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Connacht Tribune

114 declared bankrupt in Galway in four years

Enda Cunningham

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There have been bankruptcies declared by a total of 114 people in Galway since the beginning of 2014, according to new figures from the Insolvency Service of Ireland.

The figures show that between January 2014 and the end of September 2018, there were a total of 114 bankruptcies here.

And a further 192 people came to insolvency arrangements with creditors during the same period through Debt Relief Notices (DRN), Debt Settlement Arrangements (DSA) or Personal Insolvency Arrangements (PIA).

Where certain criteria are met for debt, a DRN allows the write-off of up to €35,000 subject and the person is subject to a three-year supervision period.

A DSA allows for the agreed settlement of unsecured debt (with no limits) over a period of up to five years. A PIA allows the restructuring or settlement of secured debts of up to €3m and the settlement of unsecured debt over a period of up to six years.

The Galway figures show there was a rate of 5.9 bankruptcies per 10,000 adults – comparative figures show Cavan had the worst rate at 10.2 per 10,000 (56 people), while Kerry had the lowest at 3.4 (39 people).

Dublin recorded a rate of 4.7 (489 people); Wicklow 8.2 (86 people); Limerick 4.4 (65 people); Cork 6.3 (257) and Waterford 8.8 (76 people).

For the three forms of insolvency arrangement (DRN, DSA and PIA), the rate in Galway was 9.9 per 10,000 adults (192). The highest rate was in Waterford at 37.5 (326) while the lowest rate was in Limerick at 5.6 (83 people).

Other rates included Carlow at 29.2 (123 people); Dublin at 8.3 (865); Cork at 17.2 (704) and Wicklow at 10 (209 people).

Nationally, a breakdown of the debt involved in insolvency arrangements in the third quarter of 2018 (a total value of €454 million) shows 45.7% (€207.7m) related to debts to financial institutions; 36.5% (€166m) to mortgages on people’s homes; 13% (€58.9m) to Buy-To-Let investor mortgages; 0.7% (€3.3m) to Revenue and 0.7% (€3.2m) to credit unions. A further 3.3% (€15.1m) was classed as ‘other debt’.

Connacht Tribune

Student nurses face all the risk – for no reward

Dara Bradley

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Working on the children’s ward of a busy hospital during a global pandemic is no joke; less funny still when you’re not getting paid for your toil.

All the risk and none of the rewards of qualified staff – that’s the lot of Edel Moore, a student nurse who is currently on placement at University Hospital Galway.

Edel, and hundreds of student nurses like her on placement in UHG and Portiuncula in Ballinasloe, want more than a round of applause and platitudes from Government.

“None of us want a pat on the back for struggling. We’d just like to be recognised,” she said.

“The Government are full-time talking about front-line workers, and they want to give them a ‘clap hands’. Then you see Junior Ministers getting massive raises. For what? What have they done for us, the student nurses, that they’re getting a €16,000 wage increase?

“We’ve put ourselves through a four year degree but all I’m worth is a clap? Thanks! It’s ridiculous. They say that front-line workers deserve all the help they can get but it just seems that the ones who are able to give us the help we need are not going to give us the help that we deserve.”

Edel Moore is a mature student originally from Westmeath but living in Leitir Mealláin in Connemara with her husband and three children.

A third year student nurse of NUIG, she is currently on placement at the paediatric ward at UHG.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Island museum gets the green light

Declan Tierney

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An artist's impression of the proposed Inishbofin museum.

Work is expected to begin shortly on the construction of a museum on Inishbofin after planners gave the green light to the project.

The museum at Middlequarter is being developed by local historian and photographer Marie Coyne – and when completed, it will be home to items of historical significance from both Inishbofin and Inishark.

There is an existing museum on the island but it is too small to house the amount of artefacts, photographs and family histories that have been assembled over the years.

The new building will also include a photographic exhibition room, restoration workshop along with a gift shop and coffee dock. It is proposed that the new 3,400 square feet museum will be built on a site at the rear of Ms Coyne’s home.

Eamon Gavin of Eamon Gavin Architects based in Cornamona told the Connacht Tribune that this was an important project for the island and it was a welcome decision.

And he said that the green light would kickstart the process of conserving the vast and unique artefacts and archives built up over the years.

“As a practice, we have a long history of dealing with planning consultancy on unique rural sites in Connemara and the islands, therefore we fully understood how sensitive the proposed location of the project would be – the site is located in a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and National Heritage Area,” he said.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Tuam woman a picture of health a year after Covid crisis

Declan Tierney

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Tuam's Kitty Farrell with her dog Lulu a year after her Covid diagnosis.

Last year was a Mother’s Day like no other for Kitty Farrell who spent it in the back of an ambulance being rushed to hospital with Covid – but the 80 year old Tuam woman can look forward to a more sedate celebration this time out….thankfully restored back to full health.

Kitty, from Ballygaddy Road, had developed a debilitating cough the previous week – and when she was admitted to UHG on Mother’s Day, she tested positive for the coronavirus despite a lack of symptoms.

The retired businesswoman spent the next nine days seriously ill in isolation – and all alone as her four children could not visit her.

“To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to come through it but I was so sick that at times, it didn’t really matter. But the thought of passing away in isolation made a bad situation even worse,” Kitty said at the time.

A year on, she is back to full health, and while she restricts her movements, Kitty told The Connacht Tribune that she is just happy to be alive and she spends her days ‘pottering about’ and looking forward to the arrival of family members.

“Even though I don’t particularly agree with the current lockdown because everyone should be responsible for their own behaviour, I am living a life of relative isolation at the moment,” she said.

Read Kitty’s full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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