A 23-year-old man has had a suspended sentence activated by a Circuit Court judge after he committed other offences during the period of the suspension and also breached the terms of bail set for him by the High Court in recent weeks.
Chris Goldbey, of 78 Fana Burca, Knocknacarra, had been ordered by the High Court prior to Christmas to stay out of Knocknacarra and reside with his aunt in Ballybannagher, Corofin, Tuam.
He then appeared before Galway District Court on January 4 last in relation to a number of charges including burglaries and handling stolen property and pleaded guilty to all of them when he again appeared before the court last week.
However, when inspector Mick Dwyer told the court that Goldbey had 47 previous convictions, including one for driving without insurance, for which he had received a three-month sentence (which had been suspended for one year on condition he not reoffend), at Galway Circuit Court this time last year, Judge Mary Fahy said she could not proceed to sentencing for the charges before the District Court as Goldbey had reoffended during the period of the suspension imposed in the Circuit Court and that matter would have to be dealt with first.
She remanded him in custody to appear before the Circuit Court on Tuesday where Judge Karen O’Connor promptly activated the suspended three-month sentence.
Goldbey had initially been remanded on continuing bail, as set by the High Court, to February when he appeared before the District Court on January 4.
The court heard then that bail was granted in the High Court before Christmas on condition he stay away from the Knocknacarra area, reside with his aunt near Tuam, sign on three times a week at Tuam Garda Station, observe a nightly curfew, and have no contact with any witnesses by any means.
Goldbey was brought back before the court last Monday by Garda Fergal Kilbane who gave evidence the accused had breached some of his bail conditions.
He said he had observed Goldbey in Knocknacarra twice on January 5.
He had seen him leaving his home in Knocknacarra at 1pm that day and later on that evening he stopped and searched him at Ballymoneen Road, where he found him in possession of stolen football jerseys.
He applied to the court to have Goldbey’s bail revoked.
Defence solicitor, John Martin said his client was not objecting to the application and he wished to plead guilty to all charges before the court.
Garda Kilbane then gave evidence that he stopped and searched Goldbey at Ballymoneen Road at 7pm on January 5 last and found two football jerseys in a rucksack he was carrying. The tags from Lifestyle Sports were still attached to them.
He later charged Goldbey with handling the jerseys knowing they were stolen.
Inspector Dwyer said that on November 8 last year, Goldbey and another male caused €400 of damage when they broke into a business premises in Salthill and stole €100 in coins and an iPad mini.
On Friday, November 19 last, Goldbey smashed a side window in a house at An Leargán, Western Distributor Road, filled a suitcase he found inside with a 20-inch TV, a Wii console and €3,385 worth of jewellery, along with several bottles of perfume.
Gardai searched his home on November 25, but only managed to recover a bracelet and a watch stolen from the house. The rest of the items were never recovered.
Insp Dwyer said Goldbey broke into the Mace store at Carnmore Cross on October 15 last.
The alarm and CCTV cameras were disabled before Goldbey took tiles off the roof to gain entry to the premises where he stole €1,200 in cash and boxes of cigarettes.
He was found walking in the area at around 2.45am by Garda Pat Fahy, Insp. Dwyer said.
Garda Fahy later obtained a search warrant and found four packets of Laser razor blades at Goldbey’s address. He was subsequently charged with handling the items, which were also taken during the burglary.
Goldbey was brought back in custody before the Galway District Court last Wednesday where he was given a further ten month sentence for a burglary at a residence in Knocknacarra on November 19 last. That is consecutive to his current sentence.
He also got a further three month sentence for handling stolen property on October 15 last.
Bikers do their bit to mark anniversary of blood service
This year marks the tenth anniversary of Blood Bike West, and the big birthday was marked in style with a sun-drenched afternoon at Galway Plaza’s Bike Fest West.
Galway stuntman Mattie Griffin was the headline attraction; there was face painting, games, plenty of ice-cream – and hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts and families.
