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.
Judge adjourns Connemara assault case
Date Published: 08-May-2013
A date will be set next October for the trial of a 52-year old Connemara man, who is charged with assaulting traditional Irish musician Noel Hill five years ago.
Michael Folan from Teach Mór, Lettermullen, is charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Noel Hill at Tí Padraig Mairtín Beag in Leitir Mór, on St Stephen’s Day, 2008.
The matter had been listed for trial on several occasions before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in the intervening period.
It was referred to the High Court in Dublin last year for judicial review after Michael Folan said he wanted his trial heard ‘as Gaeilge’and that a bi-lingual jury be made available to hear the case.
At Galway Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Rory McCabe adjourned the case for mention to October when it’s expected a date will be set for trial.
Bank of Ireland Galway Shopping Centre branch to close
Date Published: 10-May-2013
Bank of Ireland’s branch at Galway Shopping Centre on the Headford Road is to close in July.
The branch is to merge into the BOI outlet at Galway Industrial Estate in Mervue.
Galway Bay fm news reports the 14 staff impacted are to be offered redeployment and there will be no job losses.
Galway RNLI rescues three people stranded on Hare Island
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway RNLI Lifeboat has come to the rescue of three students who got stranded on Hare Island after getting caught in the tide off Ballyloughan Beach.
The two girls and boy, in their late teens had gone for a walk and were spotted waving from the island by a local resident who contacted the emergency Services and Galway Lifeboat.
Conditions at the time (4pm) were very changeable with heavy showers.
Three members of the Lifeboat shore crew were working in the vicinity of the station at the time and launched the boat in six minutes.
The three students were picked up safely and brought back to the Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks where they were warmed up and given tea and did not require medical attention.