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Connacht Tribune

Galway County Council making sandbags available ahead of Storm Jorge

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An aerial view of the Headford Road at the Curraghline this week. PHOTO: Drone Works Ireland.

Galway County Council has made sandbags available Storm Jorge for collection by people whose properties are under threat. Meanwhile, around 30 roads in the county are currently closed due to flooding.

Some severe winds are expected during Saturday associated with Storm Jorge (pronounced hor-hay). Southwest quickly veering west and later northwest will reach mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h with gusts of 110 to 130km/h, possibly higher in very exposed areas with an elevated risk of coastal flooding. A Status Orange wind warning will be in place from 6am Saturday until 3am Sunday.

A Status Yellow rainfall warning for Galway is in place at the moment until midnight on Saturday.

Rainfall accumulations generally between 20 to 30mm expected during Friday and Saturday, but 40 to 50 mm possible in mountainous areas, with a continuing risk of flooding due to already saturated ground and elevated river levels.

The Council is making sand bags available for collection by those whose properties are in vulnerable areas, please contact your local area office, during office hours (5am – 5pm):

Athenry/Oranmore: 091 509088
Ballinasloe North & South: 091 509074
Conamara North (Clifden): 091 – 509095
Conamara South (An Cheathrii Rua): 091 – 509060
Loughrea: 091 – 509166
Gort; 091 – 5090G5 (Sand bags can be collected from Gort Salt Barn, Kinincha Road, Gort)
Portumna: 090 – 9741019
Tuam: 091 – 509011

A spokesperson for the County Council said: “The key message is for people is to stay safe during this weather event. The strong winds and heavy rainfall currently being experienced are making driving conditions hazardous and drivers need to take extreme care and watch out cyclists and pedestrians and for the potential of flying debris, flood water, fallen trees and powerlines. Motorists are asked to avoid coastal routes, to make alternative route plans where possible and avoid making unnecessary journeys. Do not drive through flood water unless you are sure your vehicle is able to get through it.

“Given this Orange weather alert, members of the public are advised to take precautions to stay safe and are reminded to make contact with elderly or vulnerable neighbours.”

The following is the list of roads currently closed as a result of flooding over the past fortnight:

N65 Portumna – Road flooded but passable at the bridge
R358 Station Rd Ballinasloe – Road Closed Diversions in place
R339 An Carn Mór Rd – Flooding but passable with care at Greaney Glass
R381 Baile Chláir – road partially flooded heading toward Baile Chláir from Carnmore Cross
R360 Williamstown to Dunmore Road is closed at Kilnalag Cross, 1km from Williamstown. Diversion are in Place
L21162 Ballybeg near Cor an Dola – Road impassable
L7104 An Chréig Bhuí, Baile Chláir – Road closed, Diversions in place
L7103 Kiltullagh Rd, Baile Chláir – Road closed, Diversions in place
L6212 An Pollach (Pollagh) Baile Chláir – passable with care
L71115 An Ghráinseach – Road closed, Diversions in place
L3105 – Carheenlea – Road Closed, Diversions in place
L7161 – Moneteige – Road Closed, Diversions in place
L61981 – Gort Chluain Mór – Road flooded
L-6401 is Closed at Forty Acres, Williamstown with diversions in place.
L-6427 is still closed at Polleagh North, Williamstown with diversions in place.
L-7351 at Ticooly, Caltra is Closed with diversions in place.
L-7250 at Caltra Park, Caltra is Closed with diversions in place.
L3414 at Kilmalaw/Cappagh, Kilconnel – Road flooded but passable
L8103 – Rinn – Road flooded but passable
L8104 – Moneymore East – Road flooded but passable
L3116 – Ballyglass – Road flooded but passable

Tuam Area

L6184 near Corbally North – Road Closed, Diversions in place
L2121 Glenrevagh near Peggy’s bar is closed due flooding. Detour in place
L2101 Causeway road to Inchaquin island is flooded. Only access is by tractor.
L6146 Clough South (Corofin area) passable with care
L6147 Pollinore (Corofin area) closed. Detour in operation
L2106 Belclare – passable with care
L6156 Feagh – Road impassable
L21162 Balrobuckbeg – Road impassable

Conamara

Pier Rd, Oughterard – Road flooded

Meanwhile, City Council crews will be on standby from 2pm on Saturday to deal with any flooding or wind damage caused by the storm.

