A convicted sex offender who is wanted for questioning in connection with the murder of his landlord last July is to be extradited back to Wales, following his appearance before Galway District Court.
David Ellis (40), of no fixed abode, and formerly of Swansea, Wales, has remained in custody since his arrest in Galway on September 19 last.
He had failed to register his details with the authorities on his arrival here in August as required under the terms of the international Sex Offenders Register.
Ellis was subsequently charged with the offence and appeared before a special court sitting in Galway on September 19, where he was remanded in custody.
He pleaded guilty to the charge.
In a separate development, South Wales police are anxious to question Ellis in relation to the disappearance of his landlord, Alec Warburton (59), who has not been seen since July 31st.
Det. Sgt. Adrian O’Neill gave evidence at Galway District Court of receiving information from South Wales Police on September 18 that Ellis was residing in Galway city.
Ellis, he said, was arrested a short time later at a house in College Road in the city and was charged with failing to register his name, address and other details with Gardai here, as required for the Sex Offender’s Register.
Det. O’Neill said he later established Ellis had been in this jurisdiction since August 23 but it was believed he had come to Ireland even earlier than that date.
Det. O’Neill said a European Arrest Warrant had been issued by the public prosecution service in the UK and that warrant had been executed in the High Court in Dublin last week. A stay was put on the warrant, pending completion of the Galway charge.
Ellis, he said, had indicated he would not be contesting his extradition back to Wales and the charge before the District Court needed to be finalised before the extradition process could begin.
Imposing a one-month sentence on Ellis for failing to register, which was backdated to September 19, Judge Mary Fahy said the offence was a serious one which would normally carry a longer sentence, but in this instance, the lesser, backdated sentence was designed not to thwart the extradition process.
Gardaí bid to identify body recovered near Mutton Island
Gardai have launched an investigation following the discovery of a body in Galway Bay yesterday afternoon.
A member of the public raised the alarm after spotting the body in the water while walking on the causeway to Mutton Island.
Galway Fire Service, Gardai and the RNLI attended the scene and recovered the body at around 4pm, before it was taken to University Hospital Galway for a post mortem.
It is understood that the body may have been in the water for some time.
Gardaí are currently examining a list of missing people in the city.
Gardaí investigate fatal Carraroe crash
A man in his 30s has died following a road crash in Carraroe in the early hours of this morning.
At 3.50am, Gardaí and emergency services attended at a single car collision on a minor road.
The driver of the car, a man in his 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later. A passenger in the car, a male in his 30s, was taken by ambulance to Galway University Hospital. His injuries are not thought to be life threatening.
The road is currently closed and local diversions are in place. Garda forensic collision investigators will examine the crash site this morning.
Land Development Agency rules out Merlin ‘land grab’
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Campaigners have warned the Land Development Agency (LDA) to keep its hands off Merlin Woods.
Local community group Friends of Merlin Woods said that the amenity on the east side of the city is not suitable for residential development.
It has sought clarification on whether the LDA has earmarked part of the recreational and amenity lands for housing, after it appeared on its online database of publicly-owned lands.
In a statement to the Galway City Tribune, the LDA said its database compiles a list of all State lands, not just land for development.
In relation to Merlin Woods, the LDA said: “Those lands aren’t included in the LDA developments in Galway. The lands database is a map-based tool which compiles all State lands and has no reflection on development potential.”
It came after Caroline Stanley of Friends of Merlin Woods raised concern that land within Merlin Woods had been earmarked for development.
“I’d be concerned that it’s marked as residential when it’s in RA (Recreational and Amenity) land. Some is marked ‘open space’ but some is marked as ‘new proposed residential’ on its [LDA’s] database. It makes us wonder why. We’d like clarity and to clear it up.
“The message we’d like to get out there is we need clarification, whether it’s a mistake on the Land Development Agency’s part, or whether it is an area that they consider as a residential area, which the community would be opposed to. We need clarity. It could be something that is in line for development later on, we don’t know, and we need clarity.”
Councillor Owen Hanley explained that the fears around Merlin Woods stem from legislation currently making its way through the Oireachtas that would strip councillors of powers to veto the transfer of land to the LDA for housing projects.
The Bill would also allow Government to direct what public lands – including those owned by local authorities – can be transferred to the LDA for development of social and affordable housing.
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.