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Go-ahead for Pearse Stadium floodlights set to go to appeal

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Appeals are expected to be lodged with An Bord Pleanála within days, calling for a reversal of Galway City Council’s decision to grant permission for controversial floodlights at Pearse Stadium.

Planners have approved the application for three 30.5 metre high columns and two 36.5m high columns, each of which will have between 33 and 40 lighting fixtures.

But they imposed stringent conditions on the operation of the lights, and parking arrangements for matches and other events in the stadium.

A ‘middle mast’ on the Dr Mannix Road side must be demountable, and must be taken down by April 30 each year, and not erected again before October 1.

The lights can only be used for matches – a maximum of 12 evenings from October to March – unless specific consent is granted otherwise.

“The permission for the use of floodlights is for the facilitation of match-playing only and shall not be interpreted for the facilitation of other uses such as sports training, concerts or any recreational activity. The use of the lights is restricted to the hours of 6pm to 10pm,” the conditions read.

Planners have also imposed restrictions on the level of illumination permitted, and ordered that the use of the lights must be digitally logged “in a secure, accurate and independent manner”, and that the annual logs be verified by qualified personnel and submitted to the Council each year.

 

“The GAA shall make the logging record available for inspection by the public in the event of a dispute with residents within four weeks of the relevant match,” the Council added.

Traffic management proposals already submitted by the GAA – where they point out they have access to a total of almost 4,500 parking spaces across the city – have also been approved.

Nearly 100 objections were lodged with the Council – including petitions from local residents’ groups.

Read more in this week’s Connacht Sentinel

Connacht Tribune

Progress stalls on setting up Eating Disorder Community Health Team

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Despite an increasing number of young people experiencing eating disorders, a new specialist community team has yet to be set up in Galway well over a year after it was announced.

The delay is mainly due to a difficulty recruiting a consultant psychiatrist to lead the team, this week’s HSE West Regional Health Forum meeting was told.

Councillor John Connolly (FF) queried the progress on the new Eating Disorder Community Health Team within the Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) after the HSE revealed in September 2021 that it would be set up in response to the hike in youths presenting for treatment.

Chief Officer of HSE Community Healthcare West, Breda Crehan-Roche, said interviews had been conducted to recruit a clinical lead, but so far none had been appointed. Six other staff had been appointed and these had been assigned to existing teams within CAMHS while a psychiatrist could come on board to manage the team.

“We have difficulty getting locum cover. Interviews were held. It’s a priority. We are doing a running recruitment process,” she told this month’s meeting.

It took between six and nine months to appoint a person to such a senior post.

“There is a lot of work in specialist intervention in the eating disorders team.”

She admitted that there were no records of how much of an increase there had been in referrals to CAMHS Galway for youths troubled by an eating disorder as all records were on paper rather than on computer.

“I can’t ask clinicians and therapists to pull together manual figures,” she stated. But the indication from staff on the ground was that there had been a downward trend in referrals post-Covid.

There was a move to keeping digital records by the middle of next year.

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Connacht Tribune

Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan dies aged 78

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Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan has passed away at the age of 78.

Born in Kilkenny in 1944, Bishop Drennan studied for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth from where he was ordained in 1968

As a priest, the then Fr Drennan served as curate in both St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish in Kilkenny and then in Ballycallan.

From 1975 he taught Sacred Scripture at St. Kieran’s College, returning to Rome in 1980 to become Spiritual Director at the Irish College there for the next five years.

When Fr. Martin again returned home he became a Lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth where he continued to teach until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin in 1997.

Following the retirement of Bishop James McLoughlin, Bishop Drennan was chosen as Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora and was installed on 3rd July 2005 in Galway Cathedral serving to his retirement in 2016.

A brief statement released by the Diocese of Galway this afternoon confirmed his passing and offered their sympathies to Bishop Drennan’s family and all those who mourn his loss.

Funeral arrangements for the late Bishop Drennan will be announced later

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Connacht Tribune

Gardaí appeal for help to locate missing man

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Gardaí are seeking help from the public in locating a 66-year-old man who has been missing from Clonbur since Thursday.

Michael Harte is described as being 5’ 9” in height, of slim build with short grey hair. When last seen, he was wearing blue jeans, a blue jumper, a tan / khaki padded jacket and tan boots.

He is understood to have access to a black Renault Megane with a 02 C registration.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Clifden Garda Station on 095 2250,  the Garda confidential line on 1800 666111 or any Garda station.

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