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Millionaire owner of Galway Crystal dies at his US home



by Denise McNamara

The millionaire owner of Galway Crystal, Irish American businessman George Moore, died last Wednesday at his home in Virginia outside Washington DC.

However the future of the global brand – which has its showhouse in Merlin Park – appears secure, with 85 people employed in the Galway side of the operation.

Galway Crystal was purchased by Mr Moore’s company Erne Heritage Holdings when it went into receivership on Good Friday in 1993.

The company, which owns Belleek Pottery in Fermanagh and Aynsley China based in Stoke-on-Trent, is run by four directors – John Maggiore (managing director) Martin Sharked (financial director) Arthur Goan (operations director) and Hugh Quinn, the Galway-based sales director.

The Belleek Group today employs over 275 people with a yearly turnover of €25 million.

While Mr Moore was chairman of the company, he had little to do with it in practical terms and his passing is unlikely to affect operations, reveals Hugh Quinn.

“His major focus was on IT companies. I had met him over the years and spoke with him last January at the annual creative expo in the RDS in Dublin. He was a nice man, very much focused on business, he enjoyed business and doing what he did,” Mr Quinn said.

“He left it to the local directors in the Belleek group. The last few years it was a perfect storm in some respects – a recession, a lot of independent retailers closing. But last year our credit sales were up by 20% and we’ve projected an increase of 10% in sales this year.”

Mr Moore, 62, died of a heart attack last Wednesday. He made his fortune after selling his first business, National Decision Systems (NDS), a San Diego software company, in 1990 for €73 million. In 2011 he sold a marketing technology company TargusInfo, which provided caller identification services, for €472 million. He was ranked among the wealthiest Irish on the Sunday TImes list at $205 million.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.


Elective surgeries cancelled at UHG as overcrowding continues



Galway Bay fm newsroom – Some non-urgent elective surgeries are being cancelled at UHG in a bid to tackle severe overcrowding at the city hospital.

It follows the issuing of a warning from the Saolta Hospital Group that the emergency department is extremely busy and there is ongoing pressure on bed availability.

General Manager at UHG, Chris Kane, says over 500 people presented at the hospital on Monday and Tuesday.

She says the overcrowding situation is very serious, particularly in relation to the ED, the Surgical Unit and the Acute Medical Assessment Unit.

Members of the public are urged to only attend the hospital in the case of emergency, and contact their GP or out-of-hours service if their health problem is not urgent.

Saolta is also reminding the public that the Injury Unit at Roscommon University Hospital is open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week, to treat adults and children over 5.

Speaking to Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks, Chris Kane said the current level of patients presenting is extremely high and “unusual” for this time of year.

She also noted there’s also been a rise in patients being treated for Covid-19, including in the ICU.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway rowers aim for Olympic gold!



Best of luck to two Galway rowers – Aifric Keogh of Aill an Phréacháin in Na Forbacha, and Fiona Murtagh from Gortachalla in Moycullen – who are part of Team Ireland’s Women’s Coxless Fours team who compete in an Olympic final in Tokyo at 1.50am (Irish time) Wednesday.

Coverage on RTÉ 2 television begins from 1am.

Ireland – who were second in their heat after Australia, who set a new Olympic Record – are in lane two, with Great Britain on their outside, and Australia, favourites for a gold medal, in lane three.

The Netherlands, China and Poland are in lanes four, five and six at the Sea Forest Waterway.

Poor weather meant some rowing events were re-scheduled but the Women’s Fours final was not impacted.

Jim Keogh, Aifric’s father, told the Tribune he was hopeful ahead of the final.

“To make the Olympics is tough, to make the final is tough, to make the medal is tougher,” he said.
Photo: Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty.

*Full coverage of the race and reaction in this week’s Connacht Tribune and Galway City Tribune 

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Connacht Tribune

Paedophile sentenced to a further 17 months in prison



A convicted paedophile, described by a Garda as ‘a prolific child abuser’, has had a 17-month prison sentence added to a 13-year sentence he is already serving for the rape and sexual abuse of children.

Disgraced primary school teacher and summer school bus driver, 69-year-old Seosamh Ó Ceallaigh, a native of Tuirín, Béal a’ Daingin, Conamara, had at all times denied two charges of indecently assaulting a ten-year-old boy at a Gaeltacht summer school in Béal a’ Daingin in 1979.

The offence carries a maximum two-year sentence.

A jury found him guilty by majority verdict following a four-day trial at Galway Circuit Criminal Court last month.

At his sentence hearing last week, Detective Paul Duffy described Ó Ceallaigh as a prolific child abuser who had amassed 125 child abuse convictions, committed while he was a primary school teacher in Dublin and while he operated an Irish language summer school in Beal a’ Daingin.

They included convictions for rape and sexual assault for which he is currently serving sentences totalling 13 years.

Those sentences were due to expire in August 2024, but last week, Judge Rory McCabe imposed two, concurrent 17-month sentences on Ó Ceallaigh, before directing the sentences begin at the termination of the sentences he is currently serving.

The judge noted Ó Ceallaigh’s denial and lack of remorse and the lifelong detrimental effect the abuse had on the victim as aggravating factors.

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