Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us


Embittered man made couple’s life nightmare



A chartered accountant has been given a three-year suspended sentence for harassing a former colleague and his wife for over a year.

Jason Naughton (42), of 41 Cluain Rí, Athenry, and formerly of Whitestrand Road, Salthill, pleaded guilty to harassing the man at his home on the Headford Road, Galway, between June 27, 2012 and May 16, 2013, when he first appeared before Galway Circuit Criminal Court last November.

He also pleaded guilty to removing the windscreen wipers from a car belonging to the man between September 23 and 24, 2012 and to removing wipers from a car belonging to the man’s wife again between December 10 and 12, 2013.

Sentence was adjourned to last Friday for the preparation of a psychiatric report and a probation report on the accused.

Garda Pat Fahy told the sentence hearing that Naughton had been employed by a company in Galway from December 2005 to October 2008 where the victim also worked.

Naughton was later employed with another company from June 2010 to January 2012 in the same building as the other man and his former employers.

The harassment started in June 2012 and went on for fourteen months until August 2013.

Garda Fahy said that during that time the victim’s car and another car owned by his wife, were damaged on a number of occasions while parked outside their home.  The wipers had been pulled off both cars while contaminants had been put into the diesel tank of the man’s car on two occasions.

The man, he said, also received three different emails which contained deeply distressing and offensive messages, while the couple’s home was sprayed-painted red with graffiti while they were away one Christmas.

A menacing comment was also posted under photographs uploaded by the man on his Facebook page following the birth of his son.

Garda Fahy said Naughton sent another email to the man’s employers claiming he had been bullied by him and two others when he was employed by that company.

He also sent the same email to the man with the comment, “See you in Hell”.

On a few occasions the couple heard a car beeping loudly outside their home and knew it was the accused.

Naughton was arrested on August 24, 2013 and made full admissions in relation to all of the incidents.

He told Gardai he targeted the man and his wife because he knew where they lived.

Garda Fahy said the couple were deeply traumatised by what had happened to them and could not understand why the accused had picked on them.

Garda Fahy said Naughton was unemployed since January 2012.  He said that while he had no previous convictions, he had come to the attention of the Gardai before this.

Defence barrister, Conal McCarthy said his client wanted to publicly apologise to the couple for his actions.

He said his client had “fessed up” to everything.

Mr McCarthy said Naughton had felt he had a grievance and the couple became the focus of that grievance.

Garda Fahy said the couple did not accept this at all.

Mr McCarthy said a total of €1,900 damage was done to the couple’s property and his client had paid that amount over.

He said Naughton’s offending behaviour was done against a backdrop of excessive drinking.

Mr McCarthy explained his client was socially awkward and suffers from acute anxiety, according to medical reports handed into court.

He said his client was no longer working, was in receipt of Job Seeker’s Allowance and the AIB was about to repossess his house in Athenry.

The man, who had been the main target of the harassment read his own victim impact statement to the court.

In it, he stated he and his wife were at a complete loss for a long time to know who was targeting their home and property.  They thought it was random and blamed youths in the locality.  They became very distraught when they came back to their home after spending Christmas with their families to find it had been covered in red paint.

“Gardai left us in no doubt then that somebody was targeting us and there was nothing random about it,” he said.

“We couldn’t fathom who would do this to us.  My wife was eight months pregnant at the time.  We felt vulnerable and lived in constant fear,”  he said.

The couple moved out of their home and are now very security conscious and very distrustful of people in their new home, the man added.

Handing probation and psychiatric reports into court, Mr McCarthy said his client had unresolved mental health issues that he was now dealing with.

Judge Rory McCabe said he was sorry for the difficulties Naughton was experiencing, but his sorrow for him paled into insignificance when he heard of the manner in which he had treated the unfortunate couple for over a year.

He then sentenced Naughton to three years in prison for the harassment charge, which he suspended for five years on condition he be of good behaviour during that time and have no contact by any means with the couple and not publish anything further about them.

