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Connacht Tribune

Biker trio took part in punishment-style beating over debt

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A former leader of the now defunct Galway branch of the Outlaw Biker Club has been given a suspended sentence and ordered to pay €7,500 to the Irish Red Cross for his role in the punishment-style beating of another club member almost seven years ago.

Trevor Condon (50), 115 Castlelawn Heights, Headford Road, who persuaded three others to join in the assault because the victim owed him money, received a five-year sentence which was suspended for five years on condition he pay €7,500 to the Irish Red Cross, following a two-day trial at Galway Circuit Criminal Court this week.

Condon, along with co-accused, James Clancy (47), 1 Bin Sinn, Knocknacarra, and Brendan Ryan (51), from Ardfinnan, Tipperary, had initially pleaded not guilty last week to assaulting Paul McGuire, causing him harm at Bike Tech, Ballybane Industrial Estate, on February 8, 2011.

Condon and Ryan pleaded not guilty to using metal bars to beat McGuire while Clancy denied using a bike chain along with a sock containing a metal buckle to assault the victim.

Following legal argument in the absence of the jury on the first day of the trial and behind-the-scenes discussions between both the prosecution and defence legal teams on the second day, all three accused entered into a plea-bargain and changed their pleas to guilty to the single charge of assaulting McGuire, causing him harm.

The jury was discharged and each of the accused received a five-year suspended sentence but Condon, who was the ringleader, was ordered to pay €7,500 to the Red Cross as a condition of his suspended sentence.

A statement taken by Gardai in 2013 from a fourth accused, who also took part in the assault, triggered the prosecution being taken by the Director of Public Prosecutions against the three men and that, along with the victim’s lack of co-operation, explained the delay in bringing the matter to trial.

Tattooist, Jeremy Berger (28), from Dublin, who was living in Galway at the time, pleaded guilty before the same court in 2012, to assaulting McGuire, causing him harm and paid him €10,000 compensation.

Mr McGuire, who was 45 at the time, suffered a broken left ankle and leg and a broken right arm in the assault after four masked men who were all wearing biker gear with the Outlaw insignia on it, entered his shop and beat him with iron bars and a sock containing a belt buckle.

Berger pepper-sprayed the victim and when he fell to the ground, all four set about beating him.

Berger was captured on the shop’s CCTV pulling his mask off during the assault and he was identified from a colourful tattoo on the back of his skull.

He told Gardai he was trying to join the Galway Chapter of the Outlaw Bikers Club at the time.  He had been pressured into taking part in the beating and was told it would be part of his initiation into the club.

Investigating Garda, Pat Foley, told the court in 2012 and again last week that the Galway chapter of the Outlaw Biker Club disbanded after this assault came to light. McGuire, he said, moved to Canada shortly afterwards and had refused to co-operate with the Garda investigation in any way.

He said Condon was president of the Galway chapter of the Outlaws at the time and he had orchestrated the attack because McGuire owed him money.

“He (Condon) got the three others to partake in it, saying it was authorised under the auspices of the Outlaw Club, but that was not the case.  They felt they were obligated to take part in the assault,” Garda Foley said.

Both Ryan and Clancy, who have serious medical conditions and are in receipt of disability, told the court they were unable to pay compensation but would pay €1,000 each if given time.

Condon offered to pay €5,000 compensation to McGuire’s creditors or to a charity.

Judge Rory McCabe directed Condon pay €7,500 to the Irish Red Cross adding: “Mr Condon is experienced in the business of debt collection and if he wishes to procure the debt from the other two that is his business.”

Connacht Tribune

West has lower cancer survival rates than rest

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Significant state investment is required to address ‘shocking’ inequalities that leave cancer patients in the West at greater risk of succumbing to the disease.

A meeting of Regional Health Forum West heard that survival rates for breast, lung and colorectal cancers than the national average, and with the most deprived quintile of the population, the West’s residents faced poorer outcomes from a cancer diagnosis.

