that he had dropped at the scene, Galway District Court has heard.

Judge John King was not impressed to hear that the defendant had been on a peace bond from another court at the time.

“He has serious anger management issues – he was on a bond when he committed this offence, for violent disorder,” he said.

“I’d need a lot of persuasion why I should not impose a custodial sentence, and why he might be suitable for community service or a suspended sentence.”

Adam Conroy (20), with an address at 189 Grotto View, Battery Heights, Athlone, pleaded guilty to the serious assault on the boy, who is now 16, on June 9 last year.

Sgt. Finbarr Philpott told the court that the defendant had travelled down to Salthill with a large group of about 12 males to take advantage of the good weather. They were on the beach near Blackrock when there was interaction between themselves and a group of younger males, among them was the injured party.

“When the Athlone group were leaving, the defendant came over and assaulted the injured party,” he said.

“He was identified because his public service card fell on the ground during the course of the assault. It was picked up by the injured party, and the picture was identified to Gardaí as the person who assaulted him. The injured party was 14, and the defendant was 19 at the time.”

The court heard that Conroy had six previous convictions, among them for threatening and abusive behaviour in public. Most notably, however, he had been placed on an 18-month peace bond by another court on October 14 2015.

“It was still in place at the time of this incident,” Judge King noted.

Conroy’s solicitor, Olivia Traynor, told the court that her client had pleaded guilty at the earliest date, and was dealing with his anger and addiction issues.

“He’s asked me to say he’s very sorry, he was showing off, and didn’t realise how young the injured party was,” she said.

The injured party (16), who cannot be identified, said that his physical injuries had healed, but that he was now cautious around people drinking.

He said that he would accept the €1,500 compensation put forward by Conroy.

Despite his solicitor’s best efforts, Conroy continually interjected the young victim’s evidence to say he was sorry, at times turning around to address the teenager’s mother.

The Judge directed a general probation report to be submitted, along with a community service assessment.

“If he is lucky enough to get community service, he could be expecting the full 240 hours in lieu of six months in prison – that could be the best he could hope for,” he said.

“The court is not convinced that he should not get a custodial sentence. I want a very good probation report for him, that he engages fully, and that he engages, and is turning his life around, otherwise he is going to Castlerea (Prison).”


Galway City Council Chief asked to intervene after Kirwan junction ‘near misses’



From the Galway City Tribune – Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, has been urged to intervene and instigate a review of the controversial changeover of Kirwan roundabout to a traffic light junction.

A relative of the Collins’ family, who operate a B&B on Headford Road, has pleaded with Mr McGrath to act to make it safe to enter and exit this house.

Joseph Murphy, from County Galway but living in England, a relative of the owners of the B&B located on the N84 side of the Headford Road, has warned of the potential for a serious collision at that junction.  He wrote to Mr McGrath, and copied all city councillors including Mayor of Galway, Clodagh Higgins (FG), seeking a review of the junction and in particular access to the B&B. Mr Murphy said he has been driving for forty years but this junction was “one of the most difficult and complicated traffic light junctions I have ever experienced”.

The CCTV shows a van stopping in the junction to give way to pedestrians before entering the B&B.

He said he wrote the letter because he nearly had a serious accident, due to no fault of his, when leaving the residence.

An amber traffic lights system is in place at the house, since the junction changeover last year, which is supposed to help motorists exit onto the Headford Road from the B&B.

This article first appeared in the print edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism by subscribing to the Galway City Tribune HERE. A one-year digital subscription costs just €89.00. The print edition is in shops every Friday.

He said the lights are complicated and it was unreasonable and unfair on his family and any guests staying at their B&B who may be endangered trying to enter or exit the driveway.

Videos of ‘near misses’ recorded on CCTV footage, and supplied to Councillor Mike Crowe (FF), have been seen by the Galway City Tribune.

They give a flavour of how dangerous it is to exit the residence on an amber light; and indicate an apparent lack of understanding of the system on the part of other motorists.

Cllr Crowe and other elected members raised this safety issue at a Council meeting last week during a discussion on the City Development Plan. It was decided to rezone some land adjacent to Sandyvale Lawn, which would allow for a new entrance to the house to be constructed, although there is no timeframe.

Mr Murphy, in his email to officials and councillors said it was an “extremely busy junction”.

“I do not believe that enough planning or consideration was taken when the traffic lights were installed, especially those that were installed directly in front of my sister’s house.

“My relatives in Galway should not have to worry every time they leave their house nor should anyone coming from the Menlo direction have to worry about getting blocked in by other vehicles when entering my sister’s house,” he said.

Mr Murphy added: “I would urge the Galway City Council to carry out an immediate review to make this busy junction safe before somebody gets hurt in a serious accident.”

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Plan for former pub in Galway to house Ukrainian refugees



From the Galway City Tribune – The former Lantern Bar in Ballybane has been proposed to accommodate Ukrainians seeking refuge in Galway.

The Galway City Tribune has learned that works are underway on the building to advance the plans.

The Council confirmed that they had been briefed on the proposal but refused to be drawn on the details.

“Galway City Council is aware of a proposal to use the Lantern Bar at Ballybane Shopping Centre for refugees,” said a spokesperson.

“The coordination of the development of accommodation facilities such as this is the responsibility of the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.”

This article first appeared in the print edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism by subscribing to the Galway City Tribune HERE. A one-year digital subscription costs just €89.00. The print edition is in shops every Friday.

The local authority spokesperson said they did not have information on the number of people who would be accommodated, nor did they know when the facility might be open.

The Lantern Bar has not operated as a pub for some time, although its licence was renewed on appeal at Galway Circuit Court in February 2020 when the court was told that it was intended to sell the premises.

The bar, which had been the location of a series of public order incidents in 2019, had previously had its licence revoked following several objections from residents.

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City centre residents’ fears over new late-night opening hours



From the Galway City Tribune – Residents in one of the city centre’s oldest residential areas fear their lives will be turned upside-down by proposed later opening hours for pubs and nightclubs.

Chairperson of the Bowling Green Residents’ Association, Jackie Uí Chionna, told a public meeting of the City’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) that as city centre residents, anti-social behaviour was part of their daily lives.

However, they expected the situation to worsen if Government proceeded with proposals to extend nightclub opening hours to 6.30am.

“Our concern at our recent AGM was the longer pub opening hours – it will result in an increase in [anti-social behaviour],” said Ms Uí Chionna.

She said it was their belief that this policy went against the right of city centre residents to “exist and live as a community” in the middle of town.

“We oppose increasing opening hours. We won’t have any sleep – we have minimal as it is. And we won’t feel safe to walk on the streets.

“It is regrettable that there has been so little consultation with gardaí and residents,” said Ms Uí Chionna.

Chief Superintendent Gerard Roche said Gardaí were waiting to see what happened with the legislation for later opening hours.

“On one hand, not having 5,000 or 10,000 people coming out at the one time will be a benefit but the question is if they won’t [come out at one time]. And will businesses buy into it?” questioned the Chief Supt.

Meanwhile, another Bowling Green resident and former city councillor, Nuala Nolan, raised concerns about the new model of policing and said rostering, which had gardaí working three days on and four days off was making it difficult to follow up on matters with community gardaí.

“You can’t get that person when they’re off for another four days – the continuity is gone,” said Ms Nolan.

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