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Connacht Tribune

Father of six bragged of sex with schoolgirl

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A father of six bragged to another man that he was having sex with a 16-year-old schoolgirl while showing him pictures of her in provocative poses which he had taken on his phone.

Dubliner Paul Devlin (51), who now resides at Quinaltagh, Garrafrauns, Dunmore, also showed the man a very short white mini-shirt, bragging the girl wore if for him every time he had sex with her.

Devlin began to cry when unanimously found guilty by a jury at Galway Circuit Criminal Court 23 charges involving the defilement of a child aged under 17 years of age, and a further eight charges of defilement by getting the girl to perform oral sex on him on numerous dates over an 18-month period, between 2009 and 2010.

He was led away in handcuffs from the courtroom by two prison officers, to await sentence on November 29.

Proseucting barrister Conor Fahy told jurors at the start of the trial the complainant was aged between 15 and 17 when the abuse began ten years ago.

“She alleges she had sexual intercourse with him and, on occasion, oral sexual intercourse and the law states that it’s a criminal offence for a male adult person to do that to an underage girl.

“The issue of consent does not apply in such an offence involving a child.

“The fact that she may and did consent to sexual intercourse while she was aged between 15 and 17 is irrelevant in criminal law because she was a child and the law is there to protect young girls from predatory men,” Mr Fahy explained.

The two-week trial heard evidence Devlin met the girl through his 15-year-old son on St. Patrick’s Day, 2009.

The then 42-year-old father of six began texting the girl shortly after that.

He arranged to pick her up near her school or meet her in carparks two to three times a week before driving her to remote locations in Connemara to have sex with her.

He told her he liked her in the miniskirt she was wearing when he first met her and asked if he could have it.

She gave it to him on one of their trips to Connemara, and he got her to wear it every time they had sex after that.

On one such trip to Connemara in 2010, when the girl was 16, Devlin took photos of her scantily-clad body, draped across the bonnet of his car and in other suggestive poses.

The court heard he also had sex with her regularly in his own home and had supplied her with cigarettes and alcohol.  He had bought her cheap presents and jewellery.

He told Gardaí she bought him a Father’s Day mug and he still had it.

Jurors heard Devlin had unprotected sex with the girl, and had hoped to get her pregnant so that she would have to move into his home where he would have complete control over her.

In his closing speech to the jury, Conor Fahy BL, prosecuting, said a single word summed up the photos shown to the jury and that word was ‘sad’, as they depicted a young, vulnerable child being exploited by a mature, married man for his own sexual gratification.

When asked on the second day of the trial what had she to say, looking back now, about having had consensual sex with the man ten years ago, the 25-year-old woman replied:

“I don’t know what to say.  It wasn’t right, but I couldn’t give up the attention and looking-after that I had from him and it just kills me now to think of it.”

She became upset at one point while telling jurors:  “We had sex two to three times a week from April 2009, up until I was 17.”

The abuse came to light when the accused bragged about his underage sexual activity to a ‘horrified’ male friend.

The man reported the abuse and the victim then came forward and made a series of statements to Gardaí.

She revealed to Sergeant Patricia Grady, who investigated the matter, that Devlin had taken compromising photos of her on his phone in 2010.

Devlin denied all of the allegations when questioned, telling Gardaí the girl was a liar. He said he always knew her age as she was the same age as his son and that he had tried to be her friend because he knew she was vulnerable and was having problems at home.

Gardaí confiscated the phone as described by the girl, during a search of Devlin’s home and found the compromising photos still stored on it.

They proved to the Gardaí – and to the jury – that the girl was telling the truth.

Devlin continued to deny the girl’s claims, saying another man had taken the photos.

Jurors took just 90 minutes to reach their unanimous guilty verdict on all charges and Devlin was led away in handcuffs crying.

Connacht Tribune

Renters struck by rocketing increases

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Rents for private accommodation in Galway City have doubled in the past seven years and are now averaging €1,300 per month.

And it’s bad news for renters in the county too, with rents up by more than 82% since the bottom of the market in early 2012.

The latest report from property website Daft.ie shows that since the market trough, rents have increased by 97% in the city and are up 9.1% year on year.

They now stand at an average of €1,297 per month, while in the county, the average is €932, up 15.5% year on year.

Rental inflation was higher in Co Galway that anywhere else in the country over the past year; the next highest was in Waterford County at 15.4%.

That means that average monthly mortgage repayments on a three-bed house in the city would be around €360 less than rental payments, and more than €390 less for a similar property in the county.

Nationally, the average rent is €1,391, up 6.7% on last year.

