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.
Motorcyclist killed in Galway crash
A motorcyclist has died following a crash in Renmore this morning.
Shortly after 10am, the motorcyclist – aged in his 40s – was seriously injured when his motorbike collided with a car on the R338 Old Dublin Road at Renmore Park. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.
The crash site was fully examined by Garda Forensic Collision Investigators and the road has now reopened to traffic.
The deceased was removed to the mortuary at University Hospital Galway and the Coroner has been notified.
Investigating Gardaí are appealing witnesses to come forward and have asked anyone who was travelling in the area at the time and has dashcam footage to contact them.
Wrecking ball for once-great social hub, the Corrib Great Southern Hotel
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It was the summer of ’69, and the landmark Great Southern Hotel in Eyre Square was booming.
Every evening, 180 guests – mostly American tourists – thronged its dining room for dinner. Similar numbers were served breakfast, with about 150 for lunch.
It was so busy, the semi-state company planned another 160-bedroom sister hotel, the Corrib Great Southern, on the Dublin Road.
Then the Troubles in Northern Ireland started, and “business fell off a cliff”, recalled Richard Lyons, who worked in both hotels, including 35 years as maître d in the newer one.
“They were building the Corrib when the Troubles started and they decided they had to cut back the rooms by 40. That’s how they finished with 120 bedrooms,” he said.
The hotel was opened on May 27, 1971, by Brian Lenihan Snr, the then Minister for Transport and Power, and Bishop of Galway, Michael Browne.
But the legacy of the Troubles lingered for years after, according to Renmore resident Richard – debt from State borrowing to build a new hotel up North, which was twice bombed by the IRA, threatened the very existence of the semi-state hotel group owned by CIÉ.
In the early 1980s, hotel group debt grew to nearly £8 million, and the Fine Gael and Labour Coalition Government headed by Garret Fitzgerald decided to liquidate it.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story of the hotel, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Galway City Council extends outdoor dining into October
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The summer of alfresco dining looks set to be extended into the late autumn, with Galway City Council confirming this week their plans to extend the outdoor arrangements to October 22.
Local councillors, hospitality representatives and the City Council have said this week that the extension of outdoor dining at five city locations from September 30 to October 22 next, reflects public satisfaction with the current set-up.
This week the City Council published statutory public notices to clear the way for a continuation of the existing road closures required to facilitate outdoor dining on William Street West, Raven Terrace, Dominick Street Upper, Woodquay and the Small Crane.
Johnny Duggan, Chairman of the city branch of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland and proprietor of Taylor’s Bar on Dominick Street, told the Galway City Tribune that the outdoor dining initiative during the summer had been a ‘huge success’ both from a viability and operational viewpoint.
“It has brought a life and vibrancy back into these areas in a very safe and controlled environment – the move makes sense in terms of the October 22 deadline set for the return of normal business,” he said.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story and for a proposal to bring an ice rink back to Leisureland, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.