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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.


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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