A break-down of the figures shows that one-bed apartments are renting for an average of €964 per month in Galway City (up 13.6% year on year); a two-bed house for €1,086 (up 11.2%); a three-bed house for €1,258 (up 10%); a four-bed for €1,384 (up 10%) and a five-bed for €1,464 (up 6%).

To rent a single bedroom in the city centre is now averaging €440 per month (up 5.8% over the past year) and €410 in the suburbs (up 7%). A double bedroom is averaging €544 (up 9.2%) in the city centre and €484 (up 5.4%) in the suburbs.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City  and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Public auction of Castlesampson farm with c.143 acres

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Connaughton Auctioneers are handling the sale of a c.143.40 acre farm located at Corraree and Ballygatta, Castlesampson, just 9km from Athlone/ M6 Motorway and 15km from Ballinasloe Town.

Located in a renowned farming district, the property has an extensive range of modern farm buildings including five-bay single slatted with lay back, three bay double bay slatted, covered yard with crush, two-bay double slatted, three-bay double flat shed and three-bay single flat shed with an overall area of c.10,274 sq. ft.

The lands are being offered for sale in four lots, Lot 1: c.77.77 acres with the farm buildings mentioned above, Lot 2: c.52.43 acres, Lot 3: c.13.20 acres and Lot 4: The entire property c.143.30 Acres with farm buildings. With a public road passing through the farm, there is extensive road frontage to an area of c.2,500 metres thereby holding huge potential for building sites in the future.

The property comes with mains connections to electricity and water and includes overall c.55.07 entitlements included in the sale.

Auctioneer for the sale, Ivan Connaughton stated: “This is a fine farm to come on the open market. The large investment in the ultra-modern farm buildings by the current owners together with an extensive holding of top-quality agricultural lands has attracted interest from both near and far.

The potential for transformation into dairy or usage as a large feed lot has attracted additional interest. Its location in a renowned farming district and conveniently situated close to the Galway/ Dublin M6 Motorway is a major advantage. The farm entitlements that total c.€21,000 per annum are included in the sale and has received a positive response from interested parties to date. I encourage any interested party to contact our office on 090-6663700 for further information and viewing”

The Public Auction is being held in Gullane’s Hotel, Ballinasloe on Friday August 30th at 4.00pm. All are welcome to attend. All legal enquiries can be made to solicitor for the carriage of sale, Hayden & Co. Solicitors, Athlone Tel: 090-6470622

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Connacht Tribune

Offering a lifeline to people affected by cancer

Denise McNamara

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Lifestyle – The Daffodil Centre at UHG which is celebrating its 10th anniversary has given practical and moral support to thousands of cancer patients and their family members since the Irish Cancer Society set it up as a pilot project. DENISE MCNAMARA hears one man’s story of its role in his recovery.

When Alan Rushe began to feel cramps in his stomach, he did not hesitate in attending his local doctor.

His GP asked if he had ever suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). As he had been diagnosed with the condition when he was younger, he was prescribed tablets for that and told to see how they worked.

Six days later, Alan’s condition hadn’t improved so his GP referred him for a colonoscopy. When the invasive test revealed he had colon cancer he was operated on within ten days. Two months later he was started on six months of chemotherapy, getting treatment once every fortnight.

When he was coming to the end of the treatment, Alan found himself in a bind.

He wanted reassurance about what to expect as the chemicals left his body but the doctors and nurses in the oncology ward were far too busy to give him the time he needed to sit and chat.

“One of the things about having cancer, your whole life becomes obsessed with your problem and how you’re dealing with it,” Alan reflects.

“Suddenly you’re coming to the end of chemo and you find yourself in a very strange place; you are in a vacuum. You might be told things by different doctors and nurses but you haven’t taken it in.

“You can’t just drop back into the ward, yet you want to talk to people who know all there is to know about your type of cancer.”

He was advised to go to the Daffodil Centre in University Hospital Galway (UHG), which is run by the Irish Cancer Society to seek further information.

There he found oncology nurse Fionnuala Creighton who manages the Galway Daffodil Centre. She sat down with Alan and gave him the time to answer the myriad of questions that were swirling around his mind.

“She gave me all this information about what to expect when chemo is leaving the body, how it would affect me. She gave me information leaflets and told me about services that are available, such as exercise classes in Cancer Care West,” he explains.

The Daffodil Centre at UHG began as a pilot project for the Irish Cancer Society a decade ago this month.

Aileen McHale, who is now Cancer Information Services Manager with the Irish Cancer Society, was the first nurse to work there.

“We wanted to set up a designated cancer centre in a hospital to provide information to the patient, relatives and general public at the point of diagnosis, treatment and follow-up,” she explains. “I was involved in the setting up and running it and, from the beginning one of my roles was recruiting and training a group of volunteers who would help me in the running of the centre.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City  and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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