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Suspended sentence for employee who stole from Brown Thomas Galway

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A 36 year old employee with a serious gambling addiction, has been given a suspended two-year sentence for stealing almost €50,000 from Brown Thomas Galway.

Jennifer Keady, of 333 Boireann Beag, Roscam, first appeared before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in April.

She had she pleaded guilty to the theft of 49 thousand 800 euro from Brown Thomas, Eglinton Street, between March 1st and August 27th last year.

Detective Sergeant Willie Byrne told the sentencing hearing that Keady started working in the cash office at the store in October 2011.

She took over the office in 2012 when the young woman running it fell seriously ill.

She immediately began to misappropriate cash which was being delivered on a regular basis by a security company and issued false lodgement slips to cover her tracks.

Staff at Brown Thomas called in the Gardaí and they went to Keady’s home on September 21, 2012 where they found a pencil case containing €3,500 during the search.

Keady admitted to stealing €100 a day at first to feed her gambling addiction but as it spiralled out of control she was taking more.

She calculated she had stolen €52,000 but managed to repay €2,200 by the time Gardaí closed in on her.

She realised she could never repay the money as she had gambled it away.

She knew the office was going to be audited on August 27th that year and she crashed her car on purpose on the motorway, breaking a bone, so as to avoid having to come into work that day.

She also took a drugs overdose the night before the Gardaí interviewed her.

Defence barrister, Geri Silke said her client had had a serious gambling addiction but had since turned her life around with the help of Gamblers’ Anonymous.

Ms Silke said Keady had brought €1,000 to court and was very sorry for what she had done.

Judge Rory McCabe directed the €3,500 found in the pencil case along with the €1,000 be returned to the store and said justice would not be served by sending the accused to prison.

Her early plea, her remorse and her efforts to seek help for her addiction merited a two-year sentence, he said.

The judge suspended the sentence for five years to act, he said, as both a deterrent and incentive to Keady to continue to rehabilitate herself.

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Latest figures reveal 284 cases of Covid-19 nationwide

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – There’s has been a concerning increase in the transmission of the Delta variant in Ireland, according to the chief medical officer.

Dr Tony Holohan says it’s estimated the Delta strain of Covid-19 accounts for up to 20 per cent of cases reported in the last week.

It comes as 284 further cases of Covid-19 have been reported by the Department of Health this evening.

53 Covid-19 patients are in hospital, with 13 of those patients in intensive care.

The ICU figures stand at their lowest level since mid-September.

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Minister tells Seanad no plan to build new primary school in Barna

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A Minister has told the Seanad that there are no plans to build a new primary school in Barna.

Minister of State with responsibility for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan was speaking in response to a query from Galway based Senator Sean Kyne.

Speaking in the Seanad today Senator Kyne said Scoil Náisiúnta Shéamais Naofa in Barna is outdated in terms of classroom size, layout and energy efficiency.

He added that the school playground is sloped and it’s unsafe in wet and icy conditions as well as being unsuitable for children with physical disabilities.

Senator Kyne told Minister Madigan the school is located along a busy main road and that the site is too small to implement any additional safety measures to allow its pupils to cycle to school safely.

He said developing a new school building on a quieter site is the best option for Scoil Shéamais Naofa.

Speaking in response Minister Madigan said enrollment at the 259 pupil school had actually decreased in recent years and the department has no plans to development a new building for it at this time.

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Continued drop in unemployment across Galway during May

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – There was a continued drop in unemployment across Galway during May.

Drops were recorded in every area of the county.

The number of people unemployed across Galway last month was 8,379 – a drop of 573 when compared to April.

In the city centre, there are 4,168 people on the live register, a decrease of 290.

In Ballinasloe, the figure dropped by 79 – now standing at 996.

There was a drop of 65 in the unemployment figure for Tuam, which now stands at 1,257.

There are 868 people out of work in Loughrea, a drop of 59 on the April figure.

In Gort live register figures dropped from 661 to 589 month-on-month.

Meanwhile, in Clifden there are 501 poeple out of work, representing a drop of eight since April.

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