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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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UHG was third most overcrowded hospital nationwide during January

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – UHG was the third most overcrowded hospital in the country last month.

728 patients were waiting for a bed during January.

Meanwhile, 417 patients were waiting on trolleys at Portiuncula Hospital – the worst January on record for the Ballinasloe hospital.

11,289 people were recorded on hospital trolleys since January 1st

That’s up 2 and half thousand on the same time last year.

University Hospital Limerick continues to be the worst affected by over-crowding, accounting for 10 per cent of the overall figure, at 1,180.

Cork, Galway, Letterkenny, and St. Vincent’s in Dublin make up the top five – totalling of over 3,000.

That’s in stark contrast with the bottom five – Tullamore, Portlaoise, the National Children’s Hospital, Connolly Hospital, and Waterford – with a combined total of 213.

The INMO says, “a lack of adequate planning has put unnecessary stress on nurses and the patients”, describing January’s figures as “unacceptably high”.

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Athenry, Loughrea, Gort and Headford now priorities for transport studies

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https://mcdn.podbean.com/mf/web/v7kqkx/cllr_reddington60iiw.mp3

Galway Bay fm newsroom – Athenry, Loughrea, Headford and Gort are now priorities for upcoming transport studies.

Systra Ltd will carry out some of the studies, which must also align with each Local area plan.

The studies will look at modes of travel, options for new Active Travel measures and a traffic management plan.

Councillor Andrew Reddington explains how this has come about and outlines how it will work in Headford, for example

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Galway slightly above national average for home vacancy rate

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway has a home vacancy rate just above the national average of 4 percent.

Across the county, 6 percent of homes are vacant, according to Gerdirectory’s Residential Buildings Report.

At the end of 2022, Leitrim had the highest number of vacancies, at 12 percent, followed closely by Mayo on 11 percent.

While Dublin has the lowest, with just one percent of homes there vacant.

Nationally, over 83,500 residential properties were vacant last month, with the report finding the West was worst affected.

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