Date Published: 26-May-2011
By Ann Healy
A Galway man has been jailed for two years after accepting money from a Chinese woman so that she could register him as the father on her child’s birth certificate and passport application in order to obtain an Irish passport for the child.
Separated father of three, Graham Hopkins (44), from 7 Castle Park, and hotel maid, Roulan Lin (26), with a former rental address at The Stables, College Road, both pleaded guilty at Galway Circuit Criminal Court to giving false information to a registrar at the Civil Registration Service, Galway, on April 20, 2009, contrary to Section 69(3) of the Civil Registration Act, 2004.
The pair also pleaded guilty to giving false information in connection with a passport application to the registrar at the Civil Registration Office on the same date, contrary to Section 20(1) of the Passport Act, 2008.
Lin came to Ireland in 2004 on a student visa to study English at a language school and worked all along in various hotels and fast-food restaurants, earning meagre wages. She became pregnant by a Chinese man and gave birth to a baby boy on April 19, 2009.
She feared the child would not be allowed remain with her in this country and she paid Hopkins, whom she had met through a mutual friend and who was in financial difficulty, €3,500 to name himself as the child’s father on the birth certificate and on the passport application form.
Sergeant Paudie O’Shea said Hopkins and Lin had been stopped by Immigration officials at Dublin Airport on February 2 last year on their return from a trip to China with the child. Officials were suspicious the child, who had an Irish passport, was not his.“He was trying too hard to be a parent and it made officials suspicious,” Sgt O’Shea said.
He arrested the pair in May and they readily admitted giving false information to authorities in order to obtain an Irish birth certificate and passport for the child so that it could stay in Ireland.
He said Lin’s visa had expired and she was in the country illegally at the time of the offence. Hopkins worked as a bouncer/doorman and had no previous convictions, he added.
Sgt O’Shea said that following a Belgian case before the European Courts recently, Lin had had an opportunity to apply for an Irish passport for the child but that these offences and convictions for them would scupper that now.
Judge Raymond Groarke said he hoped the two-year sentence he felt compelled to impose on Hopkins (on each charge to run concurrently) would act as a deterrent to others.
He imposed the same sentence on Lin but put a stay on the warrant until July 13 next to allow her time to apply for the child’s Chinese passport. The judge said he would fix a final date then after which the warrant would issue if Lin had not been deported in the interim.
Read more in today’s Galway City Tribune
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.