Date Published: 21-Apr-2011
BY CIARAN TIERNEY
Parents who were present at Leisureland during the near-drowning of a four-years-old city boy last Sunday afternoon have called for a full and independent inquiry into how the incident was handled by staff at the Salthill facility.
Although the lifeguards on duty have been widely praised for saving the life of the Ballybane youngster, there were distressing scenes as children witnessed the youngster being taken out of the water and resuscitated on an elevated platform.
Thankfully, Brendan ‘Bradley’ Sweeney, from Castle Park, has made a miraculous recovery after receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from two staff members before the emergency services arrived.
The youngster may have gone without oxygen for up to five minutes. He was not breathing when he was taken from the big pool and the lifeguards persisted with CPR for up to 30 minutes before he began to cough up water.
His subsequent recovery after two days spent in an induced coma has been hailed as a “miracle” as the child now has just a case of pneumonia to deal with as he managed to get out of his hospital bed and walk on Wednesday.
The Gardaí and Leisureland management are conducting separate investigations, which include the use of CCTV footage of the pool area during the public session on Sunday.
Concerns have also been expressed about the lay-out of the pool during Sunday afternoon sessions, when a large inflatable is deployed in the middle of the 25 metre pool, and that the lifeguards do not have ‘high chairs’ which would give them a better view of the bathing area.
Retired health and safety officer Lar Ferris, who was in the pool with his six-years-old daughter, claimed that the attitude of the lifeguards on duty was “too relaxed” before the boy was spotted lying in the water at 2.30pm.
“The pool in which the accident took place was in itself a source of danger,” claimed Mr Ferris. “Submerged lane separators and submerged guy ropes attached to the inflatable obstacle course should never have been allowed.
“A crowd of children were allowed within 10 yards of the scene where CPR was being administered, some of them screaming and shouting, with a full view of the harrowing scene as it unfolded. This should have never been allowed,” he said.
The interim City Manager, Joe O’Neill, has urged witnesses who may have opinions over how the incident was handled to contact the Manager of Leisureland, Paddy Martin, as part of his investigation.
“Leisureland has an excellent safety record. There has not been one fatality in the pool since the facility opened in 1973, which is an excellent record over 38 years,” he pointed out.
Mr O’Neill said that Leisureland attracted an estimated 200,000 visitors every year and there were 10 lifeguards on duty on Sunday afternoon. He said part of the investigation would focus on health and safety issues.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.