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CITY TRIBUNE

Taximan’s lewd comments left female passenger ‘paralysed’ by fear

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A woman in her 30s told a judge this week how she was left ‘paralysed’ with fear when a taxi driver told her Polish women were sexy and all black men were well endowed.

She said she knew she was in danger when the man asked her if she had alcohol back at her house before turning around in his taxi to tell her he had “a big d..k”.

The driver, 52-year-old father of four Matthew Ibenye, was convicted in Galway District Court under the Public Order Act.

Ibenye’s taxi features branding for the taxi-hailing company Free Now. A spokesperson for that company said yesterday: “The safety of our passengers and drivers is of paramount importance to us at all times, and Free Now only works with Garda-vetted, SPSV-licenced drivers who are regulated by the NTA.”

Under Garda procedures, a report on the matter will be given “as a matter of urgency” to the Chief Superintendent, who has the power to revoke taxi licences.

The mother of one told the court she became nervous at the way the conversation was going and she asked Ibenye to stop at an ATM machine at a 24-hour filling station on the pretext of getting money to pay the fare, so that she could get out of the taxi and look for help.

The Nigerian national denied a charge of engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting words or behaviour with intent to provoke a breach of the peace on July 18 last year.

The thirty-something woman gave evidence she flagged his taxi down outside the Dail bar shortly before 2am after a night out with friends.

On the way to her home in the Salthill area, she asked him if he was from Nigeria as he had a similar accent to a Nigerian friend.

Ibenye told her he was from Ghana, was single and had been living in Ireland for eight years.

He asked her where she was from and she told him she was Polish.

“He told me Polish women were very beautiful and very sexy.  I got a bit paralysed at that and the next thing I heard he was saying that all black men have big d..ks.

“Then, I was like paralysed.  I couldn’t believe my ears and he turned around to me and he said he had a big d..k and I knew I was in danger.”
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the court report in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
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.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
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.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council needs 40 more workers to help deliver on projects

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Forty more workers are needed at City Hall ‘right away’, the Chief Executive of Galway City Council has said.

Brendan McGrath has warned city councillors that the local authority is understaffed and it needs to hire more staff immediately to deliver its plans and projects.

The total cost of the extra 40 workers, including salary, would be between €1.75 million and €1.95 million.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council had a workforce now that was below what it had in 2007, but the city’s population has grown and so too had the services the Council provides.

The population of Galway City grew by almost 11% in the 10 years to 2016, he said, and total staff numbers in the Council fell by 13.6% during that period.

Though more staff were hired in recent years, Mr McGrath said that the Council was at 2007 and 2008 staffing levels, even though the Census will record further increases in population since 2016.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council now provides 1,000 services across a range of departments, far more than during the 2000s.

He said that currently, 524 staff are employed at the City Council. This equated to 493 Whole Time Equivalents when part-time workers such as school wardens and Town Hall workers are included.

Mr McGrath said that 12% of all staff are in acting up positions, with many more in short-term or fixed-term contracts. There was a highly competitive jobs market and the Council was finding recruitment and retention of specialist staff difficult.
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.

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