A man who abused his young nephew for six years was given a nine-month prison sentence after pleading guilty at Galway District Court.
The 58-year-old man – who cannot be identified in order to protect the identity of the injured party – pleaded guilty to three sample counts of sexual assault during a six-year period from 1992 when the boy was 13.
Sergeant Grace Hennessy outlined a number of incidents to the court — all of a similar nature involving fondling of genitals — which had taken place when the boy was seven, nine and 11, when his uncle was minding him. He recalled five specific incidents that had taken place in the family home or in the defendant’s car.
As the boy got older, he started avoiding him and he hadn’t seen his uncle in years.
The court heard that the sexual abuse might never have been reported, but that it came up while the man, now in his 30s, was in marriage counselling.
The injured party wasn’t in court and wanted to put all this behind him, said Sgt Hennessy and in a short Victim Impact Report, said that he suffered low self-esteem and anxiety all his life. He said the court hearing was long overdue for his uncle but he now wanted to move on with his life.
The court heard that the injured party was very upset every time he spoke about the abuse. He didn’t want to come to court and wanted to put it all behind him. He had thought it had been his fault.
The defending solicitor told Judge Mary Fahy that his client realised it was a gross breach of trust and apologised to his nephew and to his wider family.
Judge Fahy said she didn’t know if that apology was being accepted by the injured party, who had been abused for six years until he turned 13.
She said it was at the lower level of sexual abuse, but that it was still a gross breach of trust to a boy who had probably looked up to his uncle.
The Judge said she was imposing a custodial sentence because of the young age of the child involved and that this child, now a grown man, had to avail of counselling and that it had impacted on his life.
“Obviously the continuation of this for six years was a huge span for a child and from such a close relative,” she said.
The court heard from his legal representative that the man, who was unmarried, was not in good health.
She said she was taking the man’s age and his health into account and the fact he had fully co-operated with the Gardaí. She gave him a further three-month sentence for the other two charges to run concurrently with the nine-month sentence.
Recognisances were fixed for an appeal at his own surety of €600 as well as an independent surety of €600 on condition that he provided the State with a residential address and a mobile number and have no contact with the injured party.
€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms
Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.
The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.
A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.
Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.
Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.
Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.
The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.
“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.
“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”
Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.
“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.
The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools
Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.
“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.
“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.
A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
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.