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CITY TRIBUNE

Call for a united front on Capital of Culture

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Hannah Kiely

Divisions and rivalries between the county and city need to be set aside, and a united front established so that Galway can fully maximise the potential that the Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture offers, Councillors were told at Monday’s meeting in County Hall.

Cllr Joe Byrne was reacting to the presentation made by Galway 2020 CEO, Hannah Kiely, in which she said that the participation of the towns and villages in the County were critical to its success.

“We are Galway ‘le chéile’ – not the city OR the county,” Cllr Byrne told fellow members.

“We are playing ourselves down in this chamber – it’s a ‘Galway’ thing. For people abroad, they have no concept of city or county. Get off the fence, start talking about Galway 2020, it’ll be of benefit to our communities by the amount of work we put on.”

Indicating that there was, indeed, a divide, Cllr Seán Ó Tuairisc remarked: “The name should reflect that.”

Ms Kiely had said that the various projects organised as part of Galway 2020 would have a great impact on the County, among them is ‘Then and Now’ – a series of commissions in the great houses of East Galway.

“We hope we will have lots of interactions in your own wards, as we go around the county,” she said.

“The coming together of the city and county is very important.”

She said that over 60% of the communities that had engaged with the ‘Small Towns, Big Ideas’ funding initiative had come from the County, a figure that came as no surprise to some Councillors who were already well invested in Galway 2020.

Board member and County Mayor, Cllr Eileen Mannion, said that this particular initiative had energised people, who had then engaged with it.

Councillors were keen to receive assurances, while Ms Kiely was there with them, that there would be a legacy left behind after 2020.

“There has to be a legacy afterwards,” she told them.

“We don’t have a budget to build anything, but we have excitement, creativity, and enthusiasm.”

“It is the only show in town – this is the most amazing unique opportunity we could have in terms of culture for the next 15 years.

“It will attract two million visitors, and it is important that they be dispersed across the city and county. For every €1 spent through the European Capital of Culture, there is a return of €7, so it is a good investment.

“We are the envy of the whole country, this is something to be hugely proud of.”

 

■ For more on this story, see the print edition of the Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Elective surgeries cancelled at UHG as overcrowding continues

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Some non-urgent elective surgeries are being cancelled at UHG in a bid to tackle severe overcrowding at the city hospital.

It follows the issuing of a warning from the Saolta Hospital Group that the emergency department is extremely busy and there is ongoing pressure on bed availability.

General Manager at UHG, Chris Kane, says over 500 people presented at the hospital on Monday and Tuesday.

She says the overcrowding situation is very serious, particularly in relation to the ED, the Surgical Unit and the Acute Medical Assessment Unit.

Members of the public are urged to only attend the hospital in the case of emergency, and contact their GP or out-of-hours service if their health problem is not urgent.

Saolta is also reminding the public that the Injury Unit at Roscommon University Hospital is open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week, to treat adults and children over 5.

Speaking to Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks, Chris Kane said the current level of patients presenting is extremely high and “unusual” for this time of year.

She also noted there’s also been a rise in patients being treated for Covid-19, including in the ICU.

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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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