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Young dad was brutally stabbed in front of kids



A man walked calmly out of a house where he had stabbed another man multiple times and put a finger to his lips, gesturing to onlookers to keep quiet about what they had just witnessed.

Half an hour into his trial at Galway Circuit Criminal Court last week, Eddie O’Loughlin (34), with addresses at 19 Finbarr’s Terrace, Bohermore, and 131 Cois na hAbhainn, Tuam, changed his plea to guilty to a single charge of aggravated burglary at a house in An Sean Bhaile, Doughiska, Galway, while armed with a knife, on June 20, 2016.

A jury of nine men and three women had been sworn in to hear evidence in the trial which was expected to last three days but they were discharged shortly after it had begun, after hearing damning evidence by the main prosecution witness, whose ex-partner had been stabbed by O’Loughlin.

Adrienne Keary said she had been a Council tenant at 61 An Sean Bhaile for the past 15 years or so and she lived there with her three children.

She said her ex-partner, Jonathan King, often stayed there, too, and he had been asleep in an upstairs bedroom on the morning in question.

Ms Keary said she got up around 7.25am and was getting her youngest daughter’s clothes ready for school when she heard the doorbell.

She looked out the window and saw a black Audi A4 parked outside.  She saw a man in the back seat with a hood covering his head.

She opened the front door and recognised Greg Hayes on the doorstep.

He asked her if Jonathan King was in the house and she called up the stairs to her ex-partner to come down.  She heard him get out of bed.

She left the front door slightly ajar and was about to walk into the sitting room, when she felt the door come in on top of her.  She turned and saw Eddie O’Loughlin coming in the front door.  He was carrying a knife.

King was halfway down the stairs at that stage and O’Loughlin went for him with the knife, she said.

Ms Keary said she froze, but she managed to hold back her youngest daughter who was standing behind her in the sitting room.

“Jonathan was stabbed a good few times – six to seven times maybe.

“He (O’Loughlin) was going at his ribs and then he got it in the face as well,” Ms Keary said to the jury.

In reply to Mr Fahy, she said her ex-partner knew his attacker.

“Jonathan was asking Eddie O’Loughlin what was going on,” she added.

Ms Keary said her eldest daughter had been upstairs before the incident began and she started pulling her father, Jonathan King, up the stairs away from O’Loughlin. Their other daughter was on the landing screaming.

She said that at one stage O’Loughlin fell back against a hall table, before he launched another attack on King, stabbing him again in the stomach area.

She said there was blood on King’s t-shirt, face and hands and there was blood on the walls, floor and stairs.

She ran out the front door and banged on her neighbour’s front window, screaming at someone to come out.  The couple living next-door and their children came out to her.

They were all standing at the front of the house when O’Loughlin came out.

“I saw Eddie O’Loughlin come out the front door.  He still had the knife in his hand.  There was blood on the knife.

“We were standing there and he put his finger to his lips towards us as he got into the black Audi.  Greg Hayes was driving and the other man was in the back seat with the hood.

“The car drove off,” she said.

She went back into the house and found King sitting in shock on the stairs.  He went to the bathroom to clean himself up and went into the neighbours next-door.

Ms Keary said her daughter dialled 999 and she spoke to the Gardaí and told them what had happened and identified O’Loughlin.

By the time Gardai arrived at the house, King had gone off with another man in a van.

Garda Pat Fahy told the jury he arrested O’Loughlin at a house in Lios an Uisce at 11.55am on the same day.

Following a brief recess, the trial resumed and O’Loughlin changed his plea to guilty.

Judge Rory McCabe then discharged the jury.

Barry White, SC, defending, asked the court to adjourn sentence to allow his client’s solicitor procure reports that might be of assistance.  He said his client also wished to be remanded in custody.

Judge McCabe remanded O’Loughlin in custody to appear back before the court again on June 7 for sentence.


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.”

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Official opening of Galway’s new pedestrian and cycle bridge



The new Salmon Weir pedestrian and cycle bridge will be officially opened to the public next Friday, May 26.

Work on the €10 million bridge got underway in April 2022, before the main structure was hoisted into place in early December.

A lunchtime tape-cutting ceremony will take place on Friday, as the first pedestrians and cyclists traverse the as-yet-unnamed bridge.

The Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, previously said the bridge, once opened, would remove existing conflicts between pedestrians, cyclists and traffic “as well as facilitating the Cross-City Link public transport corridor over the existing 200-year-old bridge”.

The naming of the new bridge has been under discussion by the Council’s Civic Commemorations Committee since late last year.

One name that has been in the mix for some time is that of the first woman in Europe to graduate with an engineering degree – Alice Perry.

Ms Perry, who was from Wellpark, graduated from Queen’s College Galway (now University of Galway) in 1906. The university’s engineering building is named in her honour.

The bridge was built by Jons Civil Engineering firm in County Meath and was assembled off-site before being transported to Galway. Funding for the project was provided in full by the National Transport Authority and the European Regional Development Fund.

(Photo: Sheila Gallagher captured the city’s new pedestrian footbridge being raised on the south side of the Salmon Weir Bridge in December. It will officially open next Friday, May 26).

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Minister branded ‘a disgrace’ for reversing land rezoning in Galway City



From the Galway City Tribune – Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Kieran O’Donnell was labelled a “disgrace” for overturning councillors’ decisions to rezone land in the new City Development Plan.

Minister O’Donnell (pictured) confirmed in a letter to Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath last week that he was reversing 25 material alternations made by councillors to the CDP 2023-29. He made the decision on the advice of Office of Planning Regulator (OPR).

Minister O’Donnell directed that 14 land parcels that were subject to land-use zoning changes by councillors as part of the Material Alterations to the Draft CDP should be reversed.

He directed that a further 11 land parcels in the city should become “unzoned”.

The Minister found that the CDP had not been made in a manner consistent with recommendations of the OPR, which required specific changes to the plan to ensure consistency with the national planning laws and guidelines.

At last week’s Council meeting Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) asked for clarity on the process by which councillors could rezone the lands that had been changed by the Minister’s direction.

Cllr Declan McDonnell said, “What he [Minister O’Donnell] has done is an absolute disgrace”.

And he asked: “Do we have to have another development plan meeting to deal with it?”

Both Cllrs Hoare and McDonnell wondered what would become of the lands that were rezoned or unzoned by the ministerial direction.

Mr McGrath said the Council had put forward an argument in favour of retaining the material alterations in the plan, but ultimately the Minister sided with OPR.

He said if councillors want to make alterations to the new plan, they could go through the process of making a material alteration but this was lengthy.

The Save Roscam Peninsula campaign welcomed the Minister’s decision.

In a statement to the Galway City Tribune, it said the direction would mean the Roscam village area on the Roscam Peninsula will be unzoned and a number of land parcels would revert back to agriculture/high amenity.

A spokesperson for the campaign said: “the material alterations made by city councillors following lobbying by developers continued the long-standing practice of councillors facilitating a developer-led plan rather than an evidence- and policy-based plan that meets the needs of the city.

“The Minister’s direction is an important step in restoring confidence in the planning system. It is clear from the City Council’s own evidence on future housing projections that there was no requirement to zone these lands for residential purposes in order to meet the needs of the targeted population increase up to 2029,” the spokesperson added.

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