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Man disfigured after Christmas morning attack

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A Tuam man has been left with permanent facial injuries following an unprovoked assault on him in the early hours of Christmas Day two years ago.

One of the assailants, Paul Cahill (22), from 31 Cois na hAbhainn, Tuam, has been sentenced to three years in prison with the final 18 months suspended for his part in the attack.

Cahill pleaded guilty to assaulting Stephen Murphy (42), causing him harm at High Street, Tuam, on December 24, 2013, when he first appeared before the Circuit Court last November. Sentence was adjourned for the preparation of reports.

Garda Frank Fahy told the sentence hearing that Stephen Murphy and his partner had been socialising on Christmas Eve and ended up in a Chinese restaurant around 3.30am.

Garda Fahy said Mr Murphy was the victim of an unrelated, unprovoked attack in the restaurant and the aggressor, who had since been brought before the courts on a different occasion, was taken outside by a friend. Another man, who was with Paul Cahill started sneering at Mr Murphy and his partner.

Garda Fahy said that before leaving the restaurant, Mr Murphy spoke to this man who had been sneering at him and his partner and it was alleged he then punched this person.

He said both Paul Cahill and the other person then followed the couple outside where Mr Murphy was attacked from behind.  He could remember being kicked by three people on the ground, including Paul Cahill.

Mr Murphy’s partner was knocked to the ground and kicked in the face too when she tried to intervene.

“Witnesses stated that the kicks were severe and horrendous and Stephen was kicked as hard as one could kick at full force and they could hear the kicks landing. Stephen was kicked ten to twelve times in the head and body,” Garda Fahy said.

The victim’s left eye socket was shattered and he had to have surgery to repair the damage. “He’s been told by the surgeon that he will have a progressively disfigured face which will get worse as he gets older,” Garda Fahy added.

Judge Rory McCabe noted from the probation report that Cahill had a limited appreciation of his role and degree of culpability for the harm he caused and the probation officer had found it difficult to gauge if his remorse was genuine.

The judge said a custodial sentence was unavoidable as the probation officer had noted that while Cahill admitted the offence he had sought to significantly minimise his actions and had attempted to portray himself as the victim on the night.

Taking Cahill’s youth, early plea and offer of €4,000 of compensation into account, Judge McCabe said the appropriate sentence was three years with the final 18 months suspended for five years.

CITY TRIBUNE

Council to consider new pedestrian ‘plaza’ for Galway City

Stephen Corrigan

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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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CITY TRIBUNE

Residents want laneway closed following pipe bomb scare

Francis Farragher

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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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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway designer’s necklace is fit for a princess!

Denise McNamara

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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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