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Crowds continuing to arrive in Galway as Race Week begins

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – More than a hundred thousand people are expected to attend the Galway Racing Festival at Ballybrit, which gets underway today.

The seven-day festival starts with the first race at ten past five this evening and is Europe’s longest running racing festival.

Organisers of the races have developed special offers on ticket prices this year, for people who want to attend on more than one day.

The total prize fund this year will be 1.6 million euro with some of the highlights being Galway Plate Day on Wednesday and the popular Anthony Ryans Best Dressed Lady competition on Thursday.

This evening, Galway milliner Suzie Mahoney will be in search of the ‘Most Appropriately Dressed Lady’ at the racetrack.

Manager of Galway Races, John Maloney says the festival has given a welcome boost to the hospitality industry locally.

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Increase in Pandemic Unemployment Payment recipients across Galway

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – There’s been an increase in the number of people across Galway set to claim the Pandemic Unemployment Payment tomorrow.

Just over 25 thousand will receive the payment – that’s an increase of around 800 since this time last week.

Nationally, 475,000 will receive the Pandemic Unemployment Payment this week – a slight increase on the figure for last week.

The sector with the highest number of people receiving the payment this week is accommodation and food services, which accounts for over 111,500 people.

It comes following todays reports that 4 in 10 workers in Kerry, Donegal, Dublin, Louth, Wexford and Carlow are in receipt of state income supports.

While the figure for Galway stands at 20 percent.

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Standard of infrastructure at UHG creating challenges with COVID-19 outbreaks in wards

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Chief Clinical Director at the Saolta Hospital Group has raised concerns over the level of outbreaks in hospital wards at UHG due to the standard of infrastructure.

At a COVID-19 briefing this afternoon, Professor Pat Nash told city councillors the infrastructure at ground and first floor levels of UHG has created challenges with outbreaks of the infection.


Professor Pat Nash said there has been multiple outbreaks on wards with a disease strain that appears to be much more infectious.

The meeting heard there are a number of long wards with multiple beds where patients have one toilet.

He pointed to the newer wards such as the Shannon, Corrib and Claddagh where there had been no outbreaks due to the level of en-suite facilities.

Group Chief Operating Officer Ann Cosgrove told the meeting there are 109 COVID-19 patients at UHG today with 15 in ICU.

360 staff are absent having either contracted the virus or being identified as close contacts.

There are 8 COVID-19 patients at Portiuncula hospital with 4 in ICU and 23 staff absent.

The meeting heard there is now reduced non COVID activity at the hospitals with the exception of very urgent time dependent surgeries.

Saolta CEO Tony Canavan gave an update on the vaccination programme advising the first phase of vaccination for residents in long term care was completed on Sunday, with the second phase due to start shortly.

He said vaccines have also begun for frontline healthcare workers with hopes supply will increase significantly by mid-February.

The Saolta Chief said it’s hoped the heath worker rollout can then be completed with the over 70s in the community the next priority.

City councillors praised frontline healthcare workers for their dedication and hard work during this time and made calls to ensure mental health supports were made available to the sector.

The meeting also heard calls for private hospital support to be ramped up to ensure cancer patients and other urgent care requirements are addressed.

Professor Pat Nash the 30% capacity agreement was triggered last week and talks are ongoing with the Bons Secours and The Galway Clinic.

The meeting heard a lot of medical oncology inpatient treatment was being transferred to the Galway Clinic in the last week, while the group is also looking to get more access for scopes in the Bns Secours facility.

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Union leaders appeal to NUI Galway to show compassion to students sitting exams

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Union leaders are appealing to NUI Galway to show compassion to students who are sitting exams.

Students’ Union leaders from GMIT, UCC, Trinity College Dublin and the Union of Students in Ireland have written to the NUIG President and Vice President to voice concern’s over the university’s opposition to the introduction of policies aimed at supporting students.

These measures include giving students the option to repeat exams if they feel they could have achieved better grades under normal circumstances and the removal of all repeat exam fees.

It comes as 55% of NUIG students surveyed have said they feel unsure if they will get a graduate job offer.

NUIG SU President Padraic Toomey is urging parents to join the campaign….

To hear more, tune into Galway Bay fm news….

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