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


Suspended sentence for heroin dealing and ticket fraud



A Tuam man told a judge he knew he didn’t deserve to be given suspended sentences, which were imposed on him for dealing heroin in the city and for conning people on the internet into parting with over €3,000 for concert and match tickets which never existed.

David Doherty (30), from Country Meadows, Tuam, at first used his hands to cover his face, but then brought them together in mock prayer as a five-year sentence for heroin dealing and a two-year sentence for fraud were both suspended at Galway Circuit Criminal Court last week.

Doherty had pleaded guilty in May 2015 to having heroin for sale or supply at or near the Menlo Park Hotel, Galway on March 14, 2014, and sentence was adjourned for the preparation of a probation report and to give him time to complete a residential addiction treatment course.

However, while out on bail on that charge awaiting sentence, Doherty got involved in an internet scam, conning punters across the country out of thousands of euro for concert and match tickets which never existed.

He pleaded guilty last month to eight sample charges of inducing eight people to lodge varying amounts, ranging from €750 to €200, into his bank account on dates between May 9 and August 18, 2014, for Electric Picnic tickets, Premier League and FA Cup final tickets, all of which never existed.

Detective Ronan Biggins told the sentence hearing that while he knew €5,255 had passed through Doherty’s account for bogus tickets, some injured parties were too embarrassed to make a complaint to Gardaí and he had no way of contacting them.

Det. Biggins said Doherty and two other people had placed an advert on the Gumtree and Done Deal websites, offering coveted tickets for sale.

People contacted the phone numbers provided in the adverts and spoke to Doherty. They then lodged money into his back account but never received the tickets.

The total loss to the victims who did make a complaint to Gardaí came to €3,355, he said.

Det. Biggins said Doherty had 52 previous convictions, with 40 of those involving road traffic offences.  The remainder comprised drug-related offences, while two were for infringement of copyright law.

His most recent conviction was recorded at Dublin Circuit Court last year for a €500 heroin-dealing offence for which he had received a suspended sentence.

Doherty was caught on CCTV withdrawing the money from his own bank account shortly after each victim made a lodgement.

The court heard he had been approached by two other men and he consented to his bank account being used for the fraud.  He received €10 for every €100 victims lodged into his account. Doherty co-operated fully in the ensuing investigation.

The court heard he had been addicted to heroin at the time but was now drug-free, complying fully with all directions of the probation service and was stable, according to his doctor, on a methadone treatment programme.

Doherty’s barrister said €2,000 in cash had been lodged initially with the court to secure Doherty’s bail and his mother, who was present in court, was willing to pay the balance, so that the victims could all be recompensed.

Doherty, he said, was now the father of two young children, he had completely turned his life around and was now a law-abiding citizen.

Reading a very favourable probation report, Judge Rory McCabe agreed that Doherty had made great strides at rehabilitating himself and he said it would not be in the public interest or be in the interests of justice to impose an immediate custodial sentence.

To act as a deterrent, he said, he would suspend the sentences for five years and two years respectively on condition Doherty be of good behaviour and not reoffend for the next five years.

“I hope we don’t see you in here again,” Judge McCabe said to a very relieved-looking Doherty.

“Thanks very much for the chance.  I know I didn’t deserve it.  I’m delighted and thanks again,” Doherty said, beaming at the judge, while rubbing his hands together with glee.

“I hope society thanks me too,” the judge replied.

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