The birthday celebrations kicked off with a 160-strong motorcycle spin around the Galway countryside, raising well-needed funds for the volunteering efforts of Blood Bike West.
As a 100% volunteer-run and funded organisation, donations are vitally important for Blood Bike West to continue operating their medical transport in the West of Ireland.
Since its inception in 2012, demand for their volunteers’ services continues to grow: collecting and delivering all manner of urgent medical items regionally and nationally, such as bloods, breast milk, medicines, scans, and equipment.
In 2021 alone, Blood Bike West delivered 983 urgent medical deliveries throughout the country.
As part of Galway City Councils Community, Blood Bike West undertook to operate a 24/7 service, including 165 medication deliveries from pharmacies to the self-isolating and vulnerable during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Since Blood Bike West’s inception in 2012, this increase sees the ongoing need to replace and renew their fleet of motorcycles.
Their motorbikes, Madison, Heather, Margaret, and newly inaugurated bike Cara, are regularly seen on Galway roads, delivering consignments to and from local and regional hospitals.
Park fun to mark Africa Day
On Saturday next (May 28) in Salthill Park, Galway’s African community invites people to join them in a celebration of culture as part of the national Africa Day celebrations.
Africa United Galway, emerging from lockdown and having hosted online festivals for the past two years, will be delivering a family fun day event.
Africa Day 2022 will reinforce a collaboration between Africa United Galway and Galway Africa Diaspora, Shining Light Galway and GoCom Radio (broadcasting live), who have worked to create a festival that will showcase Galway as a city of culture.
Among the performances on the day will be Afrobeat dancer Lapree Lala of Southside Moves, who will show how to dance in African style; Elikya Band will be bringing indigenous African Congolese music; The Youth Performances will be displaying their talent in rap, singing, speaking, and dancing and for the young at heart.
Galway Afrobeat performer Dave Kody will get the crowd moving and there will be poetry through spoken word and cultural displays. There will be a photo booth and face painting and everyone will get to have a taste of African cuisines.
In the spirit of inclusion and integration, The St Nicholas Collegiate Church Parish Choir will be presenting a special African performance as well as a feature presentation by the Hession School of Irish Dance, who will be presenting the famous Riverdance.
Also organised is a football friendly between the African community and An Garda Siochana.
The Mayor, Colette Connolly, will officially be opening the event with a keynote speech and several African Ambassadors are expected to be present on the day to reinforce the culture, beauty and strength of Africa and support for its people.
Africa Day is sponsored by Irish Aid and supported by Galway City Council.
Domestic Violence Response recorded highest number of clients in 24 years under Covid ‘shadow’
BY TIFFANY GREENWALDT-SIMON
A domestic violence support charity in Galway has recorded its highest number of clients in 24 years – “under the shadow” of Covid-19.
Domestic Violence Response (DVR), which is based in Moycullen, also reported its highest level of counselling support sessions in its 2021 annual report published last week.
The charity saw 136 new clients in 2021, and a total of 266 people utilised its services. It also saw a significant increase of return service users.
The support service also provided 51 nights of emergency accommodation through a partnership between Airbnb, Safe Ireland, and Women’s Aid.
Elizabeth Power, Coordinator of DVR Galway, said: “Our 2021 annual report highlights the stark reality of the level of domestic violence in Galway. Under the shadow of Covid-19, DVR recorded the highest number of clients in our 24-year history and delivered the highest number of support services.
“Our staff noted increases in the level of worrying and harrowing experiences of control and abuse. The trauma of these experiences will live with our service users long after Covid-19 fades into memory.
“While Covid-19 restrictions are behind us, domestic violence continues to be present in hundreds of homes throughout Galway.
“As we move through 2022, we will continue to provide our much-needed services to women and men throughout Galway, with an extensive counselling support and advocacy service and a number of new initiatives including a partnership with the HSE which will be launched in the coming months.”
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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