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Man jailed for throttling Garda in violent struggle



A man who almost choked a Garda while holding him and another Garda in a ‘judo hold’ has been sentenced to a total of eighteen months in prison.

Daniel Bane (25), from 13 Ard Esker, Tuam Road, Athenry, appeared in custody before Galway District Court where he pleaded guilty to obstructing Garda Seamus O’Donnell and Garda Patricia Sloyan in the course of their duty, at Tesco, Oranmore, on August 16, last year.

He also pleaded guilty to the theft of a trolley-load of items worth €190, from the store on the same date and to the theft of €8 worth of dog treats, also on the same date.

Bane further pleaded guilty to having a claw hammer concealed in the door panel of a car he was driving while uninsured at Woodquay on January 20 last, and to having €10 worth of cannabis in his possession on the same date.

Sergeant Grace Hennessy told the court Garda O’Donnell and Garda Sloyan responded to a call and went to Tesco at 5pm where they found Bane being held by a member of security.

CCTV showed Bane leave the store without paying for a trolley full of items.  He then returned from the car park and entered the store again before taking bags of dog treats.

Security apprehended him on his return visit to the store and called Gardai. Bane became extremely violent when Garda O’Donnell told him he was about to be arrested.

Garda O’Donnell struggled to arrest Bane and both of them fell to the floor outside the entrance to Tesco.

Bane grabbed Garda O’Donnell by the throat with both hands and wrapped his legs around him. He kicked out at Garda Sloyan as she tried to pull Bane’s hands from Garda O’Donnell’s throat.

“He grabbed Garda O’Donnell by the throat and was trying to choke him. Garda O’Donnell could not release his grip and he was finding it difficult to breathe.

“Garda Sloyan tried to stop Daniel Bane from choking Garda O’Donnell and a violent struggle ensued,” Sgt Hennessy said.

Garda Sloyan told the court Bane kicked out at her, bruising her legs from her thighs down to her ankles as she tried to pull him off her colleague.

She said Bane then wrapped his legs around her while he was still throttling Garda O’Donnell and he managed to kick her in the back a number of times with his heels.

He released his grip on Garda O’Donnell and twisted her left wrist in an effort to break it as she tried to loosen his grip, she said.

Garda Sloyan shouted for help and a man who was shopping in Tesco at the time came to the Garda’s aid.

She said they could see Garda O’Donnell’s face turning red by this time as he could not free himself from Bane’s grip.

The bystander succeeded in releasing Bane’s grip but he too was kicked and Bane managed to bite him in the ribs. The bystander man, assisted by two other male customers, eventually helped in restraining Bane at the scene.

Sgt. Hennessy said Garda Sloyan suffered soft tissue injuries and “acute stress reaction” as a result of the assault and was off work for five weeks.

Garda O’Donnell gave evidence of the impact the attack had on him. He said Bane had tried to choke him and the attack had lasted “quite some time” before assistance arrived. He had been off work for seven weeks due to the injuries he sustained.

Defence solicitor, Brian Gilmartin, said Bane had some judo skills and had used him on this occasion. He said Bane smoked cannabis to excess and takes tablets.

He added Bane had a difficult upbringing. His mother and two sisters were present and a letter from one of the sisters was handed into court.

“Garda O’Donnell was within inches of being choked,” Judge Mary Fahy observed.

The court heard Bane had 20 previous convictions, mostly for Public Order offences.

Judge Fahy imposed sentences totalling eighteen months and she disqualified him for four years for driving without insurance.

Leave to appeal the sentences was granted.


Council rows back on ‘reduced delays’ projections for Kirwan junction



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Motorists have described it as ‘a disaster’ and a former mayor has said the project gave very poor value for money, but Galway City Council have this week asked the public to be patient with the revamped Kirwan junction, close to the Menlo Park Hotel.

Since the four-arm signalled junction opened early last week, motorists have complained of traffic queues stretching back to the Quincentenary Bridge and Corrib Park.

And now the Council has rowed back on its consultants’ claims that the junction would increase capacity by 15% and reduce waiting times by 25%.

Former mayor and local taxi driver, Cllr Frank Fahy, told the Galway City Tribune that given the negative impact of the junction on traffic, the €5 million spent on the project represented ‘very poor value’ as regards taxpayers’ money.

“I will admit that the junction is now safer for pedestrians in that they can hit a button to give them a safe crossing, but since it opened there have some very serious traffic tailbacks,” said Cllr Fahy.

However, City Council Acting Director of Services for Transport, Uinsinn Finn, told the Galway City Tribune that the new junction needed time to ‘bed in’ with a familiarisation process.

“The main objectives of this project were to make far safer for pedestrians and cyclists to negotiate, as well as making it safer for motorists too, without impacting [negatively] on the traffic flow,” said Mr Finn.

He added that since it opened – and over the coming few weeks – data on all aspects of how the junction was functioning would be compiled which could involve changes to light sequencing, lanes and peak traffic flows.

One motorist who contacted this newspaper said that the daily “nightmare” journey from the Barna Road to the Headford Road during the morning peak traffic time had added up to 40 minutes to his journey time.

“The two lanes are regularly gridlocked from the junction, back the N6, over the Quincentenary Bridge and back to Corrib Park.

“In the mornings, it’s now easier to go down Taylor’s Hill and into town, past Eyre Square and up Bohermore to get down to the Headford Road.

Councillors were told by consultants in 2017 and again in 2018 – when they voted to proceed with the changeover to a junction – that average delays would be reduced by 25% and junction capacity would increase by 15%.
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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Man hospitalised following Eyre Square assault



Gardaí have appealed to the public for information into an assault in Eyre Square last weekend which led to a young man being hospitalised.

The victim of the assault – a man in his early 20s from the city area – suffered a cut to his knee and may have had a substance sprayed towards his eyes.

Following the incident – that occurred close to the Eyre Square taxi rank shortly after midnight on Saturday night last – the victim was taken by ambulance to University Hospital Galway.

It is understood that the victim was released later that morning and has made a full recovery. This week, Gardaí are poring over CCTV footage in an effort to try and identify the perpetrators of the assault.

The assailants are understood to have fled on foot after the incident towards St Patrick’s Avenue on the east side of Eyre Square.

A Garda spokesperson has appealed for anyone who was in the vicinity of the taxi rank on Eyre Square between 12 midnight and 12.30am on the Sunday morning (Saturday night) of July 25 last, and who may have witnessed the incident to contact them.

(Photo: the assailants fled on foot towards St Patrick’s Avenue off Eyre Square)
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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Council turns down controversial phone mast plan



From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Galway City Council has refused an application by Eircom to erect a 12-metre telecoms mast in a housing estate in Knocknacarra.

The local authority turned down the company’s application for planning permission to install the structure in the heart of Drom Óir over concerns that it would create a visual obstruction in a residential area – and would have a detrimental impact on property prices.

Eircom had also sought retention to keep a concrete foundation for the mast in situ after it was forced to abandon works earlier this year, amid protests from residents in Drom Óir and Leitir Burca. This was also rejected.

City planners issued the company with a warning letter in April to cease works after contractors on site drew the ire of nearby residents, who accused Eircom of seeking to install the mast ‘by stealth’.

A total of 26 letters of objection were submitted to the Council from residents of the two estate.
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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