Galway Bay fm newsroom – A Galway man has been convicted of orally raping a young woman who had fallen asleep in his van while he gave her a lift home from a night out.
The 46 year old man had pleaded NOT GUILTY at the Central Criminal Court to one charge of orally raping the then 20-year-old woman at a Galway location in the early hours of November 5, 2015.
Today (wed) Ms Justice Eileen Creedon ordered that reporting restrictions remain in place until after the man is sentenced in May.
During the trial, the victim told the jury that she accepted the lift from the man after first encountering him with his dog while she sat alone and upset in a park.
She said she fell asleep on the journey and woke up to find her assailant standing up in the van opposite her and orally raping her
The woman told the jury she memorised the van’s registration plate as he sped off and then ran to the nearest house repeating this number out loud.
The man claimed in his garda interview that he had driven out to a vantage point on the outskirts of the city at the woman’s suggestion.
He said their faces “kind of met” while they stopped to look at a view of the city lights and that it was a consensual encounter
He then claimed that his victim gave him oral sex for a few seconds before she stated: “I’ve a boyfriend”.
He claimed she put her head back, became unresponsive and then sprang upright in anger. The court heard the man has no previous convictions.
The jury of eight men and four women took four hours and 15 minutes to return their majority 11-1 verdict.
Ms Justice Eileen Creedon directed the man be registered as a sex offender and remanded him on continuing bail until his sentence date in May.
Call for Galway sports clubs to apply for funding under Capital Grant Scheme
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Sports clubs in Galway are being urged to apply for funding under the Government’s new €40 million Sports Capital and Equipment Programme.
The funding is being administered by the Department of Sport and applications can be made online from Friday December 11th until the 12th of February 2021.
The programme provides funding for infrastructure works such as sports pitches, tracks, floodlighting and any other projects that will increase participation in sports or improve performance.
To make an application clubs must be registered on the Department system and full details of the grant programme, including how to apply, are available on gov.ie/sportscapital.
Meanwhile, the scheme will prioritise applications from disadvantaged areas and those working towards increasing participation including for female and disabled users.
Labour Party City Councillor Niall McNelis is urging local sports clubs to begin preparing their applications as soon as possible.
He says it’s vital clubs get the support they need at this difficult time.
City Council approves funding for changing places facility in budget 2021
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway City Council has approved funding for the installation of a ‘changing places’ facility in budget 2021.
€50,000 has been allocated for the facility which will be the first of it’s kind in Galway, with eight already in operation in Dublin.
The facility planned for Salthill is larger than a standard accessible toilet – providing extra floor space and additional equipment such as an adult size changing bench.
Fine Gael Councillor Clodagh Higgins first proposed the introduction of the changing places equipment in December 2019.
She says the facility will be a game changer for people with complex needs.
Meanwhile, Fianna Fail Councillor Alan Cheevers has argued aspects of the budget could have been spent more wisely – adding he feels the east side of the city has not been adequately considered for discretionary funding.
Councillor Cheevers has also taken issue with the funding which was allocated for a sound system upgrade a St Nicholas’s Church.
He told Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks, he feels the funds weren’t distributed evenly….
Galway records spike in cases as Level 5 lifts
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway has recorded a spike in coronavirus cases as the country begins its exit from Level 5 today.
22 new cases were notified for Galway in last evening’s figures, the third highest nationwide with 108 in Dublin and 30 in Limerick.
If follows a period of relatively low case numbers in Galway with 128 confirmed over the last fortnight.
The city and county have recorded 2,642 cases of the virus to date.
Health experts have urged the public to stay within county and not to mix with other households.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan says people should avoid busy areas where there’s a risk of COVID-19 spreading.