Galway Advertiser 2007/2007_03_15/GA_1503_E1_040.pdf
40 N E W S
March 15 2007
East Europeans puzzled by Irish `drunk in charge' offence
Two East European men who refused to provide samples of their breath when arrested for being found drunk in charge of their cars told Galway District Court this week they could not understand why they were being prosecuted as they felt they had done nothing wrong. Dmitrijs Sobolovs, a Lithuanian residing at Drumavoughane, Moycullen, was arrested at 12.40am on February 17 last and later failed to give a breath sample at Galway Garda Station. He had left the driver's seat of his car when he saw a Garda approach but was arrested and taken to Galway Garda Station where he failed to provide a sample. Maksym Mokin, a Ukrainian, residing at 148a Glendara, Rahoon, Galway, who had hired his own private interpreter for the court proceedings, told the court he had not provided a breath sample because he believed he had done nothing wrong. Superintendent Noel Kelly said the accused was observed by Garda Frank Keane sitting in the driver's seat of his car at 6.10pm at Shangort Road, on November 28 last. The keys were in the ignition and music was playing. In reply to both accused, Judge Mary Fahy explained it was an offence in this country to be found drunk in charge of a vehicle. She said the law was applied the same for everyone. She also explained to them that she had no discretion in the matter and that she had to impose a mandatory two-year disqualification in each case for refusing to give breath samples. Judge Fahy convicted and fined Sobolovs 400 and disqualified him from driving for two years. She convicted and fined Mokin 450 and disqualified him also for two years.
Minister calls for health centres for Mervue and Oranmore
BY MARY O'CONNOR A local government minister is calling on the national chief executive of the Health Service Executive Professor Brendan Drumm to provide funding for new health centres in Mervue and Oranmore. Minister of State at the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform Frank Fahey says proposals for new primary care centres in these areas have been included in the Galway Primary, Community and Continuing Care Capital Projects submission. Meanwhile, the HSE West is seeking accommodation to lease for three to five years to alleviate the lack of facilities in Mervue and Oranmore, he says. It hopes to have a proposal for submission to the HSE property committee for approval within the next month. "I am calling on Professor Drumm and the HSE to immediately provide the money for these badly needed facilities," says Minister Fahey. "The Mervue Health Centre is in a very poor state of repair and in fact, it wouldn't pass the HSE's own standards for health and safety." Oranmore, despite having a population of 5,500, does not have a health centre, he says. "The community welfare officers are operating out of the old premises used by the late Dr O'Connor in very unsuitable conditions. There is an urgent need for a new primary health centre for the people of Oranmore."
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