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CITY TRIBUNE

2020: Galway moves on to next phase of preparations

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Management of Galway’s European Capital of Culture project have moved to an ‘exhaustive’ process of preparing the city and county for 2020.

City Chief Executive Brendan McGrath said the designation is of such importance to Galway, the team will be involved in a “significant body of work” in the coming months to draw up a delivery strategy.

He said the win has the potential to effect a “step change” in the economy of the city and wider region.

Mr McGrath again thanked the city’s business community for accepting a 3% increase in commercial rates last year – which raised more than €1 million toward the 2020 ‘bid’.

The judging panel also “applauded” the local business community for backing the unprecedented move.

Mr McGrath said: “Galway 2020’s journey now enters a new stage – we are shifting our focus from the bidding stage to delivery and implementation.

“The importance and potential of the Galway 2020 project is such that we need to make absolutely certain that a robust and fit-for-purpose delivery strategy and structure is in place to effectively, independently and transparently deliver the project.

“While we have set out the broad strategy in the bid book, for the next number of months we will work on putting in place the processes, operational structures and partnerships required to deliver a European Capital of Culture our entire country can be proud of. As you can appreciate, this is a significant body of work.

“There is absolutely no doubt that Galway’s designation as ECOC has the potential to effect a step-change in the economic development of the city, county and wider region, and to generate a lasting legacy which will benefit future generations.

“The pivotal role played by the support from the business sector in securing the designation cannot be understated.

“The European Selection Panel were particularly impressed by the significant commitment of the Galway business community in implementing a 3% increase in commercial rates to specifically support the ECOC process, as this was an unprecedented step, not seen before in a bidding city in the history of the competition.

“It shows a very deep and genuine level of support, and indeed, the panel referenced this support twice in its final report and ‘applauded the local business community’ for its support.

“Coupled with the tremendous support in pledged sponsorship from local businesses, this buy-in made for a very credible and compelling bid, underpinned by sound finances and management structures,” said Mr McGrath.

CITY TRIBUNE

Elective surgeries cancelled at UHG as overcrowding continues

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Some non-urgent elective surgeries are being cancelled at UHG in a bid to tackle severe overcrowding at the city hospital.

It follows the issuing of a warning from the Saolta Hospital Group that the emergency department is extremely busy and there is ongoing pressure on bed availability.

General Manager at UHG, Chris Kane, says over 500 people presented at the hospital on Monday and Tuesday.

She says the overcrowding situation is very serious, particularly in relation to the ED, the Surgical Unit and the Acute Medical Assessment Unit.

Members of the public are urged to only attend the hospital in the case of emergency, and contact their GP or out-of-hours service if their health problem is not urgent.

Saolta is also reminding the public that the Injury Unit at Roscommon University Hospital is open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week, to treat adults and children over 5.

Speaking to Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks, Chris Kane said the current level of patients presenting is extremely high and “unusual” for this time of year.

She also noted there’s also been a rise in patients being treated for Covid-19, including in the ICU.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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