Four charged with €1m Hartmann’s jewellery heist
Four Lithuanian nationals who are charged with the robbery of almost €1.1 million worth of jewellery from a Galway City jewellery shop on Wednesday have been remanded in custody to appear before Harristown District Court tomorrow (Friday).
Saulius Repecka (36), Irmantas Paulauskas (37), Erikas Matusevicius (35), and Vaidas Pinelis (28), appeared in custody before Galway District Court this afternoon.
Four Gardai gave evidence of arresting the men at Galway Garda Station yesterday morning and charging each of them with the robbery of €1,099,000 million worth of jewellery and watches from Hartmann’s jeweller’s, William Street, yesterday (Wednesday)
Pinelis replied: “He understands” when the charge was put to him.
Matusevicius replied: “I have nothing to say” when the charge was put to him, while the other two men made no reply.
Two of the men made no application for bail while Detective Inspector Mick Coppinger objected to applications for bail made by Matusevicius and Pinelas.
Insp Coppinger said he was aware all four men had travelled over land from Lithuania and arrived by ferry to Ireland two days ago.
Judge Mary Fahy refused both bail applications before the court and remanded all four men in custody to appear before Harristown District Court attached to Castlerea Prison, tomorrow.
Person taken to UHG following collision near Barna
Galway Bay fm newsroom – A person has been taken to UHG following a road traffic crash near Barna.
The incident, which involved a truck and a car, happened this afternoon on the R336 near the church.
Emergency services are at the scene and the road is currently closed.
One person has been taken to UHG, but the extent of their injuries is not known.
Taste of Galway at ‘Flavours of Ireland’
Some 60 tourism companies from Ireland attended ‘Flavours of Ireland’ 2022 in London last week – including Connemara Wild Escapes, DK Connemara Oysters and Killary Fjord Boat Tours.
‘Flavours’ is Tourism Ireland’s annual B2B tourism workshop, where tourism companies from Ireland meet and do business with top global inbound tour operators.
Now in its 20th year, ‘Flavours’ took place in the Guildhall, in the City of London, and was attended by around 100 global inbound tour operators who deliver business from all over the world, including the United States, Mainland Europe, Asia, Australasia and Africa.
‘Flavours’ provides an excellent opportunity for the participating tourism providers from Galway and Ireland to highlight and sell their tourism product and build valuable relationships with the key decision-makers in attendance.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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Planning Regulator wants Galway City Council U-turn on Development Plan
From the Galway City Tribune – The Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR) has asked Galway City Council to roll back material alterations to the new City Development Plan proposed by councillors.
In July, elected members voted through a raft of changes to zonings in the Draft City Development Plan 2023-29, which went out on public display.
But the Planning Regulator has now warned City Hall that many of the proposed changes do not comply with the OPR’s recommendations, and are contrary to national planning guidelines.
The OPR specifically highlighted problems with proposals to rezone as residential land deemed at risk of flooding.
Anne Marie O’Connor, Deputy Regulator, wrote to the Council’s Planning Department outlining the OPR’s fresh advice on the changes to the draft plan proposed and approved by councillors.
The draft plan will come before elected members again this month.
Councillors will be asked to row back on some of their previous material alterations, which ran contrary to advice of the OPR.
Ms O’Connor said the OPR welcomed many of the changes made by the City Council in its draft plan. She said, however, that the OPR “has a number of outstanding concerns relating to the response of the planning authority to its recommendations and to a number of proposed material alterations relating to the zoning of lands”.
These relate to changes that conflict with national and regional objectives for compact growth; with legislative requirements regarding climate action and core strategies; and with rezoning land at risk of flooding.
The OPR highlighted a dozen or more material alterations by councillors that are “not consistent” with the National Planning Framework for compact growth.
These include re-zoning of land from agricultural or recreational and amenity to residential.
The changes voted on by councillors, the OPR noted, were done against the advice of the Council’s Chief Executive Brendan McGrath.
The OPR said the changes proposed by councillors represented a “piecemeal approach” to zoning and were “inconsistent” with national policy.
These comments related to proposed rezoning of land at Rahoon; Dublin Road; Quarry Road, Menlo; Ballindooley; off Circular Road; Menlo village; Roscam and Barna Woods.
The OPR also raised “significant concerns” over five material alterations proposed for residential zonings of land at Western Distributor Road; Terryland; Menlo Village; Headford Road and Barna Woods which are located within flood zones.
The approach by councillors “may place people and property at unnecessary risk from future flood events”, the OPR warned.
Ms O’Connor told planners that if the draft plan ignores the OPR advice or is at odds with its recommendations, the Council Chief Executive must inform the OPR in writing the reasons for doing so.
Save Roscam Peninsula in a 33-page submission to the draft plan echoed many of the concerns outlined by the OPR.
The Council has pencilled in four dates in November and December to approve the plan.
It will meet on November 21, 24 and 28 and December 1 when material alterations will be voted on individually.
This article first appeared in the print edition of the Galway City Tribune, November 4. You can support our journalism by subscribing to the Galway City Tribune HERE. The print edition is in shops every Friday.