An emigrant could no longer enjoy family holidays in Roundstone and a local man was too afraid to attend Mass after the trauma of being set upon by three young men on the day of the village regatta.
Ian McDonagh, 23, of Toombeola, Roundstone, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm against Michael O’Regan and violent disorder on July 19, 2014.
Michael and Jason O Neachtain of Derryrush, Rosmuc, 22-year-old twins, pleaded guilty to violent disorder. Further charges were withdrawn on the guilty plea.
Garda Shane Nallen told Clifden District Court he had responded to reports of an assault in Roundstone on regatta day. He met with Mark Worley, his father Sid Worley and Michael O’Regan.
“I could see they had injuries consistent with an assault. They informed me they had been out in Roundstone, they were drinking on the street as there was music, when a group of males began to shout at them,” Gda Nallen stated.
Mark Worley and Michael O’Regan left and went to the Shamrock Bar. Soon this group of men arrived at the bar, passing by them and settling at the back of the pub.
“One male started shouting at them and went out the door. Mr Worley called his father to collect him and Michael O’Regan got up to leave when a glass was thrown at him. Ian McDonagh started shouting at Mr O’Regan, ‘I’ll f..king kill you’”.
Mark Worley got up to leave after hearing the glass break. McDonagh then roared at him: “I’ll f..king kill you. I’ll f..king kill you Worley.”
“Michael O’Regan was walking when he was jumped from behind and brought to the ground. Ian McDonagh began to kick Mr O’Regan in the head numerous times,” Gda Nallen told the court.
“Sid Worley arrived and Ian McDonagh and two associates, Michael and Jason O Neachtain, who also carried out the assault, surrounded the car and jumped on the car and kicked the windscreen causing it to smash.”
The incident had a lasting impact on Sid Worley, an elderly man who lived alone and was in fear at home as he continued to live near McDonagh.
Barrister for Jason O Neachtain, Fiachra Breathnach, told the court that words were exchanged the previous weekend which had sparked the incident.
“They had been having words with an elderly man and it stemmed from that,” he remarked.
Mr O’Regan said he had been returning to Roundstone from his adopted home in Florida since 2004 with his wife, who was a Worley, bringing their three children with them. Now he felt like a stranger.
“Fond memories have turned into a nightmare … it was the one thing we looked forward to after working hard all year,” he stated.
Instead of their family holiday this year, he had to return to give evidence in the case.
“My brother-in-law Mark can’t go to the local pub on a Friday to have a pint without fear of a confrontation. My wife’s father and brother are not comfortable in their own home.”
Mark Worley said he continued to have many sleepless nights. “I was threatened to be killed. I take that very strongly. It’s not a nice thing to happen,” he testified.
“I have a young family. I’m fearful to go away for work as my wife is too afraid. My father his back door barricaded like Fort Knox. We don’t go to Roundstone – it’s our house, our town. We don’t even to go Mass.”
Mr Worley said on several occasions McDonagh had pulled alongside him in car and he felt intimidated by him even though nothing was said.
“I want a line drawn under it … I just want to get on with my life.”
Barrister for McDonagh, Brendan Browne, said his client wished to formally apologise. “He’s remorseful, he’s ashamed of his behaviour, he regrets his conduct.”
Judge Marie Keane asked if the defendant wished to apologise himself, to which Mr Browne said he did.
Under oath and instructed by the Judge to face both Mr O’Regan and Mr Worley directly, McDonagh said he was sorry for that night and things had gone too far.
Asked if there would be any further difficulties between himself and the injured men, McDonagh replied: “Definitely not.”
The O Neachtain twins issued similar apologies facing the men.
Judge Keane asked all three if they understood the importance of tourism to a village like Roundstone.
Garda Nallen said while the injured parties were not seeking any compensation, he would like to point out that Mr O’Regan had spent €3,000 in flights to give evidence.
Mr Browne, on behalf of McDonagh, said his client had described it as a “moment of madness”. He had a sum of €1,590 in court to help defray the travel costs.
McDonagh, who was employed in the building trade, had a girlfriend who was five months pregnant. Jason O Neachtain was training to be a nurse while helping his father on the family farm.
He was in a car crash two years ago in which a friend lost his life which had changed his outlook on life and led to depression, his barrister Fiachra Breathnach told the court.
Since the birth of his child 18 months ago, his situation has improved and wants to be around to raise his child with his partner.
Michael O Neachtain lived at home and also helped on the farm and worked as a handy man.
He too was in the fatal car crash, which had a profound effect on him and had led to alcohol difficulties.
The O Neachtains were willing to give €300 each to help with travelling expenses.
Judge Keane said the “unprovoked and appalling attack” had had a very serious effect on the victims.
She said they had blighted Mr O’Regan’s connection to a part of the world which he held very dearly, a connection which was particularly important to emigrants.
“No money is going to restore his peace and sanctuary,” she stressed.
Judge Keane also noted that Mr Worsley could not attend Mass which was of significant importance to people in a community such as Roundstone.
She handed McDonagh seven months’ imprisonment but suspended it for two years on condition he had no contact with the injured parties and was of good behaviour.
“You better find somewhere else to park other than beside Mr Worley. You’re simply not to open your mouth to Mr Worley,” she warned.
The O Neachtains were each sentenced two three months, suspended for two years on the same conditions.
A total of €€2,190 was to be handed over to defray Mr O’Regan’s flight costs and a further €500 to pay for Sid Worley’s windscreen.
