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CCTV captured violent late-night attack



Garda street cameras captured “crystal-clear” images of two youths knocking two others unconscious during a violent and unprovoked attack in Eyre Square late one night.

The footage led to the positive identification of both accused who each received three-year sentences with the final year suspended.

Michael Mongan (20), of 5 Cois na Coille, Ballybane, and Michael Barrett (20) from 46 Beal Srutha, Ballybane, both pleaded guilty to affray at Eyre Square on March 2 last year when they first appeared before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in February.

The matter was adjourned for sentence and for the preparation of reports on both accused.

Garda Paul McNulty told the sentence hearing that images of a violent incident involving a large number of youths was captured “crystal-clear” on Garda street cameras outside Supermac’s, Eyre Square at 2.24a.m. on the date in question.

Barrett can be seen on the CCTV talking to another young man. Barrett is aggressive and he is seen striking the other young man in the jaw.

Michael Mongan then rushes in and punches the young man into the side of the head, blind-sided. The young man falls unconscious to the ground where Barrett kicks him in the head.

Another young man is captured on the CCTV coming in to diffuse the situation. He is seen talking to Barrett and holding out his hand in an attempt to shake hands but he too is struck and falls to the ground unconscious where he is again attacked.

Both victims lay on the ground unconscious for a number of minutes while both accused are seen fleeing the scene.

“This was a totally unprovoked assault and makes for gruesome viewing,” Garda McNulty said.

Barrett was arrested on June 5 last and replied “no comment” to every question put to him during interview, even when the graphic CCTV footage was shown to him.

Mongan came to the Garda Station three weeks later and said he wanted to give a voluntary statement but then changed his mind and left.

Garda McNulty said both accused were now in custody serving sentences for other offences.

Barrett, the court heard, is a trained boxer with 29 previous convictions, two of which are for serious assaults for which he received sentences totalling 18 months last year.

Mongan has five previous, including three for robberies and is currently serving 14 months for those. He also received a three-year sentence last July for robbery, with the final two years suspended

Defence barrister, Aisling Wall said Barrett’s sentence for the other assaults was due to expire in November.

He had a record of offending from the time he was 15 years of age and admitted he had a violent nature when he had drink taken, she said.

Mr Tony Buckley for Galway City Partnership spoke very highly in Mongan’s favour.  He said Mongan had done a lot of voluntary work in his neighbourhood and he saw some good in him

Ms Wall said Mongan’s current sentences would be served by September

She said he suffered from ADHD and had not been taking his medication for the condition at the time of these offences but was back taking it again now

Both accused, she said, had drank a lot of alcohol prior to the affray

Judge Rory McCabe said this was a vicious, nasty and unprovoked assault on two innocent young men

Nobody, he said, could blame alcohol for such an attack

“Nobody put a funnel in their mouths and poured alcohol into them,” he observed.

Both accused, the judge said, were no strangers to the court and had committed significant crimes of violence already in their young lives

Reading from a prison governor’s report handed into court which stated both accused had disciplinary notes on their files, the judge said the appropriate sentence in each case was three years in prison with the final twelve months suspended for three years, on condition both accused be of good behaviour during the period of the suspension

The sentences, he added, would run concurrently to the sentences both accused are currently serving


Councillors back bid to ban city centre parking in Galway



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors have unanimously agreed to ask Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to limit parking to residents only in the city centre.

Pedestrians in the city are being treated like second-class citizens, according to the Mayor, who said cars continued to get the priority on Galway’s streets.

At a meeting of the City Council this week, Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) said the city had come to a standstill in car traffic, and pedestrians and cyclists were suffering the consequences.

“At junctions, why am I a second-class citizen in my own city as a pedestrian? It rains in Galway for 300 days of the year, but I am a second-class citizen when priority is given to motorists.

“It’s always the pedestrian that waits,” she said, hitting out at the length it took to get a green light to cross at pedestrian crossings.

One way to reduce the number of cars in the city centre would be to limit parking to residents only in the city centre, said the Mayor.

In a motion she proposed, seconded by Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind), councillors unanimously agreed to write to the Minister for Transport to demand he pass the necessary legislation to enable the Council to do this.

The Mayor said residents were “sick, sore and tired” of people parking where they wanted when they visited the city and said despite a desire to introduce this measure going back almost 20 years, the Council was hamstrung by national legislation that prevented them from proceeding.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Planners approve homes for ‘cuckoo fund’ investor



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The green light has been given for the construction of 345 apartments at the Crown Square site in Mervue – the majority of which will be put on the rental market and operated by a ‘cuckoo fund’ for a minimum of fifteen years.

Crown Square Developments, which is owned by developer Padraic Rhatigan, has secured permission from An Bord Pleanála for the ‘Build to Rent’ development, with four blocks ranging ranging from four to nine storeys in height.

There will also be a neighbourhood facility with a gym, a primary care medical centre with pharmacy, a ‘working from home’ lounge, six shops, a games room and a creche.

There will be 240 two-bed apartments, 86 one-beds and 19 three-beds, all of which will be specifically for the rental market and not available to purchase.

A breakdown of the apartments shows there will be 240 two-beds; 86 one-beds and 19 three-beds.

To meet social housing requirements, the developer plans to transfer 35 of the apartments (20 two-bed, 10 one-bed and 5 three-bed) to Galway City Council.

A total of 138 car-parking spaces have been allocated on the lower basement levels of Crown Square for residents, along with shared access to another 109 spaces and another 13 for use by a ‘car club’. There will be 796 secure bicycle parking spaces to serve the apartments.

The Board has ordered that the apartments can only be used as long-term rentals, and none can be used for short-term lettings.

Under ‘Build to Rent’ guidelines, the development must be owned and operated by an institutional entity for a minimum period of 15 years and “where no individual residential units shall be sold separately for that period”. The 15-year period starts from the date of occupation of the first residential unit.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.


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Councillors divided over vote on Salthill Prom cycleway



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to install a temporary two-way cycle lane along Salthill Promenade hangs in the balance, with city councillors split ahead of a vote next week.

On Monday night, the 18 city councillors will discuss Mayor Colette Connolly’s motion that the lane be installed on the coastal side of the road from Blackrock to a point opposite Galway Business School.

A poll of the councillors carried out by the Galway City Tribune yesterday found nine in favour of the proposal, with one indicating they will abstain. A simple majority is required and if there is a 9-9 split, the Mayor holds a ‘casting’ vote, effectively a second vote.

There has been a flurry of lobbying by cycling campaigners urging councillors to vote in favour, as well as some complaints from residents worried it will again impinge on their parking as visitors to Salthill seek somewhere to park up while they swim or walk along the most utilised resource the city has.

During lockdown, Gardaí removed parking on the Prom to deter people from gathering in a public space. This resulted in motorists blocking driveways and entering private estates, leading one estate off Threadneedle Road to hire a private clamping company.

Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) believes there are a maximum of 250 spaces that would be lost to the project on one side of the road as currently proposed, including seven disabled spaces, which could be reassigned close by.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read extensive coverage of the issue and to see how each councillor intends to vote, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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