A highly intoxicated man who was disqualified from driving for ten years in 2016, ran from the scene of a hit-and-run last year after he “ploughed” into the back of a car stopped at traffic lights.
William Casserly (33), 189 An Sean Bhaile, Doughiska, who has 79 previous convictions, had driven off without paying €50 for petrol at a Ballybrit filling station just 40 minutes before being involved in the hit-and-run collision on October 28 last year.
He received sentences totalling 11 months and was disqualified from driving for 15 years at Galway District Court.
Casserly pleaded guilty to driving off without paying for €50 worth of petrol at Ballybrit, and to running from the scene of an accident at traffic lights at Briar Hill a short time later. He also admitted to driving while disqualified, failing to give a breath sample and having no insurance on the same occasion.
The court heard Gardai viewed CCTV at the filling station and immediately recognised Casserly from the footage.
Just forty minutes later, Garda Barry Burke was called to the scene of a hit and run. Casserly’s car had rear-ended another car at traffic lights and he got out and ran from the scene. He was chased by a civilian witness and arrested a short time later and found to be extremely intoxicated.
Sgt. Aoife Curley, prosecuting, confirmed Casserly had been disqualified from driving for ten years in 2016 and was disqualified from driving at the time of these latest offences.
She said he had 79 previous convictions, 40 of which were for road traffic violations, which included four for drunken driving, eight for theft, eleven for criminal damage and nine for driving without insurance.
Handing €50 into court on behalf of Casserly for the petrol, defence solicitor, Olivia Traynor conceded his previous convictions went back as far as November 2002, adding that most of them were committed while he was under the influence of alcohol.
She confirmed to the court that her client was currently serving sentences totalling 16 months for similar offences and had been due for release on October 5 next.
Imposing sentences totalling 11 months on Casserly along with a 15-year disqualification on the charges before the court, Judge Deirdre Gearty said to Casserly:
“You come before this court with an absolutely appalling record. You have learnt absolutely nothing from your dealings with the courts down through the years even though you were given assistance by various services in the past.
“And what happened on this night? You go off and steal petrol and within 40 minutes, you plough into someone at traffic lights.
“You do not have the maturity to stay and face up to it and you put Gardaí to the trouble of having to find you. Your plea is limited.”
The judge backdated the sentences to July 16 last.
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€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms
Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.
The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.
A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.
Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.
Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.
Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.
The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.
“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.
“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”
Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.
“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.
The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools
Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.
“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.
“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.
A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
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.