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Man fined for unlicensed shotgun after firing over raiders

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A court in Ballinasloe heard last week how a shotgun was discharged by a man in the early hours of the morning in order to frighten off a number of people who broke into his home armed with hatchets, a lump-hammer, and a canister of petrol.

Derek Nolan of Lisduff, Mount Talbot, pleaded guilty to possession of a shotgun without a firearm certificate at his home on January 7 2013, and his solicitor told the court he had grabbed the gun from a kitchen shelf because he was afraid for his life.

Garda Darren Owens told the court of responding to a 999 call from a neighbour concerning the discharge of a firearm which had occurred when three men who had travelled from Monaghan attempted to break into his home in an attempt to get money that was owed to them.

Mr. Nolan had discharged the firearm over their heads to try and get them to go away, and appeared very nervous. The firearm belonged to his father who had passed away.

Sheenagh MacCarthy, solicitor for the accused, said it had been a very frightening experience for her client who would say that he did not own any money but had been duped by someone else in relation to the collection of horses.

She went on to explain how the defendant was in bed at 12.30am when the men broke a patio window at the back of the house and came into his home uninvited.

They were armed with hatchets, a lump-hammer and a canister of petrol and her client ended up being assaulted and sustaining a dislocated shoulder.

Threats were subsequently made against him about what would happen to him if he ever re-appeared in Monaghan.

After Supt. Gerry Roche sought an order disqualifying the defendant from holding a firearm certificate for five years, and the accused asked that he be given back the firearm even if it was decommissioned, Judge James Faughnan said he was not going to disqualify him from holding a firearm but he was ordering that the shotgun be disposed of.

He imposed a fine of €400.

CITY TRIBUNE

Water outages across Knocknacarra and Barna due to burst watermain

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – There are water outages across Knocknacarra and Barna this morning due to a burst watermain

The burst is in a rising main from Clifton Hill in Galway City to Tonabrucky Reservoir

The city council and Irish Water says while every effort is being made to maintain supply to as many customers as possible, the burst has caused water levels in Tonabrucky Reservoir to deplete

Houses and businesses in Knocknacarra, Barna and surrounding areas will experience low pressure and outages.

Dedicated water service crews have mobilised and repairs are underway and are expected to be completed by mid-afternoon.

Traffic management will be in place and Letteragh Road will be closed between Sliabh Rua and Tonabrucky Cross until 6pm.

Householders and businessses are being asked to conserve water where possible to reduce the pressure on local supplies and allow reservoir levels to restore.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Woman sustains serious injuries after being struck by firework in Eyre Square

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Gardaí are appealing for witnesses after a young woman was struck in the face by a firework in Eyre Square in the city overnight.

It happened shortly after midnight and gardai say it’s understood the firework had been launched from close to the Tourist Information Kiosk.

The young woman suffered serious injuries and was hospitalised as a result.

Gardaí understand there was a large group of people in Eyre Square at the time and are now asking that any person who may have witnessed the incident make contact with the investigating team.

In particular Gardaí are appealing to anyone who may have video footage of the incident, either on mobile phone, CCTV or dash-cam to make contact with them.

This incident comes just days after a policing committee meeting was told of increasing concern about anti social behaviour around Eyre Square.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Garda chief suggests closing Eyre Square to curb anti-social behaviour

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Closing Eyre Square at night-time was among the radical suggestions put forward by Galway’s top Garda this week – in response to claims that the city centre’s famous landmark had become a ‘no-go area’ after dark.

It comes as Gardaí confirmed that since January they issued almost 500 fines for breaches of the city’s alcohol bylaws, which prohibit the consumption of alcohol in public spaces.

Responding to claims that people were afraid to visit parts of the city centre at night due to anti-social behaviour, Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said that the authorities might have to look at closing Eyre Square at certain times.

Chief Supt Curley also said that improved lighting and better CCTV were other tools that could be used to deter anti-social behaviour and to detect crime in the city centre.

“I’d need another five officers in there – and I haven’t got them,” said Chief Supt Curley of the requirement for more Gardaí on patrol in Eyre Square.

He was responding to a charge by former mayor of Galway, Councillor Frank Fahy, who said Eyre Square was dangerous at night. “It’s a no-go area,” he said at a City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting this week.

Cllr Fahy said that the illegal activity and anti-social behaviour in the city centre was a product of the Covid-19 pandemic and people socialising outdoors. Eyre Square was safe pre-Covid, he said.

In a written reply to the JPC, Chief Supt Curley said that anti-social behaviour issues had been ‘de-escalated’ along the city’s canals, Woodquay and Spanish Arch ‘as a result of extra Garda patrols’.

“The resulting consequences have led to crowd movement from these areas (and they) are now congregating at Eyre Square. Garda attention is concentrated on Eyre Square, however the return of students and the continued restrictions has led to increased numbers,” he said.

(Photo: a scene from Eyre Square at night this week taken from a video circulated on social media)

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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