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Sentencing for sexual assault at Salthill beach deferred

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A 32-year-old man, who sexually assaulted a Spanish woman on a secluded beach in Salthill, has been remanded in custody to await psychological assessment.
In May, Tommy Hughes, from Corbally, Cummer, Tuam, appeared before Galway Circuit Criminal Court.
At that court he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the 26-year-old woman at Illifanamona Island – a scenic stretch of shoreline between Blackrock diving tower in Salthill, and the nearby caravan park at Silver Strand – on Sunday, October 13th, 2013.
The court heard the young woman was sitting alone on the scenic but secluded beach at around 4.30p.m. when Hughes grabbed her from behind and simulated sex with her through her clothing.
He had pulled his t-shirt up over his face.
The woman bravely fought off her attacker, biting him on his hand, arm and lower chest
Garda Mark Cunniffe described the incident as “a serious, violent and sustained assault”.
She was knocked to the ground as she successfully kept her tracksuit bottoms in place while the accused tried to pull them down on several occasions.
Hughes eventually ran off but later handed himself into Galway Garda Station in the city where he claimed he had tried to rob a woman earlier.
The woman, who has been living and working in Ireland for five years, read her own very detailed and emotive victim impact statement to the court.
She said she could no longer work full-time in her job and she would always be afraid of men and would never be able to trust one again.
Defence barrister, Brendan Browne said his client had a history of depression and was not welcome at home due to his abuse of alcohol.
Judge Rory McCabe said it warranted a 8-year sentence before mitigating or aggravating factors were considered.
He remanded Hughes in custody until October 9th for the preparation of the relevant reports.

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City Councillor backs calls from Water Safety Ireland warning about inflatable toys in open water as World Drowning Prevention Day is marked

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – Galway City Councillor Niall McNelis has backed calls by Water Safety Ireland warning the public against using inflatable toys in open water.

Today marks World Drowning Prevention Day and the city councillor said they should never be used at rivers, lakes and beaches.

Lifeguards trained by Water Safety Ireland have also seen an increase in the use of inflatable toys such as air mattresses, boats and inflatable rings.

Both the Irish Coast Guard and Irish Water Safety organisations have called on everybody to redouble their efforts to ensure that basic safety precautions are observed when recreating on or near the water.

Councillor McNelis said that the lead of Clare and Waterford County Councils to ban inflatables from bathing areas should be followed nationally.

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1,126 new cases of Covid-19 reported nationally

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – The Department of Health has reported 1,126 new cases of Covid-19 this afternoon.

123 patients are currently being treated in Irish hospitals with the virus in comparison with 105 yesterday.

Of those, 22 are in intensive care units, an increase of one.

The five-day moving average in Ireland has risen to 1,285, compared to 1,101 this day last week.

The 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 of the population now stands at 321, while the seven-day moving average is 1,229.

Meanwhile

The head of the HSE says almost 70 percent of the adult population is now fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Paul Reid says more than 5.5 million doses have been administered so far.

He says over 80 percent of adults have now had at least one dose.

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LISTEN: Independent Deputy asks NTA to investigate decision to cancel 20 and x20 bus routes that services towns and villages in East Galway

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https://mcdn.podbean.com/mf/web/w3nrak/CANNEY.mp3

Galway Bay FM Newsroom – The decision to cancel the existing 20 and x 20 bus routes that services Loughrea has been criticised by independent deputy Sean Canney.

Bus Éireann said that the decision was taken to safeguard the viability of the 14 remaining routes following significant losses in 2020 and projected continuing losses over the next three years.

The route also services Craughwell, Aughrim and Ballinasloe.

Deputy Canney this morning has voiced his opposition to this decision saying that it was a total contradiction of Government policy to provide public transport as a means of reducing the number of cars on our roads.

He added that it was a further insult to rural people and denies them access to public transport.

Speaking to Galway Bay FM News, Deputy Canney said the government should take control of this issue and has also asked the NTA to investigate this decision.

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