Date Published: 09-Jun-2011
By CIARAN TIERNEY
A state-of-the-art €1 million recompression unit at University Hospital Galway (UHG) has been closed for an indefinite period, forcing the Naval Service on standby to treat divers suffering from “the bends” over successive Bank Holiday weekends.
The Irish Coast Guard was forced to put the Naval Service on standby in case any divers got into difficulties throughout last weekend, because of the unavailability of the only hospital-based facility of its kind in the Republic.
Staffing and funding issues are understood to be responsible for the closure of the recompression chamber, or national hyperbaric unit, at UHG even though it only opened for the first time at the turn of the year.
HSE West have declined to comment on the closure throughout this week and any divers in difficulties would have been forced to seek treatment at the inferior Naval Service chamber at Haulbowline, Co. Cork, which has only limited facilities.
Otherwise, scuba divers with suspected cases of decompression sickness would be forced to seek treatment in Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, or Plymouth in the United Kingdom.
Since the first chamber opened in Galway in 1976, a team of trained volunteers have backed up medical staff at UHG. That facility was closed down in 2008 and replaced by the state-of-the-art unit just this year.
“The problem is that this is the national chamber, but the funding for it does not come nationally,” said Dr Noel Flynn of UHG last week. “We are relying on a lot of goodwill here and we really do need to be independently financed. The National Hyperbaric Chamber should not come out of the hospital funding.”
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.
Retail industry trade body welcomes B&Q announcement
Date Published: 07-May-2013
Retail Excellence Ireland, the country’s largest retail industry trade body, has welcomed the news that 60 jobs have been saved at the city branch of B&Q.
It’s after the home improvements store successfully exited examinership.
Under the scheme, 2.4 million euro is to be invested by parent company Kingfisher plc, and B and Q will continue to trade at eight stores
This means 640 jobs have been saved nationwide, including 60 at the outlet in Knocknacarra.
However, David Fitzsimons of Retail Excellence Ireland says landlords need to be willing to help out smaller retailers too.
Foundation reports nine Galway heart deaths each week
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Nine people die in Galway every week from heart disease and stroke.
That’s according to the Irish Heart Foundation, which is launching its Happy Hearts Appeal today. (9/5)
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, launched the appeal today to help raise funds for the charity, which has seen increasing demand on its patient services.
The Foundation says it needs to raise at least half a million euro to maintain existing information services.
Call to tackle delays at Oranmore rail crossing
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Concerns have been raised over traffic delays at the railway crossing in Oranmore.
Councillor Jim Cuddy says he has received many representations from local motorists who have been experiencing extended delays.
He says the closed barrier can sometimes cause a traffic tailback as far as the roundabout near the Maldron hotel.
Cllr Cuddy has brought the matter to the attention of Iarnrod Eireann and has asked for an explanation as to why the crossing is closed for so long.