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GMIT plant five acres in Letterfrack for education

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GMIT Letterfrack has established a new five-acre native woodland in the grounds of the Connemara National Park (CNP) in collaboration with the CNP, Connemara West and local community groups.

The new Community Native Woodland is comprised of over 3,000 saplings which were planted by GMIT Letterfrack students as well as staff in the three organisatons and community groups.

The project was first planned in 2013 by the GMIT Letterfrack Green Campus Committee with support from the ‘One Million Trees and a Day’ initiative and a Department of Agriculture Native Woodland grant.

Additional plantings took place during the past two years to restock the woodland, and there is continuous maintenance to help the tress get established. The species planted include alder, birch, whitethorn, guilder rose, holly, pendunculate oak and scots pine.

Dermot O’Donovan, Head of GMIT Letterfrack, said: “The site will be hugely important to support biodiversity in the area. It will play its role in carbon sequestration and also act as a learning environment for students and the wider community.

“In the coming years GMIT Letterfrack will develop resources to ensure that the potential of the woodland is maximised from an educational perspective.

“Ireland imports approximately 95% of hardwoods consumed each year and this project helps students of GMIT Letterfrack, who specialise in the use and manipulation of wood in furniture design and technology projects, to understand how trees and forests develop and how long it takes for trees to mature.

“It is hoped that thinnings and, later, mature timber from the woodland will be extracted to demonstrate how sustainable forestry can work in local environments supporting local communities.”

Meanwhile, GMIT Letterfrack has also formed an important new alliance with Coillte, aimed at advancing the objectives and mission of the two organisations through knowledge transfer, technical projects and research.

The new partnership aims to build on the expertise of staff in both organisations, provide opportunities for students and staff to work closely with a major wood industry partner, and develop strategic market opportunities and that will advance learning, research and commercial opportunities for both parties.

David Murray, Innovation Manager at Coillte Panel Products, said: “Coillte are delighted to be working with GMIT. Our strategy is focused on adding value to our wood panel products portfolio. We see our collaboration with GMIT providing the ideal framework for product innovation and development.

“There is immense value to be gained from access to GMIT’s facilities, the knowledge base of its staff and the fresh thinking of its student body. Our ambition is to harness this diverse knowledge and skills base and turn into real commercial value for sustainable innovative Irish wood based products.”

Coillte, a State-sponsored commercial company operating in forestry, land based businesses, renewable energy and panel products, employs approximately 1,000 people and was established in 1988. It owns over 445,000 hectares of land, about 7% of the land cover of Ireland. Coillte manages its forests to deliver social, economic and environmental benefits.

Connacht Tribune

Two arrested following taxi hijacking in Galway

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Gardaí have arrested two men following the hijacking of a taxi in Co Galway last night.

Shortly before midnight, Gardaí received a report that two men who were passengers in a taxi had attacked the driver and stole his vehicle.

The driver was ejected from the car on the M18 motorway.

Gardaí were alerted and observed the car in Claregalway.

A managed containment operation to ‘block in’ the taxi was put in place with assistance from the armed Regional Support Unit.

The car was brought to a stop on Bothar na dTreabh and two men fled on foot. The two men, one in his mid-20s and the other in his early-30s, were subsequently arrested.

They are currently detained at Garda HQ in Renmore under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Small shops fight back in store wars

Dara Bradley

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Caroline McCarthy

A popular city boutique has threatened to re-open in breach of Covid-19 restrictions – to highlight the unfairness of supermarkets selling so-called ‘non-essential’ goods.

The proprietor of Lanidor on Eyre Street said she is ‘taking a stand’, and has urged all retailers to follow suit, unless the authorities crack-down on those bending the rules.

“This stuff about ‘oh we’re all in it together’ is a load of rubbish,” fumed Caroline McCarthy, who said the multiples were ignoring restrictions while independent retailers remain shuttered.

She said all non-essential retail should be open, or none, but the current situation was “discriminatory”.

“I’ve had it at this stage. I’ve lost it. I can’t put up with this anymore. On a point of principle and on a practical level, someone has to do something about it. It’s not that we want to open.

“We have adhered to every single one of the regulations. But we are making a stand now. We will go ahead and open, at a date to be announced, if they are not shut down. And we would call on retailers across the country to do the same,” she said.

Under public health guidelines only ‘essential’ retail outlets are permitted to open. They are not permitted to sell ‘non-essential’ goods during Level 5. This is to stop people congregating and browsing in order to limit the spread of the virus.

But large retailers such as Dunnes Stores and Marks and Spencer stand accused of selling ‘non-essential’ clothing during the pandemic, even though clothes shops should be closed.

Galway Gardaí visited stores last weekend on foot of a complaint.

A spokesperson for M&S said it was following the guidelines but the tills in its Galway store’s clothing section was staffed on Saturday.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Vaccine roll-out stalls after advice

Dara Bradley

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Staff from the Paediatric Department at UHG (from left) Mary Scally, Clinical Nurse Manager 1; Cecily Cassidy, Clinical Nurse Manager 2; and Lisa Porter, Play Specialist with shadowbox theatres and accompanying tote bags which are being shared with children in hospital during April as part of an Arts and Health project for Galway 2020 called A Bird at My Window and Other Stories.

The roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine programme in Galway has stalled due to updated advice on the AstraZeneca jab.

Operations at the mass vaccination centre at Galway Racecourse in Ballybrit were  suspended Tuesday, for the remainder of this week at least, to allow the HSE to ‘reconfigure’ its roll-out plan following the new guidance.

The European Medical Agency safety committee concluded that unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be listed as very rare side effects of AstraZeneca.

National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) then issued revised recommendations for its use, including not administering it to people under 60.

For people who have already received their first dose, NIAC said people aged 60 and older should continue to receive their second dose, as should those under 60 with underlying conditions.

Those under 60 without underlying health conditions – mostly healthcare staff – should have an extended period between the first and second dose, “to allow for further assessment of the benefits and risks as more evidence becomes available”.

Anyone who develops unusual blood clots with low platelets after the first dose should not take the second.

HSE West said vaccination clinics for the over-60s proceeded as planned; it would not say how many people had their vaccination jabs cancelled at Ballybrit.

“Everyone scheduled to get their vaccine at Ballybrit vaccination centre this week has been contacted,” a spokesperson said.

“The HSE is actively looking at the implications of the updated NIAC recommendations for the vaccine roll-out and the implementation of the programme. On receipt of national guidance we will recommence scheduling of vaccines at the Ballybrit vaccination centre.”

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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