Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

CITY TRIBUNE

Call for legislation to treat surrogate mothers equally

Published

on

A Galway City councillor has called on the Health Minister to consider introducing legislation giving surrogate mothers maternity leave so they are not treated any differently from natural or adoptive parents.

Fine Gael Cllr Padraig Conneely said he is aware of several couples in Galway who have become parents through a surrogacy arrangement abroad.

Surrogacy is a way for a childless couple or individual to have a child, with a surrogate mother carrying the child. The surrogate mother agrees to be artificially inseminated or to have an embryo transferred to her womb in order to become pregnant. She then carries the child to term with the intention of giving custody of the child to the “commissioning” person or couple.

The law currently only gives maternity leave and pay to the surrogate mother who will be giving birth to the baby or to a mother who has adopted a child.

“I think it’s terribly wrong if a [surrogate] mother can’t get maternity leave, yet they can get it if they have adopted. These parents are the registered parents of the baby. It’s very unfair,” said Cllr Conneely.

“I wrote to Health Minister Simon Harris urging him to change the legislation. I have spoken to the HSE and to the City Council and they have confirmed there are more and more surrogate parents trying to get maternity benefits.

“I think times have moved on, surrogacy is an increasing option for parents who otherwise cannot have children. I understand it’s complicated but it is something that needs to be examined in the current environment.”

There is no Irish legislation to cover the legal issues arising from surrogacy.

In 2014 the European Court of Justice ruled that women who use surrogate mothers did not have a legal right to maternity leave when the baby is born.

The following year a woman lost her High Court case alleging the State’s refusal to pay her maternity benefit amounted to unlawful discrimination and breached the Equal Status Act.

More Irish couples are turning to surrogacy in Ireland due to medical reasons, often following multiple miscarriages or after the woman has had a hysterectomy.

Surrogacy is being seen as a more pragmatic solution rather than adoption as international adoption is almost at a standstill and Irish adoption is exceedingly rare.

When health minister, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar promised that provision for altruistic, but not commercial, surrogacy would be made in legislation on assisted human reproduction, which has still not come into force.

CITY TRIBUNE

Councillors back bid to ban city centre parking in Galway

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors have unanimously agreed to ask Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to limit parking to residents only in the city centre.

Pedestrians in the city are being treated like second-class citizens, according to the Mayor, who said cars continued to get the priority on Galway’s streets.

At a meeting of the City Council this week, Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) said the city had come to a standstill in car traffic, and pedestrians and cyclists were suffering the consequences.

“At junctions, why am I a second-class citizen in my own city as a pedestrian? It rains in Galway for 300 days of the year, but I am a second-class citizen when priority is given to motorists.

“It’s always the pedestrian that waits,” she said, hitting out at the length it took to get a green light to cross at pedestrian crossings.

One way to reduce the number of cars in the city centre would be to limit parking to residents only in the city centre, said the Mayor.

In a motion she proposed, seconded by Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind), councillors unanimously agreed to write to the Minister for Transport to demand he pass the necessary legislation to enable the Council to do this.

The Mayor said residents were “sick, sore and tired” of people parking where they wanted when they visited the city and said despite a desire to introduce this measure going back almost 20 years, the Council was hamstrung by national legislation that prevented them from proceeding.

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.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Planners approve homes for ‘cuckoo fund’ investor

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The green light has been given for the construction of 345 apartments at the Crown Square site in Mervue – the majority of which will be put on the rental market and operated by a ‘cuckoo fund’ for a minimum of fifteen years.

Crown Square Developments, which is owned by developer Padraic Rhatigan, has secured permission from An Bord Pleanála for the ‘Build to Rent’ development, with four blocks ranging ranging from four to nine storeys in height.

There will also be a neighbourhood facility with a gym, a primary care medical centre with pharmacy, a ‘working from home’ lounge, six shops, a games room and a creche.

There will be 240 two-bed apartments, 86 one-beds and 19 three-beds, all of which will be specifically for the rental market and not available to purchase.

A breakdown of the apartments shows there will be 240 two-beds; 86 one-beds and 19 three-beds.

To meet social housing requirements, the developer plans to transfer 35 of the apartments (20 two-bed, 10 one-bed and 5 three-bed) to Galway City Council.

A total of 138 car-parking spaces have been allocated on the lower basement levels of Crown Square for residents, along with shared access to another 109 spaces and another 13 for use by a ‘car club’. There will be 796 secure bicycle parking spaces to serve the apartments.

The Board has ordered that the apartments can only be used as long-term rentals, and none can be used for short-term lettings.

Under ‘Build to Rent’ guidelines, the development must be owned and operated by an institutional entity for a minimum period of 15 years and “where no individual residential units shall be sold separately for that period”. The 15-year period starts from the date of occupation of the first residential unit.

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.

 

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Councillors divided over vote on Salthill Prom cycleway

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to install a temporary two-way cycle lane along Salthill Promenade hangs in the balance, with city councillors split ahead of a vote next week.

On Monday night, the 18 city councillors will discuss Mayor Colette Connolly’s motion that the lane be installed on the coastal side of the road from Blackrock to a point opposite Galway Business School.

A poll of the councillors carried out by the Galway City Tribune yesterday found nine in favour of the proposal, with one indicating they will abstain. A simple majority is required and if there is a 9-9 split, the Mayor holds a ‘casting’ vote, effectively a second vote.

There has been a flurry of lobbying by cycling campaigners urging councillors to vote in favour, as well as some complaints from residents worried it will again impinge on their parking as visitors to Salthill seek somewhere to park up while they swim or walk along the most utilised resource the city has.

During lockdown, Gardaí removed parking on the Prom to deter people from gathering in a public space. This resulted in motorists blocking driveways and entering private estates, leading one estate off Threadneedle Road to hire a private clamping company.

Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) believes there are a maximum of 250 spaces that would be lost to the project on one side of the road as currently proposed, including seven disabled spaces, which could be reassigned close by.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read extensive coverage of the issue and to see how each councillor intends to vote, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending