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Fears for small Galway fire stations under review of service

Denise McNamara

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The most fundamental review undertaken of fire services in County Galway for eighty years has led to speculation that some areas will lose their station or have the level of service downgraded.

New Government policy will result in significant changes in fire safety for all local authorities, but particularly Galway County Council which has managed the service in both city and county since the mid 1980s, the Director of Services for Corporate, Housing and Emergency Services Eugene Cummins stated at this week’s county council meeting.

The framework, called Keeping Communities Safe, would involve an examination of the fire risk of all areas and a review of each fire station, he said.

“We may see some stations might be in the wrong place. Some might be too big, some night not be big enough. We have to look at staff, we may have too many people or we may have enough, it all has to be looked at going forward,” Mr Cummins told the chamber.

A cursory analysis of Galway City has found that it will move to a higher risk classification of A2 or B1 at some time in the future, which is between a high and very high risk area. This would mean the city would require two full-time pumps which would have major staffing and financial implications.

The service would no longer be able to operate from Fr Griffin Road as this station was not big enough. Galway County Council was already examining different sites were a bigger station could be located.  

Most of the Connemara area councillors complained about the lack of a station in South Connemara, with just one in Clifden. Cllr Seosamh O Cuaig (Ind) said the area had a bigger population than Leitrim and Longford, yet both these counties had five stations each. The distance between stations in Drumshanbo and Carrick-on-Shannon was eight miles. The distance between Galway City and Clifden was 48 miles.

For more on this story, see today’s Connacht Tribune

Connacht Tribune

Connacht Tribune tributes to loved ones

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These past few months have seen so many communities left to silently mourn family members and friends, whose funerals they would have attended in such numbers, were it not for the current Covid-19 restrictions.

But those that are gone have not been, and will not be, forgotten – which is why we want to open the pages of the Connacht Tribune to you to tell their stories.

If you’ve lost a loved one, whether to Covid-19 or not, or if your community or organization or sports club is mourning the death of a valued member and friend, you can email us your tribute and we will publish it in our papers.

CONNACHT TRIBUNE OBITUARY TRIBUTE

All you have to do it to click on the above link, and it will take you to a short set of questions which you can fill in – and then add whatever you feel tells the story of the life of your friend, family member or colleague.

You can email that with a photograph to us, to news@ctribune.ie or you can post it to ‘Obituaries’, Connacht Tribune, 21 Liosban Business Park – and please enclose a contact number in case we have any queries.

We sympathise with anyone who has lost a loved one at this awful time, particularly given that so many people were unable to mourn with them and their family in person – and we hope that this will help in some small way to show those family members that we are all united in grief, even from a distance.

This is an additional feature we are providing alongside our long-established weekly Family Notices section where loved ones are remembered immediately by Months Mind Notices and annual anniversary remembrances.  You can contact our team for further details at salesadmin@ctribune.ie

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CITY TRIBUNE

WATCH: The Olivers to the rescue … again!

Enda Cunningham

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Father and son rescue team Patrick and Morgan Oliver were back in action in Salthill this morning, when they helped a swimmer who got into difficulty.

A member of the public raised the alarm at around 10.30am and the Coastguard sought the assistance of Galway Lifeboat who launched from Galway Docks.

Two members of the lifeboat shore crew made their way to the promenade to assist in the rescue.

Patrick and Morgan Oliver were fishing off Salthill at the time and spotted the man taking refuge on Palmers Rock about 200 metres from Salthill shore. They took him on board their fishing boat and brought him back to Galway Docks. Galway Lifeboat in the meantime was stood down. 

The man was taken into the Lifeboat station where he received treatment for symptoms of hypothermia until an ambulance arrived.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Assurances given on progress of road, bridge and bus projects

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It will take time and a lot of money, but the city’s network of major transport projects will proceed on schedule – that was the assurance given this week to councillors by City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath.

Councillors had expressed concerns at their meeting on Monday about the slow rate of progress being made with major capital projects including two new pedestrian bridges over the River Corrib.

However, Brendan McGrath told the meeting that the timelines for the range of capital transport projects – while challenging – were reasonable, pragmatic and achievable.

“All of the projects are moving forward but we must adhere to all the procedures and the different stages that have to be complied with: we have no choice in that,” said Brendan McGrath.

Senior City Council Engineer, Uinsinn Finn, in reply to a number of queries about potential new bus routes, said that while the Council worked closely with Bus Éireann and the bus companies, the local authority didn’t decide on the routes.

Earlier in the meeting, Cllr Peter Keane (FF), asked ‘how it could take 63 months’ to deliver a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Corrib even though the piers (old Corrib Railway Line) were already in place for the project.

“How can it take over five years to put a bridge like this over the Corrib,” he asked, after hearing that this €11 million Greenways-linked project would not be completed until 2026.

There is a snappier timescale for the Salmon Weir Pedestrian/Cycle Bridge – to be located adjacent to the existing structure on the southern side – with planning consent expected by next Summer and a completion date set for the end of 2022.
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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