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Christmas behind bars for father of new born




A lifelong addiction to heroin and booze denied a man the opportunity of spending Christmas with his new-born child.

Brendan Wall (38), 7 Snipe Lawn, Newcastle, received sentences totalling twelve months at Galway District Court this week for a series of theft offences committed over the past two years to feed his heroin, and more recently, alcohol addictions.

Wall pleaded guilty to a plethora of charges involving the theft and handling of headphones, banjos and an iphone, all of which he tried to pawn to get cash to feed his drug habit.

Detective Thomas Doyle gave evidence that on September 26 last year a member of staff at Cash Creators became suspicious and rang Gardai when Wall tried to sell them a iphone which had no leads.

The owner had “become separated” from her phone on a previous night out, Det. Doyle said, and he had got permission to access the phone records to ascertain who owned the phone and return it to its rightful owner.

When interviewed, Wall claimed he got the phone from another man and he brought it to the shop to attempt to sell it.

Inspector Brendan Carroll told the court Wall stole two banjos, worth €300 and €500 respectively, from Opus on High Street,  on November 6  last year and then pawned them for €140.   The property was later   recovered.

Wall stole two sets of Beats headphones worth €239 each from Fonez, Corbett Court on November 7 last. He also stole three headsets from It’s Magic in Edward Square on June 12 last, but was identified on CCTV and later admitted the thefts.

While being interviewed, Wall also admitted stealing items from TKMaxx and to breaking into two cars at UHG and stealing items from them.

Nothing was recovered.

Wall also admitted stealing a charity box, containing €82, from the Imperial Hotel on February 10, and to the theft of €7 worth of food from Dunnes Stores on June 23 last.

Finally, Wall pleaded guilty to breaking into a vacant house at Upper Newcastle Road on August 7 last year and damaging internal doors.

Insp Carroll said Wall had 36 previous convictions, including several for thefts, trespass, burglaries and criminal damage, for which he had received custodial sentences and suspended sentences in the past.

Defence solicitor, Ronan Murphy said his client had a appalling record due to his 20-year addiction to heroin and, more recently, alcohol.

He said Wall got addicted to heroin when he was 18 and had turned to crime to feed his habit.

Wall, he said, had completed several rehabilitation courses in the past but his heroin addiction had been a struggle for more than 20 years now.

He said Wall was off heroin now for the past 12 months but had turned to drink as a substitute.  He said he now tends to commit crimes when he mixes alcohol with other medication.

Mr Murphy said Wall had been trying to sort himself out, particularly since the birth of his child two weeks ago.

“He is hoping to live with his partner, sort his life out and look after his child,” Mr Murphy said of his client.

Judge Marie Keane imposed sentences totalling 12 months on Wall.

Leave to appeal was granted.


Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
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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Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
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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Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
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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