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Concern over rise in crime committed by offenders on bail

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A Galway TD has expressed concern at a sharp rise in the number of crimes being committed by offenders out on bail.

Independent Deputy Noel Grealish was speaking in the Dáil, where he pointed to an eleven per cent increase in the incidence of crimes where the suspected culprit had been on bail last year.

And latest figures he received from the Central Statistics Office for the first quarter of this year show the trend continuing, with more than 6,000 crimes committed by criminals out on bail.

“Over the past ten years, just over a quarter of a million crimes have been committed in this country by people while they were out on bail. A total of 250,149 to be exact,” Deputy Grealish told the Dáil when he raised the issue during Leaders’ Questions.

“These, Taoiseach, included murderers, rapists, robbers and burglars who have wreaked havoc and brought terror to our society.

“From 2006 to 2015, people on bail were responsible for 89 murders, 237 serious sexual offences, more than 50,000 thefts and the same number of public order offences, and more than 18,000 burglaries.”

The Galway West TD warned that the situation was getting worse, with figures from the Central Statistics Office showing that last year, almost 26,000 such offences were committed, a disturbing increase of eleven per cent on the previous year.

“That is the equivalent of 500 crimes a week being carried out in Ireland by people who have already been charged with a criminal offence for which they are awaiting their day in court.

“These are people apprehended by the Gardaí, brought in, charged, and then released while a file is sent to the DPP. That file could be with the DPP for months, and in the meantime, these people are reoffending

“This is very, very frustrating for the Garda Síochána and it is exceptionally upsetting for victims of the crime, who can see the criminal walking down their street, making them feel intimidated and in fear.”

Deputy Grealish asked was it not time that the bail laws were radically reformed and these people put behind bars immediately, “or is this being deliberately done because we don’t have the room within our prisons to put these vicious criminals away? I’m not talking about people carrying out petty crimes here, but murderers, rapists, vicious attackers and the like.”

Figures for the first quarter of 2016 show “an equally depressing picture”, with a total of 6,049 crimes committed where the suspected offender was on bail for other offences.

CITY TRIBUNE

Hero’s welcome following rescue of two women on Galway Bay

Stephen Corrigan

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Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan, who rescued Sara Feeney and Ellen Glynn off Inis Oirr island, on their arrival back at the Galway RNLI Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The miraculous rescue on Galway Bay yesterday of two young women from Knocknacarra brought 15 long hours of searching to a euphoric conclusion, as cousins Sara Feeney (23) and Ellen Glynn (17) were brought safely to shore.

A major search and rescue operation was launched after the pair went missing from Furbo Beach on Wednesday night, when they were swept away by a sudden wind while paddle boarding.

Claddagh fisherman and former Lifeboat shore crew member Patrick Oliver and his 18-year-old son Morgan joined the search early on Thursday morning and were the heroes of the hour after they discovered the two women on their boards, clinging to a lobster pot about two miles south-west of Inis Oírr, where despite their ordeal, they were described as “ok, but shaken”.

In the face of torrential rain and high winds overnight, both women had drifted almost 20 miles out to sea, but amazingly neither required serious medical attention.

Sara’s mother, Helen Feeney, raised the alarm shortly after 9pm on Wednesday evening when she noticed the pair missing as she walked their dog along the shore.

Sara, a daughter of Helen and Bernard Tonge, and Ellen, daughter Deirdre and well-known former captain of Galway United Johnny Glynn, were both said to be in good spirits at the hospital yesterday afternoon.

One relative told the Galway City Tribune that the family was “utterly humbled by the generosity of people” who had took part in the search and said, “unbelievable doesn’t even begin to describe it”.

“Thank you from all the family to everyone who helped, words will never express our gratitude.”
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Photo: Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan, who rescued Sara Feeney and Ellen Glynn off Inis Oirr island, on their arrival back at the Galway RNLI Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway farm operators fall fowl of locals

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Neighbours of Mad Yolk Farm have asked Galway City Council to determine whether planning permission is required for a portable chicken coop earmarked for the land in Roscam.

This week, Mad Yolk Farm has indicated that it will be adding chickens to the site, which has already been the subject of planning enforcement by the local authority.

In a Facebook post, the operators said they are planning to rear organic chickens on site, with neighbours fearing as many as 450 birds in the chicken ‘caravan’.

“Our chicken caravan is now built and our beaked ladies will arrive in eight days. We’ll be moving the hens onto fresh grass each day and they’ll be free to forage for insects and take mud baths. They’ll be free to behave like a chicken should,” the business said on social media.

It has prompted a neighbour of the property to write the Council to formally ask for a declaration “whether the work/development described in the form is or is not development or is or is not exempted development under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act”.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cold water poured on Spanish Arch ‘bushing’ sprinkler plan

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway City Council has poured cold water on a suggestion that it should install water sprinklers to deter ‘bushing’ at city centre hotspots for outdoor drinking, such as Spanish Arch.

Councillor Eddie Hoare (FG) this week said the local authority should examine providing sprinklers, to deter bushing, after Spanish Arch and Middle Arch were packed with hundreds of revellers during the sunshine last weekend, and the areas were littered with alcohol bottles and cans.

Cllr Hoare said large crowds were prohibited from gathering outside due to Covid-19 social distancing guidelines, and if the partying continued “Galway will be the next county to be locked down”.

He said CCTV cameras should be installed at Spanish Arch and Middle Arch and added: “Galway City Council should consider installing sprinklers as a long-term solution.”

However, the City Council said it was not its intention to install sprinklers.

“It’s so hot at the moment, if you put out a sprinkler anywhere in Galway, people would just dance under it. We’re so unused to this muggy heat, that if you did that (installed sprinklers), on top of your 12-pack of Bacardi Breezers, or whatever it is young people drink these days, you’d have the biggest wet t-shirt competition this side of Ibiza – people would just dance under them. No, we have no plans for sprinklers,” remarked a City Council spokesperson.

He said the Council was unaware of a separate suggestion – announced by Mayor of Galway Mike Cubbard on social media – that certain city areas be exempted from the street drinking bylaws, to allow them to be monitored and controlled.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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