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Man armed with machete burst into dinner party

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A man has been convicted by a jury of trespassing at a woman’s home while armed with a machete on St. Stephen’s Day last year.

Joseph Moloney (31), of 329 Castlepark, Galway, denied producing a machete, capable of inflicting serious injury, while trespassing at 12 Lios na Run, Ballybane on December 26 last year.

He also denied trespassing at the property on the same occasion. The jury of eight men and four women returned a majority 10:2 guilty verdict yesterday evening. Sentence will follow in January.

The two-day trial heard evidence from Avril McCann, who lives at 12 Lios na Run, that she was hosting a dinner party on St. Stephen’s Day for her mother, her stepfather, one of her friends, Kelly Bailey, and her friend’s husband when she answered a knock at the front door around 9pm.

She saw a man standing there, wearing a balaclava, with a machete in his hand.

She told the jury the man said nothing but he brushed past her and went into the sitting room. There was nobody there.

He pushed past her again and went into the kitchen where her guests were still sitting around the dinner table.

Ms McCann said she was shocked and she asked the man what was he doing there. He made no reply.

“He pointed the weapon at all the people in the kitchen. He stared me in the eyes and I knew him then. I’ve known him all my life. I know it was him,” Ms McCann told the jury.

She said that when he turned his back to her as he walked into the kitchen ahead of her, she knew it was Maloney from his build.

He pointed the machete in turn at her guests without saying anything.

He then lifted the balaclava up above his eyes and grinned at Ms McCann, before turning and walking out of the house.

Ms McCann said she felt absolutely terrified and started screaming at Maloney as he walked out the door, calling him a “cheeky bastard”.

Defence barrister, William Hughes BL, put it to Ms McCann that her best friend, Kelly Bailey was Mulhall before she married and that his client’s fiancee, Tara Mulhall, was her sister.

Tara Mulhall, he said, was the mother of his client’s two children and the couple had got engaged on December 23 last year.

“Is it fair to say that Kelly Bailey and Joseph Moloney would not be very close?”, he asked.

Ms McCann replied she knew they didn’t have much dealings with each other.

“My client was not there that day and I’m putting it to you that this allegation has its genesis in the connection between Kelly Bailey and Joseph Maloney,” the barrister said.

“You are totally wrong,” she replied.

Ms McCann’s mother, Kim McDonagh, gave evidence she recognised Maloney that evening as she had known him all her life. “I know Joe Maloney all my life. I knew him straight away. He just pointed the machete at every one of us. He just stood there and said nothing whatsoever.

He pulled the balaclava up over his eyes and I knew him,” she said.

Kelly Bailey, nee Mulhall, gave evidence she recognised Maloney when he pulled the balaclava above his eyes.

“He’s my sister’s partner, my sister Tara,” Mrs Bailey said.

Mr Hughes asked her if she ‘got on’ with her sister.

“We haven’t spoken since this event and we had our ups and downs prior to that,” she replied.

Mr Hughes asked her how she had reacted on hearing of the engagement.

“Tara told me herself she got engaged. I was shocked. I was surprised. I wasn’t expecting it,” she replied.

He put it to her that the couple had two children and had been together for years.

“They had been on and off over the years,” she said.

Mr Hughes put it to the witness that she had told Gardai there was a lot of “history” between her sister Tara and his client and she didn’t like it.

“Personally, I feel he treats my sister badly. That is my own opinion. I do not have a grudge against him,” Mrs Bailey said.

Mr Hughes disagreed. He said she was not happy to see the relationship progress.

“No”, she replied.

Garda Pauline de Poar gave evidence she arrested Maloney on January 5 last. Six witnesses had named him and she had no doubt he had gone to the house that evening.

Tara Mulhall, in evidence, said she and Maloney had been in a relationship for 13 years and two of her three children were his.

“It’s a normal relationship. It has its ups and downs. Right now its good and we’re engaged,” she said.

In reply to Mr Hughes, she said her relationship with her family was “up and down”, too, and she had problems with two of them.

She said she was in bed asleep with her two children on December 26 last when she got a phone call from her sister, Kelly Bailey.

“She asked me where was Joe and I told her he was out with friends.

My sister then said, ‘It was f**kin’ him. It was definitely him.’ I hung up and that was it,” she said.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
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

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
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

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
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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