Galway Advertiser 2005/2005_09_22/GA_2209_E1_032.pdf 

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Galway Advertiser 2005/2005_09_22/GA_2209_E1_032.pdf

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September 22 2005

Caretaker loses job with city council for welfare fraud
A 45-years-old man lost his job when it was discovered he had fraudulently obtained nearly 13,000 from the Department of Social Welfare in Unemployment Benefit for over a year while employed as a part-time caretaker with Galway City Council. Eamon Ward, 43 Droim Chaoin, Bishop O'Donnell Road, Galway, pleaded guilty to the offence at Galway District Court this week where he was fined 800. Social Welfare inspector, Joseph Gallagher said the accused was in receipt of 257. 80 a week between July 7, 2003 and July 7, 2004 in Unemployment Benefit. When interviewed the accused admitted he had been employed during that period. He had been taken on as a part-time worker but had been given a permanent position as time went on. Prosecuting State solicitor, William Kennedy said the accused had cooperated fully in the investigation and had repaid a small amount. He was afraid that if he disclosed the situation he would be prosecuted and had continued to receive the social welfare payment. It was accepted, Mr. Kennedy said, that the accused was "quite happy and relieved" when the matter came to light. Defence solicitor, Sean O'Carroll, said his client lost his job as a result of this offence and was now in receipt of Unemployment Benefit with 10 deducted each week as part repayment. Mr. O'Carroll said Ward was married with children and he just got into a situation which got worse as it went on. Judge Mary Fahy agreed that Ward had been a very foolish man and he would still be in full-time employment had he informed his employers at a early stage that he was `signing on.' Mr O'Carroll said his client had to repay money to the Western Health Services Executive and the Local Authority as well as to the Social Welfare Department while in receipt of only 261 a week and he asked the judge to be lenient. Judge Fahy convicted and fined Ward a total of 800 on two summonses and took the remaining two before the court into account.

Former retailer prosecuted for selling wine without a licence
An Oranmore retailer who has ceased trading was convicted and fined at Galway District Court this week for selling wine without a licence. Bernard O'Connor, who had a retail outlet at Unit 4, Howley Court, Oranmore, was detected by a inspector selling a bottle of wine on August 23 last year. Prosecuting State solicitor, William Kennedy said he understood the accused had recently ceased trading. He added that while a mandatory penalty of 1,265 would have to be imposed it could be mitigated to half that amount under the circumstances. The court heard that O'Connor had a wine licence last year and had some wine left over from that period which had been on the shelf. Judge Mary Fahy imposed the mandatory fine and mitigated it to 632.50.

Prison detox for man who sleeps in church doorway
A 34-years-old man with a chronic drink problem who sleeps at the back of St Nicholas' Church most nights because he is barred from the Fairgreen Hostel due to his drunken behaviour, was jailed for two months and fined 300 at Galway District Court. Gary Simms, a native of Limerick, who has been drinking on the streets of Galway and living rough for the past 14 years, told Galway District Court this week that it was a hard life sleeping in doorways and that his first instinct when he wakes up cold in the mornings is to have a can. Simms pleaded guilty to being drunk and breaching the peace on a number of occasions at Shop Street on January 10 and again on Wednesday last. He also admitted causing a disturbance at Claddagh Quay on June 10. Inspector Noel Kelly said Simms was often found by gardai shouting abuse at passers-by and last Wednesday had threatened a preacher on Shop Street. Defence solicitor, Adrian MacLynn said the offences were all drink related and that while every effort had been made to help his client it had all ended in failure Simms, who has 16 previous convictions, is currently serving a three-month sentence in Castlerea Prison for other offences. Mr MacLynn said drink was Simm's ruination. He had lived on the streets and in various hostels after coming to Galway and occasionally visited his mother who had gone to live in Strabane. Simms interrupted his solicitor to tell Judge Fahy of his predicament. "I'm not a bad lad. I suffer from depression. I have lived in Galway for the last 14 years and all my friends are here. I am fed up going in and out of jail and I do try to stay away from the drink," he explained. Judge Fahy told him that his abusive behaviour to the people of Galway would not be tolerated by the court. Simm told the judge he suffers from blackouts when he drinks and can't remember what he says or does. "I'm barred out of the hostel and I sleep in doorways, mainly the back door of St Nicholas' Church. If I wake up cold I go for a can. What else can I do? It's not easy living in doorways," Simms said. The judge suggested that Simms seek help within the prison system saying there was no better time to detox than when in custody. She fined him a total of 300 and imposed a twomonth prison sentence.

Man to be sent for trial charged with assault and
A 45-years-old Ballybane man has been further remanded in custody following his appearance before Galway District Court this week on charges of assault and causing extensive damage to the interior of another man's house. Matthew Drohan, 14 Beal Srutha, Ballybane, is charged with assaulting Noel Casey at his home in Castlepark, Ballybane, causing him harm, on July 21 last. He is further charged with producing a baseball bat in the course of a dispute with Mr Casey and with causing 3732 worth of damage to furnishings in Mr Casey's home on the same date. Inspector Noel Kelly said the DPP had directed that Drohan be sent forward for trial to the Circuit Criminal Court and the inspector applied at this week's court sitting for a further custody remand until such time as a book of evidence in the case had been prepared. Defence solicitor, Sean O'Carroll said his client had bee in custody since July and he was anxious that the trial proceed at the forthcoming October sittings of the Circuit Criminal Court. Judge Mary Fahy agreed that the preparation of a book of evidence should be expedited. She then remanded the accused in custody to appear before the court on September 26 for service of a book of evidence and extended time for service of the book to that date.

Three charged with major drugs haul remanded on bail
Three men, one from Galway and two from Dublin, who are charged in connection with a major drugs haul in Galway city last January, were remanded on continuing bail for service of a book of evidence at a later date, when they appeared before Galway District Court this week. Luke Tyrrell (22), of 42 Gleann na Coille, Barna, along with Dublin taxi driver, Oisin Maher (49), and Frank Phillips (51), both with an address at 47 Brecan Close, Balbriggan, were charged before a special court sitting in January with being in possession of cannabis resin at Ce na Mara car park, New Docks, Galway, on January 25 last. They were also charged on that date with having the drugs for sale or supply to others on the same occasion, contrary to Sections 15 and 27 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977. All three were further charged this week with having cannabis resin worth in excess of 13,000 in their possession for sale or supply to others on the same date. Judge Mary Fahy remanded all three on continuing bail this week to appear before the court again on November 9 next for service of a book of evidence and she extended time for service of the book to that date. All three had been held in custody following their arrest in January but were later granted bail. Mr Tyrrell was granted bail on lodgement of 40,000 to the court. Mr Maher was also granted bail on lodgement of 30,000 and Mr Philips on lodgement of 5,000 independent surety and his

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