Judge McCabe took the remaining criminal damage charges into account, noting that two doctors were engaged in assessing Naughton and had put forward proposals concerning his treatment.

Connacht Tribune

West has lower cancer survival rates than rest



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 You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Marathon Man plans to call a halt – but not before he hits 160 races



Loughrea’s Marathon Man Jarlath Fitzgerald.

On the eve of completing his 150th marathon, an odyssey that has taken him across 53 countries, Loughrea’s Marathon Man has announced that he is planning to hang up his running shoes.

But not before Jarlath Fitzgerald completes another ten races, making it 160 marathons on the occasion of his 60th birthday.

“I want to draw the line in 2026. I turn 57 in October and when I reach 60 it’s the finishing line. The longer races are taking it out of me. I did 20 miles there two weeks ago and didn’t feel good. It’s getting harder,” he reveals.

“I’ve arthritis in both hips and there’s wear and tear in the knees.”

We speak as he is about to head out for a run before his shift in Supervalu Loughrea. Despite his physical complaints, he still clocks up 30 miles every second week and generally runs four days a week.

Jarlath receives injections to his left hip to keep the pain at bay while running on the road.

To give his joints a break, during the winter he runs cross country and often does a five-mile trek around Kylebrack Wood.

He is planning on running his 150th marathon in Cork on June 4, where a group of 20 made up of work colleagues, friends and running mates from Loughrea Athletics Club will join him.

Some are doing the 10k, others are doing the half marathon, but all will be there on the finishing line to cheer him on in the phenomenal achievement.

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

Continue Reading


Galway ‘masterplan’ needed to tackle housing and transport crises



From the Galway City Tribune – An impassioned plea for a ‘masterplan’ that would guide Galway City into the future has been made in the Dáil. Galway West TD Catherine Connolly stated this week that there needed to be an all-inclusive approach with “vision and leadership” in order to build a sustainable city.

Deputy Connolly spoke at length at the crisis surrounding traffic and housing in Galway city and said that not all of the blame could be laid at the door of the local authority.

She said that her preference would be the provision of light rail as the main form of public transport, but that this would have to be driven by the government.

“I sat on the local council for 17 years and despaired at all of the solutions going down one road, metaphorically and literally. In 2005 we put Park & Ride into the development plan, but that has not been rolled out. A 2016 transport strategy was outdated at the time and still has not been updated.

“Due to the housing crisis in the city, a task force was set up in 2019. Not a single report or analysis has been published on the cause of the crisis,” added Deputy Connolly.

She then referred to a report from the Land Development Agency (LDA) that identified lands suitable for the provision of housing. But she said that two-thirds of these had significant problems and a large portion was in Merlin Park University Hospital which, she said, would never have housing built on it.

In response, Minister Simon Harris spoke of the continuing job investment in the city and also in higher education, which is his portfolio.

But turning his attention to traffic congestion, he accepted that there were “real issues” when it came to transport, mobility and accessibility around Galway.

“We share the view that we need a Park & Ride facility and I understand there are also Bus Connects plans.

“I also suggest that the City Council reflect on her comments. I am proud to be in a Government that is providing unparalleled levels of investment to local authorities and unparalleled opportunities for local authorities to draw down,” he said.

Then Minister Harris referred to the controversial Galway City Outer Ring Road which he said was “struck down by An Bord Pleanála”, despite a lot of energy having been put into that project.

However, Deputy Connolly picked up on this and pointed out that An Bord Pleanála did not say ‘No’ to the ring road.

“The High Court said ‘No’ to the ring road because An Bord Pleanála acknowledged it failed utterly to consider climate change and our climate change obligations.

“That tells us something about An Bord Pleanála and the management that submitted such a plan.”

In the end, Minister Harris agreed that there needed to be a masterplan for Galway City.

“I suggest it is for the local authority to come up with a vision and then work with the Government to try to fund and implement that.”

Continue Reading