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CITY TRIBUNE

Homeless man jailed punching Mayor of Galway

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A man who punched the Mayor of Galway in the face has been given a five-month prison sentence.

Galway District Court heard Martin Ward – with an address at the Cope Day Centre – apologised to Cllr Niall McNelis for assaulting him on Wolfe Tone Bridge on September 7 last.

On that evening, the Mayor had noticed Ward having an argument with a woman, he (the Mayor) intervened, but got a punch in the face for his trouble.

The Mayor was being ‘a Good Samaritan’, said Sergeant Finbarr Philpott, prosecuting.

Garda Garrett Gallagher said the Mayor did not want to come to Court to give evidence, but did express surprise that something like this could happen in Galway.

Judge Mary Fahy said that anyone going to the aid of a person might expect a ‘mind your own business’ comment but hardly a single punch in the face, adding it was the last thing you’d expect.

Seán Acton, defending, said his client’s life was “a tragic case” and that the man was practically institutionalised. He said Ward found himself homeless anytime he came out of prison and in fact started serving a five-month prison sentence in October for another offence.

Ward had an issue with alcohol and become abusive and aggressive under the influence, though Mr Acton added he never saw that side of his client.

Judge Fahy said what happened to Mr McNelis was unfortunate but his action on the night showed “a level of decency”.

The Court further heard that Ward had been in breach of the Public Order the previous Friday night, had continued drinking through Saturday and then assaulted the Mayor that night.

Ward was given a five-month prison sentence backdated to October 5 for the assault, to run consecutively to his existing sentence. He was given a further one-month sentence for being in breach of the Public Order to run concurrently as well as a €100 fine.

CITY TRIBUNE

Elective surgeries cancelled at UHG as overcrowding continues

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Some non-urgent elective surgeries are being cancelled at UHG in a bid to tackle severe overcrowding at the city hospital.

It follows the issuing of a warning from the Saolta Hospital Group that the emergency department is extremely busy and there is ongoing pressure on bed availability.

General Manager at UHG, Chris Kane, says over 500 people presented at the hospital on Monday and Tuesday.

She says the overcrowding situation is very serious, particularly in relation to the ED, the Surgical Unit and the Acute Medical Assessment Unit.

Members of the public are urged to only attend the hospital in the case of emergency, and contact their GP or out-of-hours service if their health problem is not urgent.

Saolta is also reminding the public that the Injury Unit at Roscommon University Hospital is open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week, to treat adults and children over 5.

Speaking to Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks, Chris Kane said the current level of patients presenting is extremely high and “unusual” for this time of year.

She also noted there’s also been a rise in patients being treated for Covid-19, including in the ICU.

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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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