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CITY TRIBUNE

Coronavirus: testing centre trialled in Galway City

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Ambulances outside Renmore Community Centre this evening (Photo: Enda Cunningham)

The HSE carried out a Covid-19 testing trial in a Galway City community centre this evening.

The trial was strictly for people with suspected coronavirus who had been referred by the HSE’s Department of Public Health – it was NOT a walk-in service and was NOT open to the general public.

Ambulance staff set up the temporary clinic in Renmore Community Centre shortly before 5pm.

It’s understood that around a dozen people were referred to the temporary clinic, a pilot scheme for rolling out similar testing facilities – an announcement is expected on Monday on new testing methods.

The Department of Health did not respond to queries from the Galway City Tribune this evening.

Meanwhile, in another first for Galway, clinical testing for Covid-19 (from swabs) was carried out at the Galway University Hospitals laboratory today.

Until now, samples had to be sent to the National Virus Reference Laboratory at University College Dublin.

Professor Martin Cormican, Consultant Microbiologist with NUI Galway and the HSE praised his medical science colleagues, whom he said “pulled out all the stops to get this done”.

The Department of Health announced tonight that another person has died in the Republic as a result of Covid-19, a male in the east of the country with an underlying medical condition

39 more cases of Covid-19 were confirmed today (29 men and 10 women). 21 are associated with the east of the country, 13 associated with the south, 3 associated with the north west, 2 cases associated with the west of Ireland. That brings the total for the Republic to 129 cases.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Holohan added that the Department is to begin providing a county-by-county breakdown of confirmed coronavirus cases and renewed his appeal to people who display symptoms of Covid-19 should not ring 999/112 or an out-of-hours GP service, they need to contact their own GP by phone on Monday morning.

“I urge every citizen to follow these measures to protect our people, especially the most vulnerable in our society.

“I note also the pressure our emergency services phonelines were under today. 112/999 should only be used for emergencies, when an ambulance is required. This is not an advice line.

“If you have flu like symptoms, self isolate at home until Monday and visit hse.ie for advice. You can call your GP on Monday morning and they will decide if you need a test. Please only call 999 or GP out of hours for emergencies.”

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer said there were many anecdotal stories of busy pubs and restaurants and people ignoring the social distancing guidelines laid out on Thursday

“We are in an unprecedented global situation. Everyone in the country must play their part in protecting the most vulnerable and slowing down the spread of this disease.”

CITY TRIBUNE

Council officials branded ‘ignorant’ after reneging on circus agreement

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A circus branded City Hall in Galway ‘ignorant and arrogant’ after a spat over access to public space.

Circus Gerbola criticised Galway City Council for limiting the days its big top was permitted in Claude Toft carpark in Salthill and for reneging on an agreement.

The touring troupe said that last January, it provisionally booked the carpark from August 4-21. In early July, the Council emailed the circus and said it would be limited to seven days only.

Event Producer Jane Murray said she then secured a verbal compromise to rent the carpark for 10 days, including two weekends. But then the Council contacted the circus again and insisted that the site could be used for seven days only.

“I wouldn’t call them clowns because I think it would be an insult to clowns and generations of clowning. They were just extremely ignorant and arrogant. They were so unempathetic,” fumed Ms Murray.

They then scrambled to find alternative accommodation, in Kinvara, for performances today, Saturday and Sunday.

The third planned week has been moved to Conamara. From next Monday, the big top moves to Fíbín theatre company grounds in An Tulach, Cois Fharraige, for a series of events.

A Council statement said the matter was discussed at length internally.

“The carpark in question is relied upon by locals and tourists alike for parking, particularly during the busy tourist season. The best compromise in this situation was to permit the circus to take over full use of the car park for seven days. We do envisage complaints/representations from locals at being prevented from using this car park for a full week,” it said.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see the August 12 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Residents call on Galway City Council to tackle burning of rubbish

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Local residents have called on the authorities to tackle the problem of an ongoing illegal dump in the Castlegar area with the rubbish being burnt off on a regular basis.

A particularly intense fire was set off in the Bruckey area on Tuesday afternoon last with black smoke billowing from the blaze – forcing local people to close their windows and doors.

According to one local resident, even the Fire Brigade couldn’t access the blaze which eventually burnt itself out over the following days.

“This has been going on for the past four years and we have made several overtures to the City Council on the issue as well as contacting the Gardaí, but nothing is being done about this.”

He said that the land being used as dump and fire site was rented and added that those burning waste were ‘a complete law onto themselves who did whatever they liked’.

(Photo: the fire burning on Tuesday)

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see the August 12 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Councillors ignore Transport Authority recommendation on estate access

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A submission by the National Transport Authority (NTA) – seeking to restrict new access points along the Western Distributor Road to ‘cyclists and pedestrians’ only – has been defeated at a City Council meeting.

Councillors voted 12-4 to reject the NTA submission presented in the draft Galway City Development Plan (2023-29) which sought to prevent new access points being provided for vehicular traffic.

The NTA in their submission said that their proposal was aimed at ‘protecting investment in public transport’ and in ‘facilitating sustainable travel’.

In his response to the submission, City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath, said that the Council did not want any further restrictions to be put in place.

Councillors Niall Murphy (Green Party) and Colette Connolly (Ind) had proposed the acceptance of the NTA submission in order to improve access for cyclists and pedestrians.

Senior Planner with the Council, Caroline Phelan, said that there was a substantial bank of land in this area (off the Western Distributor Road) and the objective was to be able to access zoned land.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) said that if land in such areas was prevented from being developed by a lack of access, it would have major implications for industry, jobs, housing and schools. “We have to allow access,” he said.

(Photo: The ‘Kingston Cross’ lands on the Western Distributor Road which were earmarked for a commercial and residential development anchored by Tesco and Decathlon: An Bord Pleanála previously ruled access points would be a traffic hazard, particularly when it came to cycling infrastructure and a bus corridor on the road).

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see the August 12 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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