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Barking dog saves owner

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Galway survived fairly unscathed from the storms that raged through the West over the Christmas period – with gusts up to 135kph in the city.

However, one city man could well have been a fatal statistic when his apartment was stuck by lightning in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Paul Carr of The Spinnaker in Old Knocknacarra believes if he hadn’t been woken by his dog, he would have slept through and not lived to tell the tale.

Mr Carr sleeps on the premises, in an apartment in an annex of the hotel, and last Sunday night was in his bed when lightning struck the roof at around 4.30am.

His dog, Ruben, a Springer Spaniel started barking immediately and Mr Carr woke and got up to bring him outside thinking he needed to answer a call of nature.

“I honestly didn’t know what had happened. I had slept through the winds and when Ruben woke me up, I just thought he needed to go outside. Thankfully, he did wake me up because when I went outside, I realised the whole place was ablaze.

“I called 999 immediately and five fire brigades arrived to put out the blaze. Most of the roof of the annex to the rear of the Spinnaker pub was severely damaged. Even the pub was smoke damaged but a few regulars came later that day to help me clean up and we were able to open.

“Both the Garda and fire investigators said the blaze started when lightning hit the roof. I consider myself a lucky man. If I hadn’t a dog, I would have slept through it,” he says.

 Another family in Knocknacarra woke up to find a trampoline and part of their neighbour’s shed in their back garden yesterday morning.

Malachy Duggan, also a publican (the Blue Note) had slept through the winds and hadn’t realised that a whole trampoline as well as two sides of a wooden shed had been hurled over his garden wall.

Gusts of 135kph were recorded (nearly 84 miles per hour) at Galway Docks at 12.35am yesterday morning.

 

For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council needs 40 more workers to help deliver on projects

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Forty more workers are needed at City Hall ‘right away’, the Chief Executive of Galway City Council has said.

Brendan McGrath has warned city councillors that the local authority is understaffed and it needs to hire more staff immediately to deliver its plans and projects.

The total cost of the extra 40 workers, including salary, would be between €1.75 million and €1.95 million.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council had a workforce now that was below what it had in 2007, but the city’s population has grown and so too had the services the Council provides.

The population of Galway City grew by almost 11% in the 10 years to 2016, he said, and total staff numbers in the Council fell by 13.6% during that period.

Though more staff were hired in recent years, Mr McGrath said that the Council was at 2007 and 2008 staffing levels, even though the Census will record further increases in population since 2016.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council now provides 1,000 services across a range of departments, far more than during the 2000s.

He said that currently, 524 staff are employed at the City Council. This equated to 493 Whole Time Equivalents when part-time workers such as school wardens and Town Hall workers are included.

Mr McGrath said that 12% of all staff are in acting up positions, with many more in short-term or fixed-term contracts. There was a highly competitive jobs market and the Council was finding recruitment and retention of specialist staff difficult.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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