Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

News

Back-to-school costs set to trigger deluge of calls to charities

Published

on

A Galway charity at the coalface in the fight against poverty is braced for a deluge of calls from cash-strapped parents in the coming weeks as children prepare to return to school.

A spokesperson for the St Vincent de Paul admitted they are expecting a “flood of applications” for help as the new school year approaches – in a week that the Credit Unions revealed parents are forking out over €400 a month for every dependent in third level education.

Worried parents of primary school pupils are facing bills of around €350 for a child in senior infants, €400 for a child in Fourth Class and €785 for a child starting secondary school.

The biggest cost facing parents continue to be books and uniforms, while voluntary contributions and transport costs also apply significant pressure.

“We are expecting a flood of applications for assistance in the coming weeks,” a spokesperson for the SVP in Galway said.

Meanwhile, the charity’s Social Justice and Policy Officer Audry Deane said: “School costs too much. Our members know at first-hand how the ongoing costs of education grinds many families down and parents are growing impatient at the lack of progress in tackling these costs.

“For example, the costs of crested uniforms, unnecessary changes to school books, the emergence of digital tools, which in some schools has fuelled a rush to high end tablets, expensive and educationally dubious school trips, ‘voluntary’ contributions, booking deposits and extra-curricular activities,” said Ms Deane.

A nationwide survey published by children’s charity Barnardos found that books are the single biggest cost for parents.

However, there is no consistency in cost, with books for a Fourth Class child costing €70 in some schools and €130 in others.

Many mentioned the high cost of workbooks which cannot be passed down to siblings or resold.

The report also found that 74% of parents of primary pupils and 97% of secondary pupils have to buy uniforms with school crests, adding greatly to the expense.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Swimmer James clocks up one million metres in year

Published

on

From the Galway City Tribune – A keen swimmer in Galway has clocked up an astonishing one million metres in a year as part of his gruelling exercise schedule.

James Brennan reached the impressive milestone over 400 swims last years,  which were split between the sea in Salthill and across the road early-morning sessions at Leisureland pool.

He would count the lengths in his head or on his watch, regularly swimming up to 240 lengths over 90 minutes in the pool and up to 2km off the beach for a half-hour. On a regular week he would swim the equivalent of 20km.

When James realised he was at 800,000 metres last November, he decided to go all-out to pass the one-million mark by the end of 2022.

So he concentrated on swimming for at least ten hours a week leading up to Christmas and celebrated passing his goal before breaking up for the festivities.

“I’ve always done a lot of swimming. I’ve competed for my local swimming club in Claremorris, County Mayo, and was involved in the Corrib Polo Water Club races. I won the Heskin League, which is a combination of the 14 different open water races in Salthill. I also won the league in Claremorris,” he reveals.

The software engineer has been living in Galway for  13 years and has been a member of Leisureland for four years.

“It’s a really great pool, it has nice facilities, the staff are all very nice,” he reflects.

Facilities Manager of the Council-owned premises, Ian Brennan, said the phenomenal distance was the equivalent of swimming from Galway to Amsterdam.

He heard about James’s achievement from Green Party Councillor and Leisureland board member Niall Murphy, who happened to be swimming in the lane beside James when the Mayo man reached the goal.

“I felt that this is a hugely worthy event and fills me with amazement that we have a superhero in our midst. The future is bright.”

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Ó Tuathail not interested in Galway City Council co-option

Published

on

From the Galway City Tribune – A two-time general election candidate for the Social Democrats in Galway West has ruled out filling the party’s vacant seat on Galway City Council.

Niall Ó Tuathail, a health reform advisor, has confirmed to the Galway City Tribune that he will not be co-opted to the City Council seat vacated by the shock resignation of Councillor Owen Hanley in January.

“I’m not going to be put forward for co-option,” said Mr Ó Tuathail.

The father-of-two has lived abroad for a time since taking a step back from electoral politics in the wake of his 2020 General Election defeat.

He confirmed this week he has not reconsidered his decision to take a long break from frontline politics.

“I’m still a Soc Dem member and we’re in a process looking for someone strong to represent the values of the people who voted for us in 2019,” Mr Ó Tuathail said.

He polled 3,653 first preference votes in 2020 in Galway West and was only eliminated after the 12th count in the five-seat constituency.

That was an increase on the 3,455 number ones he received in his first Dáil election in 2016, when he also bowed out on the 12th count.

Mr Ó Tuathail was synonymous with the Social Democrats’ brand in Galway, and was heavily involved with the local referenda campaigns for marriage equality and to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

It surprised many political observers when he opted not to fight a local election for the party in 2019.

That was a breakthrough election for the Soc Dems, when Owen Hanley became the party’s first ever Galway City councillor by winning a seat in Galway City East. Sharon Nolan narrowly missed out on a seat in City Central during the same election.

Mr Hanley cited allegations made against him when he announced in January that he was resigning his position.

He said that the matters were “very serious” and would take a considerable amount of time for the authorities to investigate.

The resignation of Mr Hanley left a vacancy on the City Council.

It is the prerogative of the Social Democrats to nominate a person who will be co-opted to replace him as a councillor at City Hall.

A spokesperson for the party told the Tribune last week that it has not yet chosen a successor.

“We don’t have any update in relation to the co-option. I will let you know when we have a candidate,” the spokesperson said.

One problem faced by the party is that a number of possible replacements for Mr Hanley have left the Soc Dems over policy and other issues.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Cigarettes, drugs and cash seized in Galway

Published

on

Officers from the Divisional Drugs Unit seized more than €73,000 worth of cigarettes, cash and drugs after a car and residence were searched in Galway today.
As part of Operation Tara – which is targeting the sale and supply of drugs and related criminal activity in the Galway area – Gardaí  searched a car in the Knocknacarra area. Cash and cannabis were seized.

A follow up search was carried out at a residence in Salthill, where cigarettes worth €70,000, along with €3,100 in cash and a small quantity of suspected amphetamine were recovered.

No arrests were made, but Gardaí say they are following a definite line of inquiry.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending