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Mystery over how city brother and sister died

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The house at Coogan Park where two people were found dead.

The mystery deaths of a brother and sister in a house in Newcastle this week was the second tragedy to hit the family in less than a year.

And poignantly, Gavin Ridgard – aged in his 50s – had just returned to Galway from the UK to attend the inquest into the death of his 22-year-old daughter this week.

The bodies of Mr Ridgard and his sister, Tricia Kerr, also aged in her 50s, were discovered in a local authority house in John Coogan Park at around lunchtime on Wednesday.

Last April, Gemma Ridgard – daughter of Gavin – was found dead in another house in Coogan Park of a suspected drugs overdose, just weeks after she was released from prison.

It’s understood Gavin had returned from his home in the UK recently to attend the inquest into his daughter’s death, which was due to be held at Galway Courthouse yesterday, but was adjourned by the Coroner in the wake of the double tragedy.
Mr Ridgard was to be the only witness called at the inquest.

Meanwhile, Garda investigations into the two tragic deaths this week are ongoing, but Gardaí have stressed they are not looking for anyone in relation to the incident and the deaths are not being treated as suspicious.

Post mortem examinations proved inconclusive, and Gardai are now awaiting the results of toxicology tests.

Mrs Kerr is understood to have been the tenant in the property, while Mr Ridgard was visiting from the UK.

Carbon monoxide poisoning had been considered in the investigation, but a family dog was unharmed when the bodies were found. There is not believed to be a gas supply to the house, but there is a stove fire. Toxicology results are not expected to be available for a number of weeks.

For more on this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune

CITY TRIBUNE

50 domestic abuse 999 calls to Galway Gardaí cancelled

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway’s Garda Chief has committed to a ‘root and branch investigation’ after an internal review unearthed over 50 domestic abuse calls that were cancelled by local Gardaí.

An internal Garda inquiry has revealed that nationally, members of the force cancelled between 3,000 and 4,000 domestic abuse-related ‘999’ calls between 2019 and 2020.

At a meeting of the City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) on Monday, Chief Superintendent Tom Curley told members that the inquiry found 53 such calls in the Galway Division.

He said he had been tasked by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to sift through the calls and follow up on how they were handled by Gardaí.

“In relation to domestic incidents where calls were cancelled, I have 53 from my division. I am carrying out a root and branch investigation and perhaps at the next JPC meeting, I will be able to give an update of the findings.

“I have only listened to a number of the calls at the moment and I’d rather be in possession of the full facts before commenting any further,” said Chief Supt Curley.
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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CITY TRIBUNE

Councillor claims dealers are using jet skis to bring drugs to Galway

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Drugs are being delivered into the city by jet skis coming down the Corrib, a meeting of the city’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) heard on Monday.

Cllr Frank Fahy (FG) said there had been reports of dealers using jet skis to come down the river from areas around Headford and Cong, dropping deliveries in the city without fear of detection.

“Do we have a Garda water unit in Galway City to deal with that,” asked Cllr Fahy.

The Chief Superintendent, Tom Curley, said he was not aware of the practice but if anyone had any information on these deliveries, they should bring it to Gardaí.

“We haven’t got a water unit in the city but there is one in Athlone that is available to us any day of the week,” he added.

This came as the JPC was informed that drugs seizures have soared in the city, with year-on-year figures for detection of dealing up 84% in the first five months of 2021.
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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CITY TRIBUNE

Walk-in Covid test facility to open in city centre next week

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Galway City Tribune – A new walk-in Covid testing centre will open in the old tourist office off Forster Street next Tuesday.

The centre will replace the one at NUIG, where students were being encouraged to get tested without an appointment if they showed symptoms or were close contacts of somebody who tested positive.

It will be open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm.

The new location will be a more convenient base for people visiting the city to check for the virus over the coming weeks as the tourist season ramps up.

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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