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Childline’s night-time service in Galway under threat

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Childline has issued an appeal for funding to save its night-time call service operating out of Galway and other centres to ensure phones are answered round the clock.

Childline, which is funded almost exclusively by public donations, has announced that it will have to close its lines at night if it cannot raise €1.2m. The service is unable to answer one in three calls due to a lack of funding.

Childline West has 102 volunteers with an additional 21 volunteers currently in training across its Galway, Mayo and Limerick offices.

So far this year, these volunteers have clocked up 16,623 hours listening to children in the region.

“These are children in desperate need of support, children with no-one else to turn to, and children who just need someone to listen,” insisted Alex O’Keefe, regional manager of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC).

“In order for us to provide the same quantum of services that these volunteers provide the ISPCC would need to employ close to an additional eleven staff on a full time basis to meet this level of service.

“Childline receives 1,800 contacts per day. A child who calls Childline at 3am does not do so without good reason. Nobody wants any call for help to be met with an answering machine but without adequate funding that is the reality we are facing.”

For 15 of its last 26 years of operation, Childline has been available to children day and night, including a 24 hour service from its Galway based centre.

Galway volunteer Caroline Hoade recalled how she spoke with a teenage girl who revealed plans to kill herself.

“She had run away from home and said she felt unloved because her parents hadn’t contacted her to find out if she was safe. She said she just wanted the pain to go away,” said Caroline.

“By the end of the call, she had decided she would reach out to an adult she trusted and tell them how she was truly feeling. This call made me realise the immeasurable value of the Childline service in the lives of children.”

Donations to the campaign can be made online at savechildline24.ie, by phone at 1850 50 40 50 or simply text ‘Childline’ to 57911 to donate €4.

CITY TRIBUNE

Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill as event confirmed

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill this weekend as an event has been announced for Sunday.

It’s been confirmed by organisers on social media – who say they’re being unfairly portrayed in a negative light.

In a statement, the Galway Car Scene group say they pay road tax like all other road users – and they have “every right” to be in Salthill this weekend.

It comes as they’ve confirmed the event will be taking place there on Sunday as originally planned.

They add it’s unfair to accuse them of blocking up Salthill and other parts of the city given the chronic traffic issues every day of the week.

They’ve also created an online petition calling for a designated place for car enthusiasts to go – which has so far gathered almost 250 signatures.

It claims the car enthusiast community in Galway has been unfairly painted as a negative and anti-social group.

The group say they’re happy to go elsewhere, but say any time they try to find a venue they’re shut out.

The event planned for Sunday has encountered significant opposition, much of which is based on a previous “Salthill Sundays” event held in May.

Those opposed say they’re not against an event of this kind in principle – but they strongly feel that Salthill just isn’t the right venue.

It’s also argued that if the organisers want to be taken seriously, they have to engage with stakeholders like Galway City Council and Gardaí to ensure a well-planned and safe event.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cars down to one-way system on Salthill Promenade

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A one-way system of traffic may be introduced along the Promenade in Salthill to facilitate the introduction of temporary cycle lanes.

The suggestion appeared to come as a shock to some City Council members who supported the cycle lane in a vote last month – one has called for a “full discussion again” on what exactly they had actually approved.

Councillors had voted 17-1 in favour of the principle of providing a cycleway that will stretch from Grattan Road all along the Prom.

The motion that passed at the September meeting proposed that the Council “shall urgently seek” to create a two-way segregated cycle track on a temporary basis along the coastal side of the Prom.

It was agreed that from the Blackrock Tower junction to the Barna Road would be a one-way cycle track.

The motion was voted on without debate, which meant Council officials did not have an opportunity to question the proposal.

At a meeting on Monday, the debate was revisited when Uinsinn Finn, Director of Services for Transportation, indicated that a one-way traffic system would be introduced in Salthill to facilitate a two-way cycle lane from Grattan Road to Blackrock.

This could mean that the outbound lane of traffic, closest to the sea, could be closed to all traffic bar bikes.

Mr Finn said that he would have sought clarity at the previous meeting – if debate were allowed – about what was meant by ‘temporary’.

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

Galway Christmas Market gets go-ahead for next month

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It’s the first real sign of a restoration of normality in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors in the city – the return of the Christmas Market next month to Eyre Square.

This week, the City Council’s planning department gave the go-ahead for the outdoor retail and gourmet food ‘spread’ that has been part of the festive season in Galway since 2010.

The exception was last year when, like so many other public gatherings since the Covid crisis broke in March 2020, the event had to be cancelled because of public health concerns.

Christmas Market Organiser, Maria Moynihan Lee, Managing Director of Milestone Inventive, confirmed to the Galway City Tribune, that she had received official confirmation on Thursday from the City Council of the go-ahead being given for the event.

“This is really wonderful news for the city and especially so in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors. For every €1 spent at the market another €3 will be spent on the high street – this will be a real boost for Galway,” she said.

Maria Moynihan Lee confirmed that the market would have an earlier than usual start of Friday, November 12 and would run through until the Wednesday evening of December 22.

(Photo: Declan Colohan)

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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