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Call to reform paid parking system in Ballinasloe

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A proposal to review the paid parking system in Ballinasloe is to be sent forward to the Roads and Transportation Strategic Policy Committee.
The matter was the subject of much debate at this week’s meeting of the Municipal District where Fine Gael Cllr Michael Finnerty was advised that the issue must be dealt with at County Council level before any bye-laws can be introduced.
Cllr Finnerty argued that the centre of the town in dying and that paid parking has not been good for business.
He said the current system which sees those parking without a ticket receiving a fine is over-zealous, and suggested that allowing a period of time free of charge would be beneficial.
Sinn Fein Cllr Dermot Connolly said while the suggestion has merits, it would be difficult to police.
He also suggested some form of concession for funeral or novena-goers.
Fine Gael Cllr Donal Burke said the free parking system currently in operation in Roscommon town works well and suggested the possibility of introducing free parking in Ballinasloe on a Saturday.
Cathaoirleach Michael Connolly said it was a complex issue as many parking spaces are not adjacent to business.
Senior Engineer Evan Molloy referred to a study which showed that there was a greater turnover of vehicles where charges were in operation, bringing more customers into towns.
Members were also advised that there are 165 free spaces in the town centre and that charges on the three streets concerned were retained at a minimal level, with 15 minute free parking allowance in five loading bays after 11.30am.
The matter has now been forwarded to the Roads and Transportation Strategic Policy Committee for consideration.

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Pieta to hire more therapists for city and Tuam services

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – Suicide and self-harm prevention charity Pieta has announced it is to recruit additional therapists for its services in Galway and the wider western region.

Pieta currently employs more than 200 qualified therapists and support staff across 20 locations nationwide.

A recruitment drive is now underway to hire additional therapists at its centres in the city, Tuam and Ballina.

Pieta says it’s seen a 30 percent increase in calls and texts overall, which shows that its services are needed now more than ever.

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1,325 new cases of Covid-19 reported nationally

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – The Department of Health has been notified of 1,352 cases of Covid-19 this afternoon.

The figure is a increase of 254 on yesterday’s figure.

There are currently 177 Covid-19 patients in hospital – of which 27 are in ICU.

Meanwhile, over 70 per cent of the Irish adult population is now fully vaccinated.

18,000 people have been vaccinated so far this weekend in 26 walk-in vaccination centres across the country.

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Saolta announces changes to visiting times at UHG and Merlin Park

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – Saolta has announced changes to visiting times at UHG and Merlin Park Hospital.

From Tuesday, both hospitals will facilitate one visitor per patient each day between 6pm and 8pm.

Previously, there was a one-hour visiting time in the afternoon and another one-hour visiting period in the evening.

However, the afternoon visiting time resulted in long queues, while there was also heavy footfall of people attending outpatient and other clinics.

Saolta says in order to manage the volume of people and maintain social distancing, it is changing to the new two-hour visiting time from Tuesday.

Visits must be arranged by family members or visitors in advance by contacting the relevant ward or unit.

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