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Man accused of raping schoolgirl in city acquitted

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A man charged with raping a schoolgirl in her friend’s house in the city has been acquitted due to lack of evidence, by a jury at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Galway today.

The 40 year old man who cannot be named for legal reasons, had pleaded not guilty to raping the then 15-year-old Junior Certificate student at a house in the city on April 17, 2011

The girl’s mother and siblings screamed abuse and threats at the man when the verdict was read out this afternoon in court.

Several Gardai had to restrain the girl’s family as they tried to get to the man, who had been accompanied during the four day trial by his sister.

The girl’s family continued to shout abuse at the man after the jury was discharged and a Garda van had to come to the courthouse to bring the man and his sister away.

The girl had given evidence that she, her 13-year-old friend and five other girls, aged between nine and four, had been left in the house while her friend’s mother went out to a pub on the night she claimed she was raped by the man, who had been a lodger in the house.

During a Garda interview, the man denied the allegations, claiming he was impotent and could not have carried out the attack.

The girl had not told an adult until four months later about the alleged rape and a medical examination carried out then could not support or preclude the rape allegation.

The jury of ten men and two women took just over half an hour to acquit the man, due, they said, to a lack of evidence.

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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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