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Connacht Tribune

Galway man home after 42-day battle with pneumonia and Covid – for his 93rd birthday

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Back in his favourite spot...Willie Keane marking his 93rd birthday, back home from hospital and watching the world go by from his front porch. Photo: Joe O' Shaughnessy.

A great-great-grandfather from Galway celebrated his 93rd birthday with the present of a lifetime this week – walking out of UHG after 42 days fighting pneumonia and Covid-19.

Willie Keane left St Joseph’s Ward on Tuesday – the exact day of his big birthday – to be greeted by family, seeing him for the first time since he was hospitalised just before Christmas.

And he’s now back where he’d longed to be; at home in familiar surrounds in Carrowbrowne, after winning his latest health battle – in the same week that saw the country’s record total of Covid deaths in one day.

His daughter Mary says it’s the longest he’s gone without seeing his family in their entire lives. Because all four of them – Mary, Michael, Catherine and Sally – still live within a stone’s throw of home; literally in the cases of Michael and Sally.

And up to Willie’s hospitalisation, at least one of them, and normally two, would spend each evening with him – making the pain of separation for the last few weeks all the more acute.

There’s another big milestone on the horizon next week, because Wednesday is his 70th wedding anniversary – although, for the first time, he will mark the day without his wife Mary.

Willie and Mary did celebrate their 69th anniversary last year in Maryfield Nursing Home in Athenry, where Mary, who has Alzheimer’s, has lived for the last four years.

But that’s not possible this time because of Covid – although Mary is doing well in lockdown.

Read the full story with more heart-warming photos in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download the digital edition by going to www.connachttribune.ie

Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area

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A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes

The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.

The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.

The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.

Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.

Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.

In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

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Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised

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Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.

A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.

Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.

Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.

Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.

He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .

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Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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