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Connacht Tribune

Firemen’s car insurance trebles after storm flooding

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Two Galway firemen, who were on duty defending the city against the worst effects of a recent storm, returned to find their cars flooded . . . and now their insurance premiums have trebled.

Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, has agreed to raise their plight with Kevin Kelly, his counterpart in Galway County Council, which operates the Fire Services for the city and county.

Councillor Ollie Crowe raised the issue at the latest meeting of Galway City Council – he said he was having difficulty getting a positive response from County Hall on the firefighters’ behalf.

Cllr Crowe commended the work of Galway Fire Service. He said that during one of the latest storms, two fire officers were “out protecting our city and county and when they returned to their cars in the Claddagh they were flooded”.

To add insult to injury, he said, the insurance premiums for the duo “have increased threefold”. Cllr Crowe raised the matter with staff in Galway City Council, and also flagged it at County Hall, but he urged Mr McGrath to use whatever influence he has to help the two emergency service workers get a resolution.

Meanwhile, the dispute between both Councils over the cost of providing shared services hasn’t yet been resolved.

Mr McGrath, in response to questions from Cllr Pádraig Conneely, said that he was close to concluding a deal on outstanding monies owed for shared services such as library and fire brigade.

Cllr Conneely said that the City Council paid some €1.8 million for the bid to win the European Capital of Culture; and the County Council didn’t contribute anything, claiming it was owed for shared services. He said an independent adjudicator was appointed in 2015 to ascertain who owed what but three years on and there was no conclusion.

The meeting was told that agreement for shared services going forward has been reached and both Councils were nearing a deal on the legacy monies for shared services between 2012 and 2016.

Mr McGrath said he made no apologies for trying to get the best deal possible for city ratepayers; Mr Kelly was doing the same for the county and that’s why negotiations were protracted. Once a deal is reached he will relay that to elected members, added Mr McGrath.

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Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area

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A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes

The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.

The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.

The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.

Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.

Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.

In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

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Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised

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Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.

A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.

Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.

Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.

Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.

He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .

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Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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