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Man charged with concert tickets scam refused bail



A man who is charged with selling bogus concert tickets and with committing several other unrelated offences around the city, has been remanded in custody to October.

Dublin native, John Tomkins (44), of no fixed abode, appeared before the holiday sitting of Galway District Court this week.

He is charged with inducing two women to lodge €200 and €210 respectively into his bank account on dates between January 28 and 30 last for tickets to AC/DC concerts which the women never received.

He is charged with handling the respective amounts of money, knowing they were stolen and with giving false and misleading information regarding the transactions to Garda Paul McNulty at Galway Garda Station on April 18 last.

Tomkins is also charged with damaging a car door at Lurgan Park, Murrough, on June 26 last, and with stealing a suitcase full of men’s clothing worth €300, CDs and a pair of men’s boots worth €40 from the car on the same date.

He is further charged with breaching the peace, by engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting words or behaviour in a public place in relation to the same incident He is also charged with damaging the walls and door of a holding cell at Galway Garda Station on June 26.

Tomkins is further charged with having a torch, latex gloves and two four-inch screws in his possession at a house on Renmore Road on February 14 last with the intention they be used in connection with theft/burglary.

When charged with this offence Tomkins had replied, “What screws? What gloves?”

He was also charged with breaching the peace at Renmore Road during the same incident.

He had replied “No comment. Not guilty you clown,” when that charge was put to him by a Garda.

Tomkins had refused to have the charges relating to the alleged burglary offence dealt with at District Court level on July 1 last and elected for trial instead in the Circuit Criminal Court on that date.

Inspector Kevin Gately told the court this week that a Book of Evidence in relation to that charge was not yet ready as the DPP had directed further investigations be carried out. He applied to have the matter adjourned to September for service of the Book on Tomkins then.

Defence solicitor, Gearoid Geraghty said his client had instructed him to object to the adjournment application and wanted the charge struck out (due to delay).

Judge John King noted from the court file that Tomkins was first charged with the offence on March 2 and the DPP had directed summary disposal (in the District Court) but then on July 1 last, Tomkins had elected for trial in the Circuit Court and on that basis, he said, he was not going to accede to his application to have the charge struck out.

He remanded the accused in custody to October 7 and granted an application made by Insp Gately to extend time for service of the Book of Evidence on that date. Tomkins objected to that application as well.

Mr Geraghty informed the court his client was in custody on all of the other charges as he had been unable to take up bail which had been granted to him by the High Court.

Judge King remanded Tomkins in custody on the remaining charges with consent to bail as set by the High Court to appear before the court again on October 7.

Connacht Tribune

Galway historian’s 14 new books bring running total to 70!



Steve Dolan.

There may be a book in everyone – but producing 18 of them for publication in one week is taking it to a different level. And yet that’s what Galway historian Steve Dolan has done for Heritage Week. . . adding 18 books this year to bring him up to 70 over the last seven years – and he’s firmly committed to hitting one hundred.

By day – and given the workload, increasingly by night – he is the chief executive of Galway Rural Development (GRD), but the Carrabane resident has had a lifelong passion for history. And that’s what he turns to as a form of relaxation which peaks at this time every year.

Not alone that; he already has the first five of next year’s publications completed – and he’s only starting!

This year’s booklets are all on the theme of Gaelic Games and every one of them is in aid of a different community group or charity. Theoretically, they are limited editions, but – given his own love of the subject matter – he won’t see anyone who shares that passion miss out.

While all eighteen new publications share that GAA theme, the diversity of subject matter within that is breath-taking – and an incredible achievement in terms of the workload and production.

From the story of the county title that Liam Mellows were robbed of in 1942 to the contribution of An Cath Gaedhealach to Galway GAA in 1947/48 or Galway’s 1923 and 1925 All-Ireland victories to sport in County Galway during the revolutionary years; the books are as much about social history as about sport.

See the full list of publications in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

And if they are of interest to you, you can contact Steve at to buy them.

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Connacht Tribune

Why did Galway suffer just half as many Covid deaths as Mayo?



Galway and Mayo, two neighbouring counties, have had hugely contrasting experiences with Covid-19-related deaths.

Analysis of the latest figures reveals that Mayo’s Covid mortality rate is more than double that of Galway’s.

The disparity has prompted a Galway West TD to call for an investigation to see what caused the disparity.

Fresh data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) shows that Covid deaths in Galway have topped the 250 milestone.

Up to the end of July, HSPC has been notified of some 251 Covid deaths in Galway since the Pandemic was declared in 2020.

This gives a mortality rate of 97.3 per 100,000 population, which is the second lowest of any county in the Republic after Sligo.

During the same timeframe, neighbouring Mayo notified 296 Covid deaths, which gives a mortality rate of 226.8 per 100,000.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Hurling legend’s distillery plans for heart of Conamara



Joe Connolly....Conamara vision.

Plans have been lodged to build a multi-million euro whiskey distillery on the Conamara coastline – the brainchild of Galway hurling legend Joe Connolly and his family.

And if it gets the green light, it will square a circle that has its roots firmly in the same Conamara soil – where both of the All-Ireland-winning Galway captain’s grandfathers were renowned distillers too . . . only of the illegal variety.

The plans for the Cnoc Buí Whiskey Distillery & Heritage Centre outside Carna – lodged by Údarás na Gaeltachta on behalf of Drioglann Iarthar na Gaillimhe Teoranta – describe a facility that will provide a first-class visitor experience and greatly enhance the local area’s tourism offering.

Once complete, Cnoc Buí will comprise the distillery itself, bonded warehousing, a bottling hall and tasting bar – as well as the heritage centre, shop and café.

That will create over 30 jobs in the first five years, with the heritage centre alone aiming to attract 16,000 visitors in the first year of operation – rising to at least 52,000 by year five in Iorras Aithneach, an area blighted by unemployment and emigration.

On top of that, their own economic analysis envisages the creation of another 130 jobs in the Carna/Cill Chiarain area – in leisure, hospitality and accommodation on foot of that significant increase in visitor numbers.

The Connollys see Cnoc Buí as ‘an asset which will enrich the entire community’.

“It will enhance the local tourism product and serve as a focal point for both the local community and visitors,” said Cnoc Buí director Barry Connolly.

“The building has been carefully designed to reflect the beauty of its surroundings, because we want our distillery to be an attractive hub, with its Visitors’ Centre and Tasting Bar. It will provide employment, draw in tourists and add value to other business in the area,” he added.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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