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Connacht Tribune

Conman cop rumbled by real-life detective




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

Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer

Denise McNamara



Ninety-five year old Margaret Kenny was first person to be administered the Covid-19 vaccination Practice Nurse Deirdre Furey at the Surgery Athenry.

On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.

Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.

While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.

“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.

“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”

Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from

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Connacht Tribune

Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!

Denise McNamara



Linda Hughes, presenting the RTÉ weather forecast live in studio.

Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.

But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.

The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.

She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.

The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.

“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.

“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”

Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from

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Connacht Tribune

Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery

Dave O'Connell



Mary Quinn...back home after an incredible few months.

Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.

But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.

The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.

To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.

“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.

But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.

Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from

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