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CITY TRIBUNE

Family of woman who died by suicide turns tragedy into force for good

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When Lindsey Kelly died by suicide in December last year, her family was determined that the thirty-year-old’s death would not be in vain.

Her mother Margaret – who describes Lindsey as a ‘vibrant person who would always go above and beyond to help anyone’ – reveals that, with the help of her cousin Rachel Curley, they set up a fundraiser which generated over €9,000; money the family decided to split between two charities, Pieta House and Claddagh Watch.

Claddagh Watch, which provides a voluntary waterways patrol service in Galway, was close to Lindsey’s heart, her mother says. Lindsey had been living in Galway City for most of her adult life and had been interested in volunteering with the charity.

Originally from Lecarrow in Co Roscommon, Margaret says the family have taken some solace in knowing that the money raised in Lindsey’s memory might shield another family of the pain they feel.

“Claddagh Watch is something we always felt was very worthy because of the number of lives lost on the river in Galway. My feeling was that if we could prevent one person losing their life, Lindsey’s loss wouldn’t be in vain.

“I wanted her memory to go on and we felt, as a family, that if even one person was saved, either by Pieta House of Claddagh Watch, it would be worthwhile,” says Margaret.

With some of the money donated by the Kelly family, Claddagh Watch has purchased a set of ten torches for use by their volunteers who carry out night time patrols.

In memory of Lindsey, each torch has been engraved with the words, ‘Lindsey Light’, something Margaret says is a powerful symbol.

“Her light will shine on anybody who might need help and anyone who knew Lindsey knew she was a shining light who lit up the room.

“It’s great that she gets talked about each night as volunteers go out with the torches and speak her name. her memory goes on,” adds Margaret.

Claddagh Watch founder Arthur Carr, whose family knew Lindsey, says it is very special for them to carry her memory on each patrol.

“The torches will shine a light on every patrol in memory of the wonderful, vibrant, quick-witted young woman that was Lindsey,” he says.

The organisation continues to keep watch over the city’s waterways at weekends and on occasions where crowds are expected to gather.

The charity marked two years in operation last week – carrying out almost 6,500 hours of patrols in that 24-month period.

With over 100 volunteers, it continues to grow, thanks to the kind donations from people like Lindsey’s family, and the dedication of the volunteers involved, says Arthur.

“We patrol the river from the Commercial Boat Club right down as far as Nimmo’s Pier as well as the canals. We’re hoping to expand that to Quincentenary Bridge and the college area in the coming weeks.

“I have to pay huge tribute to our volunteers. You can have as many managers and founders as you like, but if you don’t have a bunch of volunteers willing to go out on the cold, wet and wintery evenings, you have nothing,” he concludes.

CITY TRIBUNE

Council rows back on ‘reduced delays’ projections for Kirwan junction

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Motorists have described it as ‘a disaster’ and a former mayor has said the project gave very poor value for money, but Galway City Council have this week asked the public to be patient with the revamped Kirwan junction, close to the Menlo Park Hotel.

Since the four-arm signalled junction opened early last week, motorists have complained of traffic queues stretching back to the Quincentenary Bridge and Corrib Park.

And now the Council has rowed back on its consultants’ claims that the junction would increase capacity by 15% and reduce waiting times by 25%.

Former mayor and local taxi driver, Cllr Frank Fahy, told the Galway City Tribune that given the negative impact of the junction on traffic, the €5 million spent on the project represented ‘very poor value’ as regards taxpayers’ money.

“I will admit that the junction is now safer for pedestrians in that they can hit a button to give them a safe crossing, but since it opened there have some very serious traffic tailbacks,” said Cllr Fahy.

However, City Council Acting Director of Services for Transport, Uinsinn Finn, told the Galway City Tribune that the new junction needed time to ‘bed in’ with a familiarisation process.

“The main objectives of this project were to make far safer for pedestrians and cyclists to negotiate, as well as making it safer for motorists too, without impacting [negatively] on the traffic flow,” said Mr Finn.

He added that since it opened – and over the coming few weeks – data on all aspects of how the junction was functioning would be compiled which could involve changes to light sequencing, lanes and peak traffic flows.

One motorist who contacted this newspaper said that the daily “nightmare” journey from the Barna Road to the Headford Road during the morning peak traffic time had added up to 40 minutes to his journey time.

“The two lanes are regularly gridlocked from the junction, back the N6, over the Quincentenary Bridge and back to Corrib Park.

“In the mornings, it’s now easier to go down Taylor’s Hill and into town, past Eyre Square and up Bohermore to get down to the Headford Road.

Councillors were told by consultants in 2017 and again in 2018 – when they voted to proceed with the changeover to a junction – that average delays would be reduced by 25% and junction capacity would increase by 15%.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Man hospitalised following Eyre Square assault

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Gardaí have appealed to the public for information into an assault in Eyre Square last weekend which led to a young man being hospitalised.

The victim of the assault – a man in his early 20s from the city area – suffered a cut to his knee and may have had a substance sprayed towards his eyes.

Following the incident – that occurred close to the Eyre Square taxi rank shortly after midnight on Saturday night last – the victim was taken by ambulance to University Hospital Galway.

It is understood that the victim was released later that morning and has made a full recovery. This week, Gardaí are poring over CCTV footage in an effort to try and identify the perpetrators of the assault.

The assailants are understood to have fled on foot after the incident towards St Patrick’s Avenue on the east side of Eyre Square.

A Garda spokesperson has appealed for anyone who was in the vicinity of the taxi rank on Eyre Square between 12 midnight and 12.30am on the Sunday morning (Saturday night) of July 25 last, and who may have witnessed the incident to contact them.

(Photo: the assailants fled on foot towards St Patrick’s Avenue off Eyre Square)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Council turns down controversial phone mast plan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Galway City Council has refused an application by Eircom to erect a 12-metre telecoms mast in a housing estate in Knocknacarra.

The local authority turned down the company’s application for planning permission to install the structure in the heart of Drom Óir over concerns that it would create a visual obstruction in a residential area – and would have a detrimental impact on property prices.

Eircom had also sought retention to keep a concrete foundation for the mast in situ after it was forced to abandon works earlier this year, amid protests from residents in Drom Óir and Leitir Burca. This was also rejected.

City planners issued the company with a warning letter in April to cease works after contractors on site drew the ire of nearby residents, who accused Eircom of seeking to install the mast ‘by stealth’.

A total of 26 letters of objection were submitted to the Council from residents of the two estate.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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