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Jail for brute who struck his ex with screwdriver

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A man has been sentenced to a total of thirteen months in prison for assaulting his now ex-partner with a screwdriver.

Martin Ward (46), 8 The Guard House, Mainguard Street, appeared in custody before Galway District Court where he pleaded guilty to assaulting Susan Waters, causing her harm on January 18 last and to using a screw driver while assaulting Ms Waters on the same date.

The court heard the couple had a drunken argument and Ward assaulted his now ex-partner, using a screwdriver to inflict injuries.

Defence solicitor, Brian Gilmartin said Ward had a serious alcohol addiction coupled with consequent anger management issues and he was remorseful.  He said his client had been held in custody since his arrest on January 20 last.

Photographs of Ms Water’s injuries, along with a medical report, were handed into court.

Judge Mary Fahy said the photographs showed the significant physical injuries the victim had suffered, but she said she also wanted to hear about the psychological problems, if any, Ms Waters had suffered as a result of the attack.

Ms Waters shook as she went into the witness box. She tended to blame herself for Ward’s predicament. She told Judge Fahy she had a drink problem herself and she apologised to Ward for putting him through this.

Judge Fahy assured her the accused would not have found himself before the court if he had not assaulted her.

“But he did assault you and he used a screwdriver to injure your head,” the Judge said, referring to the photographs.

“I wanted to die that night. I’m sorry. I feel bad. He’s a good man,” Ms Waters said, shaking.

Judge Fahy said the best advice she could give the victim was to get counselling to try and move on with her life.

“This violence is not acceptable in any set of circumstances, but particularly with regard to a woman who is vulnerable.

“He has difficulties, but he should not have used brute force to attack her,” Judge Fahy said.

Inspector Mick Dwyer said Ward had 19 previous convictions, including two for seriously assaulting his then wife, for which he had received a seven-year sentence in July 2010, in the Circuit Criminal Court.

He said Ward was also given a suspended three-year sentence in March 2007, for another serious assault.

“‘What is commonly used as the euphemism ‘domestic violence’  is, in fact, serious criminal assault and this man has ‘form’ for it,” Judge Fahy observed.

The judge said Ward had been given chances in the past when he received suspended sentences for similar offences, but he had not availed of services to help him deal with his problems.

If he had, he would not be back before the court now, she said.

The judge said that while Ms Waters’ physical injuries would fade, there was no doubt her psychological problems would not.

Noting the maximum sentence that could be imposed for a Section 3 assault was twelve months, Judge Fahy said she was obliged to give Ward credit for his plea and so she imposed a ten-month sentence for that.

She imposed a consecutive three-month sentence on Ward for assaulting the woman with the screwdriver, backdating the sentences to January 20, when he went into custody.

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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