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.
Galway had third-highest number of serious road injuries in past decade
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway has had the third-highest number of serious injuries from road accidents in the past decade.
Analysis by the Irish Times shows over 500 such incidents occurred in the county since 2013.
Nationally, road fatalities have averaged at 159 a year since 2013, while serious injuries rose by 180 percent in that time.
512 people suffered serious injuries following road accidents on Galway roads since 2013.
While 82 people have lost their lives in collisions in the county in that time.
Dublin has recorded the most serious injuries in the last decade at almost 3,000, while Cork came in a number two with nearly 1,200.
The figures indicate most serious injuries were suffered by men aged between 16 and 25 years.
It also found the most dangerous time to be traveling on Irish roads is in December, in particular between 4-8PM
Local TD urges Taoiseach to intervene in retained firefighter crisis
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Local TD Claire Kerrane is urging the Taoiseach to intervene in the retained fire service crisis as industrial action is underway.
SIPTU says local authorities have failed to address the recruitment and retention crisis in the brigade.
From this morning, firefighters won’t be attending training drills or testing their life saving equipment like breathing apparatus.
Retained fire-fighters are paid a base allowance and are on call 24/7 for most of the year, but typically work another full-time job
Sinn Fein TD Claire Kerrane says the Government was made aware last year that the service was on the brink of collapse.
4 Galway Garda stations recorded 5-year peak in crime last year
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Four Garda stations in Galway recorded a 5-year peak in crime rates last year.
According to the Irish Independent, Athenry, Gort, Oranmore and Clifden all experienced higher levels of crime compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Meanwhile, Salthill garda station was one of 257 to experience a significant reduction in crime in 2022.
Between 2019 and 2022, Crime was up 12.4 per cent at Anglesea Garda Station in Cork, 4.4 per cent at Henry Street in Limerick and 4.3 per cent at Ballybricken in Waterford.
The most dramatic increase recorded nationally was at Moate Garda Station in Westmeath, which saw crime increase by 125 per cent.
Larger stations such as Dublin Airport saw rates increase by nearly 50 per cent since before the pandemic.
The type of crime which has seen the biggest spike during this four year period was homicide – which has risen by 30 per cent.
Despite these increases, there was a decrease in the level of crime across 257 stations, including Salthill, Kinsale in Cork, Finglas in Dublin and Bray in county Wicklow.]