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Connacht Tribune

Delay in providing emergency barriers leaves houses at risk

Declan Tierney

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The delay in providing flood defence barriers for Kinvara is putting houses in the South Galway village under threat as the winter approaches.

Serious damage was caused in the village during Storm Eleanor earlier in the year and there are now fears that the quay area is at risk if there are similar gusts.

There have been promises that Kinvara will benefit from a minor works scheme but Galway County Council have not submitted an application to the Office of Public works.

Two local politicians have clashed on the issue with Fine Gael councillor Joe Byrne saying that Galway County Council were ‘dragging their heels’ on making an application for funding.

And yet Galway East TD Sean Canney has issued a statement saying that he received confirmation from the OPW that they have requested an application for funding from Galway County Council for flood defence barriers to be erected in Kinvara.

But Cllr Byrne has told The Connacht Tribune that this is nothing new. “OPW Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran told me last February that there was funding available but still no application has been made”.

Deputy Canney said that Galway County Council are preparing the surveys and are compiling the cost for the works presently.

“Kinvara village suffered from tidal floods late last year when the high tide came up over the pier and flooded nearby businesses and homes.

“I received a commitment from Minister Moran at the time of the flood event that funding would be provided for flood defences.

“Galway County Council will submit the application to the OPW once the surveys and costings are completed.

“I will continue to monitor progress on this project in the interest of protecting the properties at risk”, he said.

But Cllr Joe Byrne said that Deputy Canney gives the impression that progress has been made on the issue when the opposite is the case.

He said that this has been ongoing for almost a year with the Council telling him that they do not have the resources to make an application.

“In early January, there was widespread damage caused in Kinvara by Storm Eleanor. Minister Moran announced that Kinvara properties wold be protected through a minor works scheme.

“In early February I met with a flood barrier company along with around 20 residents in Kinvara and the detailed specifications and quotations were submitted to Galway County Council”, he explained.

Then in July, he met with Galway County Council officials again and was informed that an application for funding would be submitted. This has not happened.

He contacted Galway County Council again last week and was told that they did not have the personnel resources to submit an application.

“And now Deputy Sean Canney is publicly stating that the OPW has requested Galway County Council to submit an application but they were told this months ago so it is nothing new,” Cllr Byrne added.

Connacht Tribune

Student nurses face all the risk – for no reward

Dara Bradley

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Working on the children’s ward of a busy hospital during a global pandemic is no joke; less funny still when you’re not getting paid for your toil.

All the risk and none of the rewards of qualified staff – that’s the lot of Edel Moore, a student nurse who is currently on placement at University Hospital Galway.

Edel, and hundreds of student nurses like her on placement in UHG and Portiuncula in Ballinasloe, want more than a round of applause and platitudes from Government.

“None of us want a pat on the back for struggling. We’d just like to be recognised,” she said.

“The Government are full-time talking about front-line workers, and they want to give them a ‘clap hands’. Then you see Junior Ministers getting massive raises. For what? What have they done for us, the student nurses, that they’re getting a €16,000 wage increase?

“We’ve put ourselves through a four year degree but all I’m worth is a clap? Thanks! It’s ridiculous. They say that front-line workers deserve all the help they can get but it just seems that the ones who are able to give us the help we need are not going to give us the help that we deserve.”

Edel Moore is a mature student originally from Westmeath but living in Leitir Mealláin in Connemara with her husband and three children.

A third year student nurse of NUIG, she is currently on placement at the paediatric ward at UHG.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Island museum gets the green light

Declan Tierney

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An artist's impression of the proposed Inishbofin museum.

Work is expected to begin shortly on the construction of a museum on Inishbofin after planners gave the green light to the project.

The museum at Middlequarter is being developed by local historian and photographer Marie Coyne – and when completed, it will be home to items of historical significance from both Inishbofin and Inishark.

There is an existing museum on the island but it is too small to house the amount of artefacts, photographs and family histories that have been assembled over the years.

The new building will also include a photographic exhibition room, restoration workshop along with a gift shop and coffee dock. It is proposed that the new 3,400 square feet museum will be built on a site at the rear of Ms Coyne’s home.

Eamon Gavin of Eamon Gavin Architects based in Cornamona told the Connacht Tribune that this was an important project for the island and it was a welcome decision.

And he said that the green light would kickstart the process of conserving the vast and unique artefacts and archives built up over the years.

“As a practice, we have a long history of dealing with planning consultancy on unique rural sites in Connemara and the islands, therefore we fully understood how sensitive the proposed location of the project would be – the site is located in a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and National Heritage Area,” he said.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Tuam woman a picture of health a year after Covid crisis

Declan Tierney

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Tuam's Kitty Farrell with her dog Lulu a year after her Covid diagnosis.

Last year was a Mother’s Day like no other for Kitty Farrell who spent it in the back of an ambulance being rushed to hospital with Covid – but the 80 year old Tuam woman can look forward to a more sedate celebration this time out….thankfully restored back to full health.

Kitty, from Ballygaddy Road, had developed a debilitating cough the previous week – and when she was admitted to UHG on Mother’s Day, she tested positive for the coronavirus despite a lack of symptoms.

The retired businesswoman spent the next nine days seriously ill in isolation – and all alone as her four children could not visit her.

“To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to come through it but I was so sick that at times, it didn’t really matter. But the thought of passing away in isolation made a bad situation even worse,” Kitty said at the time.

A year on, she is back to full health, and while she restricts her movements, Kitty told The Connacht Tribune that she is just happy to be alive and she spends her days ‘pottering about’ and looking forward to the arrival of family members.

“Even though I don’t particularly agree with the current lockdown because everyone should be responsible for their own behaviour, I am living a life of relative isolation at the moment,” she said.

Read Kitty’s full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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