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Connacht Tribune

Clifden set for 50-bed district hospital

Stephen Corrigan

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Plans for a new 50-bed district hospital and nursing home unit in Clifden have taken a major step forward this week, with the announcement that a design team has been appointed to the project.

The new unit, which will replace the existing district hospital and St Anne’s Community Nursing home, is to be constructed on the existing site of both facilities.

Welcoming the move, Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív (FF) said entering the design stage was significant as it meant the development would now progress through the process leading to planning permission and construction.

The TD for Galway West said the new unit was much needed, citing a HIQA Report that said the existing facilities were unable to meet the demands of patients.

According to Deputy Ó Cuív, the new unit will include specialised care beds that will be inter-changeable and available for use as required.

“I have been informed that a design team is currently progressing with drafting the design of the new unit.

“The site will include a ten-bed dementia specific unit as part of the 50-bed compliment in addition to the current respite bed compliment of two beds. These two beds will be inter-changeable between respite care and palliative care beds. All of the rooms in the new unit will be single-bedded ensuite rooms,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.

He believed this new facility would vastly improve the provision of healthcare for the elderly in the Clifden area – and would reduce the need for admissions to UHG, the nearest acute hospital.

“It has been confirmed to me that in order to facilitate clients remaining in their own home for as long as possible, in the Clifden catchment area and to avoid admission to the acute hospital in Galway, the administration of intravenous antibiotics will be part of the nursing provision in the new unit.

“In addition to the facilities, I am also advised that day care will be provided in the new unit,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.

The Cornamona-based TD said that while this was welcome news, it would be a while yet before shovels enter the ground, as finalised designs and securing planning permission will take time – even though he didn’t anticipate any major planning problems.

However, he said the single-biggest threat to all capital projects nationwide was the massive overspend on the new National Children’s Hospital in Dublin.

“We must ensure that there are no negative consequences for the progress of this project due to the overspend at the National Children’s Hospital.

“It would be important or the Minister for Health to ensure that no such delays occur with projects needed urgently outside of Dublin because of this over-run,” said the former Minister.

“We’ll be making sure that the West doesn’t suffer because of they’ve run into problems in Dublin,” added Deputy Ó Cuív.

Connacht Tribune

Homemade Wimbledon is a different bale game!

Francis Farragher

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James Craughwell about to serve over the tape – and the sheep gates – to brother Christopher with mum, Anne, in the background. The family dog Prince is showing a keen interest in taking up the role of ‘ball boy’. The brollies on the deck chairs were actually purchased at the Wimbledon tournament that the Craughwells attended in 2017.

WIMBLEDON mightn’t be happening for the tennis professionals this year due to COVID-19 – but one North Galway family are planning their own version of the tournament.

The younger members of the Craughwell family in Menlough village have had a tradition over the years of lining out their own court on the silage slab that’s available for recreation purposes during the early weeks of the Summer.

The three sons of Jarlath and Anne Craughwell – Christopher, Shane and James – rarely missed the opportunity through the years to ‘get the silage slab ready’ for their own Wimbledon tournament.

“The dimensions of the silage slab are almost exactly the same as a tennis court [78 feet X 36 feet} so back the years we always organised our own games. When the silage was made, then that was always it for another year,” Christopher Craughwell told the Connacht Tribune.

As the lads grew older the summer tennis court hadn’t been used for a few years but in 2020 with the introduction of the coronavirus restrictions, it seemed like a perfect time to bring it back.

“This year we took it a stage further. We used the sheep gates for the net with a line of white electric fence tape along the top so this is probably the best job we’ve ever made of it.

“The silage won’t be made for at least another month so were planning to stage our own family tournament over the coming weeks. With the weather so good, it’s been a great way to pass the time,” said Christopher.

See the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops or available for delivery with your groceries. You can also order the paper from An Post at no additional charge – or purchase a digital edition on this website.

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Connacht Tribune

City Council houses Travellers in county

Declan Tierney

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Cllr Donagh Killilea.

Galway City Council will spend close to half a million euro to house a Traveller family – in a property well outside its own local authority boundary.

Instead the family of four, who previously lived on the Carrabrowne halting site, will be accommodated in the house at Kiltulla near Carnmore, which is deep in Galway County Council’s local government area.

The City Council is understood to have paid €388,000 for the property which will require another €50,000 to refurbish – leaving little change out of half a million euro.

Angry residents, who were unaware of the plan, have now organised a petition to City Council CEO Brendan McGrath to voice their objection to the move.

But Cllr Donagh Killilea believes that there is a bigger issue at stake – with Galway City Council acquiring property wherever they like.

And Senator Ollie Crowe said that he believed the City Council – of which he was a member up to his Seanad election – should be acquiring property within their own area and that this acquisition was ‘unprecedented’.

He said that it was his view that there would be nothing bought outside the city boundary and that the money spent on this property would refurbish a lot of the City Council’s housing stock that had fallen into a state of dilapidation.

See the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops or available for delivery with your groceries. You can also order the paper from An Post at no additional charge – or purchase a digital edition on this website.

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Connacht Tribune

Long drives still out of bounds for golfers

Declan Tierney

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Teeing off from the 12th tee at Galway Bay Golf Resort in Oranmore this week on the re-opening of golf courses around the country. There is nothing to suggest that any golfers travelled more than 5km to play in Oranmore. Photo: Keith Kelly.

This week’s relaxation of travel restrictions saw an exodus to the garden centres and the golf courses – but Gardaí have this week reiterated their warning to those planning to excede their five kilometre limit that they may find themselves in the heavy rough.

The first phase of a return to ‘normality’ went to plan, despite the early rush to newly reopened facilities. Even the rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of furloughed golfers, who were on the first tee from daylight.

Time sheets for golf clubs across the county were choc-a-bloc as they opened their doors to members for the first time since the end of March – but many clubs privately admitted that more than half of those who played had travelled way beyond the 5k restriction.

That led Gardaí to warn that they will be mounting checkpoints and turning people back home – adding that the golf clubs themselves have a responsibility to advise members on the travel rules.

Tuam Sergeant Pat Hastings confirmed that Gardaí had the power under the Health Preservation and Protection Act 2020 to turn back individuals travelling more than 5k from their homes.

He warned that a file will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions to deal with anyone who continually breached the regulations.

See the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops or available for delivery with your groceries. You can also order the paper from An Post at no additional charge – or purchase a digital edition on this website.

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