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Connacht Tribune

Community rallies to the cause for cancer battler

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They made a day and a night of it in Loughrea – taking to the roads and the stage – in a massive show of support for one of their own battling cervical cancer.

Singer Áine Morgan says herself that she never wanted to be centre-stage because of her illness – but she now desperately needs to pay for a lifesaving drug that has yet to be licenced in Ireland.

The Loughrea woman can get Pemprolizumab – the same ‘wonder drug’ that Vicky Phelan is on to keep her cervical cancer at bay – but it would cost her an incredible €8,500 every three weeks; which is why she reluctantly started a fundraising campaign to save her life.

“I have to be brutally honest and say that as I set up the go fund me, the tears were streaming down my face,” she wrote on her Facebook page.

“I’m not comfortable with it at all; I shouldn’t have to – this drug should be covered but it’s obviously not,” she explained.

The response was immediate and enormous – and last week saw two major events in her home town’ a special concert where dozens of her fellow musicians turned out in force, followed by a run in the worst of the weekend rain that someone managed to deter no one from turning out in support.

The concert – hosted by Pat and Una McDonagh at their hotel – saw Aine on stage with a host of her friends, including the great Sean Keane with whom she duetted on the beautiful One More Hour.

DaDerga, Fraggle Rock, Who Knows, More Cowbell and Enda Dempsey all took to the stage for a fantastic night of music that raised €12,800 on the night – a fantastic example of how community can come together.

That was followed by a 5k on Friday night, organised by personal trainer Aileen Hardiman who also ran a similar event for Olive Shaughnessy – another local woman who has battled cancer – a couple of years back.

“We wanted to do something to help with medical costs and also to raise awareness that this drug should be accessible to all those who need it. There should not be a price on someone’s life,” said Aileen.

The route was lined with the members of the Loughrea Athletic Club, and Patrick Forde along with his committee members in Kilconieron directed traffic and made it safe for everyone involved. The Loughrea Civil Defence led the run around Tullahill.

Despite the horrible weather, young, old, fit, unfit, mothers and daughters, dads and sons, sisters, brothers all completed a 5k run, walk, for Áine.

“What was astonishing was that the 300-plus people that did it, crossed the line smiling,” said her proud brother and local photographer Larry Morgan.

See full story and photos in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Save Áine is on gofundme where you can donate whatever you can to help Áine Morgan in her battle with cervical cancer. See https://gofundme.com/save-aine.

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Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area

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A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes

The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.

The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.

The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.

Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.

Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.

In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

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Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised

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Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.

A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.

Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.

Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.

Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.

He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .

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Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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