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Dialysis won’t stop local athletes as they bid for games glory

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Two people from Galway undergoing dialysis are gearing up to compete in the European Transplant and Dialysis Sports Championship next month.

Zimele Brown from Gleann na Rí in Renmore and Linda Waters from Athenry will participate in the games in Vantaa, Finland to celebrate life through sport and to highlight the importance of organ donations.

The two athletes are a part of Transplant Team Ireland, which consists of 29 athletes around the country ranging from ages 18 to 78.

Linda has endured a kidney and pancreas transplant and is currently undergoing haemodialysis treatment, which cleanses the blood of toxins, extra salts and fluids through a dialysis machine called artificial kidney.

Despite her unfortunate medical history, Linda always looks forward to these games. She sees the championship as another support system in her life.

“It’s like another team. Everyone has been through something difficult and everyone looks out for each other,” she said.

More importantly, it’s a way showing people the importance of organ donations and how they change lives.

“My donor was young and when you look at a young person these days they’re out playing sports and travelling. I feel like this is a way of honouring my donor and showing people that, yes, I’m still ill, but I’ve not given up,” Linda said.

This year, she’ll participate in the 50-59 age category for shot putt, tenpin bowling and petanque (a form of boules).

Zimele is also in preparations for the games. He’s originally from New Orleans, but has been living in Galway since 2010.

He’s currently waiting for a kidney transplant and is also undergoing haemodialysis treatment.

Zimele isn’t going into the games blindsided either, he has a bit of experience in the competition. In 2014’s games in Poland he received four medals.

“It’s a great to represent Ireland. I’ve never represented the US before in anything really.

“It’s a good way to meet other people on dialysis and hear their stories and find out any similarities or differences,” he said.

In this year’s games, he’ll be competing in the 30-30 age category for ten pin bowling and petanque.

He says he competes for his three beautiful teenage girls and his loving wife, who is his constant support system.

This is the ninth European Transplant and Dialysis Games and will take place July 10 -17.

Events include badminton, tennis, table tennis, cycling, darts, golf, petanque, swimming, ten pin bowling, mini-marathon and track and field.

Transplant Team Ireland has six newcomers and the most dialysis athletes to ever travel abroad to represent their country.

Out of the 23 men and 6 women on the Irish team, 22 of them are transplant recipients – 17 kidney, 4 liver and 1 combined kidney/pancreas, while seven of athletes are currently receiving dialysis treatment.

A newcomer to the games, but also the youngest team member is 18 year old Matthew NcNieve, a kidney transplant recipient from Mayo.

Also travelling with the group is Claire Kennedy, the team medical director, who works in the transplant department at Beaumont Hospital.

The inspirational athletes met with Dublin’s All-Star Alan Brogan for a motivational talk.

Nearly 500 participants from 25 countries throughout Europe will be involved in the biennial event. All athletes at the games will either be on a dialysis or have already received a kidney, liver, heart, lung pancreas or bone barrow transplant.

In Poland, the team was ranked in top three positions on the medals table, taking home an impressive 18 gold, 18 silver and 31 bronze medals.

CITY TRIBUNE

50 domestic abuse 999 calls to Galway Gardaí cancelled

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway’s Garda Chief has committed to a ‘root and branch investigation’ after an internal review unearthed over 50 domestic abuse calls that were cancelled by local Gardaí.

An internal Garda inquiry has revealed that nationally, members of the force cancelled between 3,000 and 4,000 domestic abuse-related ‘999’ calls between 2019 and 2020.

At a meeting of the City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) on Monday, Chief Superintendent Tom Curley told members that the inquiry found 53 such calls in the Galway Division.

He said he had been tasked by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to sift through the calls and follow up on how they were handled by Gardaí.

“In relation to domestic incidents where calls were cancelled, I have 53 from my division. I am carrying out a root and branch investigation and perhaps at the next JPC meeting, I will be able to give an update of the findings.

“I have only listened to a number of the calls at the moment and I’d rather be in possession of the full facts before commenting any further,” said Chief Supt Curley.
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

Councillor claims dealers are using jet skis to bring drugs to Galway

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Drugs are being delivered into the city by jet skis coming down the Corrib, a meeting of the city’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) heard on Monday.

Cllr Frank Fahy (FG) said there had been reports of dealers using jet skis to come down the river from areas around Headford and Cong, dropping deliveries in the city without fear of detection.

“Do we have a Garda water unit in Galway City to deal with that,” asked Cllr Fahy.

The Chief Superintendent, Tom Curley, said he was not aware of the practice but if anyone had any information on these deliveries, they should bring it to Gardaí.

“We haven’t got a water unit in the city but there is one in Athlone that is available to us any day of the week,” he added.

This came as the JPC was informed that drugs seizures have soared in the city, with year-on-year figures for detection of dealing up 84% in the first five months of 2021.
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

Walk-in Covid test facility to open in city centre next week

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Galway City Tribune – A new walk-in Covid testing centre will open in the old tourist office off Forster Street next Tuesday.

The centre will replace the one at NUIG, where students were being encouraged to get tested without an appointment if they showed symptoms or were close contacts of somebody who tested positive.

It will be open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm.

The new location will be a more convenient base for people visiting the city to check for the virus over the coming weeks as the tourist season ramps up.

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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