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Fraudsters turn to phishing as Gaeilge

Dara Bradley



Innovative foreign scammers are trying to cash in on the ‘Deontas’ bonanza in the Connemara Gaeltacht – by phishing ‘as Gaeilge’!

Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies or people in order to induce the recipients to reveal personal information such as credit card details or passwords.

It also includes emails from ‘friends’ in distress in foreign countries, looking for help, or from people, who out of the blue, email to say you’ve won the lottery in an exotic place, all in an effort to get your bank account details.

Maybe it’s because of the 1916 celebrations; or maybe they heard that Galway is now a bilingual city, because the fraudsters have begun phishing – ag fioscaireacht – as Gaeilge.

Now the scammers have become equal opportunity scammers, and are emailing people using the Irish language.

Galway residents in recent weeks have received emails from a Pierre Marques, from France, which is written ‘as Gaeilge’.

Like all these scams, the author has a sob story – in this case he’s got cancer of the throat and is about to die – and is looking for someone to offload his inheritance to.

He’s got €1.85 million and wants to give it to the recipient of the email. But just like the English versions of these emails, which are often written in pidgin English, the Irish version are worse.


The scam email

Bríd Ní Conghaile, of Gaillimh le Gaeilge, joked that the latest phishing email as Gaeilge was so poorly written it was unintelligible.

It was quite clear, she said, that the scammers used ‘Google Translate’ to directly translate poorly written English emails into Irish, which makes it near impossible to read, let alone understand.

“He should use some of that €1.85 million he’s trying to give away, and go and get Irish lessons, ranganna Gaeilge, with Conradh na Gaeilge,” she laughed.

“There is no sense to the email; it just doesn’t make sense. You can understand bits of it. You know that awful feeling some people get from the sound of someone scratching a blackboard – well that’s the feeling I get when I read this. It just grates; it makes no sense.”

Ms Ní Conghaile said no business or Irish-speaking person would be fooled by the email because it was so badly written.

Ms Ní Conghaile, whose job it is to promote the Irish language among the business community in Galway, as always, saw the positives in it.

“I suppose it’s a good thing that the scammers thought to write it in Irish. It shows that the language is relevant, even if it didn’t make sense!”


Street fight thugs from viral video outside Garda HQ avoid jail




A still from the video of the brawl close to the Garda HQ in Renmore.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Two men and a woman who were involved in a ‘staged’ fistfight outside the new Garda HQ in Renmore were warned they will serve prison sentences if they don’t stay off social media for two years.

Suspended sentences were imposed on all three over the incident which was recorded on mobile phone and footage went viral on social media.

The altercation between John Maughan (27), formerly of Rinville Park, Oranmore, who now lives in Dublin, and Patrick Maughan (31), of 122 Laurel Park, Newcastle, was filmed on Patrick Maughan’s phone by his wife, Ellen Maughan (31), who is John Maughan’s sister.

The footage was uploaded that evening to YouTube, where it gained a lot of traction.

Galway District Court heard this week the trio were sitting in their cars when Gardaí arrived at the scene within a matter of minutes.

They were subsequently charged with affray at Dublin Road, Murrough, Renmore, on November 2, 2018, in that all three used or threatened to use violence towards each other, thereby putting other people present in fear for their own safety and the safety of others.

Both men were also charged with breaching the peace.

Garda Pat Casey told the sentence hearing the incident occurred at 2.30pm on the main road between GMIT and the Garda HQ.

He said the men’s cars met, whether by accident or design, at that location where they got out and had a fist fight in the middle of the road.

Judge Mary Fahy asked if the location chosen for the fight, right outside the new Garda HQ, was deliberate.

Garda Casey said the men claimed they met by accident, “but that was where they met”, he added.

“The inference is they did it deliberately outside the Station to make it even better on social media. They are an absolute disgrace to do that in public and to do it in front of their children,” Judge Fahy said.
This is a shortened preview version of this court report. To read the article in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Cycle plans for Galway City get bumpy ride from councillors

Francis Farragher



A computer-generated image of how Eglinton Street would look if restricted for buses and bicycles only.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A €24 million plan to transform the greater urban area into a cycle friendly zone got a bumpy ride when introduced to city councillors at a meeting this week.

Councillors were presented with four consultants’ report outlining a framework for the narrowing of many city roads to facilitate cycle lanes and better pedestrian access.

However, several councillors hit out at the way the cycling proposals which were presented to them just hours before their scheduled meeting.

Former Mayor of Galway, Cllr Frank Fahey (FG) said that it just wasn’t good enough to have to consider such detailed proposals on city transport issues after only being emailed the details that morning shortly after 11am.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind), said that there was no joined-up thinking as regards the proposals and he asked if the residents of the east side of the city were consulted about what was being proposed.

“There is a real issue here with communication and consultation. We have businesses in Salthill that are down €25 million in terms of their business turnover and yet there was no consultation with them. It’s absolutely crazy going forward with no consultation,” said Cllr McDonnell.

Independent Knocknacarra councillor, Donal Lyons said that he had only received these detailed consultants’ reports just four hours before the meeting – he also wanted to know why Salthill was being treated differently to other areas.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read extensive coverage of the proposals, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Four-storey apartment block planned at Renmore cottage site

Stephen Corrigan



A computer-generated image of the apartment block and (inset) the cottage at Renmore Road.

Planning permission has been sought to construct a four-storey apartment block and three two-storey homes on a 0.8-acre site off the Renmore Road.

K King Construction Ltd is proposing to demolish the existing cottage at 78 Renmore Road to create access to the site, which backs onto Nolan Park.

The plans include 19 residential units in all, consisting of three detached four-bed houses to the south of the site, adjacent to Dún na Mara; 10 two-bed apartments and six one-bed apartments, to be accessed by a new vehicular entrance road where the cottage currently stands.

According to the planning application, the development would provide “a positive net gain of new residential units on an under-utilised infill plot” on lands which are zoned ‘Residential’ in the City Development Plan.

Some 22 car parking spaces are to be provided on-site – two for each detached house and one space per apartment unit; in addition, 34 covered bicycle parking spaces are provided for.

Each apartment will have a balcony while a children’s playground is proposed for an area south of the apartment block.

The materials and finish of the buildings are to be similar to those used in the adjacent Dún na Mara development that was completed in recent years by the same developer.

The development would include provision for new pedestrian access for residents to Nolan Park/Renmore Playing Fields by utilising “previously inaccessible” recreation and amenity lands.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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