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Connacht Tribune

75% of new taxi hopefuls fail ‘local knowledge’ exam



New applicants for taxi, hackney and limousine licences in Galway have among of the highest failure rates in the country for knowledge of their local area.

Figures released by the National Transport Authority show that in the first half of 2018, three-quarters of all local area tests taken in Galway as part of the Driver Entry Test resulted in failures.

New entrants to the SPSV industry (Small Public Service Vehicles – taxis, hackneys and limos) must take an exam in two modules – a knowledge of the industry itself and a separate test on the local area in which they wish to be licensed.

The NTA figures show the highest test failure rate for the first six months of this year was in Louth at 78%, followed by Offaly and Kildare at 76% and Galway and Waterford at 75%.

The lowest failure rate in the first half of the year was recorded in Kerry at 32%, followed by Wexford at 33% and Longford at 38%.

During the period, the average failure rate for the local area test nationally was 67%.

The failure rate recorded in Galway in 2017 was 72%; the highest was in Leitrim at 92% and the lowest was in Kerry at 42%. The national average that year was 73%.

In 2016, the failure rate in Galway was 74%; the highest was in Cavan at 92% and lowest in Kerry, again at 42%. The national average was 82%.

The 2015 figures show a 77% test failure rate in Galway; the highest was in Monaghan at 100% followed by Tipperary at 92% and the lowest fail rate was in Kerry at 39%. The national average fail rate was 81%.

A note with the figures explains that the results are ‘per test taken’, and points out that as candidates can take the test more than once, the success rate on a ‘per candidate’ basis is higher

Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area



A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes

The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.

The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.

The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.

Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.

Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.

In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

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Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised



Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.

A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.

Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.

Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.

Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.

He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .

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Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’



Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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