The Galway Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (GSPCA) is appealing to the people of Castlepark Estate to turn over the thugs who beat a foal to death and set fire to the three-week-old animal while its mother looked on.
In one the most horrific case of torture the society has ever come across, the foal was attacked with sticks and stones by a group of young teens and left for dead in a field near Merlin Woods last weekend.
Some time later the foal was set alight and its carcass taken away. The mare was also viciously attacked before being removed.
The GSPCA got a tip-off about the incident from a distressed onlooker and its officers were immediately dispatched to the scene. However, all that remained on Saturday evening were the ashes where the carcass had been burnt.
They received a photo from the person who had witnessed the gang attacking the helpless animal while its distraught mother was held back by others.
Some time later the witness returned to find the foal’s remains had been destroyed.
Margaret O’Sullivan of the GSPCA is urging the community of Castlepark to hand over information to them in confidence in order to identify the culprits.
“It’s just horrific. The most worrying thing to us is if kids take that as normal behaviour, well what else are they capable of? It’s well known in cases of mass murder in America that as children they abused animals,” she exclaimed.
“We need people who have any information to ring ourselves confidentially. It’s very serious. Any person willing to cover this up is as bad as they are. I’d be concerned the kids who did this might turn around and do it to a human who pisses them off.”
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.
Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised
Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.
A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.
Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.
Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.
Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.
A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.
He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.
Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .
Siblings find each other – and their Connemara roots – after 80 years
By Erin Gibbons
A family separated for over 80 years was reunited at the end of an emotional journey in Connemara last weekend – thanks to DNA testing and the expert help of heritage researchers.
Pat McKeown, who lives in Staffordshire in the UK, is the daughter of Síle Gorham from Roisín Na Mainiach, Carna – but she was given up for adoption and reared for a time in a Belfast Mother and Baby Home.
Now, at the age of 81, she found her roots – returning to her mother’s native place for the first time last weekend, in the company of her long-lost brother Micheál.
It was an emotional end to a lifelong search for her roots that even led her to hire a private detective to try and locate her family and to discover her name.
All of this proved unsuccessful – and she had effectively given up her search when she was contacted unexpectedly by a man called Miceál McKeown, who turned out to be her brother.
Micheál – an artist and sculptor – and his daughter Orla had made the connection through DNA testing, after Miceál too had set out to discover more about his own roots.
That revealed that Síle Gorham had married Michael McKeown in 1939, and Síle went on to have three more children named Áine, Séan and Miceál.
Pat visited Connemara last weekend for the first time to learn about her mother Síle and the Connemara ancestry which she feels was robbed from her for her entire 81 years.
She was accompanied by Miceál, his wife Rosemary, daughter Orla and son-in-law Rueben Keogh.
Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Student leader’s stalker hell
The President of NUI Galway Students’ Union has spoken out about her terrifying harassment ordeal at the hands of a 17-year-old stalker who left her fearing for her safety.
Róisín Nic Lochlainn told the Connacht Tribune that she felt ‘such relief’ when the news came out last week that the young man who spent months putting her through hell online had been brought before the courts in Dublin for a similar campaign of harassment against a BBC NI journalist.
The 17-year-old from Malahide, Co Dublin, who cannot be named because of his age, pleaded guilty to the harassment of reporter Aileen Moynagh at Dublin Children’s Court last week.
It transpired he had used up to 40 aliases to send Ms Moynagh abusive and threatening messages on various social media platforms and by email. It is understood that the teen has a compulsive disorder and Asperger’s.
Ms Nic Lochlainn said she had sleepless nights and sought the help of Gardaí and the university’s chaplaincy service amid a slew of threats directed at her over much of 2020.
“It was actually terrifying. I know it might sound stupid, but I would check the bathroom in my room every night before going to bed. It was keeping me up at night,” she said.