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.
Coming up on the News@1 for Galway
- An attempt to postpone the adoption of the new Galway County Development Plan for a year has failed. Those arguing for the postponement pointed out that the COVID crisis had made it difficult for the public to engage in the public consultation while there were counter arguments about the work and costs involved in delaying the process
- Customers who have yet to receive their EU Digital COVID Cert can use their HSE vaccine card as proof of vaccination, if they wish to dine indoors this weekend
- 500 toads will be released in Co Kerry today, as part of a project to protect the endangered Natterjack species
Appeal over refusal of plans to expand Skeffington Arms Hotel
Galway Bay fm newsroom – The city council’s decision to refuse planning permission for a significant expansion of the Skeffington Arms Hotel has been appealed to An Bord Pleanála.
The project would have seen the demolition of the existing nightclub building to make way for a seven-story building over the existing basement.
This would make way for 44 hotel bedrooms.
The project also involved realignment structural consolidation, and re-cladding of the existing second storey bridge linking to the main hotel building, to provide an upper level link between the existing hotel and the proposed extension.
The existing basement would have remained in place, while the ground floor and sixth floors would also have contained customer facilities including reception, foyer, restaurant, and café/breakfast area.
Part of the proposed development is located within the Eyre Square Architectural Conservation Area and the site is adjacent to a number of protected structures.
In making their decision, city planners cited two factors.
One cited the overall poor design in contributing to the unacceptable nature of the development – including the scale, height and low quality visual appearance of the proposed extension – as well as the impact on the Eyre Square Architectural Conservation Area, and the affect on the city centre streetscape.
The decision has now been appealed to An Bord Pleanala and a decision is due in November.
County Councillors back plans to lease part of Galway Airport to film group
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway County Councillors have voted unanimously in favour of continuing contacts and negotiations with a film production company that wants to go into business at the Galway Airport site in Carnmore.
However, a substantial number of Councillors insisted that arrangements would have to be made with the Galway Flying Club so that the Club could continue using the facilities at the Airport location.
There was broad support from Councillors for the plan by the Danú company from Spiddal to set up in Carnmore. Galway City Council have previously backed the project.
Councillor P.J. Murphy was among those who said that the Connemara Gaeltacht is a good example of what can be achieved in film and television production. Karey McHugh said the project could give Galway natives trained in media and film an option to work at home.
Councillor Jim Cuddy said the Galway Flying Club facilities had to be protected in Carnmore and added that a masterplan for the site is needed.
Councillor Declan Geraghty warned against abandoning the aeronautic facilites at Carnmore like railway lines were abandoned in the past.
Director of Services, Liam Hanrahan, said that the basic airport infrastructure would not be lost and that Councillors would be further advised about the ongoing negotiation in the coming months.
The initial investment – if a lease is signed with Danú – is put at €3m. with support from Údarás na Gaeltachta and the Western Development Commission included.