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Ambulance service too slow for sick pensioner

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A woman who cares for her elderly parents has hit out at an ambulance service which has led to her octogenarian mother – in the midst of cancer treatment – missing a succession of crucial hospital appointments.

Patricia McGettigan is furious at the treatment meted out to her mother, Maisie Barrett from Inverin, which she says is deteriorating rapidly by the week.

Maisie, 80, needs to be transported on a stretcher as she cannot walk or use a wheelchair so an ambulance is her only means of travel.

She relies on the ambulance to get to and from University Hospital Galway for three monthly check-ups. But at least three times she has missed appointments due to the late arrival of the rig, two of them in six weeks.

Patricia says it takes up to two days to prepare her mother for these hospital visits due to fasting, showering and changing the room around so that the crew can get in. It also causes a great deal of stress.

“The frustrating thing about it is that her chart will say that she is a ‘no show’ even though her not turning up is not her fault,” Patricia explained.

“I have seen this deterioration of service in the past two years due to cut backs in the HSE. The ambulance service told us that their priority was to decant the hospital and free up beds in the emergency department and they cannot guarantee that patients get to their appointments on time, they do not have the resources.”

The regular check-ups involve blood tests, scans and appointments with the oncologist.

The carer said that another family member had to be organised to mind her immobile father when she accompanied her mother to hospital appointments, which was another arrangement that had to be taken into account.

Not only is Patricia a carer, she is also a de facto nurse, administrating medications and giving injections, including chemotherapy.

“My mother has a progressive illness and she needs to be seen at regular intervals by the oncology team. I despair that the situation is going to get worse, not better,” she exclaimed.

She has written to Health Minister Leo Varadkar and is awaiting a response.

“I am very angry with the system, not the nursing staff or ambulance men and women who come to our door – they are fantastic,” she insists.

“Is this the system we have now – that the ambulance service need confirmation of a patient’s medical needs so they themselves can prioritise the urgency of an appointment over the consultants and the medical teams?”

CITY TRIBUNE

Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill as event confirmed

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill this weekend as an event has been announced for Sunday.

It’s been confirmed by organisers on social media – who say they’re being unfairly portrayed in a negative light.

In a statement, the Galway Car Scene group say they pay road tax like all other road users – and they have “every right” to be in Salthill this weekend.

It comes as they’ve confirmed the event will be taking place there on Sunday as originally planned.

They add it’s unfair to accuse them of blocking up Salthill and other parts of the city given the chronic traffic issues every day of the week.

They’ve also created an online petition calling for a designated place for car enthusiasts to go – which has so far gathered almost 250 signatures.

It claims the car enthusiast community in Galway has been unfairly painted as a negative and anti-social group.

The group say they’re happy to go elsewhere, but say any time they try to find a venue they’re shut out.

The event planned for Sunday has encountered significant opposition, much of which is based on a previous “Salthill Sundays” event held in May.

Those opposed say they’re not against an event of this kind in principle – but they strongly feel that Salthill just isn’t the right venue.

It’s also argued that if the organisers want to be taken seriously, they have to engage with stakeholders like Galway City Council and Gardaí to ensure a well-planned and safe event.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cars down to one-way system on Salthill Promenade

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A one-way system of traffic may be introduced along the Promenade in Salthill to facilitate the introduction of temporary cycle lanes.

The suggestion appeared to come as a shock to some City Council members who supported the cycle lane in a vote last month – one has called for a “full discussion again” on what exactly they had actually approved.

Councillors had voted 17-1 in favour of the principle of providing a cycleway that will stretch from Grattan Road all along the Prom.

The motion that passed at the September meeting proposed that the Council “shall urgently seek” to create a two-way segregated cycle track on a temporary basis along the coastal side of the Prom.

It was agreed that from the Blackrock Tower junction to the Barna Road would be a one-way cycle track.

The motion was voted on without debate, which meant Council officials did not have an opportunity to question the proposal.

At a meeting on Monday, the debate was revisited when Uinsinn Finn, Director of Services for Transportation, indicated that a one-way traffic system would be introduced in Salthill to facilitate a two-way cycle lane from Grattan Road to Blackrock.

This could mean that the outbound lane of traffic, closest to the sea, could be closed to all traffic bar bikes.

Mr Finn said that he would have sought clarity at the previous meeting – if debate were allowed – about what was meant by ‘temporary’.

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

Galway Christmas Market gets go-ahead for next month

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It’s the first real sign of a restoration of normality in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors in the city – the return of the Christmas Market next month to Eyre Square.

This week, the City Council’s planning department gave the go-ahead for the outdoor retail and gourmet food ‘spread’ that has been part of the festive season in Galway since 2010.

The exception was last year when, like so many other public gatherings since the Covid crisis broke in March 2020, the event had to be cancelled because of public health concerns.

Christmas Market Organiser, Maria Moynihan Lee, Managing Director of Milestone Inventive, confirmed to the Galway City Tribune, that she had received official confirmation on Thursday from the City Council of the go-ahead being given for the event.

“This is really wonderful news for the city and especially so in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors. For every €1 spent at the market another €3 will be spent on the high street – this will be a real boost for Galway,” she said.

Maria Moynihan Lee confirmed that the market would have an earlier than usual start of Friday, November 12 and would run through until the Wednesday evening of December 22.

(Photo: Declan Colohan)

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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