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Underage soccer coach pleads guilty to dealing cocaine




An underage soccer coach has been given a suspended two-year sentence for selling cocaine.

James Sherry (42), 18 O Conaire Road, Shantalla, who is project manager for a London-based construction company, pleaded guilty before Galway Circuit Criminal Court to having cocaine in his possession and to having it for sale or supply at his home on February 15 last year.

He also pleaded guilty to having a small amount of cannabis and Xanax tablets in his possession at the time.

Garda PJ Noone told the sentence hearing last week that Gardaí from the Divisional Drugs Unit carried out a search of Sherry’s home and found €1,355 worth of cocaine and €78 worth of cannabis along with mixing agent, ziplock bags and a weighing scales.

Sherry admitted having the cocaine for sale and supply as well as for his own personal use and said the cannabis had been left over from a house party.

Garda Noone said Sherry was married with one child while another was on the way. He said the defendant worked for a civil engineering firm in London and travelled home every weekend.

He confirmed Sherry had 29 previous convictions but none were for drugs.  His last offence was committed in 2005.

In reply to Judge Rory McCabe, Garda Noone said Sherry was no longer on the drugs squad’s radar, but they would continue to monitor him.

Defence barrister, Deirdre Browne said her client borrowed cash from a person and could not pay it back.

“He got drugs to sell to pay it back but they got wet and could not be sold, so he got more into debt to the tune of €12,000,” she said.

In mitigation, Ms Browne said her client was gainfully employed as a project manager, was no longer involved in drugs and the probation service had assessed him as being at a low risk of re-offending.

She said he had been involved in awareness campaigns and had also been involved in training two underage teams but did not want to name them because they would not wish to be associated with him.

Judge Rory McCabe said Sherry had chosen to settle a debt by selling drugs and for a while at least, that had been his business.

He said the headline sentence was three years for selling cocaine but when the mitigating circumstances were taken into account, the appropriate sentence was two years.

The judge said an immediate custodial sentence would not be in the interests of justice so he suspended the two years sentence for five years on condition Sherry be of good behaviour and not re-offend. He took the remaining three drugs possession charges into account.


Council to consider new pedestrian ‘plaza’ for Galway City

Stephen Corrigan



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors will be asked next month to consider a sweeping overhaul of traffic flow in the city centre as the local authority seeks to create a more pedestrian-friendly core in the wake of Covid-19.

Currently under proposal in City Hall are major alterations to traffic flow which will allow for restricted car access to Middle Street – creating additional outdoor seating space for businesses in the area struggling to cope amid social distancing requirements.

Senior Engineer at City Hall, Uinsinn Finn, said they are currently considering three different proposals to alter traffic flow on Merchants Road, Augustine Street and Flood Street to reduce the need for car access to Middle Street, while still maintaining access for residents.

“We already pedestrianised Cross Street and we will be maintaining that, and there will be a proposal for Middle Street and Augustine Street.

“Businesses in the area are very much in favour of pedestrianisation – one business has objections but the others are supportive. Another consideration is that there are residents there with parking spaces and we are trying to encourage people to live in the city centre,” said Mr Finn.

The Latin Quarter business group submitted proposals for the temporary pedestrianisation of Middle Street and Abbeygate Street Lower but Mr Finn said the proposals the Council were considering were more in the line of creating adequate space for pedestrians while still allowing residents vehicular access.

This would involve creating a circuit for car traffic moving through Merchants Road around onto Augustine Street and exiting at Flood Street.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Residents want laneway closed following pipe bomb scare

Francis Farragher



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Residents in part of Knocknacarra are calling for the closure of a laneway and for more Community Gardaí to be put on the beat following the discovery of a ‘viable’ pipe-bomb type device in the area last weekend.

Up to 13 homes in the Cimín Mór and Manor Court estates had to be evacuated on Friday evening last when the incendiary device was discovered by Gardaí concealed in an unlit laneway, leading to the emergency services being notified.

An Army EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit was called to the scene and removed the device – according to local residents and councillors, the Gardaí have confirmed that the device was viable.

Gardaí have declined to comment on the detail of the case but have confirmed that the matter is being ‘actively and vigorously investigated’.

Chairman of the Cimín Mór Residents’ Association, Pat McCarthy, told the Galway City Tribune that the discovery of the viable device on the narrow laneway that links their estate to Manor Court was extremely frightening for all concerned.

“For the best part of the past 20 years, we have been seeking action to be taken on this laneway which has been used for dumping and unsociable behaviour on a repeated basis.

“But what happened last Friday evening was really the last straw for us. This could have resulted in serious injury to innocent people and what is also of concern to us is how close this was to the two schools in the area,” said Mr McCarthy.

He said that over the coming days, the residents’ association would be petitioning all residents in the three estates concerned – the other two being Manor Court and Garraí Dhónaill – for action to be taken on the laneway.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Galway designer’s necklace is fit for a princess!

Denise McNamara



Kate Middleton wearing the necklace designed by Aisling O'Brien

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A Galway jewellery designer is the latest to experience the ‘Kate effect’ after fans tracked down the woman who created a necklace for the Duchess of Cambridge which she has worn several times since it was gifted to her during her trip to the city last March.

Aisling O’Brien’s website crashed on Wednesday night when orders poured in for the piece from around the world. The necklace costs €109 with initials, while the earrings retail for €49.

“I’d never sold more than two things outside of Ireland before. I only had three of Kate’s necklaces in stock – and now I have orders for at least 50. I’ll have to start recruiting some elves,” laughs Aisling, who only set up her website during lockdown.

The 14-carat gold necklace and earrings set was designed by Aisling specially for Kate after examining her style – “understated, elegant, simplicity” is how the Tuam native describes it.

She was contacted about the commission by physiotherapist Thérèse Tully, who wanted to give the future queen a gift as she was using her room to change at Árus Bóthar na Trá beside Pearse Stadium when the royal couple were meeting with GAA teams.

(Photo: Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton wearing the necklace)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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