Date Published: 19-May-2011
By Ann Healy
A 45-year-old city woman has gone on trial at Galway Circuit Criminal Court charged with setting fire to her local authority house at Tulach Ard, Rahoon over four years ago.
Veronica MacAnespie, of 38 Tulach Ard, Rahoon, denies setting fire to the semi-detached house, owned by Galway City Council at the above address on November 28, 2007.
Two units of Galway Fire Brigade were called to the house fire at around 5am that morning and had to break in because both the front and back doors were locked.
The cost of repairing fire and smoke damage was estimated at over €65,000. City Council carried out the repairs and returned Ms MacAnespie to the house.
Detective Garda John Lavery said two spent matches and a number of plastic bottles containing petrol were found in the kitchen and in an upstairs bedroom and bathroom while a five-litre petrol can was found on the stairs when the house was forensically examined after the fire.
Garda Darragh Ainsworth told the court he arrived at the scene shortly after 5am and was told the accused, who was the sole occupier, was not in the house at the time. He and Garda Dermot Cummins went looking for the accused and found her walking down Circular Road with black smoke and soot on her face and hands.
Her hair was matted with soot and there were soot marks under her nostrils. She was using a crutch and was dragging a number of large suitcases and plastic bags after her.
Garda Ainsworth said he got a very strong smell of petrol from the woman which surprised him at the time. City Council housing officer, Patricia Philbin, told the trial Ms MacAnespie had lodged over forty complaints with the Council about her neighbours from 2002 to the time of the fire.
Most of the complaints, she said were made against Anthony McDonagh and his family who lived at no 37 Tulach Ard.
Ciaran O’Loughlin SC defending, said Ms MacAnespie did not want to go to the Gardai because she was afraid of Anthony McDonagh.
He said she would say he had threatened to burn her house down and had threatened to kill her son, who had since gone to live in Waterford.
Mr O’Loughlin said no traces of accelerants were found on Ms MacAnespie’s clothes when they were forensically examined.
He said she was on her way to catch a train to Kildare and from there to Waterford to see her son on the morning her house caught fire and she was unaware of the fire until the Gardai told her.
Mr McDonagh, who is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence for shooting part of another man’s hand off, told the jury Ms McAnespie was a liar. He said he never had any problems with his next-door neighbour and in fact, he had helped her out over the years.
The trial continues today.
Read more in today’s Galway City Tribune
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.