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CITY TRIBUNE

Man went on wrecking rampage in hostel with iron bar

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A man used an iron bar to cause almost €2,000 worth of damage to computers and other equipment in the foyer of the Great Western Hostel after he was told he was being transferred from there to Foynes by the Department of Justice.

Hasan Ali Gori (43), formerly of Room 410, Great Western Hostel, Frenchville Lane, Galway, denied causing criminal damage in the foyer on April 28, 2016, when he appeared before Galway District Court this week.

He also denied charges of producing a nail bar while committing an offence and breaching the peace by engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting words or behaviour on the same date.

Sean Hennelly, who owns the Great Western Hostel, gave evidence he came out of a meeting in an office adjacent to reception to find the whole area in a shambles.

Everything had been smashed, he said, including two desktop computers, a TV and one CCTV camera. The cost of the damage came to €1,891, he said. Mr Hennelly explained that on the morning in question, the defendant was being transferred to Foynes on the instructions of the Department of Justice.

Judge Mary Fahy asked Mr Hennelly if the man had been pleased or displeased to be moving from Galway to Foynes.

Mr Hennelly said Gori had not raised any issues with him that morning about the move, but he felt he was displeased.

Garda Pat Foley gave evidence he received a complaint that a man had entered the hostel brandishing an iron bar and had caused damage to the foyer area. He went to the premises where he found the defendant and an iron bar lying on the reception desk. The CCTV camera, which would have covered the foyer area, had been smashed, he said.

The iron/nail bar was shown to the court as an exhibit.

Security man, Paul Grealish, told the hearing he was sitting at a desk in the foyer when one of the residents arrived and took out a nail bar and started to smash up the computers, TV and CCTV in the reception area.

He said he came out from behind reception and the man calmed down when he asked him to do so.

“Before that, he was fairly loud and angry. Once I approached him, he just downed tools and stopped,” he said.

Defence solicitor, John Martin, said his client would deny smashing the place up.

Mr Grealish said there was no one else there that morning.

Following defence submissions, Judge Fahy refused an application to have the charges dismissed.

Gori said that everything the other witnesses had said was false. He denied causing any damage in the foyer and said he did not know who caused the damage.  He said that if he had caused the damage, then it would have been recorded on CCTV.

He confirmed he had been staying in Great Western Hostel since 2013.

Reading the court file, Judge Fahy observed the reason the matter took so long to come before the court was that the accused had changed solicitors on three occasions.

She convicted him, noting that he had denied the charges, saying it should have been shown on CCTV, which couldn’t be done, because he had broken it.

“His attitude and cynicism leaves a lot to be desired,” the judge said.

Imposing a six-month sentence for causing the criminal damage, the judge noted no compensation would be forthcoming from the accused and no apology either.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Plan for ‘world-class’ campus with potential for 10,000 jobs at Galway Airport

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From this week’s Galway CIty Tribune – A proposal to transform the former Galway Airport into a ‘world-class’ business and technology campus has been drawn up by Galway County Council – with the potential to create up to 10,000 jobs.

The plan, which was compiled as part of the Draft County Development Plan, proposes a multi-million-euro investment in the 115-acre site owned jointly by the County and City Councils.

According to the vision document, the airport site at Carnmore could become a key economic driver that would “attract and secure long-term investment in Galway and the western region, and underpin the development of the Galway Metropolitan Area”.

Among the sectors identified as potential occupants are renewable energy, biodiversity, food science and logistics.

Some of the structures included for are a ‘landmark building’; commercial units; park amenity and recreation space; a renewable energy park; and a multi-purpose leisure facility.

A contemporary development with the potential to accommodate emerging industries is promised, with projected employment numbers ranging between 3,500 to 10,000 over time.

However, county councillors raised concerns at a meeting this week that the proposal they had seen in the Development Plan had been ‘sitting on a shelf’ since last March – and they still hadn’t seen what was dubbed ‘the masterplan’ for the airport site.

Cllr Liam Carroll (FG) told the Athenry Oranmore Municipal District meeting that the recent news that Oranmore was among the locations being looked at by multinational tech giant, Intel, put fresh focus on the future of the airport.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Work expected to start on Galway City cycleways next summer

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The first six projects in the city’s major new cycle network are expected to begin construction by next June.

In an update on developments that are in train to improve the lot of cyclists, councillors at this week’s local authority meeting were told that the Martin Roundabout (near the Galway Clinic) would next be changed to a junction and the BusConnects, involving priority bus lanes from Moneenageisha to University Hospital Galway, were advancing.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has approved a raised cycle lane north of Railway Bridge on Doughiska Road South and for a shared street south of the bridge.

Eglinton Canal will turn into a shared cycle and pedestrian path. Four weeks of public consultation on both of these is set to begin in October, with the projects set to go to detailed design and tender following final NTA approval.

Ballybane, Castlepark and Bóthar Stiofáin Roads will also go to public consultation for “raised adjacent cycle schemes” a month after that.

The six projects are expected to begin construction by the end of June or early July next year.

Millars Lane is currently in preliminary design stage after clearing works were carried out last November.

Options are being examined and parking survey prepared for Threadneedle, Bishop O’Donnell, Dr Mannix, Devon Park, Salthill Road Upper and Lower Roads with input and designs from the Parkmore Strategic Framework awaited for the Monivea and Doughiska North Roads.

Active Travel Schemes had been approved in principle by the NTA for Ballyloughane and Clybaun South Roads, involving pedestrian crossings, traffic calming, signalisation of junctions and the integration of safe school routes.

Cllr John Connolly (FF) noted that the first quarter of 2021 was when some of these projects were to go to construction, according to a previous timetable.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Pamela’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Racecourse Park and Ride a non-runner for Christmas in Galway

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The lack of a park and ride service this Christmas will drive shoppers out of town at a time when businesses are struggling to recover from months in lockdown, the Mayor has warned.

This is after it was revealed that the City Council has failed to secure an alternative location for the service – with its usual base at Galway Racecourse out of action due to the ongoing vaccination programme.

The service, which had previously operated for the three-week period in the run up to Christmas, enabled motorists to park their cars in Ballybrit and take a return trip by bus to town at a cost of just €2 – taking hundreds of cars out of the city centre.

The Mayor, Cllr Colette Connolly, said it was ‘completely ludicrous’ that it would not be in operation this year, in a city that was already gridlocked with car traffic.

“I think that it is a retrograde step not to proceed with the Christmas Park and Ride because we know what will happen – we’ve seen before what happens at the Corrib Centre around Christmas where traffic backs up and people get stuck in the car park,” said the Mayor.

This would result in shoppers from outside the city avoiding coming in, while others would go to other towns and cities to avoid traffic misery.

“They will go to Limerick or to Dublin, which is only two-and-a-half hours away. They will go to Athlone, because they may as well go there, rather than spend two hours sitting in traffic on Lough Atalia,” added the Independent councillor.

In Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath’s report to councillors, it is stated that “it is looking unlikely that Galway City Council will be able to run the Christmas Park and Ride in 2021”.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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