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Council renews aim to have bypass open by 2019

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The Galway City Outer Bypass is now back on the table with new consultants to be in place by the end of the month and a fresh application where all route options will be re-examined likely to be made in early 2015 for the €300m project.

Galway City Councillors last night voted to hand Galway County Council status as lead authority over the scheme, which at the earliest – if no further obstacles were encountered – could be completed by 2019.

Director of Services for roads, transportation, marine and general services at Galway County Council, Frank Gilmore, denied claims by several councillors that it was to blame for a series of near fatal setbacks to the project, which was first mooted in 1999 but was stalled after successful legal challenges that went all the way to Europe.

So far €14m had been spent on the scheme despite a single sod being turned, he admitted. This did not include paying for the legal expenses of those who had mounted the challenge, which may yet have to met.

Mr Gilmore said the decision of the EU Court of Justice found that it was An Bord Pleanála which had erred in granting a decision to approve part of the road under Article 6(3) of the EU Habitats Directive while it took no issue with the merits of the scheme.

It should have processed the project under Article 6(4), which is a fast-tracking of major infrastructural projects which are deemed to have imperative reasons of overriding public interest (IROPI) because of the impact it would have on a protected bog, designated a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

Mr Gilmore said he believed the project would proceed with the cooperation of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), which had clashed with other state departments and opposed part of the scheme because its adverse impact on the SAC when an oral hearing was held in 2006.

The Council was currently working with NPWS to advance habitat mapping for a revised scheme.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

Connacht Tribune

Progress stalls on setting up Eating Disorder Community Health Team

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Despite an increasing number of young people experiencing eating disorders, a new specialist community team has yet to be set up in Galway well over a year after it was announced.

The delay is mainly due to a difficulty recruiting a consultant psychiatrist to lead the team, this week’s HSE West Regional Health Forum meeting was told.

Councillor John Connolly (FF) queried the progress on the new Eating Disorder Community Health Team within the Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) after the HSE revealed in September 2021 that it would be set up in response to the hike in youths presenting for treatment.

Chief Officer of HSE Community Healthcare West, Breda Crehan-Roche, said interviews had been conducted to recruit a clinical lead, but so far none had been appointed. Six other staff had been appointed and these had been assigned to existing teams within CAMHS while a psychiatrist could come on board to manage the team.

“We have difficulty getting locum cover. Interviews were held. It’s a priority. We are doing a running recruitment process,” she told this month’s meeting.

It took between six and nine months to appoint a person to such a senior post.

“There is a lot of work in specialist intervention in the eating disorders team.”

She admitted that there were no records of how much of an increase there had been in referrals to CAMHS Galway for youths troubled by an eating disorder as all records were on paper rather than on computer.

“I can’t ask clinicians and therapists to pull together manual figures,” she stated. But the indication from staff on the ground was that there had been a downward trend in referrals post-Covid.

There was a move to keeping digital records by the middle of next year.

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Connacht Tribune

Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan dies aged 78

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Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan has passed away at the age of 78.

Born in Kilkenny in 1944, Bishop Drennan studied for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth from where he was ordained in 1968

As a priest, the then Fr Drennan served as curate in both St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish in Kilkenny and then in Ballycallan.

From 1975 he taught Sacred Scripture at St. Kieran’s College, returning to Rome in 1980 to become Spiritual Director at the Irish College there for the next five years.

When Fr. Martin again returned home he became a Lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth where he continued to teach until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin in 1997.

Following the retirement of Bishop James McLoughlin, Bishop Drennan was chosen as Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora and was installed on 3rd July 2005 in Galway Cathedral serving to his retirement in 2016.

A brief statement released by the Diocese of Galway this afternoon confirmed his passing and offered their sympathies to Bishop Drennan’s family and all those who mourn his loss.

Funeral arrangements for the late Bishop Drennan will be announced later

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Connacht Tribune

Gardaí appeal for help to locate missing man

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Gardaí are seeking help from the public in locating a 66-year-old man who has been missing from Clonbur since Thursday.

Michael Harte is described as being 5’ 9” in height, of slim build with short grey hair. When last seen, he was wearing blue jeans, a blue jumper, a tan / khaki padded jacket and tan boots.

He is understood to have access to a black Renault Megane with a 02 C registration.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Clifden Garda Station on 095 2250,  the Garda confidential line on 1800 666111 or any Garda station.

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