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Galway centenarian marks big birthday in style

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A life packed with activity and travel that took her from her native Galway to Dublin, to Italy and Kenya – and then back home to retire – reached its centenary at the weekend when May Quinn celebrated her 100th birthday.

May was born on August 4 1916 in Newtownblake, Peterswell, Gort, to James Quinn and Kate Fitzgerald.

She is the last surviving sibling, having lost her two brothers, Fred and Bob, and her sister Kate, who she was delighted to spend a couple of special years with up to her death just three years ago.

May’s favourite memories of her childhood are fishing in the river that flowed through her farm in Peterswell, looking after the farm animals, bringing the dinner to her father and brothers in the bog, playing hurling and saving the hay.

As a young girl, May worked as a waitress in Moylan’s Commercial Hotel in Loughrea, then went to Dublin where she continued waitressing, working in a dry cleaners and voluntary social work.

She joined the Legion of Mary in Dublin and travelled with them throughout Ireland and on to England, Italy and Kenya, where she helped educate people in need, visiting many schools and villages.

She was always very active, she played camogie, loved running and cycled the twelve miles from Loughrea to Newtownblake every time she visited home.

New centenarian May Quinn is congratulated by 101 year old Margo O'Connell.

New centenarian May Quinn is congratulated by 101 year old Margo O’Connell.

She would take the train from Westland Row to Attymon, then a small connecting train to Loughrea which was the old railway line.

On her return from Dublin, May moved to Laurences’ Fields in Loughrea, where she was known for her love of gardening, knitting and her cherished Yorkshire terrier Lucky. She was a common sight walking Lucky with his coat on.

She had a passion for colour and would never be seen in anything but colourful clothing. She was known for her kindness and compassion towards her elderly neighbours, often calling the emergency services when she noticed a neighbour was in trouble.

May joined her sister Kate in the Little Flower Nursing Home, Labane on September 2 2010 leaving her home in Laurences’ Fields, Loughrea.

Sadly, Kate passed away in March 2013 but May was very grateful for the time she spent with her younger sister. They both shared a passion for music with May watching her sister perform with the musicians playing the percussion instruments.

May continues to enjoy the music and celebrated with family, many friends and residents for the big occasion.

Local musicians Peter Gardiner, Nessa Flaherty and Pat O’ Neill provided the dance music.

May’s eye for fashion and colour was clearly evident with her choosing a multi-coloured summer dress and headgear for her party and in a poignant moment May was congratulated by her friend and fellow resident, 101-year-old Margo O’Connell.

CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
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

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
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

Galway City Council needs 40 more workers to help deliver on projects

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Forty more workers are needed at City Hall ‘right away’, the Chief Executive of Galway City Council has said.

Brendan McGrath has warned city councillors that the local authority is understaffed and it needs to hire more staff immediately to deliver its plans and projects.

The total cost of the extra 40 workers, including salary, would be between €1.75 million and €1.95 million.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council had a workforce now that was below what it had in 2007, but the city’s population has grown and so too had the services the Council provides.

The population of Galway City grew by almost 11% in the 10 years to 2016, he said, and total staff numbers in the Council fell by 13.6% during that period.

Though more staff were hired in recent years, Mr McGrath said that the Council was at 2007 and 2008 staffing levels, even though the Census will record further increases in population since 2016.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council now provides 1,000 services across a range of departments, far more than during the 2000s.

He said that currently, 524 staff are employed at the City Council. This equated to 493 Whole Time Equivalents when part-time workers such as school wardens and Town Hall workers are included.

Mr McGrath said that 12% of all staff are in acting up positions, with many more in short-term or fixed-term contracts. There was a highly competitive jobs market and the Council was finding recruitment and retention of specialist staff difficult.
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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