For breast cancer patients, the five-year survival rate was 80% in the West versus 85% nationally; for lung cancer patients it was 16.7% in the west against a 19.5% national survival rate; and in the West’s colorectal cancer patients, there was a 62.6% survival rate where the national average was 63.1%.

These startling statistics were provided in answer to a question from Ballinasloe-based Cllr Evelyn Parsons (Ind) who said it was yet another reminder that cancer treatment infrastructure in the West was in dire need of improvement.

“The situation is pretty stark. In the Western Regional Health Forum area, we have the highest incidence of deprivation and the highest health inequalities because of that – we have the highest incidences of cancer nationally because of that,” said Cllr Parsons, who is also a general practitioner.

In details provided by CEO of Saolta Health Care Group, which operates Galway’s hospitals, it was stated that a number of factors were impacting on patient outcomes.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway minors continue to lay waste to all opponents

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Galway's Aaron Niland is chased by Cillian O'Callaghan of Cork during Saturday's All-Ireland Minor Hurling semi-final at Semple Stadium. Photo: Stephen Marken/Sportsfile.

Galway 3-18

Cork 1-10

NEW setting; new opposition; new challenge. It made no difference to the Galway minor hurlers as they chalked up a remarkable sixth consecutive double digits championship victory at Semple Stadium on Saturday.

The final scoreline in Thurles may have been a little harsh on Cork, but there was no doubting Galway’s overall superiority in setting up only a second-ever All-Ireland showdown against Clare at the same venue on Sunday week.

Having claimed an historic Leinster title the previous weekend, Galway took a while to get going against the Rebels and also endured their first period in a match in which they were heavily outscored, but still the boys in maroon roll on.

Beating a decent Cork outfit by 14 points sums up how formidable Galway are. No team has managed to lay a glove on them so far, and though Clare might ask them questions other challengers haven’t, they are going to have to find significant improvement on their semi-final win over 14-man Kilkenny to pull off a final upset.

Galway just aren’t winning their matches; they are overpowering the teams which have stood in their way. Their level of consistency is admirable for young players starting off on the inter-county journey, while the team’s temperament appears to be bombproof, no matter what is thrown at them.

Having romped through Leinster, Galway should have been a bit rattled by being only level (0-4 each) after 20 minutes and being a little fortunate not to have been behind; or when Cork stormed out of the blocks at the start of the second half by hitting 1-4 to just a solitary point in reply, but there was never any trace of panic in their ranks.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Gardaí and IFA issue a joint appeal on summer road safety

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Galway IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Chair Teresa Roche

GARDAÍ and the IFA have issued a joint appeal to all road users to take extra care as the silage season gets under way across the country.

Silage harvesting started in many parts of Galway last week – and over the coming month, the sight of tractors and trailers on rural roads will be getting far more frequent.

Inspector Conor Madden, who is in charge of Galway Roads Policing, told the Farming Tribune that a bit of extra care and common-sense from all road users would go a long way towards preventing serious collisions on roads this summer.

“One thing I would ask farmers and contractors to consider is to try and get more experienced drivers working for them.

“Tractors have got faster and bigger – and they are also towing heavy loads of silage – so care and experience are a great help in terms of accident prevention,” Inspector Madden told the Farming Tribune.

He said that tractor drivers should always be aware of traffic building up behind them and to pull in and let these vehicles pass, where it was safe to do so.

“By the same token, other road users should always exercise extra care; drive that bit slower; and ‘pull in’ that bit more, when meeting tractors and heavy machinery.

“We all want to see everyone enjoying a safe summer on our roads – that extra bit of care, and consideration for other roads users can make a huge difference,” said Conor Madden.

He also advised motorists and tractor drivers to be acutely aware of pedestrians and cyclists on the roads during the summer season when more people would be out walking and cycling on the roads.

The IFA has also joined in on the road safety appeal with Galway IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Chair Teresa Roche asking all road users to exercise that extra bit of care and caution.

“We are renewing our annual appeal for motorists to be on the look out for tractors, trailers and other agricultural machinery exiting from fields and farmyards,” she said.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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