Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

CITY TRIBUNE

Coronavirus poses major threat to homeless

Francis Farragher

Published

on

The former Corrib Haven B&B in Newcastle will be available to the homeless for self-isolation.

THE Covid-19 crisis poses very serious challenges for people who are either homeless or living in homeless accommodation, according to the Galway Simon Community.

The charity has set up a Response Team – advised by top medical experts – to deal with the challenges being presented by the virus for both clients and staff.

Karen Golden, CEO of Galway Simon Community, said that enhanced hygiene and infection control measures had been introduced with clients being supported ‘around good hygiene practices’ in an effort to stop the transmission of the virus.

“Rooms have been identified within Galway Simon’s Services that can be used by people supported by the organisation, should they need to self-isolate.

“Galway Simon Community is wholly focused on the health and safety of our clients, staff and volunteers and in ensuring that we can continue to run services for those who are homeless and at risk of homelessness in Galway,” she said.

Homelessness Prevention Services will continue operating. However, support will be provided over the phone and by email/internet rather than in meetings and there may be delays, given protocols in place to protect clients, staff and the general public around transmission of Coronavirus.

“We have an extraordinary team of committed staff and volunteers, who are pulling out all the stops to ensure that we do everything possible to keep people within our community safe at this very difficult time,” she said.

Sharon Fitzpatrick, Head of Development at the Galway COPE charity that provides support services for homeless and older people as well as those who suffer domestic abuse, described the current situation as ‘changing and dynamic’.

“COPE Galway are acutely conscious that those who are homeless are a vulnerable group for whom we have concerns and we are working in partnership with HSE Public Health and Galway City Council in relation to this guidance.

“For anyone concerned about homelessness please make contact with Galway City Council on 091 536400 for assessment and COPE Galway at 1800 788887,” she said.

The HSE have issued detailed guidelines about preventing the spread of Covid-19 in settings for vulnerable groups such as the homeless, travellers, refugees/asylum seekers and others.

“Current information suggests that Covid-19 can spread easily between people and could be spread by an infected person even before they develop any symptoms.

“For these reasons, we suggest greater attention to cleaning and general hygiene, social distancing measures such as visitor restrictions, limited social mixing generally and especially indoors in communal areas (at least less than 50 persons), as well as greater support to those with chronic illness/disability,” the HSE advise.

CITY TRIBUNE

Patients moved from Merlin ‘to bolster private numbers’

Enda Cunningham

Published

on

Merlin Park: Patients were moved to private hospital.

Health Minister Simon Harris has said he will ask the HSE why patients requiring rehab services were moved from Merlin Park to a private hospital, leaving the state-of-the-art facility idle.

He was asked in the Dáil last week why waiting lists were not being tackled, when capacity at the Galway Clinic and Bon Secours private hospitals is at 15-20%.

Last month, the State entered a deal to ‘take over’ the country’s private hospitals – which has come under criticism in the Dáil with claims of under-utilisation of facilities.

Galway West Deputy Catherine Connolly asked for full details of the agreement with the private hospitals – worth €115m per month nationally – and said nothing about it made sense to her.

“We have major waiting lists and our two private hospitals in Galway City are at 15% to 20% capacity. The hospital itself [UHG] – I must be wrong about this figure but it is what I have been told – was at 30% to 40% capacity as of May 15,” she said.

Department of Health figures for last week show a 39% ‘utilisation’ rate for the Bon Secours and 16% for Galway Clinic.

“The Minister has stood in the Chamber and told us he had to make such arrangements, and certainly I welcomed the narrative at the time that we were taking over the private hospitals to deal with a pandemic. However, we are not utilising them.

“Merlin Park has a state-of-the-art rehab service. It has a gym and all types of therapists but it is now lying idle because, under this deal, the Government transferred the patients from that wonderful facility to a private hospital.

“It took the therapists and patients into the private hospital to allow them to get up to 15% or 20% capacity. It sent the nurses into the public system and left the system empty at Merlin Park, and that is to mention only one service.

“None of the way this has been done makes sense to me. Surely anybody with a bit of sense would know that when the terms and the heads of agreement were signed, it should have allowed for change.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Barriers set to halt groups drinking at quayside

Francis Farragher

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Access to the green quayside areas off Wolfe Tone Bridge will be blocked from today to prevent large groups of people drinking over the Bank Holiday weekend.

And the message from Garda Chief Superintendent Tom Curley is – enjoy the glorious weekend of weather that’s in store, but diligently maintain the two-metre social distancing rule and don’t consume booze in public areas.

“We are not killjoys and the lovely weather is a boost to everyone’s spirits. People will enjoy the outdoors this weekend but it’s illegal to consume alcohol in public areas and we will be enforcing that bylaw.

“In this kind of weather, there will inevitably be groups of people congregating in outdoor areas – but the message is simple and crystal clear: at all times maintain the two-metre social distancing guideline,” Chief Supt Curley told the Galway City Tribune.

On Tuesday evening last, Gardaí did enforce a dispersal procedure in the Spanish Arch/Claddagh Quay area of the city, after about 200 young people had gathered there, many of them consuming alcohol. They continued to patrol the area yesterday.

A spokesperson for Galway City Council confirmed yesterday that a green area on the Claddagh Quay side of the river – where large groups of young people had gathered this week – would be closed off to the public, probably from today (Friday).
This is a shortened preview version of this article. Please remember that without advertising revenue and people buying and subscribing to our newspapers, this website would not exist. You can read the full article by buying a digital edition of this week’s Galway City Tribune HERE.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Westwood owners plan tourist accommodation usage

Enda Cunningham

Published

on

The Westwood student accommodation complex site this week.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The owners of the new Westwood student accommodation in Newcastle are planning to use part of the complex for tourist and business traveller accommodation “in light of the current health pandemic”.

NTM ROI Seed Capital is currently building the five apartment blocks off the N59 and has sought a determination from An Bord Pleanála on whether it would need to apply for planning permission to allow “partial occupation for tourist and visitor use in the academic year from September 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021”.

Under the existing planning permission, the development “shall only be occupied as student accommodation . . . and shall not be used for any other purpose without a prior grant of planning permission for a change of use”.

However, the company has drawn up a contingency plan in the event that construction may not be completed for the coming academic year.

The plan involves allowing tourists and other ‘non-student’ users to be accommodated in the complex – An Bord Pleanála has been asked to determine whether the change would be a ‘material alteration’ of the planning approval or not.

If it is ruled a material alteration, the Board can then invite submissions from members of the public before it decides on whether to approve or reject it.

Already, local residents – who strongly objected to the entire development during the planning process – have expressed concerns about parking issues which they believe would arise if the Westwood is used for tourist use.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. Please remember that without advertising revenue and people buying and subscribing to our newspapers, this website would not exist. You can read the full article by buying a digital edition of this week’s Galway City Tribune HERE.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Advertisement

Weather

Weather Icon
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending