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Connacht Tribune

Burglar hadn’t got a prayer after DNA found on rosary beads

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Samples of DNA found on rosary beads which were ripped from a burglar’s neck as he grappled with the occupants of a house four years ago, led to his conviction at Galway Circuit Criminal Court last week.

Father-of-three, John Delaney (32), the caravan, Borris-in-Ossory roundabout, Co. Laois, had initially opted for trial, but then changed his plea to guilty to burglary at a house in The Elms, College Road, Galway, on March 2, 2014, when faced with the indisputable DNA evidence against him.

The court heard the national DNA database was not established until November 2015, but a sample of DNA was taken from the rosary beads at the crime scene in March, 2014 by Galway’s Crime Scene Investigation team and sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory in Dublin.  A DNA profile was generated from the sample and kept on file.

Delaney, who had 100 previous convictions by that stage, including 21 for burglaries and several more for robberies and assaults, went on to rob the female owner of a hair salon in Galway City on February 15, 2015, for which he received a six-year sentence with the final year suspended in May of last year.

Meanwhile, in October, 2016, Gardai in Galway were notified the database had matched Delaney’s DNA to the burglary at The Elms in 2014.

Garda Pat Fahy said the burglary at The Elms occurred just before noon.

He said a student, who was a part-time barman, woke to find a burglar standing beside his bed.  The burglar (Delaney) was holding the student’s wallet in his hand.  The student jumped up and a struggle ensued.

Delaney punched the student in the face, who then punched him back, grabbing his wallet back.  Delaney grabbed the wallet again and ran downstairs.  He was confronted by the student’s father and all three men tumbled down the stairs, falling inside the front door.

Delaney grabbed the wallet again, but the father and son managed to get it back before Delaney fled out the front door.

Gardai carried out a forensic examination of the house and found rosary beads on the stairs which had been ripped off Delaney’s neck in the struggle.

They checked CCTV footage from premises in the area, but Delaney was never found.

Garda Fahy said Delaney was interviewed in February, 2017, while serving a six-month sentence for another burglary in the Midlands.  He said he could not remember the Galway burglary as he was taking a lot of drugs at the time.

A swab was taken from him and sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory.  It matched the DNA found on the rosary beads.

Delaney got into the house through an unlocked front door.

A victim impact statement from the student, who has since moved abroad, was read into evidence. He said that a person was supposed to feel safe and secure in their own home, but he had never felt safe since that morning.

Delaney’s barrister said his client was “a junkie” looking for money for drugs up and down the country at the time of this offence.

Judge Gerald Keyes sentenced Delaney to three years in prison with the final 16 months suspended.  He made the sentence consecutive to the five-year sentence Delaney is currently serving.

Connacht Tribune

Cherish every moment; hug and kiss your loved ones every night

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Happier days…Geraldine Mullan with her husband John and their children Tomas and Amelia.

Last August, GERALDINE MULLAN (née Connaughton) endured an unfathomable nightmare, losing her husband and two children in a crash that she herself was lucky to survive. Here the Williamstown native writes of life since – and how the support of so many has helped her over the last three months.

My husband John was a fan of Bruce Springsteen. In normal circumstances he would be currently enjoying Bruce’s latest album “Letter to You” and taking particular interest in the songs, especially the one entitled “House of a Thousand Guitars” (given John’s love of that instrument).

But these are not normal days and instead it is me appraising the new offering from The Boss and taking poignant note of some of the other lyrical melodies on the album, particularly those entitled “One Minute You’re Here” and “I’ll See You in my Dreams”.

These two songs in particular speak to my situation and have become musical reminders of my beloved departed, my husband John and our children Tomas and Amelia, who were cruelly taken from this world in late August of this year.

Since the tragedy unfolded, I have been surrounded by many wonderful people and wrapped up in their familial and communal embraces, all united in offering me solace, comfort, assistance and no end of love, understanding and compassion.

I stand each day and get through it, in no small part, due to the continuous support you provide to me.

Such is the outpouring and swell of sympathy and empathy alike, and many are the calls, messages, cards, letters, flowers, gifts, acts of service and human kindness which have reached my Moville doorstep, that I am truly overwhelmed, very much humbled and ever-grateful.

I am genuinely appreciative of it all and your love and caring has taken root in my heart and in my head. That being said, I am unable to respond to everyone individually, therefore this is my “Letter to You”, my simple way of acknowledgement and sincere thanks.

You can read Geraldine’s full, heart-breaking letter in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Early Christmas box for 13,500 Galway farmers

Francis Farragher

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CLOSE on 13,500 Galway farmers should be getting an early ‘Christmas Box’ this week with the final tranche of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) monies being paid out – ‘bang on schedule’, according to Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue.

Back in October, farmers got the 70% advance payment in BPS with a commitment given at the time that the balance would be paid out in early December – balancing payments under the Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) scheme are scheduled to commence next week.

Total BPS payments to Galway’s 13,500 farmers come to just over €82 million, according to figures released by local TDs this week, with the average individual payment per farmer working out at just over €6,000.

East Galway TD and Minister of State, Anne Rabbitte, said that the final tranche of the BPS payments was a most welcome one for thousands of farmers across the county after a most difficult year.

“The really important thing about these payments is that they are being made on schedule and they will help a lot of farmers to ‘balance the books’ for 2020,” said Minister of State, Rabbitte.

The Minister for Agriculture also confirmed this week that payments under the 2020 National Reserve and the Young Farmers Scheme will also commence alongside payment of the 2020 BPS balancing payment – this will also benefit a significant number of Galway farmers.

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.

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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Connacht Tribune

Baby born in a hurry outside Ford garage – and he’s called Henry!

Denise McNamara

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Baby Henry Dyar with proud parents Lisa and Robert, and big brother Darragh.

There was only one choice of name for a new arrival born in a hurry outside a Ford garage, almost in the passenger seat of a Ford Mondeo – he was always going to be Henry after that.

And after his speedy arrival in the middle of a nationwide go-slow, little Henry Dyar is thriving – despite arriving three weeks ahead of schedule.

Mum Lisa McCauley was thankfully on alert as she had been caught out before; her first born son Darragh had arrived a month early two years ago.

So when she began to feel the first twinges of labour at 6.30am on November 17 – and after contacting the maternity ward in University Hospital Galway – she and husband Robert Dyar organised a babysitter for Darragh and headed out on the motorway from their home in Loughrea.

As they were approaching Oranmore and the traffic was beginning to build, Lisa was hit with the realisation that she would not make it as far as the hospital.

So the quick-thinking Garda called Mill Street Station requesting an escort to bring her the rest of the way.

She was met at the top of Bothar na Treabh by a patrol car, who had pulled in off the Kirwan roundabout beside Sheil’s Motorpark garage.

But by then things had progressed beyond the point of no return.

Read the full happy ending in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. 

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.

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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