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Galway man sees reality of suicide on charity trek

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A Galway man, who has embarked on a 5,000 mile trek of England to raise awareness about suicide, actually witnessed a woman trying to take her own life as she stood on a bridge.

He could not believe what he saw as he watched the police eventually talking the woman out of jumping into the water below.

Colm Farrell has completed just over 2,000 miles of a walk through the English countryside to try and highlight the problem of suicide and the effects it has on families.

But he could scarcely believe the fact that he would witness an attempted suicide on his travels and was impressed by the manner in which the woman was talked out of taking her own life.

Colm (47) was crossing the Humber Bridge near Hull when he noticed some activity ahead of him and discovered that the emergency services were trying to coax a woman from jumping over.

He was no further than 100 feet away from the scene as he watched police talking to the woman on the bridge, trying to convince her not to jump.

It was somewhat ironic that Colm would witness such an incident as he has been raising awareness about suicide for the past couple of years.

The former publican embarked on two walking tours of Ireland – the first in the 26 counties and the second throughout the whole of the island – and finds accommodation wherever he goes.

He travels with a rucksack which contains his clothes, a laptop and a tent which is used in the event of him not being offered accommodation which has been something of a rarity.

Earlier this year he decided to take his campaign to England and has embarked on a 5,000 mile walking trek. His arrival at locations is heralded on social media websites and invariably he has loads of offers of accommodation because of the worthy cause he is trying to highlight.

Colm, who represents the charity Console, told a local newspaper in Hull: “I was just standing there, hoping this woman was not going to end her own life. She got hold of the railings. Thank God, I couldn’t see what was happening.

“Fair play to the police. I don’t know what they said or did but they obviously did a good job. My only hope is this person will get proper help now.

“That seems to be the problem – when people attempt to take their own lives there’s not always help. They put them on medication and send them on their merry way.”

Colm, from Tuam, was inspired to take on his walk after losing friends to suicide. He has since met and helped others struggling with depression and mental illness along the way.

Connacht Tribune

Locals in fundraising drive to protect some of Connemara’s finest beauty spots

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The world-famous beaches Gurteen Bay and Dogs Bay will disappear unless work is carried out immediately to save them for the next generation.
A local conservation committee has been set up which is fundraising to carry out the work in September. They plan to remove the old fencing from the headland, which is dangerous for people and animals.
They will also want to install new fencing on the headland to keep animals off the sand dunes and to have clear access pathways to people to enjoy the dunes without causing them damage.
Sustainable chestnut fencing is then needed to re-establish the sand dunes and to save them from further collapse.
Finally the hope to replant marram grass to further stabalise the dunes.
Kieran Mullen, owner of the Gurteen Bay caravan and camping park, explained that the work was so urgent that they cannot wait another year to carry it out.
“Atlantic storms are becoming more frequent and powerful. If they find a weakness in the dunes a one metre gap is created. The next storm that widens to two and three metres and soon they’re gone forever,” he remarked.
“I know people might say I’m doing this because they’re part of my livelihood but these beaches are key to the bigger economy of Connemara. Everyone’s tied into tourism here – the shops, the builders. It only takes one influencer to post a picture on Instagram and the next week the place is packed.”
His father Pat, along with James Conneely and Joe Rafferty, undertook extensive projects such as planting marram grass, erecting fencing and stone gabions along one section of Dogs Bay beach back in the 1990s. They managed to protect and regenerate part of a highly degraded dune system.
“If it wasn’t for the huge amount of work they did back then, the beaches wouldn’t be here today. There was an Italian electrical company who came in and took away 50 tonnes of sand and my father stopped them at the gate and made them drop it off.
“They filmed Into The West here and the film donated some money to the beach and that’s how they paid for a lot of the work.”
The committee is meeting with planners to secure an exemption on planning for the work.
“Time is not on our side so that’s why we’ve gone ahead to raise the money and hope to get it done in September when the place is quieter.”
Both beaches, located outside Roundstone, regularly make the list of top 100 beaches of the world by travel guides.

To make a donation, visit GoFundMe page.

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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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