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CITY TRIBUNE

Heroin addict jailed for break-in at solicitor’s office

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A heroin addict with 62 previous convictions has been sentenced to nine months in prison for trespassing at a solicitor’s office and a further four months for breaking into a car at Woodquay.

Martin Carroll (29), 90 Cluain Riocaird, Headford Road, appeared in custody before Galway District Court where he pleaded guilty to trespassing at McInerney’s solicitors, Eyre Square, on February 2 last and to interfering with a vehicle parked in a private driveway in Woodquay on September 23 last year.

The court heard a female solicitor was upstairs in her office when she heard an office door slam downstairs. The door could only have been opened from the inside. She went to check and found someone had rummaged through her handbag and her phone was missing.

Sergeant Georgina Lohan said Gardai recovered the stolen phone from Carroll at Eglinton Street that evening. The SIM card had been removed and he told them he was on his way to sell it.

A charge of handling the stolen phone was withdrawn by the State following Carroll’s plea to the other charges.

In relation to the offence in Woodquay last September, Detective Bernard McLoughlin responded swiftly to a call at 8.30am and found Carroll rummaging through the boot of a vehicle parked in the driveway of a family home in Woodquay.  He was just about to remove a set of golf clubs from the boot when he was caught. Sergeant Lohan confirmed Carroll had 62 previous convictions for burglaries, thefts, interfering with cars and drug dealing.

Defence solicitor, Sean Acton said his client had been feeding a heroin addiction for the last 12 years but he was now drug-free and attending school while in prison.

Breaking into any office, but especially a solicitor’s office, was a very serious offence, Judge Fahy said, as solicitors’ phones contain private information regarding their clients.

She sentenced Carroll to nine months for that offence and imposed a consecutive four-month sentence for interfering with the car in Woodquay.  She commended Detective McLoughlin for his quick response to the call which averted a theft.

The sentences were backdated to March 7 when Carroll first went into custody in relation to the charges before the court.

CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council needs 40 more workers to help deliver on projects

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Forty more workers are needed at City Hall ‘right away’, the Chief Executive of Galway City Council has said.

Brendan McGrath has warned city councillors that the local authority is understaffed and it needs to hire more staff immediately to deliver its plans and projects.

The total cost of the extra 40 workers, including salary, would be between €1.75 million and €1.95 million.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council had a workforce now that was below what it had in 2007, but the city’s population has grown and so too had the services the Council provides.

The population of Galway City grew by almost 11% in the 10 years to 2016, he said, and total staff numbers in the Council fell by 13.6% during that period.

Though more staff were hired in recent years, Mr McGrath said that the Council was at 2007 and 2008 staffing levels, even though the Census will record further increases in population since 2016.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council now provides 1,000 services across a range of departments, far more than during the 2000s.

He said that currently, 524 staff are employed at the City Council. This equated to 493 Whole Time Equivalents when part-time workers such as school wardens and Town Hall workers are included.

Mr McGrath said that 12% of all staff are in acting up positions, with many more in short-term or fixed-term contracts. There was a highly competitive jobs market and the Council was finding recruitment and retention of specialist staff difficult.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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