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CITY TRIBUNE

Cubbard rides storm of ‘annus horribilis’

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Mayor Mike with boxer Katie Taylor: down, but not out.

Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column by Dara Bradley

In the grander scheme of things right now, the mayoral chain pales into insignificance. But even Mayor Mike Cubbard’s fiercest political foes feel sympathy for the ‘annus horribilis’ he has endured as First Citizen.

Again, there are more important things in life, but for councillors, becoming mayor of your home city is the pinnacle of a career in local politics.

It was a proud day for the Westside Independent when he took over the mayoral chain, surrounded by family, at City Hall last June.

Being mayor in 2020 was a prize coveted by all 18 councillors because Galway would be European Capital of Culture and, being blunt, it was supposed to involve quite a bit of overseas travel to promote the city, as well as high-profile appearances at Galway 2020 events locally.

But Mayor Mike’s term has gone a bit pear-shaped because of Covid-19. His China trip earlier this year was cut short due to the virus spreading rapidly in that country, and since he’s come home, there have been cancellations all round.

The opening of Galway 2020 in February was halted by bad weather and now its programme has been practically wiped out by virus lockdown.

Trips to Seattle and New York for official St Patrick’s Day mayoral duties were cancelled because of coronavirus. St Patrick’s Day parades are a highlight of any mayoral term but the 2020 edition was cancelled and unlike 2001 – when Foot and Mouth led to the event being cancelled – it won’t be re-staged within his period in office. Mayor Mike is possibly the first mayor not to preside over a Paddy’s Day parade.

Nearly every other event has been cancelled too, from small-time ribbon-cutting photo ops to bigger stuff like the annual Mayoral Ball for charity, and the Mayor’s Awards project.

Basically, he’s the first mayor to finish in March! Assuming he doesn’t do a Leo on it, and just stay in office indefinitely, Cllr Noel Larkin is due to take the chain in June, and will benefit from Mayor Mike’s misfortune – a Galway Film Fleadh showing in Los Angeles Cubbard was invited to attend has been pushed out to August.

“He better get me a stick of rock from LA when he goes!” said Mayor Mike.

Beer fly bytes

It’s the question that has puzzled all our thirsty ‘beer fly’ readers ever since the city’s pubs closed their doors around a fortnight ago: What happened to all the beloved beer in the half-used kegs, and indeed the full kegs, in each hostelry?
This is a preview only. To read the rest of this article, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper 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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