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Connacht Tribune

Galway Tribunal hears driver ‘short-changed’ customers on oil deliveries

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An oil truck driver was fired after serious discrepancies emerged over fuel deliveries, a Tribunal in Galway was told last week.

Malachy Nee from Ballyconneely was eventually let go after his boss John Sweeney had deliberated for weeks over parting company with the man who was his first employee in a business career stretching over 25 years.

Mr Sweeney, owner of Sweeney Oil of Clifden, told the Employment Appeals Tribunal that he had suffered several examinerships and receiverships of his companies during the recession, but nothing had cost him as much sleep as having to dismiss Mr Nee.

He was giving evidence at the Unfair Dismissal claim of his former employee in Galway. Mr Nee brought the action against Arinos Ltd, T/A the Oil Company and now trading as Sweeney Oil Company.

Businessman Peter Lee gave evidence of suspecting he had been short-changed on diesel deliveries from Mr Sweeney’s Clifden-based company in 2012.

He satisfied himself that he had been left short of 120 litres on one occasion and 180 litres on another.

On both occasions he had received deliveries from Malachy Nee, whereas he was never short when the company’s other driver had filled his tank. He decided to say nothing, but changed his diesel provider and was satisfied with his deliveries.

When Mr Sweeney’s company called to ask if he was alright for diesel and queried why he hadn’t been ordering, he explained his complaint to Mr Sweeney.

“I was paying for diesel I wasn’t getting,” Mr Lee said.

Mr Sweeney told the Tribunal that following an investigation he began to discover other discrepancies regarding oil deliveries. He admitted to being very upset at what he was discovering about a man whom he had always regarded as a trusted, respected and reliable worker.

See full report in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised

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Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.

A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.

Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.

Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.

Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.

He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .

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Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Siblings find each other – and their Connemara roots – after 80 years

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Reunited...Pat and Miceál McKeown outside their mother Síle’s birthplace in Carna.

By Erin Gibbons

A family separated for over 80 years was reunited at the end of an emotional journey in Connemara last weekend – thanks to DNA testing and the expert help of heritage researchers.

Pat McKeown, who lives in Staffordshire in the UK, is the daughter of Síle Gorham from Roisín Na Mainiach, Carna – but she was given up for adoption and reared for a time in a Belfast Mother and Baby Home.

Now, at the age of 81, she found her roots – returning to her mother’s native place for the first time last weekend, in the company of her long-lost brother Micheál.

It was an emotional end to a lifelong search for her roots that even led her to hire a private detective to try and locate her family and to discover her name.

All of this proved unsuccessful – and she had effectively given up her search when she was contacted unexpectedly by a man called Miceál McKeown, who turned out to be her brother.

Micheál – an artist and sculptor – and his daughter Orla had made the connection through DNA testing, after Miceál too had set out to discover more about his own roots.

That revealed that Síle Gorham had married Michael McKeown in 1939, and Síle went on to have three more children named Áine, Séan and Miceál.

Pat visited Connemara last weekend for the first time to learn about her mother Síle and the Connemara ancestry which she feels was robbed from her for her entire 81 years.

She was accompanied by Miceál, his wife Rosemary, daughter Orla and son-in-law Rueben Keogh.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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