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CITY TRIBUNE

Craughwell’s bank fees dwarf Ó Céidigh’s frugal meetings

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Bradley Bytes – A Political Column with Dara Bradley

It’s not clear from Senator Gerard Craughwell’s statement of expenditure of Parliamentary Activities Allowance what bank the Salthill-native uses, but I’d humbly suggest he should consider switching.

In his list of expenditure of the allowance paid to Independent TDs and Senators – lodged with SIPO (Standards in Public Office) – Ger Craughwell said his bank fees in 2018 amounted to €75.39.

Not extortionate, but when the taxpayer is footing the bill, maybe it’s best to shop around.

Craughwell’s bank fees are ten times what another Galway senator, Alice Mary Higgins paid for bank fees (€7.50) last year; while Pádraig Ó Céidigh said he paid just €9.09 for “banking charges”.

Alice Mary, meanwhile, included €18.99 on an NUIG Higher Education Diversity Event in her expenditure on policy formulation. A snip.

And Ó Céidigh, the Connemara businessman, listed a whole load of ‘entertainment’ expenses for which he paid over €3,228. That included an end-of-year dinner with 12 people and himself – the last supper of 2018 – which cost €85.25.

He listed having spent €2.80 during a “meeting with researcher”, one of three items of expenditure to the value of €2.80 listed in his entertainment expenses. It’s a case of looking after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves because, apparently, according to his SIPO returns, there were two people at that meeting – presumably himself and a researcher. But for just €2.80, did they share a cappuccino? Oh, the frugality.

Meanwhile, in his SIPO returns, Billy Lawless, has listed 19 different items of expenditure on entertainment, including €160.70 on “Constituents Lunch”, which was attended by six people.

This is probably a mislabelling because senators don’t have constituents or represent geographical constituencies in the way that TDs do.

 

Billy spares blushes of ‘grounded’ mayor

The US-bound plane of Mayor of Galway, Mike Cubbard, never left the tarmac of Dublin Airport as planned on Sunday last . . . for more Bradley Bytes read this week’s Galway City Tribune

CITY TRIBUNE

Elective surgeries cancelled at UHG as overcrowding continues

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Some non-urgent elective surgeries are being cancelled at UHG in a bid to tackle severe overcrowding at the city hospital.

It follows the issuing of a warning from the Saolta Hospital Group that the emergency department is extremely busy and there is ongoing pressure on bed availability.

General Manager at UHG, Chris Kane, says over 500 people presented at the hospital on Monday and Tuesday.

She says the overcrowding situation is very serious, particularly in relation to the ED, the Surgical Unit and the Acute Medical Assessment Unit.

Members of the public are urged to only attend the hospital in the case of emergency, and contact their GP or out-of-hours service if their health problem is not urgent.

Saolta is also reminding the public that the Injury Unit at Roscommon University Hospital is open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week, to treat adults and children over 5.

Speaking to Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks, Chris Kane said the current level of patients presenting is extremely high and “unusual” for this time of year.

She also noted there’s also been a rise in patients being treated for Covid-19, including in the ICU.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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