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Connacht Tribune

Council hasn’t started roadworks – six months after getting cash

Declan Tierney

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Fears have been expressed that an allocation of €300,000 to carry out improvements at a notorious junction in East Galway will be lost if it is not used.

Earlier this year a grant was made available to Galway County Council to carry out much needed works at Nutfield Cross, which is located between Ballinasloe and Kilconnell.

The Council have made little progress in acquiring the land necessary to provide a staggered junction at this location – despite having the funding for more than six months.

Independent Cllr Timmy Broderick told a meeting of Ballinasloe Municipal Council that the funding could be lost to the county if it is not used by the end of the year.

He expressed dismay over the fact that the roads section of the Council had not moved on the project or engaged with the stakeholders in acquiring the land necessary for the junction upgrade.

“On a weekly basis I am contacted about Nutfield Cross to find out if there are any works taking place because it is an accident waiting to happen. The Council are simply dragging their heels on the matter,” said Kilconnell-based Cllr Broderick.

The junction at Nutfield Cross claimed the life of a motorist back in 2014 and it is the scene of accidents and ‘near misses’ on a regular basis.

One of the main problems is that a stop sign on one side of the junction is regularly obscured because of overgrown shrubbery while the junction itself is considered extremely blind for motorists.

Cllr Broderick described it as one of the most dangerous junctions in the county and he has regularly asked Council officials to make funding available in an effort to prevent further fatalities from taking place.

“But now when we get the funding, we are not using it and I am just demanding an explanation for this. There is a distinct danger we could lose this money which would be a disaster.

“There are crashes there on a monthly basis and it is mainly due to the fact that cars are crossing the junction without stopping,” Cllr Broderick added.

The works involve the acquisition of a relatively small portion of land at Nutfield Cross for the provision of a staggered junction but it seems that no arrangement for this has been reached with the affected land owners.

For the past four years the matter has been raised on a regular basis at meetings of Ballinasloe Municipal Council without a resolution to the problem being found.

Earlier this year Galway County Council were allocated over €23 million for the upgrading of regional and local roads and €300,000 of this was earmarked for the realignment of the junction at Nutfield Cross.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer

Denise McNamara

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Ninety-five year old Margaret Kenny was first person to be administered the Covid-19 vaccination Practice Nurse Deirdre Furey at the Surgery Athenry.

On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.

Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.

While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.

“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.

“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”

Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!

Denise McNamara

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Linda Hughes, presenting the RTÉ weather forecast live in studio.

Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.

But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.

The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.

She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.

The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.

“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.

“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”

Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery

Dave O'Connell

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Mary Quinn...back home after an incredible few months.

Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.

But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.

The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.

To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.

“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.

But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.

Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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