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Man accused of raping schoolgirl in city acquitted

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A man charged with raping a schoolgirl in her friend’s house in the city has been acquitted due to lack of evidence, by a jury at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Galway today.

The 40 year old man who cannot be named for legal reasons, had pleaded not guilty to raping the then 15-year-old Junior Certificate student at a house in the city on April 17, 2011

The girl’s mother and siblings screamed abuse and threats at the man when the verdict was read out this afternoon in court.

Several Gardai had to restrain the girl’s family as they tried to get to the man, who had been accompanied during the four day trial by his sister.

The girl’s family continued to shout abuse at the man after the jury was discharged and a Garda van had to come to the courthouse to bring the man and his sister away.

The girl had given evidence that she, her 13-year-old friend and five other girls, aged between nine and four, had been left in the house while her friend’s mother went out to a pub on the night she claimed she was raped by the man, who had been a lodger in the house.

During a Garda interview, the man denied the allegations, claiming he was impotent and could not have carried out the attack.

The girl had not told an adult until four months later about the alleged rape and a medical examination carried out then could not support or preclude the rape allegation.

The jury of ten men and two women took just over half an hour to acquit the man, due, they said, to a lack of evidence.

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Walk-in vaccination centres to open at Ballybrit and Clifden this weekend

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Walk-in vaccination centres are to be in operation in Ballybrit and Clifden from this weekend.

The HSE has revealed the details of the locations of all the walk-in vaccination centres on their website.

The Clifden satellite vaccination base will be open for walk-ins at Clifden Community School and the Galway Racecourse base will also take walk-ins.

A number will open nationwide this weekend for those over the age of 16.

It comes as 70% of the adult population is now fully vaccinated against Covid 19 and 85 per cent have received their first dose.

Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly, says those attending do not need an appointment.

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Continued drop in number of Galway PUP claimants

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Over 500 less Galway claimants received the pandemic unemployment payment this week.

The number of people on the State support nationally has dropped below 200,000 for the first time.

192 thousand people are due to get it this week – the lowest number since it was introduced in March 2020.

10,159 people will receive the payment in Galway.

Economics lecturer in UCC, Seamus Coffey, says the economy is recovering well.

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Mayor calls on Gardaí to clamp down on illegal activities across city

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Mayor of Galway is calling on Gardaí to “stop turning a blind eye” to what she describes as a range of illegal activities taking place across the city.

Mayor Collette Connolly cites examples such as public drinking and urination in public areas, as well as blatant illegal parking in Salthill.

She argues that public drinking has also become the norm on Salthill beaches.

The Mayor has also raised concerns regarding incidents at popular waterways in the city and says seven people have been assisted out of the water in recent weeks by the Claddagh Watch Voluntary Committee.

She argues Gardaí need to be more visible and more proactive when people act irresponsibly……

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