Galway Bay fm newsroom – A city man who left a bank worker in a coma for two weeks after an unprovoked assault has had his eight-year sentence reduced on appeal.
28 year old Dean O’Brien with a last address at Bishop O’Donnell Road was jailed for eight years in 2011 after he was found guilty by a jury of assault causing serious harm to Barry Mannion on William Street West, Galway, on December 28, 2009.
The Irish Independent reports that O’Brien had pleaded not guilty to counts of assault causing serious harm, assault causing harm and producing an article capable of inflicting serious injury.
There was evidence that O’Brien was driving a car with a number of passengers who had stopped to get takeaway food.
An altercation then took place between the passengers of the car and another man.
Mr Mannion, who up to this point had nothing whatsoever to do with the events, then approached in a peace keeping fashion.
O’Brien then landed a punch on Mr Mannion’s jaw sufficient to split his lip and lift him up from the ground, whereupon he fell backwards and suffered life-changing injuries.
The victim was left in a coma in a life-threatening condition and was later removed to a specialist unit in Beaumont hospital dealing with head injuries.
He has a permanent titanium plate in his head as a result of the assault.
Counsel for O’Brien, Mr Damien Colgan SC, this week said it was submitted that there was “no light left at the end of the tunnel” in the sentence imposed on O’Brien.
He submitted that the error in principle lay in the imposition of an eight-year sentence in circumstances of O’Brien’s young age and his expression of remorse for his actions.
Returning judgement, presiding judge Mr Justice Liam McKechnie said it could be reasonably assumed that the starting point was ten years, which was reduced to eight years to reflect what the trial judge said in his judgement about being anxious to leave some light at the end of the tunnel for Mr O’Brien.
Mr Justice McKechnie said the court found the offence warranted a “severe, lengthy custodial sentence” to reflect the court’s “strong disapproval” of this sort of behaviour.
However, he said the court would suspend the last 18 months of the eight-year sentence.
Tuam Councillor hits out at those behind Tuam violence
Galway Bay fm newsroom – A Tuam County Councillor has hit out at those involved in yesterday’s violent incident in Tuam in which seven people were injured at a cemetery in the town.
Armed officers attended the scene at the cemetery on the Athenry road at 4pm, after violence broke out.
A 16-year-old boy was arrested as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.
Five men and two women were taken to University Hospital Galway, with non life-threatening injuries.
Two funerals took place yesterday in the town and local Councillor Donagh Killilea has stated that the violence which broke out that afternoon was not connected to the bereaved families.
It’s believed the incident is related to an ongoing local feud in the town.
Speaking to Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks, Local Councillor Donagh Killilea says he and others are now working to broker a peace deal with those involved as the people of Tuam have had enough of the violence….
Over 5,600 Covid 19 tests completed in Galway over last week
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Over 5,600 Covid 19 tests were carried out at Galway’s two testing bases in the last week.
The Galway Airport site completed 4,186 tests in the period.
In the city, the Forster Street site carried out an additional 1,442 tests.
Latest figures show 721 Covid 19 cases were recorded in Galway over the last 14 days.
1,432 new cases of COVID-19 nationally; 30 deaths in the past week
Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 1,432* confirmed cases of COVID-19.
As of 8am today, 272 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 63 are in ICU.
There has been a total of 5,209 deaths related to COVID-19 notified in Ireland. This includes 30 deaths newly notified in the past week (since last Wednesday).
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said:
“We have been closely monitoring the incidence of COVID-19 and we are reassured that that the reopening of schools has not led to an increase in transmission of COVID-19 amongst school-going children or more widely across the population. This is good news for students, parents and all those involved in the education of our children. As always, we will keep disease transmission in the population under review, but given the importance of education for our children we feel that now is the right time to evolve our approach to the public health management of COVID-19 in educational settings.
“From Monday 27 September, we will change how we manage COVID-19 in our schools. Contact tracing of close contacts in childcare facilities and primary education and testing of asymptomatic close contacts in childcare facilities and primary education will no longer be necessary.
“Children aged 12 yrs or under, who are identified as close contacts in childcare, educational settings, special education settings or other non-household settings and who are asymptomatic will no longer be required to routinely restrict movements.
“Given the substantially higher risk of transmission in households as compared to any other setting, children aged 12 yrs or under, who are identified as household close contacts, will still be required to restrict movements and be tested, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms.
“Public health advice remains that any person, including children aged 12 yrs or under who displays symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should rapidly self-isolate and not attend school or to socialise until 48 hours after they are symptom free.”