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Galway Fire Service under pressure due to high number of staff on sick leave

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway City Fire Service is facing increasing pressure with a number of retained or part-time staff on sick leave.

Director of Services for Emergency Services with the County Council, Eugene Cummins says half of the retained staff rostered on, are on certified sick leave.

It’s understood there are also staffing issues which are going through the Labour Relations Commission.

The Director says that it’s unprecendented that so many retained staff would be on sick leave at one time.

However he says that Athenry fire service is on standby as back up if necessary.

Speaking on Galway Talks, Eugene Cummins said the Council is willing to engage with staff over any issues they may have.

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Connemara councillors make call for exemptions for overnight parking of caravans

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Connemara county councillors have passed a resolution calling for exemptions from the standard planning regulations in regard to overnight parking for motor caravans this year.

At a meeting of the municipal district, councillors were told that planning and safety issues normally come into play when facilities for tents and caravans are developed but that the situation would be explored in view of the Covid-19 crisis.

Caravan and motor vans are now a very common sight on the roads of Connemara – a situation brought about by the Covid 19 restrictions on accommodation.

However, facilities and parking space is needed and Councillor Pádraic Mac an Iomaire said at a meeting of Connemara Councillors that the southern part of the area is badly served in this regard.

Councillor Mac an Iomaire suggested that an area at Rosaveal Harbour and parking space at the GAA pitch in Máimín in LeitirMóir could be used for such purposes.

County Council Tourism Officer, Ruth Mulhern instanced initiatives in RosMuc and at the Cashel Community Centre in Connemara.

However, she said a further look at these facilities is needed in regard to the minimum requirements.

Director of Services Michael Owens said he would explore possible exemptions but planning permission and safety measure are the basic requirements in the longer term.

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Bus Éireann to reinstate services on Galway to Gort route

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Bus Éireann has announced that from this Friday, late services will be reinstated on the Galway to Gort bus route.

It follows the suspension of a number of Expressway 51 Galway-Limerick services last month, which resulted in the last bus from Galway departing at 5.05pm.

Local politicians expressed huge dismay at the move and the matter was even brought to the attention of Taoiseach Micheal Martin in the Dáil.

It’s now been confirmed that from Friday, the last daily departure from Ceannt Station will be restored to 7.05pm.

Bus Éireann says it recognises the later service from Galway is particularly important to people in South Galway and Clare.

It adds that guaranteed seat booking for the restored service will be available online at expressway.ie within a week of the resumption.

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Just 147 businesses in city and county avail of Covid 19 small business assistance scheme

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Just 147 businesses in the city and county have availed of the Covid-19 small business assistance scheme to date.

The scheme which was introduced to help small businesses who are impacted financially due to the pandemic provides grants of €4,000 to businesses working from non-rateable premises and €1,000 to businesses with a turnover between €20,000 and €50,000.

Figures released by the Department of Enterprise have revealed that up to June 11th, 57 small businesses in the city availed of the support at a total cost of €228,000.

In the county, 90 small enterprises have claimed €360,000 through the scheme.

It comes as the scheme is due to close on July 21st.

Sinn Féin Roscommon/Galway TD Claire Kerrane, who obtained the Department figures through a parliamentary question, says Local Authorities and the Government should seek out and encourage as many small businesses as possible to apply for the grants before the closing date.

She argues the uptake for the scheme has been very low despite the fact that many small businesses are still struggling.

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