Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us


Jail for teen muggers who robbed German student in Galway



Two teenage muggers who did little to enhance Ireland’s reputation as a safe tourist destination by robbing a German woman, have each been sentenced to three years in prison with the final two years suspended.

Michael Mongan (19), of 5 Cois na Coille, Ballybane, and co-accused Owen Mongan (19), of 167 Ballinfoyle Park, Headford Road, both pleaded guilty at Galway Circuit Criminal Court in April to robbing the 26-year-old German woman of her handbag, mobile phone and €40 cash on October 26 last year at Headford Road, Galway.

Sentence was adjourned for probation reports.

Garda Pat Foley told the sentence hearing last week that the victim, an Erasmus student, was walking home with two German friends when they were accosted by a gang of youths near Ballinfoyle Church.

A girl, who was with the gang, asked to use the victim’s phone. She refused and kept walking and the girl then grabbed the victim by the hair and pulled her to the ground, assaulted her and grabbed her handbag and phone.

When the victim’s two friends tried to help her, both accused grabbed them and held them while the robbery of their friend took place.

The gang of youths then ran off with the victim’s handbag and phone.

Garda Foley said he was in the area and was quickly on the scene.

Both of the Mongans were arrested a short time later and the €40 was found on Owen Mongan.

The woman’s handbag was later recovered at the back of the church but her expensive prescription glasses which were thrown out on the road by the gang were smashed by passing cars. Her house and car keys were not located either.

The victim, who has since returned to Germany, prepared a victim impact statement for the court which Garda Foley read aloud.

It stated this was the worst thing to have every happened to her.  She had felt deeply helpless when attacked by the group and her friends continued to feel guilty that they could not help her that night.

One friend, in particular, still remained deeply traumatised, she said.

“I had to replace the locks in my house because I was afraid of them as they lived near me and I never felt secure again while living in Ireland,” the woman stated.

Clumps of her hair were pulled out by her unidentified female assailant and her head and face were very bruised afterwards, she added.

The court heard Owen Mongan had no previous convictions prior to this incident but since this robbery had again come to the attention of the Gardaí last June.

Michael Mongan has four previous convictions for road traffic offences and had been charged with assault and a public order offence in March, both of which are still before the District Court. His bail for those had been revoked in March, the court was told.

Defence barristers, Aisling Wall and Geri Silke, said both of their clients had each brought €500 to court to give to the victim.

Reading probation reports handed into court, Judge Rory McCabe noted Michael Mongan had told his probation officer he only pleaded guilty because his solicitor had advised him to do so.

He had also told the officer he didn’t want to get a job because he could get Job Seekers Allowance instead.

Ms Wall said he was immature and unable to see the consequences of his actions.

Ms Silke said Owen Mongan was very sorry for what he had done and had drank an enormous amount of vodka on the night.

She said he didn’t have much means but had managed to save €500 with the help of his family.

“He had plenty means to fill himself with vodka that night,” Judge McCabe observed.

He said this was disgusting behaviour.

“Both of them have to share the blame for this cowardly attack on visitors to this country.

It did little to enhance the reputation of Ireland abroad,” the judge added.

The offence of robbery carries a maximum of life imprisonment and this offence merited five years, Judge McCabe said.

Given the guilty pleas, the offer of compensation and the young age of both accused, the judge said the appropriate sentence was three years with the final two years suspended for two years.


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



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.

Continue Reading


Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City



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.

Continue Reading


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



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.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads