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Connacht Tribune

Galway towns waiting over double approved ambulance times

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Ambulance waiting times across the county are hitting an average of 20 minutes – over double what they should be.

That’s according to the latest figures from a HSE commissioned report.

Oughterard, Headford, Tuam, Ballinrobe, Gort, Portumna, Glenamaddy and many other areas across Galway, Mayo and Roscommon are located too far away for ambulances to reach critical patients on time.

The report, as seen by The Irish Times, was issued by UK consultancy firm Lightfoot Solutions after a number of problems with response times to calls were lodged.

It established that the National Ambulance Service needs an extra 750 staff and 250 ambulances to respond to emergencies on time.

Yet even with those resources, they would still be unable to meet specific targets due to poor access to rural parts of Ireland.

The target for life-threatening calls and emergencies is currently set at eight minutes by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).

Areas in Galway, Roscommon and Mayo are at particular risk of delays because ambulance depots are located too far away to reach the critical target.

No more than 54.4 per cent – just over half – of a total of 445,356 people in this area could be reached on time. That leaves over 203,000 at risk based on HIQA standards.

Ten ambulance depots serve the region, and a radius of 14 kilometres driven at 100 km per hour is the assumed requirement to reach them within the allocated time frame.

The only electoral divisions within the three counties to reach that limit are Clifden, Carraroe, Galway, Loughrea, Ballinasloe, Roscommon, Boyle, Castlebar and a small portion of Belmullet – ten areas in total.

That leaves a staggering nineteen key areas in the region lying outside of the 14 km radius.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

That’s the spirit!

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Roy enjoys one glass of whiskey every night before bed and only one, he stresses. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

Lifestyle – Roy Court, born in Scotland and living in Craughwell, dedicated his career to improving the process of distilling spirits, especially whiskey. His job took him all over the world and involved a stint with the UN. His new book explains what’s involved in creating a great whiskey and is based on skills he gained during more than half a century in the business. He talks to STEPHEN GLENNON.

If there is one thing that Roy Court knows about, it is what constitutes a good whiskey. So much so, he has written a book about it called How We Put An ‘e’ in Whiskey.

A native of Scotland, Roy, who worked as a chief chemist for William Grant & Sons and as a development distiller for John Jameson & Sons (later Irish Distillers) moved to Ireland in 1965. He has spent the last 40 years in the West of Ireland.

Sitting in his home in Craughwell, alongside his daughter Ruth, who has followed in his footsteps into brewing and distilling, the 84-year-old reflects on a career that took him all over the world.

Born in 1937, Roy began his journey as a laboratory assistant in Scotland with the Distillers Company Limited (DCL) – based at Menstrie, near Alloa – in 1955. He also attended third- level education on a part-time basis, qualifying as a research chemist.

“It (the laboratory) was the old Glenochil Distillery, at which my grandfather had been one of the excise officers,” he explains. “The distillery was closed many years and they had it converted to a yeast factory, but, onsite, they had various laboratories because it was part of the distillers’ company.”

The scientific work for the five main grain distilleries was centralised in these laboratories, and Roy’s duties included measuring the moisture content in maize and malt, along with malt analysis.

Through his studies, Roy identified a better way to speed up kilning in the malting process.

“I had the idea that when the water was evaporating, it actually holds down the temperature. So, what you should do is hit it with a lot of heat at first, get rid of the excess water, and then slow it down.

“Anyway, the company took this on and I was sent to the various maltings to supervise doing that, which resulted in them increasing their production.”

In the whiskey industry (whiskey is spelled without the ‘e’ in Scotland), Roy became hot property and was offered a job with Associated British Maltsters in England. He spent three years with them before he was head-hunted by Scottish firm William Grant & Sons and became their chief chemist in a new distillery in Girvan in South Ayrshire.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Familiar foes are set for intriguing senior decider

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Kilkerrin-Clonberne’s Claire Dunleavey and Claregalway's Charlotte Cooney in action during the 2019 Galway senior ladies football final in Milltown. The clubs meet in the decider for the third consecutive year on Saturday.

By Ivan Smyth

IT will be a case of familiar foes meeting when Kilkerrin/Clonberne and Claregalway square off in the county final in Annaghdown on Saturday (4pm). Willie Ward’s all conquering Kilkerrin/Clonberne side will be aiming to win their ninth county title in a row, but they come up against a Claregalway outfit who drew with them in the group stages of this year’s championship.

The sides will meet in the county final for the third year running and the fifth time in seven years. Last year’s decider ended in a nine point win for Kilkerrin/Clonberne, although the victory margin slightly flattered the champions. Claregalway manager Eugene Kearney is aware of the difficult task his side faces when they come up against this all conquering Kilkerrin/Clonberne outfit.

“We are well used to the opposition and we are looking forward to taking them on. We have a huge task ahead of us. We are under no illusions to the size of the task we face. In terms of preparation, we have tried to improve ourselves in the year since. We are just focused on our own dressing room and our own players. We are trying to improve the mindset and show we can achieve with Kilkerrin/Clonberne have.”

Kearney’s charges will be monitoring the fitness of Ciara Burke who is suffering with a hamstring issue. His side have impressed in this year’s competition remaining unbeaten, while drawing with Saturday’s opponents in the group stage. They ruthlessly put Corofin to the sword in the last four, prevailing by 5-17 to 2-5.

“If you stand still you are going backwards so that’s why we aren’t going through the motions in any game. We’ve had a full squad since the Coen Cup finished up so we have been able to work together and improve game by game. We are under no illusions to the size of the task. I’m quietly confident in this squad’s ability, but it will all come down to who is better on the day.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

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Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Memories of bygone days and the Irish Mammy’s golden era

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Is there a more emotive word in the Irish vocabulary than Mammy? It’s not a role or a job or a description; no, it’s a picture in your mind’s eye that brings warmth to the heart and soul – safety, home, comfort, unconditional love.

And this isn’t a lament for other times when parental roles were more gender stereotyped, nor is it a romantic notion of some benevolent version of Mrs Brown, ruling the roost in her pinny surrounded by the smell of fresh bread and jam.

It’s more like the same feeling we get when we mistakenly think that all of our childhood summers were long and full of sunshine; that every day was a play day; when our friends had faces rather than Facebook.

And at the heart of all of those memories – real or romantic – is the Irish Mammy.

You’re equally entitled to talk of your mother or mum or mam (or even mam-ah, if you’ve watched too much Downton Abbey), but nothing quite captures the essence of it all like the Mammy.

She is of course best seen through rose-tinted glasses because she may no longer exist – if indeed this utopian version of her ever did – but in truth this is more about memories of innocent days….of dinners and warmth and hugs and baths and stories and a time without a worry in the whole world.

No disrespect to dads – and I write as one of them – but they rarely conjure up the same images. Which is not to suggest that we are, or were, inferior – because we’re not – but, back in the day at least, a hug from your father wouldn’t be any more shocking than shooting the breeze with a talking dog.

Thankfully today’s Ireland is a more equal place than the one which required women to give up their jobs in the Civil Service, just because they’d married – but that doesn’t mean we can’t look back with a nostalgic sigh.

Not that Irish Mammies were overflowing with love all of the time; they were handy with the wooden spoon too – and not just for making cakes.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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