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Connacht Tribune

Average household in the county now coughs up nearly €15,000 a year to Revenue

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Galway households believe they are paying more than enough in taxation.

Galway ranks eighth in Income Tax League tables with the average household in the county paying €14,919 a year – according to the latest instalment of the Taxback.com Taxpayer Sentiment Survey Series 2018

The survey reveals that as a nation we would broadly be in favour of the introduction of a Wealth Tax. The leading tax refund specialists asked 1,700 taxpayers throughout the country for their views on taxing public wealth.

The survey uncovered that a “landslide” 65% agreed a new tax on accumulated wealth should be imposed.  61% of respondents concurred that a new higher ‘third’ rate of Income Tax should be introduced to gather additional taxes from those on larger incomes.

Commenting on the findings, Barry Flanagan, Tax Director at Taxback.com said

“I’m sure many people will be surprised that support for a wealth tax amongst taxpayers is so high. After all, 65% pretty much constitutes a landslide. However, the results come with a caveat; when asked if they themselves would be prepared to pay more tax if it resulted in better public services 72% said they wouldn’t – either because they think they pay enough already or they think that it won’t result in better public services.

“The most recent statistics from CSO show that in terms of the average working household, the estimated average tax paid per household in Galway City and County in one year (2015) was €14,919. My sense would be that most of these households believe that they contribute enough already,” Mr Flanagan said.

When asked which assets should be taxed – and how often the tax should be due – a strong majority of the Taxback.com survey respondents favoured taxing land (69%), property (57%) and shares (56%), with 61% in favour of imposing a wealth tax on an annual basis. There was little support for further taxes on pensions (14%) or more personal items like cars (26%) and jewellery (16%).

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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