The victim of a sexual assault has declined an offer of compensation from her attacker, telling a court she didn’t want the man’s money and didn’t think it appropriate to accept it.
Electrician, Neil Devane (35), with an address in Togher, Tuam, pleaded guilty before Galway Circuit Criminal Court to sexually assaulting a woman in the town on November 2, 2014.
Garda Jim Carr told the sentence hearing last week that the victim had shut the front door but left it unlocked as other members of her family were out socialising that night.
She woke up at 3am in her own bedroom to find the accused on top of her. He was naked and was trying to remove her underwear. She told him to stop and that he was hurting her but he replied: “C’mon, you know you want it.”
The woman managed to fight him off before running out of the room.
Two other people, who were in the house at the time, removed Devane from the premises.
He was subsequently interviewed by Gardaí. He denied he had sexually assaulted the woman, whom he knew through a mutual friend.
Devane told Gardaí he had been drinking in various pubs and in a local night-club before going to the house around 3am.
He denied having a key to the house and accepted he must have been there as a trespasser.
The woman chose not to be present in court. In her impact statement, which was read into evidence by Garda Carr, she said she was nervous to be alone in her home since the attack and she constantly checks the lock on the front door.
Garda Carr said the accused worked on construction sites around the country and returned home every weekend to his parents in Tuam.
Defence barrister, Geri Silke said her client was shocked and deeply ashamed when he heard the next day about what he had done.
She said he had brought €5,000 to court to offer to the woman as a token of his remorse.
Judge Rory McCabe adjourned sentence for a week so that Garda Carr could speak to the woman and gauge her attitude in relation to the offer of compensation.
Garda Carr returned to court this week and said the woman had refused to accept the money. She told him she didn’t want Devane’s money and she also thought it would be inappropriate to accept it.
Ms Silke said Devane had no previous convictions and if he had not been drinking that night he would not have gone into the house and got into the woman’s bed.
“He’s absolutely mortified about what happened and he offered the €5,000 (to the victim) as a concrete expression of his remorse,” Ms Silke said.
She added Devane was attending AA and was no longer drinking to ensure nothing like this happened again.
Judge Rory McCabe noted the maximum sentence for the offence of sexual assault was ten years.
“The circumstances are quite shocking in this case and must be of the most frightening nature, both physically and psychologically, for the victim. The appropriate sentence is six years in prison,” Judge McCabe said.
He then listed Devane’s young age, his plea, his previous good record and his parent’s dependence on him as mitigating circumstances in the case, which merited a 30% discount.
He sentenced Devane to four years in prison with the final two years suspended for five years, to act, he said, as a further incentive for the accused to continue to rehabilitate. Devane was also placed on the Sex Offender’s Register.
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.