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Enabling works at Portuncula Hospital to begin this year

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Galway Bay fm newsroom:

The Seanad has heard that enabling works for the creation of a new 50 bed unit at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe will begin this year.

This follows concerns over the future of the plans in light of the overspend on the new National Children’s Hospital.

Galway Roscommon TD Eugene Murphy expressed fears that these plans could be pushed down the line.

In December, The HSE stated it was considering the inclusion of a new 50 bed unit at Portiuncula Hospital in the 2019 Capital Plan.

The Health Minister is currently finalising the Capital Plan with the HSE, though no commitment has yet been given.

Galway Senator Maura Hopkins raised the matter at the Seanad this week – highlighting the need for works to progress as soon as possible.

The Seanad heard that the HSE has informed the Department of Health that tender documents are being prepared for the project – with a view to progressing the procurement process and commencing an enabling works contract this year.

Galway Senator Maura Hopkins has welcomed the announcement and says it’s now about ensuring capital funding is obtained to deliver the project.

The government has said that the 2019 Capital Plan should be finalised in the coming weeks.

Minister of State for the Department of Health, Jim Daly, says the project at Portiuncula Hospital is at a more advanced stage than other projects in the country:

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Measures to support participants of Community Employment and Tús Schemes welcomed by Galway deputy Eamon O’Cuiv.

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – The announcement Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys T.D., and Minister of State, Joe O’Brien T.D., of further measures to support participants of Community Employment (CE) and Tús schemes has been welcomed by Galway West/South Mayo deputy Eamon O’Cuiv.

Under the measures, CE and Tús participants’ contracts will be further extended until the end of October 2021.

This will benefit 7,000 participants who have been granted contract extensions since last October and whose contracts were due to end in July.

And the measure will benefit over 4,000 additional existing CE/ Tús participants whose contracts would ordinarily come to an end between July and October.

Deputy Eamon O’Cuiv welcomed this decision saying it will allow people return to work, who could not work during Covid-19, and also allow them to finish courses they were on.

Deputy O’Cuiv said that it will be a relief for those who are on the schemes but added that he would like to see more done.

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Health officials confirm 431 new cases of Covid-19

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – Health officials have confirmed 431 new cases of covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland.

This is the highest number of cases in Ireland since the 4th of June when 529 cases were reported.

However, the number of people in hospital with the virus continues to fall with 58 people currently in hospital with the virus.

The number of people in ICU also continues to drop with 22 are in ICU.  The lowest this year and a reduction of 2 on yesterday.

The Department of Health says the daily case numbers may change due to future data review and validation.

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Works to get underway on major extension at Craughwell National School

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Galway bay FM Newsroom – Works are to get underway on a major extension at Craughwell National School in the coming weeks.

Galway East Deputy Ciaran Cannon says a contractor has now been approved for the project, which is expected to take around 12 months to complete.

The works will consist of a two storey, eight classroom extension, as well as the refurbishment of the existing school building.

Fine Gael Deputy Cannon says the project will be transformative for the school, which has seen a significant increase in enrollment over the last ten years.

Deputy Cannon says the contractor should be moving on site over the school summer holidays.

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