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Connacht Tribune

Family edge closer to getting Shane home

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Shane Grogan pictured with his parents Joan and Joe at the recent family fun day in the Palace Grounds in Tuam. Photo: Johnny Ryan Photography.

The family of a young man who suffered horrific brain injuries in an unprovoked attack more than seven years ago finally hope to be able to bring him home over the next few months.

The parents of 29-year-old Shane Grogan from Tuam are in the process of modifying a house to make it suitable to his needs.

Joe and Joan Grogan were grief-stricken when they learned that their son, who was just 22 at the time, had suffered catastrophic brain injuries as a result of the incident.

While Shane is making good progress with round-the-clock care and physiotherapy, it will never be the same for the Grogan family who are still trying to come to terms with what happened back in 2012.

But his parents, who visit him on a daily basis in a local nursing home, are more determined than ever to bring him home.

However, Joe Grogan admits that it is not a simple procedure and that various planning requirements need to be put in place before it is acceptable to both the Health Service Executive and those who will be looking after Shane in the future.

The Care for Shane fund has raised around €250,000 since it was established. The long term ambition is to bring Shane home to his family.

Shane was a gregarious, ambitious and adventurous individual who had excelled in terms of education and sport.

He graduated in business studies at GMIT Castlebar and worked in the financial department of Merit Medical in Galway. He was also a keen athlete and marathon runner.

More than seven years after he suffered horrific brain injuries in an unprovoked attack after attending the Galway Races, the hopes are high that he is finally coming home.

Shane Grogan, who is now 29, has resided in a number of care facilities since the attack took place in Tuam after he celebrated a very rewarding and extremely enjoyable final day of the Galway Races in 2012.

Planning permission was granted to the Grogan family in Tuam for the construction of a new house in the town which will be specially adapted to accommodate Shane who will then move into the bosom of his family.

Shane sustained severe head injuries in the attack and subsequently a man was convicted of the assault and a prison term was imposed.

Shane was walking with his girlfriend towards the house of a friend in the area when the incident happened at approximately 3.30am on a Sunday morning.

Tuam Gardaí and the emergency services were alerted and were quickly on the scene and Shane was taken by ambulance to University Hospital, Galway. He was later transferred to Beaumount Hospital, Dublin for specialist treatment for severe head injuries.

“Shane is in good form and is responding well to the therapy he is receiving,” Joe said. “He particularly likes music – so we give him a blast of the Sawdoctors every so often”.

Connacht Tribune

Wave goodbye to City Bypass as long as Greens are in Government

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An artist's impression of proposed Galway Ring Road.

PEOPLE in the West of Ireland should not be ‘fooled’ into thinking that vital infrastructure projects like the Galway City Bypass will get the go-ahead while Eamon Ryan remains in charge of Environment, a former Fianna Fail Minister and West Galway TD has warned this week.

That’s despite Tánaiste Leo Varadkar re-iterating on Galway Bay FM this week that the funding for the project has already been allocated – although he admitted that planning was the final hurdle.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív told the Connacht Tribune that the proposed bypass of Galway city, which has a Bord Pleanála decision due by November 19 next, would end up being choked under the headings of ‘carbon proofing and carbon rating’.

“Make no mistake about it but the word on the ground that’s filtering through to local Green Party representatives is that this project will not go ahead, and will be stopped because of carbon-proofing regulations.

“This is no red herring – over the years, I’ve seen so many road projects in Connemara that were given the go-ahead in principle but have never happened because of so-called processes and procedures,” said Éamon Ó Cuív.

However, he pledged that the six Fianna Fáil representatives across Connacht, would fight ‘tooth and nail’ not to see the West ‘left behind’ with roads projects that were vital for the future of the province.

“We will be meeting directly with Taoiseach, Micheál Martin on Wednesday next [October 20] to stress the importance of a number of roads projects across the West of Ireland, including the Galway City Bypass.

“And I would also stress that we are committed fully to environmental and carbon reduction measures, but the way to do this is not by preventing people in the West of Ireland from using their cars – the cars aren’t the problem – it’s the fuel that’s used to power them,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.

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

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Connacht Tribune

Connemara coffee couple are now well grounded!

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Aoife Geary and James Elcock on their opening day, with their first customers - and landlords - Roundstone natives Michael John and Catherine Ferrons, sitting outside.

Aoife Geary always felt like one of the locals in Carna. Even though her parents were living in Galway City, she was largely raised by her granny and grandad Barbara and Coleman Geary. Her first job as a 13-year-old was in the local shop in the Connemara village.

“I know it sounds a bit romantic, but I felt like I was raised by the community, not just in the community. I knew everybody in the shop and everybody knew me,” she reflects.

So, when London was about to go into the first lockdown in March 2020, she and husband James Elcock made a split decision to hop on a flight to Galway armed with two carry-on suitcases.

“Granny was terminally ill with cancer, and I wanted to help out with her care and I was worried we wouldn’t be able to travel. Little did we think we weren’t going to leave.”

Aoife was the live entertainment manager for billionaire Richard Branson’s private members club called Roof Gardens in Kensington while James, a native of Shropshire, was running a restaurant in the bank area of London. She had lived in London since 2013, her husband four years longer.

When he was made redundant, he bought himself a vintage sewing machine in Castlebar and taught himself to use it in an afternoon, setting up his first Irish business making and selling cotton face masks.

They then realised that a takeaway unit in Roundstone had become free, which was overlooking the picturesque pier and with views of the Twelve Bens. They opened My Coffee Cottage in mid-August and business was brisk from the get-go.

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

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Connacht Tribune

Budget’s grant break for college commuters

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NUI Galway.

Grants for some third level students living in certain parts of County Galway, who attend college in the city, could more than double as a result of changes in Budget 2022.

Undergraduates and students on post leaving cert courses living in areas such as Tuam, Loughrea and An Cheathrú Rua will all benefit from an adjustment to the eligibility to the non-adjacent rate for maintenance grants.  Some could get a grant boost of €1,800 next year due to the changes announced in the Budget.

People eligible for a maintenance grant are paid at either a non-adjacent rate or an adjacent rate – determined by measuring the distance of the shortest direct route from your normal residence to college.

Currently, the adjacent rate – which is lower – is paid when your college is 45km or less from where you live. The higher non-adjacent rate is paid when the college is more than 45km away from an eligible student’s home. The non-adjacent rate has been adjusted in Budget 2022 to include 30km to 45km.

This means that eligibility for the non-adjacent rate has been widened, and many students who were previously on the adjacent rate may now be eligible for a higher non-adjacent rate. It means that third level students living in Tuam, Loughrea and An Cheathrú could be eligible for the higher non-adjacent rate next September.

Get the full details on this and the impact of Budget 2022 in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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