Date Published: 23-May-2011
By Ann Healy
A 45-year-old woman was found guilty by a jury yesterday evening of deliberately setting fire to her semi-detached Council house in Rahoon nearly four years ago.
The jury of eight men and four women took just an hour and a quarter to find Veronica MacAnespie, of 38 Tulach Ard, Rahoon, guilty of setting fire to her house which is owned by Galway City Council in the early hours of November 28, 2007, following a three-day trial at Galway Circuit Criminal Court.
Judge Raymond Groarke remanded Ms MacAnespie in custody to await sentence on July 13 next.
As she was being led away by a female prison officer, Ms MacAnespie kept saying, “I promise I didn’t do it judge.”
Insurance claims handler for Aviva, Brendan Keane, told the jury on the second day of the trial last Friday that Ms MacAnespie had increased the contents-only insurance cover on her home from €45,000 to €70,000 on June 21, 2007.
Geraldine Ryan from Aviva’s claims department said Ms MacAnespie rang her at 10am on November 29, 2007 – the morning after the fire – stating that she wanted to make a claim on her policy.
Ms MacAnespie denied setting fire to the house herself and claimed someone had broken into her house, burgled and ransacked it and then set it on fire while she was on her way to the train station to catch a train to Waterford to see her son that morning.
Ms MacAnespie told the jury yesterday she was on four different types of psychotropic drugs at the time of the fire and was very disorientated as a result.
She said that since her father died in 2006 she and her son were getting an awful lot of hassle from Anthony McDonagh and he had threatened to “torch” her house and kill her son. Her son had moved out and gone to live in Waterford in May 2007 as a result of the intimidation, Ms MacAnespie told the jury.
Mr McDonagh refuted MacAnespie’s allegations when he gave evidence at the trial last week. He said she was telling lies about him. He said he would never put his wife and five children in jeopardy by setting fire to a house which was attached to his own home.
Garda Darragh Ainsworth and Garda Dermot Cummins left the scene of the fire and drove down Circular Road where they encountered Ms MacAnespie walking down the road in the pouring rain with the aid of a crutch, dragging a number of large suitcases and plastic bags after her.
Her face, hands and hair were blackened by smoke and soot. There was a strong smell of petrol from her and Garda Ainsworth said he arrested her on suspicion of starting the fire.
Garda John Lavery said he found four Volvic bottles containing petrol in the kitchen, upstairs bathroom and upstairs bedroom, along with a petrol can on a step of the stairs when he examined the house after the fire.
Read more in today’s Connacht Sentinel
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.