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Connacht Tribune

Galway’s homeless crisis shows no sign of abating

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A homeless man sleeping rough in a doorway on Shop Street this week. Roscommon hurler Alan Moore is organising the ‘Gaelic Voices for Change’ sleep-out in Galway City on December 16 to highlight the homelessness crisis.

On a single night last month 416 adults and children in Galway had to avail of emergency accommodation while a further 27 people were sleeping rough – both among the highest numbers since Cope Galway started its records.

The charity’s most recent census conducted between November 21 and 22 found that it provided a roof for 84 families – 195 adults and 221 children – in its own properties as well as in hotels and B&Bs.

It also gave sleeping bags to a further 27 people who refused a bed or were not entitled to access emergency accommodation because they did not meet the ‘habitual residency’ rules.

A similar head count on the last Tuesday of January found Cope was putting up 309 people in a mixture of accommodation. Last April the number of homeless families was recorded as 60.

“It continues to creep up, in particular we have more and more families finding themselves homeless. In the main because it’s because they’ve been given notice to quit because the property is being sold or being used by the landlord’s family,” explained spokesman Martin O’Connor.

Cope Galway opened an extra 21 ‘winter response beds’ at its Seamus Quirke day facility on November 26 and at its busiest 18 rough sleepers have stayed the night.

“Today there are a small number of families who are over two years in emergency accommodation. Most of those requiring emergency accommodation stay there for an extended period of time due to difficulties in finding accommodation,” he stated.

Galway Simon have warned that the numbers in emergency accommodation are just the tip of the iceberg – they do not include couch surfers or those involuntarily sharing.

“We are currently working with approximately 350 households, yet less than 20 of these would be included in the national emergency accommodation figures,” said Karen Golden, CEO of the Galway Simon Community.

“Emergency accommodation is supposed to be a temporary solution but more and more, people are having to spend longer periods of time living with the stress and trauma of an emergency response, because there is just simply nowhere for them to move on to,” she stated.

“Rents have increased by 41% over the last three years in Galway. Back in 2014, there were only 36 people recorded as being in emergency accommodation and that figure has shot up to over 400 in just four years. Given the slow pace at which new housing is coming on stream, we believe the crisis will continue to worsen, before it starts to improve.”

Since 2012, the Business Leader Sleepout has seen 131 local figures raise €527,000 for Cope. This year’s donations will go to the charity’s street outreach service supporting rough sleepers, and providing practical and emotional supports for families living in emergency accommodation including counselling services, recreational activities and funding towards the cost of education and training.

It will also help pay for homeless people to access detox and treatment services.

If members of the public become aware of anyone rough sleeping, they can be directed to the Cope day centre. Call 085 800 9641 or 085 800 9709.

 

Connacht Tribune

Clifden break new ground with a five-star final show

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Clifden's Gearoid King, who has Michael O'Toole in support, breaking out of defence against St Ronan's of Roscommon during Saturday's Connacht Club Junior Football Final at Hyde Park. Photos: Bernie O'Farrell.

Clifden 1-16

St Ronan’s 0-10

John McIntyre at Hyde Park

A lot can change in one year. Just ask the mould-breaking Clifden junior Gaelic footballers for confirmation.

In the space of 12 months, Galway’s most westerly Gaelic football bastion has gone from fighting relegation to being crowned Connacht champions.

It’s some turnaround in fortunes by any standards, and Clifden are not finished yet with an All-Ireland Club semi-final to look forward to in early January.

Having taken out highly-rated Islandeady of Mayo in the semi-final, suddenly the burden of favouritism for provincial glory fell on Clifden’s shoulders, but they made light of this new-found status at Hyde Park on Saturday.

Coming up against St Ronan’s of Roscommon – a club which was fighting for survival itself just five years ago – in the Connacht final, a progressive Clifden outfit carried too much firepower and quality for opponents who are based close to the Sligo border.

Having suffered defeat in the club’s two previous provincial final appearances – in 2006 and 2015 – Clifden were determined to make it third-time lucky and the fact their supporters rarely had cause for concern underlines how much they were in control.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

An Spidéal raise their game after being hit by black card

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Kinvara full forward Joshua O’Connor is challenged by Liam Ó Fatharta and Eoin Ó Conghaile of An Spidéal during Saturday's County U19 B Football Final at Tuam Stadium. Photos: Iain McDonald.

An Spidéal 1-10

Kinvara 1-6

Eanna O’Reilly at Tuam Stadium

AN Spidéal claimed the county under 19 B football title on Saturday following an entertaining contest with North board winners Kinvara at Tuam Stadium.

The Connemara side were deserving winners on the day as they played the superior football for long spells. Nevertheless, they were well tested by a hard working Kinvara side, who produced a strong third quarter performance and took the lead in the 43rd minute.

An Spidéal weathered the storm however, to take control of the contest in the final quarter, scoring the final five points of the game to deservedly take the title.They displayed a greater ability to generate scores from play, which made all the difference in the end. An Spidéal’s tallied 1-6 from open play, while Kinvara were held to 0-3 by comparison.

Both sides deserve credit for serving up an entertaining spectacle in tricky conditions at Tuam Stadium. Kinvara played against the wind in the opening half but made a bright start when Oisín Ivers pointed from the right corner.

An Spidéal replied with their first score, which proved to be a major one. A strong run from Liam Ó Conghaile saw him break through Kinvara’s defence before firing a shot to the bottom corner past Shaun Philips.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

 

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Country Living

A glimpse back to darker days when we turned on each other

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A photo taken in happier pre-civil war times on October 27, 1921, at the wedding of Kevin O’Higgins (centre) to Birdie Cole (centre front). O’Higgins is flanked to his right by Eamon de Valera and on his left by Rory O’Connor, the latter to be executed just over a year later on the orders of O’Higgins. Photo: Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

One of my regrets in childhood and younger life was that I never really got to know my ageing father. There was a rural way of life back through the 20th century where older farmers tended to marry younger women, one of the consequences being that by the time the youngest of the children had reached teenage years, their father would have slipped into old age.

It wasn’t all bad though and as a child, I’d hear first-hand stories of what times were like during The Troubles from the War of Independence through to the Civil War. My father wouldn’t always talk about it that often, but here and there, he’d mention tales of hiding behind walls when they’d hear the sound of Crossley Tenders – lightweight lorries which carried parties of Black-and-Tans across the country to ‘put manners’ on the restless natives.

Tales of guns and ambushes were quite frightening but also somewhat alluring yarns for a young lad of 11 or 12 summers as here and there, my father would mention that what followed on after the hated Black-and-Tans was even worse. He would recount tales from the Civil War and how even the closest of families were torn apart, depending on whether they were pro-Treaty or not.

He would point to a spot on a field where IRA members fired shots at the Free State-controlled railway station in Ballyglunin, or maybe a house where two brothers fought on opposite sides during the Civil War. As years passed, and elderly parents moved on, talks of the Tans and the Treaty faded, but of late with the 100th anniversary of so many awful events in 1922 now being recalled, curiosity again took hold.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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