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Victim tells court he has been left in very dark place



A 24-year-old man who ambushed another man as he exited a city nightclub has been given time to pay €1500 compensation before a suspended sentence is imposed.

Brian Keane, from Ballinamanagh East, Maree, Oranmore, pleaded guilty at Galway District Court to assaulting Gabriel Corless at Williamsgate Street, on June 21 last year.

Sergeant Vincent Jennings gave evidence there had been words between the pair in the night-club but Mr Corless had walked away from Keane and informed a bouncer about the incident.

He said the victim was assaulted and knocked to the ground by the accused near the top of an alleyway seconds after leaving the nightclub later that night.

Defence solicitor, Brian Gilmartin said his client had been waiting for his girlfriend and not the victim.  He was now very sorry for assaulting Mr Corless.

Mr Corless, a father of three, told Judge Mary Fahy that Keane had tried to provoke him in the nightclub but he walked away and went to a bouncer to tell him what was happening.

The bouncer, he said, then escorted Keane out of the night-club.

“When I left, he was waiting for me.  I never got a chance to put my hand up or to defend myself.

“His uncle has issues with me, but I don’t know him.  I don’t know what this young man’s problem is with me,” Mr Corless said.

Having read a medical report which was handed into court by Inspector Derek Gannon, Judge Fahy said the victim had been knocked to the ground but he had not lost consciousness.  However, he did suffer from headaches.

She asked the victim if he had made a good recovery.

“Physically, yes, but I’m attending for counselling.  I’ve had depression since and have been left in a very dark place,” Mr Corless explained.

Judge Fahy told him he had dealt properly with the incident in the night-club by going to the bouncer.

“He was waiting for this man.  He was jumped on and it has left him with psychological issues,” Judge Fahy added.

Mr Gilmartin disagreed and said again that his client had been waiting for his girlfriend.

The judge told him the victim had been jumped on and there was nothing to alert him to this and because of that he had been left with psychological difficulties since.

Mr Corless said he was a father of three and worked as a facilities engineer in a local factory.  He had to take two weeks off work at the time.

In reply to Judge Fahy, he said he would be willing to accept compensation from the accused.

A solicitor then made himself known to the court and said he was representing Mr Corless from a civil proceedings point of view.

Noting the assault took place over a year ago and that the case had been in for hearing this week, Judge Fahy said the accused could have dealt with things a bit better.

Mr Gilmartin said his client was an apprentice plumber and had brought €500 to court for the victim as a token of his remorse.

Judge Fahy directed the money be handed over to Mr Corless and she adjourned the matter to September for the payment of another €1,000.

She said that after that the victim could take a civil case against the accused if he so wished.

The judge indicated that if the balance of the €1,500 was paid by September she would impose a suspended sentence on the accused.


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



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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Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City



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



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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