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CITY TRIBUNE

Critic Connolly is Cat who got the cream!

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Catherine Connolly, one of the Dáil's most effective Deputies, won the vote for what is an important but impartial role.

Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

The cynics among us, if we didn’t know better, might say that the Government lost the vote on Leas-Cheann Comhairle on purpose, rather than by mistake, so as to silence one of the sharpest TDs in Dáil Éireann, and a most vocal and articulate critic of this and the previous Governments.

Alas, even the cynics are all too aware that the current Government hasn’t the capability or capacity to intentionally pull off such a Machiavellian feat, even if it wanted to.

No. Fergus O’Dowd (FG) losing out to Galway West TD, Catherine Connolly (Ind), in a vote on who would become the deputy speaker of the Dáil, was not calculated to sideline Cat Connolly.

It was just another cock-up by the new Coalition of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Green Party that has dithered, stumbled and slept on the job – literally – since it threw together a programme for Government last month.

The upshot may be the same, though. As Leas-Cheann Comhairle, Cat Connolly, the Claddagh Queen, will be non-partisan in the chair. Her personal opinions and take on life will no longer be relevant when she’s deputising for Seán Ó Fearghaíl.

Of course, when she’s not chairing Dáil debates, Connolly is entitled to have her say.

But will she continue to be outspoken? Can you tear lumps out of An Taoiseach Micheál Martin at Leaders’ Questions in the morning, and then expect to be viewed as a neutral arbitrator of contentious debates in the afternoon?

While not wishing to take away from Cat Connolly’s achievement of becoming the first ever woman to be elected into the position – shocking really that it’s taken 101 years to break that particular glass ceiling – from a purely selfish perspective, we hope parliament hasn’t ‘lost’ one of its most effective Deputies to what is an important but impartial role.

She will still be able to submit Parliamentary Questions, and there’s no way Cat Connolly could be fully silenced. But the Public Accounts Committee, in particular, will be less effective in the absence of her razor-sharp analysis, and forensic questioning of waste of public money.
For more Bradley Bytes, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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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