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Connacht Tribune

Galway paramedic fighting back after mountain fall leaves her paralysed



Adventurer…Olivia Lane before her terrible accident.

A fall while climbing Mweelrea Mountain last year changed 28-year-old Olivia Lane’s life utterly – leaving her fully paralysed from the armpits down.

Olivia, from Laraghmore in Turloughmore, was a paramedic with the National Ambulance Service and a keen sportswoman, but the injuries she suffered on that fateful day last October have left her finding a new way forward, after months in hospital and rehabilitation.

To aid her on that journey, members of the local community are running a fundraiser later this month to raise money towards the cost of a motorised wheelchair attachment which Olivia says would make getting around less of a challenge.

Recalling the accident, Olivia says she was halfway up Connacht’s highest peak when tragedy struck.

“I was halfway up from the Doolough Valley side when, unfortunately, I fell off the ramp section as it’s known and fell over 40 metres. Luckily, I hike with a work colleague in the National Ambulance Service who provided whatever assistance she could to me while Rescue 118 Coastguard helicopter was tasked from Strandhill in Sligo,” she explains.

“I was winched onto R118 and brought to University Hospital Galway. I had a massive amount of traumatic injuries which included a subarachnoid brain bleed, basal skill fractures, multiple vertebral fractures throughout my spine, severed spinal cord, pelvis fracture and multiple rib fractures.”

The extent of her injuries left Olivia in cardiac arrest for two minutes at UHG, and it was only when she was stabilised that she could be brought to Beaumont in Dublin for a twelve-hour surgery to stabilise her spine and brain bleeds.

Read Olivia’s full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download the digital edition from

An online fundraiser – starring Gift Grub’s Mario Rosenstock – takes place on August 27, to help with Olivia’s ongoing medical costs. Tickets can be purchased at

Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area



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



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’



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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