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Girl viciously attacked by ex in school toilets

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Presentation College, Galway.

A teenager, who barged into the toilets of his ex-girlfriend’s school and fractured her cheek bone with a punch to the face, was jailed for nine months at Galway District Court.

Judge Mary Fahy would not consider suspending any part of the sentence imposed on the man (19) considering that his victim was still receiving physical and psychological therapy following the attack on February 9 last year.

Remi Makula, originally from Romania but with an address at 52 Fearann Rí, Doughiska, had pleaded guilty to seriously assaulting the girl, who was 16 at the time, and with entering the grounds of the Presentation Secondary School as a trespasser, contrary to Section 12 of the Criminal Justice (Theft & Fraud Offences) Act 2001.

An interpreter was assigned to assist the injured party and her family during the hearing.

Inspector Mick O’Dwyer told the court that Makula was her estranged ex-boyfriend, and had gone to the school at 1.25pm, followed her to the toilets, where he pushed in the door of the cubicle. He punched her in the face, so hard that he fractured her cheekbone.

Judge Fahy was handed two medical reports outlining the injuries sustained in the attack. The DPP had directed that the matter be dealt with at District Court level on the tendering of a guilty plea only.

The girl, who is now 17, said that she had since left school altogether, and was currently receiving counselling and going to a physiotherapist for her injuries. The feeling in her face was affected, she added, through the interpreter.

Solicitor for Makula, John Martin, said that his client was holding his hands up, and accepted that he should not have been there at the time.

He said that the pair had been in a relationship, but had broken up shortly before this.

“He went to the school to talk to her, but he ‘lost the head’, and later that day he apologised,” he said.

“After that, things were okay between them, and then there was a separate incident – the DPP decided not to prosecute; the injured party was found by Gardaí shortly afterwards.”

He added that there had been a lot of tension between both families, but that this had since dissipated somewhat.

The injured party was not willing to accept the apology offered through Mr Martin.

“She is still affected by this, both physically and psychologically,” Judge Fahy told the solicitor.

“This is not domestic abuse – it is a serious criminal assault. In my view, he thinks it’s okay to treat women like this.”

The court heard that Makula had 10 previous convictions for theft and traffic offences, but none for assault; another matter is due to be heard in September, however.

The Judge remarked that he had not learned any lessons having been before the court prior to this incident, and was now facing another case.

In imposing the nine-month sentence, she was mindful of the serious medical report before her, and the DPP’s view of the matter. She would not consider Mr Martin’s request to suspend part of it.

Recognisances were fixed in the event of an appeal, on Makula’s own surety of €800, and an independent surety of €1,000, half to be lodged in each case. The surety has to be approved by the State with 48-hours’ notice.

A further condition of his recognisances is that he has no contact, by any means, with the injured party or her family.

CITY TRIBUNE

Council to consider new pedestrian ‘plaza’ for Galway City

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors will be asked next month to consider a sweeping overhaul of traffic flow in the city centre as the local authority seeks to create a more pedestrian-friendly core in the wake of Covid-19.

Currently under proposal in City Hall are major alterations to traffic flow which will allow for restricted car access to Middle Street – creating additional outdoor seating space for businesses in the area struggling to cope amid social distancing requirements.

Senior Engineer at City Hall, Uinsinn Finn, said they are currently considering three different proposals to alter traffic flow on Merchants Road, Augustine Street and Flood Street to reduce the need for car access to Middle Street, while still maintaining access for residents.

“We already pedestrianised Cross Street and we will be maintaining that, and there will be a proposal for Middle Street and Augustine Street.

“Businesses in the area are very much in favour of pedestrianisation – one business has objections but the others are supportive. Another consideration is that there are residents there with parking spaces and we are trying to encourage people to live in the city centre,” said Mr Finn.

The Latin Quarter business group submitted proposals for the temporary pedestrianisation of Middle Street and Abbeygate Street Lower but Mr Finn said the proposals the Council were considering were more in the line of creating adequate space for pedestrians while still allowing residents vehicular access.

This would involve creating a circuit for car traffic moving through Merchants Road around onto Augustine Street and exiting at Flood Street.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Residents want laneway closed following pipe bomb scare

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Residents in part of Knocknacarra are calling for the closure of a laneway and for more Community Gardaí to be put on the beat following the discovery of a ‘viable’ pipe-bomb type device in the area last weekend.

Up to 13 homes in the Cimín Mór and Manor Court estates had to be evacuated on Friday evening last when the incendiary device was discovered by Gardaí concealed in an unlit laneway, leading to the emergency services being notified.

An Army EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit was called to the scene and removed the device – according to local residents and councillors, the Gardaí have confirmed that the device was viable.

Gardaí have declined to comment on the detail of the case but have confirmed that the matter is being ‘actively and vigorously investigated’.

Chairman of the Cimín Mór Residents’ Association, Pat McCarthy, told the Galway City Tribune that the discovery of the viable device on the narrow laneway that links their estate to Manor Court was extremely frightening for all concerned.

“For the best part of the past 20 years, we have been seeking action to be taken on this laneway which has been used for dumping and unsociable behaviour on a repeated basis.

“But what happened last Friday evening was really the last straw for us. This could have resulted in serious injury to innocent people and what is also of concern to us is how close this was to the two schools in the area,” said Mr McCarthy.

He said that over the coming days, the residents’ association would be petitioning all residents in the three estates concerned – the other two being Manor Court and Garraí Dhónaill – for action to be taken on the laneway.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway designer’s necklace is fit for a princess!

Denise McNamara

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Kate Middleton wearing the necklace designed by Aisling O'Brien

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A Galway jewellery designer is the latest to experience the ‘Kate effect’ after fans tracked down the woman who created a necklace for the Duchess of Cambridge which she has worn several times since it was gifted to her during her trip to the city last March.

Aisling O’Brien’s website crashed on Wednesday night when orders poured in for the piece from around the world. The necklace costs €109 with initials, while the earrings retail for €49.

“I’d never sold more than two things outside of Ireland before. I only had three of Kate’s necklaces in stock – and now I have orders for at least 50. I’ll have to start recruiting some elves,” laughs Aisling, who only set up her website during lockdown.

The 14-carat gold necklace and earrings set was designed by Aisling specially for Kate after examining her style – “understated, elegant, simplicity” is how the Tuam native describes it.

She was contacted about the commission by physiotherapist Thérèse Tully, who wanted to give the future queen a gift as she was using her room to change at Árus Bóthar na Trá beside Pearse Stadium when the royal couple were meeting with GAA teams.

(Photo: Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton wearing the necklace)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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