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CITY TRIBUNE

Man who fled €4,000 penthouse without paying set to avoid jail

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One of a group of people who fled without paying for a €4,000-a-night penthouse suite in the Radisson Blu Hotel will avoid a prison sentence if he does community service.

Gideon Osagiede (22), Flat 1, 472 North Circular Road, Dublin 7, was part of the group of eight which booked into the penthouse suite at the hotel overlooking Lough Atalia, on Friday night, February 19 last.

The group left the next morning without paying €500 each for the €4,000-a-night penthouse suite.

Osagiede was the last to leave the penthouse and he was subsequently charged with obtaining services to the value of €500 at the hotel before making off without paying his portion of the bill.

He had initially contested the charge but changed his plea to guilty at the last minute before Galway District Court.

Judge Mary Fahy expressed surprise at the cost of a one-night stay in the penthouse and she asked if the hotel had been given a credit card (for the booking) by any member of the group.

Sgt. Finbarr Philpott confirmed a fraudulent credit card had been given to the hotel to book the penthouse but the accused was not charged with that offence.

Defence solicitor, Michael Cunningham, said at the time that his client was not the person who made the booking.

He said his client was part of a group which partied in the penthouse after a night out in Galway city.

Judge Fahy asked if Osagiede had his portion of the bill, which was €500, in court.

The solicitor said his client’s social welfare payments had been stopped in July but he was trying to get them back.  He didn’t have €500 to pay for his stay in Galway.

He did bring €150 to court and that along with his €120 bail money was forfeited to the court.

The matter was adjourned for the balance of €230 to be paid over and for Osagiede’s suitability to carry out community service be assessed.

The money was handed into court before Christmas and he was deemed suitable for community service.

Judge Fahy directed the accused carry out 120 hours of community service in lieu of a three-month prison sentence.

She had indicated to the court in October that the €500 would go towards local charities.

CITY TRIBUNE

Elective surgeries cancelled at UHG as overcrowding continues

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Some non-urgent elective surgeries are being cancelled at UHG in a bid to tackle severe overcrowding at the city hospital.

It follows the issuing of a warning from the Saolta Hospital Group that the emergency department is extremely busy and there is ongoing pressure on bed availability.

General Manager at UHG, Chris Kane, says over 500 people presented at the hospital on Monday and Tuesday.

She says the overcrowding situation is very serious, particularly in relation to the ED, the Surgical Unit and the Acute Medical Assessment Unit.

Members of the public are urged to only attend the hospital in the case of emergency, and contact their GP or out-of-hours service if their health problem is not urgent.

Saolta is also reminding the public that the Injury Unit at Roscommon University Hospital is open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week, to treat adults and children over 5.

Speaking to Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks, Chris Kane said the current level of patients presenting is extremely high and “unusual” for this time of year.

She also noted there’s also been a rise in patients being treated for Covid-19, including in the ICU.

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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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