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.
TII urged to carry-out safety audit on stretch of N84
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Tuam area councillors are calling on Transport Infrastructure Ireland to carry-out a safety audit on a key section of the N84 Headford Road.
Fianna Fail Councillor Mary Hoade put forward a motion at this week’s district meeting for the transport body to carry-out the safety assessment on the route from Ballindooley to Cloughanover.
The motion, which also called for verges to be cut back at the Balroebuck junction, was carried unanimously.
It comes as there have been several road traffic incidents along the busy routes recently, including two at the Grange junction in the past week.
Councillor Hoade argues the Grange junction is an area of particular concern to road users and local residents.
Director of Services for the Tuam MD Derek Pender told members he will have an answer from TII for the next district meeting, adding that the roads body has always been very generous in supplying funding.
Councillor Hoade argues that stacking lanes and turning lanes are needed at junctions exiting onto the N84.
City Council approves €930,000 loan for housing charities
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway City Council has approved a €930,000 loan to supply local housing charities with four properties.
The proposal was brought before Councillors at this week’s Local Authority meeting and was carried unanimously.
The largest loan of almost €300,000 will go to the Peter McVerry Trust to secure a four-bed property at Túr Uisce in Doughiska. The allocation includes €33,000 for essential upgrade works.
Peter McVerry Trust will also provide a second two-bed property at Boireann Bheag in Doughiska at a cost of just under €250,000.
Galway Simon Community has secured €200,000 for a two-bed unit at Lui Na Greine on the Western Distributor Road.
Meanwhile, COPE Galway has been allocated €190,000 to purchase a one-bed apartment at Dominick Street.
The loans have been secured under the Capital Assistance Scheme.
Director of Services for Housing Dermot Mahon told this week’s City Council meeting that properties provided through the scheme are given to families who have accessed homeless services and who are on the housing waiting list.
Galway has second lowest ‘Fair Deal’ support rate nationwide
Galway Bay fm newsroom – A new survey has revealed that Galway has the second lowest nursing home “Fair Deal” support rate nationwide.
The Nursing Homes Support Scheme provides financial support to people who need long-term nursing home care.
Under the scheme, applicants make a contribution towards the cost of their care in private, public or voluntary nursing homes, while the HSE pays the balance.
However, the latest BDO Ireland and Nursing Homes Ireland Survey reveals Galway currently has the second lowest support rate in the country at €931 per bed per week.
Noting that’s €230 lower than Dublin, where the highest price is paid – BDO Ireland says Galway is not getting a “fair deal” at all.
It argues the assessment system is fundamentally flawed, and needs to shift from a county by county assessment to one that is based on actual care needs.
BDO Ireland points out that for a 65 bed nursing home, which is the average size of home in Ireland today, the difference would be almost €950 thousand a year in patient support.
It also notes that current conditions are leading to a huge rise in market share for large operators compared to owner-operators and voluntary organisations.
This, it warns, could heavily impact on choices for older people in the future, particularly in non-urban settings.
The report concludes that in many areas across Ireland, it’s not economically viable to develop new nursing homes on the Fair Deal rates granted to new facilities.