Date Published: 19-May-2011
By Darragh McDonagh
Home energy supplier Airtricity has been forced to conduct a review of its sales practices after one of its employees enticed a Galway woman with an intellectual disability to sign up for the electricity provider’s services.
The woman’s family were outraged when they discovered that a door-to-door salesman representing the company had called to her home in Salthill while she was alone and got her to sign a contract with the electricity supplier that she did not understand.
She did not inform her family about the visit from the salesman and, as a result, they only became aware of what had happened when a bill arrived from Airtricity some two months later. The company was immediately contacted about the matter.
“The salesman cannot have been unaware of her condition,” said a spokesperson for the family. “It is instantly apparent from both her speech and her appearance that she is not mentally competent, and to have taken advantage of that fact is just despicable.
“She has the mental age of a child and has an intellectual disability that renders her legally incompetent, meaning that she cannot enter into binding contracts like the one she was enticed to sign by the representative of Airtricity,” he said.
After it was contacted, Airtricity issued an apology and waived the energy charges that had accrued since the incident. It also arranged for the account to be returned to the previous electricity supplier.
“As a result, we have conducted a full review of our sales processes to ensure that our sales procedures remain fair and responsible at all times and that the protection of vulnerable customers continues to be at the heart of our procedures.”
Local councillor Padraig Conneely, who was contacted in relation to the incident, described the conduct of the sales representative as “shameful and predatory” and said that it had reflected badly on the company.
Read more in today’s Galway City Tribune
Appeal for information following Portumna crash
Date Published: 08-May-2013
Gardai are appealing for witnesses following a single vehicle crash at the Portumna bridge this morning.
The road from Nenagh to Loughrea reopened shortly after 11 this morning following the completion of a technical exam.
Four men were travelling in a van when they hit the Portumna bridge around 6:30 this morning.
Gardaí, ambulance and two units of Portumna fire services rushed to the scene, and one of the men was taken to Portiuncula hospital in Ballinasloe.
He is being treated for head injuries, which have been described by Gardaí as serious.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Portumna Garda station on 09-097-42060
President Higgins among GMIT’s first ever honorary fellowships
Date Published: 10-May-2013
GMIT is to honour seven outstanding individuals including President Michael D Higgins with Honorary Fellowships at a special ceremony later this month.
It’s the first time in the 40 year history of the Institute the Governing Body of GMIT has decided to award honorary fellowships.
The GMIT Honorary Fellowships will be conferred at the g Hotel in the city this day two weeks Friday 24 May at 2.30pm in front of 200 invited guests.
Galway commuters hold their breath as LRC intervenes in bus strike
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway commuters are holding their breath as there has been a potential breakthrough in the Bus Eireann dispute, as both sides have agreed to talks at the Labour Relations Commission.
The LRC intervened this afternoon, on day two of strike action that has seen 95 per cent of bus services disrupted across the country.
The LRC’s Director of Conciliation Services, Kevin Foley, says the National Bus and Rail Union and the company have agreed to meet for mediated talks at 8 this evening.