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Connacht Tribune

Angry residents install their own speed bumps

Denise McNamara

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There were mixed views among councillors about the appearance of a homemade speed bump near Kilmeen Cross, where residents have been campaigning for safety measures at what they claim is one of the most dangerous junctions in Ireland.

Cllr Ivan Canning (FF) raised the issue of the “speed ramp” on the Loughrea Road, saying “people power” was certainly getting things done.

“Well done on what ye did out there, whether it was right or wrong”.

His fellow party man Cllr Shane Donnellan disagreed, saying he had travelled on the road on the way to a GAA match.

“To be honest, most people didn’t know it was a speed ramp. It looked like some sort of obstacle on the left-hand side and to be honest it nearly caused a crash. I’d be very concerned about that.

“There was someone slowing down and no one could see why. There were ten cars in a row travelling behind each other in a 80kph zone which had slowed down to 10kph in a short space. I found it very dangerous.

“Obviously there was no signage. I don’t know who did it and why it happened.”

The meeting was told by Council staff that somebody “took it upon themselves to paint red triangles on it so for all the world it looks like a speed ramp”.

Rather than a ramp, there was a natural depression on the road caused by the surface drying out and shrinking.

As there was resurfacing works to begin at the junction, the Council was waiting for the project to begin and do it altogether.

“The resurfacing won’t take place until the full realignment,” explained one of the engineers.

Director of service for the environment and emergency services in Galway County Council Jim Cullen said that work to be funded by the TII (Transportation Infrastructure Ireland) was imminent.

Cllr Michael Fahy (Ind) asked if councillors were allowed to put their notice of motion money towards lighting at the junction, which the TII had ruled out installing.

Locals near Kilmeen Cross insist that ten people have died at the junction on the N65 – located at the turn off for Portumna outside Loughrea – with 14 additional serious accidents taking place over the last two decades and another 30 minor crashes occurring that were not recorded or attended by Gardaí or medical services.

They are pushing for lighting at the cross and in the lead-up to the turn off, which has been estimated to cost €70,000.

Mr Cullen said this was not allowed in the rules for this discretionary source of funding for councillors.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer

Denise McNamara

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Ninety-five year old Margaret Kenny was first person to be administered the Covid-19 vaccination Practice Nurse Deirdre Furey at the Surgery Athenry.

On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.

Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.

While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.

“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.

“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”

Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!

Denise McNamara

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Linda Hughes, presenting the RTÉ weather forecast live in studio.

Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.

But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.

The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.

She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.

The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.

“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.

“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”

Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery

Dave O'Connell

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Mary Quinn...back home after an incredible few months.

Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.

But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.

The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.

To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.

“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.

But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.

Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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