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CITY TRIBUNE

Brothers jailed for crime spree across the city

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A city man who went on a spree of car thefts and burglaries over, has been jailed for 22 months by Galway District Court.

In imposing the sentence, Judge Mary Fahy said it would have been lengthier, except she was restricted to a total of 24 months.

“It probably should have been dealt with at a higher court, but the DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions] decided to go for summary disposal,” she said.

Matthew Goldbey (27), with an address at 174 Leargán, Knocknacarra, was also banned from driving for seven years.

Garda John Kerrigan said that all of the incidents had taken place in mid to late August this year. In the early hours of August 29, Gardaí were alerted to an alarm activation at Barna Pharmacy. The front glass door and window had been smashed by a rock, which was found on the shop floor.

Another door, leading into the dispensary, had also been smashed. Approximately €500 in cash was missing from the cash register – which was removed altogether – and from a cash box in the dispensary. The damage was estimated to be in the region of €1,000.

CCTV footage was examined, and two culprits were identified – Goldbey, and his younger brother, Ryan (22).

They were subsequently arrested, and detained at Galway Garda Station, where they made full admissions in relation to this burglary. However, none of the cash was returned.

Matthew Goldbey was also questioned about other crimes, including a burglary at a house in Creagan, Barna, around the same time as the pharmacy was targeted. This home was unoccupied, but the side door was kicked in, and a Sony Bravia TV, valued at €900, was stolen – it was never recovered.

A second burglary had taken place at Binn Bhán on the Western Distributor Road between August 26-29, through which entry was gained via an unlocked front door.

Car keys were stolen, along with a BMW from the driveway – both items were recovered undamaged.

He admitted to his part in another burglary at an occupied home in Leargán on August 22. There was no confrontation with the homeowners, but car keys, a phone, and a vehicle were stolen. The car was missing for a week and, when it was finally recovered, there were no keys in it. The owner faced the expense of replacing them, the court was told.

A second burglary of a home in Leargán took place between August 10-22, during which two sets of car keys were taken, and a VW Polo removed from the driveway. It was later found nearby.

“He admitted having the keys in his possession and driving it, but made no admission in relation to entering the home – the car was in good condition, but the car keys were not recovered,” Garda Kerrigan added.

The court heard that Matthew Golbey had 60 previous convictions, which his solicitor, Brian Gilmartin, blamed on his addictions. He said that the defendant was now a father, and that his main focus was on dealing with his charges to be free to raise his child. Judge Fahy was not convinced, however.

“There is a litany of suspended sentences from this and higher courts, and no time spent in any manner dealing with his difficulties,” she said.

“We know all about him, but nothing about the victims – just because they didn’t want to come into court doesn’t mean they are not victims.

“Their cars were stolen, their houses burgled, and the violence used – windows and doors kicked in, and rocks thrown.

“Our top jurisdiction (in District Court) is two years, and he has to get some dispensation for pleading. These people are at the expense of their new keys, and at the inconvenience – one person was missing their car for a week. In his favour, he has pleaded, and he made admissions while in custody on other matters.”

For the burglary at the occupied house in Leargán, a nine-month sentence was imposed; a further nine months for a similar offence at An Creagan, and a four-month sentence for the burglary at Barna Pharmacy. All of the other offences were marked with concurrent sentences.  His prison term was backdated to August 30, the date that he was taken into custody.

Recognisances were fixed, in the event of an appeal, on his own surety of €500, and an independent surety of €1,600. The conditions of which are that he does not drive any vehicle pending appeal.

Ryan Goldbey, meanwhile, the court was told, had 49 previous convictions – among them 10 for burglary. He was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment for the Barna Pharmacy burglary.

CITY TRIBUNE

Whopping repayments for City Hall’s move

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Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath: Responding to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, the Council suggested that senior management at City Hall did not meet with the owner of Crown Square in Mervue in the year before the loan approval for the purchase of the new offices there. If they did meet, no minutes exist.

The total cost to repay the loan required to execute Galway City Council’s planned purchase of new offices to accommodate a move from City Hall will be €63.1 million, the Galway City Tribune has learned.

It means the City Council will have to find €2m every year for 30 years in its own revenue budget to repay the mortgage, which could impact on the level of service it delivers to the public or may require an increase in charges or commercial rates.

Separately, a Council reply to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request suggests senior management at City Hall did not meet with the owner of Crown Square in Mervue in the year prior to the loan approval for the purchase of the new offices – and if they did meet, no minutes exist.

In its loan sanction application form, submitted to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the City Council applied for permission to borrow €45.4 million.

This is to cover the bulk of the cost of the €56.5m total capital outlay associated with moving from City Hall and relocating all Galway City Council employees from College Road to the new Crown Square offices in Mervue.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Hunt on for new courthouse to tackle explosion in cases

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Galway Courthouse: Limited facilities there make it difficult to clear lengthy Circuit Court lists.

The Courts Service is scouring the city for rental property to accommodate Galway Courthouse.

Commercial real estate advisors, Avison Young have been hired to source suitable property in the city centre.

The company published an advert in Galway City Tribune last week outlining the Courts Service’s property requirement of suitable commercial or office space of 1,800-2,000 metres squared.

Avison Young said the space should be in the city centre and be available to lease.

On-site parking is required, and it needs to be available for “immediate occupation”.

The move comes after the Galway City Tribune revealed earlier this month that victims of serious crime are waiting up to three years for justice because Galway’s limited court facilities make it difficult to clear lengthy Circuit Court lists.

Due to an explosion in the number of cases sent for trial at Galway Circuit Criminal Court, the wait for a trial date is between 24 and 36 months.

The Courts Service confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was looking for a new courthouse and office space facilities.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Stars align as Teapots finally stage Into the Dark Woods

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Blue Teapot director Petal Pilley with cast members Michael Hayes and Valerie Egan ahead of the show.

Into the Dark Woods

Blue Teapot at the Black Box

REVIEW BY JUDY MURPHY

After several false dawns, Blue Teapot Theatre Company finally got to stage its long-awaited drama, Into the Dark Woods, in the city’s Black Box Theatre last week. A Galway 2020 commission, and written by company member Charlene Kelly, it was originally meant to be presented more than two years ago.

Blue Teapot is made up of actors with intellectual disabilities and Charlene is one of its best-known performers, but this marked her first foray into writing, supported by dramaturg Eileen Gibbons. The production, directed by the company’s Artistic Director Petal Pilley, has done her proud.

It’s a short, moving, sometimes humorous piece about two young people with intellectual disabilities from very different backgrounds, who get lost in the woods where they are confronted by various demons and monsters.

Jennifer Cox plays Sharon whose grandmother (Mary Monaghan-McHugh) has taught her to be independent and outward looking, while Kieran Coppinger is a prince who has been cocooned in a nearby castle by his father (Midie Corcoran), a king who feels his son isn’t capable of inheriting the throne.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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