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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.

Connacht Tribune

All out in force to cheer home one of their own



Fiona Murtagh…back home with her Olympic medal on Sunday. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Sitting on an airplane, mid-air from Japan en route to Dublin, Olympic bronze medallist from Moycullen, Fiona Murtagh was unsure whether anyone would be at the airport to meet her and teammates Aifric Keogh of Na Forbacha, Eimear Lambe and Emily Hegarty when they touched down.

Because of Covid-19 restrictions, there was no big welcoming party planned for Dublin Airport. But Fiona need not have worried; as she strode out of airport security and into Arrivals, all her family were there to hug her.

Fiona hadn’t seen her parents Marguerite and Noel since April because of a pre-Olympic training camp in Italy; and her siblings Pádraig, Lorraine and twin Alan all turned up, too.

“Oh my God, I couldn’t believe it. It was actually really emotional, it was so lovely. I didn’t expect the full family to be there. Tears came to my eyes. I hadn’t seen mom and my dad in seven weeks,” said Fiona.

That was just the first leg of what was to be a heart-warming homecoming for a hero.

The family drove back to Galway with Fiona, who had heard “through the grapevine that there was going to be something in Bushypark”.

“But the scale of it, I didn’t expect it at all, it was incredible, it was so lovely to see everyone come out and support and see me”, she said.

Read the full story over eleven pages of coverage on the homecoming of our Olympic heroes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale now – or you can download the digital edition from

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Connacht Tribune

Rowing heroes reunited for special day to savour



Hero’s homecoming…Aifric Keogh with her parents Susan and Jim Keogh. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

About halfway through her homecoming on Bank Holiday Monday, Aifric Keogh spotted a very familiar face in the crowd lining the road.

It was her fellow Olympic medallist Fiona Murtagh from Moycullen, whom she’d soldiered with in Tokyo days earlier to win bronze in the Women’s Coxless Fours final.

Fiona was outside Furbo Church with her boyfriend, on the way to Pádraicín’s to meet mates. The plan was to watch Aifric’s open-top bus and cavalcade pass-by. Fiona had no intention of joining in – but she had no choice.

“When I looked down and saw Fiona, she was laughing at me, waving up. So, I made the bus stop and dragged her up there beside me,” laughed Aifric.

It meant that those turning out on the second leg of the journey from Na Forbacha to An Spidéal and back again, got two Olympic legends for the price of one!

“I made her come up with me. And then we were driving through Spiddal and we actually drove passed her aunt’s house, so her aunt and cousins and mom were outside waving up at us. It was really nice for us to be so close together here in Galway,” said Aifric.

That was just one of several special moments from a homecoming the 28-year-old rower will treasure.

Whereas Fiona came back to Conamara straight from Dublin Airport, and had a hero’s welcome in Moycullen on Sunday, Aifric stayed in Dublin on Sunday, driving down the following morning.

As she passed through Barna on the way to her parents’ house in Aill an Phréacháin in Na Forbacha, she could see flags, bunting and bonfires being prepared for her official drive-through later that evening. But what she witnessed on that journey to the home house of her parents, Jim and Susan, didn’t prepare her for the size of turnout.

“It was amazing. I didn’t know what to expect. Obviously, I was expecting some of my friends and family but seeing so many people from Spiddal, Barna and Furbo coming out along the road the whole way was just crazy,” she said.

Read the full story over eleven pages of coverage on the homecoming of our Olympic heroes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale now – or you can download the digital edition from

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Connacht Tribune

Saw Doctors sell out – to shoot back into the charts!



Saw they were in the early days (from left) Leo Moran, Pearse Doherty, John 'Turps' Burke, Davy Carton and (front) Johnny Donnelly.

It’s official – the Saw Doctors have finally sold out. Because, as of this week, it’s impossible for fans to get their hands on a copy of the Galway band’s iconic first album, remastered 30 years on from its original incarnation.

The good news is that the band are now going to do a fourth vinyl pressing of ‘If This is Rock And Roll, I Want My Old Job Back’ – but given the global renaissance in vinyl, it will be the beginning of September before they’ll be for sale.

So far, the album has sold all 1,500 copies pressed – and that has increased hopes of the band playing live again, once pandemic restrictions are eased, according to the band’s manager Ollie Jennings.

“A guy called Simon Moran is the biggest music promoter in the UK; he’s based in Manchester and he’s worked with Peter Kay in the past, who got him into the Saw Doctors.

“He has, twice in the last six months, written personal emails begging the band to tour the UK,” he says.

And that’s not some vanity project, because he knows that – the last time the Saw Docs played in the UK in 2017 – they did 20 shows that drew 30,000 fans.

“We sold out the Manchester Apollo with 4,000; we sold out two nights at Glasgow’s Barrowlands with 4,000 each night. He knows we will do the business,” says Ollie.

Up to now, the prospects of another tour seemed remote – but the success of the album has rekindled the Saw Doctors, and something magical happened when the band got together to sign the rereleased LP.

“It was a wonderful afternoon in Leo’s house in Tuam; loads of laughs and old stories; just magic – it was like being back in 1990 or 1991 again,” says Ollie.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale now – or you can download the digital edition from

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