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Man to pay €5,000 compo for broken bottle assault




A 62-year-old man, who was found guilty by a jury of assaulting another man with a broken bottle, has had his sentence hearing deferred to October after he showed up in court with €2,000 compensation for the victim.

Peadar Macken, a native of Rosmuc, and c/o The Fairgreen Hostel, Galway, has also promised to pay an additional €3,000 by October to Martin Whelan (66) from Beal an Dangan, Leitir Mór, whom he stabbed in the throat and face with a broken bottle at Mr Whelan’s home, on May 28, 2008.

Macken pleaded not guilty during a three-day trial at Galway Circuit Criminal Court last November to assaulting Mr Whelan, causing him harm, at Beal an Dangan, Leitir Mór on May 28, 2008.

He also denied a second charge of producing a broken bottle capable of causing injury, while committing the assault, on the same occasion.

Sentence was adjourned to last week.

Mr Whelan sustained a deep laceration to his throat and cheek in the drink-fuelled attack.

Macken had been homeless at the time and he asked Whelan earlier on the date of the attack, when he met him by chance in Galway city, if he could come and stay with him for a bit.

Both men travelled on the bus to Carraroe that evening and began drinking in Whelan’s house.

Whelan told the trial that when he asked Macken later that night not to smoke in bed, he became very violent and hit him on the side of the head with a whiskey bottle.  The bottle broke and when Whelan fell to the ground, Macken kneeled on his chest and stabbed him in the neck and face.

He began bleeding profusely but managed to stagger from the house and raise the alarm.  Gardaí and ambulance personnel quickly arrived at the scene.

Macken claimed he could not remember any of the events of that night when he was arrested by Sgt. Brendan Kineavy.

Macken was later charged with the offences but insisted he have his trial heard through Irish in front of a bilingual jury.

The application was refused in the Circuit Criminal Court in 2009, and that decision was appealed to the High Court and later the Supreme Court.  Both superior courts upheld the Circuit Court ruling.

Judge Rory McCabe referred last Friday to the seven-year delay in bringing the case to trial and said it was “a ferocious waste of taxpayer’s money” as Macken had effectively abandoned any objections he had to having the trial heard in Irish, once a trial date had been fixed.

Hearing Macken had not drank in six and a half years, was remorseful and wanted to pay an additional €3,000 to the victim, Judge McCabe adjourned sentence to October 6.

He asked Sgt. Kineavy to speak to the victim and see if he wanted to accept the compensation at all.

The judge said he wanted Macken assessed in the meantime by the probation service to see if he was a suitable candidate to carry out community service in lieu of a prison sentence.

He indicated that if Whelan was not willing to accept compensation the matter could be brought back before the court.


Council to consider new pedestrian ‘plaza’ for Galway City

Stephen Corrigan



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors will be asked next month to consider a sweeping overhaul of traffic flow in the city centre as the local authority seeks to create a more pedestrian-friendly core in the wake of Covid-19.

Currently under proposal in City Hall are major alterations to traffic flow which will allow for restricted car access to Middle Street – creating additional outdoor seating space for businesses in the area struggling to cope amid social distancing requirements.

Senior Engineer at City Hall, Uinsinn Finn, said they are currently considering three different proposals to alter traffic flow on Merchants Road, Augustine Street and Flood Street to reduce the need for car access to Middle Street, while still maintaining access for residents.

“We already pedestrianised Cross Street and we will be maintaining that, and there will be a proposal for Middle Street and Augustine Street.

“Businesses in the area are very much in favour of pedestrianisation – one business has objections but the others are supportive. Another consideration is that there are residents there with parking spaces and we are trying to encourage people to live in the city centre,” said Mr Finn.

The Latin Quarter business group submitted proposals for the temporary pedestrianisation of Middle Street and Abbeygate Street Lower but Mr Finn said the proposals the Council were considering were more in the line of creating adequate space for pedestrians while still allowing residents vehicular access.

This would involve creating a circuit for car traffic moving through Merchants Road around onto Augustine Street and exiting at Flood Street.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Residents want laneway closed following pipe bomb scare

Francis Farragher



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Residents in part of Knocknacarra are calling for the closure of a laneway and for more Community Gardaí to be put on the beat following the discovery of a ‘viable’ pipe-bomb type device in the area last weekend.

Up to 13 homes in the Cimín Mór and Manor Court estates had to be evacuated on Friday evening last when the incendiary device was discovered by Gardaí concealed in an unlit laneway, leading to the emergency services being notified.

An Army EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit was called to the scene and removed the device – according to local residents and councillors, the Gardaí have confirmed that the device was viable.

Gardaí have declined to comment on the detail of the case but have confirmed that the matter is being ‘actively and vigorously investigated’.

Chairman of the Cimín Mór Residents’ Association, Pat McCarthy, told the Galway City Tribune that the discovery of the viable device on the narrow laneway that links their estate to Manor Court was extremely frightening for all concerned.

“For the best part of the past 20 years, we have been seeking action to be taken on this laneway which has been used for dumping and unsociable behaviour on a repeated basis.

“But what happened last Friday evening was really the last straw for us. This could have resulted in serious injury to innocent people and what is also of concern to us is how close this was to the two schools in the area,” said Mr McCarthy.

He said that over the coming days, the residents’ association would be petitioning all residents in the three estates concerned – the other two being Manor Court and Garraí Dhónaill – for action to be taken on the laneway.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Galway designer’s necklace is fit for a princess!

Denise McNamara



Kate Middleton wearing the necklace designed by Aisling O'Brien

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A Galway jewellery designer is the latest to experience the ‘Kate effect’ after fans tracked down the woman who created a necklace for the Duchess of Cambridge which she has worn several times since it was gifted to her during her trip to the city last March.

Aisling O’Brien’s website crashed on Wednesday night when orders poured in for the piece from around the world. The necklace costs €109 with initials, while the earrings retail for €49.

“I’d never sold more than two things outside of Ireland before. I only had three of Kate’s necklaces in stock – and now I have orders for at least 50. I’ll have to start recruiting some elves,” laughs Aisling, who only set up her website during lockdown.

The 14-carat gold necklace and earrings set was designed by Aisling specially for Kate after examining her style – “understated, elegant, simplicity” is how the Tuam native describes it.

She was contacted about the commission by physiotherapist Thérèse Tully, who wanted to give the future queen a gift as she was using her room to change at Árus Bóthar na Trá beside Pearse Stadium when the royal couple were meeting with GAA teams.

(Photo: Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton wearing the necklace)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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