Galway Bay fm newsroom – A 19-year-old Leaving Cert student pleaded guilty today to the statutory rape of a 15-year-old schoolgirl in Galway city two years ago.
The youth, who was 17 at the time of the offence and is from another part of the country, appeared before the Central Criminal Court, sitting in Galway today.
The 19 year old man who was initially charged with raping the girl, who is now 17, pleaded guilty before his trial was due to begin today, to the defilement, or statutory rape of the then underage girl at a city apartment on August 1, 2012.
Two other charges of sexual assault against him were withdrawn by the prosecution following his plea to the underage rape charge.
His friend, who is now also 19, and a student in another city, pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of the girl during the same incident.
He had initially been charged with the attempted rape and sexual assault of the girl.
John Jordan SC prosecuting said the DPP had decided not to pursue a single charge of sexual assault of “secondary participation” brought against a third, now 21-year-old accused who was present during the assaults in the apartment.
Mr Justice Barry White told the jury of eight women and four men that the threat of a two-week trial had dissipated once the DPP had accepted the guilty pleas from two of the accused.
Justice White agreed to a request by Mr Jordan for time to consider certain legal issues before the question of sentencing could be dealt with and he adjourned all matters to tomorrow.
1,224 new cases of Covid-19 reported nationally
Galway Bay FM Newsroom – There has been a further 1,224 Covid-19 cases reported today.
It brings the five-day moving average of new cases to 1,334 – a slight increase compared to yesterday, but down from 1,454 a week ago.
278 people are in hospital with the virus, up 17 in 24 hours.
63 are in ICU, down three.
Figures released for Galway University Hospital yesterday evening shows that there are 16 receiving treatment for Covid-19. A reduction of 7 on the day previously.
Meanwhile, in Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe, there is one patient getting treatment. No change from yesterday.
Of those figures, there are 4 in ICU in GUH, a reduction of 2 on yesterday and no change for Portiuncula with 1 patient in ICU.
LISTEN: Mizen to Malin cycle against Suicide to pass through Galway on Tuesday and Wednesday
The 700km Mizen to Malin cycle against Suicide will be visiting and passing through Galway on Tuesday and Wednesday next.
Over 100 cyclists from all over the country are taking part and they began this morning at 9.15am leaving the Mizen Head Car Park on their first leg to Killarney.
The Tuesday leg will leave Ballyvaughan and overnight in Oranmore before passing through Galway on Wednesday passing through Moycullen, Oughterard, Maam Cross, Lenane and Westport on its route to Castlebar.
Cycle Against Suicide, in existence since 2013, is a national awareness charity that sets out to change culture and create a society that openly talks about suicide to allow people to speak up and seek help.
Barry Williams is the fundraising and social media manager for Cycle against Suicide. He said there was great excitement when they set off from Mizen Head this morning:
Further supports are available on www.cycleagainstsuicide.com
Day 1/Sunday September 19th — Mizen >> Killarney – 122km
Day 2/Monday September 20th — Killarney >> Lahinch – 126km
Day 3/Tuesday, September 21st — Lahinch >> Oranmore – 86km
Day 4/Wednesday, September 22nd — Oranmore >> Castlebar – 118km
Day 5/Thursday, September 23rd— Castlebar >> Donegal Town -148km
Day 6/Friday, September 24th — Donegal >> Malin Head – 123km
Listen: Midlands North West MEP calls for Gender-Based Violence to be established as a Eurocrime
Galway Bay FM Newsroom – Midlands-North-West MEP Maria Walsh has this week called for the European commission to establish gender-based violence as a Eurocrime, which would make gender-based crimes illegal in all EU countries.
MEP Walsh had a central role in establishing the Parliament recommendations to the Commission on what to include in their future actions on combating gender-based violence.
A survey completed in 2014 by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights found that approximately 50 women lose their lives to domestic violence every week.
A Women’s Aid report published earlier this year saw that 29,717 people contacted the domestic violence support service in 2020, an increase of 43% compared to 2019. 95% of those who contacted the 24-hour national helpline were women, 5% were men.
Speaking to Galway Bay FM News this afternoon, MEP Walsh said that while the vote does not immediately mean that Gender Based violence is a Eurocrime, it is an important start to the process: