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City man jailed for assaults on intellectually disabled men

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A 36-year-old city man, who assaulted two intellectually disabled men and tortured one of them on Inis Mór, has been sentenced to four years in prison with 18 months suspended.

Gary Walsh, with an address at An Sean Bhaile, Doughiska, pleaded guilty to assaulting the men, who are in their early 20’s, at Cill Ronáin, Inis Mór on August 6, 2011.

The vulnerable young men are patients of the Brothers of Charity in Galway city, due to their intellectual disabilities.

Det Sgt Mick Staunton gave evidence at Galway Circuit Criminal Court that Walsh arranged to meet the men on Inis Mór.

They all met up in a wooded area at the rear of a school in Cill Ronáin where the accused began drinking.

Walsh grabbed his first victim and burnt the back of his hand with a lit cigarette.

It caused severe pain and blistering and Walsh just laughed when the victim asked him why he was doing it.

Walsh continued drinking and blamed the other young victim present when he stumbled against a tree and tore his shirt.

He punched this victim repeatedly in the face and kicked him repeatedly when he fell to the ground.

The victim could not get get up for some time due to his injuries but after a time the men walked to the Garda Station.

Gardaí took this victim to the island doctor, but due to the severity of his injuries, he had to be transferred by Lifeboat to the mainland and by ambulance from there to hospital.

Prosecuting barrister, Conor Fahy, said the victims were in court accompanied by their fathers and their social worker and were still very afraid of the accused.

Defence Counsel Geri Silke said her client suffered from poor interpersonal skills and had been addicted to alcohol and prescribed medication.

She said he was now attending an addiction counsellor and receiving treatment at Cuan Mhuire.

Justice Raymond Groarke sentenced Walsh to four years in prison for what he described as “violent, gratuitous and terrifying” assaults.

The judge suspended the final 18 months of the sentence on strict conditions.

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Death announced of former Bishop of Galway

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Dr Martin Drennan.

The death has occurred of the former Bishop of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora Martin Drennan, six years after he announced his retirement on health grounds. He was aged 78.

The Galway Diocesan Office confirmed the death this (Saturday) afternoon of the Bishop and Apostolic Administrator Emeritus, who oversaw the Diocese for eleven years.

Born on January 2, 1944 in Piltown, County Kilkenny, he studied for the priesthood at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, from where he was ordained to the priesthood in 1968. His brother Michael is also a priest.

Following his ordination, he continued his studies in Rome where he was awarded a Licentiate in both sacred theology and sacred scripture. He returned to Rome in 1980 to become spiritual director at the Pontifical Irish College for the next five years.

He became a lecturer in sacred scripture at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, where he continued to teach until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin in 1997 with responsibility for East Wicklow and South Dublin.

Following the retirement of Bishop James McLoughlin, Bishop Drennan was appointed Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora and he was installed on July 3, 2005 in Galway Cathedral.

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Connacht Tribune

O’Flaherty’s promising start

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Outgoing Cllr Terry O’Flaherty (Ind) is on course to retain her City Council seat – and top the poll in City East. 

With 33% of the boxes tallied, Cllr O’Flaherty is polling strongly, particularly in Renmore. 

Michael John Crowe is ahead of his running mate Alan Cheevers for the Fianna Fáil vote, according to the early figures, although that could change when Doughiska and Roscam boxes are opened. 

The Green Party’s Claire Hillery is on about 7%, with Fine Gael on 10% and Sinn Fein on 5%.

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Connacht Tribune

Tallies underway as votes are sorted

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The opening of boxes for the local elections began at 9am this morning in Leisureland when the tallymen (and women) kicked into gear.

As regards the Galway County Council elections, the smaller areas are being opened first which means that the four-seater Connemara North boxes will be first in the pecking order.

It will be followed by Gort-Kinvara (5 seats), Connemara South (5 seats), Athenry-Oranmore (7 seats), Ballinasloe (6 seats), Loughrea (5 seats) and finally Tuam (7 seats).

The boxes in these areas will be opened and tallied in that particular order before being transferred to the Galway Lawn Tennis Club on Threadneedle Road where the counting will commence around mid-morning.

That is when the fun will really begin – although the tallies should give a good indication as to where most of the seats are destined.

As regards the city, the Galway City East boxes were opened first, followed by Galway City Central and finally Galway City West. These votes will be transferred to the Westside Centre by around 11am for counting.

There are 39 seats on Galway County Council to be filled with 18 on Galway City Council. The City Council count is expected to conclude on Saturday night but the County Council count – with seven electoral areas to be filled – could well go into Monday.

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