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Illegal worker only got bed and board, court is told

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A Chinese man has been fined €350 for working illegally in a city shop where he was getting his board and lodgings in lieu of pay.

XI Xui (32), 6 Barr Taoide, Merchant’s Road, and formerly of 152 Laurel Park, Newcastle, pleaded guilty before Galway District Court to working at the XL shop in Dominick Street, without a employment permit.

He pleaded guilty also to failing to produce a valid passport or similar document to immigration officers who inspected the shop on September 14 last.

Garda Damien Gormally gave evidence he executed a bench warrant that morning which had been issued by the court on December 2 last for Xui’s arrest after he failed to appear before the court then to answer the charges.

Garda Gormally said that Garda Tony O’Reilly from the immigration office inspected the store at 1.45p.m on September 14 last and found Xui working.

He demanded to see his passport and his work permit.

Xui admitted he was in this country illegally and he didn’t have any documents.

He had been in the country since 2004 and became the subject of a deportation order last year.

He was in custody for a time last year awaiting deportation but was released after his application for asylum was successful, Garda Gormally explained.

He said Xui had indicated to him that he wanted the services of a interpreter for the court hearing.

Judge Mary Fahy observed a Chinese interpreter had been booked to appear before the court in early December to interpret for the accused.  The taxpayer, she said, had been put to considerable expense to pay for the interpreter on that date and he didn’t even bother to turn up.

“You couldn’t make it up,” Judge Fahy said, after hearing he had been in the country since 2004, and had no language difficulties while working behind the counter in the shop.

Garda Gormally confirmed the accused had two previous convictions for similar offences in 2010.

Defence solicitor, John Martin said Xui had come to Ireland to attend a language school  in 2004, but had to abandon his studies after being stabbed.

He said the man had ongoing medical issues as a result of that attack which required hospital visits.

Mr Martin said his client helped out in the shop from time to time for room and board with no cash.  “He’s of very limited means and his health is not good,” he added.

Judge Fahy noted Xui was awaiting status at the moment, a process which could take some time, she said, before she imposed a €350 on the  first charge, while taking the second, into account.

She also granted him free legal aid after Garda Gormally confirmed he was not in receipt of any social welfare payments.

CITY TRIBUNE

Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill as event confirmed

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill this weekend as an event has been announced for Sunday.

It’s been confirmed by organisers on social media – who say they’re being unfairly portrayed in a negative light.

In a statement, the Galway Car Scene group say they pay road tax like all other road users – and they have “every right” to be in Salthill this weekend.

It comes as they’ve confirmed the event will be taking place there on Sunday as originally planned.

They add it’s unfair to accuse them of blocking up Salthill and other parts of the city given the chronic traffic issues every day of the week.

They’ve also created an online petition calling for a designated place for car enthusiasts to go – which has so far gathered almost 250 signatures.

It claims the car enthusiast community in Galway has been unfairly painted as a negative and anti-social group.

The group say they’re happy to go elsewhere, but say any time they try to find a venue they’re shut out.

The event planned for Sunday has encountered significant opposition, much of which is based on a previous “Salthill Sundays” event held in May.

Those opposed say they’re not against an event of this kind in principle – but they strongly feel that Salthill just isn’t the right venue.

It’s also argued that if the organisers want to be taken seriously, they have to engage with stakeholders like Galway City Council and Gardaí to ensure a well-planned and safe event.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cars down to one-way system on Salthill Promenade

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A one-way system of traffic may be introduced along the Promenade in Salthill to facilitate the introduction of temporary cycle lanes.

The suggestion appeared to come as a shock to some City Council members who supported the cycle lane in a vote last month – one has called for a “full discussion again” on what exactly they had actually approved.

Councillors had voted 17-1 in favour of the principle of providing a cycleway that will stretch from Grattan Road all along the Prom.

The motion that passed at the September meeting proposed that the Council “shall urgently seek” to create a two-way segregated cycle track on a temporary basis along the coastal side of the Prom.

It was agreed that from the Blackrock Tower junction to the Barna Road would be a one-way cycle track.

The motion was voted on without debate, which meant Council officials did not have an opportunity to question the proposal.

At a meeting on Monday, the debate was revisited when Uinsinn Finn, Director of Services for Transportation, indicated that a one-way traffic system would be introduced in Salthill to facilitate a two-way cycle lane from Grattan Road to Blackrock.

This could mean that the outbound lane of traffic, closest to the sea, could be closed to all traffic bar bikes.

Mr Finn said that he would have sought clarity at the previous meeting – if debate were allowed – about what was meant by ‘temporary’.

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 Christmas Market gets go-ahead for next month

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It’s the first real sign of a restoration of normality in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors in the city – the return of the Christmas Market next month to Eyre Square.

This week, the City Council’s planning department gave the go-ahead for the outdoor retail and gourmet food ‘spread’ that has been part of the festive season in Galway since 2010.

The exception was last year when, like so many other public gatherings since the Covid crisis broke in March 2020, the event had to be cancelled because of public health concerns.

Christmas Market Organiser, Maria Moynihan Lee, Managing Director of Milestone Inventive, confirmed to the Galway City Tribune, that she had received official confirmation on Thursday from the City Council of the go-ahead being given for the event.

“This is really wonderful news for the city and especially so in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors. For every €1 spent at the market another €3 will be spent on the high street – this will be a real boost for Galway,” she said.

Maria Moynihan Lee confirmed that the market would have an earlier than usual start of Friday, November 12 and would run through until the Wednesday evening of December 22.

(Photo: Declan Colohan)

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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