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Former hotel owner gets 6 years for rape of employee in Loughrea




A former Galway hotel owner has been given a six year sentence for the rape of an employee following a staff party.

47 year old Brian Shaughnessy raped the young woman in the Presidential Suite of the Loughrea Hotel and Spa after asking her earlier in the night if he could confide in her and buy her drinks.

He was the owner of the hotel at the time.

Brian Shaughnessy, with an address at Ballywinna, Craughwell, had pleaded NOT guilty to rape of the girl at the Lough Rea Hotel and Spa in Galway on July 26, 2010 but was convicted by a jury following a trial in March this year.

Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan today suspended the final year of the six-year sentence on condition that Shaughnessy be of good behaviour and keep the peace for a period of one year post-release.

The judge noted that the accused had not accepted the jury’s verdict of guilty, and said he would suspend one further year of the six-year sentence on the condition that Shaughnessy undertakes the “Better Lives” rehabilitation programme for sex offenders while he is in prison.

Mr Justice Sheehan said he took into the account the seriousness of the offence and the effect it had had on the young victim and on her education, particularly the depression she had suffered as a result of the rape.

However he also said he accepted the various character references that had been submitted on behalf of the accused, which indicated that his actions on the night in question had been out of character.

Mr Justice Sheehan accepted that Shaughnessy had actively supported and contributed to the development of his local community both through his involvement with the GAA and his business, and that he was very much involved in the upbringing of his young family.

The judge also pointed out that the adverse publicity attaching to the case was “punitive” for the defendant.

During the trial, the young woman outlined in a victim impact statement the effect of the rape on her life and family.

She said she became uptight afterwards and lost interest in her appearance and eating. She said she lashed out at the slightest thing and developed panic attacks.

She became afraid to fall asleep in case Shaughnessy was in her room.

She said “Physically, mentally and emotionally I was raped. I am a real person who was raped ….. I am your daughter, sister and friend,”

“You never took responsibility for what you did,” she told Shaughnessy. She said he had taken her innocence, confidence and trust but she now had it back.

“I am handing back the guilt, blame and responsibility for my rape to its rightful owner. It is no longer mine to carry,” she said

The sentence was backdated to 22nd March 2013, when Brian Shaughnessy went into custody.

Breaking News

84 new COVID-19 cases in Galway, 2121 nationally, and 8 further deaths




Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 8 additional deaths related to COVID-19.

All 8 of these deaths occurred in January.

The median age of those who died is 85 years and the age range is 49-93 years. There are no newly reported deaths in healthcare workers. There are no newly reported deaths in a young person under the age of 30.

There has been a total of 2,616 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

As of midnight, Sunday 17th January, the HPSC has been notified of 2,121 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 174,843* confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland. 

Of the cases notified today:

  • 992 are men / 1,117 are women
  • 58% are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 39 years old
  • 753 in Dublin, 236 in Cork, 142 in Wexford, 126 in Kildare, 109 in Limerick and the remaining 755 cases are spread across all other counties. 

As of 2pm today, 1,975 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 200 are in ICU. 102 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “This third wave of the pandemic has seen higher level of hospitalisations across all age groups. There are now more sick people in hospital than any time in the course of this pandemic. The risk that this disease poses to the individual who is infected has not changed. What has changed is that we are experiencing a much greater level of community transmission and as a result we are seeing higher numbers of people with severe illness who require hospitalisation or admission to intensive care and higher numbers of mortality. Please continue to stay at home and drive down this infection in our community.”

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said; “Our survey data indicates that 60% report contacting older relatives and friends to ensure they are okay. Providing support and reassurance to older and more vulnerable members of society is an important part of our collective response to this pandemic. Our sense of community and support for each other must remain a key part of our armoury against COVID-19.”

Dr. Lorraine Nolan, Chief Executive, Health Products Regulatory Authority, said; “Up to the 11th of January, the HPRA received a total of 81 reports of suspected side effects associated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. All reports were generally consistent with those typically observed with other vaccines and included events of a mild to moderate nature which resolved or were resolving at the time of reporting. Among those most frequently reported were abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, joint pain and pains in the arms, some experience of dizziness, headache, itching and a rash – all consistent with the known and anticipated side effects as emerged during the clinical trials.

“While the relatively mild effects described are of course uncomfortable for those who experience them, they do pass quickly and generally do not require any medical treatment.

“Safety monitoring of all medicines, including vaccines, is central to the remit of the HPRA and we intend to publish a regular update of the number and nature of reports regarding suspected side effects with COVID-19 vaccines, as the vaccination roll-out continues.”

Dr. Vida Hamilton, National Clinical Advisor and Group Lead, Acute Hospitals, HSE, said: “We are now one week operating in critical surge capacity, the first time we have had to rely on this during the pandemic. Our staff escalation plan is in operation and we are very grateful for the non-critical care staff who are supporting the delivery of these critical services. Patients across the health service are very sick. The message from your healthcare workers is to please stay at home and continue to interrupt the spread of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community.


*Validation of data at the HPSC has resulted in the denotification of 4 confirmed cases. The figure of 174,843 confirmed cases reflects this.

Today’s cases, 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population and new cases in last 14 days (as of midnight 17 January 2021) (incidence rate based on Census 2016 county population)

CountyToday’s cases (to midnight 17Jan2021)14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population (04Jan2021 to 17Jan2021)New Cases during last 14 days (04Jan2021 to 17Jan2021)

The 7 day incidence is 470.2

The 5-day moving average is 3,149

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Breaking News

Simon Harris to seek removal of repeat exam fees at NUIG




Galway Bay fm newsroom – Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has pledged to write to NUI Galway to ask them to waive repeat examination fees.

The matter was raised in the Dáil by Galway West Sinn Fein Deputy Mairead Farrell.

She said it’s ridiculous that in the midst of a pandemic, NUI Galway is charging almost €300 for repeat exams, while most other universities do not charge students at all.

She pointed out that youth unemployment is currently at 20 percent and students are also struggling with ‘crippling’ rents in Galway City.

Addressing Minister Harris, Deputy Farrell said it’s not fair there’s no consistency in some policies at Ireland’s universities – a situation she said creates an “unlevel playing field”.

Speaking in response, Minister Harris gave a committment that he would write to NUI Galway….

To hear more, tune into Galway Bay fm news….

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Breaking News

Over 24 thousand people in Galway to receive Pandemic Unemployment Payment tomorrow




Galway Bay fm newsroom – Over 24,300 people in Galway will receive the Pandemic Unemployment Payment tomorrow.

That’s an increase of almost 3 thousand people since this time last week.

Nationally, 460,000 people will receive the PUP tomorrow, the highest figure recorded since June.

That marks a rise of almost 62,000 people since last Tuesday.

The sector with the highest number of people receiving the payment this week is accommodation and food services – which accounts for over 110,000 people.

It’s followed by over 76,000 wholesale and retail staff, which includes shop workers and also mechanics.

While there are over 56 thousand construction workers across the country set to receive the payment tomorrow – close to double last weeks figure.

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