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Galway ranked second in national glass recycling figures




Galway City Council was ranked second in Ireland for the amount of glass it recycled per head of its population in the first seven months of the year – the equivalent of 76 bottles for every person living in the city between January and July this year.

And just behind it, Galway County Council was joint fifth in Ireland for the amount of glass it recycled per head of population in the first seven months of the year.

Overall, Galway recorded an increase in the amount of glass recycled in the first seven months of the year, with the combined total in both local authority areas reaching 3,026 tonnes, compared to 2,970 tonnes in the same timeframe last year.

The figures were released by Rehab Glassco, Ireland’s largest glass packaging recycling company, to mark Repak Recycle Week, which takes place this week.

This year’s Recycle Week is encouraging members of the public to ‘recycle better’ ensuring they minimise contamination in their waste.

In glass recycling the biggest contamination issue is ceramics (cups, plates and saucers). Even a small amount of ceramic material such as crockery can contaminate a much larger batch of glass.

Glass cullet (waste glass) is melted down to create new recycled glass. However, ceramic melts at a much higher temperature than glass, meaning that as little as 10g of ceramics, or just one cup handle, per tonne of glass can cause contamination. Contamination in recycled bottle manufacture can weaken the structure of bottles and jars.

Over the past number of years, glass recycling has become routine for householders in Ireland as awareness of environmental concerns has increased.

On a national basis, the first seven months of the year have seen a very positive increase in tonnage in 90% of local authority areas that Rehab Glassco services.

Between 2008 and 2011, the tonnage declined and from 2012 until 2015 there have only been small increases. This year, for the first time since the recession began, glass recycling is up in the vast majority of local authority areas.

“These figures are very positive and it shows that Irish people are still committed to high levels of responsible recycling. This has also contributed to Ireland’s position close to the top of the recycling league table in Europe,” said Rehab Glassco Operations Manager David Farrelly.

“Rehab Glassco’s continued progress on glass recycling shows that Ireland has completely transformed how it recycles packaging and glass in the last 19 years,” added Repak CEO Seamus Clancy.

“The progress Ireland has made through collaboration of all stakeholders, from Rehab Glassco to our 2,085 participating members and the buy in from consumers makes it the one of the most successful Producer Responsibility schemes in Ireland and an exemplar within the EU,” he said.

Connacht Tribune

New York-based Galwegian thrives in heart of virus epi-centre

Denise McNamara



Tadhg Reynolds in Times Square, on the empty streets of Manhattan.

An aspiring entrepreneur and Galway native, who had just set up a digital marketing company in New York when the pandemic struck, continues to work twelve-hour days as companies scramble to stay afloat.

Tadhg Reynolds, 24, from Kinvara, left for a better life exactly a year ago, on graduating from NUIG with a degree in Business Information Systems.

On his arrival, he joined a digital marketing start-up in Manhattan focused on e-commerce before branching out on his own, concentrating on Facebook ads, email and Instagram posts for companies in the US as well as in Ireland.

And then Covid-19 sent shockwaves around the world.

America is now the epi-centre of the pandemic and New York has been hardest hit, with 12,000 new cases confirmed and 600 deaths recorded on the day Tadhg spoke to the Connacht Tribune.

Tadhg had been worried that his newly found business would fall by the wayside as digital marketing is usually the first thing cut in hard times.

“I’ve actually started taking on new clients – companies selling home exercise equipment, hand sanitisers, hand moisturisers are doing really well so I’m helping them capitalise and everything seems to be going ok,” he remarks.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. You can also order the paper with your online delivery – or buy a digital edition on

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Connacht Tribune

Hospitals plan for anticipated virus upsurge

Dara Bradley



ICU staff at Portiuncula Hospital – with a very clear message for the public. Photo taken by hospital staff because of visiting restrictions.

Extra space to store dead bodies prior to burials and cremations has been added at University Hospital Galway (UHG).

Upgrade works at the mortuary had already started prior to the Covid-19 crisis but additional capacity for potential coronavirus deaths was added as a worst case scenario precaution.

‘Preliminary talks’ about the possibility of opening a temporary field hospital in Galway, if in the worst-case scenario the four city hospitals fill-up, have also taken place as part of the HSE’s wide-ranging pandemic plans.

The capacity planning comes as Dr Pat Nash, Chief Clinical Director of Saolta Hospitals Group this week warned we are ‘far from over the hump’ in relation to Covid-19 infections and deaths, even though the public’s compliance with social distancing has slowed the spread of the virus.

The latest figures confirm there were a total of 128 positive cases of Covid-19 in Galway, as of midnight on Sunday, compared with 86 the previous Sunday. That’s up 42 cases in a week, but Sunday’s sharp rise of 16 new cases accounted for almost 40%.

Several hospital sources confirmed that temporary refrigerated prefabricated buildings have been installed alongside the morgue. These have increased by many multiples the 15 spaces in the existing, permanent morgue. An autopsy theatre at the morgue has been moved temporarily to the Fever Hospital building at UHG.

Members of the public who contacted the Connacht Tribune had noticed building work at the city morgue at UHG.

Dr Nash said some construction work was progressing beside the morgue on a new laboratory building that will accommodate the blood and tissue establishment unit. That unit was previously granted planning permission as part of an extension to the morgue.


See full story – and a further 20 pages of coverage of the Covid-19 crisis – in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. You can also order the paper with your online delivery – or buy a digital edition on

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Connacht Tribune

NUIG research team found pandemic was long on the cards

Denise McNamara



NUIG Professor Máire Connolly.

Back in 2017, a research report led by NUIG Professor Máire Connolly warned that the risk of a pandemic emerging was greater than ever before.

Influenza viruses originating in animals was first in the list of identified threats to human health.

“The timing and origin of the next pandemic is uncertain, but improved preparedness can minimise the impact on human lives and health, and the disruption to economies and societies that results,” she remarked on the publication of the EU ‘Pandem’ report following 18 months of research.

It was unfortunately all too prescient.

“It is a little bit eerie looking back,” Prof Connolly admits this week. “I don’t think we actually envisaged it would be as harrowing as it is.”

The Galway City native’s previous roles with the World Health Organisation (WHO) revolved around health security and disease control in emergencies. She worked with the organisation between 1995 and 2012, often at the heart of devastating crises in the likes of Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq, Iran, Gaza, East Timor, Uganda and Syria..

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. You can also order the paper with your online delivery – or buy a digital edition on

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