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Man beat and burnt his 16-year-old bride with poker




A 19-year-old man used violence to control his 16-year-old wife’s every move and on one occasion gave her the option of having a belt put around her neck or get burnt with a poker.

She feared for her life and opted to be burnt, holding out her arm for the barbaric punishment.

The arranged marriage in January 2013, between Dean Maughan, who was 19 at the time, and Annalise Conroy, who had then just turned 16, was marred with bullying and violence from the outset, Galway District Court heard this week.

Maughan, with more recent addresses at 77 Innishannagh Park, Newcastle, Galway, and 5 Townspark, Cavan, denied assaulting Ms. Conroy causing her harm when the couple lived in a rented house at Station Road, Oranmore on December 15, 2015. He also denied assaulting her at the same address on March 16 last year.

He told the court he was forced to marry Ms Conroy. He said he never loved her but ‘respected’ her because she had given him a son.

Imposing sentences totalling 12 months on the accused, Judge Mary Fahy said he had treated his wife like a possession, of no value other than to produce a son. His attitude, and the attitudes of others like him in our society, need to be seriously re-educated, the judge said.

A tearful Ms Conroy gave evidence she had just turned 16 a few days before when she married Maughan in January 2013.

She recalled fearing for her life during specific violent incidents which occurred throughout their brief marriage.

The pretty, petite victim said their son was just a few months old when her husband became angry and attacked her on December 15, 2014.

“He gave me a choice to either have a belt put around my neck or hold out my hand and have it burnt.

“When given the option, I put my hand out and he burnt me on the hand and then he burnt me on the leg too. He put the poker in the fire first and then burnt me,” she sobbed

She said she was in a lot of pain but he would not allow her go to the doctor or get any treatment for her injuries.

“He wouldn’t let me go to the doctor. He was very controlling. He wouldn’t let me contact my family. I had a small, black phone when I met him first but he broke it.

“He didn’t want me to have any contact with my family or his family. He wanted me to disown my family.

“My sister, who had special needs, died and when I came back from the funeral in Ballinrobe, he gave me a very bad beating.

“I was afraid to tell my family. I was afraid he would kill me and my baby would have no mother.

“Any time we had an argument, he beat me. I was not allowed a phone. I was not allowed to talk to anyone. He was controlling me,” she sobbed.

“It had gone to the stage where he was putting a belt around my neck. I was very afraid. He was always threatening he was going to kill me. He would regularly use the belt to hit me. I didn’t want to tell my family. They had enough to deal with after my sister dying,” she added.

Ms Maughan said the second assault occurred after she returned from the shop on March 16 last year.

Maughan, she said, had been in bed before she left but when she returned he became very, very angry with her because the electricity meter had run out of coins.

“He said it was my fault the electricity had gone. He got very, very angry with me and he started scraping my face and neck with his nails.

“If I fought back, I knew he would hurt me even more. He hit me on the arms and legs with the belt. I was screaming in pain,” she said.

Maughan had rang his mother looking for money shortly before this and the assault stopped when he heard her car pulling up outside.

“I knew I had to leave that day. It had to stop,” Ms Conroy said quietly.

Maughan locked his wife out of the house and refused to give her their baby son.

His mother and father pleaded with him in through the kitchen window to hand out their grandson, but he refused.

Garda Michelle Berry gave evidence she arrived at the house and tried to reason with the accused in through the window but he was “arrogant, antagonistic and unhelpful”.

She became concerned for the baby’s welfare and called the Regional Response Unit, who happened to be in the area, to come and break down the front door to gain entry to the house.

Maughan opened the door and handed over the baby to his wife when the Response Unit arrived a short time later.

Bully husband tells court
he was forced into marriage

Dean Maughan told the court he was forced into marriage by the girl’s parents. “It was an arranged marriage. I didn’t want to marry the girl. I met her by texting her on Blackberry messaging and I brought her to Galway for the Volvo Ocean Race.

“Her parents reckoned we had run away and they wanted us to marry,” he said.

Maughan denied burning her with a poker in December, 2014. “I was after paying for an expensive holiday to Orlando.

“I brought her to Turkey a couple of months after we married, then in 2014, I brought her to Orlando for Valentine’s Day,” he said.

“I told her family from day one that I never loved her, but I have respect for her because she is the mother of my child,” he said.

Maughan said they had a chimney fire in their rented house in October, 2014 and he went to the St. Vincent de Paul and successfully applied for a fill of home heating oil.

“Were you not embarrassed? You were able to go to Florida and Turkey on holidays and yet you had to go to the St. Vincent de Paul, which is there for people in need?” Judge Mary Fahy asked Maughan.

He told her he had a gambling problem and was losing “big money” on bets.

“But you had money for holidays and no money for oil,” Judge Fahy observed.

Maughan claimed the marks and scars on his wife’s body were old and he said his wife had been annoyed with him because her family had told her he was having an affair with a 50-year-old relative.

In reply to Inspector Brendan Carroll, Maughan said he couldn’t have hit his wife with a belt as he didn’t own one.

“I don’t wear a belt. As you can see, I’m very particular about my clothes,” Maughan said, caressing his blue, fitted blazer and jeans.

Judge Fahy said she had heard enough.

She said the victim was very young.

