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Derrybrien wind farm racks up €5m in daily EU fines

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A daily fine of €15 thousand levied on Derrybrien wind farm in South Galway by the EU has now resulted in penalties of more than €5m.

The fine was imposed last year due to a failure by the Irish state to carry out an appropriate environmental impact assessment during the construction stage.

In November, the European Court of Justice imposed a €5m penalty on the state in relation to the construction of Derrybrien Windfarm in South Galway.

The case centred on long standing concerns about the impact of the 70 turbine development on the Slieve Aughty mountains – which was deemed to have been improperly assessed.

Additional daily fines of €15 thousand were also imposed until the situation was deemed to be rectified.

According to the Sunday Times, while the state paid the €5m penalty, it has not paid the daily fines – which have now accumulated to a further €5m.

The Government says the daily fines will accrue until the terms of the EU judgement are met, which requires that the wind farm and its development consents are in compliance with EU directives.

The Department of Housing says an ESB subsidiary, Gort Windfarms, lodged an application with An Bord Pleanala in August for substitute consent – and this is currently under consideration.

This allows for retrospective applications in exceptional circumstances where there has been no environmental assessment.

In 2003, a massive landslide occurred at Derrybrien, which displaced 450 cubic metres of peat that spilled into waterways 20km away, killing 50 thousand fish.

Photo – Wiki

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1,031 new cases of Covid-19 – with 60 in Galway and no further deaths

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There have been no new deaths reported to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre today.

There has now been a total of 1,852 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

As of midnight Sunday, 18th October, the HPSC has been notified of 1,031 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 50,993 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland. 

Of the cases notified today;

  • 511 are men / 518 are women
  • 70% are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 30 years old
  • 235 in Dublin, 232 in Cork, 60 in Galway, 47 in Limerick, 47 in Kerry, and the remaining 410 cases are spread across 21 counties.

As of 2pm today, 298 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 34 are in ICU. 20 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “If you have symptoms of COVID-19, if you are waiting for a test result or if you are a confirmed case, you must self-isolate for 10 days from when you first develop symptoms. Self-isolation means staying in your room, away from other members of your household.

“If you live in a house with a confirmed case do not go to work or school. You must stay at home and restrict your movements for 14 days.”

The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community.

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12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Galway hospitals today but none in ICU

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – There are 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Galway hospitals today, but none are being treated in intensive care units.

That’s according to HSE figures which show that nationally, 290 COVID-19 patients are attending acute hospitals.

10 patients are being treated for coronavirus at UHG today, while two people are receiving care at Portiuncula Hospital Ballinasloe.

However, no Covid patients are being treated in the ICU at either facility.

A further 11 patients are undergoing general treatment for suspected cases of the virus across both hospitals – with 6 at UHG and 5 at Portiuncula Hospital.

Overall, 31 patients are receiving care for COVID-19 in ICU’s across the country today – with 23 being placed on ventilators.

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Government preparing to move to level five for six weeks

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A six week lockdown is on the cards as Ministers are meeting to consider moving the country to level five restrictions.

Party leaders are understood to have approved the escalation of measures and are now consulting with their party colleagues.

After senior Ministers met health officials earlier this afternoon a shift in approach was decided on.

Instead of a level 4 plus which had been talked about the recommendation gone to Ministers is to put the country to level five restrictions for six weeks.

That means the second lockdown would last until the start of December.

It’s expected the measures will take effect tomorrow midnight or Wednesday.

Level five would mean travel being limited to within 5 kilometres of your home.

It’s expected schools will be allowed to stay open.

Elite sport will be allowed to be played even under level five.

A ban on evictions will be part of the new measures while a system of fines for breaches is being finalised.

The idea of social bubbles is also still on the table to allow lonely or vulnerable people to be cared for.

All non-essential retail will close and pubs and restaurants will move to takeaway only.

The measures have yet to be signed off on by the cabinet which is meeting at the moment, but it looks like a long lockdown will be announced tonight.

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