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E-cigarettes set to deliver massive Connemara jobs boost

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A pharmaceuticals company is poised to announce the creation of up to 100 new jobs, which will boost employment in North Connemara. 

The Connacht Tribune understands that Rossport Pharmaceuticals is set to establish a manufacturing hub at its factory in Corr na Móna. 

The company is affiliated to KIX, which is headquartered in Belfast. The announcement is expected to be made early next week and could be attended by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Jobs, Richard Bruton.

KIX are manufacturers and suppliers of vaping equipment and e-cigarettes, which are new alternatives to tobacco and cigarettes. The company this week sought to fill the position of an accountant based at Corr na Móna, and it is expected to advertise manufacturing jobs in the coming weeks.

It is understood the new positions will be in manufacturing, sales and administration.  Users of electronic cigarettes aren’t ‘smoking’, they are doing what’s known as ‘vaping’. The ‘cigarettes’ are battery powered, which heats a liquid that is flavoured and can be smoked.

They are refillable, and come in a range of flavours and different strengths of nicotine. Eastenders actor June Browne, a smoker, was recently seen ‘vaping’ live during an interview on the Late Late Show on RTÉ.

Galway West TD, Fianna Fáil’s Éamon Ó Cuív, who is based in Corr na Móna, said a jobs investment of this sort would be “fantastic” news for North Connemara.

“If it materialises, it would be a hugely welcome employment boost for the area,” he said.

Deputy Ó Cuív said Corr na Móna, like all rural areas, has suffered from an inability to match jobs with the qualifications of its young people.

“There are a very high number of young people with high-end, third level qualifications and trying to find jobs for them locally is always a problem. There will be no problem filling these jobs and it is a positive development for Corr na Móna,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune

Connacht Tribune

Confusion reigns – but publicans continue serving pints outdoors

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Galway City publicans continued this week to serve alcohol in newly created on-street outdoor dining sections – despite warnings from Gardaí that it was against licensing laws.

The local branch of the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) said it is hoping Government will, if necessary, introduce legislation that facilitates pubs serving alcohol in public spaces reclaimed for outdoor hospitality.

On Friday last, our sister newspaper, Galway City Tribune revealed that Gardaí had visited a number of city pubs warning they were not legally permitted to serve alcohol outdoors in temporary on-street seating areas created by Galway City Council.

Publicans were told that if they continued to flout the rules, files would be sent to the DPP.

When the crux subsequently hit the national headlines, Justice Minister Heather Humphreys urged Gardaí to ‘use their discretion’.

“The overwhelming majority of licensed premises are operating safely, and we in Government are determined to continue to support them. If local issues arise, I would urge local authorities, Gardaí and businesses to engage.

“However, I will also examine whether further measures are required from Government. Licensing law is a complex area but I have spoken to the Attorney General this morning and we will take further action if necessary,” Minister Humphreys said.

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

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Connacht Tribune

Apple plans second bite at Athenry data centre

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An artist's impression of the proposed Apple Data Centre.

Apple intends to have another bite at plans to build a data centre in Athenry.  Apple Operations Europe has applied to Galway County Council for more time to construct a controversial data centre on a greenfield site at Derrydonnell.

The company said it will identify “interested parties to develop the project” between now and 2026 to meet global growth in demand for data storage facilities.

It will spark hope in the County Galway town of a revival of the €850 million project that was dogged for years by planning delays and court appeals and was subsequently shelved. It may also attract fresh objections.

The world’s largest technology company was granted planning permission to build a €850 million data centre near Athenry in 2015.

An appeal to An Bórd Pleanála by a handful of local residents was not successful, and the planning appeals board confirmed the local authority’s decision in 2016.

But the company ultimately aborted its plans for County Galway in 2018 after three objectors sought a review of the decision through the courts.

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

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Connacht Tribune

Mum’s dream holiday turns to nightmare after cancer diagnosis

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Julia McAndrew, in hospital in Mexico.

A mother who went to Mexico on a dream holiday to spend Christmas with family is too weak to return home after being diagnosed with advanced cancer.

From the minute Julia McAndrew landed in the South American country, her health took a major downward spiral.

Her son and daughter were shocked when she asked for a wheelchair to make it through the airport.

She and daughter Eliska had flown out to see her son Patrick, who had relocated to Mexico to run an online learning business.

They initially thought she had fallen ill due to the rigours of a 22-hour, multi-stop flight.

But when her stomach problems did not improve and she began to lose a lot of weight and suffered from very low energy, they sought medical help.

This had to be done privately and without the financial help of an insurance company, Patrick reveals.

She was initially diagnosed with anaemia and kidney failure and underwent various treatments, including blood transfusions that appeared to be working.

But three weeks ago, medics discovered that what she had was Stage 4 breast cancer. Julia had cancer a decade ago but was given the all-clear after receiving treatment and a major change in lifestyle.

“It’s returned with a vengeance this time around. It’s spread to her pelvis, ribs and lungs,” reflects Patrick.

The cost of the treatment is $40,000 (€33,000) a month. Her family are hoping to build up her strength enough to endure the long flight home to Oranmore.

They have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise €280,000 to pay for her treatment and in less than a week a phenomenal €36,000 has been donated.

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

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