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


Cash won’t cure waiting list at UHG, say nurses



The Government has misdiagnosed the causes of overcrowding in Galway’s emergency departments and so its prescribed medicine will not cure it, nurses claim.

Health Minister Leo Varadkar has announced a €74 million package of measures to tackle overcrowding in emergency departments across the county.

Some €44 million will be used to reduce waiting times on the Fair Deal scheme, providing 1,600 extra nursing home places.

In addition, €30 million has been allocated to provide temporary beds to tackle the problem of ‘delayed discharges’ from hospitals.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has been told that of the 173 new beds promised nationally, some 35 are for Galway.

That includes 25 new short-stay, non-acute, step-down beds promised for Ballinasloe. A further ten new beds will be set aside at Merlin Park.

Meanwhile, separately, as a result of recent INMO industrial action, UHG has agreed to hire more nursing staff for the Emergency Department.

Recruitment is underway for additional nurses, which would see the day complement of staff in UHG’s ED rise from ten currently to 14; and from seven nurses at night to 10.

Clare Treacy, industrial relations officer with INMO, says the additional beds are welcome but will not solve the crisis. Extra nurses to staff ED is also welcome but the problem of a lack of capacity remains, she said.

According to Varadkar, the extra short-stay beds will facilitate more rapid discharges from UHG and Portiuncula but INMO says delayed discharges are a Dublin problem, not a West of Ireland problem.  The cure of additional short-stay beds is a result of a misdiagnosis of the problem.

The problem of overcrowding in EDs in Dublin hospitals, according to Ms Treacy, is ‘delayed discharges’. This means there aren’t enough short-stay beds to allow patients to be released from hospital into step-down beds, clogging up the system.

But in Galway, and the West of Ireland, there is adequate capacity, compared with the “distinct lack of beds in Dublin which causes delayed discharges”.

“The problem here is one of capacity and staffing. There isn’t enough capacity in the Emergency Department in Galway or Portiuncula. And there aren’t enough acute beds in the hospitals Galway or Ballinasloe.

“There is a need for more Emergency Department capacity and there is a need for more acute care capacity in both Galway and Ballinasloe. More beds for delayed discharges is not going to solve the problem of overcrowding in Ballinasloe and Galway.”

Attracting nurses to staff the new 35 short-stay beds poses a problem, too.

“There are serious difficulties in recruiting new staff, and particularly nurses, to staff the beds. There are no extra nurses in Ireland, they’re overseas it is difficult to attract nursing staff home,” she said.

Connacht Tribune

Galway historian’s 14 new books bring running total to 70!



Steve Dolan.

There may be a book in everyone – but producing 18 of them for publication in one week is taking it to a different level. And yet that’s what Galway historian Steve Dolan has done for Heritage Week. . . adding 18 books this year to bring him up to 70 over the last seven years – and he’s firmly committed to hitting one hundred.

By day – and given the workload, increasingly by night – he is the chief executive of Galway Rural Development (GRD), but the Carrabane resident has had a lifelong passion for history. And that’s what he turns to as a form of relaxation which peaks at this time every year.

Not alone that; he already has the first five of next year’s publications completed – and he’s only starting!

This year’s booklets are all on the theme of Gaelic Games and every one of them is in aid of a different community group or charity. Theoretically, they are limited editions, but – given his own love of the subject matter – he won’t see anyone who shares that passion miss out.

While all eighteen new publications share that GAA theme, the diversity of subject matter within that is breath-taking – and an incredible achievement in terms of the workload and production.

From the story of the county title that Liam Mellows were robbed of in 1942 to the contribution of An Cath Gaedhealach to Galway GAA in 1947/48 or Galway’s 1923 and 1925 All-Ireland victories to sport in County Galway during the revolutionary years; the books are as much about social history as about sport.

See the full list of publications in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

And if they are of interest to you, you can contact Steve at to buy them.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Why did Galway suffer just half as many Covid deaths as Mayo?



Galway and Mayo, two neighbouring counties, have had hugely contrasting experiences with Covid-19-related deaths.

Analysis of the latest figures reveals that Mayo’s Covid mortality rate is more than double that of Galway’s.

The disparity has prompted a Galway West TD to call for an investigation to see what caused the disparity.

Fresh data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) shows that Covid deaths in Galway have topped the 250 milestone.

Up to the end of July, HSPC has been notified of some 251 Covid deaths in Galway since the Pandemic was declared in 2020.

This gives a mortality rate of 97.3 per 100,000 population, which is the second lowest of any county in the Republic after Sligo.

During the same timeframe, neighbouring Mayo notified 296 Covid deaths, which gives a mortality rate of 226.8 per 100,000.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Hurling legend’s distillery plans for heart of Conamara



Joe Connolly....Conamara vision.

Plans have been lodged to build a multi-million euro whiskey distillery on the Conamara coastline – the brainchild of Galway hurling legend Joe Connolly and his family.

And if it gets the green light, it will square a circle that has its roots firmly in the same Conamara soil – where both of the All-Ireland-winning Galway captain’s grandfathers were renowned distillers too . . . only of the illegal variety.

The plans for the Cnoc Buí Whiskey Distillery & Heritage Centre outside Carna – lodged by Údarás na Gaeltachta on behalf of Drioglann Iarthar na Gaillimhe Teoranta – describe a facility that will provide a first-class visitor experience and greatly enhance the local area’s tourism offering.

Once complete, Cnoc Buí will comprise the distillery itself, bonded warehousing, a bottling hall and tasting bar – as well as the heritage centre, shop and café.

That will create over 30 jobs in the first five years, with the heritage centre alone aiming to attract 16,000 visitors in the first year of operation – rising to at least 52,000 by year five in Iorras Aithneach, an area blighted by unemployment and emigration.

On top of that, their own economic analysis envisages the creation of another 130 jobs in the Carna/Cill Chiarain area – in leisure, hospitality and accommodation on foot of that significant increase in visitor numbers.

The Connollys see Cnoc Buí as ‘an asset which will enrich the entire community’.

“It will enhance the local tourism product and serve as a focal point for both the local community and visitors,” said Cnoc Buí director Barry Connolly.

“The building has been carefully designed to reflect the beauty of its surroundings, because we want our distillery to be an attractive hub, with its Visitors’ Centre and Tasting Bar. It will provide employment, draw in tourists and add value to other business in the area,” he added.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads