An organised theft of phones and handbags from city pubs during Race Week was foiled by a Garda operation two years ago, Galway District Court heard.
The theft of personal items such as handbags, wallets and mobile phones from people enjoying one of the busiest festivals in the country was described by Judge Deirdre Gearty as a “nasty, opportunistic crime.”
Out of that particular operation aimed at targeting thefts from unsuspecting revellers and which involved a number of Gardaí, Coiel Rostas of 24 Orchard Green, Blackpool, Cork was arrested when a number of stolen items were found in his car.
Rostas pleaded guilty to two counts of thefts of a mobile phone, a wallet and a handbag, the property of two different women from pubs in the city centre on July 26, 2016.
He pleaded guilty to the two thefts, involving a mobile phone, a wallet and a handbag.
Garda Daly told the court that the property had been recovered and returned to the owners.
Rostas, who has 71 previous convictions, was a separated father of six aged 36 years who had come from Romania when he was just 13.
Defending solicitor, Olivia Traynor, said that her client’s education had been limited as he had been involved in “certain, criminal activities” for years.
He had stayed out of trouble for a while after he got married and in recent times the family had become Born Again Christians. However, the toll of her client’s past had led to the couple splitting up, she said.
He has already completed a community service order in Cork and wanted to turn his back on his life of crime. He had €400 compensation in Court as he was trying to put things to right. He also hoped to take up a job offer from his Church.
Judge Gearty said: “This was a particularly nasty, opportunistic type of crime during Race Week. It doesn’t bear thinking about how the Gardaí cope when the city gets that busy.”
She said that the next logical step would be to impose a prison sentence on Rostas but, in fairness to him, he appeared to be trying to keep out of trouble since those thefts were committed two years ago when he was involved with a criminal element.
She ordered that €200 each be paid to the injured parties and that Rostas stay out of Galway. She imposed a three-month prison sentence on him to be suspended for 12 months.
€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.