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Australian Ambassador gives assurances to Mayor Conneely on ‘king punch’ craze

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Australian Ambassador has told the Mayor of Galway new legislation is being put in place in her country in an effort to control unprovoked physical assaults known as “king punches”.

Mayor Padraig Conneely told the ambassador, Dr Ruth Adler, that a Connemara man, Thomas Keaney died recently in Australia as a result of an alleged assault.

Dr Adler has been visiting Galway today.

The Australian ambassador told Mayor Conneely that new legislation is now being discussed in Australia in order to combat the “king punches” culture which has resulted in deaths and serious injuries in that country.

Dr Ruth Adler explained that heavier punishment and prison sentences were being considered for people who engaged in this behaviour which involves punching unsuspecting people heavily in the head.

Dr Adler said New South Walsh is moving on with tougher laws.

Dr Adler told Mayor Conneely that she was aware of the tragic death of Thomas Keaney from Murvey in Roundstone in Perth recently.

She asked Mayor Conneely to express her condolences and sorrow to the Keaney family and she knew this was a very sorrowful and stressful time for them.

Dr Adler said such a thing should never happen anybody from Ireland in Australia.

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Minister of state praises voluntary groups who benefited from 2020 Community Enhancement Programme

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – Minister of State at the Department of Transport Hildegarde Naughton has praised the voluntary groups who were recipients of grants that they used on projects designed to adapt and protect against Covid 19.

The 2020 Community Enhancement programme benefited a total of 69 voluntary groups in the city and county who received nearly €120,000 in the form of small capital grants.

The annual scheme provides grant support to community groups, particularly in disadvantaged areas, but last year focused on helping organisations to cope with the challenges presented by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Among the beneficiaries in the city was Galway Centre for Independent Living, which received a grant of €5,000; and Ballinfoile Castlegar Neighbourhood Centre, which was allocated a total of €4,540. Westside Age Inclusion Ltd was awarded €3,300.

In the county, Active in Age in Oranmore and Headford Men’s Shed were among the recipients, along with the Irish Heart Foundation and Connemara RFC in Oughterard. Cúl an Tí in Spiddal received €2,900, while Athenry First Responders benefitted from a grant of €2,580.

Deputy Naughton explained that the measures taken by these groups made big differences to their communities and have advised groups interested in applying this year to should contact their local community development committee when the programme is launched in the coming months.

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Winter driving safety tips and advice

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Galway bay FM Newsroom – As the first fall of snow hit most of the Country overnight , it may be a welcome sight to many as it gives us something new to talk about besides Covid19, but road safety officials want to remind road users to stay safe when they hit the roads when making that essential journey. The beginning of the winter season is often an adjustment period for drivers until they get used to driving in snow and ice again. This is especially true for newly licensed drivers who lack the experience, many it may be their first experience of driving in the snow or ice.

Many parents can relate to this worry as they try to past on their knowledge to not always very receptive ears.

“Even the best drivers need to change their driving habits in winter weather,” said Noel Gibbons road safety officer in the communications department of Mayo County Council. “Driving in winter weather can be intimidating and conditions can change very quickly. It’s imperative for drivers to know how to navigate during snowfall or icy conditions. Preparation is the key to avoiding a dangerous situation whilst driving in snowy or icy conditions.

Stay put .Stay home if you can do so and wait for conditions to improve before heading out.

Drive slower. Adjust your speed to account for lower traction when driving in ice and snow.

Increase your following distance: Increase your following distance to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.

Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Apply the accelerator  slowly to regain traction and avoid skids. Take plenty of time to slow down for a stoplight. 

Remove all snow from your vehicle before venturing out. Check the washer fluid level and completely clear your vehicle of snow and ice prior to driving, including all lights for visibility

Take caution on hills. Observe how other vehicles react and maintain a safe distance.

Operate your vehicle safely. Don’t use cruise control and make sure headlights are on.

Take extra caution on bridges and shaded areas. They freeze before roads.

Black ice: Transparent ice may form on the roadway. If you notice ice forming on any object, assume that it is forming on the road surface as well. Bridges are usually the first surfaces to freeze. Drive slowly and, if possible, avoid driving on icy surfaces. Gritted roads don’t equal ice free roads.

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Fine Gael Senator Calls for Revenue to extend deadline for employers who wish to help workers with Covid-19 related tax bills

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – Fine Gael Seanad Spokesperson for Public Expenditure and Reform, Seán Kyne has said that Revenue should extend the deadline from June to the end of the year for employers seeking to help their workers with tax bills arising from Covid-19 supports.

Senator Kyne said that the introduction of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and the subsequent Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme supported households across the country and helped businesses stay afloat and as is the case with all income, payments under the TWSS were liable to income tax as the preliminary 2020 tax statements issued by Revenue last week to all PAYE workers showed.

However, several employers and many workers in Galway had contacted him regarding the tax liabilities with Revenue confirming that employers can help workers with their 2020 income tax and USC liabilities caused by the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme which was positive and helpful. However, Revenue maintains they must do so by the end of June.

Senator Kyne said that this was unfair and prevented some employers from helping their workers with their tax bills and it prevents workers from clearing tax bills now, thereby delaying the payment of tax at a time when every cent counts.

Senator Kyne has appealed to Revenue to extend the June 2021 deadline to at least the end of 2021 and show flexibility and understanding as everyone continues to grapple with the immense challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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