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Connacht Tribune

€4m COPE Galway refuge shows there is ‘another way’

Denise McNamara

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The new €4 million refuge for women and children fleeing domestic violence will be named Modh Eile House, which means ‘another way’ in Irish.

Work will begin on converting the former Convent of Mercy residence into the biggest residential refuge in the West of Ireland in the coming weeks with the appointment of Carey Building Contractors.

The building is expected to take a year. Cope Galway CEO Jacquie Horan said the charity hopes the new refuge will be open to take in women and children by the end of 2019.

So far €3 million has been donated to the project by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government as well as major funding from two sources – one of them wishes to remain anonymous and the other comes from the Lifes2Good Foundation.

“We now need to raise the remaining €1 million and we have every confidence that we will continue to benefit from the generosity of the people of Galway to bring this project to fruition,” remarked Ms Horan.

“We haven’t gone public yet but we are planning to launch a public appeal. This will be much nicer surroundings for children. Our Waterside refuge was not an ideal location for small children.”

The design by Simon J Kelly architects involving the protected building at 47 Forster Street will create nine self-contained residential units, staff accommodation, offices, outreach facilities, meeting rooms, playrooms and a childcare facility.

She noted that last year their Waterside House refuge was unable to accommodate 258 women with their 441 children on 326 occasions due to a lack of space.

Planning permission for the project was granted in June. In 2013, COPE secured a 99-year lease on the Magdalen laundry site from the Sisters of Mercy. The actual laundry buildings were demolished in 1991 and redeveloped as apartments.

A booklet created by Cope Galway to remember the Magdalen women who were confined to the laundry run by the Mercy nuns on Forster Street between 1870 and 1984 was launched this week. Ms Horan told the launch that the booklet was a turning point for the charity and the women who once worked at the laundry.

“It’s an opportunity to remember, respect and record some of the sad history and the experiences of the women who lived and worked in the Magdalen Laundry. It is our small and, we hope, sensitive contribution towards acknowledging the lived experiences of women who suffered enormous personal pain and loss.

“It is an opportunity for us to remember who these women were, to respect their lives and work, and to record their lives and deaths in the best way we can.”

She said the name, Modh Eile, was chosen by women who have experienced domestic abuse who believed it would give hope to others to find a way to rebuild their lives and create a better future for their families.

Connacht Tribune

Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer

Denise McNamara

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Ninety-five year old Margaret Kenny was first person to be administered the Covid-19 vaccination Practice Nurse Deirdre Furey at the Surgery Athenry.

On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.

Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.

While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.

“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.

“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”

Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!

Denise McNamara

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Linda Hughes, presenting the RTÉ weather forecast live in studio.

Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.

But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.

The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.

She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.

The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.

“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.

“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”

Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery

Dave O'Connell

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Mary Quinn...back home after an incredible few months.

Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.

But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.

The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.

To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.

“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.

But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.

Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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