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Fundraiser for ex-Garda paralysed after freak fall

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A Galway man who was involved in a tragic accident that left him paralysed has been made feel like a “bed-blocker” according to his family.

John Conneely, a 59 year old, retired Garda Sergeant from Salthill had been holidaying with his partner in Amsterdam when he felt unwell during dinner.

When he went outside to get some air, he passed out and fell down a series of steep granite stairs, breaking his neck and caused severe spinal cord damage.

After ten hours in the operating theatre, surgeons managed to save his life – but sadly it left him in a quadriplegic state.

After spending some months in hospital in the Netherlands, John was medevaced back to Ireland where he several weeks at the Mater Hospital and from there was transferred to the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire where he is currently located.

Unfortunately this is only a temporary solution for John and he has already been told he will soon need to make provisions for finding alternative care.

His family have been forced to launch a fundraising to campaign to try to meet the growing costs of such care, given that that assistance from the state will fall far short of what John needs in order to have a minimum quality of life.

Speaking of the problem, John’s brother Jarlath stated, “There is a big issue there at the moment Dun Laoghaire – they want him out but they cannot offer him any place that will meet his needs. He needs 24 hours a day, seven days a week care, and sometimes there needs to be two people with him.”

“He is basically in the terminology of the bureaucrats a ‘bed-blocker,’ but he can’t go because has nowhere to go,” added his brother.

John currently resides in a three bedroom two storey house but given the unsuitability of the building he is been forced to sell his home.

He is looking to purchase a more suitable bungalow house that can be modified to suit his needs but once again this is serious financial drain on both John and his family.

“He feels terrible, on top of all his woes he really feels rotten about the situation he’s in because this has been put to him that he’s a bed ‘block-blocker’. He has been incredibly resilient and he’s an amazing fella and he was always turns the best side out when we are up with him in Dublin,” said Jarlath.

John had only retired from the Gardaí two years ago where he was a member of Garda Sub-Aqua Unit. Before the accident he was described as a very active man. “He was such a fit man. This guy loved life and loved swimming, walking and going to the gym,” his brother told the Connacht Tribune.

John has two children Jennie and Peter and one grandchild called Erin who are all said to be “absolutely devastated” following the heart-breaking incident.

His family have launched the “Jogging for John” campaign which aims to bridge the gap between the government funding and the actual financial costs of ensuring John has a reasonable standard of life. Family and friends of will partake in the Galway Bay 10K run to be held on October 1.

Thus far there have been donations bordering on €18,000 but they are hoping to raise in excess of €50,000. To donate to this fundraiser please do so at- https://www.fundandseek.com/joggingforjohn

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
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

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
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

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
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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