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CITY TRIBUNE

Man jailed for attack on A&E doctor in UHG

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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A man who assaulted a doctor in the Emergency Department of University Hospital Galway was given a six-month prison sentence in his absence at Galway District Court.

A bench warrant was imposed on George O’Connor of Castletown, Gort for failing to appear before last week’s court hearing.

Three doctors, including Dr Ciarán McHale, the victim of the unprovoked assault on November 22 last year, gave evidence to the court and CCTV footage from the Emergency Dept (ED) was shown in court so O’Connor could be identified.

Dr McHale said he had been sitting on a chair, checking a scan on a computer in an office part of the ED when he noticed a man coming into the area and lunging at him.

The lunge meant Dr McHale was thrown to the floor where O’Connor grabbed his scrubs, ripped his shirt and headbutted him. He also scratched and scraped the doctor.

Dr McHale told the court O’Connor had also attempted to bite and spit at him. O’Connor was not known to him personally but two other doctors gave evidence that they knew him from previous visits to the hospital.

Security arrived and separated the two men and O’Connor was held until Gardaí arrived.

Judge Mary Fahy, in imposing the six-month sentence for the assault on Dr McHale, said doctors and staff were under “extreme pressure and the last thing they expect is to be assaulted . . . the shock of it alone.”

The court further heard evidence from a woman in a separate case against O’Connor who trespassed at her home in the Claddagh on January 14 last.

She told the Court she had left her young daughter in the house for only ten minutes while she went to pick up her son from a swimming class nearby.

On her arrival home, she saw a white plastic bag in the hall with the front door open and saw a man, who has since been identified as O’Connor, sitting on a couch in the sitting room. She described him as “a mess, he was drunk and incoherent and I asked him to leave”.

She explained that her daughter knew not to open the front door to anyone, but O’Connor had rung the doorbell continuously and her daughter thought it was her brother and went to open the door.

He pushed the young girl aside and she ran to her bedroom and stayed there till her mother came home a few minutes later.

While the woman went to ring the Gardaí, O’Connor had disappeared, but was later found in the hotpress.

“I was calm for my children’s sake, but no way would I ever leave her again on her own. I never imagined this would happen,” she told Judge Mary Fahy.

Judge Fahy ordered a bench warrant for his arrest saying that he would be getting a prison sentence for trespassing also.

CITY TRIBUNE

WATCH: The Olivers to the rescue … again!

Enda Cunningham

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Father and son rescue team Patrick and Morgan Oliver were back in action in Salthill this morning, when they helped a swimmer who got into difficulty.

A member of the public raised the alarm at around 10.30am and the Coastguard sought the assistance of Galway Lifeboat who launched from Galway Docks.

Two members of the lifeboat shore crew made their way to the promenade to assist in the rescue.

Patrick and Morgan Oliver were fishing off Salthill at the time and spotted the man taking refuge on Palmers Rock about 200 metres from Salthill shore. They took him on board their fishing boat and brought him back to Galway Docks. Galway Lifeboat in the meantime was stood down. 

The man was taken into the Lifeboat station where he received treatment for symptoms of hypothermia until an ambulance arrived.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Assurances given on progress of road, bridge and bus projects

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It will take time and a lot of money, but the city’s network of major transport projects will proceed on schedule – that was the assurance given this week to councillors by City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath.

Councillors had expressed concerns at their meeting on Monday about the slow rate of progress being made with major capital projects including two new pedestrian bridges over the River Corrib.

However, Brendan McGrath told the meeting that the timelines for the range of capital transport projects – while challenging – were reasonable, pragmatic and achievable.

“All of the projects are moving forward but we must adhere to all the procedures and the different stages that have to be complied with: we have no choice in that,” said Brendan McGrath.

Senior City Council Engineer, Uinsinn Finn, in reply to a number of queries about potential new bus routes, said that while the Council worked closely with Bus Éireann and the bus companies, the local authority didn’t decide on the routes.

Earlier in the meeting, Cllr Peter Keane (FF), asked ‘how it could take 63 months’ to deliver a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Corrib even though the piers (old Corrib Railway Line) were already in place for the project.

“How can it take over five years to put a bridge like this over the Corrib,” he asked, after hearing that this €11 million Greenways-linked project would not be completed until 2026.

There is a snappier timescale for the Salmon Weir Pedestrian/Cycle Bridge – to be located adjacent to the existing structure on the southern side – with planning consent expected by next Summer and a completion date set for the end of 2022.
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

Council removes ‘shop local’ signage despite agreement with Latin Quarter

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Signage promoting a ‘eat, drink and shop local’ campaign, erected by a local business group, was removed by the Galway City Council – despite an understanding that permission had been granted.

The bilingual signage was placed on a number of solar compactor bins and bollard-control boxes in the city centre by the Latin Quarter business group, in an attempt to promote local businesses grappling with the effects of Covid-19.

A source in the group told the Galway City Tribune that the signage cost around €3,500 and that permission to erect it had been given by a ‘senior Council official’.

The signs were put up in mid-October but only lasted around two weeks when City Hall’s Environment Department had them removed, claiming that they had not been consulted.

“There was clearly a breakdown in communications in City Hall because we had permission from a senior official to proceed, and then the Environment Department took issue with the signs and insisted that they had to be removed,” said the source.

A Council spokesperson said they were currently in discussions with the Latin Quarter to provide promotional material and added “there’s been no falling out here”.
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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