(Photo is an aerial image of the Headford Road at the Curraghline taken this week by Drone Works Ireland)

The Road Safety Authority has issued the following warning: Road users in areas affected by the Orange Warnings are advised to check local traffic and weather conditions before setting out on a journey. The following advice is being given to road users. Motorists:

  • Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds. High sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds.
  • Beware of objects being blown onto the road. Expect road conditions to change quickly in high winds so reduce your speed.
  • Watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road.
  • Drivers should allow extra space between themselves and vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and motorcyclists as they may be blown off course by strong winds.
  • Drivers need to slow down in wet weather conditions, especially on high speed roads such as dual carriageways and motorways where there is increased danger of aquaplaning.
  • If the road ahead is flooded choose another route, do not attempt to drive through it. Flooded roads that appear shallow could be deeper than you think. They may also have trees or branches that have fallen that may not be visible.
  • Road users should always follow recommended routes and obey signs closing roads to traffic.
  • After going through water, drive slowly with your foot on the brake pedal for a short distance – this helps to dry the brakes.
  • Drive with dipped headlights at all times.

Advice to Pedestrians, Cyclists and motorcyclists:

  • Visibility and light is reduced in poor weather conditions. Keep safe by making sure you can be seen. Wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt.
  • Take extra care when crossing the road or cycling in extremely windy conditions as a sudden gust of wind could blow you into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
  • Walk on a footpath, where possible and not in the street. If there is a footpath and it is safe to use, look out for falling debris from above, especially in urban areas.
  • Walk on the right-hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths.
  • Cyclist should ensure that they and their bike are visible to other road users by investing in a good set of front and rear lights (white at the front, red at the back) and by wearing clothes that help you be seen on your bike such as bright and light reflective items.

Connacht Tribune

Galway SVP launches annual appeal as national calls reach record levels

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Mayor of Galway, Cllr Colette Connolly, launching the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Annual Christmas Appeal at Ozanam House, St. Augustine Street, pictured with (from left) Frank Leonard, SVP Area President, Galway City East, Seamus McManus, Area President, Galway City West and Deirdre Swords, SVP Regional Administrator, West Region. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul members made around 18,000 visits to homes in the Galway area last year – spending over €1m per year on direct assistance in the area.

And the charity, which helps with a myriad of practical, emotional and psychological problems, has only seen demand for its service grow under Covid.

That’s according to the Presidents of both Galway branches, as the organisation launched its Annual Appeal this week – predicting that, nationally, calls for help will be at their highest level in its history and could reach almost 200,000 by the end of December.

“We are seeing a lot of people getting in touch who have never needed to before, people whose circumstances have changed due to Covid,” said SVP Galway City East President Frank Leonard. “

We in the SVP have adapted to the new way of doing things and ensuring we are getting to people who need help.”

“The bulk of this goes to helping families with food, energy and education costs. Our volunteers are also involved in Education and Youth Initiatives and work directly with the elderly across Galway City,” he added.

SVP Galway City West President Seamus McManus said that they depend entirely on donations from the public and corporate donors – but, he said, thankfully the generosity of the people of Galway to SVP over the years has been outstanding.

“We hope that the response to this year’s Annual Appeal is as equally generous. The money raised in Galway is used locally and this Annual Appeal will support SVP’s work between now and year end and well into 2022,” he added.

National President Rose McGowan said the fact that the Society has received more calls for help nationally than at any other time in its history – and still managed to provide help – was testimony to the dedication of its volunteers and staff and the incredible support of the Irish public.

“We are facing a perfect storm for families contending with a cost-of-living crisis on multiple fronts. Energy prices are soaring, we are seeing rents rise well beyond what people can afford and increasing transport costs are also putting pressure on low-income households,” she said.

