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Ambulance staff threaten action over ‘Peeping Tom’

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A ‘Peeping Tom’ senior paramedic, who secretly filmed a female work colleague in the bathroom, has been reinstated by the HSE to an administrative post in Ballinasloe.

Concerns were raised over the 51 year old man’s reinstatement – and his ex- colleagues in the HSE West ambulance service have threatened a work-to-rule.

Cllr Pádraig Conneely, Chairman of the HSE West Regional Forum, asked how the man had been reinstated after admitting harassing a female colleague by recording her activities in a bathroom with his mobile phone.

The man got the Probation Act after the Court heard he had paid his colleague €5,000. He had been suspended from work but was reinstated after an Employment Appeals Tribunal.

The man worked in North Tipperary as an advanced paramedic and since his reinstatement has been transferred to a ‘desk job’ within the ambulance service, in Ballinasloe … both locations fall within the operational area of HSE West.

But HSE executives refused to discuss the matter at a meeting of the Regional Forum on Tuesday, saying it did not fall within the remit of the Forum as per clause 42 of the Health Act 2004.

Cllr Conneely said he couldn’t understand how the HSE was not concerned at having this employee working for them, and especially when his own colleagues were concerned and talking about taking industrial action.

He said a work to rule within the already pressurised ambulance service would affect patients in Galway and elsewhere.

But Bernard Gloster, Acting Regional Director, refused to answer Cllr Conneely’s questions or allow the matter to be discussed.

“We are not going to discuss any private individuals at this Forum,” he said.

Cllr Conneely said it was already a matter of public record because of the man’s court appearance where he was named.

Mr Gloster agreed but added that other matters had been alluded to by the Chairman that were not a matter of public record.

“You are entitled to your opinion, Chairman, but I am not prepared to talk about it,” concluded Mr Gloster.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council needs 40 more workers to help deliver on projects

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Forty more workers are needed at City Hall ‘right away’, the Chief Executive of Galway City Council has said.

Brendan McGrath has warned city councillors that the local authority is understaffed and it needs to hire more staff immediately to deliver its plans and projects.

The total cost of the extra 40 workers, including salary, would be between €1.75 million and €1.95 million.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council had a workforce now that was below what it had in 2007, but the city’s population has grown and so too had the services the Council provides.

The population of Galway City grew by almost 11% in the 10 years to 2016, he said, and total staff numbers in the Council fell by 13.6% during that period.

Though more staff were hired in recent years, Mr McGrath said that the Council was at 2007 and 2008 staffing levels, even though the Census will record further increases in population since 2016.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council now provides 1,000 services across a range of departments, far more than during the 2000s.

He said that currently, 524 staff are employed at the City Council. This equated to 493 Whole Time Equivalents when part-time workers such as school wardens and Town Hall workers are included.

Mr McGrath said that 12% of all staff are in acting up positions, with many more in short-term or fixed-term contracts. There was a highly competitive jobs market and the Council was finding recruitment and retention of specialist staff difficult.
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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