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Man charged with 12 counts of indecent assault on boy

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A city man charged with 12 counts of indecent assault on a boy in the city in the early 1980s, was sent forward for trial at Galway District Court.

When he was initially charged in May, the court was told that the married man (49), who cannot be named for legal reasons, had replied to one charge: “I’m absolutely innocent of these charges – it was his own father who did this.”

The State had strenuously objected to him being granted bail, on the grounds that there was a serious feud going on in the background – the State expressed fear that the defendant would threaten and intimidate witnesses if released.

When Judge Mary Fahy made the decision that bail was refused, the defendant shouted that she had made the decision due to a prejudiced view she had of him.

“You should be absolutely ashamed,” he told the Judge, and then refused to stand up when instructed to do so.

“I’ve no respect for this, I don’t know why I should stand,” he said, before finally doing what he was told. A large number of his family had to be escorted out of the courtroom by Gardaí due to their vocal outbursts.

The defendant was subsequently granted bail in the High Court, albeit with strict conditions.

On Monday, Garda Paul McNulty served the Book of Evidence on the defendant. Inspector Mick O’Dwyer advised the court that the DPP had consented to the accused being sent forward for trial, or sent forward for sentencing on a signed plea, to the next sitting of Galway Circuit Criminal Court, commencing on October 9.

He was then given the alibi warning by Judge Fahy, that should he be relying on one in the defence of his case that he must furnish details to the State in advance.

He was granted free legal aid for a solicitor, junior counsel, and senior counsel, before being returned on High Court bail.

Solicitor for the defendant, Gearóid Geraghty, requested that reporting restrictions would apply at this stage, adding that this may not be the case at Circuit Court level. The State had no objection to the request.

The man is charged with indecently assaulting the boy on dates in 1981 and 1982, contrary to Common Law.

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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