“We are deeply concerned that during the coming months this crisis will come to a head as households are unable to find extra room in the budget for escalating energy costs.

“In those circumstances they will inevitably turn to SVP for help. Need is the only criteria we apply when people seek our help. But to provide that help we need the generous support of the Irish public that we are seeking through this 2021 Annual Appeal.

“We are appealing for donations to be made locally, online or over the phone that will help people through this winter and into the new year,” she added.

The public can help by donating online to www.svp.ie and nominate ‘Galway’, or by phoning 0818 176 176 and again nominating ‘Galway’.

You can also do this by post to SVP, West Region, Ozanam House, St Augustine’s St, Galway, with cheques made payable to Society of St. Vincent de Paul Galway Area – or keep an eye out for special blue envelopes that will be in newspapers, churches and delivered to homes throughout the country.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Top award for political heavyweight with Galway roots

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President & CEO of The Ireland Funds Caitriona Fottrell with Martin J. Walsh, US Secretary of Labor, at The Ireland Funds Gala.

The son of Galway parents who went on to become Mayor of Boston before moving to Washington to become President Joe Biden’s Secretary of Labour was honoured for his achievements in his native city last week.

Close to 500 guests gathered for the Ireland Funds 40th Annual Boston Gala, where Martin J. Walsh, 29th Secretary of Labor of the United States of America, was presented with The Ireland Funds 2021 Distinguished Leadership Award.

Martin Walsh’s parents were originally from Galway; his father emigrated to the US in 1956 and mother in 1959, before they met in Boston and married there.

The Ireland Funds is a global philanthropic network. Established in 1976, its mission is to harness the power of a global network of friends of Ireland to promote and support peace, culture, education, and community development throughout the island of Ireland, and among Irish communities around the world.

The Boston Gala is one of the largest of The Ireland Funds’ international events and over $1.3 million was raised during the night to support outstanding charitable causes within across the island of Ireland and in the Boston community.

Returning to the city of Boston where he was Mayor for seven years, Martin J. Walsh spoke of his family’s immigration to the US from Galway and the importance of welcoming immigrants of all backgrounds seeking new opportunities, as his family once did, and of paying that opportunity forward.

He thanked those gathered for their generosity to the Ireland Funds and its vital work across Ireland as well as for the City of Boston.

 

 

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Connacht Tribune

Craughwell turn the screw in second half to take the spoils

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Alan Clancy of Liam Mellows gives chase to Craughwell's Alan Callanan during Saturday's County Junior A hurling final replay in Loughrea.

Craughwell 1-19

Liam Mellows 2-9

Ivan Smyth in Loughrea

CRAUGHWELL secured Junior A honours in their replay with Liam Mellows as a powerful second half display helped them atone for their 2020 final defeat to Clarinbridge.

The winners fired nine points without reply in an 18 minute spell during the second half which decided a contest that in the opening 30 minutes looked as if the winner would not be known until the concluding stages. The win means Craughwell will now field at senior and intermediate level next year as the club’s stock continues to rise.

The Pat Monaghan and Stephen Glennon managed side survived a challenging opening quarter and the subsequent concession of a soft goal just after the first water break to prevail. A Fergal Healy penalty in the 24th minute gave Craughwell a lead they would not surrender as Brian Dolan’s accuracy up front combined with a rock solid defence proved enough to curb the threat of a Liam Mellows side that simply did not perform in the second half.

They only scored one point from play in the concluding period of action with a late Luke Byrnes 20m free finding the net, but the effort only served to keep the losing margin to single digits. Owen Burke’s side did pile forward after conceding nine points on the spin, but Craughwell looked the fresher outfit and were able to use their pace on the counter attack.

Liam Mellows will look back on the opening quarter with regret as they dominated the action,but were only on level terms at 0-4 apiece when referee Gerry Donoghue blew for the first water break. They were in control of the game, but allowed Craughwell into the contest, mainly through their own poor shooting as they struck five opening quarter wides.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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