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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

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
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

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
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

Galway City Council needs 40 more workers to help deliver on projects

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Forty more workers are needed at City Hall ‘right away’, the Chief Executive of Galway City Council has said.

Brendan McGrath has warned city councillors that the local authority is understaffed and it needs to hire more staff immediately to deliver its plans and projects.

The total cost of the extra 40 workers, including salary, would be between €1.75 million and €1.95 million.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council had a workforce now that was below what it had in 2007, but the city’s population has grown and so too had the services the Council provides.

The population of Galway City grew by almost 11% in the 10 years to 2016, he said, and total staff numbers in the Council fell by 13.6% during that period.

Though more staff were hired in recent years, Mr McGrath said that the Council was at 2007 and 2008 staffing levels, even though the Census will record further increases in population since 2016.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council now provides 1,000 services across a range of departments, far more than during the 2000s.

He said that currently, 524 staff are employed at the City Council. This equated to 493 Whole Time Equivalents when part-time workers such as school wardens and Town Hall workers are included.

Mr McGrath said that 12% of all staff are in acting up positions, with many more in short-term or fixed-term contracts. There was a highly competitive jobs market and the Council was finding recruitment and retention of specialist staff difficult.
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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