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Connacht Tribune

Conman cop rumbled by real-life detective

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A man who bought a Garda hat and flashing blue lights on eBay before impersonating a member of the force, tackled four youths in a Galway shopping centre over a supermarket trolley they were pulling around the forecourt.

Unfortunately for Harley Bradley, a genuine Garda detective also happened to be at Westside Shopping Centre as the drama unfolded – and when Bradley told Padraig Healy that he was stationed in Oranmore, he wasn’t to know that Det Healy was actually based at that same station.

Bradley (27), from 24 Riverside, Grange, Ballina, admitted a number of offences at Galway District Court this week when Judge John King described him as a fantasist who had gone around saying he was a Garda, while driving without insurance and while already disqualified from driving.

Bradley pleaded guilty to impersonating a member of An Garda Siochana at Maxol Petrol Station, Westside Shopping Centre, Galway, on October 28 last year, contrary to Section 60 (1) (a) of the Garda Siochana Act 2005.

He also pleaded guilty to having no insurance or driving licence on the same date.

The court heard Detective Padraig Healy pulled into the Maxol filling station at 9pm on October 28 last year.

He observed four youths pulling a trolley around the forecourt. He then saw the driver of a blue Ford Mondeo activate a blue light on the dashboard before telling the youths to leave the trolley back.

Det. Healy approached the driver who told him he was a member of An Garda Siochana, stationed in Oranmore. Det. Healy, who is stationed in Oranmore, did not recognise him.

When questioned, Bradley gave him a false name but then admitted he was not a Garda at all. He apologised to Det. Healy and said he would be on his way.

Det. Healy became suspicious and asked him for his identification before seizing the Ford Mondeo.

He soon discovered Bradley did not have insurance or a driving licence because he was already disqualified from driving.

Det. Healy searched the car and found a Garda hat in the boot. Bradley said he had bought the hat and flashing blue lights on eBay.

He told Det. Healy he approached the youths because he wanted to move them on and not be messing with the trolley as he was employed by Dunnes Stores.

Sergeant Georgina Lohan, prosecuting, confirmed Bradley had three previous convictions. The first was recorded at Castlebar District Court in November 2016 for using a false instrument.

He had also been convicted of dangerous driving and driving without insurance and had been disqualified from driving for two years at the time of this latest offence.

Defence solicitor, John Martin said his client was an assistant retail manager who worked a lot in Galway and he wanted to apologise for his actions.

He said Bradley worked for the last five years with his current employers and was a father-figure to his younger siblings.

He said his client had bought the Garda hat for a Hallowe’en party.

He said Bradley had activated the blue dash lights when he saw what the youths were doing but there was no real reason why he would have the lights in the first place.

Mr Martin said his client had stopped driving altogether and was now getting the bus between Galway and Mayo to see his partner and child there.

Judge King said Bradley had been driving while disqualified and that having Garda paraphernalia in his car did not make any sense.

Hearing the maximum penalties for impersonating a Garda was a fine of €3,000 and/or twelve months in prison, the judge sentenced Bradley to two months in prison for that offence which he suspended for two years.

He directed Bradley carry out 100 hours’ community service in lieu of six weeks in prison for driving without insurance and directed he carry out a further 100 hour’s community service in lieu of a two- month consecutive sentence for driving without a licence.

“He is representing himself as a Garda and driving around without insurance.  I have serious concerns for someone going around saying he is a Garda. He’s a fantasist,” the judge observed.

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Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area

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A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes

The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.

The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.

The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.

Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.

Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.

In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

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Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised

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Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.

A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.

Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.

Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.

Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.

He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .

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Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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