Galway passengers are all smiles at Shannon!
The smiles on the faces at Shannon Airport very much told its own story this week – with passengers taking to skies as the easing of restrictions and the first day of the European Digital COVID Certificates took effect.
And it wasn’t just the joy of travel starting to resume that lifted spirits at the airport but also the announcement by Ryanair of a new once-weekly service to Gran Canaria (Las Palmas) to commence on August 7 – the third new service announcement for Shannon Airport over recent weeks.
There was a real sense of excitement as passengers of all ages became very much at ease with the heightened public safety measures in a ‘back-to-the-future’ day for the West of Ireland gateway airport.
There were reunions as inbound flights arrived but also a palpable degree of anticipation as others got set to depart on the earliest flight out of the airport today, the 7:10am flight to Gatwick.
Among those boarding was Clarenbridge native Claire Tomlin and her husband Jake, together with their three children, including their twins who turn a year old next week.
“It’s been amazing to get back. The kids saw their grandparents for the first time and their cousins and aunties and uncles, so it was fantastic,” said Claire.
“Shannon is just so convenient for us because it’s only about 40 minutes’ drive. So, it just makes everything a lot easier in terms of getting to and from places with little ones. So, yeah, Shannon is a great resource for us. Really, really good. We hope to be able to go back more and more.”
It was smiles all around for Shannon Airport staff as they got back to doing what they do best. “Well, today is a great day because you can see the atmosphere around the place, people are at ease here and they’re glad to be back, they’re glad to get up in the sky again,” said Shannon Duty Free Sales Associate Helen Quinlivan.
“It’s great to see the excitement. People are really looking forward to going back and seeing their loved ones and they’re very at ease.”
Galway In Days Gone By
Silence is golden
Leaders on both sides have stated that the best assistance the country can give in the making of peace is to keep silence.
During the past week there has been a great deal of speculation, most of it harmless enough, as, for instance, the enterprising American journalist’s “exclusive” on the first meeting of the British Premier and the President of the Irish Republic; much of it positively mischievous, as the case of the efforts of a certain journal, which has grown hoary in the reputation for throwing in the apple of discord, to anticipate failure in advance.
Our American colleague was on surer and on safer ground when he told of how de Valera and Lloyd George met.
“Mr. Lloyd George,” he cabled, “was sitting at his desk when the Irish President entered. For just a minute these two gazed fixedly at one another. Then the British Premier walked across the intervening space and shook de Valera by the hand. He led him to a seat where they sat side by side. The atmosphere was tense. They faced one another. Then Lloyd George reached down for a box of cigars. But the Irish President is of Spartan mould. He neither permits himself to drink nor smoke. He politely but firmly waved the box away. Mr. Lloyd George, however, selected and lighted a Havana, and as the smoke curled upwards the atmosphere became decidedly easier!”
The wise and practical man always lays by a store against the time when supplies will be scarce. One of the most serious effects of the prolonged drought is the scarcity of supplies of fodder for cattle-feeding during the coming winter and spring.
The hay crop is not more than half the average yield. The corn crop is far below normal. Turnips in many districts are a partial failure. We have frequently emphasised the importance of growing catch-crops to supplement other feeding stuffs raised on the farm, but it is only under circumstances such as the present that their utility is brought home to farmers. Owing to the early harvest, a larger area than is usual can and should be put down this season. This would make good, to some extent, at least, the shortage of hay and other feeding-stuffs.
The demonstration plots laid down by the County Committee of Agriculture have shown that catch-crops, such as vetches and rye as well as other mixtures, can be successfully grown in all parts of County Galway.
We would urge on farmers the desirability – nay, the necessity – of procuring seed and making early preparation for the sowing of an increased area of catch-crops this season.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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A home that can generate rent!
New to the market is this lovely, extremely deceptive and impressive home situated only 450 metres from Clarinbridge village.
Stonebridge House is located on a fine site with a tarmacadam driveway, mature shrubs and trees, water feature, decked area and stables to the rear all adding to the many delightful features of this well-built home.
It was built in 1982 and extended in 1993, creating a bright, spacious home which is perfect for today’s busy, modern family lifestyle.
The main house is a six-bed residence with a two-bedroomed basement apartment offering 3,000 sq ft of family living accommodation.
This makes this property perfect for multi-generational living or should you wish to rent out the basement apartment, can provide you with extra income.
The welcoming half front door takes you into the hallway where there is a ground floor bedroom to your left and to your right. Further down the hallway to your right leads you into the spacious kitchen/dining area perfect for family life and entertaining, with plenty of storage space, a Stanley range cooker set into a gorgeous cream brick inglenook with an added feature of a back boiler that heats the water and radiators.
There is an office/media room off the kitchen which every house needs nowadays, as today’s family spends more and more time on the web.
Double doors open to the large tastefully decorated sitting room with a feature fireplace and a solid fuel stove. The den area is filled with natural light with plenty of windows and patio doors opening onto the garden and patio area. Also on this floor is a guest toilet.
Upstairs on the first floor is the spacious landing with built-in storage cupboards and leading to four fine bedrooms and the main bathroom. Another bonus to this beautiful home is the installation of a convenient central vacuum system which is known for its removal of allergens and dust when cleaning and not having to drag a vacuum from room to room!
The asking price is €495,000. For further information or to arrange a viewing, contact DNG Brian MacMahon on 091 638638.