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Galway City Council puts plan in place for Storm Lorenzo



The aquadam deployed at Spanish Arch today

This is the latest weather advisory from Galway City Council:

As per Met Éireann’s latest storm advice, the effects of Storm Lorenzo will begin to be felt across Ireland from Thursday morning leading into Friday morning. The main impacts will include disruptive winds, falling trees and flooding.  High tide in Galway Bay will be at 9.15pm Thursday.

In early October, trees are mostly in full leaf with a large surface area, so even moderate strength winds can bring down weakened trees and/or tree limbs. In addition, some trees may be compromised due to saturated soils at the moment, and with more rain forecast with Storm Lorenzo some disruption due to falling trees/branches is likely. Heavy rain, coupled with falling leaves may block drains and gullies, leading to surface flooding.

Storm Lorenzo will produce significant swell, high waves and sizeable storm surges. This will lead to wave overtopping, some coastal flooding and damage, especially along western and southern coasts.

Following ongoing meetings of Galway City Council’s Crisis Management Team today, based on the latest information available, a number of precautionary measures have been put in place.

Road Closures: Both Salthill, and the Seapoint Promenade (from Grattan Road to Blackrock) will be closed  from 5.00pm Thursday for the duration of the warning.  There may be further closures throughout the city as required and the situation will be closely monitored and regular updates given.  Motorists will experience delays as a result.

Car Park Closures: Both Seapoint and Toft Park car parks will be closed from 1.00pm Thursday and all vehicle owners are urged to move their vehicles. A tow truck will be on hand to remove any vehicles still present once the warning comes into force. Parking should be avoided along the promenade.

Sandbag Arrangements: Sandbag filling facilities will be available at the following three locations from 6.00pm Wednesday:

-Claddagh Hall

-The entrance to Mutton Island Treatment Centre

– The former Tourist Office adjacent to the Aquariam in Salthill

A flood barrier has been erected at Spanish Arch

Please note that anyone who avails of sandbags should retain them in their possession for use throughout the upcoming winter season.

Arrangements for Rough Sleepers:  Galway City Council is working with emergency service providers to ensure that emergency accommodation is provided at locations including Fairgreen & Osterley Lodge. The COPE Galway Day Centre will remain open all day Thursday and operate throughout the night.  Their contact number is 086 8355063

Customer Services: Galway City Council Customer Services phone lines will be operational throughout Thursday night to deal with emergency calls. (091) 536400

Business owners and homeowners are advised to check their own drains and secure any loose objects within their property in advance of the warning taking effect.

Galway City Council advises remaining indoors during the period of the warning. If absolutely essential to travel, please exercise extreme caution out & about especially on coastal roads and exposed shores

Staff will be on standby for clean-up following the passing of Storm Lorenzo and the associated warning once it has been deemed safe to do so.  Please note the associated clean-up which will commence on Friday morning will impact on traffic.

The Crisis Management Team will continue to monitor Storm Lorenzo as it evolves and take all necessary precautions and provide further updates on its website and its social media platforms.

The National Emergency Co-ordination Group will hold another meeting at 10.30am Thursday and the situation in the city will be reviewed following on from this.


Salthill will NOT have one-way traffic under new cycleway plans



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Salthill will not be reduced to one-way traffic under plans for the new cycleway along the Promenade, following the intervention of the National Transport Authority in the controversy.

It was confirmed yesterday (Thursday) that a design is now being considered to “ensure the widest support possible”.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council – which recently created cycleways in Dublin – will now be involved in the design process.

Last September, city councillors voted in favour of creating a two-way segregated cycle lane along the coastal side of the Prom from Grattan Road to Blackrock as a six-month trial.

However, it subsequently emerged that this would involve introducing one-way traffic along the Prom, with the outbound lane closed to make way for bicycles – this information has not been presented to councillors as they decided to vote on the cycle lane without any prior discussion.

Galway West TD and Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton, subsequently asked the National Transport Authority (NTA) to intervene in the row.

“As a result of a meeting held last week between the NTA and the City Council, I can confirm that both parties are working to review proposals that will meet the objectives of the [City Council] motion while also looking to retain two-way traffic,” she said.

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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Criminal Assets Bureau targets two Galway families



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Garda raids at seven locations on the east side of the city earlier this week were aimed at ‘hitting in the pocket’ two families alleged to be heavily involved in the drugs trade, the Galway City Tribune has learned.

Close to 100 personnel from different Garda and Customs specialist units were involved in the searches of residences in the Castle Park and Radharc na Gréine estates early on Tuesday morning.

According to Garda sources, they are confident that the raids – which also involved the seizure of a 191 Audi car worth an estimated €45,000+ in the Garryowen area of Limerick – will lead to arrests over the coming weeks and months.

Files have already started to be prepared for forwarding to the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) in relation to the seizures on Tuesday which included €22,000 in cash; £4,450 in sterling; a range of high-value designer goods, as well as the freezing of €17,000 in a bank account.

Searches carried out prior to this week’s operation by specialist Garda units had resulted in the seizure of €18,680 in cash and the freezing of bank accounts to the value of €66,000. Two Rolex watches were also seized – these items have a value which can range between €10,000 and €100,000 each.

The strategy behind the CAB/Garda crackdown on illegal drugs gangs is based on striking at the finances of the local drug barons – as well as the seizure of cash/goods and the freezing of bank accounts, Revenue are closely involved in the ‘monitoring of income’ of the gang members with a view to issuing substantial tax bills.

Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins, who is in charge of crime operations in the Galway Garda Division, said this week’s searches were part of an ongoing operation aimed at tackling the sale and supply of illegal drugs across the city and county.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read more on the raids and Garda Asset Profilers, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Cyberattack leaves HSE in the dark on children’s mental health in Galway



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The full extent of the waiting list for community mental health services for children is unknown because of the cyberattack on the HSE.

There were 48 young people in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon on a waiting list last March for the community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), according to the HSE.

Most of them were waiting less than 12 weeks, and seven of them were waiting between 12 and 26 weeks.

This is relatively good compared to other Community Healthcare Organisations in other parts of the country – the West made up just 2% of the 2,384 children nationally who were waiting for CAMHS referrals.

But the HSE has conceded that the data is not up to date – and so the full extent of waiting list in the West is not known.

“As a result of the recent cyberattack on HSE systems, the latest set of full data for the number of children waiting to be seen by CAMHS is from March 2021,” said Jim Ryan, Assistant National Director of the National Mental Health Services.

Mr Ryan was responding to a Parliamentary Question submitted by Galway West TD, Noel Grealish (Ind) and supplied to the Galway City Tribune.

He said that CAMHS provides specialist mental health care to children aged up to 18, “who have met the threshold for a diagnosis of moderate to severe mental health disorder that requires the input of a multi-disciplinary mental health teams”.

(Photo: The CAMHS unit at Merlin Park)

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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