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Army drafted in to assist evacuations from flooded homes in Skenhanagh

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Army has been tasked to assist in the evacuation of a number of families from their flooded homes in the Skehanagh area of Ardrahan.

The evacuation effort concerns five families in three locations where flood waters are now up to 500 millimetres in depth, with some fast flowing in places.

The Army was tasked at lunchtime today and will assist with four wheel drives and other high axil vehicles.

Meanwhile, speaking at a special meeting in County Hall today, Councillor Peter Feeney said the council needs a comprehensive plan to deal with flooding.

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World expert in Dementia care appointed adjunct professor at NUIG

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A world expert in dementia care has been appointed adjunct professor of nursing at NUI Galway’s School of Nursing.

Professor Roger Watson is a Professor of Nursing at the University of Hull and Editor in Chief of Nurse Education in Practice.

He’s also an Editorial Board member of the Wiki-Journal of Medicine – and in 2017 was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame.

Professor Watson’s specialised interest area is feeding an nutritional problems of older people with dementia.

NUI Galway says his textbooks have remained part of core curriculum in nursing programmes worldwide and he is a true role model for nursing students.

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Petition to introduce one-way traffic in Oranmore gathers over 1k signatures

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A petition to transform Oranmore into a one-way system for vehicle traffic on a trial basis has gathered over 1 thousand signatures.

The petition has been created by MÓR Action community group.

In a statement, the group says the vision would be a village with wider and safer footpaths, more public open spaces, and improved traffic flow.

The petition can be viewed here.

Statement from MÓR Action

During the previous two lockdowns in Ireland, towns and villages across the country took the opportunity to improve life for their residents by changing streetscapes to make them more pedestrian and bike friendly. Footpaths were widened, and public realm seating, meeting and eating spaces were installed. Newly widened footpaths gave local businesses space to put outdoor seating areas in place. Reduced traffic flow through villages, and the installation of cycle lanes and bike parking, together with rearrangement of streets and squares to make them more accessible to the public, enabled people of all ages and abilities and transport means, to safely meet, shop, and socialise.

We want Galway County Council to now use Covid-19 legislation to implement a trial one-way traffic system through Oranmore. A one-way system is not just about traffic. It will allow for wider footpaths, outdoor seating, public spaces and a nicer village for all residents … as well as improving traffic flow! By making these changes, it will support local businesses by enabling residents to safely navigate the streets and shopping areas by foot and by bike, as well as by car. 

By implementing a one-way traffic system, the Council can use the reclaimed space to:

  • Widen all the footpaths in the village so that pedestrians can safely pass at 2 metres social distance without having to step out into the road.
  • Increase public realm space in the village.
  • Provide space for cafes, restaurants, and pubs to have outdoor seating areas. 
  • Install pedestrian crossings at a number of points so that people can safely cross the street.
  • Create safe cycle routes for children and adults, by implementing cycle tracks, where road width allows.
  • Provide covered bike racks at regular points throughout the village so that residents can cycle to shops and cafes and safely lock their bikes.

What are the benefits of implementing a one-way system?

  • Traffic jams will be reduced as there will be no need for cars to cross each other in traffic.
  • Reclaimed space can be repurposed as footpath space, as public realm seating areas, as cycle lanes, and as green space for the village.
  • Crossing the road becomes safer, due to the reduced width and improved visibility.
  • Businesses in the village can install outdoor seating/eating areas to help support their business during Covid restrictions.
  • Safer cycling and walking routes mean that children can be encouraged to travel to school independently by foot or bike. This in turn reduces the car traffic in the village at school time which further improves traffic flow.
  • Increased public realm and street space allows people to more safely socialise outdoors (when Covid guidelines permit) which is good for physical and mental health.
Image of proposed one-way system at McDonagh's pub and Dublin Road junction

You can see from the images attached to this blogpost what a proposed one-way traffic system for the village might look like and how it might benefit both residents and businesses. The final layout and stylings would be in the remit of the county engineers but hopefully this will give you an idea of what could be done. 

We have launched a petition to try and get Galway County Council to implement a trial one-way system during these Covid times, so that we can all get out and enjoy what the village has to offer in safety. We need your help and support.

Please click here to sign the petition, and share it with your family and friends, via WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or whatever preferred medium you have. If there are multiple people living in your household, please ask each individual to sign and show their support. Every signature matters.

Remember, this is a trial. We have the opportunity now to get at least one good thing from the Covid-19 madness. Let’s seize the day! If not now…when?

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Health Minister expresses regret for inappropriate behaviour towards Catherine Connolly in Dáil

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Health Minister has told the Dáil he sincerely regrets his inappropriate behaviour towards Galway West TD and Leas Cheann Comhairle Catherine Connolly.

It follows a recent incident in which Minister Stephen Donnelly attempted to repeatedly ignore instruction from Deputy Connolly while she held the chair.

He insisted on replying to a statement made by Deputy Marc MacSharry despite not having any speaking time.

After a back-and-forth argument in which Minister Donnelly ultimately was forced to back down, he was heard to use profanity when taking his seat.

Speaking today in the Dáil, Minister Donnelly accepted his behaviour was unacceptable.

The measured language used by Minister Donnelly today was in stark contrast to that used in addressing Leas Cheann Comhairle Connolly last week.

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