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CITY TRIBUNE

Man with 91 convictions sent to prison again

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A man with 91 previous convictions was given a three-month sentence for being in breach of the Public Order Act on Eyre Square.

Eamon McDonagh of 19 Sliabh Rua, Ballybane was before Galway District Court on three counts under the Public Order, two of them for being drunk in public and the third for being threatening and abusive.

A fourth charge for being in breach of a safety order on February 13 last was withdrawn by his pregnant partner and struck out by Judge Deirdre Gearty.

The Court heard that McDonagh had been arrested on March 16 last for being in breach of Section 4 and 6 of the Public Order Act.

Gardaí had received a call from a member of the public complaining about a group of people who were drinking and causing a nuisance at the Square in the early evening.

McDonagh, who pleaded guilty, had been very drunk and argumentative according to Garda evidence and was obstructing passing traffic.

McDonagh further pleaded guilty to being in breach of Section 4 of the Public Order Act on April 18.

Solicitor Valerie Corcoran, defending, said that her client was currently in custody serving a sentence that started in June and that he would be released in November. That three month sentence had been a suspended sentence but he had breached his conditions because of his drinking.

However, his partner was pregnant again and he wanted to be there to help her when the baby was born in October.

McDonagh was given a three-month sentence to run concurrently with his existing sentence and the other two public order offences were proved and taken into account. Recognisances were fixed in the event of him making an appeal.

CITY TRIBUNE

Sting on Galway City taxi drivers refusing card payment

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – More than 20 taxi drivers in the city were issued on-the-spot fines last week during an operation to nab those not accepting card payments.

The ‘sting’ was conducted by the National Transport Authority (NTA), the Taxi Regulation Office and the Gardaí over the course of several days last week.

It stemmed from complaints that several taxis in Galway City were not accepting card payments – legislation was introduced last September obliging taxi drivers to accept credit and debit cards.

Many drivers sought cash payments while telling customers that their card machines were either not working or that the terminal could not get a signal.

A senior source close to the Taxi Regulation Office told the Galway City Tribune that they had received “quite a number of complaints” from customers stating that drivers were not accepting payments by card.

The source said that members of the public were engaged to use the taxi services as part of the operation and some of them reported that the drivers had indicated from the outset that they would only accept cash payment.

“Since the beginning of the year, the taxi fares in Galway City have received an increase and the drivers are required to provide an in-car system of payment for customers.”
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the June 2 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Activist wants ‘reasoned discussion’ on asylum seeker plans

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A well-known community activist in the east of the city has appealed for reasoned discussions about plans to accommodate over 300 male asylum seekers in Ballybrit.

Former local election candidate Michael Tully, who is based in Ballybane, said the debate around the proposal to house 302 people in empty office blocks in Ballybrit Business Park was happening at two extremes, while many people living locally were “somewhere in the middle”.

“There were protests organised up there this week by radicals,” said Mr Tully of demonstrations which have been orchestrated by known members of the far right.

“But there are people that think it is unsuitable because they’re putting 300 men in basically a warehouse that’s surrounded by high fences with CCTV cameras all around it. It’s like a prison or an army barracks – where’s the humanity in that? These are people we are talking about.

“There are genuine concerns about it being 300 men, because that’s unhealthy, in the same way it would be unhealthy if it was 300 women. There will be people in there that have families and would be better off mixed with them,” he said.

Media debates about the centres rarely featured nuanced opinions that were based in genuine concern, he said, and tended to favour more radical voices.

“Listen to any of the radio debates or TV discussions and it’s always the two sides shouting each other down. On one side, they’re calling people terrorists and on the other, everyone who has any concern is labelled right wing.”

Mr Tully, who is involved with several community projects locally including the Merlin Allotments and setting up an orienteering group, said there should be a more concerted effort to integrate asylum seekers in the community ahead of moving them into an area.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the June 2 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council talks fail to avert water strike action

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – City-wide water outages are expected next week as local authority staff down tools in a dispute over allowances.

Water Services staff in Galway City Council and Galway County Council are due to strike on Wednesday.

Trade union SIPTU predicted the industrial action will cause widespread outages and disruption to the water supply to businesses and homes across Galway. A boil water notice may also be issued.

It’s understood emergency cover and supply to hospitals may be maintained but secondary schools could be impacted on the day the Leaving Cert starts.

Union representatives met with management yesterday (Thursday) but no deal was reached. Pickets are planned for Terryland Waterworks, City Hall on College Road and the Council depot at Sandy Road.

“The City Council has no contingency plan,” said David Samuels, Assistant Industrial Organiser with SIPTU.

(Photo: Terryland waterworks)
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the June 2 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.

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