“She was only 16 when she got married. She was a child, but that is part of the Traveller culture.

“It’s unfortunate she didn’t reveal to her own family what was happening, but then her own family were going through the trauma of losing her sister and she says she didn’t want to burden them.

“But we hear, all through our society, and not just in relation to the Travelling community – it’s in all strata of society – that women are assaulted and abused and, in some instances, it’s treated by the Gardaí as just domestic violence, but in this case thankfully, the Gardaí treated it as seriously as possible and brought charges.

“This man was a bully, totally controlling his wife. She had no phone, She was bossed around the place. The only reason he stayed with her was because of the child. He said he never loved her. It’s very, very serious.

“What’s most serious, apart from the assaults, is his attitude towards her.

“He brought her to Turkey and to Orlando, treating her like she was a possession, of no value other than to produce a son.

“Anyone in our society with that attitude needs to be re-educated in a very serious manner and he needs to be re-educated too,” Judge Fahy said.

She then sentenced Maughan to six months in prison for the first assault and imposed a consecutive six-month sentence on him for the second attack.

Leave to appeal the sentences was granted.

Judge Fahy imposed a condition should Maughan appeal the sentences, that he was to make no contact with the complainant or any member of her family by any means.

Ms Conroy, who was accompanied in court by her father, cried with relief and hugged Garda Michelle Berry who had helped her get her child back.


Council to consider new pedestrian ‘plaza’ for Galway City

Stephen Corrigan



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors will be asked next month to consider a sweeping overhaul of traffic flow in the city centre as the local authority seeks to create a more pedestrian-friendly core in the wake of Covid-19.

Currently under proposal in City Hall are major alterations to traffic flow which will allow for restricted car access to Middle Street – creating additional outdoor seating space for businesses in the area struggling to cope amid social distancing requirements.

Senior Engineer at City Hall, Uinsinn Finn, said they are currently considering three different proposals to alter traffic flow on Merchants Road, Augustine Street and Flood Street to reduce the need for car access to Middle Street, while still maintaining access for residents.

“We already pedestrianised Cross Street and we will be maintaining that, and there will be a proposal for Middle Street and Augustine Street.

“Businesses in the area are very much in favour of pedestrianisation – one business has objections but the others are supportive. Another consideration is that there are residents there with parking spaces and we are trying to encourage people to live in the city centre,” said Mr Finn.

The Latin Quarter business group submitted proposals for the temporary pedestrianisation of Middle Street and Abbeygate Street Lower but Mr Finn said the proposals the Council were considering were more in the line of creating adequate space for pedestrians while still allowing residents vehicular access.

This would involve creating a circuit for car traffic moving through Merchants Road around onto Augustine Street and exiting at Flood Street.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Residents want laneway closed following pipe bomb scare

Francis Farragher



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Residents in part of Knocknacarra are calling for the closure of a laneway and for more Community Gardaí to be put on the beat following the discovery of a ‘viable’ pipe-bomb type device in the area last weekend.

Up to 13 homes in the Cimín Mór and Manor Court estates had to be evacuated on Friday evening last when the incendiary device was discovered by Gardaí concealed in an unlit laneway, leading to the emergency services being notified.

An Army EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit was called to the scene and removed the device – according to local residents and councillors, the Gardaí have confirmed that the device was viable.

Gardaí have declined to comment on the detail of the case but have confirmed that the matter is being ‘actively and vigorously investigated’.

Chairman of the Cimín Mór Residents’ Association, Pat McCarthy, told the Galway City Tribune that the discovery of the viable device on the narrow laneway that links their estate to Manor Court was extremely frightening for all concerned.

“For the best part of the past 20 years, we have been seeking action to be taken on this laneway which has been used for dumping and unsociable behaviour on a repeated basis.

“But what happened last Friday evening was really the last straw for us. This could have resulted in serious injury to innocent people and what is also of concern to us is how close this was to the two schools in the area,” said Mr McCarthy.

He said that over the coming days, the residents’ association would be petitioning all residents in the three estates concerned – the other two being Manor Court and Garraí Dhónaill – for action to be taken on the laneway.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Galway designer’s necklace is fit for a princess!

Denise McNamara



Kate Middleton wearing the necklace designed by Aisling O'Brien

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A Galway jewellery designer is the latest to experience the ‘Kate effect’ after fans tracked down the woman who created a necklace for the Duchess of Cambridge which she has worn several times since it was gifted to her during her trip to the city last March.

Aisling O’Brien’s website crashed on Wednesday night when orders poured in for the piece from around the world. The necklace costs €109 with initials, while the earrings retail for €49.

“I’d never sold more than two things outside of Ireland before. I only had three of Kate’s necklaces in stock – and now I have orders for at least 50. I’ll have to start recruiting some elves,” laughs Aisling, who only set up her website during lockdown.

The 14-carat gold necklace and earrings set was designed by Aisling specially for Kate after examining her style – “understated, elegant, simplicity” is how the Tuam native describes it.

She was contacted about the commission by physiotherapist Thérèse Tully, who wanted to give the future queen a gift as she was using her room to change at Árus Bóthar na Trá beside Pearse Stadium when the royal couple were meeting with GAA teams.

(Photo: Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton wearing the necklace)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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