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Connacht Tribune

Firemen’s car insurance trebles after storm flooding

Dara Bradley

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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

Student nurses face all the risk – for no reward

Dara Bradley

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Working on the children’s ward of a busy hospital during a global pandemic is no joke; less funny still when you’re not getting paid for your toil.

All the risk and none of the rewards of qualified staff – that’s the lot of Edel Moore, a student nurse who is currently on placement at University Hospital Galway.

Edel, and hundreds of student nurses like her on placement in UHG and Portiuncula in Ballinasloe, want more than a round of applause and platitudes from Government.

“None of us want a pat on the back for struggling. We’d just like to be recognised,” she said.

“The Government are full-time talking about front-line workers, and they want to give them a ‘clap hands’. Then you see Junior Ministers getting massive raises. For what? What have they done for us, the student nurses, that they’re getting a €16,000 wage increase?

“We’ve put ourselves through a four year degree but all I’m worth is a clap? Thanks! It’s ridiculous. They say that front-line workers deserve all the help they can get but it just seems that the ones who are able to give us the help we need are not going to give us the help that we deserve.”

Edel Moore is a mature student originally from Westmeath but living in Leitir Mealláin in Connemara with her husband and three children.

A third year student nurse of NUIG, she is currently on placement at the paediatric ward at UHG.

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

Island museum gets the green light

Declan Tierney

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An artist's impression of the proposed Inishbofin museum.

Work is expected to begin shortly on the construction of a museum on Inishbofin after planners gave the green light to the project.

The museum at Middlequarter is being developed by local historian and photographer Marie Coyne – and when completed, it will be home to items of historical significance from both Inishbofin and Inishark.

There is an existing museum on the island but it is too small to house the amount of artefacts, photographs and family histories that have been assembled over the years.

The new building will also include a photographic exhibition room, restoration workshop along with a gift shop and coffee dock. It is proposed that the new 3,400 square feet museum will be built on a site at the rear of Ms Coyne’s home.

Eamon Gavin of Eamon Gavin Architects based in Cornamona told the Connacht Tribune that this was an important project for the island and it was a welcome decision.

And he said that the green light would kickstart the process of conserving the vast and unique artefacts and archives built up over the years.

“As a practice, we have a long history of dealing with planning consultancy on unique rural sites in Connemara and the islands, therefore we fully understood how sensitive the proposed location of the project would be – the site is located in a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and National Heritage Area,” he said.

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

Tuam woman a picture of health a year after Covid crisis

Declan Tierney

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Tuam's Kitty Farrell with her dog Lulu a year after her Covid diagnosis.

Last year was a Mother’s Day like no other for Kitty Farrell who spent it in the back of an ambulance being rushed to hospital with Covid – but the 80 year old Tuam woman can look forward to a more sedate celebration this time out….thankfully restored back to full health.

Kitty, from Ballygaddy Road, had developed a debilitating cough the previous week – and when she was admitted to UHG on Mother’s Day, she tested positive for the coronavirus despite a lack of symptoms.

The retired businesswoman spent the next nine days seriously ill in isolation – and all alone as her four children could not visit her.

“To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to come through it but I was so sick that at times, it didn’t really matter. But the thought of passing away in isolation made a bad situation even worse,” Kitty said at the time.

A year on, she is back to full health, and while she restricts her movements, Kitty told The Connacht Tribune that she is just happy to be alive and she spends her days ‘pottering about’ and looking forward to the arrival of family members.

“Even though I don’t particularly agree with the current lockdown because everyone should be responsible for their own behaviour, I am living a life of relative isolation at the moment,” she said.

Read Kitty’s 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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