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Controversial Ballyglunin telecommunications mast approved despite strong opposition by local people

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A controversial phone mast planned for Ballyglunin has been approved by the higher planning authority.
Shared Access Limited has been granted permission by An Bord Pleanála for the 30-metre high, multi-user free standing structure, which will form part of Vodafone’s network.
This is despite concerns expressed by parents and staff of Annagh Hill National School.
The equipment is part of Vodafone’s 3G and 4G network.
Locals at Annagh Hill have been opposed to the telecommunications equipment and erected signs and posters in the area against the planned mast.
They argued in an appeal to An Bord Pleanála that the local community was not consulted about the planned equipment.
They are also concerned about the health implications of its proximity to the national school at Annagh Hill.
Despite these concerns, An Bord Pleanála has decided to uphold the decision of the county council stating that it would not have an adverse impact on the area.
The board attached 6 conditions to the telecommunications structure at Annagh Hill.
One condition stipulates that the transmitter power output, antenna type and mount must be in accordance with the details provided in the application.

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Oranmore site could miss out on securing a new multi-billion euro Intel microchip manufacturing plant.

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – The site in Oranmore that was chosen as a possible location for a multi-billion euro Intel manufacturing plant, could miss out on being selected.

The former firing range had been placed on a narrowed list, with Germany and Poland, as possible locations for the facility, which could bring 10,000 jobs.

However, the Business Post reports that the site’s chances of securing the plant are said to be in doubt due to current strains on the country’s energy infrastructure and water services.

The paper highlights a growing mismatch between electricity demand and power generation, driven by a surge in data centres connected to the grid and wider electrification of the economy.

Intel’s chief executive last week confirmed an Irish site had been shortlisted as one of 10 possible locations for the new microchip mega-factory.

A decision on its final location’s expected to be made before the end of this year.

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Thousands return to the office tomorrow as part of the latest easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – Tens of thousands of workers will be able to return to the office for the first time in 18 months from tomorrow.

It’s when the second phase of the governments roadmap out of Covid-19 restrictions take effect.

Rules around indoor group activities, for the likes of bowling or dance classes, will ease, while limits on outdoor group activities will also be removed.

It comes ahead of the full easing of restrictions later next month.

Statement from the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar T.D. on easing of restrictions and phased return to work

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar today (Sunday 19 September) wished employers and workers the best for tomorrow as Ireland enters a new phase of easing restrictions.

From tomorrow (Monday 20 September), thousands of businesses including indoor dance, yoga, pilates studios, art classes and indoor sports and fitness classes, will all be permitted for up to 100 people, provided all participants are immune. A requirement to maintain pods of six participants will be in place where those attending have mixed immunity status. All restrictions on outdoor group activities will also be removed meaning no upper limit on numbers.

The Tánaiste said:

“Tomorrow is a big day for thousands of businesses who are opening their doors for the first time since the pandemic and thousands of more people getting back to work. It has been an incredibly challenging 18 months for those running indoor activities. Business owners have had to make huge changes to their business, from moving outdoors to moving online. Your efforts to date have doubtless saved lives.

“Now, thanks to the success of the vaccination programme, we are in a position to ease restrictions further and allow these indoor activities take place, including indoor exercise classes, bands, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, chess, bridge and other indoor activities. All restrictions on outdoor group activities will  be removed.

“We are now one of the best in the world for vaccine uptake, 90% of people over 16 are now double-jabbed. It’s a testament to the Irish people for trusting the science, trusting our health care professionals and protecting each other.  I wish all those returning to work tomorrow for the first time, the very best and thank you for all you have done over the pandemic.”

From tomorrow, the phased return to the office will also begin.

The Tánaiste said:

“From tomorrow, the public health advice no longer requires working from home and a phased return to the office begins. I know many are looking forward to returning to the office, to see their colleagues who they’ve only seen through a screen for the past 18 months, in person. For those who were recruited during the pandemic, it will be the first time ever they’ve been in the office or met their co-workers – even after over a year working together in some cases.

“The pandemic has taught us what’s possible in terms of remote working. It transformed the world of work overnight. I hope we can learn something from what worked for workers and employers during that time and incorporate it post-Covid. We really want to see remote working become a permanent fixture of Irish working life. I hope employers are speaking to their staff to figure out what works best for them and the business as this phased return begins.”

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1,456 new cases of Covid reported nationally as hospital numbers fall by 15%

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – There has been a 15 percent drop in the number of people in hospital in the past week.

The country’s five day moving average is now 1,325, down from 1,479 last week.

Meanwhile 86 percent of people over the age of 12 are now fully vaccinated, with walk-in centres open again this weekend for first and second doses.

A further 1,456 Covid-19 cases were reported by the Department of Health.

There are 261 covid patients in hospital, down 27 in the past 24 hours.

Figures for Galway Hospitals show that Galway University Hospital have the second highest number of patients with Covid-19 with 23 receiving treatment.

However, this is a reduction of eight on a week ago.

Portiununcla Hospital in Ballinasloe have 1 patient receiving treatment.

Of that number in Galway University Hospital, 6 are in ICU. This is an increase of 2 on last week.

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