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Botox clinic planned for kids with palsy

Stephen Corrigan



Enable Ireland is bidding to establish the country’s first botox clinic dedicated solely to the treatment of children with spasticity – a common symptom of cerebral palsy.

The provision of such a service would be of benefit to over 30 children who currently receive care at the organisation’s Galway services centre, as well as an estimated 150 in the wider Connacht region.

The clinic, which would be based at their children’s services centre on the Seamus Quirke Road, would mean that families currently having to travel to Temple Street, Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin, or the Central Remedial Clinic in Dun Laoghaire – for a treatment that takes under five minutes to complete – could be cared for on their own doorstep.

To provide this service, the charity needs to raise €50,000 to purchase an ultrasound machine which enables those administering the injections to do so precisely and accurately.

Spasticity is the severe tightening of muscles and joints. It causes extreme discomfort and restricts mobility for those with the condition.

The injection of botulinum toxin injections into the muscles of children suffering with spasticity is life-enhancing and provides enormous relief by easing muscle contracture and preventing bone deformities.

Mary O’Gorman, an Enable Ireland volunteer, explained that the transportation of children with poor mobility to Dublin can be very distressing, especially given that they are not guaranteed that they will have the treatment when they get there.

This is due to the heavy caseload of these clinics, something which could be greatly reduced by the opening of a Galway centre.

“I believe that services should be available locally if at all possible and these families could benefit from reduced waiting times,” she said.

Children usually have this treatment done on a monthly or bi-monthly basis by a doctor. Mary pointed out that it is common practice in other countries to have the injections administered by specialised physiotherapists – with one such physiotherapist already based at the Galway centre.

“It has been the case in the past where various organisations in Galway have had the equipment first and then they don’t have the staff – we’re the opposite here in that we have the staff; we just need the ultrasound machine,” she said.

Some of the services provided by the organisation in Galway include a consultant paediatrician, an occupational therapist, a psychologist, a social worker and a speech and language therapist.

Adding a botox clinic to this would only improve the already outstanding standard of care they provide, but also allow medical professionals and families involved gain familiarity and build relationships.

Botox has been used in the treatment of medical conditions for over 20 years, for everything from migraines to, in this case, the relief of muscle contracture.

The €50,000 needed to purchase the ultrasound machine will be acquired through fundraising and it is hoped that people will give generously to improve lives and give comfort to children with disabilities.

“In the year of the 1916 commemorations, it would be great to help children with disabilities; let’s make Galway proud in 2016,” Mary said.

Donations can be made by dropping into Enable Ireland on the Seamus Quirke Road, in the Enable Ireland Charity Shop on High Street, or by visiting and clicking on ‘donate now’.

Connacht Tribune

Gardaí seek help in locating missing man

Enda Cunningham



Gardaí have sought help in locating a man missing in Galway since the end of December.
34-year-old Luke Davoren was last seen in the University Road area on December 30.

He is described as having fair hair, 6ft in height and having an athletic build. He was last seen wearing a grey hoody, brown leather jacket, blue jeans and brown leather boots. He also had a black back pack in his possession.

Gardaí and Luke’s family are very concerned for his welfare and have urged him to make contact.

Anyone with information, particularly any road users with dash cam footage of the Newcastle/University Road areas between 1am – 2am on December 30, is asked to contact Galway Garda Station on 091 538000.

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‘Daredevil’ swimmers are a fatality waiting to happen

Francis Farragher



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – ‘Daredevil’ winter sea swimmers who dive or jump into the water in places like Blackrock during adverse weather are putting their own lives at risk – and possibly those of rescuers – by their actions, it was warned this week.

Water Safety Ireland have cautioned that the biggest single contributor to drownings in Ireland is what is known as ‘cold water shock’ – a condition caused by the sudden entry into a cold body of water.

There is now growing concern that a copycat trend is emerging with young people – without wet suits – diving or jumping into the sea in stormy or icy-cold weather.

Several people have been filmed on social media in the sea at Salthill during storms – with a number of them taking ‘running jumps’ off the diving tower at Blackrock.

Roger Sweeney, Deputy CEO of Water Safety Ireland, told the Galway City Tribune that people jumping into the sea during storms showed at best a reckless disregard for their own safety and in a worst-case scenario represented ‘a fatality waiting to happen’ for the jumpers – or the persons trying to rescue them.

“Jumping into cold water puts you at risk of cold shock which can result in immediate incapacitation and doing so in storm conditions can make it difficult to get back out of the water safely and promptly before hypothermia sets in.

“Hypothermia leads to the cooling of the muscles needed in the arms and legs to stay afloat. Drownings typically happen when someone over-estimates their ability and under-estimates the risks,” said Mr Sweeney.

Galway Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mike Swan, told the Galway City Tribune, that the key thing for all people who enjoyed the water and the sea was to carefully plan their exercise or hobby.

“Cold water shock is a real danger at this time of year for all swimmers. Be prepared – have your cap, ear plugs, mats, woolly cap [after leaving the water] and towels all in place. Check the weather forecast and check the tides – and never, ever just jump straight into the water during the colder season.”

(Photo: Diving into the water at Blackrock during Storm Bella in December)
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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Developer banks on boom in rental property market

Enda Cunningham



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The backer of the Crown Square scheme in Mervue is planning an increase in the number of apartments in the development following a review of the economic viability of the project.

The 345 apartments will specifically target the rental market.

Crown Square Developments Ltd, which is operated by developer Padraic Rhatigan, has told Galway City Council that the amended plans will form part of a new planning application to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála under ‘Strategic Housing Development’ legislation.

According to the company, the property market has changed since it was granted permission in November 2019 for 288 apartments in three blocks ranging from five to eight storeys in height.

Mr Rhatigan has now sought planning permission for an 18% reduction in the overall size of basement levels and a reduction in car parking from 1,377 to 1,012 spaces. Cycle parking spaces will increase from 1,110 to 1,200.

The plan also involves the relocation of the vehicular and pedestrian access to the development on the Monivea Road, which will now be closer to McDonagh Avenue. The existing planned access is at the south-easternmost point of the site, but is now planned to move further west.
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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