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Connacht Tribune

Belt up for the Bank Holiday



GARDAÍ are still detecting a significant number of motorists in Galway who are either driving without wearing a seatbelt or who have passengers in their vehicle – including children – who are not properly secured.

This week, a senior Garda officer said that it was ‘completely unacceptable in this day and age’ that there were still cars being driven with occupants not properly being belted up.

Inspector Conor Madden of the Garda Roads Policing Unit in Galway, told the Connacht Tribune that almost every day, there were detections for people travelling in cars who were not belted up properly.

“It really is hard to credit that such a basic element of road safety is being neglected. We come across drivers and passenger not wearing their seatbelts as well as children in the backseats of cars who are not secured properly.

“In the event of an accident, such a situation can be potentially catastrophic. We are asking every driver not to move their cars until everyone is belted up – we want drivers to adopt this as a standard practice every time they sit behind the wheel,” said Inspector Madden.

He added that while Galway had fared out reasonably well over recent Bank Holiday weekends in terms of serious accidents, the national figures indicated that such periods on Irish roads are high-risk.

“This weekend, we have the Galway Races and the Bank Holiday with many people being on holidays, it will be a very busy time on roads in the county. We will be having a major presence on the road network over this long weekend.

“Mandatory Intoxicant Testing [for both drugs and alcohol], speed checks, a crackdown on distraction driving [use of mobile phones and other devices] and the failure to wear seatbelts, will all be priority areas for us,” said Inspector Madden.

He also asked drivers to avoid fatigue situations at all costs, and if they do happen to find themselves driving when tiredness strikes, to pull over, take a 20-minute nap, have a tea or coffee and ‘get in’ some fresh air before resuming their journey.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area



A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes

The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.

The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.

The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.

Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.

Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.

In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

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Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised



Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.

A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.

Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.

Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.

Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.

He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .

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Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’



Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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