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65 pension top-ups at NUIG and GMIT

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – 65 leading academics and senior managers who retired from Galway third level institutions in the last three years received pension top-ups.

According to today’s Sunday Independent, 58 senior staff members at NUI Galway and seven at GMIT received top-ups since 2010.

The scheme is governed by a 1987 Department of Education rule, which allows applicants who have not accumulated the maximum 40 years of service to receive a maximum top-up worth ten years of pension payments.

16 retiring NUI Galway staff members received top-ups in excess of five years- while two received top-ups worth more than 9 years of pension payments.

Documentation has also revealed that a payment of over 16 added years was awarded by way of a spouse’s pension.

Over 520 top-ups were paid out at universities and ITs across the country- and these are estimated to add up to ‘tens of millions of euro.’

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn and Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin are expected to be brought before the Public Accounts Committee to explain their decision to sanction the pay-outs.

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GRETB to pay 1.8 million euro for site adjacent to Coláiste na Coiribe in Knocknacarra

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board is to pay 1.8 million euro for a site adjacent to Coláiste na Coiribe in Knocknacarra

The site is one of three plots which Galway City Council has agreed to dispose of following a debate at this week’s Local Authority meeting.

The 1.5 hectare site at Ballyburke forms part of 3.5 hectare site which the City Council purchased during the Celtic Tiger at prevailing market prices at that time.

That’s according to the City Manager Brendan who told the meeting that the site is being offered to the GRETB at it’s current market value but this will be less than what the Council originally paid for it.

Mr McGrath said the sale was a two-step process and the GRETB board would have to approve the purchase before it’s finalised.

Director of Services for Housing Dermot Mahon confirmed that the Council is carrying a €10.2 million debt for the entire 3.5 hectare site and it intends to develop a mix of social and affordable houses on the remaining land to recoup most of the remaining costs.

Mr Mahon was speaking in response to concerns from several Councillors that the land was being offered at too low a price.

He said the public lands are being disposed of for a public good at current market value.

Meanwhile, the Local Authority has agreed to dispose of two further smaller sites at the Old Monivea Road and in Corrib Park for €2,500 each.

Several Councillors questioned why the site at the Old Monivea Road plot is being offered at the same price as the Corrib Park site which is much smaller.

Director of Services for Economic Development Brian Barrett told the meeting that the Old Monivea Road site is of no value to the Local Authority, it has become dumping blackspot and that disposing of it in this manner represent good value.

The sale of the Ballyburke and Corrib Park sites were approved unanimously by all councillors, however, the disposal of the Old Monivea Road property was only approved after a roll call vote – with 13 in favour and five against.

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373 new cases of Covid-19 nationwide

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Department of Health has been notified of 373 additional cases of Covid-19.

The number of people in hospital with the virus stands at 54, 18 of those are being treated in intensive care.

There have been 3 additional hospitalisations over the past 24 hours, however the number in ICU is down 1 since yesterday.

There are no local figures available due to ongoing issues relating to the cyberattack on the HSE.

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Corrib Farming Ltd appears before Tuam court over breach of Fisheries Acts

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Corrib Farming Ltd of Tuam has been convicted after pleading guilty to a breach of the Fisheries Acts, on Tuesday, 22nd of September 2020.

At a hearing in Tuam District Court last week (8th of June), Senior Fisheries Environmental Officer with Inland Fisheries Ireland, gave evidence of tracing the source of a significant pollution event on the Suileen River back to a pipe emanating from the company’s farm in Tuam.

The initial report was made by a member of the public to IFI and upon investigation, heavy algal growth was found in the river.

These were indicators of nutrient enrichment of the water body, covering approximately 4km downstream of the discharge point, whereafter it enters the Clare River.

Water samples taken as part of the investigation confirmed that the farm discharge had caused water pollution of the Suileen River.

The company fully co-operated and undertook to remedy the situation immediately.

Judge James Faughnan convicted Corrib Farming Ltd. and directed that the company pay €1000 towards restorative works on the Lough Corrib catchment, as well as laboratory expenses and legal costs.

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