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Connacht Tribune

Galway ex-pat to the fore in fighting Trump

Dara Bradley

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The Mayor of Boston, an Irish American of Connemara descent, issued a strong rebuke to Donald Trump over the incoming President’s new immigration policies.

Marty Walsh, the son of parents from Ros Muc and Carna, vowed to fight for the marginalised and promised he would not turn his back on immigrants.

Mr Walsh came out fighting this week after President Trump signed an executive order banning refugees and immigrants from Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Libya Sudan and Syria from entering the US.

In an opinion article for CNN, Mr Walsh pointed out that almost 50% of Boston children have at least one parent who was born outside America.

“I identify with those kids because I was one of them. My mother and father came from Ireland to Boston looking for opportunity. They found their American Dream, and I got to live mine by becoming mayor of the city that embraced us,” he said.

Boston is made up of almost one-third immigrants, he said, and the city welcomes and cherishes those who are fleeing persecution or seeking a better life.

He said that’s why he was “angered” by Trump’s executive order, which aims to strip Boston of funding and “shut the door to desperate refugees”.

The new policy, he said, “sent the message that America is rejecting its heritage as a nation of immigrants and giving up on its role as a beacon of hope in the world. More immediately for cities like Boston, these orders threaten to undermine public safety, sap our economic vitality and tear apart our families.”

He said he stood up against it, however.

“We will not change our values or turn our back on immigrants. I will do everything lawful within my power to protect our immigrant neighbours, documented or not. If necessary, I will use City Hall itself to shelter and protect them from persecution. I’m hopeful that it won’t come to that. The fact is, we have American values, common sense and the US Constitution on our side,” Mr Walsh added.

His mother Mary Walsh – formerly Mary O’Malley – is from Ros Cide in Ros Muc and his late father John Walsh was from Callowfeenish in Carna; two of the thousands of Connemara people who have emigrated to Boston through the centuries.

Meanwhile, Galway’s Chicago-based senator Billy Lawless, joined thousands of protestors at O’Hare Airport in the Windy City this week who railed against the ban on travel.

Mr Lawless tweeted he was “proud to stand in solidarity with immigrant and refugees”.

“I stood as Senator for the global Irish in solidarity with immigrant and refugee community groups at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport,” said Senator Lawless in a statement.

“America is a nation of laws but it is also a nation of values. It has always been outward-looking and welcoming to immigrants of all faiths and lands. These Executive Orders do not reflect the spirit of the American people or the country’s leadership role in the world,” he said.

He called on the Trump Administration to rescind the order and follow the words of Pope Francis who admonishes us to welcome the stranger and those fleeing suffering or persecution.

“In this climate, the 50,000 Irish undocumented in the United States are watching closely with fear and trepidation for their future. I stand ready to work with the Irish government to represent the interests of our most vulnerable citizens living abroad and I will encourage the Taoiseach to continue to raise this issue at the highest levels of the US government,” he added.

Connacht Tribune

Galway Real Estate have attractive site for sale on the Aran Islands

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Oghill, Inishmore, Aran Islands.

Galway Real Estate have an attractive site/property for sale at Oghill, Inishmore, Aran Islands.

The site is approximately c.150 square metres. (c.1600 sq. ft.) on c.1 acre with planning permission to convert to a dwelling house and fit a new waste water treatment system. Planning Ref: 17/1284. There are two years  left on planning. The planning is for a proposed 4 bedrooms, kitchen, dining/room, laundry/room, bathroom. This is a wonderful opportunity to get a property ready to go. Offers in excess of €125,000 considered.

Full details from Paddy Flynn 0872557618 or Galway Real Estate on 091565488 or email: info@galwayrealestate.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Aran to welcome Ireland’s largest domestic passenger ferry

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Saoirse na Farraige

The largest domestic passenger ferry in the country is making its journey from the Far East to the Far West – ready to commence service from Galway to the three Aran Islands.

The 40-metre ‘Saoirse na Farraige’ represents a massive investment – and vote of confidence – in island tourism on the part of the owners, Aran Island Ferries.

Commissioned in January 2019, this sixth member of their fleet has a capacity of 400 – and it is expected to arrive in Galway Bay from Hong Kong in October.

The vessel departed Hong Kong last week, embarking on a 2,500 mile journey to Galway Bay – inside the hold of a heavy lift ship called Svenja’”.

Saoirse na Farraige has at least three more stops to make before arriving in Galway Bay at the end of October – and it won’t not enter service until next spring.

Aran Island Ferries Sales and Marketing Manager, Aine McLoughlin, said that they were looking forward to seeing visitors enjoy their journey to the Aran Islands, enjoying the increased capacity, accessibility, and safety features.

“We are really looking forward to officially launching ‘Saoirse na Farraige’ next year and seeing visitors enjoy their journey to the Aran Islands on board our new ferry,” she said.

Saoirse na Farraige will serve all three islands from Rossaveel – with a journey time of 40 minutes to Inis Mór, 50 minutes to Inis Meáin, and 55 minutes to Inis Oírr.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in now – or download our digital edition at www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Emergency Department upgrade will happen at UHG – but it’s complicated

Denise McNamara

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The current ED at UHG.

Revamping the emergency department at UHG will involve three separate projects – leading to the hospital’s chief describing the process as ‘very complex’.

City Councillor John Connolly (FF) said the people of Galway were concerned that the new emergency department – like the ring road – would never happen, as it appeared to be so bound up in red tape.

Joe Hoare, assistant national director of estates in HSE West, told the Regional Health Forum West meeting that that outpatients department adjacent to the emergency department was being redeveloped to create more capacity for streaming Covid patients from non-Covid patients for the winter.

The outpatients department would be relocated to the Merlin Park campus. The design for this building would be completed within ten months with construction expected to begin in by last 2021 at the earliest.

An interim emergency department was the next priority so that the current building could be knocked to make way for the new state-of-the-art building, creating a new maternity department and paediatrics unit.

Since the budget for the new children’s hospital had blown out of all proportion, the rules over public projects over €100 million had changed and the Saolta hospital group had to ensure its business case for the massive project was ‘watertight’.

Mr Hoare said all three projects were moving in parallel, including the enabling works for the main build, which would take around 18 months to complete.

He described the project as Saolta’s ‘absolute top priority and was regarded as such by the national HSE organisation.

Head of Saolta, Tony Canavan, said the project was ‘big and very complex’ and required management to remain ‘very focused over a long time’.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in now – or download our digital edition at www.connachttribune.ie

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