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County JPC lobby for changes to free legal aid

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Galway bay fm newsroom – The County Galway Joint policing committee is to write to the the Oireachtas joint Committee on justice, defence and equality requesting changes to free legal aid.

It’s in response to a letter received by the group from the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter which makes no proposal to change the current scheme.

At today’s meeting of the JPC, Councillor Jim Cuddy said it was ‘regrettable’ the Minister would take this stance when the taxpayer paid over 50 million euro last year to fund free legal aid.

Earlier this year, the JPC wrote to the Minister requesting thescheme be reviewed so that alleged offenders can only apply once for assistance, and so prohibit repeated use by repeating offenders.

Councillor Jimmy McClearn pointed out that it was one thing to make a good suggestion but a referendum was needed to change the system.

Under the criminal justice act, the courts, through the judiciary are responsible for granting legal aid, and an applicant must establish insufficent means to pay.

Councillor Michael Connolly told FYI Galway debate at a national level is needed to kick start questions over free legal aid

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Latest figures reveal 284 cases of Covid-19 nationwide

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – There’s has been a concerning increase in the transmission of the Delta variant in Ireland, according to the chief medical officer.

Dr Tony Holohan says it’s estimated the Delta strain of Covid-19 accounts for up to 20 per cent of cases reported in the last week.

It comes as 284 further cases of Covid-19 have been reported by the Department of Health this evening.

53 Covid-19 patients are in hospital, with 13 of those patients in intensive care.

The ICU figures stand at their lowest level since mid-September.

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Minister tells Seanad no plan to build new primary school in Barna

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A Minister has told the Seanad that there are no plans to build a new primary school in Barna.

Minister of State with responsibility for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan was speaking in response to a query from Galway based Senator Sean Kyne.

Speaking in the Seanad today Senator Kyne said Scoil Náisiúnta Shéamais Naofa in Barna is outdated in terms of classroom size, layout and energy efficiency.

He added that the school playground is sloped and it’s unsafe in wet and icy conditions as well as being unsuitable for children with physical disabilities.

Senator Kyne told Minister Madigan the school is located along a busy main road and that the site is too small to implement any additional safety measures to allow its pupils to cycle to school safely.

He said developing a new school building on a quieter site is the best option for Scoil Shéamais Naofa.

Speaking in response Minister Madigan said enrollment at the 259 pupil school had actually decreased in recent years and the department has no plans to development a new building for it at this time.

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Continued drop in unemployment across Galway during May

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – There was a continued drop in unemployment across Galway during May.

Drops were recorded in every area of the county.

The number of people unemployed across Galway last month was 8,379 – a drop of 573 when compared to April.

In the city centre, there are 4,168 people on the live register, a decrease of 290.

In Ballinasloe, the figure dropped by 79 – now standing at 996.

There was a drop of 65 in the unemployment figure for Tuam, which now stands at 1,257.

There are 868 people out of work in Loughrea, a drop of 59 on the April figure.

In Gort live register figures dropped from 661 to 589 month-on-month.

Meanwhile, in Clifden there are 501 poeple out of work, representing a drop of eight since April.

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