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Man jailed for murder of a Glenamaddy factory worker loses appeal

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Galway Bay fm newsroom- A man jailed for the killing of a Glenamaddy factory worker has lost his appeal against his conviction for murder

33 year old Latvian national Andrejs Krauze, of Dudley Heights, Glenamaddy, had pleaded NOT guilty to murdering his fellow countryman, 30 year old Juris Buls in the county on July 7 or 8, 2011.

Krauze strangled Buls to death, after he refused to withdraw a Garda complaint against him.

The Central Criminal Court heard that Mr Buls had failed to appear for a night shift at Titan Plastics in Glenamaddy on July 7 2011, and was reported missing.

It was the prosecution’s case that Krauze had gone to Mr Buls’ home and strangled him before moving his body to the woods.

Krauze was unanimously found guilty by a jury and given the mandatory life sentence by Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan on March 29, 2017.

Giving judgment in the three-judge court, President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice George Birmingham said none of the grounds of appeal had caused the court to doubt the fairness of the trial or the safety of the verdict.

Krauze was interviewed in March, 2012 while serving a prison sentence for theft in the Latvian capital, Riga.

His lawyers submitted to the Court of Appeal that the Garda interview did not comply with Ireland’s Custody Regulations.

Mr Justice Birmingham said there was “no hint whatsoever” that Krauze’s admissions in the interview were the result of coercion or oppression or the offering of an inducement.

Krauze’s lawyers further submitted that the trial judge erred in admitting evidence of previous bad character, in relation to an earlier altercation with the deceased.

Mr Justice Birmingham said the court was in no doubt that the jury was entitled to hear this evidence, given that it provided a motive for the murder, on the prosecution’s case.

Finally, it was submitted that the interpreter in Riga was an employee of the Latvian Police Service and, as such, could not be regarded as independent.

The court held there was no suggestion anything was misinterpreted

Mr Justice Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice John Edwards and Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy, dismissed the appeal.

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NUIG professor appointed to panel reviewing children’s social care services in Northern Ireland

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From Galway Bay FM newsroom- A professor at NUI Galway has been appointed to a special panel to review children’s social care services in Northern Ireland.

Health Minister in the NI Executive, Robin Swann, has confirmed that Professor Pat Dolan will join the panel, with the review to begin next month.

Over a 16 month period, it’ll engage with parents, children and young people, as well as those working within the services, to assess the current model under a a wide range of criteria.

Professor Dolan is Director of the Institute for Lifecourse and Society, and UNESCO Chair at the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway.

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Galway TD calls for residential development to be prioritised around train stations

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From Galway Bay FM newsroom- A Galway TD says it’s mistake that across Galway, we’re not properly planning to have our towns connected with the National Rail Network.

Deputy Sean Canney says it’s good planning to designate catchment areas close to train stations as priority zones for residential development.

He feels this should be reflected in the Galway County Development Plan, as well as Local Area Plans for the individual municipal districts.

Galway East Deputy Canney says towns like Ballinasloe, Woodlawn, Attymon, Athenry and Gort could benefit from this type of initiative.

Deputy Canney says it’s about improving connectivity, reducing reliance on cars, and realising the full potential of the rail network.

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Major step forward for planned Regional Aquatic Centre at Cappagh Park

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom- There’s been a major step forward in plans to build a new Regional Aquatic Centre at Cappagh Park in Knocknacarra.

This week’s meeting of Galway City Council heard the project has now been approved in principle at Government level.

The proposed Regional Aquatic Centre at Cappagh Park would be a €17m development, adjacent to the existing community centre.

It would consist of a swimming pool and state-of-the-art gym, as well as various studios and playing courts, and a cafe.

Galway City Council first applied for grant aid funding from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, and Sport in 2019.

At this week’s meeting of the local authority, City CEO Brendan McGrath confirmed a letter has been received from the Department in recent days.

It confirms that the Department is now in a position to enter into a legal grant agreement for a previously agreed sum of €8m.

As part of the process, Galway City Council now has to prepare and submit a raft of documentation, including the detailed design of the project and a final business case.

It’s currently estimated that the project could be delivered at Cappagh Park by early 2027.

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